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How we secured a partnership with one of the biggest names in food

Quiqup has partnered with Hellmann's to rapidly deliver ingredients and recipes. Here's how they sealed the deal and developed a successful initiative

Company: Quiqup
Company description: Quiqup is a London-based on-demand delivery service start-up. Founded originally to let consumers order anything from its app for local same hour delivery, Quiqup has since expanded its proposition to become vertical agnostic and to provide last mile delivery to businesses.
Started in: 2014

Describe your start-up barrier:

As a start-up, one of the main challenges is securing that initial connection with a big brand. Once you have that, then you are faced with instilling confidence in your service and showcasing that, as with everything we do, we do it with best-in-class customer journeys in mind.

This is where the Unilever Foundry – a global platform through which start-ups can partner with Unilever brands – is great, as it was an entry point for us and facilitated the relationship that we now have with Hellmann’s, which is a Unilever brand.

From there, we had to come up with a concept that was both relevant and novel – one that would achieve Hellmann’s goals but also allow us to stay true to what we do, thereby creating a synergic partnership.

What were the practical steps you took to achieve this?

The Hellmann’s initiative began with a letter sent from Unilever Foundry. It explained that Hellmann’s wanted to partner with one of London’s innovative start-ups to engage with millennials in a fresh and more meaningful way.

We saw this as a great opportunity to work with one of the best known names in the food industry. With our profound knowledge of the consumer habits of millennials and the tech necessary to craft a very cool initiative, we got to work.

First, we had to conceptualise our ideas and prepare a pitch. After receiving the pitch brief we put a cross-functional team (which consisted of resources from marketing, sales, tech, and product) together to come up with a structure to tackle all objectives of the pitch.

We began brainstorming and white boarding potential ideas. We came up with several blue sky ideas, which we then filtered and condensed down to realistic ideas that we knew we could execute flawlessly.

We used our profound knowledge of the target audience and all the historical data we have on their purchasing behaviour to ensure that the value proposition we came up with was one that suited both Hellmann’s objectives of engaging millennials and our own technical and logistic capabilities.

We then started to implement the concept, making sure to leverage our already established partnership with Tesco to ensure maximum efficiency and quality of service.

It took us two weeks to put everything together and we presented our proposal to Hellmann’s thereafter. We applied dedicated tech resources to the Hellmann’s initiative and it went straight into development.

It took two of our developers two months to create the autofill basket functionality needed to make this initiative a success. Testing was a critical part of the process to make sure that everything ran smoothly and intuitively.

Next, we needed to successfully launch the initiatve. We did this in two phases:

  • Phase 1: the Quiqup launch – we launched to QU customers via email and social media with initial promo code incentives to trial the service.
  • Phase 2: the Hellmann’s launch – this was done via an official press release and the use of influence engagement to promote the initiative among the foodie London following.

The homepage for Quiqup and Hellmann's' initiative

What was the outcome?

We launched a very successful initiative with Hellmann’s that offered customers the opportunity to get all the ingredients needed for a simple and delicious recipe (made with Hellmann’s, of course) delivered, powered by Quiqup.

The tech we developed, which allows the auto-filling of baskets based on bundles of items, is very exciting and something we think can be replicated across lots of other verticals and ideas.

Read more: How to start a food business

Our partnership with a brand of Hellmann’s' reputation and integrity in the market reflected well on us as a company, and has helped us to prove that we are reliable partners for brands of any size and vertical.

What three key questions should other companies ask themselves before approaching potential partners?

  1. Does this proposal truly fit the brief and does it remain true to your values and goals?
  2. Would you use the service you’re proposing – is the value proposition high?
  3. Is your proposal realistic in terms of implementation, bandwidth, and resource allocation?

What one piece of advice should start-ups take on board when developing a new initiative?

Executing a simple idea well will prove more successful than trying to execute a complex idea and falling short.

Is there anything you would do differently?

The great thing about working with a brand like Hellmann’s is that we had enough lead-time and support to make sure that every step, from conceptualisation to implementation, was thoughtful and well-executed.