Step aside sugary juices and fruit-laden smoothies. Thanks to recent college graduates and lifelong friends, Stephan ​​Lotfi and Nikhil Wagh, there's finally a beverage on the market that unapologetically puts veggies first on the ingredient list: SaladPower.

Nikhil shared the story behind the startup in a recent interview, detailing how he and Stephan have turned basically drinkable salads into a successful business. 

SaladPower's Mission

These New York natives genuinely wanted to solve a problem when they launched SaladPower.

"Living in NYC means you’re constantly exposed to new ideas, businesses and ways of life that inspire you to reflect on your own life and see what problems you would like to solve," Nikhil said.

He explained that Stephan initially noticed the juice industry's veggie void while the eventual business partners were both still in college. Every bottle on the market was primarily composed of fruit juices and loaded with sugar.

After Nikhil and Stephan reunited in NYC post-graduation, they realized that even the Big Apple's trendiest juice shops were passing off sugary fruit blends as liquid superfoods. 

"They would show you a green juice and say 'Check it out! This juice is loaded with Kale, Spinach, and a bunch of other greens.' But what they wouldn’t tell you is that, nine times out of 10, that 'green juice' was actually 90 percent apple or orange juice," Nikhil explained. "This meant a ton of sugar and calories and not a lot of actual nutrients."

The duo decided it was time to combat this problem by giving consumers a "#VeggiesFirst" juice option and, thus, SaladPower was born.

What Makes SaladPower Different?

SaladPower currently offers four refreshing flavors: Just Veggies, Veggies + Apple, Veggies + Pineapple, and Veggies + Mango. The base of each flavor is a nutrient-dense "veggie superfood blend" consisting of kale, carrot, spinach, celery, cucumber, tomato and bell pepper. 

Because of their #VeggiesFirst mentality, SaladPower's juices contain more Vitamin A and Vitamin C than other juice brands, and their fruit flavors are high in potassium as well.

"In some cases, you would need to drink 10 bottles of our competitors' juices to get as much nutrition as you’d get in one bottle of SaladPower!" Nikhil claimed.

For reference, SaladPower's Just Veggies juice contains 4,890 percent of your daily Vitamin C intake, while the Mean Green Smoothie from Liquiteria contains 250 percent and a Mother Earth from Juice Press contains 260 percent. 

The Role of Social Media

SaladPower relies on Instagram and Facebook for product promotion, as well as for educating consumers. "We wouldn’t be anywhere without social media," Nikhil said.

Their most recent blog post about the food world's "Naturalistic Fallacy" is meant to teach the brand's followers that one shouldn't assume just because something is natural, doesn't mean it's healthy. 

"One of the biggest mistakes people make is to blindly follow health advice without understanding the nuances of that advice in the first place," Nikhil said, explaining the post. "We want to inspire people to inform themselves about food."

Navigating the Health Food Industry

Does this integrity make it a little harder to compete? Maybe.

"I think the trickiest part is in avoiding fads and sticking to the facts," Nikhil said of the industry's challenges. "We want to be a completely honest and truthful company, which is why we’re constantly consulting our team of NYC-based nutritionists and food scientists for advice on our content and health claims."

SaladPower's commitment to honesty means they're willing to pass up on the goldmines of juice cleanses and detoxes.

"If you eat and drink healthily, your body already naturally cleanses itself, and you don’t need to do a cleanse," he added. "It would actually be more financially intelligent for us to offer cleanses, but since it isn’t truthful, we avoid it and we’re glad we choose to do so."

Advice for Aspiring Food Entrepreneurs 

Nikhil urges those following in his footsteps to "try to solve a problem."

"Don’t create an app or a food company just because," he added. "There are so many problems that can be solved today, both in the food world and generally, that your company should try to solve them."

So next time you're thinking about chugging a bottle of juice or subjecting yourself to the deprivation of a juice cleanse, do your body a favor and opt for SaladPower instead. Check out some of SaladPower's blog posts to learn what a healthy lifestyle truly looks like, and don't let your body (or your wallet) fall victim to any health-averse trends.

Bottom Line: Stay informed and eat (or drink) your veggies.

SaladPower is offering 50 percent off for the first 5 people that use code “spoonuniversity” at checkout on one-time purchases of the variety 12 pack. You can also find SaladPower in select stores in New York City.