Valparaiso-based Frozen Garden continues to grow like the fruits and vegetables that go into its flash-frozen, ready-to-blend smoothies.
The three-year-old company is now selling its non-GMO, preservative-free smoothies, which are prepared by adding water after they're taken out of the freezer, at the Jewel supermarkets in Chesterton, Dyer, Crown Point and Munster, with the potential to expand to more Jewel stores across the broader Chicago area this summer. Frozen Garden also widened its online distribution from 33 states to 48 states, excluding only Alaska and Hawaii.
"With more people looking for a convenient solution to healthy eating, we were able to take our sales information paired with industry research to zero in on a core target market," founder and CEO Allyson Straka said. "We've been focusing on a strategic plan to raise awareness in NWI and online, acquire new customers and increase our core customer base. By focusing on this core target market, we've seen an increase in orders and average purchase amount."
Frozen Garden already distributes to retailers in Chicago and the suburbs, including Strack & Van Til, Angelo Caputo’s, Pete’s Fresh Market, Sunset Foods and Tony’s Fresh Markets. Production and sales have risen by 75 percent over the last year.
The Valparaiso-made product is reaching more and more of a national audience, Straka said. Frozen Garden can now ship online orders nearly anywhere in the country.
"Due to the logistics of shipping frozen items, we only had the capability to ship to areas that were within a one to two-day ground transit time from our headquarters in Valpo," she said. "We started hearing from people who lived in states outside our shipping zone such as California, Florida and Texas wanting to know when we would start shipping to their area. That drove us to begin extensive testing to find new shipping liners to meet consumer demand. Our new shipping liners are made up of natural fiber that will break back down into dirt and rocks when thrown away and will keep our smoothies frozen for up to five days. This allows us the capability to ship to the Lower 48."
The company recently overhauled its packaging, which still lets consumers see the ingredients inside but which now has a particular color for each of its seven flavors, such as Berry Choco-Latte, Jungle Breeze and Napa-licious.
"Each one of our seven smoothie flavors has it's own distinct flavor profile and personality," Straka said. "We wanted to highlight each flavor with its own bright, bold color while still being able show the ingredients. We also wanted our packaging to be more visible to shoppers at the grocery store."
For more information, visit www.thefrozengarden.com.