Launching new products can be challenging for business owners and making your ideas successful can be daunting. Still, for Helene Raudaschl founder of Arlene®, a line of Halal, plant-based frozen meals, the process was both rewarding and challenging at the same time. To help entrepreneurs improve their odds of success, Helene shares a few lessons she’s learned along the way.
Timing is one of the most important factors in determining the success of a product launch. However, Helene focused on making every moment count during Arlene’s® development and creation phase. For Helene, waiting for the perfect time may just give an excuse for not taking action at all.
“Arlene® was developed and introduced to the Singapore and the UAE markets during the COVID-19 outbreak. Since we had the luxury of time, we could define, develop, and launch our brand at the right time. Having sufficient resources – in this case, time, industry knowledge, and creativity, greatly influences the timing.”
“My strong motivation for launching Arlene® is the fact that it is quite different from the competition. Arlene® represents who we are as a company -it’s multicultural, diverse, and a gourmet brand that caters to customers with diverse tastes and lifestyles,” says Helene. Arlene’s® 17 plant-based dishes are inspired by Middle Eastern, Asian, and Western cuisine.
“Rather than focusing on the science of Arlene® products, we focus on the eating experience our customers get from it, ”Helene emphasizes. She defines the brand’s ideal customer in as much detail as possible, determined by what they think, feel, and want in a plant-based meal, and designs the product accordingly.
Even the most popular or useful product won’t be liked by everyone, so having a clear definition of your target market is important, according to Helene. Consumers are becoming more interested in plant-based diets and buying from companies with similar values, such as those looking to better themselves and protect the environment.
As a passionate advocate of growth, Helene believes that there is always something about ourselves we can improve on. “The Arlene® brand was developed to meet customers’ specific needs - to better themselves by consuming healthy, convenient, and gastronomically satisfying plant-based foods.”
It is no secret that the food and beverage industry is competitive. According to statistics, more than 800 companies and brands either primarily focus on plant-based foods that directly replace animal products or have a business unitor product line focused on such products.
As a business owner, Helene knows that she needs to be familiar with changing consumer preferences. In her opinion, market research is crucial since it identifies gaps and provides improvements: “We are aware that Arlene’s® potential customers have a penchant for improving themselves through healthy yet delicious ready meals, meals that remind them of their mother’s excellent home cooking.”
“There are always challenges in business. No one will say it’s seamless. There were a lot of challenges to overcome, ”recalls Helene. One such challenge was sourcing reliable,100% vegan-certified raw ingredients (such as sugar, and sunflower oil, to name a few) on a commercial basis for the Arlene® products.
“Our strength comes from years of adapting, changing course very quickly, and learning fast. We must be clear about our mission and vision; otherwise, we will easily give up,” adds Helene.
Since Arlene's premiere in Singapore and Dubai a little over a year ago, the brand has had success. The following is Helene's top business advice: “Being passionate about what you want to start isthe first step. When you want to start a plant-based business, today's environment is very competitive, there are a lot of brands already, this is adynamic market. Your products will be successful if you have a compelling proposition and a satisfying customer experience.”
The environment needs our attention more than ever, and what better way to start than by participating in green living activity as a pastime?
The Christmas season is the perfect time to gift the earth-loving people in your life with a token of appreciation. The planet has given us so much – let’s return the favor!