Incredible journeys that shape the present & future of food & beverage industry

Written by Hema Reddy / March 26th, 2015



To kickoff 2015, we speak with the British queen of food packaging: Tessa Stuart. She is the author of Packed – The Food Entrepreneur’s Guide: How to Get Noticed and How to be Loved (UKUS). I have saved many insightful Kindle highlights from the book and I review it at least once a month. Plenty to learn in this episode, including:

  • How to avoid colossal packaging mistakes.
  • Finding meaningful in-store behavior patterns
  • How to conduct in-store research for your brand
  • Why introverted entrepreneurs need to double check their packaging
  • My product is on the shelves .. now what?
  • Keys to successful buyer relationships
  • Her upcoming book on food sales (update 4/9: Flying off the Shelves is available now)

Tessa’s Bio: 

Tessa studied history and boys at Oxford University, and started in advertising. She then got a ‘proper job’ in branding research, working for Cadbury, and Nestle on new products and sexy ads for chocolate bars.

She now loves and specializes in food and drink research, and she lurks in the chilled aisles of major supermarkets, watching and talking to shoppers as they make their food choices.

Her clients include established UK food and drink brands like innocent drinks, Rude Health, Yorkshire Provender, Firefly Tonics, MOMA! Foods, food chains Daylesford, Itsu and Leon Restaurants, and newer start-ups like G’Nosh Dips, Peters Yard Crispbreads, Jimmys Iced Coffee and Soupologie.

She helps food brands to NAIL their customer offer, colour, sizing, branding, and pack health messages, so they can attract MAXIMUM attention and sales from shoppers in the super-competitive supermarket aisles.

She is the author of the best-selling Packed: The Food Entrepreneur’s Guide – How To Get Noticed and How To Get Bought, available on Amazon and Kindle.

Her second book, Flying Off the Shelves: The Food Entrepreneur’s Guide To Selling will be available in April 2015.

In both she shares her 20 years’ food research experience in a tried and tested set of principles to get start-ups from idea, to a product on the shelf, and to THE next household name. And, once there, how to stay there! 

Tessa’s recommended companies to study (w/notes):

Rude Health

 Muesli, oats of all kinds, and rye and spelt snacks. They sell successfully in both Whole Foods Market and UK supermarkets.  Their beautiful new “Pantone all colours of the rainbow” packaging earns them more  in-store promotion opportunities in Whole Foods Market because the colour helps their products really stand out. It also works very well in supermarkets to get them noticed.

Jimmy’s Iced Coffee

 Worth a look at Jimmy’s YouTube channel – he announces his new stockists using amusing videos, and his army of fans love it. He’s also a very accomplished speaker at food start-up events, telling his story to audiences of hundreds. (In the UK, we don’t have lots of iced coffee brands, we basically have Starbucks and Jimmys.)

Innocent Drinks

 @innocent’s twitter feed is worth looking at, gentle humor, and they have 205,700 followers – they tweet the weather forecast, and other topical events, and always respond to everyone who tweets them.

Their packaging is all about the ingredients and hardly any innocent branding – and again shows off the juice and use colour.