Interviewee: Meriel Kehoe, co founder
1. When did you first exhibit at IFE?
We first exhibited at IFE in 2015, just a few months after we launched our range of Greek style frozen yoghurt lollies.
2. Why IFE?
IFE attracts a huge range of potential customers – from huge retail multiples through to small independents. What’s more it provides a unique opportunity to access markets across the world, giving brands large and small the chance to expand into new territories.
3. How has IFE helped you to develop your business?
IFE introduced us to buyers from Booth’s, Wholefoods, Iceland, Casino in France, Choithrams in UAE, Albert Heijn in the Netherlands, as well as myriad of industry professionals and potential suppliers. Without those contacts that we made in those crucial early stages of the business, we could not have grown as quickly as we have. IFE also provided us with a great platform to officially launch Claudi & Fin.
4. Has IFE helped you to get listed with target suppliers? If so how?
We are now listed with Wholefoods and are in discussion with Booth’s as I write this. Because we were so small when first attended, we weren’t able to take advantage of some of the amazing opportunities we had from outside the UK, but when we exhibit in 2017, I am confident we will be in a much better position to move things forward.
5. What would be your best piece of advice for brands exhibiting for the first time?
There are lots of opportunities to drive interest in your brand; from the World Food Innovation Awards through to social media and PR. Use them to help raise your profile and encourage buyers to your stand and make sure you follow up on all the amazing contacts you’ll make!
6. What are you looking forward to seeing at IFE 2017?
New Innovation. It’s so fascinating to see innovation in categories other than our own – it inspires us to look at things differently and helps us develop products which are exciting and relevant to consumers.
7. Why should buyers visit your stand?
Sugar related obesity costs the NHS 5.1 billion pounds a year and the government want us all to take responsibility for this crisis. Claudi & Fin lollies are doing just that, by producing lollies which are lower in sugar than all the major brands in the retail multiples. We offer customers a great tasting, healthier alternative to ice cream, made with 100% natural ingredients, tonnes of real fruit and enriched with Vitamin D. Claudi & Fin lollies are made by parents for parents and our unique product and stand out packaging are driving phenomenal incremental spend in the UK’s frozen aisles.
Will you have any new products on display?
We have a brand new range of Mini frozen yoghurt lollies, perfect for our smallest customers. Available in a pack of eight, our fun-size 30ml Greek-style Frozen yoghurt lollies, are available in 3 delicious flavours (Strawberry, Mango and Apricot and Peach). Our larger lollies are now also available in single serve impulse too and come in two flavours, Strawberry and our Great Taste Award-winning mango. Last, but by no means least, we have a brand new coconut lolly, available in a multipack with two mouth-watering tropical flavours. Free of dairy ingredients, this great tasting product taps into the major coconut trend as well as catering for the growing Freefrom market.
Any brand announcements or insight you would like to share?
Since launching in 2014, Claudi & Fin has secured distribution with Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose, Ocado, Budgens, Wholefoods and Revital as well as Dunnes and Supervalu in the Republic of Ireland. Customers love our lollies, which picked up awards in 2016 from Loved by Parents for the best children’s desert (Platinum), The Junior Design Awards for Best Family Food Brand (Silver) and The Great Taste Awards.
8. Describe IFE in a few words
The UK’s best food show.