Winning students take olive oil business mainstream

Manurewa High School Year 13 students who this week won a national business competition plan to get their olive oil product into Nosh shops next year.

Caring & Co beat 19 other teams to win the Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Company of the Year for its Unique Drizzle olive oil.

Company managing director, 17-year-old Lar Su'a, told NBR ONLINE the company sold 300 bottles at $20 a piece, raking in $6000.

"We sold out, so we're really happy with that."

Three thousand students a year take part in the Young Enterprise Scheme – run by the Young Enterprise Trust – in which they form a company, research and write a business plan and bring their product to the market. 

Mr Su'a says the company will continue to operate with his four fellow students – Ryan King, Kulgan Flynn, Kayla Picknell and Guang Liu Chu – staying on as directors.

"We'll be tripling our stock of Unique Drizzle next year, and also launching a honey product called Unique Buzz.

"We will also have our products on the shelves at Nosh supermarkets next year," Mr Su'a says.

The extra virgin olive oil is made on Waiheke Island by Azzuro Groves.

Caring & Co did not retain any profits this year, instead donating the money it made to the Life Education Trust.

In return, Life Education gave the company access to its database of 200,000 names to help it market the product.

"We will continue to market through Life Education Trust next year," Mr Su'a says.

The company will still donate money to Life Education, but all five directors will also be taking a cut of the profits.

Mr Su'a will continue to manage the company while studying business at university.

"We will continue with just the five of us working together next year.

"But if Unique Drizzle turns out to be a massive success, we plan on expansion."

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8 Comments & Questions

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Olive oil is too mainstream. I personally prefer canola oil.

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Yes, nothing like dipping warm ciabatta into canola oil while entertaining.

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All good fun with a very small, very niche product. If they are really thinking of going mainstream, then they should talk to the dozens of olive growers who also thought that they could do so and have failed. Presumably, that will be part of their making a business plan?

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From what I've read, these students' "shareholder" is the Life Education Trust and they send one child through their programmes for each bottle sold.

Their differentiation is some added value and feel-good factor, and the fact they have a captive audience of 200,000-plus families who are exposed to the Life Education Health programmes, and a big database to market.

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Good to see and very well done.
Enterprise is what will get NZ moving again.
liberte

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It's just an educational tool - and it sounds like they've got a good confidence boost out of the experience. Well done to all concerned,

But 300 bottles at $20 a pop doesn't make much money per unit once basic manufacturing and marketing expenses are actually applied. Difficult to see it as a business going forward.

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The whole idea is to broaden the students' outlook and give them some exposure to the real world of economics and motivation to perservere and succeed allbeit in a small way – something that most students are not going to receive from their classroom teachers. Witness the drivel from the PPTA leadership and NZEI leadership. I use leadership a bit tongue in check here.
These students should be applauded by the bloggers, not subject to the negatives written in most of these blogs.

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Yes, amazing educational tool.
The team had the olives donated, so fixed costs are very low and they picked the crops themselves.
Marketing costs are also low as they are marketing to the Life Education Trust supporter database. That charity visits 200,000 families in NZ every year.
In 2013, more olive groves on Waiheke Island have been donated so costs remain low and they will be able to achieve their mission of "1 bottle = 1 child", plus make a great return for shareholders...

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