Jo Davey is Director at Absolute Nutrition, a Guaranteed Irish business specialising in healthy snacks and treats made from wholefood ingredients, with nutritional benefits and free from refined sugar, gluten and artificial preservatives.
In the Q&A below, Jo discusses the rising demand for healthy food snacks and treats, inspiration for new product offerings, future opportunities for the company and much more..
Can you give us a brief history of Absolute Nutrition?
Absolute Nutrition was founded in 2014 by Jo Davey, a trained holistic nutritionist and mum of four. With a sweet tooth and busy lifestyle, Jo saw a gap for an Irish Snack Food Brand to provide convenient high quality snacks for retail and food service and so created a range of healthier option grab and go snacks and treats including Chocolate Protein Balls, Rawlo’s and Peanut Butter Bombs. “I wanted to be able to run into a supermarket or a café and grab the same kind of snacks I would make at home”.
Fast forward to 2021 and Jo and her team of eight local staff create and make all of their food in a purpose built gluten free bakery in Greenogue, Rathcoole.
What are the challenges that you face in your business and how do you work to overcome them particularly in the current climate?
Growing your business, while exciting, is a challenge. You need to manage cashflow, grow your listings, manage the manufacturing, establish your team.. there’s a lot involved on an ongoing basis. Logistics can be a massive challenge in the beginning but as you and your brand grows so too does your contacts and once established these teething problems become less. In 2021, it is becoming obvious that there are time delays with packaging etc due to Brexit and Covid-19. You’ll face many challenges in business but there is always a solution.
Have you seen an increased demand for healthy snacks and treats in recent years?
Yes, absolutely, we have gone from strength to strength. Our aim at Absolute Nutrition is to show people that healthier is tasty. As people experiment with new ideas and flavours they are more likely to stick with these than revert back to sugary alternatives. During lockdown things change a little and people prefer more indulgent / comfort food but once they’ve tasted our Rawlo’s or Power Slice they realise that these banish any sweet tooth cravings or longings, and they’re better for you than a bar or biscuit. People are also very educated about food in particular snacking and they demand a lot more from their food now so buyers often come to us for our range and to help them with their own NPD. We aim to please with delicious flavours, healthy ingredients, convenience and of course we are Guaranteed Irish.
Where do you get inspiration for new food innovation/products?
I get a lot of inspiration from my circle, my friends and family. I watch what people eat and what people like and try and go from there adding my own ideas and twists along the way. I love food and follow some really nice accounts on Instagram which also give me inspiration and ideas. I could look at food photography all day! I also love the feedback we get from our followers and customers. They ask for certain flavours and this gives me all kinds of inspiration and ideas.
What made you decide to become a member of Guaranteed Irish?
We are passionate about our roots. We are proud to be Irish manufacturers and take huge pride in our food and brand. One of my greatest achievements is having a team of local people work with us day in, day out. They have become our friends and as the saying goes ‘you are only as good as your team’. A lot of snack food is brought into Ireland from abroad so in joining Guaranteed Irish we are assuring everyone that we are a wholly Irish owned and Irish run business and we make all of our food ourselves here in Dublin, creating employment and ensuring freshness and quality.
What do you see as the biggest opportunity for Absolute Nutrition over the next five years?
In growing our brand we want to show people a healthier, but still just as tasty, way to snack and look after their bodies. It’s important to teach people, especially younger people, how food affects their bodies and mental health. Our aim is to reach as many people as we can both here and abroad and offer them a choice when it comes to snacking and treats when they walk into a cafe or a supermarket.