Small business ideas often arise when individuals aren’t able to find a particular type of product that meets their needs. That’s the basic story behind the launch of Sweet Nothings.
A mom simply wanted clean, healthy snacks that her kids would eat. But these options were lacking on store shelves. So she created her own. Read more about the company’s story in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.
What the Business Does
Offers a variety of healthy snacks.
Co-founder and CEO Jake Kneller told Small Business Trends, “Sweet Nothings retails clean, organic, plant-based superfood snacks. Their portfolio of products includes Spoonable and Squeezeable Smoothies and Nut Butter Bites.”
Using high quality ingredients.
Kneller says, “All of our products are made from just organic fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds. Nothing artificial, no added sugars and no crap. Most of CPG takes shortcuts with sugar, gums, oils and more. We do not.”
How the Business Got Started
Out of a personal desire for clean snacks.
Kneller explains, “[Co-founder] Beth Porter grew up in a food desert with little understanding of nutrition, but that changed as she grew older and particularly when she became a mother. Frustrated by the unhealthy snacks she found on grocery shelves, she purchased a small food processor and started mixing different combinations of organic fruits, nuts and seeds, creating a smoothie-like treat that quickly became a family and friend favorite.
“That effort turned into Sweet Nothings, a clean-snack company that has gained distribution in more than 3,500 stores ranging from Kroger to Whole Foods and expanded to three different product lines in just four years.”
Launching in Sprouts stores around the country.
Kneller says, “??This led to 350 stores nationwide that carried our products and allowed us to reach our consumers from Florida to Texas to California.”
Navigating the pandemic.
Kneller adds, “Prior to COVID, 100% of our revenue was from corporate and university cafeterias where we had built a big business. Overnight, our revenue went to zero, and stayed there for several months, which was really scary.
“We managed to stay in business by immediately launching a DTC site and reaching out to grocery stores about carrying our product.”
Launching their new Kids’ Squeezable Smoothies and Nut Butter Bites.
Kneller explains, “We had to risk a lot of our capital to launch new product lines before they were proven in the market. If we had been wrong about the products, flavors, and branding, we would have lost a lot of money. But instead, it grew our business 3X in 2022 and allowed us to start to build a brand across several categories.”
How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000
Launching more in-store demos.
Kneller says, “When customers get the chance to learn more about our products and try them, they love what we are all about. And we would love to get our products into more customers’ hands.”
“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” – Mike Tyson.
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Image: Sweet Nothings, co-founder Beth Porter