Two years ago Matthews was part of the inaugural PKN + Food & Drink Business LIVE Forum. The event offered so much that we hoped they did it again. They have. Twice in fact. This month we’ve just had the third event — called Breaking Boundaries LIVE — and just like the first two, it was packed with interesting speakers whose thought-provoking presentations gave many people “aha moments” and some great insights.
As well as my own take on the forum from being part of the panel, I sat down with a couple of attendees afterwards, to get their impressions and key takeaway points.
But before you read about “Tinder for food”…
Here’s what Joseli Münive, the National Manager for Alliances & the ICT Industry for GS1 Australia, thought.
“Firstly, Breaking Boundaries LIVE is an exceptionally well-organised forum, enabling the sharing of knowledge from key innovative players in the FMCG sector. Secondly, I would say the range of presenters, the suggestions, the learnings, the experience and knowledge about challenges and how to deal with global trade — for example, selling to China — coupled with sharing their approach and some ideas as to how to engage with solutions on mobility were excellent.
“A good one here is Chewsr, which is now known as ‘Tinder for food’, an Australian innovative application on a smartphone for the consumer. Therefore, when it comes to being a supplier in this cluster of sectors — being food and drink — many boundaries are broken. From the traditional B2, now if you seek to be innovative you’ve got to consider engaging with the consumer to increase your brand, to help you to increase your access to markets, coupled with different techniques and leverages in engaging and competing in global levels
“There were some exceptionally inspirational presenters, including the entity called Thankyou, where the co-founder and Managing Director was not only inspirational but also provided a new challenge to businesses as much as consumers, in how we approach social issues with business solutions.
“It was a gem of an event to take learnings back to when we organise our Supply Chain function in 2017.” (You can find the key bits from GS1’s Supply Chain Week 2015 here.)
I also caught up with Ryan Sharratt, Operations Manager of SCHAWK!, which is a world leader in brand protection and multi-media asset production, with facilities across America, Europe and Asia Pacific (including Australia).
Ryan said: “The speakers were inspirational. Listening to how a couple of them began very small, in a garage or back room, and then how they grew to national distribution was interesting. But what I’ll talk to you about here is Daniel Flynn’s talk — from Thankyou.
“He’s inspiring about what he does and how he wants to change the world. How he tells the story, everyone can relate to it. The key takeaway there was get out of your comfort zone. At the start, he tells everyone to turn to your left or your right, and say to the person ‘get out!’, and he turns back and says ‘stay out!’. Daniel said a lot of people just stay in their circle, which is a comfort zone because of their fear of failure, and they don’t want to push themselves. But he’s saying to get out of your comfort zone, because that’s where all the great things happen, and it really is when the magic happens, I think.
“Even his book, which I’ve been reading makes you feel awkward and uncomfortable, because it’s disrupted — instead of reading left to right, you read up and down and across. You have to actually tilt the book to read it, and I reckon he did that so when you read it, you ask about it. You can relate to what he’s saying, but he’s very positive, but he likes to challenge everything. It’s clever.
“Another takeaway is even when things go wrong, keep going. Daniel talked about one of — their many! — challenges which was when product was pulled because of problems with labels. Or when they didn’t get all the funding they needed; just keep going.
“You could say he’s had some luck, but really, I think he’s made his own luck: so there’s something else: have your dream and go for it, you can achieve it. A lot of people have said to him ‘you can’t do that’, and he’s like ‘what happens if we do do it’? That’s his mindset. It’s very interesting and inspirational.
“Something else I took away is to be yourself, don’t change to follow the norm, and stick to your strong message. Daniel brought up stories about speaking at a black-tie event with high-quality business leaders, but he’s turned up in his normal skinny jeans and t-shirt. But he tells such a fantastic story that everyone came up, saying it was fantastic. No matter who it is — high-calibre business people, politicians — be yourself.
“And do things differently; challenge things. Daniel mentioned when they were trying to get into 7-Eleven, they did a Facebook campaign and people just uploaded videos saying if 7-Eleven put Thankyou in, they’d buy it. There were families singing and all sorts of things. They knew they had a product people wanted.
“And then with Coles and Woollies, a helicopter pilot friend flew a helicopter with a flag over their head offices which said ‘Please help us change the world, say yes to Thankyou’ — and then the supermarkets stocked their product. So that’s just going against the norm to get product into stores! Originally the supermarkets said no, but Daniel just kept tyring. On that too, another takeaway from it is to have good support around you.”
There were some really good business takeaways there; the forum was definitely worthwhile. The speakers were consistent with a message of being persistent.”
As for myself, this year I was fortunate enough to be part of the panel again. The topic was “Are you export ready? Moving from home-grown to global — pitfalls and pointers”. The facilitator was Dermott Dowling, who’s the Director of Creatovate, while the panel comprised Emma Welsh, the CEO Emma & Toms; Najib Lawand, GM of Market Development or Food Innovation Australia; Tom Dusseldorp, GM of Marketing & Innovation for Freedom Foods; Luke Marget, the co-founder & Director of MADE Group; and myself.
It was pleasing to see the interest around anti-counterfeiting measures and supply chain visibility, which are such important parts of export today.
With three great LIVE events so far, it will be interesting to see what next year’s event brings. (And if you want to see, here’s the low-down on 2017.)
You can recap on last year’s LIVE Disruptive Innovation Industry Forum, and the inaugural LIVE Industry of the Future Forum. You can also read more about Camperdown Dairy International’s anti-counterfeiting measures.
Matthews has a great resource library, chock-full of information including case studies, whitepapers, articles from thought leaders, presentations, and infographics. On top of that, it’s all free to download. Check it out here.