Interview with Simon Goodman, managing director of Over the Moo

The original Over the Moo was born back in 2015 in Australia, when a lactose intolerant ice cream enthusiast (Alexander), frustrated by the drab dumbed down dairy-free offerings in his local supermarkets decided to take matters into his own hands and create his own tub joy, using only best-in-class coconuts.

Simon Goodman saw Alex on Dragon’s Den in 2020 and knew he was onto something awesome. A deal was quickly struck and Over the Moo became a planted-based underdog in the UK, albeit as far as the UK was concerned generously packed pouches of bite-sized treats not traditional tubs was the focus! 

Where did the idea for Over the Moo come from?

Interestingly Simon didn’t start out in life as an ice cream enthusiast. A full 360 degrees change of heart came about courtesy of a well-known choc ice project he was working on. To Simon the idea of an oblong block of ice cream adorned in sublime dark chocolate. The only problem was that UK choc ices were ‘bang average’ and that’s being polite!

What if someone could create small bite-sized chunks of low calorie, mini choc ices, using ahead-of-the-curve sustainable thinking. 

What’s the thinking behind the brand and packaging?

Over the Moo is, as one might guess a polite nod to the fact that the brand avoids cow milk in favour of an altogether more planet-friendly alternative 

As for the pouch, plastic it may be but it sits in the highest tier of environmentally responsible, fully recyclable alternatives     

How did lockdown impact you?

I would say beneficiary in the sense this was a moment for so many food and drinks providers put their creative caps on, using the enforced layoff to think of amazing new ideas to reignite their categories. At the same time inquisitive consumers with a little more spare time on their hands starting digging through the website looking for intriguing new treats to try.

This was the moment the likes of Little Moons dipped their toes in the water and proved that bite-sized chunks of ice cream had captured the public’s imagination. 

What are the biggest obstacles you’ve had to overcome?

To be honest the overriding reaction has been phenomenal with few downsides. If there was one small niggle it would be reminding ice cream enthusiasts that Over the Moo isn’t targeted at the low-calorie community unlike Oppo and Halo.

The underlying motive was simply to create a ‘to die for’ choc ice made with enticing ice cream and head spinningly good dark chocolate. As it happens the size of our ice cream bites means that they’re less than 30 calories a chunk and plant-based offerings don’t bloat you as much as their dairy alternatives.

Great taste not calories sits front and centre of all we believe!

What’s your proudest moment to date?

Clearly a first award provides a ‘proud parent’ moment but can anything truly compare to seeing your first production run plus whizzy new packaging come trundling down the line. 

Who is your ideal customer?

Although vegans are both buying and liking Over the Moo, for me the real opportunity is thoughtful flexitarians, because they are conscientious about what they put in their body and they love our sustainable stance.

What brands do you like?

I am a lover of all things Artisan but am also a student of brands that take on the big boys in highly competitive markets.

Every time I buy Oatly I can not help thinking of the Oatly ad they ran as a Superbowl commercial. It featured their CEO, Toni Petersson, singing a specially penned Wow No Cow on his keyboard in a field of Oats. I love brands who break convention and you can be sure Over the Moo will be doing this.

What’s your advice for other founders?

I am tempted to say if you start an ice cream business, make sure you have enough freezer space. I have four branded freezers in my office at home – I switched three off as the illuminations were drawing strange looks from the street.

My serious point would be to surround yourself with the best people, probably on a consultancy basis to start. You cannot be an expert on all parts of launching a brand and accelerate the business to good decisions, but beware there are so many out there who over promise and under deliver.

Find out more about Over the Moo.