How Evive is disrupting the freezer aisle

For the Montreal-based purveyor of smoothie cubes, the road to healthy eating is frozen.

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Dominic Dubé and his wife Claudia, co-founders of Evive, are on a mission to transform the freezer aisle.

The makers of certified organic frozen smoothie and meal cubes want to bring a lot more healthy eating to a part of the store that is not normally where you’d find it.

The six-year-old company went from two university students making smoothies for breakfast in their apartment kitchen to over 10,000,000 smoothies sold in more than 2,500 locations across North America, with annual revenues of $38 million. Now offering 22 SKUs, with many more in the pipeline, the Montreal-based business employs 140 people.

The cubes, packed with super foods and protein, come in three lines: Energizing, Extra Protein, and the newest in the line-up, Super Functional. The latter smoothie line was designed for busy and health-conscious individuals needing a no-hassle, nutritious, and delicious breakfast or snack. All three flavours – Immunity, Energy, & Zen – are superfood-packed, certified organic and vegan. The Super Functional smoothie line is a category of blends that are each centered around a specific function and have the ingredients and nutritional facts to prove it.

EVive 1Aside from the health benefits and the taste, the product is all about convenience.

“Back when we started, we were making these with as many as 12 ingredients, including different fruits, veggies, super foods and vegan protein,” say Dubé. “It takes time and with all those containers in the kitchen it can be quite a mess, the opposite of what you want when you are in a hurry, getting ready for school or work.”

The founders started making them for friends and demand grew through word-of-mouth. As the volume grew, they began making them in batches. But making the cubes in ice trays was not that efficient. They couldn’t keep up. So they tried making them on a cookie sheet, freezing them, cutting them into cubes, throwing the cubes into plastic bags and home delivering them. This went on for the first three months before the operation outgrew the kitchen. Within a year they had a distribution deal that placed the product in grocery stores in Quebec and Ontario. Growth was rapid, and by year three they were distributing across the country.

The product comes in an eco-friendly packaging made from hemp fibre, which acts as an insulator when packed with dry ice, allowing the product to keep for up to 48 hours during shipping. This means Evive can reach almost every zip code in Canada. The cubes – or rather triangles – are packed in a wheel of eight units. When all eight cubes are used, the remaining package is 100% recyclable.

Next in the Evive innovation pipeline is a line of ready-made, vegan and gluten-free frozen muffin cubes. The line is set to launch later this winter.

“We believe that frozen has the potential to be the healthiest food, because it’s the best way to preserve food in its natural state,” says Dubé. “We’ve done it with smoothies, and now we want to enter new categories, starting with bakery items. We want to transform a category that’s traditionally been loaded with refined sugar and preservatives and bring it to a level of simplicity and convenience and health that’s never been done before.”

Evive’s marketing strategy is focused on influencers, with the brand partnering with working moms, stay-at-home moms and other online content creators via its brand ambassador loyalty program. Its content strategy is heavily reliant on Instagram. Products are available online and at many Canadian grocery retailers, including Loblaws, Sobeys, Longos, Fortino’s and Canadian Superstore. In the US, they are found at over 500 different independent retailers.

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