Sweet but healthy
Who knew cookies could actually be healthy?
We often associate tasty and mouth-watering snacks with being unhealthy and packed with sugar but, as the world evolves, Sweet Nutrition has introduced healthy, tasty snacking.
“A wave of innovation and healthy snacking [started] to become really prominent, and that is where the idea originated. We wanted to do a cookie version of Smart Sweets,” said Casey Parker, co-founder of Sweet Nutrition.
On their website, Sweet Nutrition says their vision is to, “Create a healthier version of all the sweets, treats and snacks that individuals love and crave on a daily basis, while still remaining delicious.” The idea came from Smart Sweets, and Parker said, “They were doing really good with low sugar candies, and they were a Canadian company as well.” As displayed on their packaging, these cookies are also gluten-free, vegan, contain no sugar, and are low in carbohydrates. That makes them a great option for people with dietary restrictions such as celiac disease, lactose intolerance, and diabetes.
“[A] lot of it is based on our really high-quality ingredients that we use. If you look at our ingredients, […] our main ingredients are almond flour, coconut oil, and, in our peanut butter cookie, natural peanut butter,” said Parker. Using natural, quality ingredients is an important part of how Sweet Nutrition operates. “We just use really high-end ingredients and that is why our product is a little more expensive.”
Parker said that it is the quality ingredients that give their cookies a “strong, nutritional foundation, … [and] most importantly, a delicious taste.” He is passionate and dedicated to ensuring that Sweet Nutrition’s cookies both taste good and are good for your health. In fact, he and Austin Calladine, another co-founder, wear different hats and are involved with running different parts of the company. With the dedication behind the product, Sweet Nutrition sets itself apart from major snacking industries that are not interested in the health of the consumer.
“We put our product not just against [other brand’s] cookies but really all butter-free snacks. [… They] taste like a normal cookie,” Parker continued. “That’s really the best part about them, genuinely good taste. […] The low sugar and all the other health benefits and key features are really just a bonus,” Parker added. “On top of that we are Canadian made, Canadian owned and operated, and manufacture all of our own stuff.”
Sweet Nutrition started after Parker dropped out of the Edwards School of Business at the University of Saskatchewan. Parker dropped out to focus his full attention on Sweet Nutrition with his co-founder Austin Calladine. “Lots of trial and error. Lots of learning as we go. We’ve had to teach ourselves a lot,” said Parker.
Parker and Calladine faced their fair share of challenges with ups and downs to smoothly set up their venture. These challenges ranged from budgeting issues to accumulating capital. Sweet Nutrition struggled to start up as a small company when large companies already dominated the food and beverage industry.
“Honestly the biggest challenge as a small company in the industry is going up against multi-billion-dollar companies who have a lot of capital to work with in comparison to us. We have a really tight budget. Pretty much every dollar that we get into our bank account is going out at the same day or same week as well. The hardest part is managing cash flow. A lot of [the businesses] that we serve, like the retail stores, do not pay us for 30, 60, sometimes even more than 60, days,” Parker said. “And we pay for our raw materials, ingredients, our labour, packaging, shipping either upfront or within 15 days. So, as you can see by that setup, we burn a lot of cash quickly.”
Despite being a small company, Sweet Nutrition still has a lot of variety and value to offer. Their product line ranges from chocolate chip cookies to soft peanut butter, double chocolate, snicker doodle cookies, and a lot more. Their cookies do not have to be refrigerated since they are butter-free, and they have a shelf life of 14 months.
In the future, Sweet Nutrition intends to increase their product line, look deeper into acquisitions, explore private labels, and make products for different companies. Still, though, their goal is to provide healthy, delicious products to their customers. “We still want to increase our product line and come up with more stuff other than cookies. Increase our retail footprint,” continued Parker.
Parker encourages budding entrepreneurs to take the plunge and be a “sponge” to absorb as much information as you can. “Nobody is an expert,” he said, “Nobody knows anything. […] Be open-minded, be willing to adapt. Don’t think you know everything because you surely don’t.” Shedding a light on the food and beverages industry, Parker mentioned that it has great exit market and that people exit with multiple streams of income taking home lots of assets with the dedicated effort put into building it.
Entrepreneurs work to bring change to the world with their innovation and creations that have only made the world a better place to live. For years people have been searching for healthier options to their sweet-tooths and cravings. Sweet Nutrition seems to be just that, and with a plan to introduce healthier versions of traditionally unhealthy snacks, they might have discovered their own niche in the market to fill. Sweet Nutrition is one such creation that will impact the munching lifestyle for all by introducing people to different ways of consuming cookies.