Let me ask you a question – would you go to any dentist in any town for your routine check-up? Are you happy to go to any hairdresser who has an appointment? The answer will be no! – we do business with those we like know and trust!

As customers we want to know if we can ‘like know and trust’ the companies we buy from so in this series we ask the person behind some of my favourite natural and organic companies to step out into the spotlight

It’s the turn of Diana Dixey from Zootfoods Ltd

Tell us about yourself and your company… How did you get started?

Having taken a break from work whilst enjoying some time with my children I decided I wanted a new challenge in my life. Having always been a foodie and now with children I became much more aware of the amount of “junk” food that was on offer. In some areas such as snacking it was actually difficult to find easily accessible healthy snack food.  I did a lot of research and it quickly became apparent that a prime candidate for business opportunities would be the snack market. It really is amazing how much fats and sugars we consume between meals! The Government and the NHS certainly recognize this and are campaigning hard to change our eating habits and lifestyle.  I love organizing but know when to bring in the experts where necessary. We are now a good team: a food technologist, graphic designer, sales manager and myself as marketing and PR.

What were you doing in a previous life ?

For the past few years I have been a Mum at home bringing up our two children as well as being a part time TA and fundraiser for the local school.
Before that I ran my own fashion PR company for ten years based in central London. I was also the editor of a trade magazine and a Buyer for a national company.

Why natural/ healthy snacking?

Our aim with Zoot was to bring a healthy snack range to the food market. Our long-term plan is to have a range of healthy snack alternatives available to customers so that when they see the Zoot logo they can unwrap our products with confidence knowing that they are tasty, healthy and good for you. We have also launched the ‘safe snacking’ logo alongside the brand so when you see this you know you can trust the snack you are eating to contain no added sugar or nasties.

What’s your USP? What sets you apart from your competitors?

Our bars are full flavoured and tasty, featuring a wide variety of actual fruit, nuts and seeds sometimes mixed with Gluten free oats. We currently have nine varieties of bars split into 3 distinct ranges all with different selling points.

Need a quick shot of reviving energy? Then break open a ZooT BoosT! Giving you an instant energy hit, Zoot BoosT delivers that lift with a blend of fruit, nuts and chocolate.

A fusion of fuel and taste, ZooT Enduro has been created to provide sustained energy over a longer period of time.

Or fancy a fruity snack? Then ZooT FrooT is the one for you! One of your five a day achieved by a whopping 70% fruit content.

What kind of feedback you have received from clients?

We have had lots of very positive comments regarding the taste of our bars and how nice they are. If you like Ginger then our Pear and Ginger bar is the one for you and our Banana Choc Chip bar is divisive – you either love it or hate it depending on your banana preference!
Overall we have plenty of choice and each bar will be someone’s favourite.

What’s the next big launch / project coming up for you?

We are working on two very special new ranges. It’s all very hush-hush at the moment but they will be available in the Autumn. Watch this space for news on the launch!

What’s your big dream?

To get every consumer reaching for one of our snack bars rather than a sugar filled confectionery bar.

Where can we find your products ?

Our products are available through health food shops, selected Budgens stores, The Vegan Tuck Box and you can buy them direct from our website: www.zootfoods.com