Wheyhey will once again be handing out their awesome ice cream products at Youth Marketing Strategy in March. We caught up with their Co-Founder Greg Duggan to find out what it has been like launching a successful new brand and the story behind the health shift in the UK.
What’s the story behind Wheyhey?
The Wheyhey journey started in 2012 in our London flat with an ice cream maker, a freezer and a copy of The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing! Quite simply, we wanted to make an ice cream that was genuinely healthy and tasted great! Everything on the market – especially the so-called ‘healthy’ low fat ice creams and frozen yogurts – were packed with sugar or high fructose corn syrup, which is cheap to manufacture. It reduces fat and maintains taste, but is the main driver of type two diabetes.
What is your main target market? Have you picked up other fans along the way?
We’ve got a massive and dedicated fan base, spanning all demographics. Our core demographic for marketing is ‘healthy active fun-seekers’ but really our brand appeals to anyone who wants to lead a healthier life – which these days is pretty much everyone! We’ve got a lot of celeb fans too. The head chef on Necker Island contacted us and chartered a plane to fly out some ice cream for Richard Branson, and from this point we started to gain traction with the celebrity community. The One Direction guys always request product for backstage at their shows – Harry especially is big Wheyhey fan! David Gandy is also now on board as in investor after having been massively impressed with our product and brand offering.
We have found young people today to be more health conscious than previous generations. Is that something you are aware of?
Definitely. Look around you on the tube and you’re bound to see someone clutching a protein shake or chowing down a protein bar! It’s become cool to live a healthy lifestyle as health has become a lot more mainstream over the last few years. The media has played a huge part in driving the 'new' wave of health awareness and buzz, mainly through education and informative insight. You can't open a paper without reading about the ill effects of excessive sugar consumption or rising obesity figures putting a strain on the NHS! Social media – especially Instagram - has also helped push positive images of healthy living, with everyone getting in on the gym selfie trend. I think today we see more young people bragging about what they lifted in the gym rather than what they drank last night.
What are the most important marketing channels for you?
Social media has and continues to be key for us – we grew a lot of our brand through twitter at the start and it still proves vital for everything we do, from PR to celebrity seeding. Word of mouth and influencer marketing is also strong for us – we’ve got ambassadors across athletics, rugby, modelling, fashion - as is experiential and live event marketing (this year we’ll be at V Fest, Iron Man and Spartan Race amongst others). We also work with some pretty high profile brands such as Virgin Atlantic and Movember.
What are your thoughts on the impact of social media when it comes to “foodie” marketing?
It’s huge! Instagram again plays a massive role here with everyone getting in on the game of uploading pictures of their latest meals, protein shakes, green juices etc. We do lots of recipe posts on our Twitter and Instagram and they always get the best hits and most reactions.
What other breakthrough brands do you admire?
Vita Coco, Pop Chips, Vitamin Water.
How do you stay on top of fast-changing tech trends?
We’re kind of tech geeks so it’s not too much of a chore for us!
And finally a few fun questions...
Best moment of your career so far?
Handing out ice cream on the NHS oncology ward. Really humbling.
Favourite app? Why?
Soundcloud – the mix of known and new music is unparalleled.
Something few people know about you.
To get Wheyhey started, I taught, delivered sandwiches and did some fitness modeling.
Finally, what should we have asked you that we didn't?
What did I do for Christmas? Thanks for asking! I swam around Bournemouth pier for McMillan Cancer Charity dressed as a banana. See the pic below!
Greg is Co-founder of Wheyhey: www.wheyhey.com.