“Kiwis are becoming more conscious about the way they eat and how their lifestyle impacts the environment around them; especially with growing awareness on climate change, sustainability, and the effects of biodiversity - not only on our health but also on animals and the planet”.
Introducing Flipit Foods, a plant-based and vegan-friendly food creator, that takes traditional meat recipes, and literally flips them on their head.
Here we chat with proud co-founders, Angel and Alisa, about where the idea for Flipit Foods came from, what sets them apart, who’s actually eating their product and what their plans are for the future.
Q. Where did the idea for Flipit Foods come from?
Angel - It all started when I went vegan four years ago and realised I was missing a lot of my traditional meat-based dishes and recipes. I found it really hard to find good alternatives in the market, so I decided to start creating them myself.
Alisa - Angel was already selling her vegan recipes at local markets, and I approached her about joining forces to turn it into a business.
Q. Tell us about your product?
Angel - Our product - vegan BBQ ribs, is based on a recipe that has been handed down to me from my grandmother. The way they’re made uses a traditional recipe of extracting protein from plants, which comes from an ancient buddhist method. We’ve taken that method and modernised it.
Q. What sets you guys apart from other plant-based meat alternatives?
Angel - We're offering something new. Vegan BBQ ribs on a shelf full of sausages and burger patties. No longer do vegans, vegetarians and flexitarians need to miss out on the pleasures of the classic Kiwi summer BBQ. Our product provides the meat experience, but without the guilt.
Q. Tell us about your team and what each person brings to the table?
Alisa - It’s just the two of us at the moment. Angel, our ‘chief creator’, who has a background in FMCG and runs her own catering business, and myself. I joined the company as an investor, bringing with me a background in business.
We’ve both worked in marketing and sales, which is how we originally met, working for a large corporation.
We feel like we have a really good balance of skills, and we’re lucky enough to have fantastic mentors to support us.
Q. What does a typical day consist of for the team at Flip It Foods?
Angel - At the moment we’re focusing on product development, as our current recipe needs to change so we can upscale production. We want to make sure that we nail the product, so we’re spending a lot of time brainstorming, talking with our research & development team and product testing.
Alisa - We’re also networking, and reaching out to other people in the industry who have their products in supermarkets. We’re surrounding ourselves with people who have gone through it before us.
Q. What has been the biggest challenge so far?
Alisa - Definitely trying to up-scale the product and the business - we want to be on supermarkets shelves and exporting our product globally. That’s why we’re investing so much into product development.
Q. Who are the people consuming your products right now? And who are you looking to target?
Alisa - There are three key market segments for our products; ‘vegans and vegetarians’, ‘meat reducers/flexitarians’ and ‘meat eaters’.
Our largest market are the meat reducers/flexitarians - and for them, it's still about taste. We can’t just go out with a plant-based product and expect flexitarians to eat it. It's got to taste good.
Our big challenge is getting more traditional ‘meat-eaters’ to consume our products, that’s our ultimate goal.
Angel - Times are changing. In recent surveys, New Zealand is ranked as fifth in the world for being one of the largest growing plant-based populations.
Recent studies have shown that around 30 to 40% of Kiwis are actually now switching to a plant-based lifestyle with around six out of 10 Kiwis having actually tried or are interested in trying a plant-based meat alternative. I think that’s where Flipit comes into the market.
Flipit Foods along with eleven other AgTech and FoodTech start-ups are taking part in the Sprout 2021 Accelerator Cohort B intake, which commenced in July 2021.