Business & invest,
Entrepreneurial culture

Global consumers go peanuts for Macro Mike

Marshall Hall | June 26, 2020

Consumers around the world are going nuts for healthy, vegan food being produced on the Gold Coast.

Former bodybuilding competitor Mike Kellett started his business Macro Mike three years ago and it’s grown exponentially, thanks partly to the social media “fitspo” trend.

Macro Mike, which was launched in 2017, provides a huge range of natural, health food products ranging from ‘Clean Treats’ to high-protein, low-fat nut butter spreads and a plant-based protein that’s taking the fitness industry by storm.

While 90 per cent of its sales come from Australia and New Zealand, the company is already selling products worldwide and has formed strong relationships to work with key distributors to fuel their overseas expansion in 2021.

The company’s unique peanut and almond protein products are its best-sellers and come in a range of mouth-watering flavours with multiple applications. Mike is at the forefront of new product development and focusing on innovating and pushing the boundaries of the industry.

The company now has three premises on the Gold Coast including a state-of-the-art production facility and two warehouses. Each week the company receives thousands of customer online orders and hundreds of orders from retail stores and distributors.

Kellett says not even the global COVID-19 pandemic could slow the company down.

“We actually grew from strength to strength during COVID-19 because people were shopping online and were focussed on staying fit and healthy, we’ve spent the last 3 years growing our online community and ecommerce presence.’’ he says.

Kellett says the business had its origins while he was training for various fitness and bodybuilding competitions.

While most competitors were preparing for the competitions by restricting themselves to a diet of protein and vegetables, Kellett was successfully competing at a national level while enjoying a diet that included brownies, pancakes, and waffles.

“I created an Instagram page called Macro Mike and I’d post all my recipes, daily food intake and my body composition changes from eating in this manner,’’ he says. “People from all over the world would message me asking how I did it and if I could help them do the same.

“I knew it wasn’t really a business model to make brownies all day for others and I most definitely didn’t have the capital to invest in a café so I decided to create a range of whole food dry mixes, which I could ship throughout Australia and eventually worldwide.”

Starting with $10,000 and running the business from his one-bedroom apartment while still working selling pub crawls on the streets of Surfers Paradise, Kellett started developing different products and building the foundations of the business.

“I put together some samples and posted them on my social media account asking if anyone wanted to purchase some of my exclusive trial mixes,’’ he said. “Overnight the post achieved an organic reach of 100,000 people across Instagram and Facebook and I woke up to hundreds of messages from people wanting to pre-order my mixes”.

“I sat back and said to myself, this might actually go somewhere.”

The exceptional growth of the company led to Macro Mike being named the Gold Coast’s Emerging Business of the Year at the 2019 Gold Coast Business Excellence Awards.

Kellett says he was honoured to win the award, but the business still had potential to grow much larger.

“We’ve barely touched the surface of the business’s potential when you look at the global market,’’ he says.

Kellett loves owning a business on the Gold Coast for a number of reasons.

“Of course, people always say living on the Gold Coast is great because of the weather and the lifestyle but for me as somebody in business, I love the fact that there is definitely not a strong corporate feel about the city.

“There are so many incredibly successful business people living here but you certainly don’t see many suits and ties.

“You don’t have to wear suits to be considered successful”.

Kellett says the location and its proximity to transport options works very well for his business. The beachside suburb of Burleigh Heads is within 90 minutes of two international airports and has easy access to roads heading north, south and west.

Entries for the Gold Coast Business Excellence Awards are due for the monthly awards on the 1st of each month from July through to November, with the annual awards presented at a gala due in late November. Enter online.

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