Little Bird Organics' crowdfunding campaign reaches $1.8 million as the raw food brand taps into plant-based retail growth

  • News
  • February 28, 2018
  • Elly Strang & Harriet Keown
Little Bird Organics' crowdfunding campaign reaches $1.8 million as the raw food brand taps into plant-based retail growth

Hot-to-trot raw food company Little Bird Organics is looking towards international growth, launching an equity crowd-funding campaign with the hope of expanding its retail trade. 

The company currently has two 'Unbakeries' in Auckland, including a flagship café in Ponsonby, and currently ships over 20,000 units per week to retailers. Founder Megan May has also put out two cookbooks, and in 2017, also begun supplying ready-made meals to Emirates Leisure Retail at Auckland International Airport and to Huckleberry and Commonsense Organics grocery stores.

Now, less than a week after launching its  PledgeMe campaign, Little Bird Organics has raised over $1.8 million, showing there is a strong demand for organic and sustainable businesses in New Zealand and the global food industry.

May says it’s an exciting time to be making moves in the plant-based sector, as she believes there’s still so much potential for growth.

“There is so much evidence both nationally and internationally showing that healthy food is the fastest growing category in supermarkets," she says. “The demand for our products from both supermarkets nationwide and international distributors just keeps growing.”

The crowdfunding campaign was used to grow the Little Bird Organics retail business model to ensure their company values were reflected in their shareholders, May says. “First and foremost, we are a values-based business and we want it to stay that way. Crowdfunding offers the best investment pathway to do this.”

Their primary focus for the next 12-18 months will be growing the manufacturing division of their wholesale products, including a major expansion of automated manufacturing equipment and techniques. Stepping away from their current handmade approach, automation will create a dramatic increase in Little Bird’s production capacity and decrease product cost.

“The funds raised will ensure a mixture of operational improvements to help with pricing and profitability of products, as well as facilitating the necessary certifications and other resources required to sell internationally,” May explains.

“However, firstly, the funds will be used for national expansion. There will be a lot of NPD from Little Bird over the next few years in categories you might not have seen the business in before and improvements to existing products and packaging.”

Of the capital raised from the crowdfunding campaign, Little Bird will invest $170,00 in new product development, including customer research, trials and testing, sourcing of ingredients, and innovative and sustainable packaging options. In addition, $65,000 will fund the development of a new ecommerce website, creating greater functionality and more intuitive use.

Little Bird Organic sends out 20,000 units per month into retail spaces. The new aim for the company is to at least double these units in the short term. 

"Longer term growth will be significant, but difficult to put a number on - it depends on how many extra ranges we release, and how effectively we can work with other manufacturers," says the company. 

Expanding on its current direct to consumer offerings of cleanse packs, juice boxes and meal packs, Little Bird Organics is also considering the potential of a Little Bird grocery staples box, providing nutrient dense pantry staples. The nature of confirmed online sales eliminates wastage, so is seen as a great opportunity to further emphasise company values.

Another major new product development will be diversifying from their current range of dehydrated products into new retail categories.

“Our goal is to create products that make it easier for everyday consumers to eat nourishing, organic plant-based whole foods,” May says. “It’s really important that our products offer a delicious experience.”

May says the Little Bird Organics PledgeMe campaign is a call to action for people who believe in healthy, organic food being the future, as anyone who invests will be part of New Zealand’s diversifying food economy, shifting the focus away from our reliance on dairy and farming and into sustainable, plant-based food.

The campaign runs until Thursday March 22, or until the limit of $2 million is reached.

With 533 pledgers so far, the average investment sits at just over $3,000. 

Founder, Megan May.

​ ​

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.


Automation will help retailers focus on customers

  • News
  • June 19, 2019
  • The Register team
Automation will help retailers focus on customers

More than 100 retailers have gathered at Freedom Furniture’s new Newmarket flagship to consider what the upcoming wave of automation technology offers for the industry. Speakers included Pier Smulders from Alibaba Group and Soul Machines’ Hilary O’Connor.

Read more

A guide to the four favourite business f***-ups I've made

  • Opinion
  • June 18, 2019
  • Wendy Thompson
A guide to the four favourite business f***-ups I've made

Wendy Thompson is the founder and CEO of the successful social media marketing agency Socialites, and has 16 years digital marketing experience in some of New Zealand's top advertising agencies. However. that doesn't mean she hasn't made her fair share of mistakes in her career. Here, in her typically colourful way, she shares four mistakes she's learnt from all her years in business – and the important lessons she learnt from them.

Read more

The Kiwi start-up making edible coffee cups a reality

  • Design
  • June 18, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
The Kiwi start-up making edible coffee cups a reality

The vanilla-flavoured, sog-resistant edible cups produced by Auckland company Twiice were four years in the making, but now they’re on the menu at Auckland cafes. We gave them a taste.

Read more

Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

Regional rollercoaster
What does retail look like in 2019 for ...
Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...

Alibaba runs its Ecommerce Expo in New Zealand for the first time

Chinese conglomerate Alibaba Group reported revenue of more than US$56 billion this year, and in it owns the world’s largest online B2B trading platform ...


The beauty of it: From start to success with cosmetics mogul Rowena Roberts

  • News
  • June 14, 2019
  • Courtney Devereux
The beauty of it: From start to success with cosmetics mogul Rowena Roberts

Rowena Roberts had zero experience in retail when she propositioned Estée Lauder to allow her to open a MAC Cosmetics store in New Zealand. Now, over 18 years later through her business Red Honey Cosmetics, she has sold luxury brands Jo Malone London, Bobbi Brown and MAC in New Zealand successfully. The cosmetics mogul talks to us on the most important aspects of running her businesses, and why no one should ever be afraid to do the literal dirty work.

Read more

Spread the word: Pic’s Peanut Butter World opens

If all the world’s a stage, Pic’s Peanut Butter World is no peanut gallery.

Next page
Results for
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

The Register

Content marketing/advertising? Email or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit