Advisor and Investor in the Specialty Foods Marketplace.
Advising entrepreneurs and established Category Leaders on opportunities ranging from Product Development to In-market strategies, drawing on extensive experiences in mission-driven businesses and the unique challenges of building a national brand and innovative leader in the natural foods space from the ground up.
If your company is in the specialty foods marketplace, your target consumers have increasing expectations about the purity, sustainability and social value of your products and business practices. As the number of mission-driven brands grows, the standard of practice is changing.
To succeed with a mission-enhanced value proposition requires good strategy and tactical execution that connects the dots from supply chain through the point of purchase and beyond.
Consumers are familiar with natural and specialty food products that promise some health, environmental or social mission. They are demanding transparency and are more sophisticated about separating clever marketing from fact-based claims. Beyond transparency and validation, consumers are increasingly expecting the mission promise to relate to the product promise:
Does the claim make sense?
Is your brand and company credible in the context of that promise?
Is the consumer really getting what he or she wants and cares about?
Does the consumer trust your product and your company?
Specialty food products can be marketed effectively using a social impact mission. But that mission must connect with your product. The activist consumers, who are marketplace opinion makers and leaders, are expecting delivery on a sustainability promise you might make, for example, in service of selling an organic product. In this scenario, it would be an unacceptable disconnect to transport your organic product across the world in petrochemical packaging. And throwing 2 percent of your profits to an environmental cause won’t buy their love.
Your product must connect with the social impact mission you define. Sourcing, packaging, company culture and practices should all fit the social impact mission, which in turn must resonate with your target audience
But none of this works if the economics don’t make sense. Consumers will rarely pay a sustained premium to support your mission. It can develop loyalty to your brand, but especially in food, pricing is competitive. Smart product development must begin with a viable cost-of-goods target and you must create your product within both mission and financial guardrails.
If you can put all these things together, you have a competitive advantage and the foundation for building a powerful connection with your consumer.