We could not feel greater pride!!!
The student Filipa Sousa, from the Chair of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, from Bachelor’s degree of Business Management innovation and Entrepreneurship of the University Institute of Maia – ISMAI, has made us quite astonished by the news!
After conducting a series of research on Beesweet, having done an exhaustive interview and compiled everything accurately, the presentation of the work before the Professor João Manuel Carvalho, resulted in the attribution of the maximum note – 20 Values!!!
As promised, we are very pleased to disclose a portion of the work you developed!
Thank you for your dedication.
What we hope is that the knowledge you withdraw from Beesweet serve as a testimony to inspire you and those who know your work ; )
Birth and Product Development
Beesweet was founded in Oliveira de Azeméis by two cousins, Ana Pais and Carla Pereira, who took advantage of their unemployed situation and of the passion they had for honey to rediscover a family activity and launch it into the real market. This passion for honey is due to the fact that they belong to the third generation of a family of beekeepers and have a grandfather who has left them some tools on beekeeping, especially on honey and bees, tips and some homemade recipes about flavored honey. So, in order to reduce the risks of uncertainty associated with the implementation of this idea, for more than a year, these two entrepreneurs tested the idea by participating in entrepreneurship programs; Consulting mentors and formers; Making dozens of drafts; Business plans; Economic and financial plans and, above all, going to shops, fairs and events with the intention of giving the product tasting and receiving feedback from potential consumers, constantly improving what did not have such positive feedback from people. They found that feedback was very positive, so in August 2014 they placed the product on the market through a 3x150g Exclusive Author Edition and later a 3x40g Minipack Sensations. Beesweet Honey is raw honey obtained through artisan processes, with healthy temperatures, allowing to maintain all the characteristics of a 100% natural honey. This honey is considered an innovative, organic product of high quality and meets the requirements of food safety since it is analyzed in the laboratory. It can have several flavors, which are differentiated through the numbers because this is a communication strategy marked by the market trend. That is the proof that Beesweet intends to stand out from the other brands and does nothing in vain, there is in the packaging, a unique, ergonomic, clean and practical to use design, which will certainly be an achievement of Beesweet. It should be noted that this exclusive design package called ‘Gout’ is considered one of the most beautiful in the World by Packaging of the World.
The company is headquartered at Rua Chão de Além in Oliveira de Azeméis, but is not open to the public. It has three other employees, besides the founder Ana Pais and co-founder Carla Pereira, but these employees are not in full-time company service, having other jobs, because it is a company that believes that the best way to achieve success is not sacrificing the company with unnecessary costs. Both founder Ana Pais and her co-founder Carla Pereira have a very great sensitivity in what is the dissemination of the product and make sure they are present in the direct contact with the customer, because that allows them to feel the necessity of the customer and to perceive more market positioning and trend. It should also be mentioned that this small business, Beesweet, does nothing from scratch in its facilities because it considers that the best way to grow and to grow others is allying itself to the best partners. Partners that allow Beesweet to position itself in the segmented market, in gourmet, in the fine grocery stores and in the Premium.
Nowadays, Beesweet is news in several media outlets, highlighted due to its capacity for differentiation and for being another pioneer Portuguese company in the European entrepreneurship. Finally, it should be noted that Beesweet has won a number of competitions, even representing the product and brand in international fairs such as in Guangzhou, in China, which is the first step towards an internationalization that is still ongoing.
1. How did the idea for the new product appear? What is it based on?
Beesweet surged at a difficult time in our life when we were unemployed. Since we are the 3rd generation of a family of beekeepers and today the honey was very stopped in time, very obsolete, it made all the sense to bet on innovative products based on honey. And that’s how the brand of Beesweet Aromatized Honey was born. Beesweet produces Raw Honey obtained through artisan processes, with healthy temperatures, allowing to maintain all the characteristics of 100% natural honey.
2. What kinds of questions did you ask yourself or to other people, in order to get this new idea?
This new idea arose from the need to get around a situation of unemployment in which we questioned, “why not innovate in honey?” If in the jams and in the coffee already there were alterations, that is, they had already been innovated and in addition, we were always completely In love with Bees and Honey!
3. Did you experiment or tested the idea? How?
Yes, we tested the idea essentially in entrepreneurship programs, because the people involved in these programs were already on these wanderings and we also did economic and financial tests to see if there was viability, and of course nothing is a certainty, we have to put the product In the market to see if it works or not, but all this has to be done by playing smart. We went to the shops, fairs and events for people to taste the products and know people’s feedback, that is, to see if they liked it or not and what was wrong we tried to change.
4. Did you test the market with the product?
As we said before, for a long time we put this project to the test, entered into entrepreneurship contests, consulted mentors and formers, did dozens of drafts, business, economic and financial plans.
5. Did you test your marketing strategy in terms of pricing, distribution and communication?
In fact, we do not have any formation or licenciature in marketing, but overall we have a very great sensitivity in terms of the products promotion, brand awareness and the fact that we go from North to South to all stores, that is, being constantly close to the customer, makes us feel their necessities and makes us understand the framework, positioning and trend of our market. Recently they told us that now the market trend is to surprise all our customers, that is almost like the creation of a product exclusively for them and we are intuitively already doing it since we are already creating personalized labels, that is, on the product label itself the company logo is present similarly like a business card of the city and this will make the retailer feel more motivated to sell because he will be selling a product where there is his “seal”. And more than any advertising that can be done on television, in the media, this thing of constantly surprising the customer, this adds value to the product is that it is definitely important.
6. What is the economic value/impact of the product for the company, for the consumer and for society?
One of the things that we, Beesweet, have defined from the start is that instead of creating everything from scratch inside our premises, we prefer to create partnerships, that is, we prefer to join the best companies to provide us with everything which is required, such as honey, graphics material, glass, aromatic herbs, bonbons, the Gota packaging, among others. And in fact we could here in our facilities create a small chocolate factory, or with some investment we could produce our own packaging, but to what extent we will not be sacrificing even more resources from the company, in terms of costs, instead of generating wealth for ourselves and our partners? So I think that in the future we can generate economy, generate a positive economic impact, the strategy is to join those who are the best companies, the best partners, and in this way we can grow and help grow others.
7. What is the social impact of the product, in terms of economic externalities, socialization, inclusion, health, safety, quality of life of the community?
At the level of socialization we are present at various events and we give lectures very regularly, and in these lectures we not only explain our motivation in terms of being entrepreneurs but also create this motivation in others, that is, we encourage people to try to create a positive impact on their workplace, so they try to implement new ideas, and this is the first principle when we talk about the Beesweet business. The second very important thing we do when we give our lectures is to explain the Bee’s importance in the world and we are already addressing two factors, the part of society and the environmental part. For example, when we go to schools and kindergartens we can instill some responsibility in the kids by explaining to them that when the bee is born they start knowing how to clean its own beehive and that is why they should also help their parents at home.
Regarding to health, the University of Oeiras is studying / analyzing the medicinal value of our honey, because we know that the honey in its original form and the herbs we use both have their properties, so when they come together, the product, this should have all the benefits, and this is what we want to prove. In terms of safety, if we speak of food safety our product is not perishable, it can be consumed even after the expiration date, we have a validity of 24 months only because it is obligatory, proof of which a honey was found in the Pyramids of Egypt about 3000 years old and it is still edible. Lastly, we can ensure that our honey brings quality of life to consumers because we have many testimonies that prove that honey has many health benefits because it prevents many diseases.
8. What is the ecological impact of the product?
Contrary to what many people think, we do not use chemicals, our product is 100% natural. We just do the inverse process of the bee, for example, the bee goes to the flowers to remove the nectar to produce the honey, after that process is done, we take in those plants that we consider to be the ideal and we emerge them inside the honey during a few hours, and in a super natural way, we are giving flavor, aroma, smell and versatility to honey, and so the honey can be savored and consumed in different ways. So at the level of ecological impact we are talking about a 100% healthy product that can be consumed from the youngest to the oldest people.
9. What is the impact on consumer behavior? Is there a transformation in his life, does he improve his self-realization? Does it improve their skills? Does it give them new knowledge and/or experiences that reinforce their perceptions about how to act (healthier life, greater ecological concern, different understanding of human problems, easier use of technologies)?
To address this issue we will give the example of three testimonies very important to us, from consumers who have tried our honey, used it and are extremely satisfied. For example, this week we had a colleague that utilised our honey on a grilled meat for a family dinner and it was wonderful, he posted on facebook and made a lot of comments about it. In the health level we have already had two situations here, one of a child who did not eat honey, in fact did not like honey and tasted our honey Nº25 Christmas that tastes like cinnamon and he was completely amazed, becoming a faithful customer that only consumes Beesweet honey. Another situation is that of a lady who has a problem with the respiratory tract and consumes the honey Nº25 Winter, which is the most balsamic honey of mint, and this lady feels very well, in fact, she says that even now before spring because of the pollen, consumes our honey and she really feels more relieved at the breath level.
10. Is there any special stakeholder role? (Employees, managers, suppliers, customers, authorities, distributors, etc.)
Yes, it has already been said and proven that there is no better advertising than the word of mouth and that is why I once again say that we go to the stores, because being us to go to the place and explaining the product, the capture and the person’s attention is much greater than by representatives, email, phone or whatever, so it is very important that we must be present in the stores. For suppliers, we have empathized with their majority (by chance, over 80% of the companies we work with were founded by women, not for any particular reason) and we believe that it is this sensitivity that we women have that has helped in the business world. These companies turn out to be our representatives, I can, for example, refer to the graphic design store with which we work that, in their catalogs, they put examples of the Beesweet packaging, and for that reason it has a very important role in our company, since in addition to working with us in the sense of providing us with the quality material that allows us to be positioned in the market that we want, in the segmented market, in the gourmet, in the fine commodities, in the premium, they still divulge us.
At the level of employees, I can say that here at our premises we evaluate ourselves regularly and that there are three more employees, but they are not full time workers, these employees have other jobs and when we need them they do services for us, and we too evaluated them. Here it is important to point out that sometimes companies think that to go forward they need to have many full-time employees. We believe that in an early stage, such as our case, to what extent we can acquire people who, when necessary, we ask for help and we pay for it, and in addition, they work for other entities, reducing the effective costs.
11. Do you work with partners? Who? For which activities?
Our biggest partnership is with ALGA+ as I had previously mentioned, but we are always looking for the ideal partners for our business. And why ALGA+? Because ALGA+ is a company that has a product that is of the same validity level as ours, the positioning of the product is also equal, it has many similar characteristics to our product and so we think it makes sense to partner with them. And for example, we in a product do not only have the raw material inside the honey, in the packaging itself we make a point of putting the company logo, that is, it has the characteristics of the company engraved in our packaging, and when the Honey Nº10 Seasalt is in a store there isn’t just Beesweet, there is Beesweet and ALGA+ and here is the mutual assistance, because where they aren’t present, they start being to be through Beesweet, vice-versa, and so we grew together.
12. What model or models do you use to evaluate individual, collective and organizational performance?
As I mentioned earlier, we often conduct questionnaires / surveys here on our premises, through which we evaluate our employees and they evaluate us, and we as founders evaluate each other. We also have the employee’s book where all the principles of the company are registered, the objectives and the rules by which we follow, which makes it easier for our colleagues to understand the policy of our company.
14. In what aspects do you think you have innovated?
In the product
Yes, we innovate the product, the packaging and the way to commercialize it. In the way of divulging it too because with few resources we promote very much, we take advantage of every opportunity and sometimes with a lot effort because we have to be in several places in the same day.
In the price
In price too, because we do not want to be in the market competing with prices, we have a value-added product – Premium! We know that who wants to buy honey, only honey goes to the supermarket, goes to the neighbor who is a beekeeper and has homemade honey there. But who wants more than honey, who wants to experience a different product that can surprise family and friends when they receive them at home, comes to Beesweet. And we want our consumers to experience all these different sensations of flavors and aromas, but of course we will not sell it for 2€ or 3€, it has a different price, but we still, with a range of diverse products ranging from the bottles to the packaging of Gout design, reach all consumers even if they have much or little purchasing power, because even if it is to experiment, to taste, the consumer with 2€ can get a vial of 40 grams. So if we are going to talk about a premium product usually being small or large, all these products are expensive, but we have achieved with our variety of mono doses reach everybody, at least to have the opportunity to taste it, because we think the product has to be experimented by everyone.
In the distribution
Yes, the distribution, besides having partners that distribute, we also do it because we are the people who sell the product better, we speak with passion and that’s vital. As far as distribution is concerned, we work with transport companies because if he’s loyal, there is no need to always go to the store to deliver the product because this would only bring more costs and the goal is always to reduce all costs. In this way we are generating wealth for us but also for the companies that work with us. Thus, we minimize expenses and time, because time is also money.
In marketing communication
Yes, this part is also very important to us, because when they look at our business and they see it from the start as “show stealers”, that we participate in everything that is entrepreneurial contests, but Filipa, you found us through the surveys you’ve done on the internet and this happened because we have effectively been able to capture the attention of the media and the means of communication because we have created a strong impact for in all these events in which we participated and the goal was never to make money or win contests, but to present a business idea different from everything that has existed until now, a blueberry bloom honey, salty honey, and get the attention of the media. We can assume ourselves as the only company in the world that sells salty honey, which sells chocolate honey, there is no such thing anywhere else. That’s our big asset, it’s our differentiation, it’s Beesweet’s innovation. And in this aspect thanks to the participation in entrepreneurship contests we managed to capture the attention of the media and not pay a single cent to appear on television, or in magazines.
In conclusion, Beesweet is an innovative project and is presenting in the market, a new honey, naturally flavored, innovative in several senses, branded and with unique designs. Its slogan “Beesweet … more than Honey!” points out that honey is only the beginning of everything. Honey is presented in an exclusive design package, aesthetically innovative, passionate, full of glamour, lightweight, ergonomic and practical to use.
Finally, the Beesweet honey reveals new flavors based on the knowledge about the honey that the family has been acquiring throughout the ages always concerned about maintaining the quality of the natural flavors discovered and created.
Buy your Beesweet flavored Honey here: