Two graduates from Northeastern University have brought Slate, their brand of lactose-free chocolate milk, onto the shelves of more than 300 grocery stores along the East Coast. Manny Lubin and Josh Belinsky found that with more people opting for plant-based alternatives, milk consumption was declining in the US as. Thus, about a year ago, they set out to bring forth a chocolaty revolution and believed their twist on an age-old classic could be another alternative that people would enjoy.
Now, Lubin and Belinsky are the founders of Slate, a company that selling lactose-free chocolate milk designed for adults. It offers a classic chocolate milk, as well as dark chocolate and espresso flavors, available in New England stores such as Whole Foods Markets and Roche Bros. Supermarkets. For the creation of the milk, the company uses a process called ultrafiltration, which removes some of the natural sugars and water in milk without reducing the protein. This method helps them make a product that has 50% less sugar than skim milk and 50% more protein than whole milk.
Lubin and Belinsky both love chocolate milk, but they are lactose-intolerant. This meant they drank the same brand of lactose-free chocolate milk, but as they got older, it became less socially acceptable to drink chocolate milk because the packaging was aimed towards kids. It was this frustration that brought the two together as business partners. Both of them credit much of Slate’s successful launch to resources at the Northeastern University. They received a $10,000 grant from IDEA, Northeastern’s student venture accelerator, and got help on refining the company logo, packaging, and website from Scout, the student-led design studio.
“Northeastern was huge for us, and instrumental in us getting off the ground. We wouldn’t be where we are without the school’s resources”, said Lubin.
Shahjadi Jemim Rahman