$1 million men's Woolies deal ahead of launch

$1 million men’s Woolies deal ahead of launch

Two Melbourne dads struck a $1 million deal with both Woolworths and Coles before they even sold any of their products.

Father-of-two Seong-Lee Ang set out to resolve an issue with his business partner after an experience “turned his family’s world upside down.”

The 45-year-old’s children both have severe anaphylactic food allergies.

Both are allergic to nuts, but his four-year-old is particularly affected by a range of foods.

“My daughter is allergic to dairy, eggs, whole nuts, sesame, fish, shellfish and citrus seeds and that’s just the list we’ve tested so far,” he told news.com.au.

“It was pretty awful and a real challenge to have such severe allergies. Eating out is really difficult, we take our own food for our daughter as no restaurant can cater for her allergies.

“We had several close calls, hospital visits and ambulance calls, and as she neared school age it was extremely scary to think that she was at school with hundreds of other kids eating lunch around her.”

In the midst of Melbourne’s long string of lockdowns, visiting the supermarket was a treat, Mr Ang realised, apart from Vegemite and jam, every product in the wide aisles of the major supermarkets contained nuts.

“I guess we figured out what’s easy to pack in school lunch boxes, and it’s a sandwich, but the spreads are really limited. There are hundreds of spreads in the spread aisles and most contain nuts,” he explained.

“There is a ‘no nut’ policy across the country, which says that children are not allowed to eat peanut butter or Nutella sandwiches at school. It became our mission to solve this huge problem, not just for allergy sufferers, but for any kid who would like to take a peanut butter sandwich to school and can’t.”

This is where her company called Buddee was born, with the aim of creating an ‘inclusive’ spread for all children and adults.

But Mr. Ang and his co-founder Rodney Chieng knew they faced a challenge, as allergy-free products are “notorious” for tasting awful, and risked around $400,000 of their own savings to make it happen.

Both also wanted their product to go into the mainstream aisle, rather than being relegated to the health food aisle.

Father-of-three Mr. Chieng drove product development that required 60 versions of their first chocolate spread to get it right, with the early varieties tasting “awful,” Mr. Ang admitted.

“Most of the first ones were disasters, the truth is I really wanted to make something my daughter could eat because of my kids’ allergies, and she’s not just allergic to nuts… so it was very limiting in terms of the ingredients we use.” could as we really wanted it to be allergen friendly,” he added.

His daughter was one of the main taste testers and from version 30 on she started really liking her instead of making a face he said and now she absolutely loves it.

“Pretty much every day my kids want a Buddee sandwich or the spread on toast or for carrot dipping. They eat it daily so they’re putting me out of business,” he joked.

Chickpea is the main ingredient that initially caused problems both in terms of taste and water content.

“We bypassed it and roasted the chickpeas, and that gives the nutty flavor to the nutty spreads,” he said.

“People who still like nut spreads still taste very familiar, and people who do blind taste tests can’t believe it doesn’t contain nuts.”

Business partners were “shocked and overjoyed” when both Woolworths and Coles wanted to stock their spreads before they “hadn’t sold a single jar,” Mr Ang said.

The deals see Buddee Chocolate and Smooth Spreads available in Woolworths supermarkets nationwide from August 15.

Meanwhile, Buddee Chocolate and Crunchy Spreads will be available in Coles supermarkets nationwide beginning September 2022 and will retail for $6.50.

“It’s a testament to the need for this product and there’s nothing quite like Buddee on their shelves,” Mr Ang said.

“There are so many spreads on the shelves but they all contain nuts so there is a big gap in the market that we are filling and the supermarkets needed them even though we haven’t sold a jar yet.

“We are trying to find a solution for Australian families and children at school. We want schoolyards to be inclusive and not miss out, but to be able to take Buddee and not harm the children next to them.”

But adults can also enjoy the spreads, he said.

Compared to other conventional spreads, Buddee contains less sugar and less saturated fat

and is free of palm oil and completely free of the top 10 allergens

including nuts, wheat, soy, dairy and sesame, according to Mr. Ang.

After Mr Ang has been in “scary” situations where EpiPens had to be applied to his child at a restaurant, Mr Ang said Buddee was “so personal” to him.

“The last six years have been pretty tough as both of our kids have had allergies,” he added.

“I’ve been in the business before, but that’s why this business means the world to me. It’s actually creating community change, which is why it’s so meaningful to me.”

Mr Ang said the duo have big plans for the brand with future allergy-free products beyond the main aisle.

Read related topics:Melbourne Woolworths

#million #mens #Woolies #deal #ahead #launch

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.