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Riot Foods success defies doubters

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

In 2013 when Ryan Kamins took a brown paper bag with his home-made Paleo cereal to the local health food shop to see if it would sell, he had little idea that it was the beginning of a business that is forecast to sell over $2 million in product this year.

Along with Art Green, Ryan Kamins has successfully established Riot Foods, a new generation food business, now in its 5th year. They have an unshakeable commitment to producing wholefoods that are free from harmful ingredients and making wholefoods accessible to mainstream consumers. Under the Riot Foods umbrella sits CleanPaleo, Poppy + Olive and WholeFoods Manufacturing.

The flagship brand, CleanPaleo, has a range of 20 products, including breakfast blends, protein powders, biltong and bread, with more products set to launch in 2018 (most of which have been requested by their major retail partners). It’s a premium brand, characterised by products that are free from gluten, grains, dairy, preservatives and additives and is the leading Paleo brand in New Zealand. CleanPaleo is stocked Nationwide in Countdown as well as over 50 other independent stores. It is also selling to Australia, with 10 new stores coming on board every month, and Amazon U.S.A., who recently awarded CleanPaleo Manuka crunch breakfast blend their Amazon Choice award.

Earlier this year Riot Foods purchased Poppy and Olive, a niche range of nut butters- which features Smooth Almond, Crunchy Almond, Cashew Almond and Chocolate Hazelnut. All the products are made using only wholefood ingredients and are high in protein and free from processed sugar and are of course gluten free, vegan and paleo approved! At purchase, the business was selling less than $2,500 per month of product. 9 months later, and after a re-brand, Poppy + Olive is now selling more than 6x that, with negotiations underway with significant retail partners.

WholeFoods Manufacturing, the production subsidiary of Riot foods is a dairy and gluten free facility and the only Paleo certified manufacturing plant in the country. It produces all their products. To meet the increasing demand, Riot foods has recently purchased a second premises which will start operating in 2018.

As with every successful business, it has been achieved through hard work and perseverance. In his first year, Kamins was working full time as a landscaper during the day and hiring out a bakery at night to manufacture the cereal whilst he built up his stockists through door knocking independent health food stores.

Six months later, in September 2013 with the opportunity to pitch to Farro Fresh, he borrowed $10K to establish and repackage the CleanPaleo brand. After successfully being accepted into their stores, he started using a contract manufacturer in order to meet the demand and give him time to concentrate on the bigger picture.

Asked about the key to the success of Riot Foods, Kamins commented "We totally believe in what we are making, but most importantly we are filling a gap in the market. For both myself and Art (Green), having the convenience of being able to buy wholefoods and Paleo products off the shelf, means that healthy eating is so much more attainable. The market is saturated with processed foods and bogus ‘healthy’ foods. Consumers are much more knowledgeable than they were 20 years ago and a lot of them want to eat healthy food. We’re committed to fulfilling that gap. Riot Foods provides a convenience factor allowing everyday people to access wholefoods in a convenient way".

Riot Foods has recently launched a Pledgeme campaign with a goal of raising $1 million. Giving supporters a chance to be part of Riot Foods.

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