How a ski injury led 29-year-old to create sell-out product

·4-min read
Keira Rumble launched her successful business after discovering the truth about sugary snacks. Images: Supplied, Krumbled Foods
Keira Rumble launched her successful business after discovering the truth about sugary snacks. Images: Supplied, Krumbled Foods

Many business owners will launch their business because they see an untapped market, or they have an idea that they believe will make the world a better place.

For 29-year-old Keira Rumble, it was both, but there was an added motivator: a sense of betrayal.

Rumble, formerly a professional skier, had put on 25 kilograms and was diagnosed as pre-diabetic after a career-ending injury. When she discovered that the healthy snacks she was eating were packed with sugar, she was shocked.

So she decided to do something about it, she told Yahoo Finance.

In three years, Rumble went from concept to Krumbled Foods’: a healthy snack line.

“I wanted to go into business because I felt almost betrayed by these companies saying that they're healthy and a healthier option,” she said.

“I don't want my consumers to be obsessed and counting macros and counting calories – it's not about that, it's just about being conscious of the sugar content of every product. For instance, if you're buying a protein bar or ball and there's more sugar than actual protein, you know that that's not the right product for you if your goal is to reduce your sugar content.”

And last year, she launched Krumbled Foods’ Beauty Bites, snacks that include edible collagen.

With collagen bars, she explained, businesses need to disclose the amount of collagen in the product.

“For me, that's what my biggest goal is, to educate people about how you can make a more conscious effort and conscious decision when picking a product for you. My product might not be right for somebody that is wanting to gain weight, but sugar is the number one culprit for diabetes and it's something more people should be watching.”

And the product took off like wildfire: within three weeks of launching the Beauty Bites, Rumble had sold what she had planned to sell over the course of one year.

She credits Krumbled Food’s early success with smart marketing decisions and influencer promotions. Rumble herself also had a strong social media business, which helped Krumbled Foods reach as many eyeballs as possible.

In the last six months, demand has grown 418 per cent. That’s how Rumble measures success; not in dollar terms, but in the amount of people the product is reaching and helping.

Planning to scale

Rumble knew she wanted Beauty Bites to reach as many Australians as possible, and turn her product into a must-buy.

To do this, she began approaching large businesses like Priceline nine months out from launch.

“I had a connection there because of my social media business, [so] I went in through the PR channel and started speaking to her. I flew down from Sydney to Melbourne for one 15 minute meeting,” she said, pitching her product as filling a gap in the market.

“I constantly kept on following up. I had to refine the product and work out different margins and the cost-price, find a manufacturing partner, all of the food standard codes and all of the packaging, so I really was teaching myself along the way.”

Krumbled Foods’ Beauty Bites launched with Priceline in August 2019, and Rumble found buyers at Coles not long after that. Rumble has also been accepted into the Sephora accelerator program for a new business focusing on clean beauty and functional foods.

Do your homework

Her advice for other entrepreneurs?

“Trust your gut, but support yourself with people that know the industry if you don’t know the answer,” she said.

“Persevere and do your research and get referrals. If you’re going to a packaging supplier that you’ve never worked with before, get their referrals and speak to the people.”

It all comes back to checking your facts, she said, whether that’s when signing a major manufacturing deal, or buying a healthy snack.

“If someone is talking themselves up too much and it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

This week (12 - 18 July) marks National Diabetes Week. Diabetes is the fastest growing chronic condition in Australia, with one in four adults (1.8 million) over the age of 25 living with it.

More than 280 Australians develop diabetes every day, costing the Australian economy $14 billion annually.

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