Art Green – Clean Paleo, Influencer Marketing & Entrepreneurial Journey

Art Green – Clean Paleo, Influencer Marketing & Entrepreneurial Journey


Welcome to the Konnector 302 Temporary
Redirect show. Giving you the opportunity to step away from the grind of working
in your business and investing thirty minutes to listen to people who can help
you work on it. Afternoon everyone and welcome to another episode of the Temporary
Redirect show this afternoon we have got the incomparable Art Green with us live
Gidday mate welcome welcome howdy yeah very well-known for in let’s
get it out of the way group we’re all known for the time on The Bachelor but
just as well-known these days for some of the amazing stuff he’s doing in the
business world even before The Bachelor you were well known
around the old Clean Paleo side of things you’ve now got Riot Foods you’ve
got Plate Up, you’re… Jesus Christ you you half of New Zealand following you on Insta
on Facebook knows things yeah yeah things I’ve gone really well it’s quite
a I mean you know I hate saying that we were busy with a whole bunch of
different things but um yeah at the moment currently juggling a few
different things and recently launched Plate Up in January so that’s taking up
most of my focus at the moment which has been really positive and really
motivating yeah Fantastic and let’s
take the clock back let’s just talk a little bit about… well the
history of Art. Where did you grow up how did you get into doing what
you’re doing, were you were success at school did you go to university give us
their the five minute bio on the world that led to Art Green. Oh yeah right
so I grew up in Martinborough on a farm moved down to
Christchurch went to high school down there at Burnside then I studied sports
science down at Otago I was never really that academic at school PE was my
favourite subject and hence why I went down and studied sports science down
there I thoroughly enjoyed it I I figured out how to apply myself properly
and actually then did become far more academic down at university then I
finished my degree and I kind of came out of uni without any real direction
Having a PE degree as such it doesn’t really set you up for a career
you know you study law to become a lawyer you study medicine you become a
doctor and study PE and you know I don’t know what you’re gonna do like there’s
no set career path for you so I came out not really knowing exactly what I wanted
to do or where I was gonna be I did a couple of odd jobs like sales jobs and
different bits and pieces I’ve got a bunch of travel coach tennis in the
States then I then I landed a gig after about two years of being out of out of
Uni I landed a gig in Western Australia managing a gym in the middle
of the outback and for me that was quite quite a life-changing because I I sort
of I changed my whole mindset about health and nutrition and I did a lot
more reading and studying and I had a lot of downtime like my job so cruzi I
literally just sat around most of the day I’d cleaned the gym for a little bit
I did a workout I hung out by the pool and then I just and I read and then at
nighttime all these miners would come back from working the mine during the
day and then I’d train them or I’d taken three fitness classes or some
nutritional programs and stuff but I just had a lot of time to myself and I
had a lot of time to relearn and read and read and and that was when I really
developed my passion for health and wellness and nutrition and from there
that. It must have been quite paradoxical really being over there because I know that
miner life very very much for all revolves around working huge hours
drinking a huge amount eating crap food and going away on holidays to Asia.
Totally that’s that’s essentially what it’s like within the mining industry you
know like most of the people there they finish their long hot days working and
down the mine site driving trucks doing whatever building whatever and then they
just want to go hit the bar and just drink as much as they can
without meaning that they’re gonna hit you know having alcohol in the system
the next day because if you blow anything more than zeros and then like
the alcohol breath test the next morning then you are cut – you straight back home
instant dismissal so yeah it was my role to try and convert people and to
try and make them healthier in an industry that was like very much not
health focused so it was quite challenging but yeah it motivated me and
and it was kind of like you know I had so many people asking me what something
nutritious like what sort of diet that should be fine what’s healthy what’s
eating and the thing was you know I’d studied nutrition at uni but I I
actually couldn’t answer the question like I’m telling there was one
you know right way of eating you know so that’s when I thought I’m gonna try out
a whole bunch of different things myself and relearn and do a whole lot more
reading and then it led me on to trying out to the diets and leave me kind of
down the sort of Paleo path and yeah and then like um at the same time a couple
of my buddies were back here in New Zealand making…. starting up Clean
Paleo and it’d have been they’d started up and they’ve gone to about four months
and then I came back from W.A and joined in with them and and then yeah we we
were at the at the time we were making bag of cereal in this umm we we
were hiring out a cake a bakery overnight to make cereal in there and
then sell them into small independent grocery stores or health food stores and
then yeah we just kind of went from there and we’ve continued to grow it
over the last five years and to the point where now we’re you know one of
the leading functional food businesses in more brands and the major supermarket
comes in which is just huge because five years ago the supermarket wouldn’t
wouldn’t stock any of the products that we’re making and health food wasn’t
really a thing and and I think we’ve really helped to pioneer that change and
the mentality and just the health food market in New Zealand
How important was it being able to take that through a bit of a journey and
her my you know hey there – god dammit “lets follow that journey” faark me but there is there has to be that transition from small operator to
getting that foot in the door some of those big chains and things like that and
what were some of those critical things that you really had to really you know
those boxes that you had to tick because it is such a minefield getting into
those establishments and they can hold you over a barrel and you’ve also got to
be able to fulfil demand yeah totally it was a huge transition
for us we I think you know being naive actually you know can work in your favor
we gotta start we will be asked things like how many how many units do you have
in a in an outer what’s an outer yeah it turns out that’s
a carton so it’s all this like even just like the lingo in the jargon that big
industry uses we just had to school ourselves up and we did this just add it
gradually as we went but I think for us we weren’t afraid to admit that we had
no idea what these people were talking about we’re going to meetings and there
were you know three letter acronyms being thrown Left front and center and we
had no idea what they meant and you know we weren’t afraid to just say hey a second what are you talkin about coz we’ve got an idea and okay totally
relate to it yeah I think we were yeah I think we learned early on that we’re not
fussed about that we’re not too precious about pretending to be more
knowledgeable than we are and so we would just ask questions the supermarkets that we initially into Countdown supermarket that was our first big
change in the business for that we had to change up our food safety regulations
we had to build our own manufacturing facility get all our own machinery and
get fully certified and so that was huge a huge transition in our business life
and a massive capital outlay yeah? yeah totally um we just.. and no guarantee of return
yeah exactly so we borrowed a lot of money we had some backing from some very
generous family members and that has yeah helped us to get to where we are
now without that we we wouldn’t been able to do anything
especially for it’s very hard to get people backing you for an industry
that’s new it’s that’s unproven whether it be Paleo or
just health food in general which doesn’t have a you know historically
hasn’t had a place in mainstream supermarkets for us trying to you know
forge that path as being well it’s uncertain so it’s hard to get the
backing. So at what point did the whole Bachelor thing come into it and and what
impact did they actually have on the business? Was it a little bit of luck
a little bit of timing and then a little bit of PR giving a whole lot of exposure yeah all
that we’ve been going for about a year and a half and we I got asked if I want
to be on the show and I said I’ve had to think about it quite a lot and talk
about it with my business partners because you know it could be really
beneficial or it could be completely you know detrimental to the business all
came down totally you know and it all comes down to how you come across a lot
of it isn’t even necessarily determined by the type of person you are but more
to do with the outcome of the show from a relationship point of view and that’s
something that I had no control over going into the show I had no idea who
was going to be on there and if I would meet someone that I would be suited to
and oh so you know most of it just came down to luck I found my fiancee on the
show and so it all worked out really well for us which I think you know
helped to paint me in a positive light and then because of my close association
with Clean Paleo you know it helped to boost that help boost of publicity and
it’s yeah it’s I guess it’s like the publicity that money can’t buy really
that then and that definitely helps get the word out there let people know what
we were doing yeah. So you’ve got a quite an
interesting situation now as well you’ve got one
… let’s say fairly established business I mean how long
was it now that you guys set up Clean Paleo? four and a half five years yeah five and
a half five years yes you know a good-sized business by any measure in
the New Zealand market and so you’ve got that whole paradox of I’ve I’ve got this
one business that’s doing all the things that needs to be doing we’ve got
management systems in place, we’ve got great supply networks distribution
sorted out and everything like that and then we’ve got Plate Up. Go through that
you know right back at square one and everything of it. Is there a
massive difference that you find that you need to change hats and use that
different mindset of startup versus establish business and the different
things that you’re needing to focus on depending on which business you’re your looking at , at the time yeah yeah I mean they are yeah they are
definitely completely different stages I think the whole more so would be the
business models that are so different and that and what I’ve learned from them
you know with the Clean Paleo we because no one could actually make the foods
that we wanted to make we had to bring everything in-house make our own
manufacturing facility and make everything for ourselves and for that
we’ve had to just jump through so many hurdles and to see everything up so much
by the book you know staffing issues and all the other issues that come with
that sort of stuff and I’ve learned a lot from that and I figured that with
Plate Up I try to apply all that knowledge and now you know our business
model is based is far different we outsource as much as we can we have a
great..Haha, all those things you don’t want in your business…totally you know I hope I know my strengths I know
that you know right now I’m currently you know semi relevant and from a PR
perspective in New Zealand and I think you know might as well try and make the
most of it while I’m still current and and so I know that my strengths are in
marketing and sales not necessarily the manufacturing side
of things and so we outsource that. We’ve got a great kitchen down in Hamilton our
chefs down there they are just so good and so basically it’s just I don’t have
to worry about it So for those people that don’t know
Plate up as yet give us the give us the spiel yes so in January this year
Matilda and I launched Plate up We um basically we’ve been working on
for about six months prior to our launch and it’s a healthy really made meals
business so think of it you know it’s similar to like a my food bag situation
where you you’re getting your food delivered to your door but our meals are
already cooked for you and you just need to heat them a few minutes in the
microwave for five or ten minutes in the oven and they’re all healthy. So we we base them
off kind of what we do based on my Paleo principles so they’re all grain free
gluten free just natural Whole Foods but we don’t go out of our way to market
them as such because we know that that can be a reasonably polarizing word and
some people don’t label what they’re eating but we think that you can’t go
wrong from a health perspective with Paleo so that’s essentially what we do
what we do so we’ve been going with three months now and it’s been really
well received picked up by you know the market and I
think it was just good timing people were looking for an easy way to eat
healthily I know you know it was born from frustration from ourselves you know
Mati and I were getting we were doing My Food Bag and we just we’d get to the end
of the week and they’d be leftover meals because we because we… things would pop
up to anyway you know yeah I think that shouldn’t be this way but society is
making everyone of us more busy and you know things that we sacrifice our health
and one of the things associated with the help I think is having a good
connection with food and cooking for ourselves and knowing what you eaten and
yeah for us that kind of went out the window you know that would be the first
thing that we wouldn’t have time for all we’d start to resent cause later on need to…
it feels like a chore to cook where it you know it shouldn’t so that’s what we
and we we found that you know eating healthily doing healthy takeaways for
lunches easier than didn’t like with dinner
there may be a couple of healthy food options but at the end of the day you
kind of like you’re so hungry in there you just want something that’s really
delicious so there’s so much temptation out there as well that’s like quite hard to eat healthy so…Who came up with the tag Line? I gotta know that Which tagline is that one? “Because youve got
enough on your plate” oh well there was a friend of ours came up with that one
yeah we’ve got a few rolling a few rolling taglines
yeah it’s pretty much how we basing it around yeah convenience but also health
so very good and how did you how did you actually outsource product, outsource the kitchen everything like that but the development of the brand I mean
how much time I mean you’re saying you’ve seen six months leading into
working on that before launch yeah and I you know a big chunk of it must be
product development but thinking about that go to market strategy building up
those networks to suppliers the PR everything like that. What was the
biggest challenge that you found in that area? It’s your naturally area of
expertise. You know surprisingly the meals and recipes that wasn’t actually
that difficult we um we like to you know we like to cook would like to create and
what we did was we just we basically made our menu consists of our favorite
meals that we like to cook so that’s what we did and and then we got our
chefs to help us create them like tinker with them so that they could
mass-produce them and and that was actually surprisingly easy doing that
side of thing. The brand creation was quite difficult Mati and I came up with
that ourselves and we we took a long time coming up with different names you
know it was through yeah for about five weeks we probably were going down about
10 different brand directions with different brand names. Tell us some of
the ones that really sucked because I know that you go through this do you
think of any brand names that would we’re gonna call plate up
oh yeah goodness meals yeah they’re good are there there were that they were heaps
that we came up with we I just didn’t resonate they don’t yeah
they just didn’t quite work but we’re we’re really…and then you go down the
the website channel and going oh shit we can’t use that… oh we cant use that yeah yeah
exactly there were a couple like that where
where we want we were trying to get things to say to say health food and
real food and there’s so much stuff out there that is branded towards that sort
of stuff and and so we were kind of forced away from anything like that and
I think it’s worked in our favor because you know essentially we’re not we’re not
trying to get people to think that eating healthy we’re just trying to
create an answer for people who who do care about what they’re eating but they
just don’t have time so yeah it’s more about it’s more about convenience and
quality food and make something that taste good because at the end of the day if it doesn’t taste good people won’t eat it It never ceases to amaze me how so many great
things just come from people executing on stuff that they want they they like
doing I just want to carry on down this track just build an idea around it. Absolutely I
think that’s what makes businesses succeed is that they’re they’re from a
purpose and a passion because people aren’t going to make put a lot of time
and effort into something unless they actually care about it so I think that’s
the yeah the main thing that makes business succeed. Seen so many people
fail when they go down the track where they’ve seen an opportunity because it’s
an industry or it’s a market segment that people are making money in those
the thing to do that you know the whole drop shipping thing there’s a whole
bunch of stuff oh yeah cool I can just whip it together a website throw
something together I can push it and they just burn out to six months
because they don’t really give a toss actually hard work yeah Business for
the sake of business and then you don’t have the passion and if you don’t have
passion then you’re not really gonna you’re not gonna try as hard and you’re
just not gonna be as enthused about it and that kind of gets reflected and
everything about the business it feeds its way down from you down through
everything employees marketing everything I think it’s yeah you can
tell Did you have to seek funding for Plate up? No we just saved So with yeah I again things I’ve learned
I’ve wanted to do this completely without relying on anyone else so
Mati and I just saved. We had an initial outlay and then you know as of last
month I think we broke even and now it’s time to make profit so already yeah
three months in thats incredible! Yeah so it’s it’s very cool I mean there
being said like we didn’t have a huge outlay at the start it wasn’t that’s we
were able to save money in a lot of different places and yeah marketing
spend so far has been relatively cheap for what we’ve been able to achieve and
that’s again because of our current position was social media and stuff like that. So
with that market exposure obviously you’ve got the exposure you’ve got the brand
you’ve got the connections and the influence the down that track with your
marketing do you work on… have you got any formulas that you’re trying to work
to whether it’s a cost per acquisition and regards to the average recurring
revenue sort of thing you know because it’s with the your model when it’s a
subscription basis there is you have to factor and don’t you know how long you
can people stay with us what’s their worth to us what’s the margin on each
week’s outlay and then how much more prepared to pay for that to acquire them
yeah yeah. Do you take a Formulaic approach? No Basically we are so firstly we’re not
actually a subscription model yet we that’s something we’re looking to
build in again like and we haven’t had the money to invest it in to where we’ve
site. Well initially we didn’t so we’ve just launched with people bought what they want when they want it and we know that though there’s a huge
apetite for the subscription because you know I think between 50 and 60% about
orders sorry 60% about orders are from returning customers so we’ve got a lot
of people that are asking for a subscription model because they they
want to not worry about and reorder meals
and it is it’s that convenience factor again as well isn’t it our date to go
back in I don’t have to reorder absolutely in terms of like
cost-per-acquisition and all that sort of stuff we have not delved into that at
all yet there are so many things that we will
begin to look at I think we’re going to wait till we get the subscription model
going first before we really delve into that data and figure out really but
we’ve just got so many other low-hanging fruit that we need to get we need to
pick and we need to get moving with the business before we really start
tinkering and fine tuning with all that stuff yeah I mean you’ve got a mess of base you know potential
clients just with your following up yeah absolutely I mean we launched with on
the very first day that we launched that was that still be our biggest sales day
and yeah it just was phenomenal and it’s just from our follower base on on social
media yeah I think we just have a very engaged audience who who are actually
interested in what we do and yeah so life is .. a good segue I suppose…Life
in the public eye is pretty much par for the course for you to now and you’ve
chosen to carry on with that with you know influencer marketing you’re close
to 100k followers on Instagram you’ve got a good 30k on
Facebook there is challenges they come with it but obviously massive opportunities
as well. How do you think it’s going to impact you guys around some of this
tightening up of regulation and things are around sponsored posts versus
about disclosure I mean this thing the other you know hash tag SP is no longer
sufficient whereas here in New Zealand I think we’re probably a little bit more
relaxed but I know they’re cracking down on in the States like anything. Yeah yeah
I think it’s great I think that they’re you know it it has been needed for a few
years I think that there were too many influencers posting about stuff that
is not a true reflection of you know their blatant advertising but because of
the nature of social media there are a lot of impressionable young young people
on social media that don’t understand that it’s appetizing so I think that
having regulation in there to make it known that things are paid promotion I
think is I think it’s a good thing and I know now you know most things you do it
you have to indicate it’s a paid partnership with just under it under the
geo-tagging bit … I’m talking about Instagram and I think it’s good I
also think that there’s gonna be I think there’s gonna be I think it’ll continue
to change social media there are a lot of ways of getting a lot of followers
without it being organic you know those followers being organic
even buy followers you can go into different there are different ways of
little influence and networks where you can kind of nickel pods and anyway yeah
different things like this and I think that there’s going to be more need for
influences that are also real people and they actually are themselves in real life
and not just on the social media front so you know they go to events and they
can talk to people and they’re actually normal people I mean we you know it’s
happened a couple of times where I’ve met influences that I’ve been quite
excited to meet. Like I follow this person and then I feel like I know them and
then you go and make them in they’re just like you know they don’t want to
talk to you or they just like really closed and it’s just it’s it’s strange
but anyway. So online persona vs real life… there needs to be alignment
yeah? Yeah I think so yeah yeah yeah it’s I had to chuckle I think recently you did a an
Instagram post down in Queenstown you probably sponsored and all that but outside
Fergs Bakery with the old… you know pies I was like oh there’s a whole heap of different
reaction man at all you know the clean Paleo guy and this
having a big Pie and i as like shit guys you’re allowed to have a life I know yeah we I
mean like you got some exposure I mean that wasn’t it wasn’t promoted , paid post or anything we just love pies and we get you know like every now and then
you get above that sort of stuff you just people complain about anything
They do a mean Pie! I actually think they do the best pies in New Zealand so Fergs Pies if you are listening
then maybe you should give me some money or some pies because i am doing your job for you LOL yeah we I mean
we we had to learn pretty early on that you just yeah it’s it’s different people
just will complain about anything and they’ll try and have a go at you about
nothing we’ve been pretty lucky in that we’ve had we haven’t had much of that
you know you do have to not only just have a thick skin but you do have to
just acknowledge and be aware that that’s how unfortunately that’s how
social media works and people like to complain and like to have a voice and
that’s totally cool but just don’t have to listen to it all the time yeah I know
I know you love your sports obviously you had a lot of background and training and
everything like that… Coast to Coast pretty cool? yeah awesome
Coolest event yeah that was I did the full event last year
and then I did just the run this year and I absolutely loved it it’s it’s an
event that I think a lot more Kiwis should do because you get to see some
incredible parts of New Zealand and the actual you know the feat of of going
from one side of the country to the other just using your body power is
pretty impressive and it’s a really good feeling having completed it so yeah I
loved it yeah I’d love to love to do it I recently did 330 K run from Mount Cook
to Oamaru – The Alps to Ocean which completely broke me then
take my hst off because I know that that terrain that you go over
there was brutal I have to give I have to give a rap to my mates down at
Waitomo are you gonna you gonna head back down to Waitomo trail run in a few weeks time? ah no probably not we did it it was quite
funny actually there was the first exposure to doing any trail running that
we’d ever done and we had no idea what we’re doing. So a brutal one to start with then!
God we had no idea we’ve done like a 10k as long as we’d run we rocked up at
the start and we were just in like our little gym shoes no like water no snacks
nothing all these people with their heart out you know backpacks and stuff
with the nutrition and everything which you need for that sort of run and
where’s your food what do you mean like wheres your water & like
I don’t know that their locations or something but yeah it’s quite a serious
run so it took me I think five and a half hours and I got like severe cramp I
was I yeah I was broken at the end of it Mati turned her knee about 25 days into it so
she got she finished on a golf buggy and you know it was a disaster but but it
actually the thing was it it made me realize like mental toughness because
now I from then on I’ve to any event that I’ve done like that I’ve kind of
applied that and be like well you know what that Waitomo trail run was harder
than this so that was tough. Yeah I’m a big believer that any business owner or entrepreneur
anyone that wants to start a business up should run an ultra marathon because it
just breeds resilience because you were just completely faaarked ….multiple
times you have massive highs massive lows you never know whether you’re going
to finish it and the feeling when you actually accomplish your goal is just
ridiculous. Yeah totally It’s such a good feeling yeah. So what’s
next for you guys? What’s coming up? Obviously your
massive focus on Plate-up but you know we do we are gonna hopefully be taking
there over the next you know over the course of this year to give the
subscription model working yeah we do you want to be with it yes so the focus
this year for me business-wise has Plate Up and we would like to set up a
subscription model there are a bunch of different things as well we want to set
up so that it’s rolling over I’ve got new we’ve you know we’ve got new meals
coming in each month and then hopefully we’ll get it going a little bit more
autonomously so I don’t do it involved and think and yep I’m sorry Mati has made
some food and I’m going to eat it business side of things
midis film the TV showed earlier this year called Heartbreak Island so that’s
coming out in mid year and so she’ll do quite a lot of PR run that of her so
that’s maybe film another season this year So could we see you guys in celebrity survivor? Who Knows… You can’t afford to take 12 weeks out of the
business wait is the problem all no yeah but that’s something like our lives when
we get so many different random opportunities that come up all the time
every week that it’s very hard to say what what’s going to happen what you
know this year’s going to hold for us because we have over the last three
years keep ourselves reasonably open to different opportunities that have popped
up and that’s kind of how we’ve had to be to make the most of everything that’s
happening for us and so far it’s working out really well just being really
flexible and yeah trying to do a little bit of treble gonna go to the States
next month for my 30th and do a bit of a roadie and yeah and then get married
next year probably Very cool very cool Hey look I will let you get on with your
meal and thanks thanks for coming on that it’s been pretty cool seeing you
guys transform over the last couple of years and
you know this whole Plate Up thing I think is just gotten massive legs so
congrats on the launch looking forward to seeing where it goes and I’ll catch
you on the Waitomo Trail run some time in the future when you’re ready to tackle
it again. Yeah maybe next year – see you there – Cheers buddy…. enjoy