Plant Based Business: Interview with DARING Foods Co-Founder, Ross Mackay

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“We set out to make ‘tasty food made from plants’ accessible for everyone.”

Psyched to announce that co-founder of plant-based food company, DARING Foods, Ross Mackay will be speaking at our Plant Based Business Bootcamp next month. The vegan entrepreneur will be discussing ethics in business, and we can’t wait to hear more about Ross’ thoughts on this topic, as well as more about his inspiring venture with DARING.

We caught up with Ross, ahead of his Vevolution appearance, and had a chat about all things entrepreneurship in the booming vegan food world. 

What was your number one motivation for starting up DARING Foods?
I set up DARING Foods with my co-founder to bring a new image to plant-based food. Food, is amazing, but it’s the experience around food which is a vital part of human interaction. Those who choose to eat less or no meat miss out. And this shouldn't be the case. We set out to make ‘tasty food made from plants’ accessible for everyone.

What’s been the biggest challenge of starting a vegan food business?

Starting a business is a continual ebb and flow of highs and lows. If I had to say the number one biggest challenge it would be the ‘supply chain’. Although a global mega trend, plant protein is still relatively ‘new’ and from the offset finding the right production and distribution partners was tough to meet the operational demands.

Crispy DARING fillet

Crispy DARING fillet

Have you found that it’s mainly vegan/vegetarian restaurants interested in serving your products, or has there been an equal amount of non-vegan restaurants, too?

Currently we list in over 500 locations, from Restaurant groups, cafes, bars, universities & schools. We consciously position our products in all kinds of locations, NOT just vegan eateries. For this to become mainstream ( and it is) plant-based options need to be available to the masses. What gives me the most satisfaction is that a high % of the customers choosing DARING are still eating meat. They are using DARING to reduce that intake of animal protein and coming back repeatedly!  Of Course, our products are loved by Vegans too!

“Being first is not always the best.”

What are you doing to set yourselves apart from other meat alternative brands?

I think right now the red meat alternative market is ‘busy’. DARING really focus on the alternatives to chicken. And you’ll see this with our End of 2019 retail launch.

Do you think the plant-based meat market is saturated? Or do you think there is still room for new businesses to be born?

I really believe if we look to the future of food, it's not even started yet! So plenty room. Being first is not always the best. Companies must not see early mover advantage as a barrier to entry. I think of course at some point consumers, retails and restaurants will get a bit bored of seeing version 20 of a new meat burger so it just forces innovation which is a great thing.

Down To Earth Glasgow serving the DARING Foods burger

Down To Earth Glasgow serving the DARING Foods burger

“AIM HIGH, START SMALL & KEEP GOING!”

We absolutely love your ambitious targets with DARING Foods. What advice would you give to other startup entrepreneurs that are wanting to aim high?

How long have we got! Em.. ‘AIM HIGH, START SMALL & KEEP GOING!’. (Big success is often just an accumulation of small successes). Setting big overall goals is important because it inspires us to take action, but when we set big goals, they can be daunting and they can be intimidating. In many cases, people can become overwhelmed with big goals but overwhelm just a product of not knowing where to start. The answer to this? Start small. When we start small, we can plan early successes that will inspire us and motivate us and encourage us to keep going.

Have you got anything new and exciting to share about DARING Foods? Or any plans for the near future?

Excited to announce our retail launch at the end of this year and because of this the DARING team growing!

“I think what Judy & Damien are doing with Vevolution is honestly inspiring.”

What do you think about Vevolution? Are you excited for your talk at the Plant Based Business Bootcamp?

I think what Judy & Damien are doing with Vevolution is honestly inspiring. The platform at the regional level from local councils or businesses isnt always there for young aspiring entrepreneurs, and when it is they often don't understand this space. VEVOLUTION is leading the way in this support and I'm proud to be part of it!


LISTEN TO ROSS MACKAY’S TALK AT THE PLANT BASED BUSINESS BOOTCAMP

Our Plant Based Business Bootcamp is the must attend training event for entrepreneurs wanting to succeed in the plant-based business space. Attending this special event will help you will gain the tools and network you need to help your plant-based business thrive.