Home Business NewsBusiness Piccolo founder Catherine Gazzoli on why the baby food industry is no child's play

Piccolo founder Catherine Gazzoli on why the baby food industry is no child's play

19th Dec 16 12:00 pm

Take a look…

We caught up with founder and CEO, Catherine Gazzoli of Piccolo to find out more about her new baby food range…

Three reasons you should be watching them


· Company:  Piccolo

· What it does, in a sentence: creating organic wholesome goodness made from ethically sourced ingredients in an innovative new baby food range

· Founded: 2016 April launched in London, UK with two years to come to market

· Founder/s:  Cat Gazzoli and co-founding team members infant feeding specialist Alice Fotheringham and head creative Kane O’Flaherty

· Size of team: 8

· Your name and role: Founder and CEO, Catherine Gazzoli


What problem are you trying to solve?

We were hearing directly from parents that they were ready for a brand that spoke to them as parents wishing to offer the most innovative flavour combinations and ingredient trends in baby in the kind of brand they could relate to. We have a social mission and give back to charity which resonates with our Piccolo parents as well.

How big is the market – and how much of it do you think you can own?

The UK Baby Food market is worth about £252m with all categories included (wet baby food, cereals, dry, snacks etc.)

How do you make money?

We sell our collection in shops like Planet Organic, WholeFoods, Waitrose, Abel and Cole, Asda, Mothercare Cafe among leading independents.

Who’s on your team that makes you think you can do this? 

I have started Piccolo with a very gifted creative Kane O’Flaherty and an infant feeding specialist Alice Fotheringham. Many late nights and intense moments together have gotten Piccolo to where it is today.

Who’s bankrolling you?

Interesting choice of words! Our investor circle are captains of industry in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) world and have supported me and the founding team to take Piccolo to market with not just capital, but with skills-sets and insights that are incredibly valuable to the business day to day.

What advice would you give other entrepreneurs trying to secure that kind of finance?

Good quality investment goes hand in hand with good quality research and a strong business case. If you expect A class directors, give them A class material to analyse.

What do you believe the key to growing this business is? 

Stamina, perseverance and a great team. You cannot be everything, you can try, but I wont recommend it when it could be someone else’s natural talent and not natural to you.

What metrics do you look at every day?

We have a bottom line that is not just commercial, but social, as we give back to food education charitable work. We very much track both strands; people join Piccolo for this reason. It would be a very dark day if the only deliverable were commercial sales and no social purpose to daily lives in Piccolo. I am very proud we are measuring on benefitting society by supporting parents on food education initiatives.

What’s been the most unexpectedly valuable lesson you’ve learnt so far? 

Triple check with your network the best ways of working with each retailer; they are not all the same and have different key touch points that are really critical to them.

What’s been your biggest mistake so far? 

Not triple checking as per above the most valuable lesson….

What do you think is on the horizon for your industry in the year ahead? 

There are lots of trends in superfoods, grain and vegetarian, gluten free, nutri-bullet type of excitement around food in general, both on-the-go convenience healthy foods, as well as in new products across a range of food categories. I am excited to see those trends play out in baby and children’s foods. Kale is good for us adults, as well as for a six month old just in smaller doses and mixed with some delicious mango and yoghurt! Our mango, kale and yoghurt does very well in all shops from an Asda store in Leeds to a Planet Organic in Nottinghill – the whole nation is trading up for premium nutritious blends for little ones.

Which London start-up/s are you watching, and why?

I feel there are some really exciting start-ups in the baby and parenting space as well as food space so our friends at parenting connection tech app Mush, baby kids clothing brand Tobias and the Bear, and new lifestyle parenting sites like Tantrum XYZ are among my favourites!

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