East Lothian-based Yummikeys to sell 40,000 eco-friendly baby soothers in 2020
A Scottish eco-friendly toy start-up is forecasting a 300 per cent sales surge as it aims to sell 40,000 baby soothers this year.
East Lothian-based Yummikeys, is looking to maintain momentum after sales of its plastic-free sensory baby toys increased five-fold to 10,000 in 2019.
Founder Elspeth Fawcett, who shipped around half of these orders from her local Aberlady post office, attributed the rapid growth to a combination of rising demand for eco-friendly products, sustained social media outreach and influencer networking.
Yummikeys aims to offer a long-lasting alternative to the “throw-away” plastic toy industry. Its animal keys – made from 100 per cent stainless steel and adorned with bright silicone beads – are inspired by experiences with Fawcett’s own children.
The business also offers Yummirings, teething rings which are suitable for babies from birth.
All of its products are washable, recyclable, free from toxins and can be personalised with an engraved message.
'There's a care factor here'
Around 3,500 products sold last year were engraved, suggesting a growing trend for personalisation of baby toys, with customers across Europe and as far afield as Singapore and Australia.
Fawcett said: “With over a third of our sales last year requesting engraving, I think it shows that people are turning away from the throw-away society we live in and are instead investing in pieces that can be cherished for longer.
“There really is a care factor here of what am I giving to my children, where did it come from and how will it impact the world we live in?”
She added that the sale of 10,000 Yummikeys last year amounts to the equivalent to 600 kilogrammes of plastic toys bought elsewhere.
Fawcett said she was inspired to launch the business “after my son lost our keys and we had to spend an extortionate amount getting our car re-calibrated. I knew it was time to buy him a set that wouldn’t cause me problems.
“My babies all loved the metal aspect – hard, shiny, cool and jingly – which you just couldn’t get with the other models. I knew then there was a gap for something that babies everywhere would enjoy.”