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Salted Caramel Samples Have Landed!
Milestones    Product    Production   

Salted Caramel Samples Have Landed!

Well, a carton of pre-production samples just rocked up! Pretty stoked at how the new flavor turned out.(salted caramel infused choc coating, around a crispy rice core)It beat out peanut butter and strawberry in taste tests (and our original flavor as well)This preproduction sample seems to have more flavor than the prior prototype, which was fairly subtle.  So, an improvement that hopefully is the same in production final product.If the production run goes smooth it should be complete by the 27th and arriving into the warehouse in the second week of December, in time for the holiday season!#getready

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Listen to What's Important
Challenges    Learning   

Listen to What's Important

Funny pic, with an important reminder for us. Too often in a new startup, it's easy to pay more attention to friendly users and partners feedback, and miss other issues or wider feedback, whether it's on product or distribution or branding etc...I guess that reaction is natural especially in a startup where your product is so tightly linked to your own identity (after all, it is your own baby, and I've never met a new parent who didn't adore their little one).Also combined with the fact that folks prefer to focus on the positive and stay away from negatives when giving...

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Invoice Hunting #1
Finances    Learning    Stockists   

Invoice Hunting #1

Being a debt collector isn't the most inspiring part of this journey (and honestly something I've put off for a while), but wanted to share here for transparency and to share lessons learned as we go 🤐So, the background - since we introduced our first products earlier this year, we've issued 141 invoices in Australia, with the majority paid on time and in full. In the last week, our freelance bookkeeper Carla has helped explain how to generate the list of outstanding amounts, to see what's missing after reconciliation (matching incoming amounts to invoices issued)Here's where we stand at the...

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Shape Shifting?
Branding    Challenges    Product   

Shape Shifting?

Behind the scenes flashback 👨‍🔬This morning was cleaning up after the World Vegan Day and stumbled across our prototype for an oval shape choc... This was from the time a few months back when we were grappling with correcting the expectation of what we are (a crispy rice choc), and what we aren't (a clone of an existing dairy product).One idea was to make our shape different and we thought we'd give ovals a go to see how they looked. They turned out well functionally, but among our crew weren't really sold how they looked vs classic sphere.So instead we...

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Solving Mysteries
Challenges    Learning    Product   

Solving Mysteries

There are lots of mysteries in running a startup...🧐 Take our Choc Bloks: Michal and I were chatting yesterday about how they were moving slower in shops than Choc Balls, which have been selling at a nice pace (we're just about sold out). Yet, when I visited our first trial bulk test shop recently, the first 10kg of bulk bloks sold out faster than the balls. And also faster than the retail packs of the bloks in the same store. Why? Well that's a good question... Is it a branding issue, where our bloks and brand in general are less...

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Food Scientist In Training!
Mission    Product    Team   

Food Scientist In Training!

A few weeks back I got an intriguing email: "I'm a 19 year old studying food science in Melbourne, and I would love the opportunity to work with Bite Society; as an intern, volunteer, or whatever other role you might have. ...I'm vegan and passionate about helping others; people, animals, the environment. I've done some research into your mission and what you guys are doing, and I'd really love to be a part of it" So I met up for coffee with Danika to chat about her background and the project and what might be interesting for her to get...

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Share Your Worries
Challenges    Learning    Mission   

Share Your Worries

Earlier this week I dropped off some new prototypes, and while I was waiting in the lobby of her building, I saw this brilliant "worry monster" display... How it works is that you write down your worry on a piece of paper and "feed" it to the monster, rather than letting it eat you up keeping it to yourself. Got me thinking about all the stress of running a small business, and all the worries that come up. There are tons, especially in the early days when you're struggling to find a product-market fit, and make things work with tough time...

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Walking The Talk?
Mission   

Walking The Talk?

Mixed feelings reading this article about a company (Thank You) I've admired as a great example as a "doing good" company..On one hand, they've managed to raise millions over the years for charity, which is very impressive and has done a large amount of good in the world (and also influenced many people with their message)But on the other hand, spending less than half their profit on charity last year (meant to be 100%), large expenses on travel & entertainment, high office and salary costs (including not disclosing executive pay) despite being positioned as an open organization was a bit of...

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Hello Press Coverage!
Marketing    Mission   

Hello Press Coverage!

So lately we've started first few outreach to different media, in an attempt to try to get the Bite Society name and mission known.  We figure getting covered will not only help with attracting interest from potential partners (especially looking for international distributors) but as importantly, start to get our learnings and story out to the industry and hoepfully to reach other vegan founders / to be.  Which is kind of the bigger goal of the project. So was very happy to see this great article published by Food Navigator Asia, one of the learning news and analysis sites in...

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Helping Your Project
Mission   

Helping Your Project

Over the last few months we've helped with advice to several founders for their vegan startups, as well as donating stock to various non profits & mission organizations. So thought it would be a good time to add a dedicated webpage to explain the ways we can help:https://bitesociety.com/pages/helping-each-other This is actually the real goal of the BITE project in the long term, so feels great to get it up and running, and build it out as we learn and grow 🌱 ps - if you're thinking of your own vegan project and we can support with advice in any way, do...

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Barcode Fail
Challenges    Logistics   

Barcode Fail

In a startup there's always unexpected setbacks, and this morning we ran into another...

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Supporting Animal Liberation Victoria
Mission   

Supporting Animal Liberation Victoria

Dropped off some donated choc bloks to Emma from the Animal Liberation Victoria team this morning 🌱They'll be including them in their goodie bag for their big Vegala - Exclusively Vegan Cocktail Party, which is shaping up to be an amazing event... If you're in Melbourne on Oct 26th, want to support a great cause and have a brilliant night grab your tickets hereLovely to meet Emma, Noah, Eric from the team, who get a lot done with very little... got to love that spirit!It's interesting about how we think about donations to non profits and mission aligned charities.  On...

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Design Drafting...
Branding    Marketing    Product   

Design Drafting...

So now the flavor test is complete, in parallel to locking things down with the copacker (checking ingredients, verifying pricing etc) we need to get a new SKU design ASAP. Decided in the interests of time and consistency to keep the current layout and elements, and mostly use colors and text changes to try to convey the different flavor (plus a little graphical flourish with jumbo's hair)We've now put it out for comment to our community... we'll see what potential changes may come up soon!

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Flavor Test Results Are In !
Milestones    Product    Production   

Flavor Test Results Are In !

Results are in.... aaaand we have a winner! To recap, we compared 3 new flavors (strawberry, peanut butter and salted caramel) vs the original, in anonymous "self serve" written poll. Not exactly a fair test as the original is production quality (better finish and texture) vs much rougher prototypes, but still accurate way to compare the 3 flavors. Anyway enough small talk... ....the winner is... SALTED CARAMEL ! 😍 Even being a prototype it slightly beat out the production original, with strawberry coming in next then peanut butter. Have to admit it was a huge relief, had been worried that we...

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Beginning with Bulk
Learning    Product    Production   

Beginning with Bulk

In this coming batch, we're planning to include our first bulk stock for balls and bloks, so we can supply to food service and bulk shops...Today I took a look at the first test from the copacker for our bloks. Originally there were only going to be 4 bloks per bulk pack, but that didn't seem to make much sense in terms of reducing packaging...Asked why so low and the copacker was worried about the chocolate rubbing / marking in transit but we agreed that we would try out a larger 1kg amount with a lot more bloks and multiple...

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New Flavor Prototypes!
Product    Production   

New Flavor Prototypes!

Yesterday the new flavoured prototypes of our choc balls arrived for testing!We have a strawberry, peanut butter and salted caramel flavor to get "blind" feedback on, which I'm trying to get done by the weekend. This has come together really quickly triggered by a series of events...- our first batch of balls are running out- so we need to lock in next production asap (long leadtimes)- so it's the only window to introduce new flavors (as we do large runs to keep costs down, we can't do small batches)- but first we need to test themAm as excited as I...

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Hello World, Hello Michal!
Marketing    Team   

Hello World, Hello Michal!

Welcome Michal, who's joining to help lead our global sales!

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Stockist Planning

Stockist Planning

4 months and 69 retail locations later, it's clear we need more structure to help us manage our stockists...

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Leadup to Launch
Marketing   

Leadup to Launch

Excited and nervewracked in the leadup to launch in Hong Kong....

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Relief of Reorders
Challenges    Marketing   

Relief of Reorders

Bringing new stockists is great, but getting reorders is even better...

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Point of Sale Study
Learning    Marketing    Stockists   

Point of Sale Study

Oops, we forgot about point of sale materials...

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Where's Jumbo?
Challenges    Stockists   

Where's Jumbo?

A friend's pic provides a much needed wake up call!

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Meet Andrea
Branding    Team   

Meet Andrea

Meet the creative soul behind all the BITE graphics!

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50 Locations!
Milestones    Stockists   

50 Locations!

Today we hit our 50th location to stock our vegan milky chocs!

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Shipping Cartons To South East Asia
Challenges    Logistics   

Shipping Cartons To South East Asia

How to stop chocolates from melting when the destination country is over 30 degrees Celsius?

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The Simple Power of Chocolate...
Marketing    Mission   

The Simple Power of Chocolate...

Happy world (vegan) chocolate day!

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Team Work Makes...
Marketing    Team   

Team Work Makes...

What a great day for Grace and I...

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Divide and Conquer
Marketing    Team   

Divide and Conquer

So Grace and I are splitting up...

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Listen and Learn (about Stockists)
Challenges    Marketing    Stockists   

Listen and Learn (about Stockists)

Sometimes you learn valuable things, in this case about stockists, so obvious that...

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Kicking off our transparency project!
Finances    Milestones    Mission   

Kicking off our transparency project!

So we've sold 15,000 chocs in the 2 months since launch...

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