If you've read some of our other blog posts, then you know that building Après was a two year project. Between our super clean ingredient list, cutting edge macronutrient profile and sustainable packaging, we were breaking down barriers in the world of drinkable protein that no one had before. As a team, we weren't willing to compromise on anything, but that also meant accepting the challenges that come with that stubbornness.
One of the biggest hurdles for us in the early days was packaging. We wanted Après to look gorgeous and be portable for your on-the-go lifestyle, without the environmental impact. The easy way to go would have been plastic. It's cheap, you can produce it in smaller quantities (which mostly means more margin for error and less drag on our working capital) and we liked the transparency it could give our customers by showing them what's inside. But, Americans produce 50 Million plastic bottles a year, a number that greatly concerned us and continues to rise. We didn't want to be a brand that contributed to those numbers.
We also looked into glass, and for a while, we thought it would be a great option. It offered the transparency to see the liquid in the bottle while also being more environmentally friendly than plastic. The issue - it wouldn't allow our product to be shelf stable, a request we continued to hear from our customers as we built Après. Plus it's really bulky and breakable, making it difficult to throw the drink in your bag when you're on the run. That's when we discovered Tetra Pak.
Tetra Pak is the name of the paperboard carton we use to package Après. 100% of Tetra-Pak's paperboard comes from controlled wood sources (yeyy for replanting trees!), is recyclable and the cap is made from bio-based plastic. So not only did the packaging check our eco-friendly box, it also allowed Après to be a non-refrigerated product without any added chemicals or weird ingredients.
To be honest, Tetra did come with some added hurdles. It meant we'd have to produce in really large run sizes (the minimum for Tetra is 40K units per flavor!), a pretty intimidating number for a brand that's just getting off the ground. That also meant more money from investors to help fund those larger run sizes and major confidence in our formula and taste, because one small mistake in the formulation process means 40k units of Après that taste bad!
We're not sharing this story with you because we want a pat on the back, but because we think you should be informed before you make a purchase. You vote with your dollar which means the brands you buy are an extension of who you are and what you support. That's why we've built Après with organic, plant-based ingredients sourced from the best suppliers all in packaging we can feel good about. We've built our brand on a platform of transparency, so we think you should know the kind of thought and care that went into getting Après to your doorstep.
If you ever have questions, comments or suggestions for us, we are all ears! Just shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave us a comment here. We look forward to hearing from you!
xx Team Après