Co-founder Ashley McMillan talks about start-ups and entering Australia’s $900 million ready-made meals market.
A chance observation and dogged pursuit of a bucket list by three mates led to a business idea that’s shaking up the smoothie market and making a play for a slice of Australia’s growing ready-made meals category.
Created by 40 Forty Foods, Super Cubes is a frozen smoothie solution geared to give busy consumers maximum health results for minimum effort. Initially launching via its own online store, Super Cubes recently brought on four independent grocery banner groups and is in discussions with other grocery and food service distribution groups.
Ashley McMillian, the third member of the team has worked in health and sports nutrition for 15 years.
“It was an absolute bucket list. There were 40 items to tick off before our 40th birthdays, I’m the youngest of three in the business. The two other boys are the brains behind the list and I ended up on it and we started the business together.
The other two founders observed the chefs at an iconic health retreat preparing produce to make up to 400 smoothies a day. They were chopping nuts, seeds, fruit, vegetables and adding key ingredients customers were asking for. They asked the questions “do you think we can commercialise this?’”.
Now almost two years later, the answer is a resounding, “Yes!’.
Super Cubes capitalises on the growing demand for convenient, healthy ready-to-eat meal solutions, also known as “speed-scratch”.
“If you previously wanted to make a smoothie like this, you’d need an hour shopping, a fridge full of fresh ingredients, a cupboard full of extras and 20 minutes of preparation, “says Mr McMillan.
“Consumers have always seen juices and smoothies as a convenient way to consume more fruit and vegetables, but increasingly Australians are overcommitted and pressed for time. So, anything that easies the pressure is welcomed.
“In the past year Australia’s ready-made meals category reached $900 million, with the number of Australians consuming breakfast drinks and purchasing single serve blenders have been on a sharp incline.”
The team spent the first two years investing in building the business to scale with the company now able to produce two tonnes of frozen smoothie cubes per day.
“I’ve never been in the frozen category in my life – so there has been unique challenges to get Super Cubes to where we are today. From original design, to hundreds of product iterations, flavour profiling, raw material requirements, production type, batch testing protocols, extensive consumer research and revisions to packaging solutions; and the extensive process of finding the right 3PL partner to support B2C and B2B frozen delivery capabilities. Those in the food sector know this all too well; as a start-up it has been an exercise in itself.”
“Consumers are better educated than ever before and with that there’s a lot of label reading that goes on these days. Our vision, beliefs and core values set us on a path where we wanted to create a brand people could trust without having to read the labels.
“We batch test every production run before we receipt our own stock back, which is something quite unique in the industry. One thing we want to deliver as a brand is to be a household trusted product. It doesn’t matter where we end up in the next couple of years, regardless of what we produce everything needs to have a sentiment of trust.”
“The positivity surrounding our brand and our distribution gains make us feel like we’re on the right track towards our mission; to provide everyday Aussies with quality life fuel, without the fuss.”
KEY SELLING POINTS
Subes Cubes are made in Australia, free from dairy and preservatives, with smoothies ready in 30 seconds.
Super Cubes are available in four blends – Super Greens Smoothie, Berry Digest Smoothie, Choc Banana Smoothie, and Wake Me Up Smoothie.
- Super Cubes
- RRP $39.95 + GST | Box of 36 super cubes (12 smoothies)
- SIZE 270g | 4 serves per packet