The creation of award-winning brand Nudie Snacks was driven by a strong belief in local sourcing and the UK’s ability to produce innovative plant-based products.

Based in Kilmarnock, the brand was founded about seven years ago by entrepreneur Tracey Hogarth and her business partner Ross Currie. It was their second venture: the pair had previously developed a coconut water business, building it to be worth £2.5m before moving on.

Seeing a gap in the market for high-fibre, high-protein snacks, they initially produced premium toasted coconut chips. Launched in 2017, these were the first snacking packs of toasted coconut chips in the UK, says Hogarth.

Nudie Snacks followed these with the rollout of clean-label, bite-sized protein balls targeted at women. Then followed a  range of roasted snacking pulses, including lentils, broad beans and chickpeas.

“At the time, no one in the UK had roasted legumes in snack packs that were high in fibre and protein and packed a punch in flavour,” says Hogarth.

The development of cauliflower crisps, which won a Gold at this year’s Farm Shop & Deli Product Awards, came in 2019. Made with 40% cauliflower grown in Scotland, the crisps are available in Cheese & Caramelised Onion and Katsu Curry.

Nudie Snacks Cauliflowers_02

Source: Nudie Snacks

Nudie Snacks’ cauliflower crisps are available in two flavours

“Although we started in coconut chips, the supply chain was complicated, shipping costs were increasing and the food miles element didn’t sit well with me,” says Hogarth, adding she wanted to do better in this area, being a big believer in local sourcing.

“I wanted home-grown – to utilise plant-based ingredients from the UK wherever possible – and I believe we can produce innovative plant-based snacks right here in the UK.”

Currie exited the business before the pandemic, leaving Hogarth to take the cauliflower crisps to market in 2020. “I kept the business on my own in the most challenging trading conditions I have ever encountered in my entire business history,” she explains.

“We ended up launching cauliflower crisps during the summer of Covid in 2020. After discussions with a few industry heavy-hitters I decided I should do so, as we needed to talk to the retailers about something new.”

It took 12 months, but the talk eventually worked: the cauliflower crisps are now listed by the likes of Holland & Barrett, Planet Organic, Co-op, Scotmid and many independents.

In April came the Farm Shop & Deli Product Awards success, with the Cheese & Caramelised Onion crisps praised by judges for their flavour, aroma and crunch. Judges also liked the “clear and clean” branding and the suitability of the crisps for children’s lunchboxes.

Hogarth says the win has raised awareness of the brand in the farm shop and deli channel. “It presented us to hundred of independents across the UK who are now proactively asking for us. This makes our life a wee bit easier as we have done a lot of hard work over the past 18 to 24 months, constantly reinforcing the brand and the message.”

Having established the brand, Hogarth is now considering finding another challenge and giving new owners an opportunity to take on Nudie Snacks.

“It might be time for me to move aside and let some new faces push the business to the next level,” she says.