Goupie transitions to private limited company for sustainable growth

By Douglas Yu

- Last updated on GMT

Goupie has tapped into some emerging trends recently such as protein and vegan. Pic: Goupie
Goupie has tapped into some emerging trends recently such as protein and vegan. Pic: Goupie
UK-based artisan confectioner Goupie has evolved from a partnership to a private limited company, trading under Groupie Ltd with all three original partners – Janet, Grace and Joe Simpson – being equal shareholders.

“We really felt that if we were to continue the level of growth we had been experiencing over the past couple of years, we needed to take the next step towards investment potentials and solidifying the brand,”​ said Grace Simpson, brand manager at the company.

In 2017, Goupie grew around 30% to 40% in sales, according to the company.

“The most obvious way for us to [secure investments] was establish ourselves as a limited company,”​ she added. “Now we can start to embark on some of our exciting future growth plans.”

Retail store, export and new products

Janet Simpson, Goupie’s co-founder and managing director, said the team has “quite ambitious plans”​ in terms of building retail, developing new products and increasing exports after the company’s restructure.

“We want to build our own premises, a retail store, in Kent (where Goupie is currently headquartered) because we have staff here. It’s going to be representational of what our brand is about,”​ she said.

Simpson noted building a store would take a long time because the company has to find the right site first housing some large equipment.

“We haven’t found one yet. It will probably take 18 months to two years… but we’ve been shopping around in Germany for equipment and testing some kits out, which is a major part of our investment,”​ she said.

Goupie currently produces its confections at a local plant owned by a third party, Simpson mentioned. “So we have to figure out how to transition our production to a [self-owned] factory environment with quality control in place,”​ she said.

Made with fruit, nuts, spices and chocolate, Simpson believes Goupie’s format along with its recent capitalizations on emerging consumer trends – protein​, vegan and free-from – makes it competitive in the confectionery market.

“We’re not fudge or fine chocolate… [Our products] have been described as a cross between toffee and brownie, and they are all family recipes,”​ said Simpson. “We’re not trying to be fashionable, just trying to createsomething people always want in an ethical and sustainable way.”

Distribution channels

Goupie currently sells its products at several independent retailers in the UK and online, according to Simpson.

“We also supply the co-op and we’re exploring other channels except mass for a very good reason,”​ she said. “Mass channel has a better reputation of taking ideas and running with them, that’s one of the reasons why we’re keeping our current production. We’re not going to stretch our distribution to make one [retail] customer to have too large share for what we produce.”

Simpson added a sustainable business model means Goupie needs to rely more on its internal channel – particularly e-commerce – rather than outside forces for future growth.

E-commerce now represents 10% of Goupie’s overall sales, and it is expected to reach 50% in the next few years, said Simpson.

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