I am really passionate about finding good quality Paleo products and over the last few months I have been spending some time interviewing some of my favourite brands to bring you an insight into their products. Today is an interview with the founder of The Primal Pantry, Suzie Walker.
The Primal Pantry snack bars are one of my top choices when it comes to grabbing a snack on the go. They are made with just a handful of fresh ingredients and taste fantastic; I also love the packaging!
In this interview we discuss how it all started, why Paleo snack bars are so popular and what we can expect to see from The Primal Pantry over the next year.
How did you get started with The Primal Pantry?
After 10 years in the food industry in various marketing and sales roles, with Nestle, Innocent Drinks and Little Dish; I made the decision to study nutrition in London. Following my nutrition studies I went into private practice, working with clients with a multitude of conditions. I would see clients with a wide range of conditions including weight management, skin health, digestive health and fertility issues. What I discovered first hand was that Paleo or a “Paleoish” diet and lifestyle was the best approach in tackling a lot of these conditions. One of the main reasons for this is that Paleo eliminates a lot of the culprit foods notably gluten, lactose and soya.
Adopting Paleo principles is particularly beneficial for digestive disorders such as IBS along with autoimmune conditions such as Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis and very successfully helps with reproductive and fertility problems. I found that the greatest problem my client’s faced was not planning their meals but finding suitable snacks, especially convenient ones.
I embarked on making snacks for them, nuts, fruits, coconut and coconut oil all blended together which I then rolled into balls for them to take home. The response was greater than I could have hoped for; my clients loved them and wanted to purchase them regularly. Deep down, I missed the food industry; having worked in such entrepreneurial companies MY dream was always to have one of my own.
I fine tuned the recipes, found a great manufacturing partner, designed the brand and started to get the message out. We launched the The Primal Pantry brand in February last year with a range of 3 Paleo snack bars. I knew that the demand was there for the product but I could never have predicted how large it would actually turn out to be; we sold 20,000 bars in the first 2 weeks though social media alone.
Demand continues to grow and it is great to see that interest in the product is spreading further than the Paleo community.
Why snack bars?
Those following a paleo/primal lifestyle find it harder to get hold of clean snacks (unless they are making them at home themselves) and I felt that this was an area where I could fill a gap in the market.
What does Paleo mean to you?
For me it is all about eating clean, unprocessed, minimally handled foods that our bodies agree with. Animal welfare as well is extremely important so we would also opt for British and free range (ideally organic) and support local farmers. Many assume Paleo is like Atkins, however it is really about simple foods, locally sourced, in season and you match your carbohydrate intake to your body’s requirements.
Do you have any tips for Paleo success?
Preparation is key, get hold of a good cookbook and find out who your local butchers are as well as farmer markets and make a shopping list to get you going.
What are your snack bars made from?
Nuts, unsweetened and unsulphured fruit and a small amount of almond oil that’s it!
How do you decide on new flavours and what is your favourite?
We ask our fans what they would like us to make next which is how we ended up with Hazelnut Cocoa and the newest addition Apple Pecan. We also only work with ingredients which we can source as sugar and sulphite free. Lots of dried fruit contains added sugar or fruit juice which we will simply not accept. My personal favourites are Coconut & Macadamia and Apple & Pecan.
How long does it take to create a new bar?
In our business we work really fast, when we want to develop a recipe we will do it straightaway, packaging takes about 4 weeks to arrange so if we are happy with the recipe about 4 weeks.
Where can we buy your snack bars?
The bars are available from Ocado, Wholefoods, Tesco (Nutricentre fixtures) Planet Organic and Superdrug, as well as numerous CrossFit boxes, yoga studios and independent health foods shops. They are also available in Denmark, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, South Africa, the UAE and have recently started shipping to the USA.
What can we expect from The Primal Pantry in 2015?
We have just moved into our first office (yay, no more working round kitchen tables) our team is growing as well. We plan to launch into more retail outlets including more countries. In terms of products we hope to shortly launch our sixth snack bar which is going to be nut free. You can find out more about The Primal Pantry by visiting www.primalpantry.com.
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