Xoi: A SuperJuice Made From Gac
Meet The Most Nutritious Fruit In The World.
What does Xoi do?
Xoi brings you a convenient, delicious cold-pressed juice made from one of the most nutritious fruits in the world: Gac. Gac, a superfruit from Vietnam, has more antioxidants than any other fruit or vegetable. Through working with ethnic minority farmers in Vietnam, we hope to introduce the best quality Gac fruit to US consumers. The end result is an organic, GMO-free mixed juice with no added sugar, no added water, and no artificial preservatives, packed with just as many antioxidants as the raw fruit.
What Is Gac?
Unlike purple superfruits— such as acai berry or pomegranate— that all contain similar nutrients, Gac is packed with a different group of antioxidants that gives it its vibrant orange color. With 70 times more lycopene than tomatoes, 10 times more beta-carotene than carrots, and 40 times more zeaxanthin than corn, what does this mean for you?
It means a lower risk of heart attack, a stronger immune system, better eyesight and night vision. For men, it means healthy sperm production and a reduced rate of prostate cancer or enlargement. For women, it means younger-looking skin and strong fetal development. Special fatty acids in Gac also help in the absorption process, making it much easier for your body to retain and use the nutrients in Gac than those found in vitamin supplements.
Gac has traditionally been used as a natural food coloring for xoi gac, a bright orange sticky rice eaten at Vietnamese festivals and weddings. Scientists have only recently begun to uncover its nutritional benefits. As the first beverage to introduce Gac into the US, Xoi will be your fastest, most direct, and delicious way of enjoying this superfruit.
We first learned about Gac in the summer of our sophomore year at Brown University. Sharing an interest for international development and social justice, we decided to visit the Central Highlands, one of the most underdeveloped areas in Vietnam, for a short research project. During our stay with an ethnic minority family there, our host mother showed us a Gac fruit that grew in her backyard. She shared with us her dream of becoming a food manufacturer so that she no longer needed to rely on middlemen to get her produce to consumers. A natural businesswoman, she quickly suggested that we market Gac in the US, and just like that, what started off as a merely a temporary research topic became the inspiration for Xoi.
Here’s what happens to the agricultural produce grown in the Central Highlands right now:
After our host mother cultivates her Gac fruit, it is sold through a series of middlemen until it ends up in a food processor at a much higher price. Through this exchange, she loses track of where her Gac ends up or even at what price it is sold for. The problem? Even though the farmers put in most of the hard work, their prices are suppressed by the middlemen, who then enjoy the bulk of the profits. This just doesn’t seem fair.
Xoi wants to change all of that. We want to connect the farmers directly to their customers— you. By eliminating the middlemen, we aim to engage the ethnic minority community in the cultivation as well as the processing of Gac fruit. We hope that Xoi’s model will allow our host mother to not only receive her fair share of the profits, but also to fulfill her dream of becoming a manufacturer.
Where We Are Now
With the support of the Royce and Social Innovation Fellowships, we were able to return to Vietnam last summer. After successfully building partnerships with existing Gac suppliers, we realized that we could actually make Xoi’s vision a reality. Luckily for us, we were recently selected by the Embark Fellowship to continue our work full-time after graduation in Boston.
Here’s Where You Come In
We need your help raising $25,000 to move Xoi into the next stage. Initial market testing and focus groups on our existing recipes have suggested great promise, and we are now ready to move onto the final product development process before producing the first batch of Xoi Juice. The money raised will go into lab development and testing, ingredients, packaging, production, and legal costs.
Tag, you’re it — Pass it on!
Please help us share our message so that more people can learn about Gac today! By passing it on, you can help us launch Xoi. Together, we will not only be able to introduce Gac into the US, but we can also build a nourishing business for minority farmers in Vietnam.
Like us on our Facebook page, or tweet @xoijuice!
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Xoi Juice was selected by the Social Innovation Initiative at Brown University for theEmbark Post-Graduate Fellowship. The Embark Fellowship encourages students to view entrepreneurship as a valuable career option, creates support structures to help their ventures gain traction after graduation, and builds a connected alumni community to support new graduates in the field. Meet the other Fellows and learnmore at brown.edu/go/embark.