Meet the Maker: Chief

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Chief was a little side project for Justin and his wife Libby back in 2015 after discovering that most “healthy” snacks are often not that healthy after all – full of sugar.

The couple, along with Veronika, who is a nutritionist and exercise physiologist, and Brock the CEO, set about creating the healthiest possible snacks in a packet which has now gone into powder and supplements. Justin is the marketing and operations “chief” of the business.

What’s the business ethos of ‘Chief?’

Chief is all about healthy people and a healthy planet. We make products that give people much healthier and more sustainable options, designed to replace the ultra processed snacks and supplements that are the norm today. We’re big supporters of regenerative farming practices and support Aussie farmers and regional communities through our support of Thankful For Farmers.

Where are you noticing are the biggest growth opportunities for the business?

We’re growing like crazy online right now, we’re up 50% from November last year (typically our high point before the Dec/Jan lull) which is a little mind blowing. But we’re also getting great wins in bricks and mortar with more major retailers coming on board this year already. We’re excited for our export opportunities too. We already sell into NZ, Singapore and the Middle East, and want to launch in the US later this year.

What have you noticed are the benefits for the business of manufacturing at home?

Consumers locally and internationally trust Australian made – as they should. We have incredibly good standards. At a practical level, manufacturing at home also means our transport costs are lower and we’re not at the whim of currency fluctuations or international shipping cost fluctuations. Plus, of course, we ideally want to be keeping our dollars in the Aussie economy, support Aussie farmers and jobs.

Where are your products available for purchase?

Through our website and through retailers like 7 Eleven, Ampol, BCF, Dan Murphy’s, Elite Supplements, Go Vita, Harris Farm, IGA, Nutrition Warehouse, On The Run, and Woolworths.

What continues to be the biggest challenges for the business?

When we’re scaling as fast as we are right now, the key challenge is scaling our supply chain as fast as demand.

What have you noticed about your customers shopping behaviour in recent months?

It seems like people are becoming more and more aware of what ‘healthy’ really looks like when it comes to food, and despite cost of living challenges are willing to spend a little more for quality. As we always say, health is your most valuable asset, invest in it daily because if you don’t spend your money with your farmer you’ll spend it with your doctor!

What bit of business advice do you live by every day?

The obstacle is the way. It’s a stoic philosophy that means to turn challenges into opportunities. We try to be grateful for our challenges because they make us better.

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