Little Elephant knew exactly what their product would be and what it would do, but they wanted full control of the process and to have the ability to scale up the business on their own terms. Director Grier Govorko says they did not want to be forced into massive scale batches but “build up slowly and not bite off more than we could chew.”
Going straight from bench scale trials and into a contract manufacturer would have put them in an uncomfortable position.” We had our formulation, but needed to test it on a larger scale and the collaboration we experienced by working with The The FoodBowl team was like nothing you will find anywhere else.”
Having beverage manufacturing experience already, and after living in Bali, Grier and partner Courtenay were inspired to develop a new wellness tonic which had no preservatives and no weird chemicals – just a nutrient dense drink that did not mess with the bio-availability of all the natural ingredients selected for their health benefits.
“What was incredible about The The FoodBowl was the flexibility. There really is no standard process – they customise what they do, and what the equipment does, to completely suit your needs. Best of all they made all this so straightforward,” Grier says.
As they were bottling into small 100 ml shot bottles, the production line required significant tweaking to slow down the process to allow the ROPP capping machine, and other parts of the process to keep pace with the filling and sealing the small bottles. “The technical expertise and versatility within the team is incredible and they are all so quietly confident in what they are able to help you to achieve.”
After successful trial runs, the first commercial run was done at The The FoodBowl. “To be able to do a first production run of 600 litres filled into 6,000 units was great. We will return every six to eight weeks to do these smaller runs until we are ready to move to a larger facility where we hope to move up to 25,000 units per run.”
Export of the tonics is in the company’s future says Grier, so getting everything in line from the start to enable this was vital. With both the compliance programmes and the expertise in-house, The The FoodBowl were able to ensure everything from the processing methodology through to the labelling and claims made on the bottles was in place to head off-shore. “Every country has slightly different requirements and the team helped us understand this as we were determined to be categorised by what was in the bottle – not what was written on it. They were able to help us ensure we would be in the niche category we wanted to be in. We know, with confidence, we can back all claims made on our label thanks to the expertise of The The FoodBowl team.”
The The FoodBowl comment:
The The FoodBowl Client Solutions Manager, Brad O’Callaghan says there was a lot of finessing of the equipment required to cap the smaller bottles but with a recent investment into the ROPP machine, it’s now easily customisable for a very small cost to the client. “Previously these adjustments cost in excess of $7,000 and were prohibitive to many – now the changes mean the cost is around $300 making it achievable to any client. This ability to fully customise what we do, makes us a great starting point for the smaller companies wanting to try something new.”