Interview with Amy Moring, co-founder of Hunter & Gather – two years on

Two years ago we interviewed long term coeliac sufferer Amy Moring. She explained how she’d launched Hunter & Gather, a visionary food brand with a healthier living conscience that championed sublime flavours and ‘good’ nutrition.

Two years on, the business is going from strength to strength. We caught up with Amy to see what she’s up to now.

What is Hunter & Gather and how did you get started?

Hunter & Gather is an Optimal Health and wellness brand with a focus on real foods free from refined sugar, grains, gluten and seed oils.

Founded by myself Amy (a lifelong coeliac) and my partner Jeff (an experimenter by nature), we discovered through our own personal health journey’s that living an ancestral lifestyle with real foods was fundamental to us both feeling at our best.

We launched the business in 2017 to help others, whether they have intolerances, are starting out on Paleo, Keto or they are interested in healthier choices, we aim to provide everyone the tools they need to thrive in the modern world.  

What does ketogenics mean to you and what is the current state of the UK keto movement?

Keto, or ketosis is a completely natural metabolic state that would have been used by our bodies in the Hunter Gather times when there was a lack of carbohydrates or sugars in our diets. It’s a sign that someone is metabolically flexible and not reliant solely on a high carbohydrate diet.

We believe that the principles of a keto diet are key for those looking to lose weight, who are metabolically inflexible, have type 2 diabetes or they are suffering from a medical condition such as epilepsy which can be supported with Keto.

We have seen the term “Keto” grow hugely in popularity over the last three years. Previously when speaking to retailers it would be “Keto what?” but now we are noticing that retailers are calling out for Keto-Friendly products as demand grows. 

I think that the label of “keto” on foods means that those looking to lower their sugar intake or those that follow low-carb, know that this item is likely to fit with their requirements. 

We are seeing lot’s of new brands, products, and even Facebook groups popping up with thousands of supporters and we believe that Keto will continue to grow in popularity in the UK as it has done so in the US.

You’ve enjoyed some impressive growth since we first talked to you two years ago. What do you attribute that to?

Thank you, yes we have! As a business we have grown triple digits year on year since launch and this last year we have tripled the size of the business from the year before!

We believe this is not down to a single silver bullet but having clear values, proposition and brand that people can trust is important. We push the boundaries by bringing out unique products and we invest in really understanding what our customers want and improving what we do every day. 

How has Hunter & Gather evolved over the last two years?

We have always been pro-online, but now we’re even more so. We have heavily invested in improving our brand stand out online, with a new brand design, new website, subscription service, loyalty rewards, launched a Facebook group and more! 

What was the thinking behind entering the ketchup category?

We love to bring much-needed innovation to categories that are desperate for it as well as making a big impact on as many households as possible. Behind mayonnaise, Ketchup is a much loved British condiment and is used in a large proportion of the houses in the UK. 

We realised that there was no one focusing on an unsweetened sauce range that was suitable for diabetics, keto, paleo, low carb and those that want to avoid sugar substitutes like sweeteners.

We also did not want to compromise and have not only created an unsweetened sauce range but we have used 100% Organic tomatoes too, this really sets us apart in the category.  

Which is your personal favourite Hunter & Gather product?

It feels like choosing between your children! We have taken so much care and attention in creating every single product that they all are so special.  

What’s been the single biggest obstacle to ketogenic’s long term success?

I think that there needs to be more regulation around the term Keto on food products, as sadly there are some brands utilising the term Keto but then using grains and seed oils for example (which are not keto friendly).

It’s like gluten-free, previously it was deemed as a healthy switch but now many gluten-free products are packed with sugars, binders, fillers and are actually a lot higher in sugar than their non-gluten counterparts. I hope that the term ‘Keto’ is used by brands honestly as this will help with the success of those that try out keto for health reasons.  

Is there sufficient customer choice for ketogenic to become a standalone ‘food minority’ category?

Yes, there is definitely enough choice for people as ultimately it is a metabolic state. The more brands or people aware of Keto though, the more funding and support there will be to encourage others to try keto too – which is only a good thing.

We have also seen full displays of Keto friendly products in supermarkets throughout New Zealand, American and Australia. It’s only a matter of time before the UK is the same and we hope to continue to be leading on this at Hunter & Gather.  

How do you respond to people saying that ketogenic is simply a reworking of the Atkins diet?

Keto is a natural metabolic state and focuses on low carbohydrates <20g per day but it also is about other lifestyle factors too for optimal health. Some myths of Keto are that you must solely eat bacon and cheese, this is not the case and there is room for nuts, vegetables, salads, yoghurt, berries and even dark chocolate on a ketogenic lifestyle.

Who inspires you?

People that give something a go even when the odds are stacked against them.  

What do you have planned for 2021?

We have lots of exciting things planned for 2021! We have just recently launched a new Facebook Group, where we will be hosting a 28 day Keto challenge from 1st February 2021.

We also have plans for some new products too, but you will have to keep your eyes peeled for what they could be! 

You can learn more about Hunter & Gather on their website.