Founder's Friday: Kieran and Paul - The Duo Behind Australia's Newest Supermeal

Founders of Aussielent, Paul Carpenter and Kieran Grogan Carpenter, never in their wildest dreams anticipated that they would own a powdered meal replacement business; but with engineering and architectural backgrounds, it was no surprise that the pair took well to the idea of a logical, made-to-measure meal concept.

In 2014, shortly after U.S. based meal replacement brand Soylent attracted a $1.5 million crowdfunding campaign, Paul became fascinated with the idea of “complete food”. Soylent wasn’t available in Australia at the time, so Paul looked to begin making his own formulations.

 
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All of the ingredients required were really hard to source, so “all sorts of strange packages began appearing at our door”, Kieran recalls.

What started as a hobby, as Paul shared experimental formulations online, sparked a business idea when people started contacting him asking if they could buy some of his powder.

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Following the release of a number of articles in response to a documentary done by the SBS, featuring Paul and the underground world of powdered food, the business really took off.

“Over 2000 people contacted us in the span of a week, signing up to be in the loop about a potential product launch”. It became clear that there was a larger market ready for Aussielent.

Kieran, using some of her design skills, designed the logo and packaging for the Aussielent brand. Never entirely happy with it, she knew that they just needed to get something out into the market to be able to test its reception first.

The pair started packing the product themselves, lasting all of three weeks, unable to keep up with the volume of orders, before engaging a manufacturer who thought they were nuts when they pitched their idea.

Years later, after a proven track record in the market, the duo felt their branding wasn’t reflecting the level that the business was at and engaged BrandWorks for a rebrand. “We started out as a weird Internet product, and wanted to broaden the appeal to make it less weird and intimidating”, Kieran explained.

BrandWorks took the core elements from the existing brand, utilising them in a new direction to ensure continuity and preserve brand value.

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The existing Aussielent heart-flower brandmark was stripped back to reimagine and neutralise the brand in relation to gender. A punchy tagline, 'Made to Measure Meals' was developed together with Apostrophe to clearly communicate the brand's offering. More than the sum of its parts, the geometric brandmark and secondary system demonstrate the coming together of multiple inputs in a harmonious, efficient, and beautiful system

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The reception has been great. Since the rebrand, sales have increased for both existing and new customers.

“We’re on track for our best month ever. Across the board, our order volume is up and staying up. The benefits of the product have been articulated really well through the work that we did with BrandWorks”, Kieran explains.

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“Funnily enough, James, our logistics provider, who comes in contact with the product every day rung me up last week and said, “I noticed you guys rebranded. I’m actually thinking I might start using the product now that I’ve seen the website”.

Individuals just like James seem to understand the brand better now. “I think that’s attributable to all of the brand strategy work we did with BrandWorks to really help customers understand what the product is about”.

Aussielent is working on a retail strategy over the coming months, and the new branding has given Kieran the confidence that their products will be able to hold their own on retail shelves.

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A true ecommerce success, Aussielent has surprisingly never spent a dollar on advertising. Now, equipped with their new brand, Kieran is excited to begin attracting a wider market through some marketing spend.

Kieran’s wise advice to budding entrepreneurs:
“Rather than waiting and holding back on your business idea, it’s better to get started. Get something made and get something out there to test the market and see if people want it or not”.

In Kieran and Paul’s case, this bold approach has sure paid off. We’ve got high hopes for the growth of this Aussie-born brand. But for now, we’re singing praises to Kieran and Paul for coming up with a hassle-free supermeal solution.

Visit Aussielent here.

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