A lot can happen in a year, and no one knows that better than George Robinson, founder of FooGo, the supplier of fresh sandwiches and other fresh convenience snacks. When we featured it in On The Up a year ago, FooGo products was established in 60 WH Smith Travel stores, 25 Superdrug stores and a handful of Livingwell health clubs.
Today, FooGo products have been rolled out to nearly double the number of stores in those existing contracts, talks are being held with Total, the forecourt operation, about a possible move into its 200 ­Bonjour c-store outlets, turnover is expected to grow from £10m to about £14m in the course of this year ­and - most exciting of all - there are plans to open a s­pecialist FooGo store. &"We&'ll be opening our own store in Lincoln by October,&" says Robinson. &"We&'re very much doing the whole provenance thing, buying locally and also providing a unique fresh food experience with ­education about food at the forefront.&"
Innovation has been key to the company&'s growth. FooGo&'s sandwiches were the first in the UK to be packaged in 100% biodegradable cartons and new launches in the past year such as chicken satays, Lincolnshire sausages and dim sums, taking the product portfolio from 45 to more than 70, ensure a new angle on the quick lunch trend. &"Our bites range and non-bread products are really challenging sandwiches for shelf space,&" says Robinson.
All this has been achieved without ­access to a big marketing budget. Robinson says: &"We&'ve let our food do the talking. We&'re ­focused on product quality and have changed a number of our suppliers in our constant quest for better quality. Our supply chain has also been through the mill - we&'re working on picking products by singles so our customers can get exactly the number they need, and we&'re very close to making the products and getting them in-store on the same day.
&"Ultimately, our goal is to build a brand that is recognised nationally.&"