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20171120190742 Noosa KoelThomae 3 - How Yogurt Brand Noosa Thrived By Cancelling Its Biggest Retail Deal

How Yogurt Brand Noosa Thrived By Cancelling Its Biggest Retail Deal

How Yogurt Brand Noosa Thrived By Cancelling Its Biggest Retail Deal


Introducing our new podcast, Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer, which features business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side happy, wealthy, and growing. Feifer, Entrepreneur’s editor in chief, spotlights these stories so other business can avoid the same hardships. Listen below or click here to read more shownotes.

Entrepreneurs want to move fast. We’re impatient for success. But sometimes, that impatience works against us — because we can move too fast. We can grow too fast, expand too fast, take on big opportunities too fast. We can get what we want too soon, before we’re really ready to handle it. And that’s when problems mount.

Related: This Entrepreneur Learned That When You Try Making ‘Something For Everyone,’ You Attract Nobody

The yogurt brand Noosa knows this problem well. Back in 2011, Noosa was just a little Colorado yogurt brand selling its wares at farmer’s markets. Then a New York City retailer came calling, offering to carry the product on its shelves. Co-founder Koel Thomae was elated; this was the big time. “We felt it was a great opportunity and just sort of blindly went into this without any real critical eye on how complex it could be,” she says.

She’d soon find out. Noosa was completely unprepared to meet the retailer’s exacting standards. It had no marketing presence in New York, and seemed unable to connect with the big retailer’s customers. Ten months into the partnership, Noosa had lost $100,000, and its co-founders had to sit down and make a hard decision. “We just sort of said, You know what? We’re self-funding this and we’re just bleeding money,’” Thomae says. “We had to pull out.”

But the experience wasn’t a total failure. It pushed Noosa’s team to think strategically about how it could expand the right way, and become a truly strong national brand. And today, years after that disaster in New York City, Noosa has totally transformed itself: The brand is in 25,000 retail locations, and did $170 million in sales in 2016. Its growth rate is historically in the strong double digits. And it’s all thanks to that big flop in New York City.

Related: What to Do When Your Product Goes From Beloved to Hated on Amazon

In this episode of Problem Solvers, we walk through what Noosa learned from its retail disaster — and how it learned to slow down, be strategic, and plan for long-term success. Listen below or subscribe on iTunes, Google Play,or wherever you get your podcasts.

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