Small producer case study: Swan Valley Honey (Part 2)

Debbie has put her product development skills to good use to diversify the range of Swan Valley Honey products. She has developed new recipes, confectionery and dressings that are taste tested at shows and the feedback used to fine tune the next new addition to the range.
Products
  • Swan Valley Honey products currently include:
  • honey – liquid and creamed
  • confectionery - macadamia nougat made with goldfields honey and almond nougat made with redgum honey
  • salad dressings - honey garlic and honey mustard
  • pollen.

As Swan Valley Honey is a growing business with an expanding range of products, a reliable source of honey is essential and Debbie needs to be satisfied that supplies are expanding at the same rate as her product range and number of retail outlets.

Vary your sale points 

Swan Valley Honey products can be found in many independent supermarkets in the Perth metropolitan area and at selected shows and field days.
Honey prices fluctuate according to the available supply each season, so added negotiation with supermarkets can be required. Debbie says she started out going to many markets, but found it too time consuming especially as most are held on weekends.

“So now we go the Royal Show, Margaret River Food Festival and similar events,” she said.
At these shows, Swan Valley Honey provides free tastings and displays a full range of products. The stall also features Debbie’s tried and tested recipes, showcasing Swan Valley Honey. "As Swan Valley Honey is a growing business with an expanding range of products, a reliable source of honey is essential"
Debbie said the shows are a great opportunity to network with other local producers involved in Buy West Eat Best program (BWEB).
 
“We are committed to mutual support for small businesses and we support the people and businesses that support us. Along with our own products we also distribute Australian products for other small manufacturers. It helps to make our business more viable and the stores we supply appreciate the larger range of products available,” she said.
 
Although, Swan Valley Honey is principally a wholesale business Debbie also sells directly to consumers.
 
As most of the honey packing is done offsite, property size was initially not an issue, however as the business expanded it has become economically feasible to acquire a showroom.
 
“Our new showroom in Wangara is set up as a display for commercial customers and to attract shops looking for local produce.”
 
Swan Valley Honey is a great example of how a small family run business can adapt with the times and establish itself to capture the needs of a growing market.
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