A snack on track

Michelle Daniells launched children’s nutrition company Benjoy Nutrition in 2008 and is expecting sales of £1 million for the next year of trading.

What is your idea and how did you come up with it?

We are a food company that develops 100 per cent natural and nutritious children’s snacks in the first anti-spill, ‘less mess’ packaging of its kind anywhere in the world.

I came up with the idea when I realised lots of snack foods I was feeding my son weren’t nutritious at all. I also took issue with the large portion sizes and mess associated with existing snacks, so I decided to come up with something healthy in a sensible portion that wouldn’t spill.

How was Benjoy financed?

I borrowed money from family, dipped into savings, remortgaged the house, my mother remortgaged hers! I managed to get £200,000 together before we were ready to launch – then I had to go out and find investment from angels.

I did various pitches to angel groups, and a few people came out of that and were keen to come on board. At the end of it all, I still retain more than half of the business.

How was it marketed?

Marketing was one of the biggest challenges; while the products is stocked in some supermarkets including Waitrose and Morrisons we don’t yet have mass distribution.

We’ve done a lot of selective and targeted marketing and a lot of PR. We have had brilliant product reviews by ‘mummy bloggers’ and our own social media campaigns have worked well.

We’re fortunate to be in a market where word of mouth is very powerful and our product is so interesting that if a mother sees the product being used the word gets around quite organically.

What’s next?

The immediate priority is to extend the distribution. It was part of our vision to make parent’s lives easier and so the products need to be available easily.

We have a fabulous range of products available and numerous other products under development.

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of SmallBusiness.co.uk from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

Related Topics

Food Businesses

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