Next we asked, how easy is it to get on shelf… and stay there?
DAVID CZINN, Fruigees (pictured): We spent close to a year incubating Fruigees at farmer’s markets and we also entered boutique organic retailers before we first went to Expo West in 2014.
The farmer’s market was an awesome opportunity to get in front of consumers and help us figure out what they were looking for, so when we went to Expo West and had an audience of buyers and distributors, we were confident we had something unique that was going to sell.
But at the end of the day it’s all about the hustle. You can’t be afraid to hear the word 'No'. It can just mean 'not now'.
SHANE EMMETT, Health Warrior: What Mark Rampolla did with ZICO in New York City was a tremendous case study of being narrow and focused and knowing your audience. We're also focused pretty maniacally on velocity in key accounts.
NIK INGERSOLL, Barnana: We're also very focused on velocity, on same store sales, units per week per SKU (stock keeping unit). [As for how best to grow] you can go to the farmer’s market and build your business very slowly and organically, or you can raise a ton of capital and blast out distribution with a shotgun approach.
At Barnana we’ve taken sort of a middle route; we’ve grown organically in the natural sector and then moved into conventional.
Fairly early on in our growth cycle we were approached by Costco and Trader Joe’s and at the time we were just too small. We’re at a different stage now, but it’s important to know when to say ‘no’, or when to say ‘no for now’ and then revisit that further down the line.
[When it comes to marketing on a budget], it’s all about breaking through the clutter. You have to be scrappy. You’ve got to break some rules. Be as crazy as we can get right up to the point of where you might be kicked out. You have to be loud and energetic, and get in front of people in a meaningful way.