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Brand Growth Heroes
Fiona Fitz of Fiona Fitz Consulting
Brand Growth Heroes gets the inside track from founders who are driving the transformational growth of some wildly successful start-up brands in consumer goods categories around the world.
Nov 22, 2020
Update episode with new launch news!
Celebrating 10.5k downloads since launch. A 5 min update episode to share what you can expect in the coming months, including some BIG NEW LAUNCH NEWS you don't want to miss!
Sep 15, 2020
The Little Soap Company: Parallels between Food & Personal Care categories. Interview with Emma Heathcote-James, Founder/ CEO
So here’s a question for you: Which grocery category of non-edible products do you shop making increasingly careful choices around the products’ ingredients, choosing your favourites based on something very akin to flavours, looking for additive free or organic options, and even buying different versions of the product to cater for different members of the household? For me, there are quite a few parallels between how we shop Food &Beverage grocery categories, and how we shop the Personal Care categories. After all, the products in Personal Care are about how we take care of, nourish and draw experience from our bodies from the outside-in, where as we buy Food and Beverage products to solve these needs from the inside-out. Another really interesting parallel is that like Food and Bev. start-ups, skin and hair care brands also increasingly try to develop their products from natural kitchen-cupboard ingredients and have a brand purpose that is centred on being kind to nature. Another striking similarity is that these businesses often start at the kitchen table, getting proof of concept at farmers markets, before moving into retail. What I find interesting about the Personal Care category is that it remains majorly dominated by the large global brands that our grandmothers and mothers would recognise: Head&Shoulders, Radox, Palmolive, Dove… or slightly more recently, all the “famous hairdresser” hair care brands that have launched since I was in my 20s. And although there has been real change on the fringes of the category for years, in the Whole Foods and the Holland& Barretts, why aren’t more of the local, natural, purpose-led brands not stealing share from big brands in the supermarkets? I have decided to pepper this series with the odd interview with founders of insurgent brands across various Personal Care categories, to see if we can learn from their experiences in a different category, in a different stage of the unavoidable 21st century category overhaul we are seeing across the board. I recently came across an inspiring emerging brand in Personal Care that started out on the kitchen table 12 years ago, but now has national listings across all the major grocery retailers and drugstore chains in the UK , has 30 employees and is currently seeing at at least £4M in market sales. The Little Soap Company is a purpose driven, vegan, cruelty free, ethically produced, free-from brand with a range of soaps, solid shampoo and shaving bars that use organic ingredients that you’d easily recognise. It was the first- and is still the only – “free from” range on the supermarket shelves, and has just started what could be a revolution for the category – a range of solid shampoos and washes, to avoid packaging in plastic containers. We also discuss whether it’s useful to talk about what it’s like being a female founder. To start to start your journey in understanding how emerging brands can transform the Personal Care category, and what we can learn from their experience, LISTEN to our interview with award winning and inspirational Founder/CEO Emma Heathcote-James. Hear how Emma’s vision is “to make pure soap the norm not the niche” and how as the first – and often only– “free from” range on the supermarket shelves, The Little Soap Company is at the forefront of some real category transformation. www.thelittlesoapcompany.co.uk Instagram: little_soap_co; eco_warrior_soap
Sep 8, 2020
The Carbonated Soft Drinks Revolution: Real Fruit Sodas and Dalston's Soda Co. Interview with Dan Broughton Co-Founder & CEO
Across the Western world, the Carbonated Soft Drinks category is experiencing real transformation… thanks to the sugar backlash, the resulting sugar tax and the fight against plastic. I recently heard that the majority of fizzy soft drinks sold in the supermarkets now contain no or low amounts of added sugar, which really surprised me. For a category that has been built on the white stuff for over 100 years, that’s a pretty big change. It goes without saying that it has been a difficult few years for some of the big global soft drink brands, but the other side of that coin is that there are plenty of exciting emerging brands taking advantage of the move towards Healthier and Natural. They and creating new category sub segments some real #transformational growth. Think real fruit sodas, no added sugar seltzers, and even the more niche Kombuchas, kefir waters, sparkling coconut waters…. If you live in the UK, you probably recognise the very cool British soft drinks brand Dalston’s soda, whose mission is to put real ingredients back at the heart of soft drinks. I think their range of highly distinctive, brightly coloured metallic cans with the big standout D for Dalstons on the front is a future brand icon – just the right mix of cool yet accessible to the mass market. Together with great drinks made with real fruit, low sugar, local ingredients and even distilled botanicals for serious amount of great flavour, Dalston’s is one to watch. Dan Broughton, CEO Dalstons I spoke to Dan Broughton, CEO and Co-Founder to find out how he and his team is setting the brand up for success. If you enjoy this episode, it would be really helpful if you REVIEW it on iTunes or Spotify & SHARE it on your social media
Aug 19, 2020
Oatly: the Insurgent Brand on Everyone's Lips. The 5 levers the UK team pulled to drive the business's #transformationalgrowth
The case study in Category transformation that is on everyone’s lips right now is Oatly. But did you know that Oatly has been around for 30 years in the Dairy Alternatives Category? It’s only really in the past 5 years that something has changed massively, at least in the UK market. In 2016, Oatly’s UK revenue was around £6M, but this year they are looking at hitting around £75M! If you want to know how they did this, then you’re in luck! We spoke to Ishen Paran, UK Country Manager who told us about the 5 levers that he and the Oatly UK team have pulled to drive this incredible growth… #oatmilk #oatly #transformationalgrowth #brandgrowthheroes #plantbased If you enjoy this episode, it would be really helpful if you REVIEW it on iTunes or Spotify & SHARE it on your social media
Aug 12, 2020
Marketing Investment Masterclass: How should your Approach to Marketing Investment Change as you become a Grown-up Brand? Brand Performance Coach Mark Mulhern, CEO Brand Performance Labs, NY
Mark Mulhern is a Brand Performance Coach with a spectacular CV in brand advertising and through-the-line Marketing investment. He's worked agency-side for the past 20+ years managing advertising accounts worth £100M of pounds and dollars, for clients such as Mars, Unilever, McDonalds, Amazon, Virgin and Sainsbury's. If you've listened to the first few episodes of Series 1 of Brand Growth Heroes, you'll know that one of the New 4Ps of Transformational Growth is PROCESS - how insurgent brands define and attack challenges differently to incumbent or less successful brands. One of these challenges is managing the transition of how you approach your MARKETING INVESTMENT as a start-up, vs. how you think about it and deliver it as an emerging brand with a serious growth trajectory. If you've been pootering along nicely with sampling and social media, but recognise that the time has come to get your head around what a more strategic approach looks like, then this episode is for you.
Jul 21, 2020
S2Ep12 Child labour in your Chocolate? Ben Greensmith of Tony’s Chocolonely updates us on Tony’s UK performance…and the shit news that child labour in the cocoa chain is worse now than 10 years ago. How is this possible??
How many of us eat chocolate or other cocoa-based products without realising – and this is deadly serious – that we could be unwittingly funding child labour and even child slavery in West Africa? Almost a year ago, we interviewed Ben Greensmith, the UK country manager of Tony’s Chocolonely, and we heard how this amazing company is trying to change the cocoa industry and eradicate child labour and childhood slavery. If you’d like to listen to this episode, look for Series 1 Episode 8 (SE1Ep8) on your podcast player. A month or so ago, I learned that the level of child labour in West African cocoa farms had actually increased over the past 10 years, which just really shocked and saddened me. In this special catch-up episode, I asked Ben to bring us up to speed with the situation in West Africa, as well as share with us how Tony’s Chocolonely is doing in the U.K. market since its launch. If you enjoy this episode, it would be really helpful if you REVIEW it on iTunes or Spotify & SHARE it on your social media S2EP12 Timestamps to follow.
Jun 9, 2020
S2Ep11: #COVID SPECIAL Funding/investment 101 and what’s happening Right Now. Featuring Yasha Estraikh of Piper, the investment partner of choice of Propercorn, Mindful Chef and many many more!
It’s tough times out there for many brands. Even for the lucky ones who are seeing an increase in sales due to the current situation, future plans are up in the air and investment in growth is on pause, with so much depending on how things pan out over the next few months. We wanted to find out what’s happening in the world of investment & funding for brands with big growth plans: have most put their investment journeys on hold? What should you do if you were planning to raise money this year? In this episode we’re talking to Yasha Estraikh, who’s an Associate Partner at Piper, the investment partner of choice for brands such as Propercorn, Mindful Chef and many more you’ll recognise. Yasha is in charge of Brand and Customer Research and Insight, and he helps brands keep their customer at the centre of everything they do. I learnt SO much from this hour with Yasha – not only that most sources of investment are focusing on their current portfolios at the moment, but tons about how funding and investment for growing brands works in general. If you have ever really wanted to understand how it all works, you need to listen to this! If you enjoy this episode, it would be really helpful if you REVIEW it on iTunes & SHARE it on your social media! S2EP11 Timestamps to follow.
1 hr 9 min
May 18, 2020
S2Ep10: Buymie is an Insurgent On-Demand Grocery Delivery Platform that delivers in just 1hr… & it just got €2.2M in Funding
Buymie was conceived when Founder Devan Hughes learned that the £9bn online retail grocery industry in UK & Irl, was loosing over £300M per year…and he reckoned it was therefore ripe for disruption. Buymie is a mobile-first, on-demand grocery delivery platform enabling consumers to order any grocery or household item from local stores using their mobile device, and get them delivered in as little as 1 hour. The Buymie platform connect customers, via the app, to a fully vetted and trained crowd sourced personal shopper network. Listen to Devan share the inside track on the super-charged growth that Buymie has seen over the past 18 months, how they’ve just received £2.2M in funding, and how they are now the online delivery platform for Lidl Ireland! An episode not to be missed! Buymie.eu Devan is the CEO and Co-Founder of Same day grocery e-commerce platform Buymie. Devan holds a degree in Finance from the National College of Ireland, and has worked in the start-up sector for most of his career. A guest lecturer in some of Europe’s best Business Schools, Devan is recognised as one of Europe’s foremost thought leaders in the fields of grocery e-commerce, platform economics and architecture. If you enjoy this episode, it would be really helpful if you REVIEW it on iTunes & SHARE it on your social media! S2EP10 Timestamps to follow.
May 13, 2020
S2Ep9: #COVID SPECIAL Strong Roots Follow-up: The USA 1 year on…and the Covid 19 effect. Founder Samuel Dennigan shares all.
In Episode 5 of Series 1, we spoke to Sam Dennigan, founder of insurgent frozen brand STRONG ROOTS, which offers tasty plant-based food designed for busy lives. Sam promised to come back on the show and update us on how their impending launch in the USA went…which he does in this episode. Shortly after we recorded our update, Covid 19 hit, so we recorded a further section on how the current crisis has effected the Strong Roots business. An episode not to be missed! strongroots.com Instagram: Strong Roots Irl Strong Roots UK Strong Roots USA If you enjoy this episode, it would be really helpful if you REVIEW it on iTunes & SHARE it on your social media! S2EP9 Timestamps to follow.
May 7, 2020
S2Ep8: #COVID SPECIAL Featuring Jason Gibb, Founder of Bread & Jam, supporting 1000 Food & Bev Entrepreneurs a week with Training, Networking & Motivational Socials
We’re going to spend the next few episodes exploring how growing Food & Bev. businesses are coping with the current crisis, the kind of help they need, and some of the resources available to help them. In this episode we’re talking to Jason Gibb, one of the co-founders of Bread & Jam. Once an annual business festival for Food & Beverage entrepreneurs, now Bread & Jam is helping several hundred companies a week, joining them from as far away as Australia! From evening workshops to morning socials, entrepreneurs can sign up for free and paid events that will build key skills, their industry network and their confidence. Bread & Jam was borne from the success of Jason’s online community, The FoodHub, which is the biggest community of food & drink entrepreneurs in Europe Jason also has his own plant-based food start-up, called Unruly Burger https://www.eatunruly.com/ Listen to Jason on why he started Bread & Jam, and how it works: Bread & Jam If you enjoy this episode, it would be really helpful if you REVIEW it on iTunes & SHARE it on your social media! S2EP8 Timestamps to follow.
Apr 27, 2020
S2EP7: Paul Brown, Founder and CEO of BOL Foods on Great Teams, Brave Decisions and How BOL is Managing the Current Crisis #COVIDSPECIAL
LISTEN AND RATE THIS EPISODE ON ITUNES HERE Listen to this episode on Spotify HERE If you’ve listened to the first few episodes of Series 2 of Brand Growth Heroes, you probably know that one of the themes we are exploring is the BRAVE decisions that food & Bev founders sometimes have to make. In this episode we’re talking to Paul Brown, CEO and Founder of BOL Foods, a fast growing chilled food brand that offers plant-based Dinner boxes, Veg Pots, Salad Jars and Soups to busy foodies, and is available in most retailers nationally across the UK. ***Covid 19 addition: Paul and I caught up again last week to record an update in which Paul takes us through how he and the team are getting through the Covid 19 crisis*** Paul launched BOL after 14 years at Innocent drinks, where he gained invaluable experience across roles from Field Sales, to Sales Controller, and finally as General Manager of Innocent Food in 2014. He launched BOL in 2015…and what’s particularly fascinating abo…
Apr 20, 2020
S2Ep6: #COVID SPECIAL Featuring Jamie Mitchell, Founder of All Together: Pro Bono Mentoring, Coaching and Business Advice for Companies affected by COVID-19.
LISTEN AND RATE THIS EPISODE ON ITUNES HERE Listen to this episode on Spotify HERE We’re going to spend the next few episodes exploring how growing Food & Bev. businesses are coping with the current crisis, the kind of help they need, and some of the resources available to help them. In this episode we’re talking to Jamie Mitchell, Founder All Together, an initiative offering CEO-CEO coaching, mentoring and business advice to companies affected by COVID 19. Through All Together, Jamie has brought together a punchy panel of 60 well-known Chairpeople, CEOs and Investors, who are all offering their help on a voluntary basis. Advisors include Adam Balon and Jon Wright of Innocent Drinks, Xavier Vidal of Flying Tiger, Hema Patel and Jules Hydleman, to name but a few. See the almost complete list of advisors here Jamie himself brings a wealth of experience to All Together, in his capacity as Non-Exec Chairman of Rare Restaurants and Keatz, and as Ex CEO of Tom Dixon, Daylesford Org…
Mar 11, 2020
S2Ep5: Loop Founder CEO Tom Szaky on what Loop’s Global Circular Shopping Platform means for YOUR Business
In this episode, we're talking to Tom Szaky, the 38 year old founder of Terra Cycle, the world’s leading company in the collection and reuse of the non-recyclable stuff we all throw away every day. Think turning Colgate toothpaste tubes into school playgrounds, or enabling P&G to offer money off coupons to consumers in return for their dirty pampers, which are then recycled into new materials. You may have read that Terra Cycle has just launched a new company called LOOP, which aims to tackle packaging waste at its root cause and could potentially see us buying all of our favourite consumer packaged goods in branded durable and reusable containers, rather than the staple single-use packaging they are mostly in now. For those of us who work with Consumer Packaged Goods, Loop is so far reaching that if it works, it will change everything from how you design, package and sell your products, all the way through to what your Manufacturing, Supply Chain, Operations and P&L will lo…
Mar 5, 2020
S2Ep4: Barney Mauleverer, Co-Founder of Fuel 10k on How To Approach International Business Development, Saying No to 2,200 Stores in the USA & How it’s Your 2nd Major Listing – not your 1st – that Counts.
LISTEN AND RATE THIS EPISODE ON ITUNES HERE Listen to this episode on Spotify HERE and on STITCHER here If you’ve listened to the first few episodes of Series 2 of Brand Growth Heroes, you probably know that one of the themes we are exploring is the BRAVE decisions that food & Bev founders sometimes have to make. Creating Tansformational Growth depends on getting a lot of things right. And in the food industry, there are a hell of a lot of things that can trip you up. But the thing is, they are mostly things that don’t need to trip you up if you know about them in advance, if someone explains to you how something works, or points something out to you that has often gone wrong for them in the past. Something I’ve done throughout my career is to have collected a bunch of seasoned food entrepreneurs who I have built lovely relationships with, and whom I can call out of the blue to ask them who the best distributor in Germany is for Chilled, what margin I should expect to give…
Jan 29, 2020
S2EP3: Pippa Murray, Founder and CEO of Pip & Nut, on the growth-driving role of innovation, Leadership as a female founder in the food industry, and certifying as a BCorp
Pippa Murray founded Pip & Nut in 2015, out of a passion for running and a love of nut-butter, but not finding exactly what she wanted on the market. The range is now sold in more than 5000 stores and is the fastest growing nut butter in the UK. Last year, the company was named Fasttrack 100s "one to watch" and The Evening Standard has named Pippa as one of London's most influential people! Here's our interview from the end of December, where we discuss BCorp certification, innovation as a growth-driver and managing people when you've never done it before. https://www.pipandnut.com/
Dec 14, 2019
S2EP2: Giles Brook, renowned CEO, Entrepreneur & Investor on driving growth, investment criteria and the challenges facing founders
Giles Brook, renowned CEO, Entrepreneur and Investor has built up probably the most superb CV in the food and beverage industry, not to mention a supurbe portfolio of investments. Giles has been behind the growth of numerous insurgent brands – Innocent, Bear, Vita Coco, Pip and nut to name but a few. He is currently CEO of Vita Coco (for Europe Middle East and Africa) - which he launched over 10 years ago - and which is now turning over £40m in sales. Although he is the highest-ranked individual in The Grocer’s ‘Food & Drink Power List outside of global and multi-national CEOs, he is also nice, as he takes time out of the office to mentor and guide entrepreneurs. Here’s our interview earlier this month where we talk about what Giles looks for when investing in a company, whether looking for investment upfront or driving organic growth should be the thing, and how it can be really hard for founders working in the food industry
Nov 26, 2019
S2EP1: Hugh Thomas, CEO and Co-Founder of UGLY Drinks talks to us about BRAVE DECISIONS
UGLY DRINKS was founded by best friends Hugh Thomas and Joe Benn in 2017. Coming from Vita Coco, they were concerned at the lack of healthy or unsweetened- options in the soda category for the average family. UGLY is a range of sparkling water that is flavoured but unsweetened, in brightly coloured, potentially iconic CAN, and is setting out to challenge the Ugly Truth behind Big Soda. Ugly’s website positions it as “just a drink, no unobtainable lifestyles, no ridiculous promises”…and somewhat bravely (given the enormous competitors in this space) asks us to “Can the Other Cans”. Listen to Hugh Thomas discuss the brave decisions he and his co-founder have made around brand and category positioning, naming & flavouring, setting up in the USA and funding/invesment and its role in driving growth!
Oct 4, 2019
Ep 10: (Francais) Entretien avec Nicolas Chabannes de C'est Qui le Patron", €0-120M in 2.5 years
L'entretien originale avec Nicolas Chabanne (episode 9) en francais. C'est Qui Le Patron est une marque alimenaire multi-catégorielle qui était créée et est gérée par des consommateurs francais, afin de garantir des prix équitables aux agriculteurs et aux producteurs. Elle a été lancée il y a 3 ans sur l'un des marchés d'épiceries les plus traditionnels, les plus inflexibles, les plus difficiles à négocier et les plus coûteux d'Europe - d'après ma modeste expérience. Et pourtant, en seulement 2,5 ans, elle a révolutionné de nombreuses catégories d’épiceries en France, a généré un chiffre d’affaires de plus de 120 millions d’euros, dispose d’un portefeuille de plus de 30 produits et sont déjà achetés par 11 millions de ménages français. Et voici la chose: tout cela a été fait sans investissement dans la publicité traditionelle, sans force de vente et avec très peu de négociations traditionnelles avec les acheteurs de la Grande Distribution. Cet…
Sep 6, 2019
Ep 09: THE Most Exciting Revolution in Food & Bev Grocery Ever? Interview with Founder of "The Consumer Brand", €0-120M in 2.5 years
How do you grow a brand to €120M in sales in only 2.5 years, launching 30 products, and revolutionising more than a few grocery categories along the way? And how do you achieve household penetration of 11 million French households, with NO advertising, NO field sales, and very little traditional negotiation with grocery buyers? When you consider that this is happening in France - one of the most inflexible, difficult to negotiate and costly European retail grocery markets - and is coming to the UK, USA, Germany, Italy and more markets imminently, every company supplying a food & bev product into retail grocery better be ready with a response!
Aug 11, 2019
Ep 08: Interview with Ben Greensmith, Tony's Chocolonely UK Country Manager
How do you grow a Chocolate brand to €70m in Sales without ever spending a penny on advertising? How do you get into EVERY SINGLE Sainsbury's store in the UK at launch...and account for over 35% of Chocolate sales at Wholefoods UK within 16 weeks? Listen to Ben Greensmith of Tony's Chocolonely tell us about THE most authentic and meaningful brand promise in Food and Bev - the serious attempt by Tony’s Chocolonely to change the Cocoa industry from the inside out, in order to eradicate childhood slavery and child labour in Cocoa producing countries.
Jul 17, 2019
Ep 07: Interview with James Averdieck, CEO Founder of The Coconut Collaborative and GU Chocolate Puds
Who manages to create and build not 1 but 2 insurgent food brands that transform categories and what shoppers expect from their supermarket aisle? That's right, James Averdieck of The Coconut Collaberative and GU Chocolate Puds! Listen to James describe the drivers of the transformational growth he has experienced with both his businesses, from the importance of having people with Food Industry experience on his teams to being obsessed with product quality and great, quirky brands that resonate with consumers.
Jul 1, 2019
Ep 06: Interview with Gary Lavin, Founder CEO of UK's Best Selling & Fastest Growing Functional Drinks brand VITHIT
Did you know that it's NOT a Coke or a Pepsi-owned brand that holds the title of the UKs best-selling functional drink, but an Irish brand called VITHIT! I really enjoyed talking to my old buddy and fellow-Irishman Gary Lavin, Founder of this super-charged, low calorie vitamin drinks range https://www.vithit.com. I’ve known Gary and followed VITHIT's progress for over 15 years, and what really intrigues me about this story is that most of this growth has been unlocked over the 5 past years. I’m also really inspired by Gary’s sheer honesty about mistakes he thinks he made and the doggedness that has been necessary to get the business to where it’s at today. Listen to Gary take us though the drivers of this recent transformational growth, how he recognised them, and what he’d do differently if he had to start over.
Jun 9, 2019
Ep 05: Interview with Sam Dennigan, CEO of Strong Roots, the UK's Fastest Growing Food & Beverage brand
In this episode we talk to Sam Dennigan, Founder and CEO of the UK’s Fastest Growing Food Brand, Strong Roots. Strong Roots is a super-successful frozen food brand that offers plant-based, tasty, convenient and healthy food for everyone. Founded and launched in Ireland, it has delivered transformational growth in both Ireland and the UK, doubling its turnover each year and recently taking pole position as the UK's Fastest Growing Food & Beverage brand. Listen to Sam desecribe how his experience in his family’s food business has shaped Strong Roots’ success, on how everyone in the company needs to be a Sales person, and the importance of earning the respect of early adopters and being “found” or discovered by consumers.
May 12, 2019
Ep 04: Interview with world-leading expert in Global Consumer Goods Industries, Professor Dr. Jan-Benedict Steenkamp
Fiona Fitz and Professor Dr Jan-Benedict Steenkamp, author, distinguished scholar and one of the world’s leading experts in the Consumer Packaged Goods industry, discuss what's worrying large Consumer Packaged Goods companies about driving organic growth. Professor Steenkamp suggests three things large CPG companies should be doing differently. http://www.brandgrowthheroes.com/2019/02/01/episode-4-interview-with-jan-benedict-steenkamp-leading-expert-consumer-goods-industries/
May 10, 2019
Ep 03: Interview with James McMaster, CEO of HUEL
James McMaster, CEO of insurgent brand Huel, describes his experience of driving transformational growth at 3 well-known global food brands. He talks about how mindset beats skill-set, the importance of choosing the right people, and how transformational brand can radically change both consumer and shopper behaviour. http://www.brandgrowthheroes.com/2019/01/03/episode-3-interview-with-james-mc-master-ceo-of-huel/
May 2, 2019
Ep 02: Introducing the new 4Ps of Transformational Growth in CPG categories
Your host Fiona Fitzpatrick of Fiona Fitz Consulting introduces the New 4Ps of Transformational Growth in Consumer Goods Categories: People (or the kinds of people who work for the company), Process (or how the job to-be-done gets both defined and approached), Category Positioning (or where the brand positions itself relative to the competition) and finally, the Brand and Product Promise. http://www.brandgrowthheroes.com/2019/01/02/episode-2-introducing-the-new-4ps-of-transformational-growth/