2022 brought forth huge strides for former college athlete Luis Manta and his healthy beverage company Seoul Juice.
The California-based all-natural Korean Pear beverage rebranded this past year under Manta’s guidance with a new look and mascot to go along with their massive US expansions.
The beverage is a first of its kind in the United States, inspired by the Korean Pear juices that are readily available overseas. A lot of the hydration products you see in the market are either packed with additive ingredients you can’t pronounce or taste absolutely terrible, and so Manta, as a college athlete, wanted to develop a product that not only provided the electrolytes needed to compete but a product that was also clean label and tasted great.
We spoke with Manta about his big moments this past year and what’s to come for Seoul Juice as we near 2023.
1. What big moments this year are you most proud about and why?
Gaining distribution in multiple states has been huge for us. I never dreamed that a product started in my dorm room would be in grocery stores across the country. It’s been a pretty surreal experience creating Seoul Juice. We’re now in 6 states and constantly adding more. What’s really exciting about it is the amount of people we’ve been able to help. So many people are looking for items with clean ingredients and it’s been so motivating to hear how Seoul Juice is helping people. From kids that are picky eaters to our more seasoned customers looking to switch from high sugar juices to a natural hydration alternative and everyone in between. I’m extremely passionate about my health and being able to be part of a company that helps others stay hydrated with a clean product is amazing.
2. What trends in your industry have you seen continue to happen?
People want to know what is in the product they are consuming. They are not looking for chemical ingredients they cannot pronounce and have definitely gotten smart enough to learn that “natural flavors” are not what you want to be putting in your body. Seoul Juice is just fruit and water so you know exactly what you are getting when you open up a bottle. We don’t add any sugar or sweeteners which a lot of people are looking for as well. Humans have eaten the same way for hundreds of years and I think people are working on getting back to that diet, eating products that come from the Earth and not a lab.
3. What’s next for you heading into 2023?
Seoul Juice will be expanding nationwide in 2023 and may even be international. We are really excited to start hitting larger format stores across the nation. I am also excited to be bringing on a solid investment/advisory team. I always want to have great people on our team to help us grow. We had a ton of success in 2022 and want to use that momentum to help us expand. If there is an account your readers want to see us in let us know! We also have a lot of cool marketing events planned for 2023, so be on the lookout for those as well!
4. What is your advice to other entrepreneurs right now?
Study and know your industry better than anyone. I’m constantly learning from other entrepreneurs and advisors on how to grow. Like in sports, minimizing mistakes is what separates the great teams from the good teams. The biggest piece of advice I can give is to start. It’s the only way you’re really going to be able to find product market fit and build your business out. Don’t start spending a lot of capital until you find product market fit, you won’t scale properly without it. Win on a small scale and repeat the process, small scale wins add up really quickly. Your customers are your greatest asset and continue to use them to grow. I am so grateful for our Seoul Juice customers, we have some of the best customers out there, they’ve really been the key in our exponential growth.