The Cracked Pod – Tegan & Reece Modra
Hone Program 1
1 May 2022
Tegan and Reece Modra are South Australian farmers producing some of Australia’s best quality legumes. They’ve observed the movement towards plant-based protein and were concerned that highly processed protein extracts and isolates were not providing consumers with the best nutritional outcome. They were motivated to create a product that enables easy incorporation of tasty, minimally processed pulses into everyday diets. Reece has a Diploma in Agribusiness and over 20 years managing cropping operations and Tegan brings 12 years of experience in farm administration, HR and book-keeping having completed her Advanced Diploma in Rural Business Management.
Tegan and Reece participated in the Hatch program to better understand the domestic market, supply chains and processes involved with value-added food production and supply. During the Hatch Program they completed extensive customer interviews establishing their target market of busy working 25-45 years old’s who are looking for quick, convenient healthy additions to boost their vegetable intake without the hassle associated with cooking. They narrowed their two product options to a side dish and
salad booster in the pre-prepared kit range.
Tegan and Reece identified the lack of knowledge around plant proteins and their nutritional value in customer interviews. They used the Hatch opportunity to explore the business model around value added products, gaining a deeper understanding of what was required in the value chain.
Tegan and Reece’s focus on the two product options - packaged ready to eat kits (like 2- minute rice) and fresh food packaged (similar to cooked beetroot) have allowed exploration of the exact manufacturing, storage and food certification required depending on their product choice. Tegan and Reece have used the network of the Farmers2Founders team and their SARDI contacts to identify the processors they would be interested to work with and are now locking down specific pricing for every step of the value chain before they decide the route they will pursue first. This has enabled them to focus enquiries and establish a working relationship with SARDI who can support iterative prototyping at pilot scale to aid product refinement and market testing, in conjunction with this, discussions have commenced with ingredient and packaging suppliers.
Tegan and Reece have met with IP lawyers to support the development of their IP Strategy. Within the next 6-12 months focus will be on successful production of their product at pilot scale This will provide product for market testing and refinement of their Go2Market strategy. It will also inform their overall profit and loss statement and supporting business model, all critical steps as they begin to scale their concept.
The Hone Program helped us progress our idea into something much closer to reality. The connections we made throughout the program, both directly and indirectly, allowed us to refine our concept and work towards our prototype while also setting up purchase testing to continue to validate our customer segments. Hone helped develop our confidence in ourselves and our business model. What seemed overwhelming and unattainable at the beginning of the program now feels within reach.
Our 6-12 month priorities are to have a MVP to launch with; to grow our share of market space through multiple sales channels; to investigate and develop additional product lines; to build a social presence in the space of plant-based and whole food products, and facilitate awareness between food growers and consumers. The Hone program has given us a framework to work with, the confidence to do it, a network of support, and a space to spark deeper thinking and refine ideas.