What do hemp and collagen have in common? They're the key ingredients of two emerging brands, +Hemp and The Healthy Chef. And both brand's entrepreneurial founders will be panellists at our upcoming LIVE breakfast forum.
Brands Behaving Bravely is the theme of the Food & Drink Business + PKN LIVE event on 11 October to be held at the Arts Centre in Melbourne, and the panel session will explore exactly what it takes to make a brave brand. If you'd like to be there, early bird tickets are available here.
Natalie Moubarak, the mumpreneur who founded +Hemp, and Teresa Cutter, the celebrity chef and media personality behind The Healthy Chef, have both served up bravery in spades in creating new categories for their respective brands.
Australia’s inaugural hemp water hit retail shelves last year to great acclaim. Seven weeks after launching her first product, Natalie Moubarak had already hit her six-month business goals – but it was far from a walk in the park. Moubarak had faced a constant stream of rejection to even find distributors and retailers willing to take it on.
Plus Hemp, the first in the brand-new category of hemp water, was the result of 18 months of scientific, production and marketing research, plus some $100,000 in funding.
But the “mumpreneur” is used to being tenacious. After starting her family, Moubarak wasn’t able to continue working in real estate project marketing, selling developments off-the-plan with a baby in tow.
“One day on maternity leave, I saw an old run-down site. So I leased it, did a whole concept including a DA [development application] and opened a café."
"I wasn’t thinking about running the café, it was more about renovating and selling. But I ended up staying there.”
The café was organic, gluten-free and dairy-free. Siting in suburban inner-west Sydney, Moubarak was told it wouldn’t work. She went ahead anyway. The café was a hit and 24 months later she sold it for a 45 per cent profit.
At LIVE on 11 October, Moubarak will share what it took to get her +Hemp brand on shelves, and other learnings.
Fellow panellist Teresa Cutter's compelling story also smacks of bravery. She has held the title The Healthy Chef since her late twenties. From a weekly newspaper recipe column, to a cafe in Sydney’s northern beaches and now to a range of functional foods, The Healthy Chef identity has shapeshifted over three decades of Cutter’s career.
Cutter’s own health needs were the catalyst for her developing the Healthy Chef range of prebiotics, probiotics, matcha green teas, smoothies and collagen powders. When she couldn’t find a protein powder without chemicals, preservatives and additives that caused digestive discomfort, she developed her first product, Pure Native WPI (whey protein isolate).
“When you choose the right product, you don’t need to add any extras to enhance or balance flavours because its the quality of the product that shines through. For us, less is more,” Cutter tells Food & Drink Business.
“You’ll find on our all labels, there’s maybe two or three ingredients, but they’re put there for a reason, not to enhance taste. It’s like picking from a garden or when going grocery shopping, you always pick the best fruit and vegetables – people aren’t going to eat it if it tastes bad or makes them feel bad.”
The Healthy Chef market is 80-90% female. Cutter says she has taken a close look at what women want, and created a product range designed by women, for women.
Online distribution has been key to the success of The Healthy Chef range, although Cutter is as keen to align with mainstream retailers too.
"It would be awesome to find some of our products in a Woolworths, because I think Woolies is leading the way in terms of health and products," she tells Food & Drink Business.
Cutter will talk about some of her brand-building strategies, and innovation in the pipeline at LIVE.