Bottling out of Atlantic Station since 2013, Chuice (that’s short for “chewable juice”) seems poised to capitalize on the popularity of both juice cleanses and meal replacements like Soylent. Although founder Ladell Hill is quick to point out what makes his product different: “Your grandparents didn’t drink a lot of juice; they chewed their food,” says Hill, who adds that chewing activates an enzyme in your saliva that helps digestion. A former personal trainer, Hill worked on the formula for more than a decade and “practically lives off of it.” (He’s been known to go days without consuming anything else.) What else should you know about this produce-packed concoction?
What’s in it?
Each 12-ounce bottle ($7) contains 35 fruits and vegetables, seeds, and nuts—from local kale to hemp seeds—and nine grams of fiber, since the produce is still somewhat intact. (A cup of O.J., meanwhile, contains just half a gram.) Once bottled, Chuice has a 28-day shelf life.
Where did the idea come from?
The grandson of a Tennessee medicine man, Hill grew up carrying raw sweet potatoes and cucumbers in his pockets for snacks. Eventually he started blending his produce, making sure to keep the consistency chewy. When Hill’s personal training clients tasted the proto-Chuice, the positive feedback convinced him that he had a marketable product.
Who drinks it?
Chuice’s celebrity fans include Steve Harvey and Hill’s former client Sanjay Gupta, who introduced him to Sujit Sharma, a pediatric emergency room doctor at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and now the CEO of Chuice.
Last June, Chuice received $500,000 in seed funding from Sanjay Varma, a former executive for Chinese e-retail site Alibaba. Hill is working on securing additional funds, with plans to eventually become a global brand and develop new products like trail mixes and smoothies.
So how’s it taste?
Some people may be put off by the lumpy texture, but I preferred to think of it as gazpacho-like. Have a spoon ready for the bottom of the glass. Of the two available blends, “Forest” was surprisingly savory (thanks to the kale), while the beet-tinged “River of Life” was sweet. Both were pretty tasty, though I’m not exactly ready to give up food in favor of Chuice.