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Brand Growth Heroes

Fiona Fitz ex Nestle, Gu, Chobani, Strong Roots & More

Brand Growth Heroes is the leading FMCG business podcast and ranks in the Top 1.5% of all podcasts globally. Food & Bev brand 'lifer' Fiona Fitz chats with the founders of wildly successful consumer brands driving transformational growth in their categories, and finds out just how they do it! This new series is supported by our partner Strong Roots: Good for you, Good for the planet, Good Made Easy.
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Hello everyone! In celebration of hitting 10.5K downloads, welcome to the first UPDATE episode of Brand Growth Heroes podcast, where I'm going to spend just 5 minutes or so telling you what you can expect over the coming months. I'm really excited to share some big launch news right at the end, so don't go anywhere just yet!

First of all, I can't believe that it's nearly 18 months since the first BGH episode. What started out as a way of updating my suitcase of brand growth case studies, BGH has now become way bigger than I ever intended it to, with over 50 5star ratings in different iTunes stores across the world. This might be still small in the world of podcasts, but it's helping me to realise MY brand purpose, which is to create lightbulb moments for leaders of scaling brands, in order to smooth their path to profitable, transformational growth.

So, thanks so much to all of you who have listened, subscribed, reviewed it on iTunes and written to me to say just how much you're learning from the interviews. I'm learning a huge amount from too, and for that I'm truly grateful to all of our super guests. Big shout out particularly to James McMaster of Huel for taking the risk of being my first interviewee, that could have gone either way, so thank you James.
Another shout out to Ivan Juric at Octopod productions (, the best sound editor in the world, Gyp Buggane here at Ballagroove recording studios ( the best recording studio in the world you guys have both been a huge help both technically and with moral support.

We've just begun recording series 3, in which alongside more insurgent food and beverage brands, we're going to dip in and out of learning about scaling personal care brands such as soap, feminine care and the future of toothpaste. This month and next we are recording episodes with Lucky Saint beer and as well as another Masterclass with Mark Mulhern from Brand Performance Labs in New York, this time on what Performance Marketing is and why you need to understand it.

I've been spending lots of time preparing for a big talk I'm giving to the grocery industry in Austria tomorrow, as well as working on some exciting new developments that I'll share with you at the end of this update.
The week before last was a massive week where I was helping out at our favourite Food and Beverage start up festival, Bread and Jam 2.0.
I loved meeting many of our UK and Europe-based listeners, and got the chance to chat to you when we worked together at my workshop on ‘Crafting a Compelling Value Proposition’. At this, we went through how you can make sure you’re offering something of real value to your target consumer or customer, based on solid consumer insight. We looked at WHAT a value proposition is, what YOUR value proposition is, WHY you need to define it, why it needs to be based on CONSUMER INSIGHT and HOW to go about it working through.
Thanks to so many of you who wrote to me on LinkedIn after the workshop, it was great to get to meet you and I'm glad it was useful for you.

OK so finally I wanted to share some big news: Over the past 10 years, my own business has evolved from delivering traditional consultancy projects for consumer goods clients, to helping them upskill their teams to do this work themselves. This, I'm reliably informed, is called Capability Development, and that's squarely where I serve.. I do this through individual and group coaching of senior teams, but also by developing and delivering workshops and programmes to help clients develop their strategic thinking and people. Why am I telling you this? Because in January I'm launching a new online course arm to the business, under the sub-brand Brand Growth Blueprint.
We'll be delivering self-directed quick, deep-dive courses on topics such as Crafting a Compelling Value Proposition, How to Sharpen your Consumer Targeting, and How to Evaluate the Size of the Opportunity you're targeting.
But we're also launching a live, accompanied 6 week programme for founders/CEOs of successful scaling brands called The Growth Strategy Programme which will give you a bespoke framework, tools and support to make clear decisions about where you want to play and create the roadmap to growth that you, your team and ...

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So here’s a question for you:

Which grocery category of non-edible products do you shop making increasingly careful choices around the products’ ingredients, choosing your favourites based on something very akin to flavours, looking for additive free or organic options, and even buying different versions of the product to cater for different members of the household?

For me, there are quite a few parallels between how we shop Food & Beverage grocery categories, and how we shop the Personal Care categories. After all, the products in Personal Care are about how we take care of, nourish and draw experience from our bodies from the outside-in, whereas we buy Food and Beverage products to solve these needs from the inside-out.

Another really interesting parallel is that like Food and Bev. start-ups, skin and hair care brands also increasingly try to develop their products from natural kitchen-cupboard ingredients and have a brand purpose that is centred on being kind to nature. Another striking similarity is that these businesses often start at the kitchen table, getting proof of concept at farmers markets, before moving into retail.

What I find interesting about the Personal Care category is that it remains majorly dominated by the large global brands that our grandmothers and mothers would recognise: Head&Shoulders, Radox, Palmolive, Dove... or slightly more recently, all the “famous hairdresser” hair care brands that have launched since I was in my 20s.

And although there has been a real change on the fringes of the category for years, in the Whole Foods and the Holland& Barretts, why aren’t more of the local, natural, purpose-led brands not stealing share from big brands in the supermarkets?

I have decided to pepper this series with the odd interview with founders of insurgent brands across various Personal Care categories, to see if we can learn from their experiences in a different category, in a different stage of the unavoidable 21st century category overhaul we are seeing across the board.

I recently came across an inspiring emerging brand in Personal Care that started out on the kitchen table 12 years ago, but now has national listings across all the major grocery retailers and drugstore chains in the UK , has 30 employees and is currently seeing at at least £4M in market sales.

The Little Soap Company is a purpose driven, vegan, cruelty free, ethically produced, free-from brand with a range of soaps, solid shampoo and shaving bars that use organic ingredients that you’d easily recognise. It was the first- and is still the only – “free from” range on the supermarket shelves, and has just started what could be a revolution for the category – a range of solid shampoos and washes, to avoid packaging in plastic containers.

We also discuss whether it’s useful to talk about what it’s like being a female founder.

To start to start your journey in understanding how emerging brands can transform the Personal Care category, and what we can learn from their experience, LISTEN to our interview with award winning and inspirational Founder/CEO Emma Heathcote-James.

Hear how Emma’s vision is to make pure soap the norm not the niche” and how as the first – and often only– “free from” range on the supermarket shelves, The Little Soap Company is at the forefront of some real category transformation.

Instagram: little_soap_co; eco_warrior_soap

If you enjoy this episode, it would be really helpful if you REVIEW it on iTunes or Spotify & SHARE it on LinkedIn (Brand Growth Heroes) and Instagram (brandgrowthheroespodcast)

★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★
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Across the Western world, the Carbonated Soft Drinks category is experiencing real transformation... thanks to the sugar backlash, the resulting sugar tax and the fight against plastic.

I recently heard that the majority of fizzy soft drinks sold in the supermarkets now contain no or low amounts of added sugar, which really surprised me. For a category that has been built on the white stuff for over 100 years, that’s a pretty big change.

It goes without saying that it has been a difficult few years for some of the big global soft drink brands, but the other side of that coin is that there are plenty of exciting emerging brands taking advantage of the move towards Healthier and Natural. They and creating new category sub segments some real #transformational growth. Think real fruit sodas, no added sugar seltzers, and even the more niche Kombuchas, kefir waters, sparkling coconut waters....

If you live in the UK, you probably recognise the very cool British soft drinks brand Dalston’s soda, whose mission is to put real ingredients back at the heart of soft drinks.

I think their range of highly distinctive, brightly coloured metallic cans with the big standout D for Dalstons on the front is a future brand icon – just the right mix of cool yet accessible to the mass market. Together with great drinks made with real fruit, low sugar, local ingredients and even distilled botanicals for serious amount of great flavour, Dalston’s is one to watch.

Dan Broughton, CEO Dalstons

I spoke to Dan Broughton, CEO and Co-Founder to find out how he and his team is setting the brand up for success.

If you enjoy this episode, it would be really helpful if you REVIEW it on iTunes or Spotify

& SHARE it on your social media

★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★
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The case study in Category transformation that is on everyone’s lips right now is Oatly.

But did you know that Oatly has been around for 30 years in the Dairy Alternatives Category?

It’s only really in the past 5 years that something has changed massively, at least in the UK market.

In 2016, Oatly’s UK revenue was around £6M, but this year they are looking at hitting around £75M!

If you want to know how they did this, then you’re in luck! We spoke to Ishen Paran, UK Country Manager who told us about the 5 levers that he and the Oatly UK team have pulled to drive this incredible growth...

#oatmilk #oatly #transformationalgrowth #brandgrowthheroes #plantbased

If you enjoy this episode, it would be really helpful if you REVIEW it on iTunes or Spotify

& SHARE it on your social media

★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★
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Mark Mulhern is a Brand Performance Coach with a spectacular CV in brand advertising and through-the-line Marketing investment. He’s worked agency-side for the past 20+ years managing advertising accounts worth £100M of pounds and dollars, for clients such as Mars, Unilever, McDonalds, Amazon, Virgin and Sainsbury’s.

If you’ve listened to the first few episodes of Series 1 of Brand Growth Heroes, you’ll know that one of the New 4Ps of Transformational Growth is PROCESS – how insurgent brands define and attack challenges differently to incumbent or less successful brands.

One of these challenges is managing the transition of how you approach your MARKETING INVESTMENT as a start-up, vs. how you think about it and deliver it as an emerging brand with a serious growth trajectory.

If you’ve been pootering along nicely with sampling and social media, but recognise that the time has come to get your head around what a more strategic approach looks like, then this episode is for you.

If you enjoy this episode, it would be really helpful if you REVIEW it on iTunes or Spotify

& SHARE it on your social media

★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★
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How many of us eat chocolate or other cocoa-based products without realising – and this is deadly serious – that we could be unwittingly funding child labour and even child slavery in West Africa?

Almost a year ago, we interviewed Ben Greensmith, the UK country manager of Tony’s Chocolonely, and we heard how this amazing company is trying to change the cocoa industry and eradicate child labour and childhood slavery. If you’d like to listen to this episode, look for Series 1 Episode 8 (SE1Ep8) on your podcast player.

A month or so ago, I learned that the level of child labour in West African cocoa farms had actually increased over the past 10 years, which just really shocked and saddened me.

In this special catch-up episode, I asked Ben to bring us up to speed with the situation in West Africa, as well as share with us how Tony’s Chocolonely is doing in the U.K. market since its launch.

If you enjoy this episode, it would be really helpful if you REVIEW it on iTunes or Spotify

& SHARE it on your social media

S2EP12 Timestamps to follow.

★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★
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It’s tough times out there for many brands. Even for the lucky ones who are seeing an increase in sales due to the current situation, future plans are up in the air and investment in growth is on pause, with so much depending on how things pan out over the next few months.

We wanted to find out what’s happening in the world of investment & funding for brands with big growth plans: have most put their investment journeys on hold? What should you do if you were planning to raise money this year?

In this episode we’re talking to Yasha Estraikh, who’s an Associate Partner at Piper, the investment partner of choice for brands such as Propercorn, Mindful Chef and many more you’ll recognise. Yasha is in charge of Brand and Customer Research and Insight, and he helps brands keep their customer at the centre of everything they do.

I learnt SO much from this hour with Yasha – not only that most sources of investment are focusing on their current portfolios at the moment, but tons about how funding and investment for growing brands works in general. If you have ever really wanted to understand how it all works, you need to listen to this!

If you enjoy this episode, it would be really helpful if you REVIEW it on iTunes & SHARE it on your social media!

S2EP11 Timestamps to follow.

★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★
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Buymie was conceived when Founder Devan Hughes learned that the £9bn online retail grocery industry in UK & Irl, was loosing over £300M per year...and he reckoned it was therefore ripe for disruption.

Buymie is a mobile-first, on-demand grocery delivery platform enabling consumers to order any grocery or household item from local stores using their mobile device, and get them delivered in as little as 1 hour.

The Buymie platform connect customers, via the app, to a fully vetted and trained crowd sourced personal shopper network.

Listen to Devan share the inside track on the super-charged growth that Buymie has seen over the past 18 months, how they’ve just received £2.2M in funding, and how they are now the online delivery platform for Lidl Ireland!

An episode not to be missed!

Devan is the CEO and Co-Founder of Same day grocery e-commerce platform Buymie. Devan holds a degree in Finance from the National College of Ireland, and has worked in the start-up sector for most of his career. A guest lecturer in some of Europe’s best Business Schools, Devan is recognised as one of Europe’s foremost thought leaders in the fields of grocery e-commerce, platform economics and architecture.

If you enjoy this episode, it would be really helpful if you REVIEW it on iTunes & SHARE it on your social media!

S2EP10 Timestamps to follow.

★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★
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05/01/19 • 4 min

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  • FAQ

    How many episodes does Brand Growth Heroes have?

    Brand Growth Heroes currently has 69 episodes available.

    What topics does Brand Growth Heroes cover?

    The podcast is about Brand, Marketing, Management, Founder, Entrepreneurship, How To, Growth, Podcasts, Business and Food.

    What is the most popular episode on Brand Growth Heroes?

    The episode title 'Learning from parallels between FoodPersonal Care categories: Interview with the Inspirational Emma Heathcote-James, Founder/ CEO of The Little Soap Company. S3EP2' is the most popular.

    What is the average episode length on Brand Growth Heroes?

    The average episode length on Brand Growth Heroes is 36 minutes.

    How often are episodes of Brand Growth Heroes released?

    Episodes of Brand Growth Heroes are typically released every 18 days, 20 hours.

    When was the first episode of Brand Growth Heroes?

    The first episode of Brand Growth Heroes was released on May 1, 2019.

    Show more FAQ

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