A Maidenhead manufacturer of Paleo Diet bars founded only 16 months ago is quickly becoming a household name after making a huge impact overseas.
The Primal Pantry, founded by nutritionist Suzie Walker, has landed distribution deals in 18 countries, including the likes of Germany, Denmark, Spain, Sweden and South Africa.
Walker first began making her Paleo Diet bars, consisting of raw nuts and fruits cold pressed together, in her kitchen for her young daughter, Grace, because she found it difficult to find healthy snacks for her that she genuinely believed in.
It was only when she started giving some of the bars to her nutritionist clients, and receiving flowing feedback from them, that she realised she might have stumbled upon a great business idea.
A year and a half down the line and The Primal Pantry bars are flying off shelves; with Waitrose, Tesco, Superdrug, Holland & Barrett and Ocado being joined this autumn by several other leading supermarket chains in stocking the bars across the UK.
But, with year-on-year turnover looking to hit the £1.5m mark in the UK alone, it is distribution further afield that is likely to see the business really take off over the coming months.
Walker said: “There are obvious markets for the bars like Germany and Scandinavia where health products generally do well.
“What really excites us is the interest in The Primal Pantry in countries like Spain, Portugal and France where typically health brands have struggled to make inroads, but because of the popularity of the Paleo lifestyle throughout Europe we feel we can make a real impact and create a truly Pan European health brand.”
Speaking about how she made it happen, she told BQ: “As part of being more focused we looked to UKTI for assistance. Initially we attended the Passport to Export course which was useful and helped us focus our minds on not only export but domestic business too. Beyond that they have helped us out with some fact finding trips to Europe and retailer data for a handful of countries.”
Like so many diet trends that begin in the USA (the diet was popularised there after Loren Cordain wrote the best-selling book ‘The Paleo Diet’) the Paleo Diet crossed the Atlantic and hit the UK first, but its success is now spreading throughout the continent.