Primal Pantry

with Suzie Walker, Founder

Where did it all begin for Primal Pantry?

I have a background in the food industry (Nestle, innocent drinks, Little Dish), following redundancy from innocent I invested the money into retraining in Nutrition as I always had a great passion for food.  Once qualified I built up a nutrition practice, working with clients for a range of conditions/ailments – from fatigue to fertility.  It was at this point that I discovered the paleo lifestyle and all its benefits.  My clients struggled with on the go snacking options so I got my blender out, some cupboard ingredients (nuts, coconut, dates) and made energy balls for clients to take home.  Within a matter of days, they wanted to buy them from me.  This was the start of The Primal Pantry, round a kitchen table just over 4 years ago.

What does it take to grow a food business?

Apart from cash, a great product, an appealing brand and a strong ‘why’ you also need; Persistence to keep trying, passion to keep going, resilience to manage challenges and failures and a very strong ability to adapt to change (all the time). Getting started is key, we meet so many food business start-ups that seem to take so long to get started.

“You will make mistakes, but you will learn a lot at the same time.”

Find a co-founder, it is much more rewarding if you share your journey with someone else, not to mention you can’t do it all yourself. If you go at it alone, find a good mentor, find the ‘why’ to your ‘why not’, someone to challenge you, someone to push you harder. Make a plan and go for it. Coca-Cola sold 25 bottles in their first year…start small, start somewhere and throughout your journey always remember why you started.

What do you think is the most important aspect of your products?

They taste great, you can ask yourself  “will consumers buy my product?” You should really be asking “will they buy it again”

“We have some strong values, keeping things simple, keeping things real and keeping things honest.”

So we create products that are real and simple and we don’t hide behind our ingredients list.  Creating products that fit with our mission to encourage others to make better choices and our vision to be the most trusted real food brand in the world.

Who do you think will benefit most from your products?

We make products that many can enjoy, those that are making the move from a confectionary chocolate bar full of empty calories to a real food snack bar full of nutrient dense calories are the ones that will benefit the most.  It is all about marginal gains, making small changes and choosing better.

You create honest and real food, has this been your goal from day one? 

Yes without a doubt, I was flabbergasted by how much misleading messaging there is in the packaged food industry, how confused consumers were when it came to food.  Fortunately today consumers are more informed than ever, we are looking at ingredients lists, reading the packs, overlooking the marketing claims and choosing better.

How did you decide on the name, where did the inspiration come from?

When we launched we very much focused on the paleo lifestyle.

“We didn’t expect it to go mainstream so quickly.”

Our name at the time was The Primal Kitchen however due to trademarks in the USA we decided to change to The Primal Pantry. The name fortunately for us was something that we had from day one, as I can appreciate brand naming can be a pretty challenging process.

What should people expect from Primal Pantry products? 

Incredibly tasty, fulfilling and hopefully they will want to try more.

If you could go back to when you first thought of Primal Pantry, what would you tell yourself?

Invest in getting your brand right.  It is scary how much it can cost to get the brand designed, we were fortunate with our deal with our designers.  Typical costs are circa £20k – £100k which is a significant amount of money, and it is scary to think had it been that much for us we would have never have launched.  However, it is the single most important thing you can invest in.  Competitors can replicate your product, invest in your brand as that is all yours to keep.

Where can people find your primal products?

You can find the Primal bars in The Co-op, Tesco, Sainsbury’s (Free from section), WH Smith Travel sites, Ocado, Wholefoods, Planet Organic and lots of independent health food shops.

What can we expect to see from Primal Pantry in the next few years?  

We have just completed an exciting funding round, which will allow us to really step up, especially as the market has become very competitive. We want to invest in making it easy for many to find and try our products.

Primal Pantry may have started with “some nuts and a blender”, but it’s become so much more! You can find out more about them on their website here and be on the lookout for their awesome products!