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...
Bite For What's Right !
Bite Society is a vegan food-activism project 🌱
We're mission-driven with 2 simple goals:
We promise to give our all to make kinder options the default, and change the world for the better 💗
How did Bite Society get started?
A long time vegan, our founder Simon was thinking about how to have more impact in his activism: to help animals and encourage alternatives to animal agriculture. Being from a startup background (in technology) he decided to bootstrap this new project, applying concepts from the open source software movement. ie- to run lean and openly to lower the cost of vegan goods, and be a transparent case study to help others be successful with their vegan projects. To (literally) hear the journey right from day one, check out our podcast.
So how does the lower prices thing work?
Vegan foods shouldn't just be only for the affluent. Or just for vegans.
They should be for everyone.
We need to be able to compete with animal products, not only in taste and convenience, but also in price.
So we try hard to keep costs as low as is possible:
- Minimal salaries & expenses
- No full time sales force
- No fancy office (we work from home)
- No ad or sponsorship budgets
- Use co-packers with economies of scale
- Avoid expensive ingredients (eg hazelnuts)
- Sell direct to retailers & food-service
- No investors or dividends to pay
- Zero profit model
The costs we save we pass on to our retail partners in the form of lower wholesale prices, which translates to lower "shelf" prices for the public.
We target our wholesale prices to be be able to cover our costs of production, operation and incremental expansion.
In short - as low margins as we can go, so that we sell as cheaply as possible to our retail and food service partners.
Any excess funds go right back into reaching more folks and furthering our mission.
No ad budget?
We're fortunate to have you - our amazing "bitetribe". You are our community who helps spread the word - to shops, to friends, family and online, and we appreciate every single bit of support we get! If you'd like to help check out our volunteer page
Inspire other projects?
We can't do this alone.
The world needs thousands of passionate people working to change things for the better.
So the best way we can think of to help is through radical transparency.
That means sharing as much as we can - our finances, decisions, learnings, best practices, setbacks & successes... everything along the way.
Hopefully by doing so, other vegan doers will feel armed and motivated for their own projects and we can all multiply our impact together.
We're pleased to have Michael Dello-Iacovo volunteer as our ethics advisor, for times we want to discuss difficult ethical decisions and moral dilemmas.
Michael was previously the CEO of Effective Altruism Australia and manages the Morality is Hard podcast. Michael has dedicated his life to giving back and making the world a better place for all. To that end, in 2016 he pledged to donate all of his income above $45,000 each year to the most effective charities and causes.
Can I get involved?
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...