Young Foodies will launch a DTC online store next week giving challenger brands a “hassle-free” route to e-commerce as online sales spike during the coronavirus crisis.
Mighty Small will be dedicated entirely to independent brands, allowing them to leverage e-commerce opportunities and access new channels and customers.
The aim was to help startups “rejuvenate sales, boost cashflow and grow categories”, Young Foodies said, while educating and engaging consumers.
The Mighty Small concept was built within days to meet SMEs’ fast-changing needs, as challenger brands increasingly turn to e-commerce to offset plunging retail and foodservice sales.
“It [an e-commerce site] is something we had talked about before, but the decision to launch it this quickly was to proactively deal with the coronavirus and offer support,” said Young Foodies co-founder Thea Alexander.
The shop will launch to consumers on 15 April, with home delivery services starting initially in London and a nationwide rollout planned within the next month.
Brands are offered favourable commercial and operational terms, including quick payment terms, cost-effective storage options with full control over stock volumes and no on-boarding delays, minimum sale quantities or expensive marketing plans.
Young Foodies will manage, supply and facilitate all operations, as well as handling and paying for all picking, packing and delivery.
“Our starting point is slightly different than that of a big retailer in that our primary initiative is driving growth for our community,” said Alexander.
“It has to be commercially smart for us, but we did not go into this with the same big commercial aims a retailer has.”
She added: “Everything we built, has been built with the community at the heart and by being more collaborative and listening to their feedback we were able to come to a compromise allowing them to get what they need while making it commercially viable for us.”
Young Foodies is encouraging all food & drink SMEs and wholesalers to sign up to be considered for the site, whether they are members of its community or not.
Craig Slatter, business development manager of launch partner Crosta & Mollica, said: “Mighty Small solves one of our biggest challenges which is to make our products more easily accessible online and get stock directly to consumers who love us.”
Last week, The Grocer reported on the launch of a website co-created by challenger brands that lists the small suppliers still able to deliver DTC during lockdown.
However, shoppers cannot directly purchase from the site and must visit each individual supplier’s online store.
Meanwhile, a husband-and-wife duo based in Somerset has launched a non-profit online marketplace, Foodens, to help local businesses sell essential food items within their communities, while adhering to social distancing measures.
Food businesses including farm shops, butchers and patisseries are welcome to register on the site, with retailers only charging a 10% commission on orders taken.
If you are a brand interested to sign up to the Mighty Small shop, email email@example.com