BETTER FOOD FOR YOU AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Saving organic produce from waste to launch a new food business.
Choosing the direction to ensure your organisation’s future viability can be a veritable minefield. Being guided along the way and knowing it’s backed up by research and experience gives confidence that it’s the right way forward. Sisterworks product development has seen them expand and, at the same time, make an increasingly greater impact on the women’s lives they work with.
When migrant and asylum seeker women arrive in Australia their new lives rarely start smoothly. Among their many challenges, securing a job is incredibly tough. Many need new skills and experience before they can find their financial feet and generate an income for themselves and their families.
SisterWorks is a social enterprise providing crucial support to migrant and asylum seeker women. They firmly believe that economic empowerment for women provides myriad benefits. On the eve of their fifth birthday, SisterWorks realised they were at a critical juncture. The ROI for their primary business, individual craft-making, was worryingly low due to the time required to produce individual items. To ensure financial sustainability a larger volume, wholesale business was necessary. Having already done a little food production they knew it was feasible, but were unsure which business opportunities to pursue.
As a service provider for the Victorian Government Boost Your Business Voucher programme we worked with SisterWorks to secure a $25,000 voucher to develop and deliver a phased program of work.
Our initial investigations identified market gaps and opportunities for new product development to build the customer base. It was also clear that the brand had evolved in an ad hoc manner and needed clarity in its external expression. Further research and discovery around customer insights, product development workshops and a market gap analysis were undertaken. Internally, a brand essence workshop and associated brand architecture informed the correct positioning, messaging and multi-channel communications strategy.
Within 2 months SisterWorks launched 3 new products in 4 Melbourne supermarkets. This was their first mainstream wholesale contract and the result of a strong partnership approach from the outset. The product range has now grown to 7 and is being retailed across 9 IGA locations as well as several independent retailers and cafes.
Together, we honed in on the brand essence and positioning, guiding the SisterWorks team in the creation of labelling design and communications briefs would cascade the spirit of the brand through all marketing and communications material. Culturally rich stories and imagery of the women of SisterWorks were brought to life across a limited Minimum Viable Product range. This was tested in the market and the range has since doubled.
The team also came away with a broader strategy to direct the future of their enterprise and better define the steps they needed to take to reach their future goals.
The launch of the food product range has seen a real impact on the women SisterWorks strives to support. They have since had 40 women graduate from their cooking and food production training program which provided the women with food handling certification, on-going employment within the production team and the opportunity to earn income.