Why we still make Blue Dinosaur bars by hand

"Convenient food" should mean food that makes your life easier – not a hodge podge of chemicals masquerading as nutrition. Blue Dinosaur founder Mike Watts-Seale explains how the company was born out of sheer frustration with the current status quo, and what we do that makes a big difference to what you eat.

Whether food comes from a packet or from Nan's oven, it should still be food. I have never understood why foil lined, plastic wrapping gives you the right to package pure garbage and call it food. Convenient food should be just that, it should be something as good as you would make for yourself at home, put in a packet. It shouldn't be a brothel of chemicals, flavours and stabilisers pumped out of a 13 tonne industrial machine, wrapped up and sold to you as convenience.

How frustration led to creation

I started Blue Dinosaur simply because I was so sick of snack foods with ingredients that were unrecognisable and barely digestible, being my only option when I was out and about. Was it really that hard to make something good and pop it in a bag?

Turns out the answer was no, it's not. One day, after becoming particularly frustrated with some "super healthy delicious thing" I had bought which tasted (despite the beautiful fruits pictured on the front of the packet) like a space food stick that had been left in the sun for a week, I went home and made my own. I knew nothing about food but I had a think, grabbed some ingredients that I wanted to eat (walnuts, pecans, dates, coconut oil, cacao), popped them in my Mum's blender for a second, squished the nutty mixture into a tray and, hey presto, I had made a bar that was so far ahead of anything available on shelf it almost warranted its own category. I didn't reinvent the wheel, I didn't happen upon some magic formula, it just isn't that hard to make good food. So, we popped it in a packet and sat it on a shelf, and other people found it and started to enjoy it too. Blue Dinosaur was born.

Why we apply small thinking to bigger scale

As our business grew, we had to scale up. Again, this wasn't nearly as hard as the industry tried to tell me it would be. My Mum's blender turned into the biggest blender Breville had on the books, which soon turned into a beautiful, three-phase powered blender from France, which then turned into the biggest blender available for purchase commercially. One person in the kitchen turned into three, turned into nine and now sits at 27. Nothing has changed in our process, from the bars I was making on Mum's kitchen bench to the bars we make today. Nothing has changed - and it won't.

We pride ourselves on making the best bars we possibly can. We don't over process our ingredients, we don't do any magic tricks, we don't add anything you need a university degree to get your hands on, we don't use humongous industrial machinery. We make our bars exactly the same way I first made them and we do that because we believe the only reason we exist as a company is because we shirked the status quo and made snack food our way and we will never, ever change that.

Thanks for being part of the adventure.