How to get your product on the Supermarket Shelf

Alison Heagney – Magic Meatballs

The business idea came from circumstance, as a single mum, Ms Heagney took a break from her career as a manager and went on to study a Masters of Complex Project Management at USQ while raising her son.

“During the final stages of my study I realised that I needed to think about what I was going to do afterwards,” Ms Heagney said.

“I needed to work up a business model that offered me flexibility, good cash flow and an exciting future for my son and I. Something scalable and that I was passionate about.”

During this time, Ms Heagney said she had been cooking “emergency meatballs” for Daniel which were a “meal in a meatball shape.”

“As part of my Project Management course, I had to use real life project examples. So I started to work up the idea for Magic Meatballs,” Ms Heagney said.

“I have adopted what is called the “top down” approach in developing a food product, where you find a contract manufacturer and develop the product straight into the supermarket chains.”

Whilst exploring what contract manufacturers were available she was referred on to a commercialisation expert.

“I was able to secure the help of a consultant famous for the Recipe to Riches television series,” Ms Heagney said.

“And now I’ve got the shelf space. That’s a big ticket item in the supermarket world.”

As of a month ago, Magic Meatballs can be found in 323 Woolworths stores throughout Victoria, NSW and QLD.

“We’re just trialling at the moment, but there is a possibility for them to go out to all 900 Woolworth’s stores in Australia,” Ms Heagney said.

Ms Heagney said she would not be where she is today without the help of key project partners an supports like the Small Biz program and the CHCC Co – Working initiative.

Ms Heagney explained that her next move is to focus on the marketing side of her business and exploring the export market to get volume of sales. She hopes that in the long term she can look at setting up her own local factory.

“I’d love to do that because having a background in the employment industry I know about the underemployment in this area. I love employing people and having a staff community,” Ms Heagney said.

For more information please contact Alison via the Magic Meatballs website.

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