Boomer’s line of thinking. True, natural ingredients are expensive these days, and the buyers are poor. We have to use palm oil in our products, add artificial flavor on top, and hope that nobody notices.
Millennial startup entrepreneur’s line of thinking. Wow! Artificial flavor exists! We can alter the taste of the food! Let’s use palm oil in our products, throw some chemistry in there to make it taste like something regular, and tell everyone it’s cooler!
What’s startup about it all? Voyage Foods, the American startup of the day, promises to remake all popular meals anew. It actually manufactures one food item: ‘peanut’ butter from palm oil. It’s hypoallergenic. The manufacturing facilities don’t employ slave child labour. Global warming doesn’t threaten the flora. There we have a whole three advantages over the original! The taste, the color, and the texture are claimed to be indistinguishable at that, all the proteins, fats, and carbs are also in place. The blind testing results are nowhere to be found yet but it wouldn’t be much of a surprise if the unprejudiced public prefers Voyage Foods over its traditional competitors. In other words, it’s a steal!
Here’s what we have. The startup brought in USD 36M of investment in its recent round, now it has the money for marketing, the new butter will soon be on the shelves all across America. It’s hard to tell what’s in store for it – but here’s a useful piece of advice on marketing for us all, this is how you turn your disadvantages into advantages.
Translation: Kostiantyn Tupikov
Alexander made his career in Russian internet companies including Mail.Ru, Rambler, RBC. From 2016 to 2018 he was Chief Strategy and Analytics officer in Mail.Ru Group. In this position, he worked on M&A, investments, and new project launches. In 2018 he became Deputy CEO in Citymobil, a Russian Uber-like company that was invested by Mail.Ru Group and Sberbank (the biggest Russian bank), then he left the company to launch his own projects. Now Alexander is a co-founder of United Investors – the platform for co-investments in Russian early-stage startups. His blog #startupoftheday (#стартапдня) is one of the most popular blogs about startups in Russia.