NouriSH ME NOW’s journey started with Lynwen qualifying for Team GB in her age-group aged 40! As a mum to two young boys and a full-time job as a physiotherapist, Lynwen’s challenge was time. She had to train very intensely in short bursts which was exhausting. Needing a recovery strategy, she turned to nutrition. The commercially available powders and drinks claiming to help recovery were unpleasant to taste and full of ingredients and supplements which had poor scientific evidence to support recovery ….. so, using her skills and knowledge as a health professional, she made her own drink. Placing well in the World Championships a few months later brought the drink to the attention of fellow triathletes and soon she was making up bigger and bigger batches to take to training sessions. A close friend suggested this might be a business idea and from there NouriSH ME NOW began to take shape!
Realising she needed business expertise to take the drink forward Lynwen approached her good friend Rachel Smith for help. Rachel had worked all over the world as a buyer and product developer before taking a career break to start a family. In March 2011 they put the children to bed and worked late into the night - night, after night, and began developing ideas and strategies for their new company. NouriSH ME NOW was born!
Initially the drink was produced in an ice-cream factory. Then with the council’s help the kitchen at Rachel’s house was inspected and accredited. Sheer determination and lots of hard work enabled NMN to produce thousands of bottled drinks which were labelled and made and filled by hand personally.
The early years of testing of the concept took Rachel and Lynwen to dozens of events; from triathlon, duathlon, climbing festivals, rugby, football, swimming galas, Tata Steel / Kids of Steel, Sainsbury’s school games, ballet, performing arts, theatre and many more events. Working with adults and children allowed them to create a small range of flavours from the feedback of thousands of people.
They then realised there was a real need for a drink that not only tasted delicious but to be credible and trustworthy - backed by good science. Working closely with Northumbria University, Sheffield Hallam University and key institutes like the Dairy Council and Leatherhead Food Research they commissioned two separate pieces of research:-
Effective nouriSH ME NOW on functional recovery in active boys and girls
The effect of a dairy beverage on post exercise appetite and energy intake in active females.
This ethos cemented a relationship with Sheffield United Football Club where they became the Club’s nutrition partner for two seasons. Working with so many parents and young people at the Academy opened their eyes to the difficulties parents face when their children take part in sport - long trips in the car before and after school / college with food choices often coming from garages or fast-food restaurants along the way. The alternatives were often giving them powders and shakes with questionable quality and questionable amounts of protein. It’s not easy being a parent or young person!
Local publicity gained them the attention of the BBC and they were approached by the BBC to appear on Dragons Den and with some persuasion they were filmed in Feb 2012 and aired Feb 2013. The dragons really liked the concept of the drink and the strong partnership between Rachel and Lynwen but struggled with the shelf life of 2 weeks. Even without funding from the Dragons the will to drive the business forward led them to meeting a local businessman / investor. They went on to producing and selling over 30,000 units of their fresh drink.
They have now gone from strength to strength with their business and have solved many problems along the way. Today the drink is made by expert manufacturers and has a 9-month shelf-life with no longer needs to be refrigerated.
Rachel and Lynwen are really proud of their history and what have achieved so far and they continue to have their feet firmly on the ground. The ethos remains the same as they continue to grow and develop, remaining true to their principles of maintaining a strong evidence-base, always learning and always listening to their customers needs.