Tuk Tuk Chai

When chai tea business Tuk Tuk Chai turned down an investment from Dragons’ Den, there were gasps. But on the second episode of The Young Foodies Blue Plaster Podcast (available now on Spotify) Snaffling Pig co-founder Andrew Allen says this is “fairly regular now”. Tuk Tuk Chai “launched a crowdfund immediately after the show aired and smashed the target within a couple of days”. Allen, whose own company appeared on the BBC show, says Dragons’ Den has become more of a marketing tool than a way to raise money.

Elsewhere, Thea Alexander, co-host and founder of online grocery disruptor community Young Foodies, raises a discussion on Amazon’s tax affairs. She argues “the high street should have adapted sooner” but goes on to say how there are “fundamental differences” in the costs to high street retailers compared with online stores.

How can bricks and mortar shops keep up? For Sainsbury’s, it’s by introducing a future brands team to bring more challenger brands into its stores, says Alexander. The team was set up to cut down on its range of commodities, cut the cost of the remaining SKUs and free up space “for different products not available in other stores”. Allen says this is “massively exciting for smaller brands” but with retailers getting involved with brands much earlier now, Alexander suggests retailers offer a “support mechanism to get them supermarket-ready”.

It’s a good point. And one of many in this podcast that challenger brands and retailers alike could take on board.