Choose Your Fighter — Energy Shots To Start Your Day Kicking
As the days are getting longer and colder, the seasonal snuffles and sickness is right around the corner. But a picture of health, Anna, founder of Fighter Shots, has the cure. Her secret? Daily energy shots from her range of ginger, matcha+ guarana, or charcoal drinks. We spoke to her to find out how her experience in the start-up industry has been, and the value of community in creating a successful entrepreneurial endeavour.
What are Fighter Shots?
Fighter Shots are 100% natural superfood energy shots, that are meant to increase focus, reduce fatigue and are an alternative to coffee. The current range includes ginger, matcha + guarana, and charcoal. New flavours featuring goji berry are coming soon!
So where did the idea for Fighter Shots originally come from?
Last winter I worked on a project in Switzerland. Our office was cold and dark, and we were spending 12 to 16 hours in it everyday. I was continuously feeling under weather, and drinking hot tea was not helping. One day, I realised that my Swiss colleagues are all storing boxes of ginger shots in their desks, and they swore that this is what keeps them healthy and energetic. My colleague Phillipp gifted me a few of these shots, and soon they became part of my daily routine too. I couldn’t stop thinking about what a miracle they are, and that they should become more popular in London!
As an MBA graduate from London Business School, it was ingrained in me to analyse the case thoroughly from a business standpoint. And it turned out that both the economics and the go-to market strategy are feasible! With help of my early co-founders and classmates, Sukriti and Raza, we developed branding, a range of products, and refined the strategy. Within a few weeks we made our first sales to an office!
Did you face any obstacles when setting up your company?
The biggest obstacle was no experience in the food industry. I have background in industrial engineering and renewable energy, and spent 5 years working for Airbus on the A320 and Eurofighter programmes. But thanks to the London ecosystem; communities and organisations like Bread and Jam, Toucan Ventures, countless food fairs, shows and industry events as well as my own London Business School, I quickly built up my network.
So how did those communities help to boost your knowledge of the industry?
At the Toucan Ventures conference I met my adviser and mentor, Lijo Jose, the founder of Chewy Moon, who shares with me his wisdom, experiences and invaluable industry contacts.
Through Bread and Jam I got to know Erick Vera, founder of Little Inca, who became a really close friend and shares with me the daily up and downs of the entrepreneurial journey. It’s also thanks to that organisation that I got my very first listing (hotcakes.ltd), only within a few weeks of launching the product.
Last but not least, at London Business School I met my early co-founders and dear friends like Sreenivas Saba from Uncle Saba’s Poppadoms, who invited me to exhibit my products along his brand at Imbibe snacks and drinks show. It was my very first trade show!
What’s been the biggest set-back you’ve experienced, and how have you tackled this?
Product-market fit as well as focus are critical. If I was to launch a new product, my approach would be much more systematic: right from the start I’d apply the MECE (Mutually Exclusive, Collectively Exhaustive) framework to systemize the markets, gather as much datapoints of each of them, and pick maximum 3 to concentrate on.
I was too much distracted at the beginning and lost a lot of time without having a clear vision for the business.
Also, I underestimated the operational complications of a food business, especially the investment in finished goods that may not sell as quickly as you think. Hence shelf life becomes hugely important and something you have to carefully balance against the nutritional properties of the product.
What’s something you’re most proud of when it comes to the product you deliver?
I am, like a lot of entrepreneurs today, a huge proponent of eradicating plastic from our lives. I love how healthy ginger shots are but I felt I was trading off the environment for it, because most superfood shots come in plastic bottles. Hence why I decided that we would only do glass bottles despite the extra cost.
Thank you for talking to us! If you want to check out Fighter Shots, or give their range a go, find them on instagram @fightershots, or check out their website fightershots.co.uk
At Forward Fooding, we work with start-ups at every stage, from idea to on the shelves, offering guidance, advice, and strategies to help turn your idea into a delicious reality. If you want to get in touch, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or join our Global FoodTech Map of start-ups and become part of the community at https://forwardfooding.com/globalfoodtechmap.