E-business Programme: Success Stories
Duval Middleton, Gumipod Group
Meet Duval Middleton, an extraordinary individual, based in Waltham Forest, who embarked on a mission to transform the world of product design and technology while addressing sustainability and waste reduction. Despite studying Architecture at University, Duval's unwavering passion for innovation led him to envision a groundbreaking solution to tackle the pervasive problem of chewing gum litter in our streets.
In 2011, Duval set out to create the world's first chewing gum container with an integrated gum bin, enabling consumers to dispose of their gum waste on the go:
“Chewing gum is ubiquitous and incurs an estimated £60M cleanup cost for councils each year. Witnessing the detrimental impact of gum waste on our streets, I recognized that the packaging itself could be the solution. I dedicated myself to developing an ethical, environmentally friendly container with the potential to make a global difference to this pervasive issue."
After years of development, Duval successfully obtained the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) for both the container and its brand name, Gumipod and introduced his groundbreaking product to the world. In parallel, he created iYTAL, a mint and eucalyptus CBD-infused gum, which is sold in the Gumipod container. Duval says, “Our iYTAL gum contains 5mg of 100% refined and sustainably sourced CBD, blended with mint and eucalyptus. It is also vegan-friendly, sugar-free, and enriched with xylitol to promote optimal dental health.”
In March 2022, the Gumipod Group, alongside the iYTAL brand, garnered significant recognition at the White Label World Expo trade show at ExCel London where it was selected as the official winner of the Innovative Product of the Year 2022 Award.
Driven to expand awareness of his innovative products and attract new customers, in May 2022 Duval joined Enterprise Enfield's E Business Programme, seeking expert advice and dedicated business support to foster business growth. Regular meetings with the programme’s Digital Expert, Jo Sealy, resulted in invaluable recommendations and focused action plans with have enabled Duval to bolster Gumipod Group’s online presence and sales. Key advice and support focused around:
improving the website’s search engine ranking
enhancing the effectiveness of the business social media through planning and regular posting
implementing and improving digital marketing campaigns
The E-business Programme's support extended beyond digital marketing, encompassing guidance on building essential contacts with wholesalers, suppliers, and stockists. One of Jo's key introductions was the Bread and Jam Festival, an unparalleled opportunity for food and drink businesses to learn how to scale up and pitch their products to major retailers. As a result, the Gumipod Group attended the festival's annual event at the esteemed Business Design Centre in Islington in July 2023. “This was a hugely exciting occasion for us where will got the opportunity to pitch our products to prominent retailers such as Sainsbury's, Selfridges, Holland and Barrett, and Virgin Atlantic.”
Presently the Gumipod container and iYTAL gum are available through its two respective websites and can also be found in three physical stores as well as markets, including Black Eats London at Bohemia Markets in Hackney and Festivals.
As part of the programme’s support, Duval also attended regular zoom meetings with his Business Adviser, Liz Gjoni, who assisted him with business planning and preparing cash flow forecasts. With the wealth of advice, key introductions and the implementation of recommended actions, the Gumipod Group has seen a significant increase in sales and turnover and is poised to maximise its growth by increasing the manufacture of products and number of stockists this year. Duval says he will be launching a new brand of Xylitol gum soon and will also be re-branding. He enthuses:
“We have had a very positive reception to our unique products – and the advice and support we have received from the E-business Programme has been invaluable – which has meant that our potential for growth and success has never been more tangible!”
Free Advice and Support to Grow Your Business
For more details about how you can access free 121 digital advice and support to grow your business visit the E-business Programme webpage. (The programme is open to businesses which have been registered over 6 months and located in Enfield, Waltham Forest or Redbridge).
The E-business Programme is fully funded - and supported by Local London, Waltham Forest Council, Enfield Council and Redbridge Council.