Grins takes off in first Virginia school system

Abingdon High School

Grins made its debut in Virginia schools this week, and is now for sale in cafeterias at Wallace Middle School and Abingdon High School in Washington County. This school district is just down the road from where Grins is made, at First Fruits Beverage Co. in Marion, Va.

Students and teachers alike immediately made Grins a favorite. After just two days of lunchtime sales at this school of 800 to 900 students, school nutrition manager Barbara Davenport said she’s down to one remaining case, from the 10 Grins dropped off yesterday.

“It has really taken off,” she said. “I think I’d better order more, because they’re going to be asking for it.”

Davenport said she likes the fact that Grins is a better-for-you alternative to higher-calorie beverages marketed toward young people.

But what makes it stand out among the cafeteria’s offerings of fruit juices, milk, water and Vitamin Water, is its refreshing taste and a lack of what she called a “funky aftertaste” that can come from too many artificial ingredients.

“A lot of the students yesterday enjoyed the taste of it, that it was refreshing and that it didn’t have that artificial aftertaste with it,” she said, adding that many of the students who were previously purchasing Vitamin Water are now asking for Grins. “That was the big clincher there.”

She said faculty members have also become fans. One teacher bought some to take to her daughter after soccer practice, as an alternative to soda.

“Teachers have commented that they like the taste of it a lot better,” Davenport said.

The idea for Grins was born in a school cafeteria, after a food service manager complained about the lack of healthy options he had to offer his kids [Read the full story here.].

Grins is made with no artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners, and packs just 50 calories per 8-ounce serving, which is fewer calories than many pure fruit juices.

Davenport said she looks forward to replenishing her school’s supply of Grins, and to serving it throughout the rest of the school year. When the first day of the 2012-2013 school year rolls around, you can bet Abingdon High School will be grinning.

Learn more about Grins at, or find us on Facebook.

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