In this interview, we hear from Co-Founder Georgia Branch from Trichomia, about their hemp based product lines, and embracing that first mover advantage.
Hello Georgia! What’s your background, and what is your business?
My background was retail PR and marketing and I also have a really strong interest in health and wellness. My other business is Australia’s first mature age talent agency, we represent models 30-90+ allowing brands to start a conversation with our most affluent but underserved consumers.
Trichomia Pty Ltd is a private company holding two of Australia’s fastest growing hemp foods brands – Hemple and Soul Seed. Hemple is in 350 stores nationally and Soul Seed is in 150 (83 Coles in NSW + 75 Ritchies). We are also in Planet Organic in the UK.
What motivated you to get started with Trichomia Pty Ltd?
When my co-founder Cade Turland asked if I wanted to join him to start a hemp foods company, knowing the health benefits, I jumped at the chance to build a brand from scratch.
I love the idea of getting into a hot niche market. When we started, hemp foods were not yet legal, we expected Food Standards change their ruling but it wasn’t certain. We got a head start and had a first mover advantage and hope to do something similar with our new CBD / CBG products.
We also saw it as an opportunity to introduce Australians to the versatile superfood, with a host of health benefits including highly bioavailable edestin protein, plus a positive environmental profile. The whole ethos is to bring sustainable, local, plant-based nutrition into Australian homes.
Who is the ideal customer for Trichomia Pty Ltd? Why would they benefit?
Hemple targets a tribe of health conscious foodies who value premium ingredients and seek wellbeing benefits in every mouthful.
Soul Seed is an approachable brand designed for a mass market health foods customer. The products “pop” visually and clearly communicate macro and micro nutrient benefits, specifically suited to supermarkets shelves. Our target market is the primary household buyer, women 25-55 seeking to easily enhance nutrition in every meal. We promise sustainably farmed, fresh and local hemp protein, seeds and oil. And with nutritionist-approved, quick and healthy recipes, Soul Seed helps simplify whole food nutrition.
We create sustainable, plant-based, genuinely healthy foods and therapeutics to help people feel their best. Our innovative hemp- based products help support your endocannabinoid system from the gut to the brain.
Communicate things in a way that’s simple and compelling.
Looking back, how has your business evolved from initial idea to now?
Overall, I would say growth and a development of the experience and understanding of consumers about our products! We’re focussed on expanding overseas at the moment. We’ve just launched in Planet Organic in the UK and have a US launch planned for January 2019.
We’re also expanding out of food and into CBD and CBG products. We want to make these products affordable and effective for people, using the best quality cannabinoids and terpenes.
Our first one, Omega, is for a good nights sleep and we’re then launching Alpha, which will be single serve performance sachets with CBD, CBG, MCT, Hemp and adaptogens to kick start a productive day.
Soul Seed – we’re focused on expanding our reach in supermarkets here in Australia to make high quality hemp seed accessible to Aussie families. We’re hoping to range nationally in Coles and into more IGA groups.
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
My main role at Trichomia is brand / sales / marketing. I think its important to understand the need to hustle in order to get where you want to go and also to communicate things in a way that’s simple and compelling, but more importantly, identify things that aren’t worth talking about.
How do you market Trichomia Pty Ltd to attract new customers?
We have a recipe and “Hemp Academy” blog on our website and also thrive on social media. We’re the leaders in Aus with the most followers on Instagram and we really double down on engaging and educational content.
We have a solid public relations campaign and work with an agency to spread the word further. Both brands also use influencer marketing and our ambassador Guy Turland (Bondi Harvest) does some great work.
What has been your biggest challenge as a business owner and how have you met that challenge?
Well I wouldn’t say we’ve overcome it, but the biggest issue we have building the brand is that some key forms of advertising are not available to hemp companies, including Facebook ads. We’re hoping this changes if the farm bill changes.
What is unique about your business?
We offer functional food blends for gut health and metabolism as well as classics CBD/CBG product. I also think we have cool branding, functional vegan products and we have the IQS tick of approval saying we’re sustainable and healthy.
|Locations||Australia, UK, US|