Interviews

The key to Ella’s Kitchen’s success: “Stay true to your foundations”

5 min read

21 September 2016

Former special projects journalist

Ella’s Kitchen is a world-renowned baby food brand and two-time winner of the Amazon Growing Business Awards – the business scooped the award for International Business of the Year 2011 and the Customer Excellence Award 2009.

With the next awards taking place on Wednesday 30 November 2016, we thought now was the perfect tine to catch up with managing director of Ella’s Kitchen, Mark Cuddigan, to hear how the business has blossomed.

Since its launch in 2006, Ella’s Kitchen has gone on to take a share of the market in 40 territories internationally, including the UK, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Belgium, Holland and the United States.

The brand was founded by Paul Lindley because he passionately believed that Ella, his daughter and her generation, should have the opportunity to eat better food and also to discover that healthy food can be fun. All Ella’s Kitchen products contain just good stuff – always organic, never any added salt or sugar and are free from additives, concentrates and genetically modified ingredients.

“At Ella’s Kitchen, we are guided by our values and mission to improve children’s lives through developing healthy relationships with food. We always prioritise health and nutrition, but never at the expense of taste or convenience,” said Cuddigan.

Because the products are created with children in mind, it has always been important for Ella’s Kitchen to keep a light-hearted, fun brand personality.

“At Ella’s Kitchen we understand little ones and always ensure we look at things from a child’s perspective. We inject fun, play and creativity into everything we do, from making tasty food that tiny tummies will love, to creating the world’s first Weeny Weaning restaurant, especially for little ones,” Cuddigan explained.

In addition, the brand is very active on social media to help parents and children connect. It is engaged with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, where it has its own Weany Weaning Channel featuring lots of videos to educate and inspire mums and dads as they “go on their weaning journey with their little ones”.

“We have a really engaged community and it is one of the key places that we stay in touch with mums and dads. We love hearing feedback on how our little consumers are getting on with the weaning adventure!”

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It has been a big year for Ella’s Kitchen as its dedication to grow as a purpose-led business was recognised with a B-Corp certification. The certification sees Ella’s Kitchen join a prestigious global movement of certified B Corps who have been recognised as pioneering companies that use business as a force for good.

According to Cuddigan: “To certify as a B Corp, Ella’s Kitchen has demonstrated that it meets the rigorous standards of accountability, transparency and social and environmental performance required.”

“Ella’s Kitchen’s long-term commitment to being driven by a purpose beyond profit is now formally written into its articles of business and will help the business to create a better world for future generations.”

As part of this commitment, Ella’s Kitchen recently commissioned the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) to conduct an independent literature review to identify evidence-based ways to help children develop healthy eating habits.

Following this research, it launched the “Veg for Victory” campaign with the aim “to galvanise the nation and inspire everyone about why starting weaning with vegetables is best for little ones”.

Over the next 12 months, the brand is planning to expand its footprint across Europe. Cuddigan said: “Kids are more the same around the world than they are different, and with a local and cultural focus, Ella’s Kitchen is perfectly positioned to be a global brand. New products are also on our radar so watch this space.”

For Cuddigan the success of Ella’s Kitchen stems from its dedication to its cause. “Stay true to your foundations and why you set the business up in the first place,” he said.

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