An Interview with Steph Croft-Simon, Director of Nom Foods Limited

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Last week I wrote an article about a new start-up, Nom Foods, detailing the past couple of months that the business has faced; analyzing the product, the market and the brand (among many other things), if you haven’t read it before, I strongly encourage you to do so. I managed to get in contact with Steph Croft-Simon, the director of Nom Foods Limited, for a chat about the business, the brand, and the story behind Nom Foods.

Once again thank you for taking the time to let us interview you. What was the inspiration behind your Nom foods? How did it first come about?

Thank you for interviewing us- we are thrilled to have been asked. Nom Foods came about when I became increasingly frustrated with trying to find on-the-go food which ticked the boxes of being organic, free-from dairy and free-from refined sugars. I have an intolerance to dairy and other allergies- which make eating out and ‘convenience’ food extremely difficult. I began to use superfoods in my recipes and spotted a gap in the market for a health food bar which contained coconut oil. So, I decided on the ingredients I wanted to incorporate and after a period of product development in my kitchen, nom bars were born! I handed them out to friends and family and quickly realised that these bars were something that people would buy and enjoy.

What’s the mission of your company?

The missions of Nom Foods are a) To get people away from ‘health’ foods which are posing as nutritious, but in reality, full of refined sugars and genetically modified organisms. b) Stay true to our values. Our imported ingredients are ethically sourced/fair trade and all have a great story behind them. c) To offer products which are truly unique.

Is there any particular audience that you are trying to direct your product to? If so, then how are you doing that.

Our product is loved by lots of people who care about what they eat. From people with allergies and special dietary requirements, to the huge following we have in the sports and fitness world. The use of coconut oil in our products (an incredibly healthy fat which among lots of other things helps to boost metabolism and contains no cholesterol) means that nutritionists, athletes and organic foodies get extra excited about our products!

Who do you regard as your main competitors, and how does Nom differentiate itself from the rest?

We know that there are lots of wonderful health food products in the market, but if we said that we thought there was anyone doing something like us, we would be lying! That’s why we are building such a strong brand identity through our products. Nom products are special because they are 100% Organic, made with low GI alternatives to refined sugar, made without dairy and with a combination of premium quality, ethically sourced ingredients which provide antioxidants and nutrients. As well as being delicious, of course!

What has been the biggest challenge that Nom foods have faced so far?

The biggest challenges we’ve had so far would be decisions we faced in the early days about how to make the bars the way we wanted. The plan had always been to outsource the manufacture, but on doing some research it quickly became apparent that finding a factory which would make the bars (and had the right license to make organic foods) was going to be hard. We even got as far as booking a production run- but the factory sent us a test batch of what they’d created (which tasted nothing like a nom bar) and we decided that we had no choice but to make them ourselves. We started in the kitchen and have since moved into a production unit- but we always look back and feel happy that we made the right decision.

On your website you mention that since launched, you’ve begun manufacturing various other products, including an Organic Granola. What sort of Nom Foods products can we expect to see in the future?

The granola will be the next product to launch and it’s based around the same principles as the bars. Ethically sourced, organic and we use coconut oil in this recipe too. Nom granola is incredibly nutritious and we use an omega 3 mix to add some brain fuel, too! We have a million ideas for the future, but right now, we’re excited to launch the granola in November.

Where do you see Nom Foods in the next 5 years?

In the next 5 years, we’d like our brand to be even bigger and stronger. We want to make our products available to as many people as possible. For a start-up company, we’re incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved in such a short space of time. Nom bars launched through Planet Organic in July and are now widely stocked throughout the UK.

Do you have any advice for aspiring Entrepreneurs out there?

Our biggest piece of advice if you have an idea which is different and fills a gap in the market, would be to go for it! Don’t wait for someone else to do it and don’t assume that you need a lot of money to start with. Do your research, calculate your risks and believe in your idea/brand.

Finally, if you could create the PERFECT Nom Bar just for yourself, what would it be?

We already have!

(end of interview)

I would like to personally thank Nom foods for this insightful interview, they have also since the previous article sent me three Nom bars (one of each flavour) and I have to say, they’re amazing. They tasted great but were also good for you, which in my books is a pretty neat combination. If you haven’t already, get over to http://www.nomfoods.co.uk/ to find your nearest distributor!

James McClaren

James McClaren is studying Arabic & Spanish at the University of Manchester and loves learning, writing and keeping up to date with upcoming technology and gadgets.