With the likes of HelloFresh and Gousto becoming well-known brands, recipe kits are now a familiar part of the food industry landscape. It’s easy to see why. As modern palettes grow more sophisticated and we seek maximum convenience in our daily lives, recipe kits ensure we can enjoy the pleasures of cooking quality food minus the hassle of supermarket trips. Plus, we don’t have to fork out on ingredients we use once and then never again.
The sector is estimated to be worth between $3 billion and $5 billion, and some predict this to grow to $22 billion by 2022. As with any fast-growing sector, entrepreneurs are spotting gaps in the market and bringing new twists and – in this case, spices – to the table. Since launching in 2016, Freshly Spiced, set up by husband and wife, Tom and Claire Ali, have built a steady foothold selling their spice-blend recipe kits online, via retail shops and at events. We caught up with Tom to get a flavour of what it’s like starting a recipe kit business.
How would you sum up Freshly Spiced in a sentence?
A range of freshly produced, natural spice blends with simple, healthy recipes to make meal planning easy and full of flavour.
What was your background prior to starting Freshly Spiced?
I have always wanted to run my own business. After years of working within high pressured corporate environments, the plan was to get away from the 9-5 routine and put my passion into developing a product. I already had a background in catering and food development and a love for creating unique spice blends, so going down this route seemed like a good idea.
What was the inspiration behind Freshly Spiced? Was there a lightbulb moment when it came to you?
Customers should not need to compromise on old, low-quality spices from the supermarket that lack the flavour and punch of fresh spices. With the public being more aware of where their meat comes from or vegetables are picked, why shouldn’t it be the same for spices? A lot of shop-bought spices will have been ground months prior to them hitting the shelves or filled with additives meaning they will have lost the associated health benefits and will also be compromising on the initial flavours.
As I was already creating spice blends for friends and family, I saw the opportunity to develop this further by adding in simple recipes. This is how we came to create Freshly Spiced.
Thinking about social media and marketing, what are your tips for boosting brand awareness and ultimately sales?
Know your audience. Take the time to research who would want to buy your product and what sort of interests they have. Once you’ve done this, entice them with eye-catching, mouth-watering dishes. This will create engagement and encourage people to talk about and share your product.
Ambassadors are a focus for us at the moment. They help us to spread the word and also create lots of inspiring recipes that we can add to our recipe library too.