Sara, tell us a bit about you and your background?
I spent over 10 years heading up marketing departments across multiple industries including BskyB, Glanbia Plc and Apple where I launched numerous brands and products across Europe. In my spare time, you can find me climbing mountains with my French husband in the Alps or Himalayas but less so this year as we had a baby girl who is now 9 months old.
What’s your business?
Well&Truly is a true challenger to both mainstream snacking and ‘healthy snacking' by un-junking familiar snacks and creating better for you alternatives with absolutely no compromise on flavour. All our products are 40% less fat, bursting with natural ingredients, gluten free, vegetarian, truly satisfying and packed full of flavour & crunch. Stocked in over 3,000 distribution points in the UK including Tesco, Sainsburys, WHSmith, Ocado, Booths, Wholefoods and 5 international countries.
What made you start Well&Truly?
3 years ago my sister-in-law Maria and I launched Well&Truly as we both felt that there was a serious lack of great tasting snacks that weren’t really bad for you. Sunday night was movie night in our London flat & we would try different healthy snacks but always resorted back to our favourites. Mine were Doritos and hers were NikNaks so we decided to unjunk these.
What are your business icons and inspirations?
The London start up scene is hugely inspirational and I constantly make sure I meet up with other founders to share stories and learnings. This is where I have learnt the most and try to give back as much as possible to other founders who are just starting out. For me, an icon is any working parent holding it all together whilst finding time to care for their little ones is a hero in my books!
What worked and what didn’t work so far?
Sampling is a core part of our marketing budget and you’ll often see our team driving our electric TukTuk (one of the first) around London handing out Well&Truly snacks. We also make sure we have a full partnership calendar with like-minded brands as this helps increase our social media reach and allows us to tap into different consumer groups.
We’ve made so many mistakes along the way but one that comes to mind was in our first year we attended several county fairs and after the first two we had to pull out of the remaining 5 as the audience wasn’t the right fit for our brand and snacks. Most of the things that haven’t gone well have been a learning experience where we’ve improved on them over time for example our packaging was white with illustrations when we launch and over the first 12 months we learnt a lot about our consumer and the type of packaging that appealed to them. We used these learnings to brief B and B Studios on creating a new look and feel for our brand which achieved a 100% increase in like for like sales.
Work-life balance: Is it possible? How do you achieve it?
With a 9 month old baby the work-life balance is challenging but with our recent hire of a General Manager and a supporting husband I just about manage to juggle all the balls of running a start-up and spending enough time with my family.
What’s your favourite Well&Truly flavour?
Sea Salt & Cider Vinegar is my go to snack when I’m feeling a little hungry in the office.
What’s next for Well&Truly?
The next 12 months will be hugely exciting and truly defining for Well&Truly as we embark on the next phase of our journey. We’re working with Emerge PR agency and Creature brand agency to launch our first brand campaign in 2020.
We are growing our sales & marketing team through direct recruits and by establishing long-term relationships with key freelancers and agencies to support our ambitious growth plans with the retailers.
With new branding, extended product portfolio, a growing customer base, increased promotions and several brand campaigns plus an increased international focus we expect sales to grow by a phenomenal 200% over the next 12 months.
Everything we’ve done in the last couple of years has set us up for great growth in 2020 and beyond, and it’s really exciting and rewarding that we’re at the stage now where we are starting to see the results of all the hard work over the last few years.