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Nicknamed the Makery, Eat Natural’s factory now produces 7 million bars a month all made by hand in batches of a 1,000. The brand employs close to 300 artisans who manufacture the bars, rolling out the ingredients by hand to the right shape and size. From devising the initial concept in 1997 it took time for the team to get its gluten and preservative-free snack bars in front of the people who could help take Eat Natural to the masses. “I remember saying to my colleague when we first started, ‘I’ll just call Holland & Barrett up and they’ll buy it straight away’. In fact it took around six years before Holland & Barrett actually started stocking our bars,” Vijh recalls. The brand’s early play for the healthy snack market was clearly a wise move as consumer demand continues to soar. In the three months to March, 53% of UK consumers ate a cereal/snack bar, according to Mintel data. UK sales of breakfast biscuits and cereal/snack bars hit £523m in 2016, a market Mintel expects to reach £538m in 2017. Eat Natural attributes much of its success to the traceability of its supply chain. The brand controls everything from managing the relationships with the fruit and nut growers to shipping the finished bars and designing the packaging. “There are a lot of brands that are purely marketing driven.
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