HPG Combines 'Foodie' Appeal and Hard Goods With Batch & Bodega Brand Launch
HPG this week announced the launch of Batch & Bodega, a new brand. Shipping from HPG’s Minnesota facility, Batch & Bodega will bring the supplier into the food gift category, bundling exclusive and award-winning edible products from across the country with popular hard goods from HPG’s catalog to create unique kits.
Customization is a huge part of these “batches,” and customers can choose design elements like high-end retail packaging and handwritten notecards for added personal detail. Jason Lucash, co-founder of Origaudio and senior vice president of marketing and innovation for HPG Brands, used the success of Origaudio’s zero-setup-fee and one-piece minimum order as inspiration for Batch & Bodega.
He also was inspired by what he called a lack of creativity and quality in food gift packages. For the past year, Lucash and his team have been working with food suppliers from all over the country to assemble a lineup of snacks with delicious flavors and interesting stories. Lucash was shopping in New York City, and stumbled upon the trendy “foodie” brands in popular spots like Chelsea Market, and thought about how those brands weren’t represented in the promotional products industry despite huge retail success.
“I have never received a custom food gift and been excited to eat the food,” Lucash said in a press release. “It often comes in plain packaging with plain flavors to match, which is a missed opportunity when there is such an abundance of delicious snacks available. Passionate food makers across the country are waking up every morning trying to make the most delicious cookie, peanut butter, even ice cream cone, and no one in the promo industry has been able to tap into that homegrown supplier talent until now.”
Younger generations are especially looking for locally made products and bespoke options. With that in mind, Lucash dove into his research and ended up with an initial launch partner list of 27 “makers” from across the country, each with a unique brand and identity. Young consumers want to be able to talk to the business owner. Hearing about someone starting the business from their garage or their backyard has enormous appeal, and if you can trace the product from its origins to the final customer, that's an added bonus.
As buying habits change, the promotional products industry's offering needs to do the same. And as kitting becomes a popular option for companies to reach end-users during the pandemic, especially when drop-shipped, the bundling and no-minimums of Batch & Bodega could be as appealing as the food.
“We have exclusivity for these small-batch manufacturers in the promotional products industry,” Lucash said in an email. “We aren’t doing any actual food manufacturing ourselves, rather cultivating and sourcing from these makers—letting them do what they do best, which is make tasty snacks—and bringing them to the promo industry.”
Lucash added that HPG's resources and support allowed the Batch & Bodega brand to grow from idea to reality in a short period of time, while the supplier's existing hard goods operations provided a perfect partnership for the kitted nature of the products.
“Our distributor partners have quickly learned that Batch & Bodega’s combination of expertly curated snacks, combined with the best in promotional hard goods, makes for a tastefully authentic and lasting individual experience—an experience that has become all the more relevant in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Chris Anderson, CEO of HPG. “Based on early marketing testing, HPG has invested heavily in inventory, and Batch & Bodega is primed to be a key weapon in our customers’ Q4 sales arsenal.”
In these market research sessions, distributors told Lucash and HPG that being able to provide custom kits with no minimum orders made a big difference during a difficult time.
“As a distributor, if you can’t sell Batch & Bodega to your customers, you should immediately quit and look for a new line of work,” Brian Gill, of Florida-based distributor Thumbprint, told Lucash. “This is what our industry needs, and at the absolute perfect time.”
For more information on Batch & Bodega, visit www.batchandbodega.com.