Behind every start-up is a story…but just how important is the journey behind a product to the consumer? Frankie Fox, co-founder of Foraging Fox, weighs in on why the origins of her beetroot ketchup have been the secret ingredient to success.
What’s the origin story behind Foraging Fox?
I think the whole project goes all the way back to my own childhood — my dad was the original ‘Foraging Fox’, and I have such fond memories of going around looking for plants and mushrooms with him. The project came about when my second child was born, and I decided to move out of London because I wanted to give my children that same joy from watching things grow, the patience of waiting for things to be ripe, and the love of food, which my dad had given to me. We ended up being a bit too successful with our beetroot, after we’d tried seemingly every beetroot recipe in every cookbook I had, I turned to the fridge for inspiration. It was the ketchup bottle that gave me that ‘eureka!’ moment which set the whole Foraging Fox project going. Looking at the label, I thought there’s so much stuff in here that shouldn’t be there anyway, and actually beetroots are naturally sweeter than tomatoes anyway. And the seed was planted. I’d go to the condiments aisle and all I’d see was Heinz from head to toe, with no healthy alternative. There was no variety on the shelves, there was just a variety of sizes. And so, Foraging Fox’s beetroot ketchup was born!
What is it about food based start-ups which makes the story so important?
It’s a primal human thing to share food. It’s something that binds people together, and it’s something everyone can relate to. In a sense, the story behind a food start-up is vital because so often it’s the home-grown origins which really power that relatability. Growing up, food was a passion instilled into me by my dad, and I think a lot of people see food as family.
Do you think that Foraging Fox’s story being relatable has been vital in the success of the brand?
Absolutely. Everyone knows what it’s like to be looking for ways to eat healthier, and especially have your kids eat healthier. When I tell my story, so many people nod their heads in agreement and I think that’s what really establishes us as a brand.
Foraging Fox is clearly personal to you — has that ever made things difficult when making decisions for the brand?
Our very name — Foraging Fox — is a homage to my dad. I remember once, I was doing a pitch for Ocado’s top supplier, and I started crying when I was telling my story to them. It means that much to me. But I don’t think my emotional ties to my ketchup ever make things difficult, I think they are actually a massive positive.
How does your relationship to the brand help you?
I think that everything I do, and every decision I make, is always to make my dad proud. Everything relates back to that, and I think it’s made all of my decisions authentic. It means I never cut corners; I do everything to make sure my brand sustains that naturalness and deliciousness which I know would give my dad pride in Foraging Fox. It’s not just created out of thin air — it comes from a deeper motivation and an authentic place. The origin goes deeper than me waking up one morning and deciding to make ketchup, and that comes across. Everything relates back to the values that I grew up with. The brand values are the DNA of family values.
Talking to Frankie, it’s clear that building a brand with strong values, provenance, and passion is the driving force behind Foraging Fox’s success. These elements come through so strongly when talking to Frankie, and her clear authentic and genuine love of her brand is infectious. Thank you for taking the time to talk to us at Forward Fooding; we loved hearing your story! Take a look at Frankie’s website here.
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