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FeastBox battling it out with the big guns

Little Waikato Christmas food kit company battling it out with the big guns

With the Christmas food kit business really hotting up this year, one company is standing tall as the little guy.

Feastbox is a small grass-roots company that also looks after the little guys – the Raglan-based company delivers not just to the busy centres but to smaller communities as well.

Feastbox co-founder Rachel Brown says everyone deserves a break from planning elaborate family meals for Christmas.

And no-one more so than those who live in smaller communities, such as her hometown of Raglan, where organising Christmas often means a last-minute dash to the city for fresh groceries at a very busy time of the year.

FeastBox was the first to launch their Christmas food kits this year. The gourmet, entertaining food-kit company was founded in March – born out of a desire for easier entertaining options – and cut its teeth with an Easter FeastBox.

Feastbox prides itself on being a grass roots company that supports small producers, says Rachel, and she and co-founder Tara Wrigley are confident they have something special to offer.

"We're absolutely tiny compared to the likes of My Food Bag so we knew that we had to offer something different with our Christmas FeastBoxes," says Rachel. "We believe our delicious menu, designed by award-winning chef Brad King of Falls Retreat, sets us apart from our competitors."

However, it's not easy to gain traction in a market without a large marketing budget. "Unlike our competitors, we're not in a position to hire PR consultants in order to get our story out there, and most media are unwilling to tell it without some exchange for purchasing advertising space in return," says Tara.

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Regardless of this handicap they are battling hard to compete, and are driven to think outside the box to reach their audience. They launched their product early, so had no idea what they would be up against.

"Once My Food Bag launched it actually made us really proud of what we'd been able to put together. We don't have a huge team of recipe developers, testers, photographers or marketers so we are personally involved in every part of the process," Tara explains.

"We know we've got a fantastic product that really stacks up against the competitors. It is very easy to put together compared to others and it is full of quality New Zealand ingredients from small producers who also have to put a lot of time, love and effort into their work."

Based on the response so far, Tara and Rachel are confident that there is a market for their niche product, and it's just a matter of getting the message out there – something that is very difficult to do when you're two mums from Raglan who are trying to give it a go.

But there are plenty of success stories to tell: One customer ordered a Christmas FeastBox thinking she had ordered from My Food Bag. Initially she wanted to cancel, not knowing who FeastBox was. “But once we explained that we are a Waikato-based business, supporting small, mainly Waikato and Bay of Plenty producers, with an award-winning chef on board, a menu that has a number of options and is really easy to prepare (My Food Bag has them making the pav!), she chose to stick with us!" says Rachel.

Three-course Christmas FeastBoxes can be ordered online at www.feastbox.co.nz. They cater for parties of 6-8 and 10-12 people, and there are a number of food options to choose from. Feastbox delivers across the North Island in time for Christmas weekend.

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