Tom Gannon is one of the co-founders of Fulfil Nutrition a brand that’s been taking the health bar market by storm. Despite having launched less than two years ago, they’re already being distributed in major retailers throughout the UK and are set to sell 20+ million bars before the end of 2017.
The Fulfil teams aim was to create a credible & fun lifestyle brand that tastes great, satisfies hunger, delivers healthy benefits & available within arm’s reach of snacking desire. We met with Tom to learn what led them to this unique positioning and how they have achieved these huge levels of growth within such a short space of time.
Your early growth has been remarkable. What would you say were the key ingredients to achieving a successful product launch?
The first step is always research. You need to speak with the major retailers in your target market and get their opinion on the key trends among your target audience. It can also be helpful to look overseas to get a sense of the innovation that might soon be arriving in the UK. You then need to review your own business with a detailed SWOT analysis to ensure you understand how you are uniquely positioned to satisfy these emerging consumer demands.
Once you understand the major trends and have decided where you wish to position yourself, you must set about developing your product. We knew from our research that the market was saturated with health bars and that instead, we wanted to position ourselves as a great tasting product that happens to have health benefits. For this reason, we knew that taste was everything and so we invested two years creating the absolute best flavours in the market. That may sound like a long time but it was the best decision we ever made. Along with those interested in sports nutrition, one of our key audiences is the girl/guy who used to enjoy a treat but now has cut back on this indulgence as he/ she is more aware that sugary snacks are ‘bad for you’, so we offer the perfect guilt-free substitute. It was this clear positioning that set us apart but that also meant the taste was absolutely critical. If we didn’t get that right then we would have undermined the entire brand.
How can brands get feedback on the taste and texture of their supplements during the development phase?
One method is to engage with key influencers and bloggers and requests their opinions and feedback. Not only does this help you improve your product, but it also ensures that these people are invested in your success, which is hugely powerful as they can help you to gain rapid brand awareness, testimonials and customer referrals.
Another method is to exhibit at offline events where your prospective customers might be present. We take our yellow trucks to expos, sporting events and festivals to meet our audience and gain feedback. If you’re going to attend these events then it’s important to be clear on who you want representing your brand. We work with PTs and nutritionists, rather than with fitness models, as they can offer real advice, build plans and share knowledge. Product giveaways at events are also a great way of capturing email data so that you can then remarket to this list and drive them back to your website throughout the launch phase.
How have you managed to scale your sales so rapidly?
We work with a network of fantastic distributors in the markets that we operate and they have worked tremendously hard to get our brand within arms reach of desire. Whether that be at your local gym, health food store, retail outlet and even clothing stores.
By gaining distribution and being present at the right events, you can start to build momentum and familiarity around your brand. It’s important that you then back this up with social media and online awareness because if you want to become a big brand you have to act like a big brand.
What opportunities are there for other supplement companies?
Great question and there are many out there which we are working on but they are top secret! 🙂