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How Magic Spoon Launched a Direct-to-Consumer Cereal Startup in the Middle of a Pandemic

September 23, 2020

 

EPISODE SUMMARY

Magic Spoon Co-Founder Gabi Lewis discusses the process of building a new food brand when suddenly everyone is stuck at home, getting almost everything delivered and watching their wallets. Gabi also talks about the opening he saw within the cereal category and how unlike many DTC success stories, the path to disrupt and innovate was about product, not price and supply chain efficiency. He also covers the vital importance of Facebook and Instagram for DTC brands, and why it’s so hard for startups to walk away from social platforms.

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Mike Shields (46s):
Hey guys, this is Mike Shields and this week on Next in Marketing I got to talk to Gabi Lewis, co-founder of the direct to consumer brand Magic Spoon. We talked about why he decided the serial category was worth disrupting, what it was like trying to raise money and build an audience on very crowded social media platforms, and how all of the startup’s plans changed when the Pandemic hit and everybody’s started getting the groceries. Let’s get started. Hi everybody. Welcome to the Next in Marketing. My guest today is Gabi Lewis. He’s a cofounder of Magic Spoon. Hey, Gabi, how are you?

Gabi Lewis (49s):
Not bad, good to be here. Thanks for having me.

Mike Shields (1m 8s):
Good to have you here. I think I know what Magic Spoon is all about. I would consider you guys a direct-to-consumer cereal brand. You know, people might say you’re the Dollar Shave Club of cereal or something like that. And I don’t know if those descriptions fit, but tell us about the company. Maybe give us the origin story. How long it’s been around, how you guys got started, all that stuff.

Gabi Lewis (1m 10s):
Sure, so Magic Spoon Co is re-imagining your favorite childhood breakfast cereals with more protein, less carbs and zero sugar. So, whatever your favorites colorful cartoon-character-like cereal was growing up… We are creating a, still delicious, but massively healthier version of that. So we have four flavors and they are all Keto, high protein, low carb, gluten free, grain free. Tick. Basically every books you might want to tick from a nutritional perspective, whilst actually having a taste and texture of old school, sugary cereals.

Gabi Lewis (1m 43s):
We launched just over a year ago. So April of 2019. And you are correct, we’re a hundred percent direct to consumer right now. Some people make comparisons, but the classic DTC brands, I actually don’t love that comparison because the classic DTC brands, Jim really innovated on product.

Mike Shields (1m 59s):
Rather distribution channel only and not on products. So when you think about it, the Dollar Shave Clubs in the world, they basically took a product that didn’t exist and… It’s still a rager, right?

Gabi Lewis (2m 14s):
Exactly, exactly. And sold it in a different way that just didn’t use.

Mike Shields (2m 18s):
And they just don’t use in the store, they send it to you. That, that, that was their innovation?

Gabi Lewis (2m 18s):
Exactly, which several years ago, it was an amazing innovation because you can go straight to factory, you can cut out the middle man. Nowadays, direct to consumer is so commonplace. That’s not really enough. And so we view our major innovation as more product focused. We happen to be selling online and direct to consumer, but anybody can sell cereal online. We what think we’re doing that is is pretty different is we have actually recreated a delicious taste and texture of all the sugary cereals without the crappy ingredients.

 

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Meet our host, Mike Shields

Mike Shields is the founder of Shields Strategic Consulting. Shields covered the ad business for over 15 years at top publications including The Wall Street Journal, Business Insider, Adweek and Digiday.

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