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Worth The Squeeze: A Q&A With Angela Hernandez

Worth The Squeeze: A Q&A With Angela Hernandez

A belief is not the same as an idea.

Those who endeavor to be great know this. I feel this viewpoint in my bones, and while only an opinion, I know it can change the way we see choice, events, and circumstances. Beliefs carry impetus and action behind them. Ideas can stay rooted in the mind, similar to the way a seed sits in stillness if left unwatered, there are few who truly believe in their ideas and put action behind them.

While the two notions are not mutually exclusive and are often used synonymously, I find that those who have a belief in why they get up in the morning lean toward action, and an idea is how they get there. That idea can only be as strong as someone’s belief in it.

But when the two align, seismic shifts can happen in our personal lives or in our businesses. Beliefs have conviction, are grounded in movement and strength—but also curiosity—down to the atomic level. Truly great ideas are born from beliefs, are the branches of a tree rooted in truths like courage, resilience, and even risk.

Angela Hernandez is at the foundation of such roots, and Trinity Fruit Company is the way in which such a brave belief in innovation comes to life and grows toward the sun.

In this light, Angela tells me, Trinity Fruit creates experiences as evidence of a deep belief in ingenuity and what it can do to the relationship between the grower and the consumer, between the shelf and sentimental. As the company’s Director of Marketing, Angela reaches across California to hand me a cool bottled beverage, brightly designed, and perfectly balanced: Squeezed Juice® by Trinity Fruit Company.

It is easy to call such an item a product, but when the idea of a fresh fruit juice program is put into the hands of the Trinity Fruit team, it becomes pure belief—the palpable and drinkable kind. Hang with me for a moment and let’s take a sip.

 

Jordan Okumura: Alright, Angela, that smile on your face tells me Trinity Fruit has one heck of a juice experience up its sleeve. Tell me a little about it; pretend I am walking toward its destination at retail. What am I looking at?

Angela Hernandez, Director of Marketing, Trinity Fruit Company: With Squeezed Juice, what you are looking at is both a belief in a nostalgic experience and the latest in innovation and research from the Trinity Fruit team.

Our new items come in two flavors, mandarin and pomegranate, and both are 100 percent juice. It was incredibly important to us that these juices were all-natural and not from concentrate. Differentiation in today’s fresh departments starts by listening to the consumer, and they are telling us that this is the kind of juice experience they want.

Visually, we took it to another level as well. After all, consumers drink with their eyes first.

 

JO: Nostalgia and innovation are a great pairing and quite a feat. How did this combination of goals influence the design and aesthetic of the new line?

AH: When David White, our President and Chief Executive Officer, shared with me that he wanted to create these juice products, I naturally began to go to work. I did a lot of research on different bottles on the shelf and bottles that weren’t on the shelf. What I envisioned was something classy, timeless, and chic, with a “less is more” approach—and a bottle that was ergonomic and easy to drink and pour.

“In terms of growth, we have faith and are very optimistic—especially with the positive feedback we have received—that growth is in the cards.”

Angela Hernandez, Director of Marketing, Trinity Fruit Company

During the bottle research, I came across vintage milk glass bottles. We’re farmers, so I wanted to reinvent the farm-look milk bottle for the new age. This vessel, if you will, is what I envisioned: a beautiful, retro-meets-chic and minimalist look that carries the timeless vintage bottle style.

 

JO: I love that. You could be talking about a new luxury vehicle, a fashion trend, or an architectural strategy, but you are talking about juice! What inspired this expansion of the Trinity Fruit portfolio?

AH: A vision. David is always thinking of the next thing. As Trinity Fruit has continued to grow, the visions have become realities.

In 2019, David shared his vision of creating a pomegranate and mandarin juice with me, and from that point on, the team took his passionate belief and began to perform what I call magic. We created a blueprint that would make Squeezed Juice a premium juice line and an extension of the produce department with year-round availability.

The experience should replicate the same satisfaction as eating California-grown mandarins and pomegranate arils fresh from the orchard.

JO: Let’s talk about the expanse and reach of the line at present. What is the availability and breadth of the distribution, and do you plan for continued growth in this arena?

AH: Our product launched mid-February of this year, with the line on the shelf at the beginning of March starting on the East Coast. Availability is year-round, so our partners will not need to worry about not meeting demand.

In terms of growth, we have faith and are very optimistic—especially with the positive feedback we have received—that growth is in the cards. We believe in this line and how it can raise the bar around the possibilities of juice, and really great juice at that.

 

JO: I know that this item, while an extension of the fresh produce department, can make its way into many specialty fresh food destinations and departments at the store. Why is this perishable segment such an influential and sales-driving category?

AH: It’s another opportunity for shoppers to enjoy fresh fruit. And they want that. They demand that kind of versatility from the companies, in this case, retailers, where they travel to in the hopes of enriching their experiences. Squeezed Juice is just what fresh mandarin and pomegranate fruit consist of in terms of flavor. Shoppers want fresh, all-natural, 100 percent juice, and not from concentrate, and we find that giving juice shoppers just that is influential to driving sales.

 

JO: Speaking to your retail partners and those looking to take a bigger step toward differentiating their fresh vision, what would you like them to know about the features, advantages, and benefits of the new launch?

AH: Squeezed Juice is exactly who we are: fresh and authentic, or in terms of the experience—100 percent juice and California-grown. We are High-Pressure Processing certified, non-GMO, vegan, with a look that belongs on shelves and fresh-fruit flavor that shoppers are waiting to experience. Both mandarin and pomegranate flavors are available in 11 oz single-serve, BPA-free bottles that are easy to hold, healthy, and delicious! And beautiful.

Jordan, as you imagine walking toward all of this on a retail shelf, can you see it now?

I can definitely see it, Angela. And taste it—Trinity Fruit’s palpable belief. How the company has arrived at such a focal point of passion is amazing to me, even as I write the evidence here under my fingertips. Part of belief is listening, as well. And in this case, it is listening to the consumer and what makes their experiences more authentic and true. Just put your ear to the environment, open your mind, and don’t forget: Believe. 

Worth The Squeeze: A Q&A With Angela Hernandez