The food industry is one of the most lucrative any entrepreneur can delve into. With steady growth over the past decade, market specialists say it’s unlikely the space will face any depreciation soon.
Australian named, “Mayo Mogul,” Peter Tri certainly recognized the opportunity when founding 8 Food, a condiment manufacturing company based in Melbourne. He’s found great success in the space, having a current estimated net worth of over $37M.
Still, Tri says the food industry is fierce and packed with competition. He believes the entrepreneurs who delve into it need to take into consideration that the competition will always try to prevent you from rising above them. It’s something the Mayo Mogul has experienced first hand.
But despite the struggles, Tri has managed to build a truly magnificent company, sitting among Australia’s top 10 condiment manufacturing companies, and supplying over 6,000 stores nationally.
In this exclusive interview, Peter Tri explains how it all began and shares some invaluable tips and advice for upcoming entrepreneurs looking to try their luck in this lucrative industry.
For a start, can you explain to readers what 8 Food is, and what you do exactly?
“8 Food is an Australian condiment company that manufactures mayonnaise predominantly. Besides mayo, we also make seven more condiments, and we called it 8 Food because you ‘ate food’ and we liked the play on words.”
Where did you get the idea for such a business? Is it your first one?
“I started my entrepreneurial journey at 21-years-old, buying a run-down chicken grill bar. After renovating it and making it work, I opened five more stores that were also very successful. In 2007, I decided to move from selling food to manufacturing and invested $3M into infrastructure to shake things a little bit in the condiment sauce space.”
What is the biggest challenge you had to overcome since starting 8 Food?
“When I entered the market for the first time, the big names that were already there didn’t like that at all. They weren’t ready to share their space with a new business that was gaining traction and tried to push me out with a price war. It was a hard time for both the company and me – within one year, I had lost my family home and was in a financial mess, but with a few forward changing tactics, I managed to hold onto my business.”
Are those some secret tactics, or can you share them freely?
“Nothing secret about them at all. We developed a few forward-changing tactics, which included servicing stores directly rather than using the traditional format of engaging distributors. We built strong relationships with the store owners, and it became easier to sell the products, and it saved us a lot of money as well.”
Thank you for your time. Is there more advice you’d like to share with readers and aspiring entrepreneurs?
“The secret of my success is that I have a ‘never give up’ attitude – a relentless mindset and competitive spirit that drives me to do whatever it takes to succeed. Especially if someone says, ‘You can’t do it.’ If you aspire to be successful one day, these are the attributes that will help you achieve your dream.”
For more advice and tips, aspiring entrepreneurs can follow the Mayo Mogul, Peter Tri, on his Instagram. Check out the 8 Food website to see what else the brand is cooking up.