Meadow & Marrow has extended its bone broth concentrates with four functional blends that target gut health, weight loss, cleansing and muscle recovery as it prepares to push into the US exclusively through e-commerce giant Amazon.
The Gold Coast company burst into the health market early 2017 at the height of the bone broth trend with three skus in its culinary range (natural, lemon and herb, and curry) growing rapidly to more than 1000 stores.
Founder Mark Fowler (pictured) said the the proprietary extraction method “reinvented” bone broth, delivering a concentrated 10 times more collagen based amino acids than market leading traditional bone broths.
“Our product was so far ahead of what was available, Fowler said. “As soon as we put it in the hands of people who could sell it, it grew very quickly. We’re definitely not a ‘me-too’ brand.”
Creating innovative solutions is the cornerstone of successful new product development, but at the warp speed of Australia’s health market it’s not always enough.
Timing and being first to market can be everything. The bone broth trend emerged (or re-emerged) in 2014. Fast forward to 2018, carbs are out, good fats are in, the keto diet is reaching its peak and the fitness market segment is starting to drop synthetics and realise the benefits of a more natural, holistic approach. The influencer generation is fuelling demand across multiple market segments.
For Meadow & Marrow it’s the perfect storm. “We’ve been growing 20 per cent each month; that’s a sign the market is widening,” he said. “About February last year we started using distributors and going for a wider market. It went from a product we were selling through our other business (Brio Emporium cafe and store) to its own business.The brand almost has a strong foothold in the health market and is now expanding into grocery and the fitness market.”
Poised for an immanent launch via Amazon, Meadow & Marrow is using the company’s Fulfilment By Amazon (FBA) to reach consumers directly, grow awareness and demand, and establish pricing before investing in broader retail channels.
“We get literally 10-20 requests a day from North America for product, so we knew we had to put a flag in the ground there first and make stock available – despite it being one of the hardest to penetrate.
“Amazon has made it much easier for brands like us to get out; previously there wasn’t another path to reach the consumer.”
“If you want to do the retail business you have to be in the right shopping centre. Well amazon is the right shopping centre. It’s now about top reviews instead of shelf position.”
Back in Australia, Fowler says the tide is turning in the fitness market, with an experiment on e-commerce platform Nutrition Warehouse delivering unexpected results and leading to the development of the new performance range. “Nobody thought it would go that well. We only had three skus last year and we ended up being one of their top selling product; everybody was blown away by it.”
“Fitness is based very much on synthetic supplements and restrictive diets that cause all types of imbalances – not a holistic approach at all.
Up to now the outside has been all that’s mattered, while the inside falls apart. Consumers are more educated now and demand is seeing the tide turn.”
And all of this from something that “was never meant to be a business.”Fowler originally developed Meadow & Marrow to help heal his partner Atlanta. “We started playing around with bone broth about four years ago making traditional broth and selling prepared meals online at that stage. At the same time, Atlanta got extremely sick and we didn’t know what it was; it was a very tough period.
“I saw her change of over this time and it was heart breaking; we had try experiment with different things, including the way we were making broth – our lives depended on it.
“It was so time consuming, you’d never really choose to do it like that for a business but you would for your the person you love. Atlanta was meant to be only customer – it was never meant to be sold.
“[Later] we looked at what Atlanta had been through and we thought how can we deny people the benefits she had received from the broth; we have to make this as widely available as possible.”
• This article originally appeared in What’s New In Healthy Products
• Naturally Good Expo, Australia’s largest trade show for things natural, organic and healthy takes place in Sydney on 29-30 April 2018