12 March 2020

It is estimated that 63% of New Zealanders miss out on their ‘five a day’ of fruit and vegetables. This is contributing to epidemics of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and dementia.

Christchurch-based social enterprise Nutrient Rescue is on a mission to change this, improving the health of New Zealanders by making it easier to get their quota of nutritious fruit and vegetables all year round. They have created a range of nutrient-dense ‘Shots’ made from freeze-dried fruit and vegetables grown right here in New Zealand. Their Green and Red Shots are made using the who’s who of superfoods, including blackcurrants, boysenberries, wheatgrass and barley grass.

Founded by New Zealand food entrepreneur Michael Mayell, Nutrient Rescue’s initial launch wasn’t hugely successful. “Initially everything was outsourced, the business was burning a lot of cash,” says Tejada Stark, CEO of Nutrient Rescue (pictured). “This forced a restructure of the business, and I was brought into the role by Simon Challies, Chairman of Nutrient Rescue.”

They were challenging times, and with only 50 monthly subscribers, the new team needed to make some changes. Tejada explains their approach, “the first thing we did was talk to our existing customers; we wanted to understand why they were taking the product, what their pain points were, what problems did they want to solve. We wanted to be about goodness, not just from the nutritional profile of the product but also being good to people and the planet. We wanted to be authentic and bring old fashioned customer service back”.

The customer-centric approach provided the Nutrient Rescue team with some valuable insights. “The feedback was positive, we had everyone from elite athletes, to people with skin conditions, to those recovering from chemotherapy were telling us how great our product was,” says Tejada. “We even had truck drivers saying they’d ditched their sugar-laden Red Bull in favour of our Nutrient Rescue Shots.”

The challenge was how could they leverage the information that they had from their customers. The team focused on building a community, using Facebook as their primary social media tool. They asked their customers for permission and utilised the positive messages on their Facebook page, and because it was authentic; the audience started to grow.

“As our community grew, we found that our customers started to engage with our posts and each other, they were answering questions for new customers on social media, in other words, it was genuine peer to peer marketing.”

The customer/goodness focused strategy started to work financially, and the growth of the business began to occur. “We saw 10-15% month on month growth, the business now has 2,500 monthly subscribers of our Red and Green Shots, and our Facebook community is 43,000 users and growing”, says Tejada.

The future is looking good for Nutrient Rescue; they’ve built an excellent community of customers and are playing their part in supporting the more sustainable organic farmers in New Zealand.

Nexia New Zealand and Nutrient Rescue

“I have enjoyed the excellent relations that I have had with Simon, Tejada and the Nutrient Rescue team and am proud of the transformation that has occurred over the last 12-16 months,” says Brylie Gray, Associate at Nexia New Zealand. Tejada agrees that it’s been a supportive relationship between the two businesses, “Nexia New Zealand has been with us since the restructure, and they provide the right level of support for where we are as a business. I am lucky that I have the support of Simon and our Board from a financial viewpoint, but having a responsive accounting firm like Nexia New Zealand available to support and answer any questions that I might have, including tax, administration and annual accounting, is a great asset to our business.”


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