A Suffolk company's very seedy success story
PUBLISHED: 15:00 21 October 2018
Before Munchy Seeds started out 19 years ago, co-founder Lucinda Clay recalls that the only place you could find seeds was in a particular muesli brand.
Now, seeds are found in all sorts of food, from bread, bagel and salad to sprinkler tubs to add to cereal.
Tapping into that trend, Munchy Seeds, which is based in Leiston in Suffolk, has just won a lucrative contract with supermarket giant Tesco.
According to the company’s co-founder, Lucinda Clay, a turning point in the market happened in 2005.
“Seeds became really popular because of the popular Channel 4 show ‘You Are What You Eat’, when Gillian McKeith told everybody to eat pumpkin seeds because they are good for your sex life!” she explained. “In the past buyers and customers only talked about nuts, which in itself is a huge industry. That conversation has definitely shifted, seeds are very much one of the future foods to watch, especially with new ancient grains and pulses being introduced. We are bang on trend with the rise of plant-based diets and people becoming flexitarian, veggie and vegan.”
Munchy Seeds already have a presence in Sainsbury’s and Waitrose, and now three products in Munchy Seeds’ sweet and savoury seed mix range will be available in Tesco - pots of honey seeds, omega sprinkles and chilli bites.
It won’t be the first time the company has had a contract with Tesco.
“We were last in Tesco from 2008 to 2015 in the Wholefoods isle, which was a bit of a no mans land,” Mrs Clay explained. “Because our products didn’t really place right on the shelves, they were discontinued. But over the years, everybody has got a better idea of how to eat seeds. Now we have gone back into taller shaker tubs and a sprinkler tubs, and in Sainsburys as a snack pack. As seeds have become better understood as an ingredient, sprinkle and snack, we are moving into the home baking aisle.”
Although Mrs Clay claims that seeds are most popular with women aged 30 to 60, “because women naturally seek seeds for hormone balancing and natural vitality.” But men are also now becoming fans of seeds as source of protein. “We are planning to go more masculine with our branding to appeal to more men,” she said.