In our brand spotlight, we feature Abound brands who are ready for retail. This week we sat down with Erica Groussman, co-founder of TRUWOMEN. TRUWOMEN sells plant-based protein products, is based in Colorado, and has been in business for two years.
Robin: Why did you decide to start this business? Why this business and not a different one?
Erica: As women who care about taste and nutrition, we often find ourselves in a dilemma of having to pick one over the other. After what felt like a lifelong quest for healthy on-the-go snacks that satisfy our sweet tooth, we stopped looking around and looked at ourselves.
Why can’t we be the ones to create what we know is missing? Inspired by the indulgence of dessert, we handcrafted TRUWOMEN products using only ingredients we feel good about. We wanted to be proud of sharing our products with our loved ones.
R: How did you make your first prototype? What changes have you made to your product since then?
E: After we did lots of R&D and nailed our product, we spent months iterating packaging to make sure it matches the fun and playful nature of the brand. We have not made any critical changes to our product since.
R: How do you make your product? What’s your process like?
E: We use a manufacturer based out of Colorado. We worked directly with them to curate clean ingredient bars that have dessert-inspired flavor profiles.
R: Where was the first place you started selling your product?
E: We are a born on Amazon brand, meaning we launched TRUWOMEN on their platform. Our relationship with Amazon is incredibly advantageous as we have direct access to their internal team, and work with them to create a specialized strategy.
R: Where do you sell your product now?
E: Amazon (US/CAD/AUS), Hyvee, Schnucks, and well as a multitude of wholesale accounts throughout the US.
R: Where would you love to sell your products in the future?
E: We would love to be featured in major higher-end retailers such as Whole Foods and Target.
R: Do you have a favorite product? If so, which one?
E: Each flavor is inspired by a different dessert so it really just depends on my craving that day! Right now, I’ve been eating a lot of Oh Oh Cookie Dough!
R: What’s your marketing like? Is social media an important part of your business? If so, how?
E: Our marketing efforts have been focused on the digital space, with a specific emphasis on Instagram. Through influencer marketing and strategic partnerships, our social media account has grown to have 80k followers over the last year.
R: What are your influencer marketing techniques on Instagram? Do you have any advice for people thinking about hiring influencers?
E: Product is king so before even engaging influencers we worked diligently to perfect both the bars and the packaging. Our biggest influencer marketing technique is to focus not merely on following counts, but on quality of engagement.
For brands thinking about hiring influencers, our advice would be to make sure that the influencer’s following is both active and aligned with your target demographic.
R: What advice do you have for people who want to sell a product?
E: Our fun and playful packaging really makes our products really stand off the shelf, but the closer they are to eye level, the better!