Strolling the many beautiful aisles of BiG (Ben’s Independent Grocer) in Kuala Lumpur earlier in the year with an awesome Aussie food client I was suddenly struck by one product that jumped right off the shelf and slammed me in the face! Amongst a sea of 50,000+ products (the average number of skus in a supermarket) and BiG is one of the best supermarkets I have ever visited and that’s quite a few in quite a few countries.
What captured my attention from One Degree Organic Foods was firstly a QR code front and centre of pack with a call to action to discover the ingredient story and what’s actually inside the box! Funny you would think you could just read the ingredients panel for that information wouldn’t you? You might also expect to see the usual blah blah blah statements that hide the truth on that same ingredient panel. Statements like “made from local and imported ingredients”, “sourced locally where possible”,…etc etc. Not here, the family who own and operate One Degree Organic Foods are farmers themselves or as I like to call them farmpreneurs – the new breed of farmers who are entrepreneurs taking their value added brands and food products directly to consumers and baring their all in the name of authenticity and pride and passion!
We can not say it better than the owners so I will just quote what they say on their website: “We’re not a conglomerate, nor a big-box retailer, nor a chemical company with a food division. We’re a family who cares deeply about family farmers and the integrity of your food.” Does that resonate with you? It did with me in a busy brilliant independent grocer in KL, Malaysia in a cereals aisle that had local and imported options from the 4 corners of the globe to choose from. I ended up standing at the shelf scanning QR codes and watching engaging YouTube videos of Pecan farmers in Peru, Buckwheat growers in central Canada and connecting with the passion these farmers showed to their land and the ingredients inside the box!
This is example is not only good social business its smart business and its smart marketing. The best of the best in my mind. Brilliantly efficient and transparent in a modern age where BIG is bad – who trusts large Multinational Profit Shifting Corporations anymore these days? In fact in food, many have resorted to ‘faux branding’ creating cottage brands and hiding behind PO Box or Head Office Addresses with ABC Pty Ltd passing off a mass produced food item as something akin to a cottage industry startup family food brand. If they are not creating ‘faux brands’ they are buying the genuine article and bringing them into their fold – founders and all to run alongside their mainstream food brands. I have spoken and written about this recent trend at Food&DrinkLive! in Sydney, Australia 2015 and in an earlier CreatoBlog Think, Act, Adapt and Innovate like a Startup!
Shoppers and consumers are asking nowadays – where is my money going? When I shop whether locally at an independent grocery store or with a major national supermarket chain they are already making a decision as to where they invest their hard earned $$$. After get to the supermarket shelves or jump online you faced with 100s upon 100s of brands to chose from before you make another decision as to which company will you support. That support is being consciously or unconsciously driven more towards small, independent, family owned businesses more than ever before and there are many reasons for those choices.
Think about your own shopping decisions you take. Of course price is important and as the famous jingle goes “everyone loves a bargain! ” However do you also think of the following factors in your decisions at the shelf or when shopping online?
- How is this food grown? How are the animals treated? Is it sustainably farmed?
- Is this a genuine real article? How much has my food been processed, added to, tampered with and packaged up?
- Where is this food from? What about the ingredients that go into making it? Is it safe to eat and feed to my family?
- Who am I supporting here? A large multinational or a family owned or small business?
Brands BIG and small need to start to think! act…and adapt to these fast changing times. Technology is making it practical and cost effective for small to meet BIG and beat them on the playing field. Why? Because they come from a place of realness and not marketing puffery. Consumers connect with founders and their startup stories cooking on the stovetop, growing and processing their own farm produce and packaging up and telling their story in a way that is authentic and real. You can not copy that if you are a large Corporate and it outpositions BIG as BAD and small is GOOD!
The examples we can list of brands that are doing this well is long and numerous but the list of brands NOT doing this is 100+ times longer. Why not, take the opportunity to use technology to connect with consumers and customers and share your story? The time is now – there has never been a better time to be a farmpreneur or a small food producer. Here is a few other great examples you might like to explore and if you are interested in taking your own business to the next level of consumer connectivity give us a call or drop us a line.
We love working with independent family owned fast growth businesses @Creatovate. In fact, we have by accident or choice managed to specialise in it with a focus on the twin pillars of sustainable (profitable) growth – Innovation and International Business – what are you waiting for? Get out and tell your story – its real, it’s authentic and consumers and customers want to hear from you!
If you are interested to come and hear Dermott talk about creating value for consumers and customers in consumer packaged goods you might like to come to Changing the Landscape – The Flexible Packaging & Label Makers Association on 10-11 November 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. Dermott will give a keynote talk on 11 November titled – Creating Value for your customers in the 21st Century for FMCG’s
Dermott Dowling is Managing Director @Creatovate, Innovation & International Business consultancy. Creatovate help businesses create, innovate and growth through sustainable innovation processes and spreading their wings outside their home base.
Bibliography & Additional Sources:
The Big Group: http://thebiggroup.co/BIG/?p=about
Transperant Supply Chain https://www.onedegreeorganics.com/transparent-supply-chain and our team https://www.onedegreeorganics.com/our-team