Dad’s genius food idea lands him a $1 million contract with Coles and Woolworths after spotting a huge gap in the market, and the inspiration came from his CHILDREN
- Melbourne dads Seong-Lee Ang and Rodney Chieng founded Buddee Foods
- They have developed three allergy-free spreads
- The duo signed a $1 million dollar deal with the supermarket giants earlier this year.
- Mr. Ang said the idea came to him because of his own children’s severe allergies.
One father’s genius idea for allergen-free spreads earned him a $1 million contract with Coles and Woolworths, before they even sold a single jar of his product.
Founder Seong-Lee Ang told Daily Mail Australia that the idea for the allergy-free spreads came from his children due to their own allergies.
“The inspiration came from my two sons because they have severe anaphylactic allergies,” he said. ‘My daughter is allergic to seven of the top 10 allergens.’
Seong-Lee Ang (pictured) developed three allergy-free spreads that allowed her to close a $1 million deal with Coles and Woolworths before she even sold a single jar.
Buddee Foods’ three spreads include chocolate, smooth and crisp and can be found in the spreads aisle.
“When looking for spreads for our kids, there were limited options in the supermarket spreads aisle, as almost all of them contained nuts.”
After Mr. Ang noticed that the “big gap” in the market was not being filled, his allergy-free spread business called Buddee was born, working together with fellow dad Rodney Chieng to launch it.
Australia currently has the highest rate of confirmed food allergies in the world, closely followed by the UK.
Ten per cent of babies, four to eight per cent of children and around two per cent of adults have food allergies in Australia.
Buddee co-founder Seong-Lee Ang pictured with his wife. He told Daily Mail Australia that the spreads were “just the beginning for Buddee” and that he and Chieng were already working on new allergen-free foods.
Mr. Ang said the spread development process was slow and challenging, taking 15 months between him and Mr. Chieng, who is credited with hard work on the formulation.
“The three things we focused on for the spreads were making them allergen friendly, making them taste really, really good. Otherwise kids won’t take it to school or eat it, and we wanted it to be healthy. We don’t want our children to eat garbage. ‘
‘We had many versions, we had to overcome all the allergens. It was a real challenge to make it taste good, as dairy and nuts usually make food taste good.’
Melbourne dads Mr. Ang (right) and Rodney Chieng (left) invented the healthy spreads after trying different formulas for 15 months.
The duo approached Coles and Woolies after initially considering soft pitching. Executives at the two supermarket chains were receptive to the allergy-free spreads, telling the couple, “We want your product in our stores.”
The duo were set to soft launch their spread range in early 2022 after working on it for a period of two years.
But Mr. Ang felt that Coles and Woolworths might be receptive to his product and decided to reach out.
‘At the beginning of the year, we were preparing for the launch. We had everything planned. We were going to have a soft launch and sell online, but we thought why not approach Coles and Woolies’.
‘Products like this don’t exist on the shelves of Coles and Woolies. So we met with both of them earlier this year.
Ang said executives at the two supermarket giants “immediately understood there was a gap in the market.”
Mr Ang said the inspiration for the spread came from his two sons (pictured) who have severe allergies.
“They realized that a product like Buddee was needed on Australian shelves.”
Coles and Woolworths ended up agreeing to a $1 million deal with Ang and Chieng to stock their Buddee Foods spreads.
It was before the couple had created their online store and sold a single bottle.
‘The fact that Coles and Woolies took over before we sold a jar: we were delighted. We haven’t even opened an online store yet, and they came back to us and said, ‘We want your product in our stores.’
“It has made a huge difference to our family and other families,” Ang added.
He told Daily Mail Australia that spreads were “just the beginning for Buddee” and that he and Chieng were already working on new allergen-free foods.
‘We were already talking about other Buddee products during the formulation of our spreads. Our new products will also be safe for children to eat and healthy.”
Buddee spreads will be available at Coles and Woolworths later this month.