At its core, Taking Stock Foods aims to represent our vision of a world that takes care of people by taking care in everything that we do.
The choices that we make as business owners have an impact. Our choices on raw ingredients build demand for sustainable agriculture. Our production and transportation partners were chosen based on their values as well as their capabilities and cost. Our distribution methods reflect a desire to support healthy workplaces.
The accessibility and usability of our bone broths by our customers has always been a main factor driving our decisions overall.
All of these choices were considered when creating a new product that was launched in December, 2019. Our launch was the culmination of 2 years’ work transitioning our bone broths from a frozen to a shelf stable format. A big part of this transition was finding a manufacturer who would stay true to our original recipe and cooking method, would be able to obtain organic certification, and would be able to produce the bone broth at a much higher scale than we had been able to do ourselves.
We had hoped that by teaming up with a manufacturer we might be able to drop the cost of the product. We wanted to bring the price down so that Taking Stock bone broth could have a place in the lives of folks who are in need of healthful, nutritious, minimally processed foods but may not have the grocery budget to splurge on these types of foods which are generally more expensive.
When developing our products, we found that to make a bone broth from ingredients at the quality level we demand and with our custom recipe (in place of the standard bone broth base), our price point was going to be in the premium category, well above comparable economy brands.
We launched the shelf stable bone broth line in December, and the first 4 months of sales were on track! And then came March. Our website and online shop launched on March 17th, but we quickly realized the ‘if we build it, they will come’ strategy was not going to cut it during a pandemic. Our product sampling events, our proven sales driver, were suspended in the beginning of March, and the entire world quickly began shutting down in an attempt to contain a dangerous and unwieldy pandemic.
As we scrambled to pivot our marketing budget and energy into areas that could see quick returns, we saw sales lag in April, May, and June. So what did we do?
Last week, we were able to partner with MN based 2nd Harvest Heartland and donate bone broth to people in need. Even though this was a tough decision from a financial perspective, we were able to realize the goal of getting our nutritious, premium organic bone broths into the hands of those who need it at a time when people are in need more than ever.
So far in 2020, our plans have been challenged. We’re building momentum for a strong fall season that could allow this year to be in line with what we had hoped for as far as financial success. That being said, the donation that we made was an unexpected but glorious chance to give back sooner than expected. Topsy-turvy 2020 has reminded me not to delay good deeds.