Getting All The Way to a Strategic Investment In Your Food Company
Stephen and Chris McDiarmid founded Gorilly Goods, a certified organic raw healthy snack maker in Jackson, Wisconsin. They provide 2% of their profits to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and are powered by 100% Renewable Energy.
Stephen and Chris talk about how their dehydration process and unique flavor profiles make them defensibly unique from other snack brands. Because they have such a unique product, they had to frequently dialogue with grocery stores about the best placement of their snacks, especially given the large amount of products now available in grocery stores and the competition for the right shelf space. They went through an in-depth marketing exercise to discover the right packaging and messaging to reach their ideal customer. In addition, Stephen and Chris talk about how they needed to grow bigger and faster than they thought when they were first starting out and how the challenge of organic producers and companies now is to keep up with the growing demand for healthy foods, something they didn’t anticipate when they were starting out.
They pitched the business model of Gorilly Goods at Expo West and made connections with Nature’s Path, now a strategic investor in their company. Since Nature’s Path is a family owned company like Gorilly Goods, they have similar values on how their companies are run. As such, they formed a natural connection and partnership that made sense for both companies as they seek to promote good, healthy food to more people and hire more people in Wisconsin.