Food writer Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne had the bright idea of launching gluten-free bread Genius last year and has since carved out a healthy slice of the bread market.
Where did you get the idea?
I’d worked as a chef before and started experimenting with recipes as my son had an intolerance to gluten and it was really hard to find gluten-free bread in the shops that wasn’t dense or full of preservatives. The formula took around three years to develop.
How did you launch?
I managed to get backing from investors of more than £200,000, who also provided their business expertise. We then teamed up with a bakery that had contacts with Tesco, so we were immediately able to launch the product into 700 of its stores.
What has been your expansion strategy?
At first Tesco had exclusive supply of the product. Now that agreement has ended we have moved into Waitrose and Asda and the bread is also available in Starbucks.
How have you marketed the company?
We’ve used social media like Facebook a lot and initially advertised in food allergy magazines. Now we’ve broadened our marketing reach to other groups, as research suggests that around 15 per cent of the population dip in and out of gluten-free diets.
We want to maximise availability of the product by getting it in as many stores as possible. We’re already selling it into Ireland, but once the brand has become more established, I’m hoping to launch it in continental Europe and America, too.