When it comes to snacking, it can sometimes be difficult to find something that is both tasty and nutritious. That’s where Nutmost comes in. Activated nuts are a delicious snack that is becoming more and more popular. Founded by Andrew Wynne, the award-winnning product is going to be on everybody’s snacking wish list for 2018.
With a background in business and marketing, Kildare based Andrew always found himself drawn to food. He would spend hours reading everything about different types of food, with a partciular interest in health food, stemming from his love of sport:
“I was always just reading the nutritional information from the backs of packs and even researching different types of foods. It was cool to see how food can affect you, not just with exercise but even with your mood. So yes, I woud have always been clued in on that side of things, which is what lead me onto Nutmost.”
Nutmost has been in business for a little over a year and a half. Set up by Andrew Wynne with help from his wife, fashion journalist and broadcaster Holly White, he revealed how the business all began:
“I would have been aware of activated nuts but it was really Holly, my wife now, who was aware of them because she had been living in LA for a while. The people she was living with were actually activating their nuts and sprouting them. She’d be making them in our kitchen at home and I was gladly eating them because they tasted amazing.”
From first taste Andrew was hooked and he began to read more about activated nuts and Nutmost developed from there: “I got really interested and started reading about them and the benefits of it, from the taste benefits to the health benefits. One thing lead to another and before I knew it, I was setting Nutmost up.”
Before Nutmost really took off, Andrew appeared on Dragons Den. Though he ultimately didn’t follow through with his offered deal, he looks back on the experience with fondness:
“Dragons Den was filmed in February 2016 and then it aired in April 2016, just when everything was kicking off with Nutmost. That was really exciting and it was brilliant to get the product on TV. It was amazing exposure for Nutmost and I’m delighted I did it.”
A year and a half down the road and Andrew sometimes still wonders how it all managed to come together: “It’s just amazing how things come together and sometimes I just have to remind myself what I’ve created. I mean, I still have a long way to go but it’s amazing to think and look back from starting in the kitchen to where we are now.”
While Holly isn’t heavily involved with Nutmost due to her own busy schedule, she was instrumental in helping Andrew get his business started: “There was definitely a synenergy there. Holly is very good with taste and testing different batches for product development. She’s really good with that kind of thing.”
He added: “It’s great to have that person to bounce ideas off. She’s a great sounding board, which is brilliant because you can overthink things and get caught up in your own head. But if I talk to Holly she’ll say something and I’d be like ‘why didn’t I think of that’, because sometimes there are simpler ways of doing things.”
So what are activated nuts and what makes them different from your standard pack of the nutty treat?: “We soak them for just over 24 hours and then they’re dehydrated for over 24 hours. By doing this, you break down the enzyme inhibitors which are naturally in nuts and seeds to protect them in the wild, but are difficult for us to digest.
“Through the soaking process you’re breaking down these compounds, which allows you to better digest the nuts and absorb the nutrients. The knock-on health benefits of soaking the nuts are the flavour boost. The almonds plump up really nicely in water, so there’s a bit more of a crunch to them because they’re normally quite thin.”
He added: “So essentially, by activating the nuts you’re making the nutrients more readily available for the body.”
Currently, there are three flavours available in the Nutmost range: Himalayan Salt Almonds, Maple Flavoured Walnuts and Tamari Flavoured Almonds.
Describing the products, Andrew said: “There’s a tamari one which is really nice, it has a rich savoury taste. The walnut is really popular because a lot of people don’t like walnuts, but because of the soaking process (I mean obviously the bit of maple helps too), but in terms of eating the plain walnut, it is a much nicer tasting walnut when activated. It’s great when you get people who don’t like walnuts tell you that they really like the activated nut.”
When asked, Andrew did struggle to find a favourite among his products, comparing the task to choosing a favourite child: “I’ve no particular favourite, it depends on your mood and whether you’re after something sweet or savoury.”
He did add that he has a certain fondess for the Tamari Flavoured Almonds: “The Tamari one was a little slow at the start because people didn’t really know what is was, but it won three stars at the Great Taste Awards and that was just so incredible.”
For Andrew, he feels like there hasn’t been one major challenge to overcome, but rather many small challenges: “There’s not one massive thing that sticks out in my head but it would probably be more of an accumulation of small things. For example, you’re making most decisions for the first time and everything moves slower than you want and you really have to change your mindset in that regard.
“You’ll probably have an issue every single day but that’s just part of business and part of what you’re doing and you just have to get on with it. You just have to accept that things go wrong and keep chipping away at them. It can be lonely at times, but overall I’m very happy with things and where I’m sitting at the minute. I suppose you do have to remind yourself of that because it can be tough.”
While there are many challenges, all of Andrew’s hard work has been paying off, especially with the recognition Nutmost has been getting in award circles: “The big achievement was winning at the Great Taste Awards there over the summer. The key products, they all got stars. Tamari got three stars.
“I mean, to put three products in and get awards was really great. That was a big highlight for me and kind of going back to the challenges you face, when you’re standing with that awrd, those are the moments that make it all worthwhile…no matter how cliched that sounds.”
Looking to the future and Andrew has plans to expand Nutmost, from its range to its products: “The whole thing with Nutmost is to build it into a lifestyle brand in terms of the food. The great thing about nuts and even expanding out from that, it’s quite a versatile product. Obviously we’re starting with snack products, developing that and getting more flavours, but the plan is to progress into other areas of building a food brand and that’s certainly where I’m working to.”
He added: “The further you get into it, the more difficult you realise it’s all going to be. But there’s a nice platform for Nutmost there now and there’s been a great response over the past year. Now we just have to keep innovating, keep giving customers what they want and keep moving onto the next stage.”
Importantly, he admits that despite any challenges that come his way, “I have to stop sometimes and realise that I’ve come a long way from where I started and sometimes I need to take a moment to appreicate that.”
As someone who always tries to get their New Year off to a healthy start (though most of the time slips back into old habits), I couldn’t resist asking if Andrew had any tips, given that he’s behind a nutritious snacking product:
“I make a conscious effort to eat real, whole food as much as possible and you do feel better when you’re trying to eat healthier. At the end of the day, don’t overcomplicate things. From my own experience that’s what I try to do, even if it may not always work out that way.”
He added: “With snacking, I suppose the key thing is to enjoy everything in moderation and if you want that chocolate bar, that’s fine. Everyone is different and as long as you keep a small eye on what you’re eating, you can feel free to enjoy what you want.”
Andrew can’t wait to “roll out the new flavours and product extension in 2018. It’s an exciting time for Nutmost and it’s a great thing to be leading”.
It looks like we’ll definitely be seeing more of Andrew and Nutmost throughout the year as he rolls out some new flavours and products for us to enjoy. What are the flavours you ask? Well now, that would be telling.
Nutmost will be in stores nationwide from February 2018, but for those of us who need our nut fix before then, you can buy the products on nutmost.ie.
Sarah has always had a great love of travel, food and photography. Following her journalism degree at DCU, she developed a passion for travel writing while living in Spain.
Sarah loves exploring new places and sampling the local cuisine. Working with TheTaste.ie combines her love of food and travel.
A big people person, especially when it comes to hearing other people’s stories, Sarah loves interviewing chefs, food producers and more.