The roots of Sunsational Sunflower Non Dairy Beverage go back to 2007. After having an annual physical my doctor informed me that my cholesterol levels were very high. She handed me a slip of paper outlining the dos and don’ts of maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. Among one of the major don’ts was dairy.
Having been in the natural products industry most of my life, luckily I was familiar with most of the non dairy products on the market. My wife is a vegetarian and we’ve always had soy or rice milk in the house, but now I actually started drinking it. Most of the products I tried were ok, but I was looking for something different.
One day I Googled how to make nut milk and seed milk. I watched a couple how-to videos on YouTube to understand the basic concept of how to make these alternative beverages. Before long, I had a bunch of different types of bulk seeds along with other ingredients spread out all across the counter, then fired up the blender, broke out the cheesecloth and started making seed milk. My first 10 or so tries were awful – nothing like the YouTube video. The next 10 or so trials got a little better so I began sharing them with my wife whose first reaction was “hmmm, seedy” and my kids just spit it out instantly. I knew the product needed a little more work. I kept doing one trial after another until I would run out of ingredients. My wife was really good about trying the product, but the kids were a different story. It got to the point when anytime the kids heard the blender they ran out of the kitchen and sometimes the house.
Eventually, I got the product to the point where you could get it down and at least fake a smile like the guy in the YouTube video. By May of 2009, I wanted to establish an actual formula for the seed milk. My father gave me the name of a food scientist at the University of Nebraska which has a fantastic food processing center. Their team was great and helped me nail down a real bench top formula. (They even put up with me wearing a lab coat and pretending to be a food scientist for a day.)
After achieving a finished bench top sample, I learned I needed to get a working production sample of the product. Waving good-bye to a big chunk of our family savings, I began working with a pilot plant that helped me achieve a production sample of the beverage. The results became even more encouraging than ever as the taste profile continued to improve and I learned the product processed well. Well enough to have a co-packer take a chance on working with me through the final stages of product development. It has been a very long, interesting, up-and-down journey and now I’m excited to introduce to you the Sunsational Sunflower Non Dairy Beverage. We hope you enjoy! Steve
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