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17 Feb A Guide to Coconut Nectar Honey

Heard of coconut nectar but not sure what the buzz is about? Noticed that 2017 is the year of the vegan and on the lookout for some delicious alternatives? You’ve come to the right place. We’ve compiled a handy guide to help educate you and your customers on the latest innovation in coconuts!

What is it made from?

Our organic coconut nectar is made from 100% pure coconut sap, so there’s no need to worry about any added nasties! Coconut trees are one of the most versatile out there, and the blossom is one of the many parts of the tree that can be used to produce delicious ingredients.

How is it made?

We use the thick flowering blossoms (some people call this the ‘palm’) from the tree. When these are tapped, they produce a sweet sap, which is then treated at low temperatures. This creates coconut nectar as we know it – it’s that simple. Communities across the globe have been doing this for centuries, so our farmers definitely have the skill perfected!

How is it different from honey and other natural sweeteners?

First of all, it’s vegan! Coconut nectar is one of the closest substitutes for normal honey, so it’s a great way for vegans to get a bee-free honey fix. Low GI and positively packed with coconut goodness, it also makes for a delicious swap for sugar in cooking and baking.

What can it be used for?

Some more good news for your customers: coconut nectar is extremely adaptable. Some people like to use it in place of normal honey – in porridge, on toast, or in drinks. It makes for a brilliant baking alternative to refined sugar, and marinades, roasted veggies and breakfast options will thank you for adding this natural boost, too!

What does it taste of?

Surprisingly, not coconut! Just like regular honey, coconut nectar is runny and sweet. That’s accompanied by a rich, warm and slightly more complex flavour than honey – tempting, right?

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08 Feb Coco-Collaborate: How We’ve Used Collaboration as a Tool For Success

The world of start-ups can be pretty isolating and lonely. Unless you have past experience in the field, there is a lot to figure out. At the same time, your major customers are HUGE in comparison and have a wealth of institutional knowledge. At Coconut Merchant, we overcame this early on by making our natural love of collaboration core to everything we do. Here are four simple reasons why we think other companies should too!

We can build more together!

We’ve loved working with other brands since we started. You might know some of them! They include: Aduna, Pip & Nut, Virtue Energy Drinks, CharbewSimplee Aloe, Pic’s Peanut Butter, and iQualTech.

By working together, we can share information on what has worked with retailers, share contacts, run joint competitions and even do instore promotions together. Collectively, we can guide and support each other towards our mutual benefit.

house build sims

Let’s Innovate!

Two heads are definitely better than one! By combining our knowledge of tastes and the market here, with the expertise of our farmers and production teams overseas, we’ve been able to innovate and come up with products that are first in their field! This means that we cannot only stay ahead of our competition, but we can stay true to our goal of revolutionising how natural foods are enjoyed!

Spread the Word!

If other people share your vision and mission, let them help you! We are blessed with a team of people who are experts in their fields, from videography to developing recipes. They share our passion for natural foods and vision for working with farmers in developing countries. Together we collaborate and each contribute what we can to the greater good. For example, we share our range of coco-goodies with our Contributing Chefs and they in turn develop the incredible recipes on our social media pages. We then cross-promote each other and now have a collective reach of over 5million people!

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Just Six Degrees of Separation?

You know what they say: it’s not what you know, it’s who you know! The buyers and customers we work with are so incredibly busy, so getting their attention can be a bit of a mission. And there’s nothing better than an introduction from a friend to shortcut – something that we have both benefited from and taken part in on several occasions.

There are so many benefits to collaborating. It has been one of the tools that has helped us grow, and escape the great isolation and unknown that is the FMCG start up world. If you’re in the same boat, give us a shout and let’s grow together!

 

 

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26 Aug 5 Reasons Why the Coconut Market is the Place to Be

A staple ingredient in Asian, African and Caribbean cultures for centuries, coconuts have gone through the process of rediscovery in the West in recent times, skyrocketing back into the public eye with great success. At Coconut Merchant we honour the merchants of old by sharing our quality coconut products to the eager global market.  Here are five reasons why coconuts continue to be the plant to beat in 2016.

graph 1

Frequency of ‘coconut’ search term 2010-present. Source: Google Trends, 2016

 

  1. Coconuts: the new… everything?

The impressive versatility of the coconut has certainly forged an impact on the popularity and market size. Growing from just a tropical water and an alternative to standard cooking oils, the versatility of coconuts is now coming into full display with different parts of the palm being used for varying results. This has lead us at Coconut Merchant to produce innovative products like our award-winning coconut jam, syrup, sugar, savoury sauce (a soy sauce alternative), flour, butter, vinegar and Beauty Balm – amongst many others!

 

  1. Free-from-frenzy

One in three people now buy or eat free-from foods, with three quarters of those doing so even though they don’t have a food intolerance (Mintel, 2016). Food consumption and perceptions are changing; gluten and dairy alternatives are now a viable and healthy option. Coconuts are a great substitute to products usually containing gluten and other substances which people try to avoid. We understand that knowing our consumers’ needs, views, aspirations and interests is key to delivering a relevant product offering. That’s why we tailor our new products towards these trends, like our Coconut Nectar, a vegan honey alternative, perfect for the many people out there following a vegan lifestyle.

 

graph 2

Value of the free-from market. Source: Mintel, Free-from foods, 2016

  1. Health

Studies suggest that specific parts of the coconut have antibacterial, antiviral, disinfectant, and positive electrolyte properties which can be beneficial to health (Mandal et al, Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine, 2011). This serves as a market driver and helps showcase the positive, adaptable properties of coconuts and our products at Coconut Merchant.

 

  1. Authentic is Best

Food sourcing preferences of consumers have seen a shift in recent years. Previously, food characterised as local received the most added emotional value to consumers. However, this trend has shifted to authenticity proving more important. Searching for food that is true to its origin and has a culturally significant background gives consumers more satisfaction. Consequently, at Coconut Merchant we are proud of the the origin of our products and the authenticity of the ingredients, production methods and farmers that help us bring our products to market.

 

  1. Ethical Produce

Linked to the above, of importance to customers is the providence of products – with the ethical methods used to bring products to market having key importance. At Coconut Merchant, ethical sourcing is a central part of our business ethos and company culture. This has great value for customers who share our values, beliefs and mission – as well as providing a key point of difference from our competition.

 

graph 3

Ethical Spending in the UK. Source: The Independent, 2015

 

  1.  Google Trends: Coconut Search Term. Google. Available from: https://www.google.co.uk/trends/explore?date=2009-07-19%202016-08-19&q=coconut [Accessed 19 August 2016].
  2. Ford, R, 2015. Yellow Fats and Edible Oils – UK. Mintel, [Accessed 19 August 2016].
  3. Hudson, E, 2009. How to build coconuts’ health and wellness credentials. Passport Insights, [Accessed 19 August 2016].
  4. Rodionova, Z, 2015. Ethical spending surges to £38bn in UK as consumers look to green alternatives. The Independent, Available from: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/ethical-spending-surges-to-38bn-in-uk-as-consumers-look-to-green-alternatives-a6790956.html [Accessed 23 August 2016] 
  5. Soininen, K, 2016. Free-from Foods – UK. Mintel, [Accessed 19 August 2016].

 

Written by Nicole Goyder

 

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07 Nov Communications Intern

Know what a coconut looks like? Good. Are you a social media superstar? Great! Are you passionate about wellness? Awesome! Coconut Merchant is looking for an enthusiastic communications intern who will be able to assist us with our social platforms. You will work with our marketing and business development team to produce and schedule content, interact with our online community, and help generate copy! This is a great role for a student or anyone passionate about healthy living and looking to get involved in the industry. If you’re nuts about coconuts – even better!

 

ABOUT COCONUT MERCHANT:

Coconut Merchant is passionate about revolutionising how people enjoy natural foods. We believe that people should be able to enjoy healthy foods that are simply natural, high in quality and delicious in every way. We do this by providing innovative and premium grade coconut-based products. We work directly with farmers in the countries we source from to ensure our products are ethically sourced and competitively priced, so everyone can enjoy the amazing natural bounty of coconuts!

 

JOB DESCRIPTION:

We work across several social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and LinkedIn.
The focus of this role is to support our marketing and business development team, helping to manage our external communications and social platforms. Key responsibilities include:

  • Scheduling and making posts across all social media platforms;
  • Assisting with copywriting for our blog and external communications;
  • Helping generate new and exciting content and ideas;
  • Assist with specific projects;
  • Assist with developing brand awareness;
  • Helping interact with followers and fans in a prompt and friendly manner reflective of the brand.

 

ABOUT YOU

The ideal candidate will:

  • be enthusiastic, outgoing, and confident, with a positive attitude!
  • have some photography and photo editing skills.

This is a great opportunity for a student who wants to gain experience in the communications/FMCG sector. You will have the opportunity to learn about other aspects of the business should you be interested, and further longer-term opportunities may exist for the right candidate.

 

Other Important Info:

Location: You will be based at Coco HQ in Mitcham, South London;

Hours: We’re flexible! Its a part-time role and we can base it around your schedule.

This role is unsalaried, but relevant travel expenses will be paid for – Oh, and there is an endless supply of coco-goodies for you to enjoy!

 

WHAT’S NEXT?

Think you sound like a good match? Send us a copy of your CV with a brief covering letter explaining what makes this a great role for you. Successful candidates will be invited in for a brief meeting so we can get to know you and discuss how we could best work together. Please send your application to info@coconut-merchant.com.

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21 Feb Sales Manager

Know what a coconut looks like? Good. Are you a sales superstar? Great! Do you have an entrepreneurial attitude? Awesome! Coconut Merchant is looking for a Sales Manager to develop and manage its relationships with existing customers while also acquiring new clients. If you’re passionate about healthy eating, have competitive drive and sales experience, we want to hear from you!

COMPANY:

Coconut Merchant an exciting start-up that is passionate about revolutionising how people enjoy natural foods. We pride ourselves on:

  • Providing quality products that are natural and delicious;
  • Being competitively priced at all aspects of our supply chain;
  • Ethically sourcing our products.

We operate in a very competitive environment with a broad range of companies and distribution channels, as well as astute and passionate end customers. We have secured some fantastic customers and are keen to develop this further.

JOB DESCRIPTION:

  • management of existing client relationships with distributors and wholesalers, including visiting clients on site, promoting the brand and reviewing in-store priorities;
  • working with existing partners to service the needs of these costumers and make these relationships more fruitful and entrenched;
  • creating and developing new company relationships to get our products listed;
  • seeking, organising and managing sale and promotion opportunities, including a team of brand ambassadors;
  • collecting customer feedback and market research as needed;
  • reporting to senior company managers;
  • assisting in recruiting, training and managing junior and/or regional sales staff;
  • assisting with developing the brand and brand awareness;
  • maintain at all times a professional demeanour with clients and customers.

 

SKILLS:

  • Three or more years sales experience, ideally within the FMCG sector;
  • Strong interpersonal skills and an ability to relate to people from diverse backgrounds;
  • Excellent negotiation skills;
  • Initiative and enthusiasm;
  • Demonstrable commercial awareness and sensibility;
  • Excellent writing, speaking and presentation skills;
  • Computer and technical literacy, with an ability to use the Microsoft Office Suite;
  • A demonstrable ability to think outside the box, innovate and think creatively;
  • Driver’s license required.

 

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • University level qualifications desired, but not essential.
  • Full driver’s license.

 

SALARY: Base salary + Commission

LOCATION: Surrey, London though some travel may be required.

Job Type: Full-time

Job Location: CocoHQ – Mitcham CR4

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03 Dec Ethically Sourced

At Coconut Merchant, ensuring that our products are ethically sourced is at the core of our beliefs. It is important to us that we source our coconut products in ways that respect the people that produce them and the places in which they are grown.

To do this we have set out a set of standards that enshrine our Ethically Sourced policy. In short these standards cover:

  • Working conditions for staff and farmers;
  • Pay for staff, farmers;
  • The price paid for their produce;
  • Environmental sustainability.

 

COCONUT MERCHANT
ETHICALLY SOURCED STANDARDS

In keeping with our core beliefs, these eight standards set out the fundamental requirements in our sourcing policy. Coconut Merchant recognises that while some suppliers may not be able to achieve these standards immediately, they must express an interest in and be willing to:

  • implement appropriate processes to raise their standards to comply with this document;
  • demonstrate responsible and transparent approaches to their work and practices; and
  • demonstrate an on going commitment to improving their ethical standards.

These standards represent the minimum requirements that must be met. They are:

  1. Suppliers must not use any forced or involuntary labour, and workers must not be obliged to lodge ID papers or deposits as a condition of work;
  2. Workers must not be required to work extreme hours, or for long shifts without adequate rest periods;
  3. While we appreciate that in some regions and circumstances this may appear needed, suppliers must not engage workers under 15 years of age (an ILO Labour Standard), or the minimum domestic working age if higher. Where such labour is discovered, suppliers must engage appropriate remediation for such workers and implement adequate and reasonable processes that aim to prevent the use of child labour in the future;
  4. Factories and work areas must exhibit reasonable and adequate safety and hygiene standards for staff;
  5. Suppliers must pay sufficient wages to staff so that they can meet their basic needs and have some discretionary income;
  6. We shall in all circumstances endeavour to work directly with farmers’ cooperatives and those closest to the production of coconuts. If we are unable to work directly with farmers and their cooperatives, we must endeavour to be as close as possible to them in the supply chain to ensure a fair and transparent price is paid for goods and produce;
  7. Suppliers must endeavour to engage in sustainable farming techniques wherever possible. Where non-sustainable practices are discovered, suppliers will adjust their techniques to ensure care of the natural environment.
  8. In essence, these standards express the fact that while we wish to enjoy the bounties of this natural produce, it will not be at the expense of our good conscience.

 

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