Mins is a new business providing the UK with Super Strength Vitamin D with their plant based, sugar free vitamin gummies.

Co-Founders Tom & Polly felt there was a gap in the market for a plant based gummy vitamin brand that was more design and customer focused.

We spoke to Tom Seward, Mins Co-Founder, to discuss their partnership with one feeds two and the challenge of starting a new quality brand to take on big business in the market seeking the biggest margin. 

a mission to do more through charity partnership

On the market, Tom said “The Vitamin space has been dominated by big charms and own label (boots, H&B etc), and the other UK start ups weren’t executing in areas that we felt the market was lacking.”

He felt that the current market offering notably lacked “customer service and community building/engagement, design led branding, quality plant based/sugar free product and a mission to do more through charity partnership.”

Mins was launched in 2021 by Tom & Polly, in the midst of COVID lockdown 3.0, which was challenging. 

“Launching alongside full time jobs in sectors that saw a boom in business during the summer. Pol runs an award winning children’s boutique and I operate two hotels and a pub. So the summer of staycations saw a huge influx in visitors and not much time to continue developing Mins.

“There was also the general worry of launching a new business at a time when there was financial struggle and mass redundancies, but the nature of the product and the relevance with its relationship with COVID helped us decide it was the right thing.”

we knew from the start we wanted to contribute to something important

Mins supports one feeds two, a charity providing nutritious school meals to children living in some of the poorest places in the world. 

There is a movement towards businesses supporting charities as part of their business model. Tom explained the benefits well, “It adds value to the brand, drives us to increase volume and increases customer satisfaction when they know that their purchase is doing good.” 

The importance of clarity for their customers understanding the one feeds two model was crucial to the decision to support them. 

One feeds two is a really simple model to understand. Percentage profit or revenue models are popular but the consumer often gets confused by what that actually means. 

“With one feeds two, we know through their partnerships that the fee we donate per sale provides 1 meal. It’s as simple as that.”

the modern consumer likes to know they are doing good

Discussing the benefits for the customer of supporting a charity within your business model, Tom commented that “the modern consumer likes to know they are doing good. It’s the feel good factor, if they’re getting a quality product first and foremost, with the added value of a good deed, then it’s a win win situation.”

Asked why more businesses are beginning to take a similar approach, Tom felt it’s now “expected” of businesses. 

But many businesses use donations as a marketing spin and Tom “think[s] that goes hand in hand with it. At the end of the day, if you are donating a slice of revenue, it’s a conscious decision and one that the majority of companies decide against.

Finding balance is key. “The balance of using it as a point of difference vs marketing vs genuine gesture of goodwill is important. 

“It falls quite far down the list on our marketing list, and I think that’s important. It’s an added bonus rather than something we scream about.”

We want to do more

The importance of businesses as a stakeholder in society has never been more apparent. Tom said “I 100% think businesses need to do more. It will happen, as the consumer becomes more aware of the troubles caused by all (not just big) business, and the general state of the environment, etc.

“We want to do more, our phase 2 plans centre around a re-fill model rather than individual new pots, but these things take time and investment. I think more and more start ups will build genuine green/charity plans and targets into their business models.

“Times are changing and in order to stay relevant, appealing and profitable, they will need to do more than sell things for the biggest margin possible, while thinking about the consequences for all involved; including the planet.

We’d like to say a huge thank you to Tom & Polly at Mins for taking the time to talk to us. We would HIGHLY recommend checking out their website and getting your dose of plant based, tasty, botanical vitamin D. 

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Nicola Telford

Nicola Telford

CEO & Co-Founder of Views For Change.

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