Ideas Program 4
28 Feb 2021
Sophie Bradley is a broadacre farmer from the Boyne Valley in QLD with a mixed enterprise business producing grains, beef cattle and seeds. Sophie entered the program with an idea to value-add Sorghum into a range of healthy, nutritious food products and snacks.
Sophie identified a key opportunity to capture more value back to their farming business through the development of Sorghum products that could deliver a number of benefits for consumers such as healthy convenience, superfood with high nutrient composition, free from gluten, gut health and easy digestion as well as trends around more diverse and sustainable crops.
Sophie joined the Ideas Program to explore how to create a new market opportunity for Sorghum which to date has not been readily available for Australian consumers however very popular in global markets such as the US.
Similarly, Sophie wanted to contribute to the family business that would offer long term value and sustainability to the bottom line and provide opportunities for other Sorghum producers to also have a positive impact. Sophie entered the program with lots of ideas such as Sorghum snacks, Sorghum flour, pre-cooked Sorghum pouches and Sorghum cakes (similar to a rice cake concept). Sophie wanted to learn the steps in building a successful value-added business, connect with like-minded farmers and customers and significantly build her network in this area.
Using the lean startup methodology and specific tools such as the lean canvas and customer value proposition map delivered in the program, Sophie was able to focus her customer discovery work on a particular consumer segment. This segment evolved from being too broad around ‘health conscious’ or ‘gluten free’ consumers to narrowing in on the key pain points experienced by ‘busy mums seeking nutritious and healthier snacks for the family without the guilt’. Through the first phase of the program, Sophie undertook over 20 interviews with this segment to gain a deep understanding of the specific needs, motivations and problems they were experiencing. This helped Sophie to refine her idea and create problem-solution fit. This process also helped Sophie to identify new customer segments that she had not considered previously such as ‘busy professionals looking for interesting, healthy and convenient breakfast options.
During the second half of the program, Sophie created her first landing page in order to further test the desirability of her snacking solution around popped Sorghum with potential customers, established a new brand called ‘morsel’ and set up her social media platforms. Sophie really valued the masterclasses and one to one business coaching throughout the program and increased her confidence significantly through the pitch practice sessions.
It's the best thing I could have done to progress with my business idea. I'm so grateful for all the skills I've been shown and you should give it ago with your idea.
Farmers2Founders has helped Sophie to build a clear 3-6 month business plan following the program which includes specific goals:
* Undertaking 10 purchase tests using the new skills Sophie has developed with pay per click advertising which will allow her to validate the desirability of her prototype
* Engage a food science lab to undertake nutritional, fibre, gluten and shelf-life testing of the popped Sorghum product to understand labelling requirements and claims
* Engage a packaging supplier for mock-ups of different packaging options
* Advance the design and functionality of her website to include an online shop to sell directly to consumers in coming months
* Register for GS1 barcoding
* Consult a food safety expert connected to F2F and undertake detailed value chain mapping to implement an effective plan for logistics, processing and co-manufacturing