Some 6 months ago, Cuppanut was merely a dream. An idea. A very small seed of my imagination.
Very quickly though, I began to nurture this seed and, much quicker than I'd anticipated, my dream was fast becoming a reality.
Now, I'll let you into a little secret - the product wasn't even ready when I began to contact the head buyers of big stores! I of course could see the end in sight and had a rough date of when I'd have the finished product, but I didn't let anything hold me back; I knew I had an innovative product that would be snapped up by the right buyer (wishful thinking I know, but it's good to stay positive!).
I'd announced the launch of my product through various mediums. Social media mainly. To which 'The Grocer' magazine spotted. They got in touch with us and asked if they could be the first to announce our product. I was thrilled with this, as I know these types of magazines have the ear of a lot of influential people in the field, particularly buyers.
Within 2 days of this article being realised, we had an email from 'HOLLAND AND BARRETT'! - I couldn't believe it. H&B were top of my list of potential buyers. My product epitomises what Holland and Barrett are about. Healthy, innovative, clean living.
I began conversing with the head buyer at Holland and Barrett and set up a meeting. We went down to their offices in Coventry and there began our relationship!
For any new line (new product) of H&B, there's a lot of paperwork and legalities. The wad of forms we had to fill in were thicker than J.R.R. Tolkien's 'Lord of the Rings'! We got through it and they placed an order.
Cuppanut is now being rolled out in all of their stores nationwide (around 700 stores). And I've agreed to do some store visits around the country, to raise brand awareness and educate customers on the benefits of Cuppanut and its properties.
So what next? Well, I'd like to get listings in most of the UK's health food shops, before tackling the big multi-nationals. We're also looking into exporting internationally. I believe if we stay positive, anything can be achieved.
by Gareth Gates.