Rainforest Bounty farms are located on the Atherton Tablelands. The plantations sustainably grow rainforest fruits which are native to the neighbouring Wet Tropics World Heritage region.
In 2014 Geraldine McGuire became the sole owner of Rainforest Bounty and promptly set about making a few changes to the business.Though the product range of sophisticated native Australian rainforest fruit condiments was well received, Geraldine’s adventurous entrepreneurial nature meant Rainforest Bounty was going to grow.
Starting with the rebrand and redesign of the product range which Evolve Brand Design has transformed. The growth of the business has included the launch of the River Pavilion restaurant, a cooking school, purchasing a manufacturing facility and the expansion of wholesale fruit sales.
Me: In launching brand in an emerging product category, what has been the biggest challenge?
Geraldine: The biggest challenge has been to find a way to connect with our target audience – cost effectively from a long distance away in regional Australia. We can produce the most amazing delicious product range but customers need to connect with it.
Me: How have you overcome that?
Geraldine: With agile marketing strategy that helps customers understand and fall in love with it. We started at farmers markets and festivals with lovely packaging and a great website. A pivotal change was launching the cooking school. It meant that we had hundreds of people fall in love with our products when they visit our beautiful property and then they became our brand ambassadors. Also the packaging has helped, the importance of getting that right has had a big impact too.
Me: To date what is your best Rainforest Bounty business decision?
Geraldine: Buying my own manufacturing facility. This has given me complete control over the logistics of getting the product overseas, which is the foundation for us to go global.Prior to making this investment we rented a commercial kitchen and were frequently limited by time. Now we have totally flexibility to create what we want when we want it.
Me: What has been the best opportunity you have had?
Geraldine: This year I was chosen by a venture capitalist Australian Small Scale Offerings Board to do a 2 day course. The training helped me position my business in the market and to come up with a unique distribution system. I found the traditional gourmet product distributors weren’t really interested in my product – they just didn’t get it! Now we have implemented an innovative distribution model that works for everyone.
Me: What are your best 3 tips for new producers?
Geraldine: 1. Do your market research. Start with festivals and markets to make sure the products are desired by a wide mainstream audience. 2. Get to know your who your target market are – this is very important to all marketing activities, for us it is the baby boomers and yummy mummy’s. 3.Have a really clear marketing strategy and budget (time and money) for its implementation.
Me: What is your favourite thing about working with us?
Geraldine: I like it that you are in touch with what’s happening in the industry, operating from north Queensland is some distance and you are always connected to current events. Also you are very honest and tell me when something is not going to work so I don’t waste money.
Final comment from Geraldine: I am looking forward to the next stage of expanding Rainforest Bounty. We are continuing our global journey and now need to start looking at how we will emphasise the Australian aspect of our brand even more.
For more information about the of Rainforest Bounty go to www.rainforestbounty.com.au