Entry to the 2019 GIMA Innovators Seed Corn Fund is now open, with one lucky winner poised to receive a £6,000 grant, and unrivalled developmental and marketing support to help them break into the garden retail market. Last year’s winners – Bloomin Amazing from West Country Soil Development – drew praise from the judges thanks to the company’s and product’s environmental credentials, and volume sales potential.
Now 12 months on since the win, we catch up with the Bloomin Amazing team to find out how it has shaped the business, and to learn more about how the company has been thriving during its first full season in the garden retail industry.
Tell us more about what winning the GISCF meant to you and your business?
As a start-up enterprise with limited resources, winning the GIMA Innovators Seed Corn Fund really helped us make our modest resources work much more effectively. It raised our profile during Glee thanks to the great PR coverage, and then the fund allowed us to continue to invest in promoting our product all through the season.
What was the immediate impact of your win?
At Glee 2018 we signed up lots of new customers and during the subsequent few weeks we built up our distribution significantly which allowed us to consider selling to a much wider network. We now reach North up to Manchester whereas before we restricted ourselves to a 100-mile radius of the plant. Approaching 12 months on from the win we can now boast nearly 100 garden centre stockists.
How was your first experience of Glee?
Glee was a great launch pad for our new business, and we found the networking opportunities extremely helpful. It’s a very competitive environment but we also found people in the garden market a friendly bunch and we got lots of helpful advice. Winning the GIMA Innovators Seed Corn Fund and the New Product ‘Best of British’ awards at Glee was an incredible boost for us.
How did the award win shape your plans for the year ahead?
We attended the Garden Press Event where we met some highly influential media people which has really helped to keep the profile of Bloomin Amazing high on the agenda, especially in social media channels. We’ve also been able to retain the services of some specialist trade marketing support which eases the pressure on the small team with which we run the business, and of course the grant has paid for a big part of the stand for this year’s Glee.
How has your business grown in the last 12 months?
Sales of Bloomin Amazing have more than doubled in the last year and we have now invested in and installed a second screw press system which will allow us to double our production output. We’ve recently moved to the use of euro pallets which allows us to increase loading to cope with our all-time peak in daily output.
What’s next for Bloomin’ Amazing?
We are embarking on the next phase of our growth plans and aim to double our retail listings in the next few months. Next month we are back at Glee in the GIMA village on a larger stand (6R80) where we are looking forward to meeting current and new customers, including those being introduced to us for the first time by our new agents for different areas. Also, we are now in discussion with potential partners who are developing the use of Bloomin Amazing in blended growing media – something which is being strongly driven by the trend away from the use of peat.
Why should brands/ suppliers consider entering the GISCF?
The GIMA Innovators Seed Corn Fund is critically assessed by industry experts so winning is a really important and significant reflection on the potential for a new product. Their verdict is respected, and the spotlight is thrown on the product, but most of all the business generated is not something that could be bought with even a huge budget!
Find out more
Any businesses, entrepreneurs and innovators interested in entering the GIMA Innovators’ Seed Corn Fund in 2019 are invited to do so by visiting http://gima.org.uk/innovators-seed-corn-fund/ and completing the online application form ahead of the August 16th deadline.
Further details about GIMA can also be found at www.gima.org.uk or by calling 01959 564947.
Further details regarding Bloomin Amazing can be found at www.bloominamazing.co.uk