“The bar was really high,” said Wicks on the day, describing the quality of the entries. “We wanted to try and find brands that firstly had a product that was really differentiated and secondly had a story that would resonate with our customers. So it was a combination of the two that was really how we identified the brands that we’re going to see today.”
After quizzing each presenter about their products and conferring among themselves, the team announced that UpCircle's regenerative skincare range created using repurposed natural ingredients, was a winner.
Wicks explains that the panel chose UpCircle as a second winner because: “UpCircle gave a very concise and engaging pitch, they clearly articulated the USP of their brand. We loved the fact they recycle waste from another industry by reusing coffee grounds, we thought the branding and messaging was very strong and the products smelt divine."
"Furthermore, we liked the fact they had thought about an extension strategy, already thinking about other products they could recycle to broaden the reach of the brand.”
“We are absolutely ecstatic to have walked away having won the Sainsbury’s pitch at Natural & Organic Products Europe,” comments UpCircle co-founder Anna Brightman. “To be able to move forwards with a listing in the UK’s third largest supermarket chain will be transformational to our business at this stage of our journey."
"When I found out about the Sainsbury’s pitching opportunity I knew I’d be foolish not to give it a shot. Fast-forward to the day of the pitch and it was incredible to see so many people in the audience – with additional crowds of people standing at the back. Even just to have the opportunity to tell my brand story to that crowd would’ve been a worthwhile opportunity. I couldn’t have asked for better questions form the Sainsbury’s buyers – or better feedback! It’s been a real boost for the UpCircle team and we are excited about what the future holds.”
Smiley faces all round!