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A Sprinter Mission: A Q&A with Lifeway Kefir

Lifeway Foods has a dream to make the world a little better, starting by making it a little more delicious. Scaling that dream with Mercedes-Benz Sprinters proved more challenging, and more fun, than expected.

What is Lifeway Kefir?

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Lifeway is a health foods company based in the Chicago metro area. We’re the nation’s leading supplier of Kefir-based products providing the highest quality probiotics, calcium, protein, and Vitamin D. We offer everything from our popular cultured milk smoothies, to frozen Kefir products and cheeses, with plenty of variations including Kefir with oats, veggies, and many more!

What is Kefir and what are the benefits?

Kefir is a tart and tangy cultured milk smoothie, considered the “champagne” of cultured dairy. A chic and sophisticated drinkable that stands out in a shelf full of stagnant spoon-ables, Kefir is like yogurt’s European cousin.

Lifeway Kefir products are packed with a healthy dose of protein and probiotics, the healthy bacteria which may contribute to an improved immune system, skin, digestion, mood, and bone density, in addition to promoting healthy weight maintenance.

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What was the motivation behind adding a mobile element to your business?

Originally, we set out to tour the nation’s college campuses for our 25th anniversary with our Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. Not only was that successful, but fun too, so we decided to keep the momentum going. Then, with the ongoing success of the brick-and-mortar Starfruit Cafe, our frozen Kefir cafes based in Chicago, we decided to purchase another Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and customize to accommodate a frozen Kefir mobile food truck. It’s been five years, two Mercedes-Benz Sprinters later, and the party continues.

Why did you select the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter?

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The decision was simple; we love the look of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, the ability to customize the van, and the high quality and safety standards synonymous with the Mercedes-Benz name. In addition, its size is equally suitable for driving across the country or for parking in downtown Chicago.

Have you customized your vans?

Our two Mercedes-Benz Sprinters are custom wrapped and were designed by the team at Lifeway Kefir.

Initially, most of the cold storage was designated to refrigerated space, but now we’ve converted it to freezer space so we can keep our frozen Kefir at the perfect temperature during on-site events In addition, we’ve built out special compartments and storage for coolers and promotional items.

Our mobile food truck, the Starfruit #KefirTruck, includes a soft serve frozen Kefir machine, and refrigerated storage for fruit toppings.

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How has your Mercedes-Benz Sprinter helped grow your business?

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has enabled Lifeway to generate exposure for our brand. Providing tasty treats at events and activations like Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago, Northside Fest in Brooklyn, marathons, fundraisers, and more, we are able to get the word out about Kefir, educate consumers on the benefits of Kefir, and drive fans to stores to purchase.

During the summer months, the Starfruit #KefirTruck rolls up to private parties, street festivals, and cruises around Chicago’s downtown to provide fans with the opportunity to trial our healthy, frozen Kefir treat and ultimately drive consideration for our additional Kefir-based products.

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Learn more about Lifeway Kefir.

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