Here at Creative Nature, we believe products that claim to be healthy, should also be tasty. Why have a healthy diet if you’re just not going to enjoy yourself! It’s the same for ‘free from’ products, just because it doesn’t have gluten, dairy, nuts or sweeteners in, doesn’t mean it has to be free from flavour.
With this mindset, we created a range of healthy snack bars that have won more Great Taste Gold Stars than any other cold-pressed range in history!
Apart from tasting better, what makes Creative Nature different? Well, we make sure we source the highest quality ingredients to maximise the health benefits to you, and ensure our products don’t contain the harmful heavy metals often found in cheaper products from China. We want you to really feel the benefits of these amazing natural superfoods, so sourcing from areas with no pollution is essential. Our Barley Grass, for example, is from the rolling hills of Canterbury, New Zealand, an area renowned for producing the most nutrient-rich crop on the planet.
A word from our Owner, Julianne Ponan
I started making my own healthy snacks out of frustration at the lack of nut-free products in the market that weren’t packed with additives. I suffer from anaphylaxis to all nuts, some seeds and certain additives, so finding a healthy snack that didn’t cause me to stop breathing was a challenge! That’s when I decided to create my own, using superfood ingredients to improve the nutrient value and my partner, Matthew as a guinea-pig to get the flavours right. Unfortunately he insisted on having a peanut bar in the range, so I let him create his own, as long as it didn’t cross contaminate my bars!
Since launching the bars, and my unique range of baking mixes, I’ve launched my products into major supermarkets like Asda, Co-op and Ocado, high street retailers like TK Max, high end health conscious stores like The Natural Kitchen, Vital Ingredient and Sourced Market and overseas to Switzerland, Iceland, Portugal and more.
The road has been long, with many sleepless nights, but I’m so proud of where I’ve come with such a small team (it was just me and my partner for the first 3 years) and I hope you will agree, it was worth it! Please have a look at the timeline below to see our journey.
1st August 2011
First look at Creative Nature
Julianne has a look at Creative Nature and sees a sinking ship in heavy losses (over £56,000!). Product range includes incense, candles, statues and some superfoods, but there's potential in the name and logo and that excites her.
12th August 2012
Julianne buys Creative Nature
At 22, Julianne takes the risk and buys Creative Nature, becoming CEO and starting her Journey to clean up the mess! First job, bring Matt on full time as Operations Manager. Second job, figure out out how to turn the business around with zero experience, zero money and zero contacts, what could go wrong?...
28th August 2012
With a focus on healthy eating, superfoods and 'Free From' snacking (due to Julianne's severe allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, certain seeds and additives), the new superfood range was established and work began on a snack bar range like no other on the market!
7th September 2012
1st Snack Bar Attempt
With the idea to revolutionise the snack bar world and create bars that weren't packed with dates and cashews, these 50g bars were born. Full to the brim with nutrient-rich superfoods, these bars had so much potential to topple our competitors
10th June 2013
2nd Snack Bar Attempt
After near complete failure with the larger bars (we're not afraid to admit when we get things wrong), we went back to the kitchen and created our 38g bar range that was more affordable and tasted better. 10 months of trial and error gave us a lot more confidence that these bars would succeed where the 50g bars flopped.
12th August 2013
Holland & Barrett Launch!
After pitching our 2 favourite bars to H&B in July, we actually launched all 4 flavours into 300 stores nationwide 1 month later! The revamped 38g bars were an instant hit!
13th September 2013
We showcased our new bars at the Lunch! Exhibition in London and were a finalist in our first ever award entry with our bars being chosen in the Innovation category. We finished just behind Vivid Matcha!
15th February 2014
We had high hopes, strong numbers and dreams to launch into a supermarket within the next 6 months, but investors didn't want to know and we failed to raise our £150k target. Comments like "you're too young", "unrealistic targets" and "just a little girl" didn't deter us though, so we focused on proving the haters wrong.
17th April 2014
New Superfood Packaging
We needed a new design to help push our brand into the mainstream markets, so out went the congested, plain tubs and in came a vibrant new range to leap off the shelf. We launched the new tub prototype at Natural & Organic Products Europe in Earls Court and held our breath!
19th May 2014
Julianne Wins her 1st Award
Julianne is named Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the South East at the National FSB Awards in London and met Richard Reed, co-founder of Innocent Smoothies!
24th July 2014
Just 5 months after investors laughed at our predictions of becoming the 1st UK superfood brand to get a listing in a major supermarket, we launch into Tesco! After getting the call in May that they wanted to launch, we had just 2 months to upscale our production for over 10,000 tubs, that all needed individually over labelling with the new designs that were months off being ready! We managed, somehow!
27th October 2014
After a successful launch into Tesco, we launched our entire product range into Ocado, quickly becoming their top-selling superfood brand in a category that would grow by 800% in 2015
28th October 2014
Greatest Tasting bar EVER!
Our Blissful Berry healthy flapjack bar becomes the first cold-pressed snack bar to ever win 2 Gold Stars at the Great Taste Awards, and blind taste test of over 10,000 products every year.
30th November 2014
Julianne has FSB Surrey Clean Sweep!
Julianne walks away with the Overall Winner's trophy at the FSB Surrey Awards after picking up the Real Life Entrepreneur and Young Person in Business awards earlier in the night.
17th December 2014
Julianne's 1st National Award!
Julianne becomes the youngest winner of the NatWest Everywoman Artemis Award at a beautiful awards evening at The Dorchester Hotel.
19th April 2015
New Bar Packaging
After a busy 2014, we relaunched the bars with more vibrant colours to help them stand out on shelf. We also needed our Great Taste logo on there!
May & December 2015
Julianne keynotes The Business Show
Julianne had such a successful event speaking for The Business Show in 2014, they ask her back in May & December 2015 to keynote. Her talks are packed out, with many visitors being turned away as there was no more space in the room.
17th April 2016
Another bar Relaunch
Frustrated at the lack of sales in store, yet always selling out when sampling at shows, it was time to do a huge re-brand of the bars, updating the designs, cleaning up the text and positioning ourselves at the front of the 'food-to-go' sector. We changed the names, flipped the designs vertical and opted for "less is more".
17th April 2016
Baking Mixes are Born
Creative Nature introduces the wold's first commercial organic baking mix range to cater for all the top 14 allergens, vegans, be refined sugar free and have added health benefits from Iron and Magnesium content
28th April 2016
Director of the Year!
Julianne picks up Director of the Year at the Surrey Toast Awards, the headlining award on the night. The judges commented that she was the 'clear winner'.
5th July 2016
The new packaging is a hit and gets listed straight away in Asda stores, along with our brand new baking mixes. That's 6 products on Asda's shelves! We went straight to our nearest one and bought a mix just to see it go through the till.
15th July 2016
We picked up the Family Business Place Innovation Award at a beautiful ceremony at Wembley Stadium. The judges were amazed at how our products could taste so good and be healthy for them!
7th July 2016
The Guardian's Leader of the Year!
Julianne is named Leader of the Year by the Guardian Newspaper at the Small Business Showcase Awards!
17th May 2017
Young Director of the Year!
After an incredible 2016, with a hugely successful launch into Asda, Julianne was named Young Director of the Year in London and the South East by the IoD (Institute of Directors).
5th June 2017
In April, Co-op told us they were going to launch us into 400 stores. In May they told us they were actually going to launch us into 2,300 stores across the country! In June, we delivered 6 full pallets of Goji Goodness and Peanut Protein bars into depot.
5th June 2017
The 2nd supermarket launch in a week! This time Sainsbury's launched our unique, allergen free baking mixes into 500 stores. The team went straight to our local Cobham store to see them on shelf in the Home Baking section.
28th June 2017
FBP Retail Business of the Year!
With Julianne and Matt on business in Peru during these awards, it was up to brother Josh Ponan to pick up the award for best Retail Business at the Family Business Place Awards at Wembley Stadium
1st August 2017
Greatest Tasting Protein Bar!
To further establish Creative Nature as having the Greatest Tasting range of cold-pressed snack bars ever created, we made the first High Protein snack bar to ever win a Great Taste Award!
10th August 2017
Creative Nature Flying High!
Creative Nature signs an exclusive contract with Airline experts Gastro Culinary to launch the snack bars onto planes, replacing the current offering with something healthy, tasty and allergy free!
20th August 2017
We make an appearance on BBC 2's popular investment program, Dragon's Den! Arguably the most nervous we've ever been, EVER!