How a group of Kiwi lads created an 'NZ first' hemp-based protein powder

How a group of Kiwi lads created an 'NZ first' hemp-based protein powder

Christchurch hemp food company The Brothers Green was founded just six years in 2017 by a group of friends who had a collective vision to provide healthier food and effective natural supplements with medicinal benefits using cannabis.

Since then the company has taken off and due to its ongoing growth, has recently relocated to a new location with more opportunity to scale up and continue to grow its business.

Brad Lake is a co-founder of The Brothers Green and told REX Today host Dominic George that while they are still in the process of filling out the new space, their move is already paying dividends.

"This machinery should really be running 24 hours a day and being able to have it set up properly and automated is just going to make a heck of a difference to making that happen," he said.

"We're starting to get some big wholesale orders now, particularly for our golden range, which we are the only one in the country doing at the moment."

Lake explained that most hemp companies traditionally press the whole seed for oil but they wanted to do something different.

"That market was fairly saturated and very much commoditised and one important part of our industry is maximum utilisation of all of your outputs."

Instead of pressing the whole seed, they press the hemp hearts (the dehulled hemp seed) producing a golden oil that has a lot more mild hemp flavour and odour. A bi-product of pressing the hemp hearts is a meal that is a lot higher in protein and contains significantly less fibre than a pressed whole seed.

From this, they have created a plant-based protein powder that offers all the benefits of standard whey protein powder but also has a point of difference and additives of a hemp-based product.

"It's much more soluble in water, much higher in protein, still really high in magnesium, iron and zinc and probably performs a lot more like a traditional whey protein or any other kind of protein powder."

Being able to maximise the yield of their product is a massive bonus for The Brothers Green, Lake said and is extremely efficient from a business perspective.

"It makes a hell of a difference to the end product in terms of its value to you and our margins.

"It's been a journey but it's nice to sort of get there and feel like you're sort of on top of it now."

Find out more information about The Brothers Green and their story at

Listen to the full chat between The Brothers Green co-founder Brad Lake and Dominic George above.

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