How Jake & Nayn’s Built a Successful Food Brand That’s Stocked in Over 6000 Stores in the UK
In the bustling world of food and retail, few stories are as compelling as that of Jake & Nayn’s. The brand, known for its innovative street food products, has carved a niche for itself in the UK’s competitive supermarket landscape. But how did two brothers, armed with their mother’s recipes and a relentless work ethic, manage to turn a humble idea into a nationwide phenomenon?
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Jake and Nayn’s journey began with a deep-rooted love for food. Nayn, who studied economics, always found himself working in food-related jobs, from waiting tables to kitchen work. Jake, on the other hand, had a background in sales and retail management. The brothers’ first foray into the food business was selling samosas and other finger foods, initially from the back of a car and later through a small factory unit.
“It was always in our blood. And with the way that mom’s fed us, we’ve always had a healthy and unhealthy relationship with food. We just love food. And then when you come down to our place, mom’s always trying all the different flavors. That’s kind of inbred into it.”Nayn Karia on Shift Click
Getting their Product into a Retailer like Harvey Nichols
The turning point came when Nayn went for a job interview at Harvey Nichols. When asked if he had any experience in food, Nayn mentioned his work with his brother. This led to a call from the Harvey Nichols buyer, and before they knew it, their products were listed in high-end stores like Harvey Nichols, Harrods, and Selfridges.
While it may seem like pure luck that got Jake & Nayn’s into retailers but it was the background and the years of work they had done in the food space that led to that call. The marketing, branding, and storytelling they had done also came into play to convince retailers to give them shelf space.
But getting a product into a retailer is just half the job, as Jake explains on Shift Click.”Venturing into the retail space with a product is not a mere walk in the park. This isn’t just about the initial capital for ingredients, packaging, and branding. It’s about ensuring that every step of the process, from production to distribution, meets the high standards set by retailers.”
Marketing Insights for Food Brands
Jake & Nayn’s understood the importance of branding and marketing early on. They invested heavily in creating a brand image that resonated with their target audience. While their products appealed to a broad demographic, their branding strategy was particularly effective in capturing the attention of Gen Z and millennials, who are deeply embedded in social media culture.
Here are some insights that they shared:
- Put a Marketing Budget for Education: If you’re introducing a new category of product, allocate a specific budget just for educating your audience about it.
- Build a Narrative Before Approaching Retailers: Before taking a product to a retailer, craft a compelling story behind it. Invest in marketing so that people are already familiar with your brand when you approach major retailers like Tesco, ASDA, Harrods, Sainsbury’s, and others.
- Leverage Social Media for Marketing: It’s not only more affordable but also fosters real-time engagement. The results from social media often surpass traditional channels like TV or outdoor marketing.
- Invest in Continuous Market Research: Engage a market research company to ensure your brand language and tone align with your audience’s preferences. Always base your decisions on data rather than intuition.
- Track Brand Awareness: Regularly use market research to measure your brand’s presence in the market. An increase in brand awareness indicates that your strategies are effective.
- A Holistic Approach is Key: The secret to success lies in a comprehensive strategy that seamlessly integrates storytelling, targeted social media campaigns, and data-driven decisions.
Also, read this article on B2B eCommerce trends in the Food and Beverage industry
The Secret Sauce
According to Jake, the brand’s success is not just about having a unique product; it’s about having a unique selling proposition (USP). They spent two years developing their signature ‘Naanster,’ a product that could be microwaved without losing its texture or flavor. This innovation set them apart from competitors and gave them a distinct edge in the market.
The Power of Family
One of the strengths of Jake & Nayn’s is the close-knit family unit that runs the business. Jake, Nayn, and Jake’s wife, who is also a part of the business, bring diverse yet complementary skills to the table. This unity and shared work ethic have been instrumental in driving the brand forward.
Jake & Nayn’s is still on a journey, with goals and milestones yet to be achieved. They have expanded their product range to include burritos, calzones, and more, and are now available in over 6,000 locations across the UK, including major airlines and railways.
In a world where success often seems overnight, the story of Jake & Nayn’s serves as a reminder that passion, innovation, and a whole lot of hard work are the true ingredients of a brand that stands the test of time.
For more in-depth discussions and expert insights, tune into Shift Click Podcast.