With humble beginnings in his grandmother’s kitchen, young entrepreneur Fraser Doherty’s jam business is taking over the world…
Jam. Fraser Doherty loves jam. The fascination started in his grandmother’s kitchen in Edinburgh. Aged 14, the young Fraser discovered her making jam one day. She shared her secret family recipe and his love for the fruity preserve grew from there.
Entrepreneurial from a young age, Fraser took his jam-making hobby to the next level by selling it to neighbours, local shops and farmers’ markets. But to go even further, Fraser needed something special to make his jam stand out. “People at farmers’ markets were always telling me they didn’t eat jam because it has too much sugar in it. So, I came up with a natural, ultra jam, made 100% from fruit – that’s how SuperJam was born.”
With a helping hand from the Prince’s Trust and a dedicated mentor, it wasn’t long before SuperJam was filling the shelves of some of the UK’s biggest supermarkets. “SuperJam launched nationally in Waitrose in 2007, selling over 1,500 jars in one store on day one,” says a justly proud Fraser. Other leading supermarkets soon caught on. You can now find SuperJam in Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons and Booths stores up and down the UK.
Perhaps most impressive is SuperJam’s international success. “Once we got to the point where we were selling to the biggest markets in the UK, I figured people eat jam all over the world so there are bound to be opportunities elsewhere,” explains the young entrepreneur.
But where do you even begin with selling jam worldwide? “Markets like Ireland and Scandinavia are a good place to start as you know that they speak good English and are receptive to British products,” enlightens Fraser. SuperJam is now enjoying success in Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Russia and Australia.
That said, there’s one major market currently missing from SuperJam’s export list – the United States. “It’s a market I’ve been patient with. The key is to figure out how to get the products there and on the shelf at a price that is competitive with American brands,” says Fraser. He remains resilient and determined. After planning for a couple of years, SuperJam is getting ready to export its first load of jam to the United States.
So what tips does Fraser have for other young entrepreneurs thinking of taking their idea global? “Start small. People think they need to jump in at the deep end and expand immediately. But SuperJam is proof that you can start something on a small scale, just at weekends. I’d suggest finding a mentor. Someone who’s been there, done it before and can give you sound advice.”
After making so much jam, isn’t Fraser sick of the stuff? “Not at all. I still eat a lot of jam and I like experimenting with new flavours. My favourite is the blueberry and blackberry jam. I love cooking and baking with it.”
In fact, Fraser has written The SuperJam Cookbook, which is full of ideas for jam-filled puddings. But the budding writer hasn’t stopped there, with a second title to his name: SuperBusiness. “SuperBusiness explains the journey I’ve been on, the advice I’ve received, the things I’ve learned and the ups and downs of getting SuperJam off the ground.”
And at the age of 23, the future for Fraser and his jam business looks, well, super…
Find out more about Fraser Doherty and SuperJam here.