What happens when a serial entrepreneur creates an oddly perfect add-on for cereal? People either love it or hate it. And that’s the way Josh Hahn of Shroom Junkie likes it.
The product is mushroom milk. (Hey, we see you wrinkling your nose… FYI, Ryan’s guzzled like 4 containers of this stuff since Josh sent samples. It’s a brand Ryan practically begged someone to create in 2021.)
A few years back, Josh went to work for MycoTechnology, a company aiming to revolutionize the food industry with magic mushrooms. Not that kind. The kind that take toxins out of foods, make coffee less bitter, reduce sugar, eliminate food insecurity, provide sustainable protein, and boost natural immune support.
Wait. Mushrooms can do all that?
You bet they can. And Josh helped MycoTech raise $200M to do it. But the funny thing is, he doesn’t even like mushrooms. He just followed his curiosity and climbed onboard to help grow this basement-based company that had just signed for its first 150 sq. feet office space. Talk about the ground floor.
They’ve made some remarkable discoveries about mushrooms. One ingredient can help reduce the amount of sugar needed to make food taste good. Take a chocolate bar for example. It might be up to 70% sugar because cacao is so bitter. But these mushrooms can decrease the perception of bitterness, meaning way less sugar is needed to make the chocolate tasty.
MycoTech began B2B work with brands all over the world while continuing to discover new use cases for mushrooms - discoveries that could transform the food industry. Josh watched as these brands got their hands on these discoveries.
But what happened next was discouraging.
It seemed like none of that mushroom goodness really found its way into consumer packaged goods. Josh knew it could be done, so why wasn’t anyone doing it? Even more, why wasn’t anyone going direct to consumer with this dark magic?
Why? Because big companies often fall into the trap of data. As in, needing data to prove a new product will work. With that, you’d think CPG companies would have win after win after win. But they don’t. Instead, they watch and wait while smaller brands invent cool new stuff, and then buy them.
The data can be weird. Take Magic Spoon, for example. There’s no data on the planet that would suggest you could sell a box of cereal online for $10 and be successful. And yet, Magic Spoon does, and it just raised another $85M this summer.
Josh didn’t let the data bother him. He decided he’d be the one to shroom, and he joined the Capitalism Incubator. As many of us do, he started his brand for himself. As hard as he’d worked for Myco, his body had paid the price. He was the unhealthiest he’d ever been, and that had to stop. So, he decided to make a super high protein mushroom milk. And MycoTech… well, they’re backing him all the way.
Check out these stats.
Shroom Junkie has 10 grams of protein, 55% less sugar than dairy milk. But what you probably really want to know is… how’s it taste? The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Except for one guy. He said, “I hate it. It tastes just like regular milk, and I hate regular milk.” Alrighty then.
It’s nutritionally superior to almond milk (basically water, loads of sugar, 2% almonds) and oat milk (watered-down oats, anyone?). Plus, while plant protein is all the rage right now, most of that protein is wasted because the body can’t absorb it. Then its sugars are left in your gut to ferment, leading to bloating and gastro issues. The process Myco uses makes all that accessible for the body. Plus, it lets mushrooms do what they do best - detoxifying stuff. The result is something nutritious and delicious, with a creamy texture and neutral taste profile.
You’ll want to check out Josh’s branding and messaging. It’s irreverent. It’s funny. It’s polarizing, which Josh loves. Lest you think Josh is building a dairy alternative brand, don’t be fooled. Sure, he’s working on the world’s tastiest, healthiest chocolate milk right now. But he’s got other products in mind for its future.
Dunno about you, but Josh sounds like a pretty fun guy (ha) and I’ll try anything twice.
We'll keep you updated on Josh's progress on his road to $1 million. He's off to a great start, and we hope their story inspires you as much as it inspires us.
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