Gary's Blog

Updated: Nov 29, 2020

The story behind the products; Chapter 2

by Gary Cohen

In 2003, we started importing coconut milk from Thailand. It was originally offered to us in cans, which we accepted. It sold pretty well. We went round and round on the ingredients. Back then, coconut milk had all sorts of gums and stabilizers, and whiteners. I remember saying to potential customers that our coconut milk wasn’t “Snow White” (Sorry, Walt Disney, but it was kind of grayish). And I later found out that the number one use for guar gum in the United States…is for oil fracking. They use guar gum to extract the oil molecules from the ground. Then they separate the oil from the guar gum. No wonder consumers don’t want guar gum in their food. So we went ahead with producing coconut milk in 1-liter aseptic cartons. Jody claims I am a gambler, but when the producer said the minimum production run was 5 containers of aseptic packaging, I gulped and said, “sure.” Well, I made one teeny tiny (ok, not so small) miscalculation. Well, 2 actually.

One. This was right before Tetra came out with the pour-spout for aseptic packaging. In order to get the milk, you needed to take scissors and cut off part of the cardboard to make a spout. Then it wasn’t possible to seal up the container before you could put it in the refrigerator.


Two. Retailers didn’t sell a ton of coconut milk back then. Hey, we were talking 17 years ago! So their shelves were set for single facings of cans of coconut milk, not even stacked 2 high. So the aseptic carton didn’t fit on the shelf. Oops, x 2.

We wound up discontinuing the product and eating the loss for 2+ containers’ worth of empty cartons.

Like Panasonic, we were slightly ahead of our time

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Updated: Nov 29, 2020

The Story Behind the Products; Chapter 3 by Gary Cohen

In 1989, I started brokering natural foods after having spent 10 years as a natural food distributor. By the mid-90s, I was brokering 25 different product lines.

One of my customers had been a buyer at a natural food store we serviced as a distributor in the 80s. I made an appointment to see her and showed her samples of the lines I represented: chips, bars, pasta sauce, and a few other things. She turned them all down.

So I said, “We have known each other for a long time. What do YOU want to buy? Tell me, and I will go get it for you.”

She replied, “You really want to know what I want to buy?”

I said, “Yes.”

Toilet paper,” she replied.

Toilet paper?” I asked.

She said, “yes.” She rattled off quite a list; “I need toilet paper, paper towels, napkins, trash bags, plastic wrap. All that kind of stuff.” She told me that it was hard for her to get products like that from her commercial grocery distributor because of their small volume.

So I went out and sourced all of that. And the rest, as they say, is history.

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Updated: Nov 29, 2020

The Story Behind the Products; Chapter 4

by Gary Cohen

I was a good student in math. I’m talking arithmetic here. Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division. When I was in school, we had to memorize the multiplication tables. 8 x 8 = 64. 9 x 9 = 81. Etc. But nothing I learned in math prepared me for the “new math” of toilet paper sheet counts! 1 = 4 claim the packages. 4 = 16. No it doesn’t. 1 = 1 and 4 = 4. What the marketing geniuses are trying tosay is, 1 Mega Super Jumbo Roll = 4 Not So Mega, Not So Jumbo Rolls. But even that math doesn’t add up.

NV Bathroom Tissue, 100% Recycled

Bonus Pack! Largest Roll! Double = 24

2000 free sheets!

OR 6=12

No, wait 6=24

My final answer? 6-27

WRONG 6=36!

What about 12? A dozen... 12=24

No, it doesn't 12-26!!

Of course not, silly...Everyone knows 12=54!

And if you're confused by whether 12=24, 26 or 54,

we give you more: 60% more

and does 8=16?

or does 18=32?

No. 8=48

And 36=93 but 32=105?

Where I went to school...10% more than 93 is 102.

Not 105

No wonder kids aren't good at math today.

Seriously. All of these companies are trying to convince the consumer that they offer

the best value. And it sure is hard to cut through all of the clutter in advertising.

We did it too. We shouldn't have. We will change it when we change

our packaging again.

NV Bathroom Tissue, 100% Recycled

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