Tom Walker and Gaz Booth have latched on to the popularity of the humble avocado to make their fortune. They are the founders of Holy Moly Dips, a range of four different tubs of smashed avocado and guacamole.
Only two years old, Holy Moly is already selling £2.2 million worth of avo pots each year at retailers including Waitrose, plus Ocado, Sainsbury’s, and Amazon Fresh.
Inspiration for Holy Moly’s creation came when Walker, 34, and Booth, 35, “got into an argument about coriander and whether it should be included in guacamole recipes or not”, explains Walker.
“I’d hosted a Mexican evening in our flat in Colindale. Gaz came and we had this massive bowl of guacamole. Gaz said it was terrible as it didn’t have coriander in. And we got into a debate about why supermarket guacamole was awful, and why was it impossible to buy a ripe avocado and how they went off so fast.”
The duo realised, “there had been no innovation in dips — it was all supermarket own-label stuff, quite cheap, nothing changed. Juices, yoghurts, and desserts had all been challenged by new brands, but not dips.”
At the time, Booth was head of strategy at BT Openreach while Walker worked in marketing at Utility Warehouse. But they decided to take a holiday to an avocado orchard in rural Mexico — “we found it after some heavy-duty Googling” — after learning “UK guacamole was all made by the same manufacturer, using imported avocados and a mixture of preservatives in the UK. We thought, to make it better, we need to make it in Mexico, home of the Hass avocado.”
“…We became the first brand in the UK to create fresh guacamole dips using high-pressure processing. We found out about it because it’s usually used to make cold-pressed fruit juices. It doesn’t use chemicals or high temperatures, preserving the taste, texture and nutrients of each avocado. It took some work, but we ended up with pure smashed avocado and a guacamole, the solution to the first-world problem of the avocado-ripening lottery, which will last a few weeks unopened in the fridge.”
Now the duo is branching out with tie-ups. Holy Moly is on avocado toast on the first-class menu on LNER trains; Nando’s has used its smashed avocado on its seasonal chicken burger, and the duo are talking to airlines about “avo on toast in the air” as well as testing snackpots, like guacamole and tortilla chips.