Rebel Food Ltd owner/director Joe Swatland’s background is all to do with food, having spent over 11 years of his career as a chef. Swatland spoke with the team about products that work best for bodies, winning awards and growing the company.
What is your company background, how did you start the business?
"Part of being a chef was feeding thousands of professional athletes, such as the All Blacks, Chelsea, Barcelona, Manchester United and Bayern Munich FC, and several international cricket and rugby teams to name just a few. Leoni has spent most of her life as a dancer and now teaches the younger generation her trade. Marty and Alex are both highly successful businessmen, owning several restaurants in Queenstown. Warren and Margo have had amazing careers, going from winning World Adventure Racing titles to being the voice of Queenstown Radio. They now own and operate the world renowned GODZone adventure race. With our combined expertise and knowledge of sport, food and business, we developed one of the best products to be found based on exactly what we would want to purchase and what would work best for our bodies."
What are the current product range and variants and how do these products stand out in the market?
"NutriBombs are our heart, soul and mind in a pack. They have been designed to embrace the New Zealand community and to be accessible to as many people as possible in order to provide one of the highest natural nutritional products in the world. Each pack is gluten and dairy-free, refined sugar-free, paleo and vegan and contains no additives or preservatives, meaning that we can create amazing flavours and textures by using only raw, natural ingredients. There are plenty of imitations of Bliss Balls on the market, all of which are the exact same thing with a different fake or concentrated flavouring, whereas NutriBombs form the elite of the snack revolution. Our use of specialist ingredients such as Camu Camu (3575 percent RDI Vit C in 100g) and Chlorella (722 percent RDI Iron in 100g) mean that we are able to boost each product with some of the world’s most nutrient-rich ingredients, sourced from around the world."
Has there been any recent company news?
"Over the Fine Foods Show, we were lucky enough to be named winners of the Most Innovative Artisan Award, something that has humbled us, especially as our peers are now recognising the work that we have put into our passion. In April we were also named as the key sponsor for all future GODZone adventure races, a huge feat in terms of sports nutrition products as we were lucky enough to meet and fuel athletes such as Richie McCaw and several of the biggest names in world multi-sport and adventure racing."
What are the plans for the business moving forward, is there any expansion on the horizon?
"Over the next few months we will be targeting a huge list of artisan style shops all around New Zealand and have just seen a huge boost to our list of stockists and interest shown from yoga studios, sports shops, cafes, markets and more, giving us the ability to rise up in to most areas of the country. We also hope to make the most of our new connections, which have now made it possible to look into export into Japan, UK, Australia and India. We will endeavour to grow and expand our products, branding and accessibility, all from our small kitchen in Queenstown."
Where are your products currently available to buy, and are you looking at or wanting to expand your availability? If so, where would you like to see the product situated?
"At present, we stock 14 New Worlds in the South Island, as well as Raewards, artisan shops, yoga studios, cafes, sports shops, pharmacies and more. Our first North Island stockists are starting to come on board, and we have targeted small chain shops and stores around the North Island rather than approaching many supermarkets at this point. We are to stock Countdown Ponsonby, New World Victoria Park and New World Thorndon though. Our key targets are stores such as Torpedo7, Nosh, Huckleberry Farm, all pharmacies and sports shops. Due to being a fine quality product, our shelf base is much more customised to consumers with an understanding of good quality, artisan products and helps represent their stockists perfectly."