With more than 20 years-experience with multinational food business Mars, Andrew Loader was looking for a new project to try doing business a little differently.
Openway Food Co. is the result. With co-founder Gavin Evans and backing from private equity group Five V, Openway acquired three health food companies, Annex Foods with brands including Red Tractor, healthy snack company Table of Plenty, and Keep in Cleaner.
Loader talks about the different approach, with the acquisitions designed to build the companies rather than break them up and create a platform that makes health food easier to understand and for consumers to find.
It has allowed the individual business founders to determine how much they are involved in the business, from still running the company to focussing on an area like R&D.
Loader explains that one of the benefits has been that during the disruption of recent years, there has been a depth of experience across the business that has helped keep the focus on goals rather than just the immediate difficulties.
We discuss Loader’s thoughts on the health food aisle, and that there are many people who still don’t know what is down there, if it is healthy and whether they can trust it.
We look at the challenges for retailers and the need for brands to keep bringing new products to the shelves and the churn that occurs when that doesn’t happen.
For Loader, one way to address this is the Openway model or others, which collaborate on certain parts of operations and put greater pressure on technology to help fill some of the gaps when it comes to innovation.
We look at how Openway is finding new functionalities for heritage foods, adding collagen for example to Red Tractor Oats. Loader updates up on its launch in the US and the favourable feedback from retailers at a traditional product but offering new benefits.
We end with Loader saying while the launch of Red Tractor and Raise the Bar into the US market is a major focus at the moment, Openway is committed to making consistent quality products, managing the complex supply chain. and building something for tomorrow.
Food & Drink Business delivers the industry’s most in-depth news and editorial coverage of Australia’s food and beverage sector. The Food & Drink Business podcast is one part of our multi-media platform, which provides: the latest news; expert opinion and business advice; insightful reports on industry issues and trends; new products; the latest research and technology developments; and regulatory updates. Tune in for entertaining and informative interviews from industry leaders, change drivers and experts across all aspects of the country’s leading manufacturing sector.
You can listen above or follow us on your favourite podcast platform:
If you would like to sponsor the podcast, please email our national sales manager Sharon Amos.
If you wish to use any of this podcast’s audio, please send an email to Kim Berry.
The Food & Drink Business Podcast is produced by Southern Skies Media on behalf of Food & Drink Business, owned and published by Yaffa Media.
The views of the people featured on this podcast do not necessarily represent the views of Food & Drink Business, Yaffa Media, or the guest’s employer. The contents are copyright by Yaffa Media.
If you wish to use any of this podcast’s audio, please contact Food & Drink Business via their website or email.
MC: Grant McHerron
Host: Kim Berry
Producer: Steve Visscher
Food & Drink Business - © 2022