DRAGONS’ PANTRY – Tuesday 25th April and Wednesday 26th April.

Dragons Pantry logo

The heat is on for hopeful participants as the much-anticipated Dragons’ Pantry returns for another year. With a bank of discerning dragons ready to chew over entrepreneurial offerings, pitchers will have just 15 minutes to clinch a deal, gain recognition, garner advice or return home with nothing but food for thought.

We’ve been getting to know some of this year’s dragons and discovering what sort of pitches will fire them up and what mistakes might extinguish their interest altogether.

 

Paul Hargreaves, CEO of Cotswold Fayre

Paul Hargreaves cropped

What makes the perfect pitch?
A concise pitch with visuals and finished product available to taste are always the better ones from my 5 years’ experience of being a dragon! There is no chance of one of the panellists winning if there isn’t a good amount of time for the dragons to ask questions.

What one piece of advice would you give to those who will be pitching on the day?
Hopefully you have natural passion for your products. Let that passion shine through as this is one of the most compelling features of a good pitch. Do your research on pricing. Know the margins that different wholesalers and retailers require. Have pricing that works!

What will you be looking for on the day?
Innovation, passion, great packaging and a world-beating product!

 

Jeremy Bowen, Head of Sales at Paxton and Whitfield

Jeremy B cropped

What makes the perfect pitch?
True facts and figures rather than fluff and a story.

What one piece of advice would you give to those who will be pitching on the day?
Listen and learn (we don't know all the answers but our advice comes free).

What will you be looking for on the day?
Products and people who have done their homework and delight in a credible dialogue about their yummy product.

 

Eleanor Hatfield, Branding Expert

EH cropped

What makes the perfect pitch?
The person giving it. So much of a start up’s success is down to the person or people who are leading it. Their passion and self-belief. Investors buy into the idea, sure. But so much of it comes down to the team.

What one piece of advice would you give to those who will be pitching on the day?
Think about your brand story. What and why are you doing what you do, what makes you truly different and why would someone want to pay for that? Making sure you have a logical yet inspiring narrative where everything stacks up and makes sense will help you stand out. Success depends on excellent storytelling to my mind, these days.

What will you be looking for on the day?
A great brand story. Interesting, disruptive, imaginative products that are healthy, wholesome and delicious.

 

Dan Shaw, Managing Director of Cognosco

Dan Shaw

What makes the perfect pitch?
A perfect pitch for me is one that is clear, includes all the commercial details possible given a large varied audience and makes you engage with the candidate. I like to hear a brief story of how the company and product came about, what success they have had already and specifically what customers they are targeting. If they can add in their route to market – all well and good.

What one piece of advice would you give to those who will be pitching on the day?
One piece of advice will be to present what they know and if there are particular areas where they may need help, ask specific questions of the panel – otherwise the judges simply home in on areas where the detail may not have been clear or they have a particular skillset or interest.

What will you be looking for on the day?
On the day, I’m looking forward to seeing new things that are decent, realistically priced with margins for both wholesaler and retailer and that take into account market trends and are likely to appeal to a Farm shop and Deli customer – i.e. have some volume potential.

 

Nicki Stewart, Managing Director of Diverse Fine Foods

Nicki Stewart

What makes the perfect pitch?
A clear, concise pitch which delivers the necessary amount of information, concentrating on both the products and producers. Be mindful to provide origins, the story of how and why you created your products.

What one piece of advice would you give to those who will be pitching on the day?
Know your target market, along with your pricing strategy. Try to make the pitch a little upbeat and interesting for the audience and the Dragons… and do not be afraid, we do not actually bite!

What will you be looking for on the day?
We are magpies when good packaging is on the table! This is a must for our company, we are also looking for innovative products, something a little different.

 

Zoe Farmer, Business Development Director for Costcutter Supermarkets Groups

Zoe Farmer

What makes the perfect pitch?
I am really keen to see passion, enthusiasm and relevant facts - this is a sales pitch. I want to learn facts quickly that are relevant to my decision on whether this product/s have what it takes to make it in a competitive market place, what is the USP, why does this product make a difference to your life, what is the personal touch? etc

What one piece of advice would you give to those who will be pitching on the day?
Practise, be clear and concise and have a goal of what success for you looks like. Is there a particular question you want the panel to answer and if so make sure you get what you want out of the pitch.

What will you be looking for on the day?
Products that are commercial and not me-too products, something that has the edge over others in the market place. Something that is relevant to the shopper/sales sector, something that stands out from the crowd and has scalability. For example, if looking to launch a product into the Healthcare environment make sure it is CQUIN compliant.


Tuesday 25th April (2pm) and Wednesday 26th April (2:30pm) will see different dragons fiercely grilling hopeful entrepreneurs. Make sure you secure a spot in the audience for this fiery event.

 

See the full list of live events taking place at Farm Shop & Deli Live.

 

Read more Farm Shop & Deli Show blogs here.