A. What is the core value that we offer for the consumer side?
Fair-Trade as a significant market trend is what we would mainly focus to attract saffron consumers to F2C Platform. One of main values we will propose is being fair-trade certified and responding to consumers’ concerns in the field of social consciousness, environmental sustainability and equitable economic. Some consumers are willing to pay premium prices for products of this category. Our price positioning strategy is not yet set but we have the potential to break the prices leading to considerable growth in our saffron sales (most probably after our break-even point).
B. What we have in hand to design our value proposition for consumers:
- Price: Although we have not come to the point to make our final decision about pricing but as mentioned we can play with price factor well.
- Authenticity: In most pages about saffron, experts write how to avoid fake saffron. This is a true concern; saffron as the most expensive spice of the world is mostly adulterated. Buying right from a verified farmer and having the platform as a third party inspector, will lead to having the original and authentic quality.
- New buying experience: Buying right from a farmer with a nice functional profile and the chance to see the story of any specific pack of saffron and communicate with the corresponding farmer, is a new buying experience.
- New approach to Fair-Trade: It is not just reacting to fair trade concerns, but there is an innovative approach to this concept; for the first time smallholder farmers come with their own profiles and consumers can communicate directly with them and make a change and see it.
- Traceability: Most of exporters do not deal with farmers directly and even if they deal they do not keep track of the farmers. For the first time we offer saffron with clear track record. Important when it comes to industrial use of saffron.
- Better chances for farmer education: As we deal with farmers directly and we have the means to be in touch on regular basis, we are in position to trace back any problem easier and educate farmers to solve it. This can lead to better quality level.
- New usage experience: Wholesome saffron: Innovate the way saffron flower is processed and how saffron comes to the market: By now farmers pick the stigmas of saffron flower and cut the red pat of stigma and sell it as what is known; saffron. We are working on an innovative method to dry and pack the whole saffron flower and sell for example a pack of 10 or 100 saffron flowers. In this method each time someone needs to use saffron, takes few of dried saffron flowers from the purchased pack and picks the stigmas and use them in his or her food, tea and etc. Saffron petals are also rich in saffron active molecules such as crocin. They can be used in food, drinks or desserts too. Mahdiye who is in charge of our R&D is working to bring this idea into reality.
C. Validating our assumptions:
We have been able to have direct access to farmers and acquire a good understanding of their lifestyle, concerns and their story with saffron. On the other hand for consumers’ side the same will be done when part of our team reside in Amsterdam. Amsterdam Impact Hub will be supporting us. But for now there are other methods to acquire a deeper understanding of saffron consumers, their concerns and problems with saffron; firstly statistical market analysis and market studies about saffron, secondly gathering and analyzing social media contents and blogs and comments on saffron news and articles and thirdly Skyping with lots of friends we have in Europe, saffron commercial buyers Mo Qaem is in touch from his last saffron business and saffron bloggers and experts who have an enthusiasm about saffron.