Sharp Bites: The Bread & Jam Bumper Edition!
Our bumper issue of Insightful Bites is here, bringing you all the insights from the Bread & Jam Festival!
Bread & Jam is a festival of learning aimed initially at start-up food and drink businesses; but there’s lots of learning to be had no matter what stage you’re at on your business journey
We’ve summarised some of the wisdom gleaned from all the panels and lectures we attended including COOK, TRIP, Oatsu, Better Nature Tempeh and Planet Organic to name a few. Bread and Jam is a two-day jam-packed event on 18th and 19th of July at The Business Design Centre in Islington.
The Sharp Team
The Sharp Team were on hand to help and support loads of Food Founders who came to our stand to ask questions and seek advice about PR, Social Media, Messaging or Marketing.
TUESDAY 18th JULY
In between all the chat, we also found time to attend some of the lectures and panels to pick up insights for you guys:
First talk of the show found AJ chairing an interview with Lauren O’Donnell, Founder of Oatsu called “How I got all my free PR”, on the Marketplace Stage. The highlights:
- Leverage your coverage – make sure you share and reshare your press coverage on social media.
- Prioritise your Marketing – It doesn’t happen without constant attention to it. You have to prioritise PR and Marketing and block out a section of time to do it every week.
- Take Great Images – Make sure you have some really good imagery of you and your brand.
- Join Groups – Join the groups like Meta Boost Leaders Network, led to opportunities like being part of Meta Small Business Campaign.
“The Case For Creativity” with Carly Osman-Holme from Sprowt
- Think outside the box – Carly Osman-Holme at Sprowt emphasized the significance of creativity and its ability to evoke an emotional response in consumers. Quoting Bill Bernbach, she described creativity as the last unfair advantage that businesses can legally leverage over competitors.
“Bringing planet organic back to earth: What’s next for this iconic health store?” With Renée Elliott from Planet Organic
- What happened to Planet Organic? – We enjoyed an incredibly inspiring talk from Renee Elliot from Planet Organic. It was hard to hear her story with Planet Organic. She set it up due to her passion for great tasting organic food. However, we learned how she was pushed out of the business in 2009, when on maternity leave. But she’s very glad to be back now.
- Take Care of yourself as a Founder: She told us to take care, keep balance, trust yourself and trust your gut. When things don’t go your way, you have to find a way to heal and move on. She ended on a quote: “You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” AA Milne.
“From Pioneering A New Category To Become The Uk’s Fastest Growing Soft Drinks Brand” with Olivia Ferdi and Daniel Khoury Founders of TRIP
- Adaptability is key – The CBD infused brand TRIP faced plenty of initial challenges, including restrictions on paid advertising and Shopify use for their CBD-infused products. By adapting to the market and finding new routes enabled their expansion and success.
- Focus on those customer pain points – Be the solution to a customer pain point. TRIP’s positioning as a mental wellbeing brand resonates with consumers seeking calm amid the chaos of everyday life. And by providing a solution at various points throughout the day, for example a calming drink before a big presentation, or a non-alcoholic option on a weeknight, enabled TRIP to grow to what it is today.
“Revenue is Vanity and Cash is Sanity” with Eddie Stableford of Brand Clock.
- Secure investment – Loans are great but if you can’t service your debt you’re going to go bust very quickly. Cash is everything. Do not run your operation using debt unless there’s a clean plan and way out.
- Be the solution – When talking to buyers remember to ask, what can you do for their business? White labelling only works for manufacturers, don’t do it as a brand.
WEDNESDAY 19th JULY
AJ also chaired an interview with Christopher Kong, Co-Founder of Better Nature Tempeh on the Wednesday which was called “Introducing Tempeh to the Mainstream, how we launched into Tesco”; the highlights were;
- Raise Investment – they raised investment from the Good Food Fund, back by Guys and St Thomases which meant they were able to work with Mission Ventures who gave them an awesome grounding into what the Blue Chip companies are doing.
- Brand is key – the Better Nature team worked really hard on a rebrand in 2021, which really honed their messaging and brand positioning and the company has really rocketed since this point.
- Hone your Messaging – Before the rebrand they were a “Meat Alternative” brand, which they discovered through focus groups was really confusing, so they switched to own the space; “We are a Tempeh Brand”. The clarity has really helped to build confidence around Tempeh.
AJ was very busy as she went from that interview straight on to a Training session on the Wednesday afternoon in the Start-up Studio called; “Secrets to growing your brand with better PR and Marketing” with AJ Sharp, which was packed out and standing room only! The 5 key takeaways were:
- Unlock Your Strategy: Don’t undertake random pieces of PR and Marketing. Have a goal and a plan to ensure that you stay on track.
- Ignite Your Activity: Be really clear on what you are saying and to whom. Once you’re really clear on this, your activities will start to write themselves.
- Master Your Messaging: Whether it’s mission or values led messaging; remember your job is not to please everyone who reads it. It should put some people off!
- Supercharge Everything: Leverage and reshare all your coverage (without breaching NLA copyright laws of course!) And invest more in activities that are working!
- Mindset Matters: The single biggest factor affecting success in Food Founders is, without doubt, their mindset. Work on yours!
“The Magic Of Working With Indies And Foodhalls” Lorcan Quinn from White Mausu, Jamie Paley of RISE Porridge and Nicola Hart of Agua De Madre.
- Authentic Relationships – people buy from people they like. The panel talked about the importance of working on your relationships with the independent retailers.
“COOK – how we got here and where we’re going” with James Perry from COOK.
- Embrace diverse revenue streams – COOK’s success can be attributed to their approach of not relying too heavily on a single channel or revenue stream. This diversification helped them mitigate risks and adapt to changing market conditions.
- Using the business for good – COOK demonstrated a commitment to social impact by using their business as a platform to support recovering heroin addicts. This purpose-driven approach resonated with customers and employees alike.
“How To Create A Disruptor Brand” with Eddie Stableford of Brand Clock
- Engagement over Information – Today’s products must prioritize engaging consumers first and providing information second, recognizing the importance of capturing emotions and connections.
“Bossing it on Tiktok: going viral & keeping it real” with James Brooks from Team Brooks, Naveed B from Maters & Co and Samantha Pascal from Hot ‘N’ Juicy Shrimp London.
- TikTok Shop – get in on the action – TikTok Shop generated a $1.6 billion turnover, with food and beverage accounting for $0.6 billion. Users spend an average of 1 hour per day on TikTok, compared to 15 minutes on Instagram. Use the hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt
- Work with influencers – Commission-based collaborations gaining popularity. Consumers trust TikTok influencers for their honesty, regardless of follower numbers. TikTok Shop’s affiliate marketing allows influencers to request samples, fostering content creation. Quality content is valued over follower count.
- Keep it Real – Raw, organic content resonates with consumers, feeling genuine and authentic. Sharing honest mistakes and going LIVE connects with thousands of new visitors, creating opportunities for engagement. The advanced algorithm ensures your niche finds an engaged audience.
Insights from the Future Food Summit:
Remember, we went to the Bread and Jam Future Summit back in May? Well Liquid Studio has summarised all the learnings in this Digestible Guide… Enjoy!