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CEO Spotlight: How Yanni Hufnagel’s Freshly-Squeezed Venture Is Changing the Beverage Industry – Lemon Perfect

Throughout the previous few generations, educated consumers began to develop a clear and concise understanding of the importance of a healthy and well-balanced diet. This newly growing interest in the nutritional quality of consumed foods sparked trends within the food industry, and eventually pushed manufacturers to create healthier products continuously rising in demand. While the masses were focusing on creating healthier eating habits, many people remained somewhat wildly unaware of the importance of choosing healthy beverage choices. From high-calorie carbonated sodas to seemingly healthy fruit juices laden with added sugars, the beverage industry resisted the proactive need for healthy choices, business transparency, and modernization based on newly burgeoning demands for high-quality, healthy, and well-balanced beverage options.

As the desire for natural beverage options grew, and the general public became disenchanted by hidden additives and lack of overall transparency within the beverage sector, a few fledgling companies began to take note and set on the path to fill the void for a newly thirsty audience begging for delicious, healthy, and natural quenching options. A leader within this innovative modernization of the beverage industry, Lemon Perfect, has harnessed the power of natural goodness, along with boundary-pushing transparency, to create a beverage line that is single-handedly shaping the future of the industry. Recognizing the void in readily available natural beverage options for individuals on-the-go, former college basketball coach Yanni Hufnagel decided to put his entrepreneurial spirit to action in 2017, developing The Lemon Perfect Company. As Founder and CEO of Lemon Perfect, Hufnagel expertly parlayed his previous experiences within the sports sector and unwavering commitment to success to take Lemon Perfect from a fledgling concept to a swiftly growing enterprise.

As a cold-pressed superfruit beverage, Lemon Perfect relies on the refreshing palette derived naturally from hand-squeezed, organically-grown California lemons to provide a delectable taste profile, all with zero added sugar. With only five calories in each bottle, Lemon Perfect can be easily adapted into any dietary regimen and allows customers to indulge in a vibrant beverage experience without caloric overconsumption. As lemons are caffeine-free, Lemon Perfect is perfect for after-practice refreshment for children, and all individuals who actively monitor caffeine intake. With no added sugar and a vastly low Glycemic Index, Lemon Perfect can be enjoyed by individuals with diabetes, or anyone watching their blood sugar.

Furthermore, understanding the importance of being inclusive to every individual’s unique dietary needs, Lemon Perfect holds several certifications that allow the all-natural beverage to be consumed by all. Hufnagel’s Lemon Perfect is certified organic by California Certified Organic Farmers, certified non-GMO by The Non-GMO Project, certified vegan by Vegan Action, certified gluten-free by The Gluten Intolerance Group, and certified Kosher by OU Kosher. For Founder Yanni Hufnagel, creating a healthy beverage that could be enjoyed by all individuals was pivotal for spearheading change in the beverage industry, and these certifications have proven Lemon Perfect’s dedication to inclusion.

Throughout the entire production process, Lemon Perfect utilizes heat-free and chemical-free processes to preserve the integrity of the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants found in the organic lemons used in the beverage. The cold-pressing method expertly extracts the juice and pulp from lemons. At the same time, the high-pressure processing process, an eco-friendly cold pasteurization process is utilized after bottling to effectively lock in the beverage’s natural goodness.

In addition to dedicating the company’s mission for transparency regarding processes and ingredients, Yanni Hufnagel also recognized the transformative and standard-setting power of environmental transparency for the company. As consumers have become more aware of the direct impact of unmanaged environmental damage caused by some manufacturers, savvy customers have begun to support companies that take a proactive and environmentally friendly approach to manufacturing. Setting an example of the importance of conscious production, Lemon Perfect has developed, implemented, and maintained several practices dedicated to conscious environmentally-safe practices. Limiting its’ carbon footprint, the company only sources lemons from Southern California farms, which are pesticide-free, herbicide-free, certified organic, and use eco-friendly pasteurization processes that use only recycled water and electricity. In an effort to contribute to the exorbitant effort to cut down on plastic pollution, Lemon Perfect only utilizes BPA-free bottles made from PETE-1 plastic, which is fully recyclable.

Starting off as a fledgling all-natural beverage company with hopes of spreading the breadth of benefits associated with lemons, while providing thirst-quenching power, Lemon Perfect swiftly expanded through a network of vastly satisfied customers, and suppliers ready to change the beverage industry. Finding vast initial successes in Southern California, essentially disrupting the refrigerated functional beverage sphere, Lemon Perfect began to expand to further markets rapidly. In 2019, the company became distributed within every Whole Foods supermarket in the Northeast and Rocky Mountain Region. With this large-scale expansion into such pivotal markets and the support of the leading health-conscious supermarket that is nationally renowned, Lemon Perfect quickly became accessible to growing consumer bases.

Currently offered at over 500 participating brick-and-mortar store locations within Southern California, as well as the Northeast, and Rocky Mountain regions, Lemon Perfect is continuously working on expanding the company’s reach and accomplishing the goal of democratizing drinkable wellness by offering accessibility for all consumers. As part of a well-considered scaling effort, Lemon Perfect will work to expand nationwide offerings via an online shopping experience, which will allow customers access to the innovative beverage in all areas.

While the beverage industry was traditionally comprised of several big-name manufacturers intent on maintaining the status quo, the surge in success for disruptors of this antiquated methodology has manifested the need for transparent business practices and truly healthy alternatives within the realm of the beverage industry. For Lemon Perfect, spearheading this charge is natural, as the company has remained committed to providing a wholesome, natural, and guilt-free mode of refreshment for modern, health-conscious, on-the-go individuals from inception. With such swift growth, and continuously growing interest in the company, Lemon Perfect has effectively set the golden standard within this innovative time for the beverage industry, and will undoubtedly continue to grow with every lemon squeezed, and every thirst effectively quenched.


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Mindy Wright
Philadelphia native Mindy is passionate about creating lists about anything and everything. She recently moved to New York. Mindy is a frequent keynote speaker at prestigious conferences and universities in the United States and the United Kingdom. Her favorite Quote: "It's a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it!” Voracious reader. Writer + Editor + Philly girl.