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RAMONA’s: Stocking the right products

RAMONA's

RAMONA’s is an award-winning food brand that is being stocked in an increasing number of shops. Specialising in producing high-quality, Mediterranean and naturally vegetarian products, RAMONA’s has one goal in mind: to create real, plant-based food that is inclusive for everyone, without compromising on nutritional benefits.

We spoke with founder, Ramona Hazan, about her inspirational journey, changing consumer attitudes and what retailers can do to stock the most exciting products and engage customers.

Here’s what Ramona had to say:

1. Tell us how RAMONA’S started and how it has evolved to where it is today

RAMONA’S started 17 years ago, making products out of my tiny kitchen in a one-bedroom flat in Hendon. At the time, I was working as a computer engineer and in my spare time, I was experimenting with recipes inspired by my Mediterranean influence. I remember that there were chickpeas in bowls drying out all over our flat, so to see where we have evolved from is impressive. Although we are still a small team, we now manufacture our products in a factory in Watford.  

2. How important is it that retailers begin stocking high quality, nutritional vegetarian foods?

Extremely important! There’s still huge growth around vegetarianism and veganism but there’s a move away from ‘real food’. Most of the products stocked that are suitable for vegans and vegetarians are high in fat and contain ingredients consumers have never heard of before. Vegetarian and vegan food can be inclusive and most importantly tasty without losing its nutritional value. Stores like Sainsbury’s are recognising the need to provide shoppers with wholesome, healthy lunches following the launch of their in-aisle concept, Lunch. They have partnered with brands such as LEON, Wasabi, Itsu and ourselves to bring customers balanced meal options.

3. How are consumers’ attitudes changing towards ethical, healthy food choices?

Consumers are increasingly looking for ways that they can alter their diet to be more environmentally friendly. The rise in ‘Climatarianism’, a diet that aims to reduce your carbon footprint by making environmentally friendly choices with regards to food is growing in popularity. According to Waitrose recent food & drink report, more people are eating a 5:2 vegetarian diet. Consumers are looking for ways to do their bit for the environment, but it’s now up to supermarkets and brands to provide this demand for plant-based alternatives that are not chemically produced in order to be rendered vegan. 

4. What’s your experience been like finding retailers to stock your products? What makes a retailer great to work with?

We love working with retailers who share the same passion as RAMONA’S which is to provide food that makes people excited and brings friends and families together. Our food is NOT just for vegans; it’s for the whole family. Little children, teenagers, adults and grandparents alike can enjoy our food at any time of day. We like working with retailers who bring energy and dynamism to their stores. Our products are now available in Costco, Londis and Budgens. We are also launching in Sainsbury’s on Wednesday 17th November. 

5. How important is a blog for sharing information, exciting readers and selling a brand to customers?

Brands should be using their blogs to inspire their customers with recipe ideas and the best ways to incorporate their products into delicious meals. The blog has also been an important platform to make announcements to our customers about new product launches and share internal updates such as giveaways and competitions. I’d also recommend brands utilise social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok to engage further potential customers. 

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