Inverurie-based Angus and Oink were selling the rub to raise money for Narcolepsy UK, realising £1,000 after selling out of the product in just over an hour.
After learning that the eight-year-old daughter of one of their brand ambassadors, Rob Stevens, had recently been diagnosed with narcolepsy, the team at Angus and Oink wanted to help raise awareness of the neurological condition.
Then, following Rob’s announcement that he will be doing a live 36-hour barbecue on his Instagram on March 19, they came up with the perfect idea.
Company directors Scott and Malissa Fraser decided to sell a limited edition version of one of their barbecue rubs, Sweet Bones and Bacon, with 50% of the sale of each one going towards Rob’s fundraising efforts for Narcolepsy UK.
Malissa said: “It was a limited edition rub that we’d made called Sweet Bones and Bacon. We already have a rub called Sweet Bones and a few people had asked us to make a Sweet Bones and Bacon version.
“We were thinking about making it and releasing it, then one of our brand ambassadors, Rob Stevens, who does a lot of work for us, had announced he was doing a 36-hour live cook-along on his Instagram, starting from March 19th.
“We wanted to support him, and we will be popping on to the live cook-along. But I wanted to do something more than just that, something a bit different and maybe get the word out a bit more about Narcolepsy and what it meant.
“So we came up with the idea, only about three weeks ago, that it would be a good idea to release the Sweet Bones and Bacon, which we thought would be a popular product anyway. We did it and decided to donate £4 from every sale to Narcolepsy UK.”
With the rub having gone live at 7pm on Thursday March 4, their 250 units of the product sold out within an hour and seven minutes, meaning the firm raised £1,000 for the charity and Rob’s cause.
Malissa continued: “There were 250 units made and they sold out within an hour and seven minutes – I’ve never seen anything like it.
“It was 7pm on Thursday that we launched the product, and I went on to the website, which I manage, and I could see the live customer traffic and about 90 people there at 6.50pm. There were about 36 active baskets from that, meaning people were waiting to add the product to their order once it had gone live. People from all over the UK bought them, it wasn’t just in Aberdeenshire.
“The support was just phenomenal and I don’t think Rob could believe it either. He was quite teary and emotional when he found out.”
After the success of the product and with demand still high, Malissa and Scott have been considering whether to do it again and raise even more money for the charity.
Malissa added: “It’s been really good and I think we are going to do it again, or something similar, because a lot of people missed out and we thought that if the demand is already there then hopefully we can do another 250 and raise another £1,000.
“I think there was about a week between us announcing the fundraising initiative and the product going live, so a lot of interest was generated between then. Our biggest delay was waiting for labels, because we had to design them ourselves, for which Scott did all the design work for.
“It’s the fastest we’ve ever turned a product around, but we wanted to get it out there before Rob’s event.”
With there only being a week between the firm announcing the launch of the product and it going live, Malissa found that a lot of support was mounting on social media for the rub, which people had been asking for for a while.
She said: “Once we got the go-ahead for the label being printed, we were able to start announcing it. We even had countdown timers on Instagram and people were saving those so they didn’t miss out – it was bonkers. It was absolutely, amazingly bonkers.
“The Sweet Bones rub has got maple sugar in it and bacon goes really well with maple, so it was something we knew people already wanted and we felt we could make a good success of it.
“We wanted to make the label pink as well, which tied in well with the bacon and the fact that Rob’s daughter is eight. He said that it was one of his daughter’s highlights when she got the product – she said “Daddy, the label’s pink!” and she was so excited by it. It’s got a cute pig on there too and it just seemed like a good product for us to use for the fundraising effort.”
As Rob prepares for his 36-hour live barbecue in just over a week’s time, with the number of hours he’ll be cooking representing the number of hours a person diagnosed with the condition feels as though they’ve been awake for, Malissa says she has found learning about the condition fascinating.
She added: “It’s been really interesting for us too. Launching the product has been great but actually learning about this condition that not many people know about has been interesting. We’ve got an eight-year-old too and to see what Rob’s eight-year-old has gone through in the last three years has been eye opening.”
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