Our origin, achievements,
and direction for the future
It all began with two sisters in Nelson, New Zealand
In 2012, Neuroscientist Chloe Van Dyke set out to create a natural drink that would give her athletic family long-lasting energy and hydration. While studying Herbal Medicine and Neuroscience, she came across many superfoods, including chia seeds — a food cherished by Aztecs and Mayans for centuries. These seeds captured her interest because they were rich in the nutrients we typically need more of in our everyday lives.
Through further research, Chloe learned that chia seeds were widely used in ancient times for endurance support. People would hydrate the seeds and consume them for reliable energy over long periods of physical activity. With this in mind, she took an upcoming trip to the Himalayas as an opportunity to trial the drink, packing chia seeds and blackcurrant powder for the journey and hydrating them as needed. To her surprise, she found the mixture kept her hydrated, satiated, and with minimal muscle cramps. But most importantly, it kept her going.
By the time Chloe arrived home in New Zealand, she immediately began testing different formulas for the drink, combining chia seeds with local blackcurrant juice; if it helped her, it could help others too. Although finding the right balance of flavour was vital, the most challenging element was hydrating the chia seeds. Each seed needed to be individually hydrated to unlock the power of the nutrients.
It took two years of research and testing in collaboration with Callaghan Innovation to master the hydration technology, enabling the seeds to be completely hydrated for the body to fully absorb the nutrients. During this process, chia seeds ended up on the ceiling of a manufacturing facility at least once… It took patience. But once they refined the technique, the Chia Superfood Drink was ready to hit the market.
Her sister Florence (a New Zealand Triathlete) and their dad Ben (a world champion swimmer) were among the first to try the product. They loved it, and not just for the flavour; they loved how it made them feel.
Shortly after the launch of the Chia Superfood Drink, Florence joined Chloe in her venture. Together, they sought to continue creating delicious, all-natural drinks that would support everyday health needs and leave a positive impact on the planet. And duly, the business became Chia Sisters.
Chloe Van Dyke sets out to create an all-natural drink that provides long-lasting energy and hydration.
Using her neuroscience background, Chloe spent 2 years researching and developing different possibilities before finding the most powerful solution in chia seeds.
After further product testing and refinement, the Chia Superfood drink was launched.
Our Chia Superfood Juice wins its first award, coming in first for the Health category at the New Zealand Food Awards.
Chia Sisters becomes Nelson's first Living Wage employer – a big step for the region and an essential progression for our company.
Our juicery is upgraded with solar panels, making it New Zealand’s first solar-powered juicery. To celebrate this advancement, we launched a new range of juices named ‘Bottled By The Sun’.
Chloe and Florence are named NZ Women of Influence and recognised on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for forging a path to sustainability for the beverage industry.
In this same year, our company achieved Zero-Carbon and Climate Positive status.
Contributing to our greener business ambition, Chia Sisters launched a Businesses for Climate Action, aiming to see 1000 Nelson businesses measure and reduce their emissions.
To decrease packaging waste, Chia Sisters begins using 750ml recycled glass bottles for their juices and smoothies and offers kegs for a packaging-free solution.
For a second year, our company reduced carbon emissions by 120%.
With a score of 118.6, Chia Sisters is recognised as the highest scoring B Corp in NZ, the highest-rated juice company worldwide, and ranked among the top 5% of all B Corp certified businesses.
We win the Sustainable Business Network Climate Action Leader award for actively leading and delivering climate action impact and scale.
Our Immunity Tonic wins first place in the Beverage category at the New Zealand Food Awards.
Our proudest achievements
We lined our juicery with solar panels.
In 2018, we upgraded our juicery with solar panels that can harness up to 16,000 kilowatts of energy per hour. On a sunny day, we produce more kilowatts than we use.
The juicery is still connected to the grid with a renewable energy provider, allowing us to use stored energy on rainy days and pass it on for others to use when it's extra sunny.
Achieving Zero-Carbon and Climate Positive status.
In 2019, Chia Sisters became a Zero-Carbon and Climate Positive certified business. This achievement was momentous in our work toward a more sustainable future and allowed us to set new goals to keep moving forward.
A couple of years later, we became B Corp certified and achieved a score of 118.6. At the time, Chia Sisters was recognised as the highest scoring B Corp in New Zealand and ranked among the top 5% of all B Corp certified businesses globally for our environmental efforts.
Supporting other businesses on their path to sustainability.
Together, we can make a real difference – that’s why we founded Businesses for Climate Action in 2019, with a goal of helping 1000 local businesses measure and reduce their emissions.
Supporting this ambition, we frequently host workshops and connect with business owners to assist them in their journey to zero carbon. This activity has become integral to our work and only motivates us to do better.