What does it mean to live a healthy lifestyle? Is it going to a gym 6 times a week? Is it doing push-ups or running the four-minute mile? Is it eating nothing but kale chips and quinoa? To Jason Hodges and Remy Singh, it’s fueling up with the best tasting nutritional products to fit an active, on-the-go, healthy lifestyle.
This dynamic duo, who are both local Abilenians, are also partners at Chike Nutrition LLC, a healthy food supplement company that develops, manufactures and packages its own line of nutritional products. They officially launched Chike Nutrition LLC in early 2010. Jason’s wife Michelle came up with the company name “Chike” which is based on an African tribal word meaning “Power.” If you look closely at Chike’s logo and rotate it, it looks like a power button you would see on your computer or TV!
Chike’s flagship product is their High Protein Iced Coffee. Jason and Remy spent three and a half years developing a flavor profile and a mix of quality ingredients to taste just like your favorite Frappuccino, but without all of the syrups and sugars. They finally developed a formula so good that in a blind taste test, tasters picked Chike’s recipe as the real thing. Not only does the high protein iced coffee taste great, but every serving has the nutritional equivalent of 3 large "Grade A" eggs and is available in two flavors: original and mocha.
Any powdered peanut butter fans out there? Chike also produces a healthier, all-natural powdered peanut butter in both original peanut butter and chocolate flavors. All of Chike’s products are available for purchase on their website in addition to local grocery and sports stores. In fact, the next time you’re shopping in Abilene, look for their products at H-E-B, Market Street, United Supermarkets, Academy Sports, D1 Sports, Coco Palms, and Complete Nutrition. Chike is now an internationally recognized consumer brand, whose products are currently being sold in 9 countries and over 2,000 retail stores.
The company initially began its manufacturing and packaging using a contract packer (or co-packer). A co-packer processes and packages another company’s products according to their specifications. This approach allowed the company to establish itself within the market while not being burdened with developing the operations upfront. However, Jason and Remy knew the best way to manage product quality and consistency was to bring this operation in-house.
As a result, the company recently installed its first set of commercial blenders to bulk manufacture its powders. Once blended, the powder is sent to its new, state-of-the-art packaging room. Depending on the product, the powder will be packaged into rigid containers, sachets, or large pouches. Once the product is packaged, it is warehoused on-site or prepared for shipment.
The company's commitment to quality standards and product quality is almost unbelievable. For example, to meet FDA standards, the packaging room must be cleaned before and after every product run to ensure the highest possible product quality and cleanliness. After 4 to 5-hour cleaning and setup process, a rigorous inspection is completed to make sure each run will have a completely sterile environment.
In addition to taking on manufacturing in-house, the company is making plans to accommodate their rapid growth. A research and development department as well as a product testing room have been constructed to continue improving Chike’s product line. These two new additions will allow the company to fine tune product testing and development based on customer expectations and feedback.
Jason and Remy are extremely passionate about what they do and encouraging customers to not only try their product, but to invest in a healthy lifestyle. So, whether you’re already living a healthy lifestyle or just starting out, consider giving Chike’s products a try and take pride in knowing they were "Made in Abilene."