Interview: Cecilia Robinson from My Food Bag

Estimated reading time: 4 min

Creative Agency Secrets were honoured to meet Cecilia Robinson the dynamic and fast-talking founder of MyFoodBag.  We met in their delightful offices (fit out by Adam Mercer, Architect).

Spaceworks does My Food Bag offices

Amazing balustrade of a tree branch

offices 2

Spaceworks does My Food Bag offices

In an e service – the ability to scale is the most important thing – service based businesses are really hard to scale.

Building that in for My Food Bag is an ecommerce business was key.

The first idea – my concept was in 2010 but we weren’t exploring it at that stage.  I had been at home just before I had my baby and I was really sick of it doing cooking, cleaning – I wrote a business plan 40 minutes later clicked save.

What marketing are you doing now?

Growing brand awareness.  We aligned Nadia’s brand with us – it was about concept education – teach in the market around what the service is – people may not like to be told what and how to eat.  We did that through social, PR and the TV and that continues.  

Re-engagement – we call it on-boarding process – we employed a CMO from Taste Australia – these customers usually stop buying because it doesn’t suit their family lifestyle – we have high retention and low churn – it’s a priority to maintain them.

Measured churn since we started – we are world class in terms of retention – and we benchmark against other key suppliers.

It grows month on month – there are customers who have bought 104 weeks worth with us.

We have focused more on acquisition – life-stages are key.  If they go across  a certain point in our delivery service we know they’ll stay with us.

The recipe folder is a key piece of collateral and it becomes a collection, it’s all about the experience.  We do programmes of freebies or recipes for Mother’s and Father’s Day and Christmas.

Surprises are frequent in your bag – chocolates, children’s yoghurts – Easter will be hot cross buns and a recipe.

We’ve done big giveaways too  e.g. trip to Vanuatu.

Partnerships are possible but with 15,000 subscribers – it becomes a big task to get enough free product often we have to sponsor it ourselves or bigger suppliers give it away free.  We never give small samples – it has to have tangible value.  Paneton gave us croissants for Christmas morning – it has to be sharable… small giveaways wont’ work.

Experience – every single product we’ve done has been an experiment.  $50m run rate business – the CFO is protective of our revenue streams.  We are about to launch childrens lunch boxes but you never know if it will work.  General we’ve done well.

We have given away books and trips.  Social media is a really big avenue for us to talk to customers and they talk back.  Issues are always responded to and we often get told our customer service is good.

We do it all in house, it’s all personal contact.

Bring values – all staff members have 50% discount scheme for all our products.  They have to eat using our products if you don’t know and love it you can’t sell it. It is part of their lifestyle – that is part of the way we are.  The guys cook us lunch every day and today we are doing cake tasting.  We are doing a 2nd year birthday party too soon.  We have to taste 10 different cakes….[no sympathy from me].

Anton is our test chef – we do 14 recipes a week – one recipe takes 10 hours from testing to photography and it is 140 man hours a week.

We run “just on time” – we do recipe planning some time out.  On a Tuesday we may have to make a last minute change if there isn’t broccoli because it isn’t there in the shops. It switches from rocket to spinach.

We educate customers so that if we make changes they have to just live with it – we advise changes  by email because once the recipe cards are printed, we can’t re-print in time.

Utter delight – our customer feedback is amazing. 

I’m in chemotherapy and its a life saver.

We get a lot of heartfelt replies and you’ve saved my marriage because I can cook.    

Key for us to focus on our growth to build a really good brand with Nadia it has been a fantastic journey.

What next?

We are building a mobile recipe site and want to integrate Nadia’s site into the my food bag site.

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