Supearior snacking with Simpleas

Back in 2018 the team at Agri-Food business Novo Farina asked Phil to undertake a market analysis and white space scoping project on the snacking market to help better understand the consumer landscape and category opportunity. It was clear that a market opportunity using their gluten free and high fibre/protein yellow peas could be a very timely and well differentiated market entrant.

Fast forward to spring of 2019 and with additional business investment and a desire to deliver against the market gap – Phil was brought on board to lead a business-critical project to develop and commercialise a new snacking equity to the UK market. With a clear market opportunity identified, the new brand and product was developed through the earlier summer and tested at key events including the Free From Allergy tradeshow at Olympia London where more than 250 people gave feedback on the prototype product and branding.

With clear direction established, the Simpleas brand under Phil’s leadership was born and through the course of the Autumn 0f 2019 the product and branding were refined, and commercial conversations commenced. With an enviable list of health benefits derived from the East Anglian yellow pea flour and the technical expertise of the manufacturing co-partner the brand was fast tracked for launch in early 2020.

With a national listing in WH Smith secured from the first ever commercial conversation about Simpleas and with an exciting list of retail, vending and foodservice partners due to come on board very quickly, the future looks bright for this super tasty, super healthy, super on-trend snacking proposition.

Simpleas. Simple. As.

By way of context I know Phil through my investment in a food company, Novo Farina, for whom Phil is our Commercial Marketing and Brand Consultant. I previously  owned and ran a brand communications  agency and hence have much experience of client side marketers. Phil is without doubt one of the very best people I have worked with. When it comes to food and drink he really knows his stuff, draws on years of experience, but is never complacent – he is always tracking the latest trends and has applied this learning to the Novo Farina snack range, Simpleas, that we are working on together. He developed the brand name, positioning, worked with the designer on master brand and rollout and built the commercial model (volume and margin) that in turn shaped the sales strategy (where we wanted to see the product stocked to best fit the brand). In addition I have seen Phil step outside of his core work to support, what is still a young company, through a “selling in” phase to retailers and he has engaged less experienced members of the team to make the most of the available resource. He keeps all his work “beautifully simple”, never resorts to jargon and builds strong relationships from board room to shop floor. A very talented man with a strong values set. I thoroughly endorse Phil and his work.

Chris Murphy, Investor and advisor, Novo Farina