Derek and Lucy Sanders came up with the idea for immunity health shot company Mune in January 2010 and launched the company in August that year.
How did you get the idea?
My partner and I were in the Czech Republic, where people traditionally stave off colds by drinking a home remedy of lemon juice, honey and raw onions. It works well but is messy to make and doesn’t smell or taste very good, so after discovering they weren’t readily available on the market we decided to make our own. The idea was to come up with something which tasted good and retained the benefit of having 100 per cent natural ingredients.
What came next?
It took a while to find the right partners but we got some product development and marketing people together and got a prototype made. We went to an award-winning healthfood store in Welwyn Garden City to gauge interest and the owner was interested in stocking the product. It gave us a lot of confidence we had a good idea. As it stands, we have got contracts signed with two major wholesalers and now we’re going to approach the retailers.
How was it financed?
Originally we went to the bank but they weren’t that interested, so I put together a business plan and presentation and started talking to people. I found some angel investors who believed in the proposition and I raised £100,000, giving away a total of 40 per cent of the company between five investors.
How was it marketed?
We’re getting the word out through PR and online marketing. We’re also looking at some innovative ways of sampling; I’ve been giving out samples with my six year old daughter as it’s a family product. Getting out to people, introducing the brand and getting people to try it is key. It’s quite challenging because it’s a new product in a new category; most people don’t know what immune boosts are but the feedback we’ve had is positive so far.
We’re looking at new products such as ice lollies for kids, and a jam spread that can go with toast in the morning, a few things in a few markets. In the first year, we’re only going to focus on retailers that sell natural health products and understand them rather than going for the major supermarkets.