Over the past few years, bone broth has been lauded as one of the hottest and most nutritious foods on the market. Here, we talk to Sarah Kiely, founder of Sadie's Kitchen, to find out more about her popular product.
Launched in 2015, Sadie's Kitchen bone broth was the first of its kind available for the retail market in Europe, long before celebrities and influencers began to endorse it. Since its inception, the company from strength to strength, including a game-changing investment from Alison Cowzer of Dragons’ Den, which saw the broth rolled out to over 200 stores across Ireland and the UK.
Here, we hear more from Sarah about her delicious product and how she shaped her business.
What inspired you to create the product?
"I was working in a busy, high-pressure, stressful job and it was having an impact on my health, namely my gut health. I began researching traditional methods to restore balance and this was when I came across bone broth. Out of everything I had tried, I couldn’t believe the impact bone broth had, both on a nutritional level and a comforting one. The difference in the quality, when compared to preservative-laden stock, is tenfold, and that is what lends itself to bone broth being a stand-alone hot drink. Of course, it is the perfect replacement for stock in cooking, but it is the element of taking it as a comforting and restorative drink that really appealed to me.
It can also be really challenging to scale a company. Most of the major brands which are 'household names' are owned and controlled by some of the largest corporations in the world, with the marketing and R&D budgets to match. The upside to being a small business means we can be super agile and have full creative autonomy around our range. We are at a very exciting point in our business where we are extending our offering and building a brand we are not only passionate about but that we believe sets us apart."
Why did you decide to take your product to a commercial level?
"I realised that if I was feeling the benefits, then others could benefit from it too. However, it’s not very convenient to make. You need to source good quality bones, which isn’t always easy; free-range bones, in particular, are very hard to come by. Then you need to factor in the long cooking hours and a house that constantly smells like chicken! No one else was doing it, we are Ireland and Europe’s first to market for retail. I knew I had a good product and the gap in the market was there, so when I was made redundant from my job I decided to go for it."
What challenges have you faced along the way?
"Anyone in food will tell you that it is not an easy industry to be in, particularly when you are creating a chilled product. Add in the fact that we are committed to creating healthy, preservative-free products that we are proud to stand over and you see how there have been some challenges with manufacturing and shelf-life. But we stayed true to our values throughout and found the right solutions in time.
As a new brand and a new product on the market, we really had to spend time and effort building awareness. Customers are invested in the food they are buying, so building that trust and relationship between you and your consumer takes time and effort. Many people did not know what bone broth was, or the difference between it and stock, so it was up to us to educate about them. Luckily, my background is in PR and marketing, so I was able to harness those skills and really take ownership of the message we wanted to get out there. I really think it shows our authenticity in all that we do."
What would you say the benefits of bone broth are?
"We always say that we create food, not medicine, but I can’t deny the difference it has made to my own digestive health, as part of a multi-faceted approach, of course. Gelatine is collagen and our broths are a source of liquid collagen, which has been shown to help soothe the digestive tract. I use great probiotics and magnesium alongside bone broth and have had, like so many of our customers, improved gut health. The fact that we only ever use hormone-free poultry is another huge positive, as so many soup and ready meal brands are using battery farmed chicken from Brazil and Thailand. I don't believe you can be healthy by consuming meat that wasn’t healthy or treated well to begin with, so we have always tried to give that reassurance back to our customers. Provenance is paramount to us as a brand.
What are your hopes for the future?
"We are adding to our line this year and we are really excited to show everyone what we have been working on. We have taken our time with the new launches, as it is more important to us to remain authentic and committed to our values, than to just get new stuff out there for the sake of it. Our mission is to create delicious and nutrient-dense food that not only tastes good but does good too. We want to make eating well easy for our customers, our mission statement is ‘convenience without compromise’."
Want to win a month's supply of Sadie's Kitchen bone broth? Click here to enter for a chance to win.
Sadie's Kitchen bone broth is priced at €4.50 for a 350ml pouch and is available in stores nationwide.
READ MORE: Ruth Calder-Potts Talks Turmeric