This is a continuation of our Crowdfunding your Meadery series, examining the funding tiers of successful mead Kickstarter projects to identify commonality between funding levels and determine what items are most likely to be purchased by a project’s backers. For a list of articles in this series, see the first article here. In this article, we will examine the Algomah Acres Honey House Meadery Kickstarter project, which can be found here.
Algomah Acres Honey House Meadery started as a passion and a lifestyle for Melissa Hronkin and John Hersman. Seeking to support sustainable farming and artisanal products, they combined their love of beekeeping with arguably the most sustainable form of alcohol available, mead. Made from only honey, traditional meads require no irrigation, fertilizer, or toxic pesticides, and are still labor intensive as the process to raise bees can not be mechanized like the processing of fruit orchards and vineyards.
To support this dream, Melissa and John started a Kickstarter project in July 2011, and ran the project for 60 days. Their initial funding goal was $9,300, and 170 backers provided a total of $9,676 to beat their goal by 4%. These funds would support the initial licensing fees and equipment purchases necessary to get bring the Sweetness and the Light to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
The Algomah project included nine funding tiers from $1 up to $2,500, with options from thank you cards and beeswax lip balm at the low end, up to a gourmet meal for 2 that included all other items available. Details concerning the funding tiers, number of backers who supported the funding tiers, and the total amount of funding per funding tier can be found in the figures below.
The most purchased tier included a thank you card, lip balm, 4 oz jar of honey, and an invitation to the Harvest Party at the Algomah Acres Honey House a month after the conclusion of the project in October, with 69 total backers (almost 50% of the accounted for backers in the funding tier table above). However, this funding tier only accounted for 24% of the total funding received. The tiers that included a t-shirt and gift box, and a custom painted bee hive in addition to the other funding tier projects, brought in 24% and 21% of the total funding, despite only having 7 and 3 backers respectively. The two most expensive tiers, which included the option to help craft a production mead recipe and the option for a special dinner for two prepared by the head meadmaker, did not receive any backers.
While Algomah didn’t include a mead club membership option in their funding tiers, their project shows that unique ticket based options can drive backer purchases. Unfortunately, this tier’s success cannot fully be attributed to the Harvest Party invitation, as it included 4 oz of honey from the Algomah Acres. However, $25 for 4 oz of honey is an extremely steep price, so it is assumed that the majority of the interest in this funding tier was related to the Harvest Party ticket (if not only due to the this being a relatively cost friendly tier with the lower tier at $5 and the next most expensive tier at $50).
Check back with us next week as we continue our Crowdfunding your Meadery series, determining the most popular products amongst the successfully funded meadery Kickstarter projects. Next up, Golden Coast Mead, whose Kickstarter project can be found here.