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The story behind One Earth Organics

30 April, 2018

You may have seen One Earth’s b.e.a.utifully packaged superfood blends in health shops across the UK. We’re such fans that we had to include them in a Fitty box, and we caught up with co-founder Susan to find out more…

Q: Congratulations on creating an amazing range of products! What’s the story behind the brand?

A: We wanted to create the best range of nutrient-dense blends on the market. We were really fed up with brands making cheap blends with their primary ingredients being protein powders (or other cheap powders such as rosehip or pineapple) for under £3 to manufacture then charging us £19, £20 even £30 for them! We worked with a brilliant organic product development team who were experts in nutrition to help us develop each blend.

I knew what I wanted, and was adamant that each blend would only contain a high percentage of each ingredient and that each ingredient had the best nutritional profile. Even if this meant our blends cost us more than double our competitors to produce (probably a terrible thing to do in business!). But it actually worked out – not only do they taste great, but their nutritional profiles are far superior.
We ended up with six blends and three of them are also suitable for children/teens. We won an award and got Planet Organic interested in stocking us on our first day of launch – which not many brands can say! This was absolutely because we put the quality of our blends at the forefront of our brand.

Q: How did the idea come about?

A: I used to work in international development – since I was a child I’ve loved organisations such as WWF and Save the Children and this love continued into adulthood. I worked for and consulted for organisations such as World Vision, Practical Action and the UN as a specialist in climate change adaptation, migration and livelihoods. But once I had my first son, Thomas, all this changed. I didn’t want all the travel. He had milk and egg allergies, I started experimenting with more nutrient dense food. I learnt a lot about nutrition and started making smoothies to ensure he got enough vitamins.

I noticed the gap in the market for quality and easy-to-use smoothie blends. Not only was their quality poor and price high, but they also lacked transparency in sourcing, had huge air milage and I couldn’t tell if what I was buying was just putting more strain on our already fragile environment and economies in developing countries.

I spent over a year not only developing our blends, but also ensuring a sustainable and transparent sourcing system. We’ve partnered with some incredible organisations such as B’Ayoba in Zimbabwe who work with over 10,000 baobab collectors in drought stricken areas, giving them vital incomes.

Q: Why the name One Earth?

A: I think the name says it all really! There is only One Earth – we really need to start looking after it!

Q: What’s been the biggest highlight since you launched?

A: Seeing customers loving the blends and all the amazing feedback I get everyday.

Q: What kind of feedback do you get from customers?

A: I love getting feedback! I try to do a lot of store sampling myself, I think getting out and meeting customers is so important. They love hearing about the philosophy behind One Earth (making superfoods more sustainable) and once they do, I get some really avid supporters. Everyone has a favourite blend too - for savoury food lovers they generally like the Green Goodness as a dip with peas and mint. For those with a sweet tooth, they love making energy balls with our Rejuvenate Your Soul blend which tastes sweet due to the baobab and Acerola Cherry. I also get great feedback from parents too, they love that their children are getting more nutrients whilst eating their everyday food.

Q: Which is your favourite blend and way to eat it?

A: I love CoCo GoGo, the bitter taste of the raw cacao and the Matcha is wonderful in the morning to replace coffee. There is loads of organic ground vanilla pod in there so it also feels totally indulgent too, whilst being full of goodness from the baobab and beetroot. I drink it with hot coconut milk or add a frozen banana and drink it as a smoothie.

However, my absolute favourite has to be Vanilla Zilla. We initially designed it for children as we wanted something high in Vitamin C and Omega 3 and tastes amazing so even children would love it. I think we did a pretty good job because it’s sooo good…I put it on everything! My absolute favourite thing to make with it is homemade granola and I sprinkle it on top! It’s 12% organic ground vanilla pod too so it’s the ultimate luxurious blend and the most expensive for us to produce as world vanilla prices have skyrocketed in recent years!

Q: What was the most important factor when deciding where to source your ingredients?

A: Who produces it and how - If they produce it with care, organically, by farmers and collectors who get paid fairly and work in a socially and environmentally responsible way. I’ve also tried to source many ingredients from closer to home, including the UK, to lessen our environmental impacts.

We also try to only ship by sea rather than air. The hardest ingredient for us to source is our Acai berry. We wanted to partner with an one ethical acai producer from Brazil, but they freeze dried their berries by flying them to Chile first for the drying process, then flying them to America, then to the UK! Crazy! Can you imagine the air mileage!? Needless to say we didn’t choose them as our supplier!

Q: Where do you see One Earth going – what’s the ultimate dream?

A: Well, we’ve been busy over the last few months developing our current rage. We have smaller packs coming out soon and they are just £4.99 so it’s very exciting as a lot more people can try our blends!

We’ve also got a new product coming out this year. I can’t say too much about it yet but we’ve partnered with an amazing organisation in India working with tribal communities and using up fruit that often goes to waste. 

The ultimate dream is of course, our One Earth foundation. Once my children are older, and we make a profit, I want to set up some kind of foundation or charity that trains farmers in developing countries to adapt to climate change. It will be essential in future proofing organic small scale sustainable farming.

Q: We know running a business is hard work! How do you stay motivated?

A: I don’t. Which is why it’s so so important to take breaks and not compare yourself to other brands with much larger marketing budgets and who have been around for much longer than you have! When I feel like this I stay away from social media and spend time with my family. When I go back to work after a day or so, I am much more motivated and have a clearer mind. I think working in a business which is socially motivated is also a great motivational factor.

I also attend Enterprise Nation and Virgin Startup events to learn about and network with other brands. Listening to other business owners talk really inspires me- I think two of the most inspiring brands out there are Mindful Bites and Aduna- both incredible brands that really motivate me.

Q: What are your top tips for staying healthy?

A: Probably an obvious one, but I never realized how important sleep was until I had kids!  Have ‘me’ time – be it yoga, meditation or going for a walk, as I get older I realise the importance of de-stressing and relaxing! It’s SO important for your mental and physical health!

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

A: You will never know until you try – my mum. 

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