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ONLINE: Disruption of the vanilla industry by delivering high-quality vanilla products with a strong social and environmental profile – SPRINGBOARD®

  • 28 Oct 2021
  • 14:00 - 16:30
  • Kvindekompagniet, kl 14:00 til 16:30 pa online, mødeplatform
  • 12


  • Additional registrations are closed, due to great interest.
  • Additional registrations are closed, due to great interest.

Registration is closed

Focus: Business Development

Short description/summary

The company is here to solve the issues in the vanilla value chain and provide consumers with a product they can trust, tastes amazing and that changes lives. We sell premium vanilla beans and vanilla products to end-consumers, retailers and food producers.

Today the company is sourcing vanilla directly from small-scale farmers in Uganda and is trading organic vanilla from two like-minded companies that adhere to our sustainable requirement and ensures 100% traceability.

Areas for sparring

For this SPRINGBOARD®, panelists with skills related to the following topics are relevant (priority order):

1.How to build a successful online business?

2.How to develop a successful wholesale business?

3.Marketing strategy – smart ways to drive brand awareness

Sector: SDG

Stage of development: Proof of Concept

Region: Capital Region


Marketing & Distribution Channels



Distribution Channel

Business Models

Business Development


Marketing & Branding

Online Marketing


Strategy and Growth Plans

This SPRINGBOARD® will be held in Danish / Dette SPRINGBOARD® vil blive afholdt på Dansk



Vanilla is one of the worlds most popular spices and at times as expensive as silver and the global market on vanilla is estimated to reach USD 32 billion in 2027. There is an increasing demand for high-quality vanilla that is socially and environmentally sustainably produced and sourced.

The problem is that the value chain of most of the vanilla available on the market is riddled with corruption and human exploitation, where middlemen exploit vulnerable small-scale farmers and local workers to profit maximize. In general, there is a lack of transparency in the value chain, which makes it very difficult for the retailers, food producers and end-consumers to know; how their vanilla was grown, who grew it and was it ethically traded.

The mission

The company’s mission is to disrupt the vanilla industry and supply the market with socially and environmentally sustainable vanilla products, by solving the issue of human exploitation and inequal value distribution in the vanilla value chain.

The problem

On the vanilla market, consumers and resellers focus and awareness about social- and environmental sustainability is still low even though the vanilla value chain is riddled with social and structural issues. Vanilla is one of the most expensive spices in the world, however, the people that work and grow vanilla are often exploited and only earning a fraction of the final market price. In Uganda, an upcoming vanilla producing country, the small-scale farmers that grow vanilla are often exploited by middlemen that offer them low prices and bad trading terms. In addition, due to the high-market prices on vanilla, the farmers struggle with the risk of theft of their vanilla directly from their farms. Today very few vanilla suppliers are geared to show full transparency in their products value chain. Most vanilla suppliers source their vanilla through local middlemen and are therefore simply not able to guarantee that the farmers are paid a fair price. Reversing this and going directly to the farmers in the rural areas of the vanilla growing counties is an extremely complicated and time-consuming process for an already established vanilla company.

The solution

With the growing demand for transparency and sustainability, the company believe that there is a huge business opportunity for vanilla suppliers that can show full transparency and ensure that their vanilla has been responsibly grown and sourced.

The company is tapping into the opportunity created by the market demand for sustainable food products and can supply the conscious end-consumers with a product that lives up to their demands for quality and transparency.

The company is therefore getting involved in the entire value chain and thereby ensuring that all actors involved in the value chain is fairly treated and paid a fair price/salary. In addition, the company is ensuring that the vanilla is produced in an environmentally sustainable manner.

As part of their mission, the company will capacity build the farmers to increase their volumes and quality. And they work with the best local processors ensuring the highest possible quality of their products. The result is vanilla with a high degree of social and environmental sustainability.

The product

The main product is premium vanilla beans and with the recent investment, the company is expanding the product portfolio to a wide range of vanilla products (vanilla extract, vanilla paste and vanilla powder mixed with sugar or fruit powders).

Target market

Their targeted customer is the conscious consumers and the B2B segment who are targeting these consumers by providing them with a high-quality product with a strong sustainability profile.

The target market is divided into three segments: end-consumers (webshop), retailers and food producers.

The team:

The CEO and founder has a background as a Social Worker with a Master in African Studies. She has many years of experience working with development in Sub-Saharan Africa. Her expertise is creating socio-economic growth by creating a link between small-scale farmers and the international market. With her experience, she is managing the social impact work in Uganda.

Our CFO/COO and founder has managed his own coffee farm in Uganda. He has 7 years of experience with the import of coffee and vanilla from Uganda. He has sold the vanilla and coffee toon his own webshop and directly to food producers and restaurants. He has several years of experience in sales. and has

In addition to the two founders, the company has a part-time online marketing expert and an external sales team that leads the retail sales.


The company recently received an investment from a business angle of 1.000.000 DKK for 18% of their shares. In addition, the company is working towards a bank credit of 1.000.000 DKK for their large vanilla product procurements.



The webshop was launched in June, however sales are almost non-existing as the website is currently blocked on google ads. This technical issue is being handled, however, event the representative from google does not know what the problem is. As soon as this issue is solved a more intensive marketing strategy is planned.

Retail sales:

The company is in dialogue with Salling Group and Coop. Salling Group is very interested in the products and is looking for shelf space for this Christmas season. Irma has also accepted the company´s vanilla pods but will not have time to put them on the shelf before after the Christmas season. With the positive feedback from the large retailers, it is expected to be in all the major supermarkets by the end of 2022.

Other sales channels:

The company has established leads on several food producers, online webshops and bakeries and are expected to reach the estimated sales of this year.

Questions for the panel

Sales strategy:

Building a successful online business

- Inhouse vs. external operation?

- Specify competencies and actions?

- Launching internationally, how to operate?

Developing a wholesale business

- How should the company prioritize the Danish market vs. international?

- Which international markets would be most relevant to the company?

- What type of wholesale customers should the company target (chains, large formats vs. small and independent)?

- How should the company operate internationally, direct vs. in-direct (agents, distributors)?

Marketing strategy:

- What tactics and strategies would accelerate the brand awareness of the company (ambassadors, strategic partnerships, other initiatives)?

CONNECT Denmark — Bryghuspladsen 8, 3. sal, 1473 København K — Telefon: +45 27 28 17 86 — E-mail: connect@connectdenmark.com — Sociale platforme:
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