Could I Have Your Opinion Please

(9 Posts)
alramram Thu 13-Aug-15 11:21:23

Dear Mumsnet Users,

I am in the process of setting up a new subscription box business, the idea behind it is to get people & families baking great bread at home rather than buying poor quality, mass produced loaves. Recipes have been created, mix manufactures sorted and packaging designs ready to go. Now before the big plunge I need some feedback from the public, I thought this maybe a good place to ask?

The monthly box, costing £8.99 + P&P (which we are working to bring down but most likely £1.49-£1.99), would include ready to go bread mixes, just add water, for 4 x large 1 KG loaves. The box would have 1 x white mix, 1 x brown mix plus 2 x special varieties inside, which would change monthly, plus 4 x yeast, with instructions for both handmade and bread machines depending on preference. Also a recipe idea card if you fancied jazzing up any of our standard varieties. There would be a community, on social media etc, that encouraged the sharing pictures of the bread-y creations with weekly/monthly winners getting prizes.

The idea being that I used to make bread and when people came round they would ask me to make them a loaf, send the recipe, say 'oh I would love to bake our own bread' etc. This simple service would offer a great way for families to get the kids involved (as there isn't as much mess, always a bonus), could be for people wanting to get into home baking, helps vary the breads and taste of people, and more importantly can offer an alternative to the additive filled supermarket bread that we eat. It allows 1 large loaf a week... Plus who can resist the smell of freshly baked bread!!

I'd love to know your feedback (both good and bad).

Many Thanks in advance..

4merlyknownasSHD Thu 13-Aug-15 15:21:53

A great idea I think, but do you mean a 1Kg loaf, or a loaf made from 1Kg dough? A 1Kg loaf is very big and there are very few loaf pans around of that size. Even 1Kg dough is larger than most 2lb loaf pans would take (although would fit ours). This is not a problem for free-form loaves, or if you decide to make buns with it, but if using it for regular-ish shaped slices, a loaf pan is a must.

alramram Thu 13-Aug-15 16:20:16

Thanks for your reply. Yes you are correct there, it will need to be a 900g/2lb for those varieties or members who want to use a loaf tin. We will adjust slightly the recipes & mix amount, so it makes 4 x 900g loaves per month/1 per week. Cheers

Jux Thu 13-Aug-15 22:40:39

I like the idea of this, even though our butcher employs his own baker who bakes bread every day (and cakes, and lots of other stuff!), so I rarely buy supermarket bread.

Our bread consumption varies quite a lot, as we use far less bread in the holidays - no packed lunches - I would be wary of signng up to something like this.

I like the idea of a couple of standard loaves, and then an artisan loaf. I'd be too embarrased to post pictures of my attempts online.

I keep off FB as much as I can.

alramram Fri 14-Aug-15 11:08:41

Thanks for the feedback Jux.

We have designed the software so that you are able to login and pause a subscription for as long or a little as you like, ie a month of school holidays. We understand the word 'subscription' fill people with dread. You are also able to cancel at anytime by logging in and clicking a button, easy as that. There are NO contracts, no obligations, no termination fees etc. We have designed the business/software like this as of the utmost importance as we hate the un-honest businesses that offer freebies if you give you card details and then auto bill you, we dislike the businesses that make sign up super easy and then make it almost impossible to leave. They all unfortunately give the industry a terrible reputation.

What makes a good subscription business is that top level customer service and accessibility (whether through social media questions or old fashioned telephone & email) and being able to listen to members and help fit the subscription into their lives seamlessly so they can forget and then enjoy!

Thanks again x

p.s. you should never be embarrassed by an attempt good or bad, plus practice make perfect! (You could always make a twitter account not related to your name and post anonymously!)

Pomegranatemolasses Fri 14-Aug-15 21:21:44

Do you really think it will be a viable business for you? What sort of uptake do you need in order to make it worth your while?

How is this different from the many supermarket bread mixes people can so easily buy? Not trying to deflate your enthusiasm here, just wondering what sort of market research/sales projections /business planning you have done.

MisForMumNotMaid Fri 14-Aug-15 22:03:29

What I can't quite get my head around is how you'll get enough people to pay three times the amount they'd have to in the supermarket/ local deli for one of the variety of bread mixes already available. The simple ones start at around 60p for a loaf tin sized loaf. Regularly on three for two type offers. Wrights do some lovely mixes like sundried tomato and mixed seed.

I love baking bread and the smell. I love the kids helping and DH eating. Likewise, I'm sure your compliments have been genuine from friends but to get to a profit making business in a market with a lot of choice already is going to take masses of marketing effort and cost.

There are some breads that i find it harder to do in the UK for example i can't use sufficient quantities of french bread flour to justify buying a sack.

Or maybe i'd be more interested in kits where its not just a mix so you get the walnut halves to add as a finish and the cheese to go in the bread.

Have you ever come across the snack box company graze? They allow you to customise your choices based on your personal tastes. I wonder if that would add a unique selling point to bread mixes (but also associated business cost).

I think that i'd rather buy a 12 loaf once monthly subscription rather than weekly - it'd be a good present for a crafty friend if it could come in at just under £40. With clever packaging and self franking you could dispatch large letter under 500g for under £1.50.

I'd then like the option to order more of ones that I loved.

Good luck

alramram Mon 17-Aug-15 09:54:40

Hi there, thanks for the feedback.

Pomegranatemolasses - We have been doing our planning and research for sometime, however as I am sure you can appreciate when asking these questions to friends and family answers and goodwill sometimes muddy the waters. A big reason for asking on here! As far as uptake goes, and being worth our while, even 250 members across the whole country would be worthwhile.

MisForMumNotMaid - Firstly thanks for your detailed response. The curated box, with all of the ingredients in as opposed to the mix, is something we have been working on to run alongside the other option for someone who possibly is more advance/confident. However we were going to introduce it later on, as there is a bit more work needed to be up to scratch (we be almost like a hellofresh for bread). Do you think we should actually sideline the mix subscription and concentrate on a once a month box for a artisan loaf? What price point would you place this at?

The option of one mix a month that comes as a 'post box fit-able' large letter is a very interesting idea, thank you! The option of allowing members to submit and vote on other members bread mix ideas, with the most popular then being manufactured by us to send out one month is a feature there too. With our mixes it would come in around £3.75 a month...

Thanks x

cdtaylornats Wed 19-Aug-15 12:44:49

Have you seen the Vegan food boxes? One way to get feedback would be to test run by having a breadmix included in one of their boxes.

I would want it as 2 brown and two surprises.

I've had both graze boxes and brown bear coffee on subscription and the graze website is vastly better than brown bear.

You might also want to consider the gluten free market.

Generally speaking I wouldn't be a customer because I live 5 minutes away from an excellent baker and I can get the bread while its still warm.

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