Case Study |Fresh Fodder Fast 'n Furious Innovation

The Innovation Challenge

Max and Fiona had the same goals as many of us, aiming to have no financial strains, less work and more time for themselves. They revisited their initial innovation challenge through the Pre-workshop briefing and initial sections of the workshop. It quickly became apparent that new products and added complexity weren’t the answer. They had enormous opportunities for growth by innovating within their core Taramasolata range and through channel extension while improving profitability through simplifying their business model and deleting non-performing products in their portfolio.This Innovation and business focus would be more sustainable over time and help them achieve their broader lifestyle goals.

Background

Fresh Fodder, owned by Max and Fiona Schofield, produce dips from its home in Orange, NSW. Renowned for producing Australia’s best tasting Taramasolata, ‘The Gangster Dip’, Fresh Fodder had extended its range of fresh, natural products into soups, salads and ready meals following requests from various customers to sell through independent retailers, primarily in NSW and Victoria.

Max and Fiona participated in the Eugowra, NSW Fast n Furious Innovation short course, held in June 2016 hoping to discover the next ‘big thing’ in dips but found Innovation is more than just launching new products.  

Bringing their unique brand story to life and the benefits of Taramasolata would be critical to expanding usage and distribution, which would also drive consumer and customer loyalty once it became easier for them to buy.

Target Market and Consumer Problem Definition

Design-Led Innovation underpins our programme structure to start this requires us to identify the core consumer problem. Max and Fiona discovered their dips themselves weren’t the problem. They had a fantastic product & a highly loyal following, with good repeat purchase when the product was ‘available’. From the phone interviews conducted during the workshop, they found people couldn’t find their brand on-shelf, or it wasn’t available in major stores. Loyal customers had to make a compromise in a hurry when they couldn’t find Fresh Fodder!

The results highlighted that the core problems lay in packaging visibility, differentiation on shelf and distribution. People couldn’t buy it where they mainly shopped – larger supermarket chains!

The packaging problem was exacerbated by the glut of competitive products on-shelf, many of them ‘me-too’.

“You know, we’re constantly looking for opportunities to learn from other people in the industry and so things like Fast ‘n Furious tap into my creative side and Max’s need to keep looking ahead for what the next thing is.   

But interestingly, what we both took out of it was more about reconciling our business to some degree and taking some of the chaos out of it that, in all fairness, we were contributing to on a fairly high level” Fiona Schofield

Outcomes - Minimum Viable Product Launch

The Mentoring session focused on addressing the critical shopper problem: lack of shelf visibility and stand out to drive more significant differentiation and presence. Max & Fiona had already started to implement some simple short-term solutions. “We have upgraded our labels, we have reversed the map, it was basically white with a bit of colour and now coloured with a bit of white”. Starting with blue for The Gangster Dip’, this quick and straightforward solution provided a far more significant impact on shelf.

In parallel, they took an axe to the rest of the range. Max and Fiona deleted the meals, salads and other non-core products with energy put into Taramasolata variations and new dips.

NEXT STEPS

Max and Fiona brought people on board to help run more of the day to day operations so they can devote more time where they can add value; business development and Innovation, although this is still a challenge.  They have extended product distribution into one of the larger retailers in Australia, with great success. The increased volume facilitated invested in expanding production capacity, which has recently enabled listing in one of the two major Key Accounts in Australia.

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