Exclusive interview with Delivery Rank
Gusto 2023: Real Fruit Comes In All Shapes and Sizes - We Love All the Curves and All the Edges
Welcome to today's Delivery Rank exclusive interview with the visionary behind Gusto, the revolutionary brand that has taken the snacking world by storm with their delectable air-dried fruit crisps. We have the privilege of delving into the mind of the founder, exploring their entrepreneurial journey, and uncovering the secrets behind the creation of this extraordinary snack sensation. Prepare to be inspired as we uncover the innovative thinking and passion that led to the birth of Gusto and discover how this visionary entrepreneur transformed a simple idea into a flourishing, fruit-filled empire. Get ready to feast on wisdom and insights as we unravel the fascinating story of Gusto and its captivating founder, Giuseppe Baidoo.
What inspired you to create Gusto, and how did you come up with the idea for air-dried fruit crisps?
Gusto was born out of my passion to address the issue of food waste, which was sparked during my national service in Italy, where I worked with charity organizations to redistribute unsold food from supermarkets to families in need. This experience ignited a desire within me to do more to tackle food waste. As I moved to the UK, I began volunteering with food banks, which led me to witness first-hand the scale of fruit waste on farms due to aesthetics such as shape, size, and color. This realization prompted me to found my own start-up business, with the aim of reducing food waste and promoting healthier snack options.
I came up with the idea of air-dried fruit crisps as a way to offer consumers a healthy alternative to traditional potato crisps while also addressing the issue of fruit waste. By air- drying the fruit, we are able to preserve its nutritional value while creating a delicious and satisfying snack that is low in calories and high in fiber. Gusto’s fruit crisps are not only good for you but also environmentally friendly, as they reduce food waste and utilize fruit that would otherwise go to waste. I am proud to have created a product that not only tastes great but also makes a positive impact on the planet.
Can you tell us about the process of developing a new flavor for Gusto, from the initial idea to the finished product?
Developing new flavours for Gusto is a fascinating process that involves a lot of research, testing, and consumer feedback. It all starts in my kitchen, where I experiment with different ingredients to create exciting new flavour combinations. I keep up with the latest food trends by researching online and social media platforms to understand what is currently popular.
Once I have a few potential flavours in mind, my business partners and I shortlist the ones that we believe work best. We then move on to the crucial stage of in-depth market research, where we seek out consumer feedback by conducting taste tests and gathering opinions on our products. This is a crucial stage in our process, as we want to ensure that our flavours not only taste great but also appeal to our target audience.
Based on the feedback we receive, we select the most popular flavours and send them to our manufacturer to create a minimum viable product (MVP). We then take these products to events and tradeshows to test them on a wider audience before making a final decision on which flavours to produce.
Throughout this process, we remain committed to creating high-quality, healthy snack options that are both delicious and sustainable. We strive to incorporate feedback from our consumers and stay up-to-date with the latest food trends to ensure that we are always innovating and creating new and exciting flavours that our customers will love.
What challenges did you face when starting Gusto, and how did you overcome them?
One of the main obstacles we faced was securing funding to get the business off the ground. We applied for numerous start-up competitions and grants, and fortunately, we were awarded a £5000 grant from Santander Universities, which helped us kick-start our branding and product development.
Another major hurdle was finding the right manufacturer who could help us scale up
production when needed. Initially, we visited several companies in the UK, but unfortunately, none could produce the high-quality product that we were striving for. This led us to research manufacturers in the EU, which proved to be a challenging process. We had to make several exhausting phone calls and send countless emails, but eventually, we were able to secure a manufacturer who shared our vision and could produce our product to the standard we required.
As with any start-up, there were also numerous other challenges that we faced along the way, such as navigating the complex food regulations and finding the right suppliers for our ingredients. However, we tackled each challenge head-on and with the help of my dedicated business partners, we were able to overcome them.
What is your vision for Gusto, and where do you see the company in five years?
Our vision for Gusto is to become one of the leading ethical snack brands in the UK and the EU. We want to offer our customers a range of healthy, delicious snacks that are not only good for them but also good for the planet.
Over the next five years, we plan to expand our presence and reach even more customers. Our goal is to be in more than 10,000 stores, making our snacks easily accessible to people across the UK and the EU. We also aim to make a significant impact in the fight against food waste. Our target is to save over 60,000 tonnes of fruit from going to waste, which is a significant contribution towards a more sustainable food system.
We also want to use our brand and platform to raise awareness of food waste among consumers. By educating people about the issue and showing them how they can make a difference, we hope to inspire positive change and create a more sustainable future.
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs who are looking to start their own food or beverage company?
My advice to aspiring entrepreneurs looking to start their own food or beverage company is to approach it as a long journey, not a sprint. Take the time to test your products extensively and gather feedback from potential customers. This will help you to refine your offerings and create a strong value proposition.
Networking is also crucial. Be open-minded and willing to meet new people. Attend industry events and conferences, join industry associations, and connect with other entrepreneurs in your field. This can lead to valuable partnerships, collaborations, and opportunities.
Embrace change and be willing to pivot when necessary. The food industry is constantly evolving, and it’;s important to stay up to date with trends and consumer preferences. Keep an eye on market developments and be willing to adapt your products and strategies to stay competitive.
Finally, don’t be afraid to fail. Every entrepreneur faces setbacks and obstacles along the way. It’s important to view these challenges as learning opportunities and use them to improve your business. Remember, failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of the journey towards it.
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