Founders Interview | Matt Hunt @ The Protein Ball co.
My name is Matt Hunt and my wife Hayley and I started The Protein Ball company about 4.5 years ago where we have now rolled more than 25 million balls since we started...
We make all-round healthy protein snacking easier.
Why did you become interested in the world of snacks & drinks?
We started a little love brand called OLOVES about 13 years ago now where we were the first to launch the single serve olive snack - 50 million bags later and we are still 'sharing the love' of the OLOVES brand but also have moved on to The Protein Ball CO and more recently The Great British Porridge Co.
What inspired you to do what you do?
We love great products, great branding and great company.
What was your Eureka Moment when you knew you had a product which you could take to market?
I love how you can think of something different or unique and then over time and research that something can become a global product - imagination is the key to everything and believing in yourself off course.
What current & future trends does your product meet?
Protein Balls are all about health with benefits and we are now rolling in a new, even healthier direction.
The same with our Porridge, we are all about natural and healthy ingredients that are convenient, nutritious and delicious and this is why on Dragons' Den we had all 5 dragons wanting to invest in The Great British Porridge Co brand.
The future is about healthy products that make your life easier.
What did you do before starting your company & what made you take the leap into entrepreneurship?
Studied marketing and worked for a market research company - thought I love this stuff and it led on to consumer branding.
What has been the hardest part of starting your business?
Working 25 hours a day research and planning - the rest was easy
What has been the BEST mistake you’ve made & why?
We started with lots of airline products, hummus, crackers, tapenade and we realised that there were not many players in the airline business as they were soooo difficult to work with.
They would need 250,000 products in two weeks and then nothing for a long time.
Cash flow and stock rotation made it all a logistical nightmare but we got better and so turned this experience into a positive.
What keeps you motivated?
A never ending drive to bring the very best products we can to the market. I can, and will never give up which is both a strength and a weakness.
What do you do in your spare time outside of business life?
Haha! is there such a thing as a life outside business? Not sure…
What do you think are the key skills required to make yourself & your business a success in the world of snacks & drinks?
Live, breathe and dream it - then you can make it.
What would you say is your biggest strength?
Hard-work and determination
What would you say is your biggest weakness & how do you look to overcome this?
You have to know when to 'hold them and when to fold them' and folding them can take too long and take up too much time/money.
People often say if you are going to fail, fail quickly.
If you could sit down with yourself for a pint/glass of wine/coffee this time last year…..what would be the 3 most important tips you would give yourself knowing what you know now?
Small steps daily will add up to a big distance travelled. Keep your eyes in front of the road and try and have fun along the way!
Any plans or predictions you can share with us for the rest of 2020?
Living with Covid-19 my belief is the world will be a different place and I think that consumers will move in different circles and want different options and different choices.
Only the bold and nimble companies will be able to service the needs while the bigger, slower operations will fail to change and keep up.
We are ready to roll in a new direction at any time in any moment.