The Coconut Collaborative: On What It Takes To Launch A Successful Food Product

Founded in 2014 by two guys on a mission – James Averdieck, ex Founder of Gü and Steve Bessant, Nutritionist – The Coconut Collaborative was born out of a desire to share delicious coconut treats with the world, whilst giving something back to the planet and its people.

Producing  the world’s first coconut almond milk yogurts alongside a range of ice creams and desserts, The Coconut Collaborative has carved a niche for itself in a flourishing market with huge growth opportunity.

Predicted to turnover £3.2m in 2016, with new markets in the U.S, Scandinavia and the Far East firmly in its site, The Coconut Collaborative, which is currently sold in the UK, France and New Zealand, is on the fast-track to success.

But with James Averdieck at its helm, it’s hardly surprising.

Having already founded and built dessert brand Gü in 2003, before exiting in 2011 with the business valued at £33m, Averdieck knows a thing or two about spotting a gap in the market.

From clever branding to generating a buzz, here James gives his top tips for launching a successful food brand:

1. Differentiate your product

Have a really good product that’s different but also tastes good. It’s a lot easier to get retailers stocking your product if you are launching on the back of a big consumer trend (e.g. coconut milk yogurt launching on the back of dairy free trend and coconut water trend), but either way  be totally obsessed about product quality and never cut corners.

2. Create a unique brand

Successful brands stand out from the rest of the crowd. Take GU as a good example, it looks very distinctive and upmarket and it does what it says on the tin. It’s worth spending money on good product and brand design. 

3. Generate a buzz

Get people talking about you.  Before the world of social media this meant getting your brand into the right places and making lots of noise (e.g. Public Relations). Remember, there are lots of journalists out there who are paid to write features on new interesting trends so make sure you get your brand in front of influential people. Social media has now revolutionised consumer marketing and ensures a much more level playing field between big and small companies, which is in your favour.

4. Start small

London is a great place to start as most food trends start in London. If you get into Whole Foods Market and Planet Organic you can get a good following amongst influential consumers who have a high food IQ. They’ll spread the word on your brand quickly if they like your product.

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