Xero: Forty Thieves Juggling demand during uncertainty

Forty Thieves owners; Shyr and Brent chatted to the team at Xero about their Covid-19 lockdown experience. From panic buying to a reduced team, there were a number of challenges that they had to overcome.

“Brent and Shyr are proud owners of  nut butter company Forty Thieves. They use natural, nutrient-rich ingredients to make their delicious nut butters, which are sold in 250 stores across New Zealand.

COVID-19 impacted the Forty Thieves business in a number of ways. The initial challenge was that some production staff didn’t feel safe to come into work, which meant Brent and Shyr had to get back on the tools themselves. A lack of resources added pressure during the crazy period of Kiwis “panic buying” where production had to be increased – and fast. This spike in sales was great for business, but demand started to slow down once Kiwis’ pantries were full.

Brent and Shyr also experienced a massive shift in consumers purchasing online, partly because of lower stock in supermarkets and the convenience for customers.

“In March, we saw this initial trend of sales being made online, and this was solidified in April. This shift in purchasing behaviour has opened the mindset of a lot of consumers who would traditionally buy in-store. As a manufacturer, this has shown us we should explore the online channel more and look to invest in this.”  Brent Godfrey, Forty Thieves.

Brent and Shyr decided to offer free shipping on all online orders to help customers get their hands on Forty Thieves products if they weren’t comfortable going to the supermarket. This paid off as messages of support flooded in from customers. Brent says you’ve got to learn to adapt and be flexible if you want your business to do well. ”

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