No syrups, no pastes, no sugar alternatives. For some it’s a lifestyle choice, for some it’s a health necessity. Healthy snacks are growing in popularity and availability, but what sets one apart from the other?
Taking healthy snacks to the next level, sisters Gracie and Sophie Tyrell have created Squirrel Sisters. Building the brand entirely by themselves, with no outside investment, they have created on-the-go health foods that are suitable for vegan, paleo, gluten and refined sugar free healthy diets, as well as being 100% raw.
Here they explain the thoughts behind their award-winning health and wellness company and what sets their bars and bags apart from other health food brands.
Where did the idea for Squirrel Sisters come from?
Health, wellness, food and how it makes us feel has always been a passion of ours so we started Squirrel Sisters as a blog in 2014.The blog gained a large following quickly. People connected with our mission and the fact that we are two normal girls with busy lifestyles, who want to enjoy life while feeling great.
With a growing following we saw an opportunity to turn our blog into a business. So after much planning and preparation we launched our healthy snack bars in November 2015.We already had the recipes for them as Gracie used to make them for Sophie due to her gluten intolerance and after a heart operation which meant she reacted badly to refined and sugar alternatives.
What did you do before?
Before Squirrel Sisters, Sophie was working as a business development director in a Singapore-based agency, gaining experience in market research, branding and design agencies across Europe and Asia.
Gracie is a professionally trained actress. Having worked in the UK and America, she has experience across adverts, film and theatre. Gracie also worked on the production side of TV both in Europe and the US.
What makes your range different to other health food products?
We are one of the only healthy snack brands available that don’t add any syrups, pastes or sugar alternatives, which is why we have been certified by Sugarwise.
So many health brands add things that sound much prettier than sugar, like coconut nectar blossom, maple syrup, brown rice syrup. They are essentially just as bad as refined sugar, if not worse. We call these products ‘perceived health’. Our products are genuinely healthy because we only use whole dates to bind and sweeten all our products. They are also a healthier choice because they contain fibre, vitamins and minerals.
Our bars and share bags fit in with a number of lifestyles such as vegan, paleo, gluten and refined sugar free, and they are 100% raw. They can be eaten any time of the day; pre/post workout, for a healthy breakfast, as healthy snacks between meals or after dinner as a healthy pudding. They are the perfect guilt-free treat!
Our products are also award winning. They have won three Great Taste Awards, The Women’s Health BEST bar/ball snack award 2018, The Bronze Free From Award and The Veggie Best Snack award!
Why did you feel there was a need for another health food brand?
Because there are too many products claiming to be healthy that aren’t and the products that are genuinely healthy don’t usually taste great. We wanted to create a product that was both genuinely healthy and great tasting.
What’s included in the range?
We have a range of Snack Bars and also Raw Bites (Share Bags). There are four flavours available in our snack bar range; Cacao Brownie, Cacao Orange, Raspberry Ripple and Coconut Cashew. The 40g bar is split into two 20g sticks per pack because we know how important portion control is to our consumers and we also want to encourage sharing! Our Raw Bites (Share Bags) come in two flavours; Cacao Orange and Cacao Brownie.
There are a lot of health messages out there, what do you feel yours adds that wasn’t there before?
We want to help people treat their health. When we launched Squirrel Sisters we came up with the slogan Treat Your Health because it represents everything Squirrel Sisters is about; making health fun and delicious. We create healthy products that taste like a treat. Products that enable you to treat yourself while treating your health. Delicious products made with real, natural, kitchen cupboard ingredients that are indulgent and delicious. Treats with all the added health benefits. You don’t have to miss out or feel restricted by being healthy and we are on a mission to prove that.
Squirrel Sisters products are available in Waitrose, Morrisons, Ocado, Selfridges, Whole Foods, Planet Organic, BP (M&S forecourts) and WHSmith. The sisters also recently published their cookbook, Naturally Delicious Snacks & Treats, which was named in the top nine best healthy cookbooks by The Independent.