Why Customer Research and a Slow Startup works for Gusto Snacks with Giuseppe Baidoo (episode 409)

Giuseppe Baidoo is the founder and CEO at Gusto an award-winning DTC snack brand. Based in the UK they sell their food-waste-fighting products via wholesale and their Shopify store. Founded in 2018 they soft launched in 2021 to test the market and learn more about the customers, and this year are targeting sales of 58,000 units.

We’re talking about slow startup launches, customer research, accelerating the growth plans, and wholesaling.

Giuseppe Baidoo Gusto Snacks on eCommerce MasterPlan Podcast

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The Why Behind Gusto Snacks

When Giuseppe joined the Italian National Service, it was there that he got exposed to food waste issues. After moving to the UK, he joined the Barking Foodbank, which exposed him to surplus fruits on a farm level.

Giuseppe did his research and, after discovering that there are over 28 million tons of fruit waste in the UK and EU alone each year, he decided he needed to do something good for the planet, even if it was in a small way.

That is how and why the idea of Gusto Snacks was born.

What are Gusto Snacks?

Gusto Snacks are made from wonky fruit or those that are perfectly edible but have been rejected because of their shape, size, or color. They are then turned into air-dried snacks with an added twist of flavor.

Giuseppe took inspiration from potato crisps, which he found had many different flavors, whereas dried fruit snacks were not as exciting. Combining the texture of crisps and various flavors with something healthy launched Gusto Snacks.

The Sustainability Piece

Giuseppe believes consumers today are more conscious about how their purchase decisions affect the environment and they’re now focused on sustainable products.

Aside from being high quality, Gusto Snacks are products that do something good for the planet. Both these factors are part of the brand’s messaging because they know health and sustainability are what their customers want to hear and what helps them in their purchase decisions.

Understanding the Consumer to Get the Product Right

For Giuseppe, understanding Gusto’s customers was very important as a startup. And even though the process is slow for a startup, he believes that this helps in planning and doing things with the right approach.

Prior to their launch and also after, the brand spoke with consumers and asked how they can improve the products. Aside from having one-on-one conversations with people at trade shows, Giuseppe mentions also using technology such as Trust Pilot, online software for surveys, and even social media to connect with their customers and get their honest feedback. 

With the data they get, Giuseppe hopes to come up with products customers will want to purchase.

Scaling the Business This Year

Because of the pandemic, achieving a high target in 2021 was difficult. This year, Gusto plans to get more consumers to visit the website and understand the products better, which will mean an increase in online sales.

Additionally, now that people are going back to shopping in supermarkets, Giuseppe aims to reach his sales goals by working with distributors across the UK.

eCommerce Book Top Tip

eCommerce Traffic Top Tip

  • No matter what it is you’re selling, don’t forget to talk to your consumers because as humans, everyone loves a one-on-one conversation.

Tool Top Tip

Growth Top Tip

  • Through your website, get to know your customers first and help them understand your brand, too. When you’ve done this, you can go on to build your site for selling and scaling.

Interview Links

Fancy investing in Gusto?

We are launching in September in Selfridges and also in conversation with other national retailers for a launch In January. In order to sustain our growth and demand, we are raising £250,000 SEIS/EIS.

The funding will go towards:

  • Onboarding the founders full time
  • Marketing to raise awareness of the brand
  • Expansion: Expand into new sectors. Build and strengthen new retail partnerships, Increase production capacity, and NPD.

To find out more email invest@snackgusto.com

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