For our latest blog we talk to our founder and CEO Richard Canterbury about what wellness means to him, how it inspired him to start Love Taste – and what he really thinks about some wellness ‘fads’.
Richard, would you describe Love Taste as a wellness brand?
We are a premium frozen drinks company that focuses on using the best ingredients to make healthy, delicious drinks for everyone. So yes, I guess we would be classified as a wellness brand. But I’m always cautious of labels because inevitably it’s just re-labelling something that already exists and charging more for it and it can make those who can’t afford it feel left out.
Was it an interest in wellness that inspired you to start Love Taste? Was it something else that gave you the idea?
When I started the business 15 years ago there weren’t terms like wellness, but I definitely wanted to start a business that would be good for people and would make feeling good easy and convenient. I started because I was always making smoothies and juices and I found them healthy and delicious and I wanted to share that with other people.
I had previously worked in advertising and found, from a personal perspective it was always better if I sold something I believed in. I truly believe in healthy smoothies, which offer variety and are a great way to consume raw fruit and vegetables. I thought if I can make a business out of it, great. If it doesn’t work, at least I’ve been doing something I love - hence the name, Love Smoothies!
What is wellness to you? How important is it to you? How do you incorporate wellness into your own life?
My personal view is that wellness is individual and there isn’t a one size fits all approach. For example, my wife has fibromyalgia and can’t eat carrots or strawberries, which I absolutely love. I eat as much raw fruit and veg as possible and I tried and eat the rainbow - lots of different colours, grains and pulses too. I am very keen not to become a bore on the subject. I’ve met many militant types who I find rather joyless about eating and drinking - which rather defeats the purpose!
I eat well, avoiding processed foods and meat during the week, as well as exercising as often as I can. I eat a mainly plant based diet, but I enjoy experimenting with new ingredients and trying new things and don’t worry too much if I slip occasionally - I just try to do better the next day. I find it particularly hard to eat well if I’m travelling for business or if I’m on the road.
My current obsession is turmeric, curcumin and black pepper - I add all 3 ingredients to my morning smoothies and find it greatly reduces inflammation after exercise and I seem to sleep better. I’m always trying something as I think that variety is important in a diet - the spice of life as they say!
There has been a recent backlash against wellness, some saying it is an elitist fad and that ‘clean' eating can drive eating disorders. What do you think?
Good quality food and drinks should be available to everyone. I find it ridiculous that certain sites sell products at vastly inflated prices, when the active ingredient can be purchased for pence. There are many simple ways to get the same benefits or better, without buying at over inflated prices, but I guess people feel the placebo effect of the brand and fancy packaging. But turmeric root as mentioned above with black pepper is easily accessible to most. Or fresh lemon juice in warm water which is a good way to start the day, is cheap and very easy.
What is your ultimate food or drink indulgence?
We have a range of natural milkshakes - Love Shakes - which we’ve just launched. They are DELICIOUS! I’m definitely partial to one of those towards the end of the week.