Matthew Parry, CEO and Co-Founder of The Good Crisp Company
About Matthew Parry
Brand Origin Story
What makes someone move everything they have with their wife and 3 young girls from a small beach town in Australia to landlocked Colorado USA? A passion for guilt free snacks!
A simple idea
The motivation for the product started back in 2014 when Matt was following a restricted gluten-free diet. He missed his favorite snacks, so he was inspired to re-create the classic canister chip, but without all the nasties.
It was one thing to make them healthier with better ingredients, but he wanted his daughters to be able to enjoy them as well, so he knew they had to taste good! And so began the journey of developing a clean label, gluten-free canister chip the whole family would enjoy.
Launching in the USA
It was during a visit to Anaheim’s Expo West, the largest Natural Products trade show in the world, that Matt got the courage and motivation to try to share his families’ Good Crisps with the rest of the world.
It took some time packaging and making sure certifications were all correct for the US market, and in March 2017 The Good Crisp Company formally launched into Whole Foods stores in Northern California. Over the next 2 years more and more stores found out about the product and by the end of 2018 The Good Crisp Company was available in natural grocery stores across the US.
Moving to the other side of the world
With the demand increasing for The Good Crisp Company and more and more Americans looking for a better option of canister chip, Matt and his family had to make a decision. So, despite his wife and 3 girls having never even been overseas, in January 2019 the family made the move to pack up everything and move from Australia to the US to focus full time on The Good Crisp Company and bringing their guilt free canister chip to the US market.
The Good Crisp Company goal: To have a canister potato chip without the nasties. And taste good!
Starting the business in Australia with some context in CPG companies with launching new products but not launching a new company.
Ran the company from Australia for two years and trying to ramp it up in the US. It became too difficult being on the opposite side of the world. Picked up and moved the family so they can focus on growth in the US.
Even with technology, it limits what you can do – time differences tricky to overcome, sitting face-to-face with people makes all the difference in the world.
Now hiring people in the US and it’s easier to be face-to-face with them.
What challenges and successes have you had with marketing your brand?
Like marketing anything else, it’s a chicken and the egg thing. Didn’t hit the ground marketing right away. The U.S. is such a big place and he wanted to make sure they had a balance between products in the store and that people could buy it – and not just throwing money away on marketing then having no one be able to find or purchase them.
He didn’t want to promote the eCommerce side until they got the Amazon shipping and shards of chips being delivered situation corrected.
So, the first 1-2 years, all money was spent on staying at the local and store level – advertise in stores, cross promotion and catalogs. That’s when people could actually buy them. If you receive the catalog as a shopper of that brand, you were fairly targeted.
Social media, especially Instagram, although they couldn’t monetize it but they needed to get on there early to build the community. Now they at 4,000 after two years and they continue to build that community. That’s how people can find them.
They are now national in Whole Foods across the country, Walmart and most natural retail stores. They are starting to do more marketing and getting their name out there.
They are doing more sampling as well. They sponsor summer camps, anywhere kids and parents are to get heir product in their hands to try it and get them back to the store to buy it.
In the last year, they've done a deep dive into who the customer really is. "Who do we advertise to?" when, technically, it could be anyone. But how do they narrow that down and be as targeted as possible with the budget running a small company?
So, they started with people who had Celiac and gluten-free diets – it was an easy entry point. That was a point of difference and got their foot in the door.
They got access to panel data and shopper habits and did deep dives on that. What they found is that in the U.S. 10-year-olds are the largest consumers of canister chips. In Australia it was more college kids. So they are the core audience so it’s changed the advertising and targeting to moms and kids together with the healthy alternative. Just had to get crystal clear on who the audience is.
They focus so much on taste – the mom can buy the healthiest snack in the world but if it keeps coming back in the lunch box and they aren’t eating it, you have to give them something that tastes good and is healthy.
Most successful marketing campaign to date – an ad on Instagram, LinkedIn and various channels. Soccer was starting soon, moms have to bring soccer snacks to games, so they created a landing page on the website. "If you want free snacks for your soccer team and if you want free snacks, give details and we’ll send them out."
It gained momentum and got bigger than they anticipated. Really hitting core marketers of mom and kids, healthier lifestyle running around in sport. Really good!
If one person got the snack and the kids liked it then it gains momentum.
What’s been your biggest challenge to grow your business to this point in the early stages?
A lot of challenges. The biggest has been getting it on the shelf and getting retailers to stock it. It's been good and they're fortunate but the challenge is to get people to pick it up and buy it. There’s no loyalty, they just want chips, work it out when they get there, see what’s on sale. They are competing with really big brands to get on locations, get displays, get in front of people and get noticed. That’s been a big challenge.
A lot of retailers that don’t have canister chips, healthful like Whole Foods or Sprouts they don’t have any canister chips. They have the only canister in the chip aisle but the problem is they are a small thin little canister in an aisle of bags and bags of chips and they get lost a little bit. It gets back to the point of trying to stand out.
Redone packaging, relaunching in January things that are going to help stand out more with bolder colors and get noticed – get on the shelf. Part of getting awareness is getting people to pick you up and see you. Small company and part of getting awareness is advertising and getting people to see you and pick you u p. That’s a very expensive way to go especially when you’re starting to deal with the whole US.
When they see them, they go back and buy it but just need to get more people to do that.
Positioning – put them in the lower corner and give the middle of the shelves to the chip companies that are spending more money.
An advantage you have as a product – incorporate it into user generated content or create contests on Instagram, those people you’re sending the free samples to, have them share photos and tag you in their post – it’s creating marketing opportunities for you.
On Instagram it’s great to see the moms full of pictures of kids eating their product. The thing is you won’t see anyone putting a picture up of them eating Pringles – out of shame or something.
When someone feels engaged with the product, they are happy to share it. The will generate it from a marketing perspective, they feel good about what they are giving their kids instead of a dirty little secret like giving them Pringles.
“If you’re going to give your kids a canister of chips they love, why not choose ours and feel good about yourself.”
Next steps with the brand:
Completely new packaging and launching 3 new flavors – have original and sour cream and onion, Adding BBQ, aged white cheddar and a salt & vinegar. Those will help get them to shelf presence – go from 2 flavors to 5 plus new packaging. Looking at new retailers and looking at more conventional retailers outside of Whole Foods like stores.
Looking at convenience stores, drug stores, micro markets, hotels – a lot of alternative markets.
It takes a lot of time to get out there and knock on those doors of those channels.
Products don’t ship so well on Amazon. Developed a new case that helps with that and protects it a lot more. Building focus on that side of the business for 2020.
Looking at alternative options to specialty diets such as Whole 360, etc. but the product is potato based so the carbs keep it from being part of a lot of the diets today.
Doing a lot of innovations and data around a different version to potato.
What’s something you want marketing and sales and entrepreneurs to know about you and your company that they may not know but you want them to?
Now that you know they exist, go buy some!
Where to connect with Matthew online:
The Good Crisp Company - Website and store locator
The Good Crisp Company - Instagram
Yes! They are SO GOOD!
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