Cassandra Spies, founder of Australian frozen yogurt company Twisted healthy Treats, started her business because she believes sharing treats with your children is an essential part of life’s rich fabric. But she also believes that fun shouldn’t come at the expense of your health.
Here, Cass shares her incredible story about creating healthy products that taste good with The Carousel.
As a team, everybody at Twisted Healthy Treats is completely obsessed with creating the world’s best frozen desserts that not only taste great but are great for you. At its heart, Twisted frozen yogurt is all about having the creamiest, purest, and most delicious treat possible but without all the calories.
When I look back to 2009, when I was just starting up the company, that’s what I always wanted our products to be, products that are better for our customers. My inspiration for the company came from a trip to the frozen dessert aisle in a local supermarket. I was looking for a frozen treat to share with my daughter but after looking in the freezers, I couldn’t find anything that tasted delicious and was good for you. That’s when I had my lightbulb moment because I realised there was a gap in the market that wasn’t being filled by the big multinational manufacturers.
My passion and focus about our products, both the ones on the shelf today and the ones that we will create in the future, have crystalised during the past two to three years. I am very clear about what the company stands for and where our products fit in the marketplace. We stand for creating deliciously& decadent treats that are actually good for you.
Our products are all natural and gluten free and we use all-Australian produce wherever possible. I am deeply passionate about using Australian produce because I absolutely believe that the food we grow and create here in Australia is the best in the world.
From the moment when I started the business, I had a sense of wanting to do good things and during that past two to three years that motivation has become even stronger for me. I think expanding into the US market has helped to focus our mission and be extremely clear about what we stand for as a brand and as a business.
With that in mind, we have two products that I think are incredibly innovative. We have a probiotic light ice cream product Twisted Probiotic Minis that is extremely innovative both for the Australian market and the US market. It’s quite cutting edge. Fortifying products with probiotics is huge in the US and it is starting to gain some momentum down here in the Australian market, too. Probiotics have a whole range of health benefits such as strengthening your gut microbiome and stimulating your immune system.
The people who purchase the probiotic ice cream product love it, but they are early adopters so in the life cycle of our ice cream we’re in the early stages and we’re keen to see where that leads us.
The other product that I am extremely proud of is our keto ice cream stick called 99% Sugar Free LICKS that is available nationally in Coles Supermarkets.. I think that with the growing number of people who suffer from diabetes, both globally and here in Australia, and the need to reduce our consumption of sugar makes this an extremely exciting product. It has no refined sugar in it, whatsoever – zero. When you eat and enjoy these sticks, it leaves you with such a sense of nourishment and none of the impact on blood sugar levels that other sugar laden options result in.
And while we concentrate on creating products that are healthy, we always put taste at the top of the list of criteria. People are never going to buy a product, no matter how healthy it is, if it doesn’t taste any good. But that where our magic happens. We create healthy products that taste incredible. And the truth is that is what brings our customers back time and time again.
As far as inspiration for new products, I spend a lot of time looking at what is happening in the US market. In terms of ice cream, novelties and frozen treats, the Australian market tends to be influenced by the direction of the US market.
I always want to make sure our products are best in class. A recent example is our frozen yoghurt cups, that are on the shelf in Woolworths and available in school canteens nationally. A year ago, this product had a health rating of 3.5 stars out of five. We went to work and started looking at how we could make that better. We took some sugar out and put more fresh yogurt in, and now we have a product that is even creamier, more delicious and even better for your with a health rating of 4 stars out of five.
I want us, as a company, to always put our best foot forward and make sure we produce the best products possible. I believe that is important.
Customers today, I believe, are much more highly evolved than customers from even a few years ago. What I am trying to develop for Twisted Healthy Treats is a sense of trust.
I want our customers to know that when they see our brand on the shelf or in the freezer that we have created a product that they can faith in. I want them to know that we will always create the healthiest options for them and that it will be the healthiest version of that product available.
As I said earlier my inspiration for Twisted Healthy Treats came from a visit to the supermarket aisle. Wellness has always been a part of our focus but at the same time I’m not a mother who says you can’t have treats, or you can’t have chocolate, or you can’t have ice cream. I’m someone who believes in balance. And it is fun to share a frozen treat with your kids. But I also believe that you should be able to do that without taking a toll on your health.