Spoon believe that everyone should have a good reason to jump out of bed in the morning, starting with a better breakfast: healthier, tastier, simpler and more exciting.
The founders Annie and Jonny launched the company as London’s first breakfast cereal pop-up, where they served fresh on-the-go granola and muesli pots, as well as packs for people to take home.
Their pop-up business model allowed them to test their cereal products to over 10,000 people face-to face, providing invaluable market research and a good understanding of the consumer demand for a healthier, tastier breakfast offering. Their success on the BBC TV programme Dragons’ Den, enabled them to further develop their products and launch into large retailers, propelling the business forward.
Their mission started with cereals, but they believe there is plenty of scope to extend beyond granola and muesli and improve the quality of breakfast products in other categories.
Many consumers are looking for a healthier breakfast but they are not willing to compromise on taste or quality. Spoon offers a fresh and exciting twist on classic breakfast flavours and the brand packaging reflects its simple, premium ingredients and flavour profile. Lower sugar does not need to mean less taste and Spoon develops products with this in mind. Spoon also promotes a more exciting breakfast by building your bowl with yoghurt or milk as well as fruit, nuts, seeds and superfoods.
Spoon's mission to make breakfast better is well underway with their current range of granola and muesli products gaining listings in Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Ocado, Harvey Nichols, and Selfridges, as well as independent retailers nationwide and overseas. As an established breakfast brand, Spoon is in a perfect position to capitalise on the current on-the-go trend.
Substantial accomplishments to date
Spoon can be found on the shelves of top UK retailers. The company also recently secured a trial listing internationally. Their products and brand story have been featured in many media publications and their awareness is growing through on-going marketing activities. This has been achieved with a with a team of three. With new hires and a dynamic team in place the business is capable of much more.
- First international trial listing secured in France (May) with Casino/Monoprix group.
- Spoon Apple and Peanut Granola highly commended by judge Michel Roux Jr in the Great British Food Awards.
- Developed two new mueslis exclusively for Waitrose, which launched in autumn 2017, after successful launch of our granolas earlier in the year.
- Spoon Cookbook launch - Amazon (UK, EU, US).
- Spoon Cinnamon + Pecan Granola wins Great Taste award for third year in a row.
- Launched with four UK wholesalers, distributing to leading independents.
- Listed into Ocado (July) and Sainsbury's (November).
- Secured manufacturing capacity with BRC accredited manufacturer who has the ability to support our growth.
- Win our first Great Taste award.
- Featured on Dragons Den and pivoted into wholesale.
- Chosen to be first wave of new retail roll-out in Old St underground station, selling our handmade granola pots.
- Started our own manufacturing facility for granola and muesli.
- Launch Spoon Cereals in October 2013 on a mission to make breakfast better.
The founders learned a lot about the food industry when running their own production site for almost two years. In 2015 they took the decision to focus on operating as a sales and marketing business and work with a best-in-class manufacturer who has the ability to grow with the company.
Recipes are developed in-house and then tested and refined with their manufacturer until ready for launch. Their products are distributed direct to customers around the country, either supermarkets or independent distributors. The Spoon team are responsible for marketing and selling their products nationwide and now overseas.
The brand name Spoon is trademarked across the EU which allows the company significant opportunity to extend the brand across other breakfast products, which will form an important part of future growth.
Use of proceeds
Now that Spoon has a loyal and increasing consumer base, the focus for this round of investment is to build the team and support further marketing to enable further growth in distribution. The objective is to further raise awareness of the Spoon brand, increase product trial, building rate of sale and increasing their stockists. Significant focus will be on developing on-the-go products, to meet this ever-increasing need.
The investment will go towards the following:
- Hiring a COO, Sales Manager and Marketing Executive (already agreed).
- Promoting products in existing customers to increase trial and awareness amongst consumers and extend distribution.
- Broaden overall trade and consumer marketing scope.
- Broaden core range and develop an on-the-go offering.
Please note, the company has a £50,000 directors loan with an annual interest rate of 8%. The proceeds from this campaign will not be used to repay this loan.
With an increasing awareness of health and nutrition and a lack of willingness to compromise on taste, Spoon offers something that consumers are increasingly looking for amongst other breakfast offerings.
A typical Spoon customer enjoys food and consumes consciously, allowing themselves to spend a little more on an authentic and high-quality product. Spoon appeals to young professionals and families (more likely to eat granola), as well as more traditional post-family cereal eaters (more likely to eat muesli). Typically Spoon customers enjoy breakfast in multiple ways:
- customising bowls at home.
- using granola as a snack or dessert.
- increasingly eaten on-the-go or at the desk by time-poor professionals.
By offering innovative breakfast products, supported by their 'Build Your Bowl' marketing campaign, Spoon believes they can help grow the breakfast category as a whole, as well as being a very attractive proposition for retailers.
Characteristics of target market
The UK breakfast cereals market is worth £1.5bn. Spoon is positioned as a contemporary, innovative and healthy premium offering within granola and muesli. Despite competition, Spoon is a young, nimble and authentic business and is well-positioned to capture the change that is going-on in the category.
95% of UK adults eat breakfast with 55% still eating it at home every day. However, the on-the-go market is growing fast and due to lack of time in the mornings, consumers are increasingly eating breakfast out of home. Spoon's new product development will focus on this trend.
A survey of 1000 people commissioned by Spoon showed that there is both a lack of inspiration (25%) and a lack of healthy convenient options (45% believe breakfast to be unhealthy) to choose from. The brand is well-positioned to take advantage of these developments, whilst continuing to establish a large core range of cereals.
Spoon's marketing is focused on open communication with trade customers and target consumers, growing brand awareness and building a strong rate of sale at retailers. This is done through:
1) Market- led product development.
• Healthy on-the-go products.
• Beating sugar reduction government guidelines.
• Natural, simple list of ingredients.
• Superfood ingredients.
2) Trade marketing.
Significant investment through promotional cycles, in-store samplings, POS and merchandising, Awards and PR with trade publications and a brand ambassador programme, including field sales and store visits.
3) Trend-led consumer marketing.
Supporting trade marketing through Spoon monthly events and pop-ups, consumer PR, social media, influencer and brand collaborations, on-going online activity via our website, newsletter and Facebook advertising.
Press features to date include The Grocer, Daily Telegraph, Sainsbury's magazine, Waitrose Food, Jamie Oliver magazine, Olive, Elle Decoration, and The Stylist.
Spoon saw the opportunity to offer consumers a better breakfast cereal. The growth at the premium end of the market in granola, muesli and porridge continues but large incumbent players continue to struggle to react appropriately to changes in the ways people eat breakfast. The large multi-national competitors have large legacy, sugar-laden portfolios, which can lead to a lack of trust in their brands and the authenticity of their new healthier offerings.
Launching into this gap in the market, Spoon has established a reputation for high-quality premium breakfast cereals that is continuing to grow. The brand operates in a competitive space but the opportunity for growth remains very large, both in cereals and in other breakfast categories. As consumers and retailers continue to turn to brands that have been established on strong principles and can be trusted to deliver innovative and healthy products, the conditions for growth for Spoon remain strong.