Start-Up Stories – Evolved Snacks
Fruit has evolved, and so have we. We’re not the “flea-picking, tree swinging primates” we used to be. So Evolved Snacks have created light & crunchy freeze-dried fruit bites to give us the convenience we crave as well as the nutrition we need! See what their founder, Dominic Kristy, had to say about all things start-up life…
What are Evolved Snacks?
At Evolved, we adapt natural food to the 21st Century. Sure, we all drive cars, wear skinny jeans and watch Netflix, but we’re undoubtedly still primates. Our primate ancestors evolved for hundreds of thousands of years with a diet rich in fruit and veg, unlike today where we run on fluffy pink protein shakes, multi-vitamins and granola bars!
“At Evolved, we want to wind the clocks back and offer people the chance to snack on real food again.”
You have a nutritionist background, how has that influenced the products?
I started Evolved with a clear nutritional motive – to get people eating more fruit. After learning that only 18% of kids and 28% of adults meet their recommended 5 a day in the UK, I felt there was clearly work to be done in the fruit snacking space. I also believe there’s a lot of confusion in the ‘healthy’ snacking industry today, so making a snack brand with a clear purpose was particularly important.
How did you decide on a price?
For us, the price really decided itself. Freeze-drying could be the solution to the current fruit wastage problem and could also make a huge difference to improving the average household fruit intake. The long shelf-life and low wastage of freeze-drying allows us to keep our price competitive with fresh fruit – while offering the benefits of fresh fruit but in a super-convenient format. I’d call that a win!
Evolved Snacks are freeze-dried. What are the differences between that and heat-dried fruit?
Freeze-drying has been around for a very long time – since the Inca Empire (right, Google?). Originally, they would preserve food by storing it in the freezing underground before stamping out the moisture and exposing it to the low pressure of a sunny mountain peak. Unfortunately, we don’t live close enough to a mountain peak, but we can create the same effect by flash freezing our diced fruit bites and putting them in a vacuum chamber, which quickly removes 98% of the moisture without adding anything to it (and absolutely no stamping necessary). This gives it that characteristically light, crunchy feel while maintaining the fruits natural taste, texture and colour. These are some of the obvious differences compared to traditionally heat-dried fruit. However, as a Nutritionist the key standout is the nutritional profile of the fruit at the end, where freeze-drying is by far superior at maintaining the important nutrients!
How difficult was it to create a product in the UK market at the minute?
What a crazy time! Despite the whole Brexit thing, enduring tens of failed manufacturing trials and a complete rebrand all within our first 8 months of development… it’s been a pretty smooth ride!
“I think you have to use the tools you’re given and you make it work.”
When you first decided to start your own company, who did you ask for advice? What was the best advice you received?
I learned pretty early on that relying too much on just ‘your gut feeling’ can get you in a real pickle. I was lucky to receive support from my University while I was studying and developing the idea, but the biggest help came from talking to other food companies that had already been through the process. Despite having a never-ending to-do list, these guys were kind enough to spare 20 minutes to grab a coffee, answer some questions and offer their insights. The best advice I received was to focus on solving just one problem at a time… rather than juggling them all at once. I’m sure people reading this can relate!
What kind of person fits in well at a start-up business?
I hear it’s a lot like dating. If you’re too similar or too different it probably won’t work out, but if you’ve got the same passion, the same vibe and something special to add to the soup, you’ll do great. For Evolved, you need to be excited by our mission and products, hungry for a change in the industry and tolerant of my intolerable food puns…
Where can people buy your sumptuous snacks?
We have just launched our new range on Amazon and we’ll be announcing more of our initial stockists very soon. Connect with us on social media for sumptuous snack updates!
What does the future hold for Evolved Snacks?
Well for the next few months, I’m anticipating about 5 hours sleep a night and maybe a little too much coffee! However, long term I’d like to see Evolved establish itself as a leader in the next generation of healthy snack brands. It’s a fair way to go, but we’re always preparing for the next move in the right direction!
Evolved Snacks are set for an awesome year, we can’t wait to see what the future holds for them! Check out their website here and follow them on insta here to keep up to date with all things Evolved 🙌