60-second start-up: Sweet Freedom

0-5 seconds: Sum your business up in a sentence

Sweet Freedom is the first natural sweetener made 100% from fruit. Harnessing the sweetness of fruit in a practical retail format.

5-10 seconds: What's the business model?

Retailing Sweet Freedom via multiples including Tesco, Waitrose, Holland & Barrett and independents including Whole Foods, Selfridges, Planet Organic and health food stores nationally.

10-15 seconds: Who are your competitors?

Tate & Lyle sugars and syrups, agave syrup, and artificial sweetener brands like Canderel and Splenda.

15-20 seconds: What's your USP?

Ours is the only sweetener at retail made 100% from fruit (apples, grapes and carob with nothing else added). It's also the only sweetener to receive Great Taste Award Gold stars and is Aldo Zilli's 'desert island ingredient' according to Cook Vegetarian magazine! It's a natural foodie product that just happens to have many health benefits (low GI, 25% fewer calories than sugar, good choice for kids and diabetics - and it's GM free).

20-25 seconds: How have you funded it so far?

A mixture of own funds and investment from a business angel fund, which specialises in ethical, female-led businesses.

25-30 seconds: What were you doing before?

Tina set up and ran a private leisure complex with 50 staff. Deborah worked in marketing and licensing at Covent Garden Market.

30-35 seconds: Where did the idea come from?

We won a contract to write four books for Harper Collins on low GL diets and we didn't want to use sugar or artificial sweeteners in our recipes. We embarked on a three year journey to develop our own healthier alternative.

35-40 seconds: What's the smartest thing you've done so far?

Ignored people who are negative and condescending.  Working with (and having as investors) inspiring, positive mentors in the food industry who have been there and got the t-shirt, learning from their successes and failures.

40-45 seconds: What's the stupidest?

Not appreciating the costs attached to trying to build brand awareness.

45-50 seconds: If your business was a biscuit, what would it be?

A healthy cookie made with ground almonds and rapeseed oil sweetened only with Sweet Freedom (as per our website www.sweetfreedom.co.uk of course!)  Well, you did ask ...

50-55 seconds: Which idea are you a bit jealous of?

Discount sites like Groupon, Wahanda and the like - simple, brilliant and set to be huge.

55-60 seconds: Where are you going to be in 12 months' time?

Hopefully enjoying life and having fun in work and play!

Find out more about Sweet Freedom

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