At Product Chain we are very proud of our Food Thoughts brand. A range of premium, ethically-sourced cocoa and cacao baking ingredients – which we own and manage.
As a brand owner ourselves we know exactly what every start-up and new entry into the FMCG market is going through. We’ve been there too and are still dealing with the daily challengers facing a brand as it grows up and expands.
A Brief History
Food Thoughts was initially launched by Oxfam in 1989 under the Oxfam brand name. It was the first Fair Trade cocoa powder in the UK. Oxfam secured a listing in Sainsbury’s for the product and a few years later commissioned Product Chain to manage the account. Following a strategic rethink at Oxfam in the early noughties they decided to move away from retail and focus on their core charity offering. Recognising the potential in the range, Product Chain took over ownership of the brand and re-named it ‘Food Thoughts’.
In 2015 the time was right to focus on developing the brand. With Home Baking as the target category the Product Chain team reviewed the market and defined a strategic blueprint to transform and reposition the brand.
Growing the Brand
We worked with our suppliers to develop two new products – Cacao powder and Cacao nibs – and implemented an effective re-brand incorporating market appropriate pack sizes and consumer-led packaging. Using historic sales patterns, market trend analysis and category sales data, our team pulled together a compelling trade presentation and managed to secure listings for both new lines in Sainsbury’s.
Clever marketing, combined with a robust promotional plan, increased sales in Sainsbury’s and led to subsequent listings with both Waitrose and Ocado within a year.
Further marketing support, including secondary space deals in-store, raised brand awareness and continued to grow sales. Over 3 years we have more than doubled sales making Food Thoughts a million pound brand and still growing….
Throughout the journey our operational team has successfully managed supply chain logistics with both our suppliers and customers, resolving any issues quickly and professionally. In addition, we have skilfully negotiated a sensitive price increase with retailers in response to a substantial rise in the cost of raw materials.
We are now working on plans to launch the next wave of NPD, so watch this space!
What did Product Chain deliver?
- Define & implement effective NPD and sales strategies
- Control NPD process from concept to production
- Manage supplier relationships & supply chain logistics
- Negotiate retailer contracts including pricing & promotional support
- Analyse market data to gain and grow listings
- Develop and execute effective marketing activities
- Process all orders & invoices
- Manage cashflow
Further Case Studies
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