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How MOMA Foods Found the Perfect Strategy for Its Porridge

Author Jon MillsJon Mills

5 min read
Better Business

Join Osome’s How Not To Fail on MOMA Foods' inspiring journey from setbacks to triumphs. Discover how they overcame challenges, pivoted their focus, and found success in the competitive food industry. Gain valuable insights from Pete Joubert and learn the strategies for entrepreneurial success.

How MOMA Foods Found the Perfect Strategy for Its Porridge

At Osome, we believe that failing and taxes are two certainties in life. We've done our fair share of both. Inspired by our own failures, Thomas Edison's 10,000 attempts to make a lightbulb, and the many successful entrepreneurs who've faced setbacks on their way to the top, we launched our new campaign: How Not To Fail.

To kick off this campaign, we had the opportunity to speak with Pete Joubert from MOMA Foods, an outstanding organic oat milk and porridge brand.

Watch the video here and discover MOMA's journey below.

How It All Began

Leaving the comfort of a stable corporate job to embark on a startup journey is always a bold move. Pete Joubert made that leap when he joined MOMA Foods. He realised the importance of aligning his career with his values and sought a role that allowed him to shape his own destiny and make a significant impact.

Reflecting on his motivation to join MOMA, Pete said,

"I knew I needed to work in a smaller challenger environment where I could see tangible results and make a difference. That's when I discovered the opportunity to join MOMA, a brand I both admired and respected."

Overcoming Setbacks and Seizing Opportunities

During its early days, MOMA faced a significant setback when its products were pulled from major retailers like Boots and Co-Op due to changing buyer preferences. While this turn of events could have been devastating, MOMA saw it as an opportunity for growth and innovation, even with limited financial resources.

One major failure they encountered was the launch of their Birch Muesli product, which didn't sell well and resulted in high wastage. MOMA realised that the product was too niche and lacked brand awareness outside of London. However, instead of persisting with an unsuccessful product, they made the courageous decision to pivot and focus on porridge. This shift in focus allowed them to offer a quality and taste upgrade to their mass-market competitor, Quaker.

According to Pete, this experience was a pivotal moment for the company. He explained,

"It was a wake-up call for us. We had to reevaluate our strategy and find new ways to reach our target audience. Instead of dwelling on the setback, we focused on refining our products, expanding our distribution channels, and strengthening our brand presence."

This setback acted as a catalyst for MOMA to pivot and explore alternative avenues for success. Through reflection and strategic planning, they discovered the untapped potential of contract caterers and the travel industry. By shifting their focus and adapting their business model, MOMA found fresh opportunities for growth and expansion.

Transforming Challenges into Triumphs

The journey to growth is rarely a linear path, as MOMA has learned. Under Pete's leadership, the company transitioned from a founder-led startup to an established brand in the fiercely competitive food and beverage industry. This transformation wasn't solely about survival; it involved strategic adaptation to market demands and maximising the company's potential. As we see it, adaptability and agility are essential elements of entrepreneurial success. By remaining flexible and resilient in the face of challenges, businesses can position themselves for sustainable growth.

Reflecting on the obstacles encountered, Pete emphasised the need for agility and responsiveness. He stated,

"The key is to learn and adapt quickly. The market and consumer tastes are constantly evolving, and standing still will leave you behind."

Another challenge MOMA confronted was hiring the right individuals for their small business environment. They realised that traditional hiring approaches used by larger companies were not effective for them. Instead, they discovered that individuals with experience in challenging environments or a specific interest in working in a startup setting were more successful. MOMA also recognised the importance of swiftly rectifying hiring mistakes to prevent negative impacts on the team and company culture.

The Power of Adaptability and Learning

Pre-Incorporation Checklist

As the saying goes, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again." MOMA faced another significant setback with the launch of their Birch Muesli product, which experienced poor sales and resulted in high wastage. It became evident to MOMA that the product was too niche and lacked brand awareness beyond London. Rather than persisting with an unsuccessful product, they made a courageous decision to pivot their focus towards porridge. This strategic shift allowed them to offer a quality and taste upgrade compared to their mass-market competitor, Quaker.

"The big learning really is trying to spot when things aren't working and pivot the business... Your first idea isn't always the right one. So that's where some of the failure and learning comes in."

This universal truth underscores the importance for entrepreneurs to remain agile and responsive to shifting market dynamics. Your willingness to adjust strategies and embrace change can be the difference between succumbing to failure and achieving long-term success.

Pete's Tips for How Not To Fail

These experiences have shaped MOMA's journey and provided valuable insights for entrepreneurs.

"What is my advice? Be more patient with yourself, the team, and the business... Trust your gut more... Trust the warning signs to yourself, rather than your urge to just want to win, maybe. Let the outside in, listen to advice, and listen to your gut."

Here are some key takeaways from Pete Joubert's advice:

  1. Embrace change

The ability to adapt quickly to market changes is crucial for sustaining success. Be open to new ideas, listen to customer feedback, and be willing to pivot your strategies when necessary.

  1. Prioritise innovation

Continuously seek opportunities for innovation and improvement. Stay ahead of industry trends, invest in research and development, and be proactive in finding new ways to deliver value to your customers.

  1. Build a strong team

Surround yourself with talented individuals who share your vision and values. Foster a collaborative culture and empower your team to take ownership of their roles.

  1. Stay customer-centric

Your customers are the lifeblood of your business. Strive to understand their needs, exceed their expectations, and build strong relationships that foster loyalty and advocacy.

And, of course, as the driving force behind Osome's How Not To Fail campaign...

  1. When you do fail, learn from it

Mistakes and setbacks are part of the entrepreneurial journey. Embrace them as valuable learning experiences and use them to fuel your growth and development.

Let’s give you a leg up

Success starts with the right tools and the right team. At Osome, we provide financial admin solutions powered by smart software and expert accountants to keep your business on the winning track.

Further Reading

MOMA Foods' Journey in Numbers

MOMA's growth story is nothing short of impressive. Here are some key statistics and milestones that demonstrate their successes:

  • Remarkable revenue growth: Since its inception, MOMA has achieved significant annual revenue growth of 25% over the past five years.
  • Expansion into new markets: MOMA has successfully established a presence in both domestic and international markets, with its brand now available in over 20 countries worldwide.
  • Awards and acclaim: MOMA has received numerous accolades for its exceptional products and commitment to innovation. The brand has been recognised as the Best Organic Food Brand and awarded for the Most Innovative Breakfast Product.
  • A commitment to sustainability: MOMA is deeply dedicated to sustainability and environmental stewardship. The company has implemented various initiatives throughout its supply chain to reduce its carbon footprint and minimise waste.
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