This year Focus Friday is teaming up with the SuperValu Food Academy to bring you the best new Irish food producers, and tell you all about their products. Today, we talk to Declan Gannon of Karma – Eat Right Live Right.
Can you tell us a bit about your product?
The ethos of our Karma – Eat Right Live Right brand is to develop tasty, healthy and convenient food snacks. We introduced ourselves to the Irish market with a range of granola bars packed with loads of natural energy. The bars come in three flavours Mixed Berry Blast, Cranberry Crunch and Oats Original. They are handmade in a craft bakery using only the finest of ingredients, mainly oats, honey, seeds, berries and rapeseed oil, so they are really tasty and packed with loads of natural goodness.
What inspired you to create your product?
I am very passionate about good food and small producers and have always wanted to get into this industry at some point. I also very much believe in healthy eating and truly believe you are what you eat. These two aspects inspired me to create my own products. The SuperValu Food Academy has been a great support in this initial phase. Following a lot of research, I discovered that my products would follow two major consumer trends health and convenience. It made sense to me that people were becoming more conscious about what they were eating and were increasingly looking for healthy options. At the same time I understood that people had less time on their hands as their lives are becoming busier, more people are looking to eat on the go. Hence, it was out of this rational that I developed the Karma Elevate snack range.
How has your product evolved since it was launched?
My product has evolved significantly over the last number of months since we first launched. The ingredients themselves haven’t changed, however, we have reworked the packaging with a new design thanks to the feedback we received through the SuperValu Food Academy programme. They have been instrumental in our success and ensuring we are moving in the right direction. My product is now available as part of a multi-pack offering currently available in a number of SuperValu stores.
Who is your customer?
Our customers tend to be people who are living a busy life. Be that you’re an office worker who wants to pick up a healthy snack with a cup of coffee or an outdoor type of person who might want a natural boost of energy while out for a walk or a hike. Increasingly, we are also seeing mothers buying the multi-pack offering as part of their weekly shop. They either want to pack one of our tasty healthy snacks into their kids lunch boxes or just want to have a box of healthy treats lying around the house.
What tips would you give to someone who is starting out and wants to launch a food-related product/business?
My top tip would be to do your research, the food sector is competitive. Develop a solid business plan and ensure you have enough room for growth. I would also suggest that if you have an idea try go out and speak to the end consumers about it and also, very importantly, speak to store managers or distributors and gauge their response. You will find that most people are very open to helping out and sharing their ideas. Get in touch with the SuperValu Food Academy which provides small food businesses with invaluable expertise in branding, market research and business development.
Where can you buy your product and how much will it cost?
You can buy our multi-packs in SuperValu stores in Mayo, Sligo, Lietrim, Roscommon, Cavan and now in Lucan, Dublin. We hope to expand over the coming months into SuperValu stores nationwide. In addition, you can pick up our single bars in a number of convenient stores in Mayo and Dublin.
What does the future hold for your business?
It is quite an exciting time for Karma. We are developing a whole new range of bars. The first new range will be a cold pressed fruit and nut bar that will come in five flavours, all natural ingredients and no added sugar. The second product will be a high protein cold pressed bar, again with all natural ingredients. As mentioned above, we are very thankful for the support we received from the SuperValu Food Academy and hope to continue our partnership with SuperValu to expand our distribution nationwide and get an even deeper understanding