Interview with Johanna Clark, Director & Naturopath at Franjo’s Kitchen

1. How was Franjo’s Kitchen born?

Franjo’s Kitchen really started when Fran (the Fran to the Jo) was experiencing issues with breastfeeding. We were two new mums taking our babies for a walk on a sunny afternoon and got chatting at a set of traffic lights. As the lights turned green we went for a walk and this very instant and organic friendship began. At the time I still worked as a Naturopath in clinic and Fran shared with me that she had been working on some homemade lactation biscuits. We swapped out some ok ingredients with some amazing ingredients to improve the level of nourishment. After two weeks of experimenting with recipes Fran saw a real business idea. As new mums we’d heard so many stories of women having difficulty breastfeeding but there wasn’t really a clean, high quality and commercial solution out there. So, my new friend and I of 2 weeks started a business! We initially thought it would just be an online business hence the cylinder packaging but by the 6 to 9 month mark we were getting numerous calls from retailers asking how they could purchase our product for stores and soon had 90 stockists. There wasn’t much in the lactation or even the maternal nutrition space and everyone started to really see the value of our brand.

2. What has been your biggest motivation in the creation of your brand?

Our biggest motivation would be finding that solution to the problem. Many mums struggle with milk, they struggle with mental fatigue, struggling with mental health and struggle with nutrition and putting themselves first. When it comes down to it we are a brand of mums producing for mums. We not only wanted something clean, nourishing and was designed to produce galactagogues to boost milk supply but something that was just nice for mums to enjoy with a cup of tea. Hence, the beautiful packaging and what we stand for as a business. Mums need both internal and external nourishment.

3. You’re a busy mum, are there any particular things you do to maintain your physical and mental health?

It may not be of popular opinion, and I know most mums always put their families first. I’m probably a bit more selfish in that I really value movement, exercise and training which is an absolute priority and my family even notices when I don’t get that time in. Sometimes it’s a walk, a swim or a bike ride, just something everyday that encourages me to move my body. I’m a naturopath so naturally, nutrition and supplements are part of my daily routine and I take a bucket load of vitamins to fuel myself. I also prioritise sleep and the ability to say no, spending time with the people you want to makes an enormous difference. In combination I love the way it makes me feel and feeling good is addictive. As fluffy as it sounds, I also like to be a good example to my kids that mental and physical health is so important to live a well life

4. What was your product development process like?

The product development process began in both mine and Fran’s kitchen in between our babies sleep cycles. We also lived a street apart so after I’d cook up a batch and run them around the corner for Fran to try. We played around with formula’s quite a bit and eventually had a factory make a few batches and decided to trial selling them on a local mums and bubs Facebook group. 200 bags sold in the blink of an eye and we both personally drove around handing out our little bag of biscuits to mums in the inner west of Melbourne.

5. Can you identify any big hurdles Franjo’s has had to overcome?

One big mistake we made in the product development phase was making a product that was almost too high quality and not commercially viable. I was using products that were way too expensive and almost unnecessary to the nutritional profile. But we learnt this along the way and were able to easily adopt better suited ingredients. Our product isn’t too far away but the original formulation but it’s something we’re mindful about. Our biggest hurdle, no questions asked, has been cash flow. We started the company with very little money and Fran and I went halves on all invoices, ingredients and all the rest of it. We went along as we could for a long time. I think most people can recognise that businesses take time to grow and we’re still fairly new, but I do think that we could have done some things differently in the early days if we had some cash to back us up. But in saying that, Fran and I have 6 children between us, we were extremely busy, often exhausted and things really happen for a reason. The only way to the end is to push through and we’re pushing through!

6. Tell us about your new product!

It all started with Fran sending me a link to Arepa and their new nootropic formula. We wanted a product that worked on brain function, nervous system, adrenal glands and energy but made specially for mums. I’m a big fan of mushrooms and have always wanted to use them in a formula, cordyceps are perfect for endurance, so it was always going in there. Motherhood is an endurance test every single day! The faba bean protein is grown and manufactured in a purpose built factory near the town where I grew up and we’re passionate about supporting amazing local farms and businesses. Fran is also from New Zealand and has a connection to Arepa, further supporting local businesses. To summarise this amazing formula, we have Blackcurrant that is packed with antioxidants and has been known to help with cognitive performance. L-theanine, found in green tea, gives you a nice yet calm buzz without the negative effects of caffeine and has also shown to help symptoms of anxiety. Enzogenol from pine bark extract has been found to support healthy brain function, performance, mental clarity and focus. Combined with the faba bean protein, maca, raw cacao powder, mushroom and nootropics, it’s a very functional blend with real purpose.

7. What has your experience with GBN been like?

Global By Nature was our very first distributor and its 7 years later … what more is there to say? Other than clearly, we’ve all done something right and continue to do so. The ongoing support, excitement and knowledge that Global By Nature brings to the conversation and the selling of our product is superior. We’ll be together for a long time because you’re authentically invested in the product and value working side by side.

Interview with Sel Berdie, Founder & Director of Sprout Organic

With a clear passion for supporting families around the globe, Sprout Organic have created a quality, plant based range for kids. After finding nothing suitable on market shelves, Sel Berdie began creating his own plant based formula. We spoke to Sel this week about the many aspects of plant based diets, from health benefits to sustainability, the vital components to building a successful health brand and the complexities around developing an infant formula.

1. How did Sprout Organic get started?

Sprout came from a desire to wanting to provide my kids the best nutrition I could. I believe this to be organic plant based nutrition and once our first child Ellis had finished his breast feeding journey we like most parents needed to transition to a formula. I thought it would be easy to find a nutritious plant-based formula that we’d feel comfortable feeding to our kids. What seemed like it was going to be a short trip to the supermarket led to a further trip to a health food store, then to a pharmacy, and to eventually looking at every product we could find online to discover that there actually wasn’t an organic plant-based option available — and not just in Australia, but across the globe so we decided to change that.

2. Why did you choose to focus on plant-based food solutions?

In its simplest form plant based foods provide the most inclusive and sustainable foods options for humans and the planet as a whole. In a time where food allergies and animal born diseases are growing at a rapid rate it only makes sense to look at food options that provide wholesome nutrition without leaving a damaging effect on our planet. For this reason Sprout Organic uses 100% plant based ingredients and Organic ingredients whenever possible.

3. As a busy dad, what are some daily rituals you do to maintain your mental and physical health?

I like to exercise at 5am before the rest of the world wakes up to set myself up for the day. As a dad of two and business owner I find this is the only time you get for yourself and is really important to ensure you are looking after your physical and mental health. I train each morning doing martial arts as I find the principles from the practice is the most similar to everyday life where you are forced to problem solve and overcome adversity. If you can get through the craziness that occurs on the mats at 5am you can get through anything life throws at you.

4. Developing a baby formula in Australia is no easy task. Can you talk us through some of the biggest challenges you faced in your product development phase?

You are right that the infant formula industry is the most tightly regulated food product you can develop and rightfully so. My process of development basically started with looking at every single ingredient that was out on the market and how could I replace it with something that was plant based and intolerance friendly so the product was suitable for the majority of infants to consume.

Once I established the ingredients then meeting the nutritional and regulatory requirements was the next step. This involved consulting with leading regulatory officials, Infant Nutrition Council, Doctors, Paediatricians, Dietitians and food technologists to ensure we had ticked every box.
Once we had established all regulatory aspects had been met it was making the product commercially viable along with making the brand as attractive as possible. I fortunately have a marketing agency so we had an established brand look and feel we were able to carry on with. For the previous 4 years during the development of the brand I had established a supply chain and had all ingredients approved for infant formula which included testing for a range of Micros, heavy metals and ingredient purity.

Once the raw ingredients and packaging was secure the fun process of blending and packing occurred giving us the world first infant plant based organic infant formula.

5. What has been your biggest achievement with the brand so far?

For me it was seeing my two sons having different products from the range and enjoying all of them. Although we are known as an infant formula business due to 80% of our sales coming from this product, our goal is to provide kids nutrition right through from infancy through to teenage years. My Sons are 6 and 3 so seeing them consume our range of snack and one having our Junior protein whilst the other having our toddler drink really made me feel like we are on the right path to helping families across the globe to make nutrition easier and healthier.

6. What do you consider to be integral components to building a brand?

The “why” is everything to a brand. If you don’t have a strong why and are driven on materialistic things like money or fame you will undoubtedly stumble when things start to get difficult and in business, things always get difficult.

7. What advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?

You are going to hear no a thousand times more than you are going to hear yes. Resilience is everything if you want to see your vision become a reality but your vision has to align with a deep passion for whatever you are doing. If either the vision aren’t in sync it becomes really hard to get to the next level. One of the simplest things you can do is share your vision and passion with like minded people and ask them to keep you on track when you waiver. None of us are perfect but having a team of people that believe in a vision makes the journey much easier and more enjoyable.

8. What is next in store for Sprout Organic?

Global export is our main plan for 2022. We plan to be across Europe and Canada by the second quarter of 2022 followed by Asia and the U.S in early 2023

At Global By Nature, we distribute 250 brands and over 2,500 health and wellness products to trade. Our knowledgeable team are passionate about connecting you with the best quality health brands that support the growth of your business.

 

Interview with Ally Mellor, CEO & Founder of Locako

Both trusted and responsible for developing low carb and keto friendly products in an array of formats. The extensive Locako range is made with clean, quality ingredients and cleverly designed to be incorporated into your daily routine. The team at Locako focus on nourishing and trending ingredients, to enhance the mind, body and beauty of its many loyal consumers. What stays consistent across the Locako range is celebrating the role nutrition plays in the body and the impact on your overall health. Ally Mellor founded Locako in 2017 after recognising some distinct gaps in the Australian market for keto and low carb diets. Since bringing life to her vision, Locako has pioneered an ever expanding, innovative range that is beloved by the industry.

1.    What was your biggest motivation in the creation of Locako?

I think my biggest motivation is creating innovation in the industry, being the first to do something and creating an offering absolutely no one is doing. Keto and Low Carb comes with so many amazing benefits and knowing we can potentially make a difference in someone’s life is extremely rewarding.

2. Why did you choose to focus on keto and low-carb based products?

For me personally, this way of eating is something I’ve practiced for many years, and I have a strong understanding of these dietary principles. After travelling to the US in 2017, I discovered hundreds of low carb and keto products, and recognised a huge gap in the Australian market which inspired me to create the strong offering that you see today.

3. What the most challenging part of building a brand?

I would have to say that your customer is the most important thing and so understanding them is key. Creating a brand, design and story around our consumer has contributed to our success. This is something that took me a while to recognise and getting it right was challenging. At a time, we tried expanding to vegan and organic mushroom filled coffee creamers that were unsuccessful with our audience – it was something our customers weren’t in the market for.

4. You have a busy and innovative line of product development. What is your process and how do you stay trending?

Lots and lots of research. I tend to look to the US market for ideas and inspiration. Getting the timing right for trends can be risky, we are sometimes too early for the Australian market and the trend is not yet understood by consumers. When working on product innovative we come up with a concept, we identify what problem we are solving and then workshop a way we can stamp it with a cool Locako twist that relates back to our audience. Australian natives are really popular at the moment, especially when considering so many beautiful flavours and health benefits, this is a perfect trend for our business right now.

5. What has been your biggest hurdle as a business owner, and how did you overcome it?

There have been many hurdles over the years, and I am always working on overcoming something. Anything from cash flow, staff, facing competitors in the market to entering a new country, they all come with their own set of challenges but overcoming them only makes us stronger.

6. What is your favourite Locako product and how do you use it?

That’s a little like asking which is my favourite child haha! If I had to choose, I would have to say the coffee creamers range. I use Keto Adapt as my preferred and add some Glowing Marine Collagen for a beauty boost. The Beauty Brownie Bites are definitely my favourite snack!

7. How do you balance being a business owner and busy mum?

Well, I certainly don’t work a regular 9 to 5 business week. I would say I work across 6 split shifts 7 days a week and that suits me well at the moment. I think my boys add that extra drive of motivation which makes it a lot easier knowing I am creating a future for them.

8. What is next in store for Locako?

For our team, growth has always come from being different and adding value to our consumers. Over the last 6 months we’ve been working on some TGA listed keto supplements, a big step for us and something we’re really excited to launch to market next year, hopefully.

9. What has your experience been like with Global By Nature?

We have been working with Global By Nature since the very early days of our business and when we only have 4 products. We are very grateful they believed in us from the beginning and now range over 30 Locako products. The partnership with GBN has helped us reach more customers and retailers so we can spend time focusing on marketing and NPD.

At Global By Nature, we distribute 250 brands and over 2,500 health and wellness products to trade. Our knowledgeable team are passionate about connecting you with the best quality health brands that support the growth of your business.

New from Loving Earth | New Pocket 45s

At Global by Nature, we’re excited to support the launch of Loving Earth’s new Pocket 45s range with fresh new flavours!

Loving Earth is an ethically driven company offering plant-based, organic, dairy and gluten free chocolates, and other health based pantry products. With every bite, you’ll feel good knowing you’re buying from a company that sources regenerative cacao ethically, and using solar-powered factories for manufacturing.

The Pocket 45s range comes with a beautifully designed packaging printed with vegetable ink. The packaging, including the film and the recycled fibreboards used on the boxes, are all home compostable.

  • Cookies N Cream: Made with crumbly vegan chocolate biscuits mixed with their silky smooth vegan white chocolate.
  • Double Hazey40% roasted hazelnuts mixed in with hazelnuts chocolate. It is pure nut heaven.
  • Caramel Swayzee: Two-layer chocolates, one with salty caramel on a bed of 60% dark chocolate.
  • Dirty RoseRose infused cashew milk chocolate and sweet, tangy cranberries.

To further support the launch of this range, retailers will have access to instore merchandising, social media assets and point of sale. Please get in touch with us via your Global By Nature representative, our customer service team (02 9415 5200) or visit our website to place your order today.

At Global by Nature, we distribute 250 brands and over 2,500 health and wellness products to the trade.

If you own a retail business and are interested in selling Loving Earth’s range or looking for other products, please visit globalbynature.com.au

When Should I Be Taking Protein Powder?

Tropeaka Lean Protein

What is protein? Like fats and carbohydrates, protein is a macronutrient that provides energy in the form of calories. Each gram of protein provides the body with 4 calories, but it’s much more than a source of energy. Protein is made up of organic compounds called amino acids that are essential to many biological processes, making protein one of the most important nutrients for your health.

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