I've just got back from a two week visit to South Korea - not only one of my favourite countries but one of SuperJam's most successful markets. We sell almost 2% of all the jam eaten in the country and are the fastest-growing brand of jam - thanks to our amazing team.
Our strategy has been to invest in running many sampling events, tea parties as well as creating recipes to share ideas for how jam can fit into Korean cuisine.
Here are a few pictures from my recent visit. You can see more, as well as some of the Korean publicity surrounding my visit, at www.superjam.kr
I gave a few lectures about packaging and design - the biggest was at The Korea Herald's K-Style Design Festival.
We made a 2-metre long SuperJam-filled cake to celebrate, with the help of this little girl.
At our 'Jam Party' for SuperJam supporters, team, customers and volunteers, I was forced to sing 'Jammin' by Bob Marley..
We've had fun experimenting with lots of traditional Korean recipes - like these beautiful flower pancakes.
I hosted a cookery class for SuperJam's top customers - sharing recipes for how best to use SuperJam in Korean cooking.
We held an event for Korean grandmothers, where they shared their secret recipes with me - I promised not to commercialise them! We all went out for a great lunch with Korean young people, which the grandmothers loved. They told me I aught to be married by now though...
A 4-metre tall picture of me might have been printed...
We exhibited our products at the British Embassy, Seoul as part of the British Government's 'Great Week' event.
I chose the perfect time of year to visit, with cherry blossom right outside our office in Gangnam.
SuperJam Korea's company rescue cat, 'Grapefruit', wasn't very sure about this Jam Boy fellow.
Most importantly, I got to eat more of my favourite Korean food - Pat Bing Su. Shaved green tea ice cream with red beans, rice cakes, almonds and matcha ice cream. So delicious!
I'm really excited that today we launched an amazing new brand called BakeLab. We've created three baking mixes that are a perfect accompaniment to SuperJam - Chocolate Victoria Sponge, Welsh Cakes and Apricot Scones.
The bake mixes are packed in beautiful Weck jars, which can be reused after the mix has been made. Here's a little video of our first show on QVC, which got the brand off to a great start!
It has been an exciting week!
On Monday, I was very happy to launch our new brand extension - SuperTea!
Blended with the help of a British Master Tea Blender, our teas were created to be the perfect partner for Afternoon Tea. We've been delighted with the reviews - some people have told me SuperTea is the best tea they've ever tasted..
The tea market is very competitive but I know that we can make a success of our brand, by focusing on creating teas that go beautifully with cakes, scones and jam!
Currently available from QVC and our online store here.
Speaking at the Herald Design Forum, where I met Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO. He blogged about my speech here. :-)
I've just got back from an incredible trip to Seoul, South Korea.
It was one of the most exciting cities I have been to - and although I shouldn't make generalisations about a country based on a 2-week crash course - Koreans have an incredibly fast culture and an amazingly futuristic society, are as polite and almost as clean as the Japanese but perhaps more open to ideas from outside.
Their hospitality and kindness surpassed anything i've experienced in the 50+ countries i've visited over the past few years. My Korean business partners organised an exhilarating schedule, making use of every minute of my time in the country - whether to promote our business, teach me their language and culture or enjoy their amazing food.
It is a country that values amazing design - their fashion and packaging is world-class, has one of the best cuisines in the world (I discovered Pat Bing Su, Naing Mjong and $300 mushrooms) and more than anything, an amazing amount of energy and ambition - a Korean school year is almost 300 days, compared to around 180 in the US, and it's not unusual to see kids studying in coffee shops at midnight...
Probably the biggest piece of media coverage my visit received was a feature on the MBN TV News. You can see the clip here.
We spent some time promoting SuperJam, with my amazing colleagues at SuperJam Korea - we're on sale in the beautiful Shinsagae Department Stores (above, with store manager).
Speaking at the World Knowledge Forum.
Behind me is North Korea.
We ate at a few North Korean restaurants. Despite the fact that North Koreans are mostly starving to death these days, their traditional cuisine is delicious - buckwheat noodles in a spicy sauce - so spicy in fact that you need to add ice to cool it down!
My story was covered by most of the major newspapers, even making it to the front page a few times.. gave people a break from the usual apocalyptic news about North Korea I guess...
I visited the really cool Momot Paper Toy Company.
I taught a jam-making class at SK Foundation, a cookery school for disadvantaged young people.
And another class at one of the best cook-schools in the country, for local bakers,pâtissiers and restauranteurs - a big part of our strategy for launching SuperJam in Asia is to supply bakeries - the market for bread is growing, in countries that traditionally eat rice for breakfast..
I gave a lecture about packaging design at Sookmyung women's university - one of the top design schools in Korea.
Street food market..
The 2nd Edition of my book in Korean - The SuperJam Story.
I can't wait to go back in a few month's time!
I'm delighted to say that the first few SuperJam Tea Parties in Australia have been a huge success!
Hosted in partnership with Scones for Good and Kids Giving Back, the tea parties involved groups of young people to bake the scones, serve the tea and chat to the elderly guests. The parties included a large number of elderly people from around Sydney and were a huge amount of fun.
You can see all of the pictures from the recent parties here.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting one of my all time heroes, Jerry Greenfield..
As part of Ben & Jerry's 'Join Our Core'
competition, I had the chance to pitch SuperHoney - which is our new
project that will be putting beehives into schools, scout halls and
community gardens all over the country, giving kids a chance to learn
about bees, the environment and sustainable food and drink. We'll then
be selling the honey they produce through SuperJam's existing 2,000+
supermarket outlets, raising funds to build even more community
When I was about 16, I read a book called 'Ben & Jerry's Double-Dip'; their story inspired me hugely and I very much related to their ideas about business being more than just making money.
Jerry (and the other judges, who included the likes of Harriet Lamb, head of the Fairtrade Foundation and Wubbo Ockels, an astronaut!) loved my idea and gave me some great advice about what to do next.
They're going to be sending me (along with 14 other social entrepreneurs) to Uganda in August to visit the Fairtrade cooperative that produces vanilla for the ice cream!