Page 12 - Food & Drink Business Jan-Feb 2020
P. 12

1300 263 464
ABOVE: Sustainable and ethical farming based on regenerative agricultural practices informed Barbell’s decision to use meat producer OBE Organic.
ABOVE RIGHT & BELOW: While there is scope for Barbell to expand into other meats, it is focused on growing its domestic distribution
to sustain them, yet there’s a scarce supply in these snacks, so that’s a gap we think we can fill,” says Hutchison.
There is also potential
to explore the foodservice industry, as well as butchers and school canteens, he adds.
At the core of Barbell Foods is the strength of its young team – the four men
have taken a deep-dive into the world of food manufacturing but remain adamant to keep a “raw, playful and transparent” approach to their branding as the business grows.
Hutchison says, “To date, our marketing has been more or less a documentation of the lives of all who have been involved
in our story and
how we each have found our products complement our day to day lives.
“We will continue to do this, to build a genuine connection with our customers and grow a loyal customer base who are our biggest brand advocates.”
Barbell’s biltong may be gaining traction and increasing in production, but the boys are still on the lookout for a packaging machine that will step in once their volumes exceed current capacity.
For a short stint, the team dabbled in contract packaging, but found that its quality assurance standards were not being met, says Hutchison.
For now, packaging remains in house and done by hand, “but luckily we all have lightning hands”.
The Barbell team is continuing to shift the perception of their
air dried steak snacks from being a foreign concept, to a convenient option full of benefits that go beyond its naturally high protein form.
Attracting new meat snack users to the category, such as health food shoppers that value convenience, remains key to the Barbell expansion, taking its first step across Australia before it looks to go abroad.
“We will embrace the hustle – with four founders comes more mouths to feed, but it also means we have more foot- soldiers,” says Hutchison.
“We will hit the capital cities of each state hard over the coming months educating and providing tasting samples to anyone who will give us the light of day.”
“We’re also aware of the opportunities available in export markets, but we believe it’s important to get your house in order first before you try to conquer the world.” ✷
12 | Food&Drink business | January-February 2020 |

   10   11   12   13   14