Food Entrepreneur - March 2, 2021 - 12

FOOD ENTREPRENEUR®

As seen on QVC
Emerging food brands star on television shopping network

BY MONICA WATROUS

T

he past year saw renewed interest
in television shopping networks,
providing an opportunity for
emerging packaged food brands to gain
broad exposure.
Since the onset of the pandemic, an
additional two million shoppers tuned in
to QVC and HSN, originators of the on-air
sales pitch, expanding an already tremendous reach, according to parent company
Qurate Retail Group. The networks also
tracked a significant uptick in demand for
grocery and gourmet products.
" This explosion of interest recently
in livestream shopping speaks to the
consumers' hunger, " said Michael A.
George, president and chief executive
officer of West Chester, Pa.-based Qurate
Retail Group, during an investor presentation this past November. " They have
more engaging, more immersive digital
experiences that can begin to replace the
energy of the physical environment. "
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Home Shopping Network, later
rebranded HSN, debuted nationally in
1985 and was followed the next year by
rival and future owner QVC Network.
The two brands today reach more than
90 million homes in the United States
and 380 million homes worldwide
through the broadcast channels, plus
millions more through streaming, web,
mobile and social platforms, according
to the company.
" As a pioneer of video storytelling,
QVC has a long tradition of launching
and fostering the growth of some of
today's most successful brands, " said
Rob Robillard, senior vice president of
merchandising home, culinary, electronics and merchandising operations
for QVC and HSN. " We've always sought
out brands with great stories to tell. And
a great storyteller to bring the brand to
life - someone who is authentic and
passionate about their brand. Our most
successful storytellers had a personal

journey that led to the creation of
product. Their brands were built out of
experiences. "
Andrew Suzuka, founder and CEO
of Otamot Foods, New York, has appeared on QVC more than a dozen times
in the past year, showcasing his line of
pasta sauces formulated with 10 organic
vegetables. A marketing executive, Mr.
Suzuka several years ago created the
initial recipe, which contains butternut
squash, beets and shiitake mushroom
with no added sugar, to sneak more
nutrition into his daughter's diet.
" Working on building a national
brand at a rapid pace is not easy, " Mr.
Suzuka said. " It takes a lot of time and
creativity. QVC is a great platform to help
people get to know you, get to know your
brand, get to know your story. "
During one particularly successful
eight-minute segment, he sold more
than 20,000 jars of sauce. His presence
on the network has helped him gain
March 2, 2021

2/26/2021 11:34:33 AM



Food Entrepreneur - March 2, 2021

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