Israel's Better Juice closes $8M funding round, plans for US debut26 Jul 2021
Better Juice, which produces a sugar-reduction technology for juice, closed an $8 million in seed funding in a round led by iAngels Israel. The Israeli startup said it will use the funding to scale its production of sugar-reduction technology while also increasing its sales and marketing teams to accelerate commercialization – particularly in the U.S.
While there are plenty of consumers worldwide that are interested in decreasing their sugar intake, U.S. consumers are particularly attuned to looking for options with lower sugar contents, Better Juice’s CEO Eran Blachinsky told Food Navigator. With the U.S. market primed for such a technology to arrive on its shores, the startup has spent years working toward its goal of providing its proprietary technology to American manufacturers.
Last summer, the team partnered with several U.S.-based beverage manufacturers, and Food Navigator reported that now the company has made its first sale of its technology to a U.S. company. However, Better Juice is still waiting on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to grant its technology GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status before it can begin to roll out its innovative sugar-reduction solution.
In the meantime, the startup is aiming to increase its production capacity by 40x in Israel to reach $50 million in sales annually.
Sugar-reduced juices are not unique in the U.S., but Better Juice is unique in its approach to decreasing the overall amount of sugar in its juice. Instead of substituting added sucrose for alternative sweeteners, Better Juice actually lessens the overall quantity of sugar actually in the juice. The company says its enzymatic technology can reduce the amount of sugar in orange juice between 30% and 80%. Its technology also reduces the overall sweetness of the juice by between 15% and 20%.
Despite a potentially less-sweet product, Better Juice is not angling to be just a technology used by orange juice manufacturers. Juice is an ingredient in a myriad of products from cakes and cookies to ice cream. Manufacturers looking to begin with a less sugary base will find that Better Juice suits their needs and offers them flexibility with flavor since many other sugar-reduced options use sweetener alternatives that can require manufacturers to alter formulations in order to develop tasty solutions.
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