This is a follow up story for KÜiK Meal. If you're interested in reading how they got started, published about 2 years ago, check it out here.
Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.
Hello, starters! My name is Enric Miquel and I am the KÜiK Meal co-founder and former Marketing Manager. I’ve graduated in Pharmacy at the University of Barcelona and have been working simultaneously in the pharmaceutical marketing field for the last 7 years.
KÜiK Meal is a complete food in a powder containing all of the macro (protein, carbs, lipids, fiber) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). It can be taken for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, whenever you don’t have the time to cook, but still wanna eat healthily. Back in 2018, we were offering animal-based protein only, but now we did a radical shift in our strategy and all our products will be vegan by the end of 2020.
Tell us about what you’ve been up to! Has the business been growing?
Since we last talked to Starter Story, we have almost tripled our total revenue, and luckily our gross-margins increased from below 25%, to 40%. This has been due to achieving higher production slots.
Choose the right people, keep it simple and small. It’s easy to fall into the “growth trap”, but when turbulent times rise, everything will fall.
During the coronavirus outbreak, our sales boosted since people wanted to stock themselves and the category itself also attracted new customers, who considered us as appropriate “prepper” food or emergency food, even though it is not our brand positioning at all.
The retail market penetration has improved since then, and thanks to our vegan positioning, small vegan shops have welcomed our brand.
The team has also grown, especially the traffic acquisition unit, where we hired an SEM specialist and a content manager to improve our SEO. When we compare to last year, our Paid traffic has gained 21 points, this is due to a nice CR at 1.74% and a relatively low cost of acquisition.
We are planning a second PR plan, communicating the Vegan range renovation. We expect high visibility of this communication. With the first PR round, we reached top newspapers in Spain such as La Vanguardia or The Economist. The campaign value was of 87.000 USD, while the investment was of 3.000 USD only!
Very interesting partnerships have been signed since then. The personal trainer “Lagarto de Barceloneta”, who became famous after a viral video that captured his training on the first-day sport was allowed after the strict confinement. He became our brand ambassador and organized training for our KÜiK community every Saturday morning.
What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?
The biggest lesson we learned during this time is that community generation really matters. After the social distancing period, rebuilding our relationships has been critical.
Also in terms of internal management. It has been a huge challenge to maintain bonds. We created virtual coffee, daily, and weekly catch-ups to maintain momentum.
What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?
Planning for the next year includes a new product launch. We are entering the complete food bars segment. We managed so closely with our R&D to ensure we would come up with a superior taste, since we are not the first entering this category, we need to be the best in flavor.
To be honest, we don’t forecast for more than 1 year. We have 3 and 6 months of activity plans. This short-term focus, it is even more pronounced because of the COVID context.
Have you read any good books in the last year?
The best business book I’ve recently read :
Leadership: In Turbulent Times By looking at US former presidents bios, you can take valuable lessons for our days.
Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari, I believe this thinker is helping humanity to reshape the future, by enlightening the biggest challenges we’ll face this century.
Obstacle is the way by Ryan Holiday (who became marketing manager at American Apparel at only 21 years old). This book will give you the right approach to deal with entrepreneurship, where obstacles management is continuous.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?
Our most effective tool as entrepreneurs is collaboration. The sooner you can build a team, the better. Choose the right people (this 100% the most important task and decisions you’ll take), keep it simple and small. It’s easy to fall into the “growth trap”, but when turbulent times rise, everything will fall.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
No hiring plans to complete this 2020. As said, we want to keep it small and cool. Probably our next hire will be related to the retail business expansion.
Where can we go to learn more?
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