Activated Nuts – delicious and nutritious

Andrew Wynne and Alison Cowzer on Dragons' DenAndrew Wynne is about to introduce a taste revelation to the Irish health food market. His Nutmost range of activated nuts are healthier than regular nuts and are addictively delicious. Andrew, a fan of healthy living, first came across activated nuts while visiting Los Angeles. Upon returning home, he found that it was impossible to get activated nuts in Ireland, forcing him to make his own. It was a lightbulb moment, and the Nutmost range was born.

While nuts are a healthy snack, they possess a number of chemical compounds which can inhibit digestive absorption in humans. Activated nuts are first soaked in water and salt. Once the germination process begins, the nuts are carefully dehydrated at a low temperature. Activating the nut in this fashion removes the digestive inhibitors, giving the full nutritional benefit to the eater. It also happens to leave the nut tasting even better than before. Andrew produces activated almonds and walnuts in a variety of flavours, including Himalayan salt, maple syrup, and tamari.

Andrew began by attending a number of food markets, before expanding into Fresh Good Food Markets, and a number of independent health food stores. “The feedback from consumers was great; the nuts tasted amazing and they were an interesting product” he recalls. However, awareness of activated nuts remains low within the Irish marketplace. This presents a challenge to create consumer recognition of the product, but also delivers first mover advantage to Nutmost.

How nuts are activatedAndrew has just graduated from Supervalu’s Food Academy. “Getting listed with Supervalu requires a much more commercial approach in terms of production, distribution, and packaging”. Scaling up a business as a sole trader can be challenging, but Andrew’s advice is to “grow smart and take the right steps for your business”. As a part of scaling up and adopting a more commercial approach, Andrew introduced GS1 barcodes onto his products. GS1 barcodes are a key part of preparing your product for distribution with mainstream retailers.

With fierce competition for shelf space, it’s important for your product to stand out. Andrew made the decision to change his packaging from a tub to a more functional re-sealable pouch. He also invested in improving the branding and aesthetics of his packaging, giving it a premium look and feel to match the premium quality of the product.

Andrew’s goals for the year include getting the business firmly established and building the brand into a household name. He has just braved the Dragon’s Den on RTÉ, which will provide great exposure for his company. You can catch the episode online via the RTÉ Player (Andrew's piece starts at the 37 mins 35 seconds mark). Nutmost will initially be stocked by Supervalu in a number of trial stores. Scaling to meet the demand for his products will be tough, but Andrew sees entering central distribution by the end of the year as being a very achievable target.

You can order Andrew's products online from the Nutmost website, and find him online on Facebook, Twitter, and through the #NutsWithBenefits hashtag.

Nutmost recently appeared on Dragons' Den