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Founder Feature: Michael Fox

This month we are making a shout out to Fable founder and CEO, Michael Fox. There is a lot to gain from how Michael took his lifestyle and learnings from a fashion scale up to creating his new very successful alternative protein business.

With alternative proteins increasingly gaining popularity, Fable has secured its reputation for a delicious go-to 'meat-free' option in a competitive market. Fable has created a unique advantage by targeting 'flexitarians' and creating pulled meat products using the hero ingredient mushrooms. The Fable team includes co-founders Jim Fuller and Chris McLoghlin, who are on a mission to provide consumers with a healthy, clean mushroom-based meat alternative.

It wasn't an easy journey for Michael, who nearly gave up on being an entrepreneur after what began as a big win, came crumbling down. Established in 2009, Michael and two friends launched Shoes of Prey. The brand enabled women to customise their shoes on demand, followed by delivery. But after seven years in business globally, their value proposition hit a wall, and the brand collapsed.

"You have got to deeply understand your customer who is buying your product and what's driving them to buy your product and build a value proposition."

And it was this type of thinking, reflecting on past errors, that has supported Fable's success today.

Michael's hands-on approach includes taking every opportunity to observe consumer behaviour at grocery stores. He isn't afraid to approach a shopper and ask about their decision to select the item they did.

With a dedication to the sustainability cause, Michael is keen to encourage the alternative food industry as a whole to step forward towards better systems of food production."

"The onus is on future-focussed food brands to not only develop products that are tastier and healthier and their meat counterparts, but also to make sure they are more affordable as well as sustainable. I believe there’s a huge opportunity for plant-based food brands to better educate consumers about the health and nutritional benefits of their meat alternative products to convince consumers to make the switch. "

Being a successful founder is about much more than revenue. It is about keeping humble, staying open to learning, especially from your customer, and looking at how failures can create better future outcomes.

"Failure forced me to reflect much harder on what had worked and what didn't work."

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