If you are a follower of the BBC reality show Dragons’ Den, you may have noticed our appearance on the recent episode. The show has given us a huge platform to showcase our products and highlight what we do and why we do it.
We were approached by the show producers on the 9th of April last year, exactly a month after we launched our products (we launched Coconut Flower Beer on 8th March 2021). Our initial reaction was pure disbelief, as we have not done any marketing at that point. Our response was – “we are not sure if this is the right time”. We felt it was too early because our business did not have any financial track record to present to the Dragons as that is always the most important factor in seeking investment. However, the producers convinced us to participate.
Despite being approached by the showrunners; we did not have an easy ride - the due diligence and requirements to win a spot in front of the Dragons was quite rigorous. It was in fact a gruelling experience 😅. Hundreds of pages of due diligence reports including, food safety, nutritional values and proof of ethical production had to be submitted. Everything we presented and said on the final show had to backed up with fact checks and proof of authenticity. We spend a couple of months delivering all the requirements and conducting video auditions to make it to the next level.
When we were finally selected from the hundreds of next level candidates, we felt great! We were asked to be at Manchester for the show recording and we were given a hotel for the night as we had to drive a couple of hundred miles from Wiltshire. We had to bring all the props and products to be displayed during the show.
The show producers were extremely helpful; after all it is a TV show and they want to show the participants in good light. Hence there was a lot of support in terms of setting up the display and preparation on the day of shoot. We had a dry-run in front of the production team in the morning and Keeran and I forgot our lines 🥺. Panic started to set in when we realised millions of people would be watching this and as it is a reality TV show, the worst part could be highlighted to make the show ‘interesting’. So, the fear of messing it up was overwhelming. However, the most difficult part was the wait. There were 3 other participating entrepreneurs and we were sent in the last. We had waited for almost 10 hours by then and we just wanted get it over with 😭.
Finally, when it was our turn, we went into the Den. Keeran and I motivated each other and we walked in confidently. We pitched our case and company, explained the unique ingredient behind our products and also presented some of our future products, Coconut Flower Drops, and Coconut Flower Wine. We knew we’ll be questioned on our financial figures and that is exactly what happened. After being grilled for nearly an hour by the Dragons we were not offered any investment.
One of the concerns put forward by the Dragons is the product price. Unlike other standard beers, we are using a unique ingredient, Coconut Flower Drops (CFD). CFD is produced in small batches working collaboratively with small farmers. Paying our farmers ethically is one of our key policies. The cost of being eco-friendly, ethical and quality is reflected on our pricing, also using environmentally-friendly aluminium bottle and ring cap contribute to the final retail price of around £4 per bottle. To be honest, the profit margin in our Coconut Flower Beer is low, in the long run we may be able to increase the margin based on higher production volume.
Only very selective entrepreneur pitches are aired on the TV show so we are grateful our pitch was aired in the second episode. Neitiv website had 10 times more traffic in just that hour and we are continuously getting heavy traffic flow. People are keen to explore our brand and see what we do. Many well-wishers have emailed us their support and investment/crowdfunding platforms have approached us. Only time will tell if anything would transpire from all these. Dragons’ Den has created a huge boost for our company despite not getting any investment from the Dragons and we are confident we will only grow faster and better due to this experience.
Having the opportunity to appear on BBC Dragons’ Den will be an experience that Keeran and I will never forget and we’re extremely grateful to have had this opportunity to share our brand’s story with such a wide audience. We want to thank all of you for being part of our ethical journey and constant support so far. Expect more encouraging news from us in 2022, as we will be sharing some very interesting updates on our progress this year.
I am a simple person who wants to live a simple life while spreading positivity by helping people around the world. I believe empowerment, mindfulness and sustainability are interconnected to create an equal, peaceful and prosperous world. I hope each of us can try to be a little bit ethical, so that the world will be a better place to live.
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