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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Packed - The Food Entrepreneur's Guide: How to Get Noticed and How to be Loved
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on 10 August 2017
Packed & Flying off the Shelves is a must have for any food start-up. Cutting out all the jargon, Tessa lays down everything you should know - or consider when bringing your product to fruition. When reading it, it comes across like it should be common sense - but most of these things can easily go over your head! An enjoyable and easy read with real-world examples that was finished in no time. Book 3 please!
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on 18 April 2013
If you are looking to launch your own artisan food and drink brand, then this book is a very useful guide. It is just over 100 pages in length and is delivered in a clear, succinct and concise bullet point style, conveying the how, what, why, where and who of the world of food retailing. From packaging to marketing, investing, selling and growing, this is a no nonsense business guide. The business advice given by entrepreneurs from within the industry is helpful and the insider tips on how to get your brand listed by important retailers is noteworthy.
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on 29 July 2014
What a great book. We are a very young start-up company and this book has been invaluable to us.
A very generous book that presents a lot of good research and is easy to read! We also loved her talks which are just as valuable.
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on 22 April 2013
If 37 Signals or the Beermat Entrepreneur were to write a book about how to launch a food brand, Packed is the sort of book I'd expect them to create.

Packed is a quick read, not because of a shortage of content but because all its points - and there are a lot - are presented in such a clear, down to earth way that the reader can whizz through the book. Tessa Stuart manages to take topics that others obfuscate about (branding, packaging design, commercial prioritisation) and distil them to their essence in such a way that, whilst reading, I found myself nodding in agreement with every point. In fact, she manages to make almost every suggestion seem like common sense (believe me, they aren't common sense - it is the trick of the writer to take smart ideas and present them so unambiguously and clearly that makes them seem so!).

Packed isn't a step-by-step manual for launching a food business (there's no "how to write your first business plan" here, for example) so don't buy it if you expect a microscopic guide with all the answers. What it DOES offer is two supremely valuable types of information that will give you a lot of food for thought (*boom boom*):

1) A broad-brush introduction to the big ideas which can be critical to the success of the new food business - things like ensuring the product is great, getting priorities right when developing the product or maintaining good relations with suppliers or vendors and many more. These are the sorts of big picture concept that the aspiring food entrepreneur should aim to master if they are to be successful.

2) An enormous number of much more granular suggestions which contribute to getting those big key areas of the business right. Packed consists of actionable strategy after actionable strategy for nurturing and growing an early stage food business - from economical ways to conduct effective market research to common pitfalls to avoid. And this is where the reader can benefit from the author's obviously considerable experience.

As much as those two groups of concrete suggestions, the value of the book is also in the attitude it encourages: can-do enthusiasm; a balanced, logical and rational approach; a sense that received wisdom is often not the best wisdom; and a mindset that a successful business can be built with hard work rather than necessary reliance on lots of money. Packed encourages the reader to believe that getting their product into production, into small independent shops and eventually possibly into supermarkets is not only possible, it is realistic too.

Is there anything to criticise about Packed? Well, really only very minor things. The main small criticism is that the book uses a few pieces of retail business lingo without necessarily explaining them. Anyone who has experience in food retail will know what a "multiple" is, for example, but the total novice might appreciate explanation of half a dozen or so words that feature.

This is small criticisms though. In case I haven't been clear: for the new or aspiring food entrepreneur, the suggestions and approaches contained in Packed are pure gold dust. It is the book I wish had been available when I started working in food business.
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on 2 July 2013
I met Tessa, at a food event in London, when she was talking about her work and giving lots of great and free advice to startups. Her presentation was packed with great material, and not that wishy washy stuff that the books shops are full of, this stuff was GOLD.

She has been there and done that, worked with top top brands and helped to take them to the next level, Innocent Smoothies, Moma, G'nosh, Gu pudding and a whole load more.
So when i found out she has her own book, i jumped at the chance to buy it!!!

The great thing about the book is it is concise, informative and pulls no punches. There are loads of thought provoking tips in there that really work. Eg the tasting sessions pg 88, the day after reading this i called a cool south London cafe which i was dreaming of having my stuff in, and approached them, they loved my product and sent an email to me the next day wanting to make an order and asking about prices. Of course i was over the moon about this, but then had to think about pricing, do i go low to get my first customer? do i go high and make more margin? aahhhh!!!!!!
so i open Tessa's book -> table of contents -> pg 23, 37 and 39 read -> clarity -> email sent -> order received cue crazy jumping around the room!!!
Cant wait to try the rest of the ideas in there soon, im sure i'll have success with this fine little piece of literature on my side.

The book is not filled with fluff as these things often are, she gets straight to the point, with nice little tips from entrepreneurs she has worked with who have had success. It doesn't give you all the answers, but what it does is, it makes you ask the right questions to allow you consider issues from the correct perspective and thus a higher chance of success.

The best thing about the book for me is its pragmatic approach. She pulls no punches, and doesn't make it sound like a walk in the park.
With these thought provoking insights, creativity and a whole load of hard work, there's a good chance of success for lots of us!!!!
Ps if you want to track us as proof of how we are doing with Tessa's advice follow us on twitter.com/chomponkarkli
Good luck people!!!
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on 15 April 2013
This is great: a book about entrepreneurship and how to grow a business, but within a tightly defined market sector. There are thousands of food and drink entrepreneurs who want to "do an Innocent"; Tessa's book provides the recipes - it's just down to the reader to do the cooking. Tessa writes with flair and colour and, most of all, a genuine joy and interest in the subject.
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on 27 November 2014
Packed is a great read: a pithy, no-nonsense, and jargon-free introduction to launching a food product in today’s crowded marketplace. Tessa writes with a clear sense of strategy, organising her material around a series of key themes: product, retail outlet, brand identity, and packaging, along with shorter sections on shelf life and market research. The book breaks what can seem difficult or abstract questions down (such as deciding which outlets to aim for, or articulating your brand’s ‘message’) into practical bullet points, with a focus on realistic targets and achievable goals. What sets Packed apart from other similar publications, however, is Tessa’s personal approach to the subject. She draws on, and quotes from, first-hand knowledge and experience in the food retail world, and in doing so, helps to make her guidance even more targeted and relevant, relating everything she writes to current food trends and the British brands and products that have enjoyed recent successes in the supermarkets and independent food stores. Packed doesn’t cover the administrative or regulatory aspects of setting up a food business, but this isn’t a weakness: this is a book about understanding what makes outlets stock a product and drives their customers to buy it. I finished reading Packed in a couple of hours, but it's a book I will return to again and again as I work towards launching my own food startup.
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on 8 May 2013
What a great book, I have my own food business and Tessa's book goes straight to the heart of the of the subject. A brilliant step by step guide to the things you need to consider when breaking into the food business and particularly the supermarkets. It is a tough game out there and if only Tessa had written this two years ago I could have prevent myself from making some of the mistakes I made.
An easy read, great to dip into, it will remain on my desk for many weeks when I need advice or inspiration.
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on 16 April 2013
Fantastic! Definitely a must read for food and drink companies and budding entrepreneurs! If you would like to have your food and drink products flying off the supermarket shelves then I highly recommend buying `Packed - The Food Entrepreneur's Guide: How to get noticed and how to be loved'. Tessa Stuart's vast industry experience and insider secrets are revealed inside. Not only that, it's written in an easy to digest and entertaining way which makes this book simply a delight to read.
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on 13 May 2013
'Packed' is a little gem of a book. If I were a small food or drink producer wanting to get noticed and get ahead but without the oodles of money this usually takes then I'd be following some of the very practical, very do-able suggestions in this book. Aimed at the budding food or drink entrepreneur it is an easy-access guide written by someone with lots of practical experience of helping small companies (some of which are now LARGE companies) get noticed on the shelf. Getting the consumer's attention on the shelf is not as easy as it sounds and 'Packed' is full of very good advice about how to make packaging and pack design compelling to the consumer. There is also lots of good, sensible advice on how to engage with the consumer such as this - "Sampling is edible advertising". How true is that?

This is not an academic marketing book but a real hands-on guide

I would recommend anyone with a small food or drink business or anyone who is thinking of starting one to find £7.98 in their sales & marketing budget and buy this book.
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