Product Guru Supplier Focus | Into the world of 5th Season and the Healthy Snack market
At Product Guru we are proud to support a growing community of small independent suppliers. We list products across all FMCG and gifts categories and we like to share the stories behind them.
Our latest 'Supplier Focus' blog looks at Stuart, Co-Founder of 5th Season, who told us more about his business in a recent interview.
Tell us a bit about your company and its background.
5th Season is a London based company that has been trading for nearly 1 year. We produce a range of healthy, 100% fruit snacks based on freeze-dried technology. We currently have three variants in the range: Scrumptious Whole Strawberries, Heavenly Pineapple and Fabulous Fruit Salad mix. Each single serve pack is 1 of your 5-a-day and is less than 50 calories - perfect to take anywhere!
The inspiration for the brand came when I met Tiffany (the other co-founder of 5th Season) whilst skiing. We both love fruit and have a passion to get people to eat more of it! We do however understand that it’s difficult to consume 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day when you’re busy and working full time. Fresh fruit can also be a challenge to eat on-the-go when you have to consider it’s storage, preparation and sticky fingers – 5th Season fruit snacks offer Fruit without the Fuss!
After an initial review of the market it was clear that very few fruit snacks are genuinely healthy or actually look like fruit. This is especially important to Tiffany, who as a mother of 3, wants her kids to grow up knowing what real fruit looks, feels and tastes like. After finding that no other dried fruit product is similar to fresh fruit, we set about creating our own and landed on freeze-drying. This method is scientifically proven to be nutritionally the closest thing to fresh fruit and the end product keeps it’s shape (the fruit doesn’t shrivel up!).
How many people work for the business?
At the moment we are a small, but highly efficient team consisting of myself, Tiffany and Brigitte. We also work with a handful of specialist sales superstars that are helping us grow our distribution every month.
Who does it sell to?
Our target consumers are young professionals and health conscious families. I particularly love that our snacks can be enjoyed by the whole family regardless of age so there is no need to buy different snacks for parents and their kids. We also have a good vegan following and those interested in fitness.
5th Season is available for sale in both the UK and The Netherlands and can be purchased online, in select UK and NL supermarkets and in a number of independent health stores.
Is there a specific product you are particularly proud of and why?
We are so proud of every product in the range and everyone has an opinion on their favourite! I particularly love our strawberries because they demonstrate why freeze-drying is so great. There is no other fruit snack where you open the pack and get WHOLE STRAWBERRIES that are completely crispy throughout.
What do you most enjoy about running your business?
Being a co-founder of 5th Season is so different to any other job I’ve ever had. I studied for a degree in Nutrition and after leaving university worked in product development where I created the recipes for so many much loved products (including 5th Season!). Running a business with only 3 employees means that each team member has to cover numerous functions – for me, I specialise in the operational side of the business. I also have the pleasure of meeting with new customers and I get such a rush when they open the pack and taste 5th Season for the 1st time. It’s at that moment that they understand why 5th Season is so special as it looks and taste like fresh ripe fruit.
What are your ambitions for your company?
I want to walk down the street and see people munching on packs of 5th Season fruit. Not just because this means lots of sales, but it means that we have achieved our mission of getting more people to eat their 5-a-day. So many snacks aren’t that good for you and knowing that people are eating 5th Season means that they are consuming something that is GENUINELY good for them and getting all the health benefits that fruit brings. We are already selling in 2 countries and I hope for this to expand with time.
What do you enjoy doing during your spare time?
I try to be outside as much as possible. I have a Miniature Schnauzer called Marvin Grey, who makes sure that I get out and about. Every weekend we try and explore somewhere new. I also love cooking so spend a lot of time in the kitchen trying new recipes. You will spot a few recipe creations using 5th Season on our social media platforms. Every Winter, skiing is a must – after all it is the place where 5th Season started!
What do you think of the Product Guru platform? What encouraged you to use us?
We are still new to Product Guru, but I hope it will connect us with potential customers. Establishing a new brand in the market is tough, where trying to find the right buyer to speak to is a challenge in itself. Product Guru, however, does this for you and fingers crossed it works!
Product Guru facilitates the introduction and the product discovery process by placing products in front of vetted buyers. Like 5th Season, you can sign up to Product Guru today for free today and start showcasing your own products on our platform.
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