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In a mature and highly competitive category, how do you grow a chocolate brand to €70M in Sales without EVER spending a penny on advertising? Well my new favourite food and beverage brand – Tony’s Chocolonely – has done exactly that, and in this interview with UK Country Manager Ben Greensmith, we’ll discuss the importance of:

  • An AUTHENTIC and MEANINGFUL Brand Purpose
  • A Product Promise that over-delivers on experience and taste, as well as being a physical manifestation of the Brand Promise…(find out how during this episode)
  • Approaching the status quo of the Cocoa industry so differently to competitors that you potentially turn it upside-down..
  • Having a team of dedicated, committed and passionate People, and rewarding them not only emotionally through the authentic change they are helping to make, but also by celebrating their work and rewarding them financially for things that are important to them.

Listen to Episode 8 to hear Ben Greensmith tell us all about Tony’s Chocolonely and how their authentic Brand Purpose has driven their amazing growth journey and is creating meaningful change in the Cocoa industry

Episode 8 Timestamps:

[00:28] – Introducing Ben Greensmith, the UK Country Manager of Tony’s Chocolonely, an impact organisation that exists to eradicate slavery in the cocoa industry and my new favourite food & beverage brand.

[03:07] – Tony’s Chocolonely is the number one brand in Holland and recently it launched in the UK. Ben tells us all about the brand: what is the product range, where is it selling, how is it performing and how did Ben end up working there?

[06:04] – Why do we not hear more about the child slavery and child labour in the cocoa industry? It is a massive problem and it is not in the interest of the big brands to talk about it.

[07:22] – 2.9 million children work illegally on the cocoa farms and children as young as nine years old are being sold as slaves. How is this allowed to happen?

[08:41] – What is the solution and how is Tony’s trying to change it? Ben explains the five things they are doing to make a real difference. 

[10:17] – The big companies have the biggest issue with having to pay more for their cocoa. That is why Tony’s likes Fair Trade which focuses more on price.

[11:08] – What is a small family producer getting for what they are producing in a normal system vs what they would get from Tony’s Chocolonely? Currently, in the normal system, it is way below the poverty line. This is a problem that shouldn’t exist.

[12:34] – Ben talks about brand purpose; why and how was Tony’s Chocolonely set up?

[15:10] – Since launching in the UK in January, Tony’s already accounts for 35% of chocolate sold in Wholefoods. Doesn’t this show to the bigger companies that the consumer demand for something that pays fairly to producers is there? People do care where they are spending their money and also who they work for.

[17:51] – Only 20% of sales in Holland come from people who just buy Tony’s products for their mission. The product delivers in terms of its taste and there are various different interesting flavours available.

[19:54] – The key point to remember is that, whenever we pick up a product containing cocoa, we are unwittingly buying something that has potentially had illegal child labour and slavery involved in its production. It is important to take more responsibility and find out where the cocoa we are buying is coming for.

[22:04] – What does the team at Tony’s Chocolonely in the UK look like and how did Tony’s achieve a turnover of 70 million without having spent a penny on advertising? Ben discusses why a pull marketing strategy works better for them.

[23:32] – Tony’s say they are crazy about chocolate and serious about people. What is their people culture like and what is it like to work for Tony’s?

[26:47] – Where can listeners buy the product and where and when will it be available in Ireland?

[29:19] – What one thing can we do as shoppers and consumers of chocolate to help eradicate childhood slavery in the cocoa industry? Don’t think you are too small to make a difference!

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