How technology and data has driven innovation for Graze

graze hp

Graze has grown rapidly over the last few years, to the extent that it’s now one of the most recognisable healthy snack brands in the world.

At Shift today, Graze CEO Anthony Fletcher explained how technology has enabled the company to put customers at the centre of its strategy, and to be able to innovate rapidly.

Graze has been able to use technology to enter a competitive FMCG market, and outmanoeuvre more established players.

The company’s aim has been to create the world’s number one healthy snack, and to make healthy choices exciting.

Anthony listed four key advantages that Graze has over many of its rivals:

  1. The ability to build a brand.
  2. The use of data.
  3. A multichannel presence.
  4. Technology.

1. Brand

Graze has been able to build its brand rapidly, to the extent that it is now one of the more well-known healthy snack brands, ahead of many more established products from Kellogg’s and others.

2. Data

Graze uses as many data sources as it can to learn from customer behaviour and improve its products.

Indeed, Anthony recommends that you find as many data sources as you can, and combine them to learn and improve.

Graze can see data from three main channels:

  • Direct online sales and feedback from subscribers. It receives 15,000 ratings per hour from customers.
  • Through CPG channels – Graze products are now stocked in Boots, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and other major retailers.
  • B2B sales.

Graze can see data and make decisions in response very quickly. For example, a month or so after Sainsbury’s began stocking its products, Graze was able to tell them to delist certain products. It could see that these were not working, and could offer more effective alternatives. This is a much faster process than traditional FMCG brands.

Thus, the data helps retailers and Graze alike. This tech and data essentially enables greater collaboration.

For its move into the US, rather than conducting market research over a period of time – something which would have delayed the start date, it launched with the UK product range.

Graze knew this wouldn’t necessarily suit the US market, but it was able to learn from customer data and rapidly change the product range in response. This was more accurate and faster than traditional market research.

Now, 90% of the product range is localised to the US.

Graze-box-cropped

3. Multichannel

The more channels, the better. Moving from a pure play approach to selling products in Tesco and elsewhere has enabled Graze to achieve a much greater reach.

It has also helped to further establish the brand. Being stocked on the high street can be a faster way of building trust.

It has also helped Graze to understand how customers move between channels. Are they moving from buying in store to subscribing online? Are they moving from online to picking up items locally?

4. Technology

This is central to the success of Graze, and something the company has done well right from the start. It has been the basis for its success and ability to innovate more rapidly then other FMCG firms.

Graze has a tech-enabled factory in West London, which enables it to make rapid product decisions. For example, Graze can change things like packaging remotely, so new designs can be applied instantly to the production line. Thus the cost of innovation and failure is close to zero.

In summary

Graze is a great example of a company in which technology and data has been put at the heart of its strategy.

This in turn has given Graze a massive advantage over its more established yet slower-moving rivals. There’s no paying lip service to digital here, it’s right at the heart of its business model.

This was our inaugural Shift event. Our next one will be in San Francisco in August – see you there!

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