Harris Stock is changing the market for liquid cooking stock, using only organic ingredients and avoiding preservatives, food colouring and other nasties. The brand is a brainchild of Mitch Harris, known for his over 30 year-long career in radio broadcasting (he currently hosts a late night show on RadioLIVE).
What is your company background, how did you start the business?
“I started the company because I couldn't buy good stock. They used to have some at the West Lynn Organic Butcher up the road but they stopped producing it. I offered to make it for them and it grew from there. I had also just been fired (unjustly) from my corporate job and wanted a little business to run for myself.”
What are the current product range and variants and how do these products stand out in the market?
“We can't compete on volume with the big boys so we have to be the best. That means we use only organic ingredients and avoid preservatives, food colouring or any other nasties. And we make it ourselves in big pots deliberately cottage-style rather than industrial. We make chicken, beef, vegetable, mushroom and fish stocks.”
Has there been any recent company news?
“The big news for us is that we are finally getting our packaging act together. We have been using stickers over the tops of the bags which look really tacky in the shops and slow down production. We have new printed bags and the artwork looks great. There is still plenty of visibility in the packaging so customers can see the product. We also hope to launch an Asian broth later in the year.”
What are the plans for the business moving forward, is there any expansion on the horizon?
“We just seem to grow organically. I have tried to get all of that corporate over-competitiveness out of my head. My business philosophy for the stock is that if we care about the stock and make a great product then the rest will take care of itself. I have learnt this from running radio stations over the years. The marketing people are always wanting to put new campaigns together but the advertising makes no difference if the station is crap. Ultimately, I would like to export and we will get there step by step.”
Where are your products currently available to buy, and are you looking at or wanting to expand your availability? If so, where would you like to see the product situated?
“Farro Fresh is our primary customer. We sell a lot of stock through them because their customers and our customers match. Farro have been great to us, they really do support New Zealand's artisan producers and have given New Zealanders real choice. I wish we could make more headway with New World. We sell a lot of stock through them in Wellington. We have also been talking to Countdown and expect to be in a select number of their stores within a couple of months. They have been good to deal with. And we are stocked in a lot of butchers and specialty stores.”
For more information, visit www.harrisstock.co.nz.