In this week’s instalment of our running series, Start-Up Stories, we are proud to present Battle Snacks: A pioneer in both gluten-free and protein-packed snack bars. We got chatting with the co-founder and visionary at Battle Snacks: Kevin Smith.
What does Battle Snacks do?
We are an active lifestyle brand that makes baked (never processed) low sugar protein snacks from our family run bakery in Oxford, UK.
When did Battle Snacks come about, how did it all begin?
Battle Snacks was initially launched the beginning of 2014, but after a few major mishaps we had to pull the product from the market and we re-launched 6 months later in September 2014.
What’s the most rewarding thing about what you do?
I personally love the product development side of the business, so taking a product from conversation to the creation and then bringing it to market. This is what I find really rewarding.
Where did the name ‘Battle Snacks’ come from?
Funnily enough, it came from a twitter contest we ran asking people to name our protein oat bar. We had some really terrible entries but someone suggested Battle Snacks and it kinda stuck. So we built an entire active lifestyle brand around the name.
What have some of your challenges been so far?
I think one of the biggest challenges right now that I am facing is trying to get our products, either our vegan protein cookies, low-sugar protein flapjacks, or our new innovation: our low sugar protein Battle Bites in to a major retailer such as Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s or Morrisons.
“I suppose learning the retail landscape when we have no real experience in this sector is a challenge many companies go through, and we are no exception.”
What would you say is your proudest moment?
I have proud moments all the time. I suppose when we got our products into Holland and Barrett that was a pretty proud moment especially when I called my mum to tell her. A store like Holland and Barrett made it real for her that her son had done something good.
You have loads of flavours and products, do you have a personal favourite?
We just launched our new Battle Bites earlier in May and the Choc Coconut flavour is my absolute favourite right now.
I’m sure you’ve experienced many ups and downs as a start-up, any advice for aspiring food and drink entrepreneurs?
Managing cash flow is obviously important. Unlike other food and drink companies, we didn’t try approach any supermarkets until we did the grunt work of growing our independents and establishing relationships with key wholesalers. This took us 3 years and allowed us to control our cash flow better as we grew at a much steadier pace and we didn’t have customers on 60 or 90-day payment terms.
Every night before bed I map out my next day, list my daily targets and goals, and record the current day’s wins. Doing this allows me to try to make small steady wins each day that over time will map out to a life that I can be very proud of.
Where can we find your perfect products?
Our products are available in more places than I know sometimes. But going to our new website www.battlesnacks.com is a good place to start. We are also sold on Amazon.co.uk and do very well on there. We are also available from 100s of garage forecourts and convenience stores across the UK, Holland & Barrett, and we are also stocked in Wholefoods. I am currently in discussions with all the major retailers so hopefully, you will find us on the shelves in one of those very soon.
What’s next for Battle Snacks?
We just launched our latest innovation: Battle Bites. It’s the only baked low sugar chocolate confectionary style protein bar on the market right now in the UK. We launched with three flavours and we have three more slated for release later this year. The next flavours I can promise will be totally unrivalled. Above this, I am hopeful we will win our first retailer in the next 6 months — that would be really amazing if we did.
Battle oats are ‘battling’ their way to the top with their awesome products. We can’t wait to see what the future hold for them, but it’ll definitely be something special!