31 August 2021

The Good Crisp Company is Revolutionising Snack Food

Matt Parry and family

Matt Parry

CEO & Co Founder of The Good Crisp Company
Bachelor of Management (Marketing)

The Good Crisp Company came to fruition when founder Matt Parry found himself on a restrictive FODMAP diet while juggling his three young daughters at home – plus their particular eating habits.

The new foods made Matt feel great, but he was missing his favourite snacks and his daughters weren’t exactly keen on the FODMAP-approved snacks either.

Matt was craving a snack that they would all love and as a parent he would feel less guilty about packing in their lunchboxes. The snacks couldn’t just be natural – they had to taste good too. And if they didn’t exist, he was on a mission to create them himself.

A handful of years later, and a few packaging iterations, business is booming. So much so that two years ago, Matt and his family moved to the US to join their other two teammates in Boulder, Colorado. They can now see the clean-label, gluten free canister chip on the shelves at heavyweight supermarkets like Walmart and Whole Foods.

Young girls in a park eating 'The Good Crisp'

Although he didn’t know it at the time, Matt has spent most of his life starting lots of little businesses and preoccupying himself with side gigs. So it is no surprise he’s found his stride in an entrepreneurial path.

When none of those concepts proved fruitful – ideas are the easy part says Matt – he quickly realised if a business was to succeed, he needed to gain the knowledge, experience, and tools to be able to execute those ideas.

This is when he enrolled at UniSA to study marketing and business, gaining experience and insight before starting the new food company.

As The Good Crisp Company continues to grow, Matt’s role has become more of an a over-all facilitator, helping and supporting the team to make the important decisions. He now specifically works a lot more on raising funds for the company, developing new products, and setting future goals for the company.

Packaged range of The Good Crisp Company potato crisps

He sits over all the different areas of the business too, including marketing, sales, operations, finance, so that it’s ensured everyone is moving in a common direction and the company is making meaningful progress towards their goals.

When Matt's not working though – or munching down on his favourite Sea Salt & Vinegar crisps – with three young daughters his family takes up any left-over time. They've recently really enjoyed getting into snowboarding this winter and exploring all different parts of their new home in US over summer.

He’s also taken some time to tell us all about The Good Crisp Company and his journey since graduating from his Bachelor of Management (Marketing) at UniSA.

What was the ethos behind creating the types of healthy snacks you have developed with The Good Crisp Company – what is a ‘good’ crisp to you?

It really is all about the emotional connection with snacking. We wanted something that would taste amazing and give you the treat you are looking for from a potato chip – taking away the guilt you feel afterwards. We consider The Good Crisp to be a mainstream snack, so we don’t chase fads or food trends. We just make amazing tasting snacks that are Gluten Free, Non-GMO and use natural ingredients.

For me there are three pillars to Good Crisp:

  • Good Taste – our snacks have to taste good; this is the very first and most important thing.
  • Good Ingredients – secondly, how do we clean up and use the best ingredients without sacrificing taste? This is an ongoing process for us, but we have found there is no need for most of the things that conventional food companies put in their products.
  • Good Vibes – this is around feeling good about the snacks you eat. There is a lot of judgment going on in food and fitness and we want to stay away from that and just celebrate the small wins in your life.
Matt Parry and his children in a supermarket holding The Good Crisp Company potato crisps
Matt and his three daughters pose with The Good Crisp Company at Whole Foods in the US. Source.

What made you make the move to the US? What is it about Colorado that makes it a great place to lay down roots and build a business?

Even from the early days of launching the business we were getting enquiries for our product in the US. It is just such a massive market and there are very established channels and routes to market for natural products. By 2019 I knew that if we were serious about growing The Good Crisp Company, then I needed to double down on the biggest opportunity – which was the US – and this meant that I physically needed to move there to be a part of it.

I chose Boulder, Colorado as it is a long-time hub of natural products. There are hundreds of other natural product companies as well as service providers, so it has been very beneficial to be amongst those industry professionals.

You’ve worked in marketing for most of you career, but did you find you had to use different tactics with this product and the nature of what you are promoting, even in a country like the US?

Yes, the tactics are different, but the overall strategy is the same. Having a marketing degree from UniSA means I am very familiar with the Ehrenberg-Bass view of Fast-Moving Consumer Goods marketing, and this has played a big part in sculpting our strategy and marketing tactics. The tough part about the US is it is so big and has so many people, so it is very hard and expensive to build awareness of your brand.

Matt Parry with his family
Matt and his beautiful family sporting some colourful The Good Crisp Company merchandise. Source.

How does it feel to be in such massive stores like Whole Foods and Walmart now? Do you remember the first time you saw your crisps on shelves?

When I first arrived in LA with my family, one of the first things we did was go to a Whole Foods store to look at our products. It was an amazing feeling being able to show my girls what I had been working on and having them be a part of building the business here.

It made all of the trips and the many weeks away from them worth it and I am so glad they can see firsthand what it takes to build and business. Hopefully it inspires them if that is what they would like to do in their future.

I will never get tired of seeing The Good Crisps in new stores!

What has this past year like been with COVID-19 and all the uncertainty and disruption? How has it affected you and The Good Crisp Company?

Right at the start of COVID-19 we launched a total rebrand – as well as some new flavours – so that was a really intense time, making sure we executed on this roll-out and everything else that was going on around us.

However, it worked out to be the best thing; since we are now 100 per cent up on our sales versus last year, and we are continuing to grow at a rapid rate. This crazy growth has meant a lot of logistical challenges, but we have an amazing team and they have been able to guide us through the worst of those, without letting any of our customers down.

Matt in a supermarket isle holdingThe Good Crisp Company Sea Salt & Vinegar potato crisps
Matt spots The Good Crisp Company on the shelves at US heavyweight Walmart. Source.

What would you say to anyone wanting to branch out on their own or embark on an entrepreneurial career? Do you have any advice managing the challenges you have faced?

Getting out and testing the idea and concept in a small way is key. You don’t need to spend a fortunate or risk everything, you just need to find a way to test whether your idea or product has traction in the market. The more you test things, and slowly get bigger from what you learn, you will get to a point where you have proven your idea enough to know whether to go all in. You need to start though, because if it remains just an idea it will never truly grow.

Surround yourself with good people that have the knowledge and experience to help you with the challenges ahead as well. They won’t always have the all answers, or even at times the right answers, but staying close to those people will help you develop a good sense of business and the industry. It will allow you to arrive at the right answers and overcome the challenges that will come.

Do you have any achievements you’re particularly proud of? Are there any people or groups that have made a lasting impact on yourself or career?

The brand now does over eight figures in revenue and we are in five different countries, so I feel like we are finally coming out of the small business stage and establishing ourselves as a strong company that can go the distance. This is a really proud moment, as a founder you are never not thinking about the business, but now it feels like we have taken a few steps back from the edge of the cliff.

I have a large group of mentors and peers that have helped me and continue to be a huge help and have impact. Without those support networks, it is almost impossible to succeed, and I am so grateful for everyone that has helped and contributed personally and professionally to The Good Crisp Company.

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