This Granola Startup Hopes to Scare Up Sales With Black Granola for the Holidays
The entrepreneur behind Gr8nola found a fun way to also build up her brand.
About two months before Halloween, Erica Liu Williams, founder of granola company Gr8nola, had an idea: black granola made with activated charcoal. She said she thought that the introduction of black granola would scare up seasonal sales not only for Halloween, but for Christmas -- replacing a lump of coal in a stocking with something tastier.
Liu Williams worried, however, that some people would just be scared of trying her Charcoal Chia flavor. That didn't happen.
"I rolled this out as something different than the traditional pumpkin spice flavor you see all the time," she said. "The response is beyond what I expected, and people are obsessed with how good it tastes."
Better yet, Liu Williams found another way to market the product that has proven popular on social media: as a healthy version of Oreos or cookies and cream. (It also ties in well with the current trends around activated charcoal and black foods.)
Hey Chad, you accidentally posted in black and white Nope! I wanted to create a mood to highlight a very special ingredient, CHARCOAL CHIA GRANOLA by @gr8nola You guys it is the BOMB and it tastes just like Oreos I paired this with a delicious CREAMY COCONUT CHIA PUDDING! This recipe is in my story, just swipe up Enjoy my friends!! #Monochrome
A post shared by Chad Montano San Diego, CA (@briewilly) on
Since becoming available on Oct. 23, sales of the flavor have been strong, and the item is already eligible for Amazon Prime shipping (new products typically don't qualify). Charcoal Chia is also the most viewed product on Gr8nola's website. Liu Williams predicts that after the next batch goes out, the item will be profitable.
But there are other benefits to her business besides the financial lift, Liu Williams said.
"There are things that build your brand and get your name out there," she said. "Food brands have to innovate. Even if it breaks even, it creates something that's really exciting for my community and a lever I can use again every year. It can snowball into something bigger."
Happy Tuesday everyone! Time to get this day going. To start off the day, I whipped up the most seasonal breakfast I’ve ever had. It’s seriously all the fall flavors in one meal! Also, @gr8nola sent me their new flavor they launched today: charcoal chia and it is AMAZING! And it adds a spooky aesthetic to my breakfast. • Breakfast deets crockpot @imperfectproduce butternut squash and dates, @goodfoodmadesimple steel cut oats, topped with sweet potato @soozysmuffins, @gr8nola charcoal chia, and a spoonful of @kweenandco granola butter! • #onecrazedfoodie #breakfast #butternutsquash #halloween #sweetpotato #oatmeal
A post shared by Emma Abrahamson (@onecrazedfoodie) on
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