Highly Commended: Plum
Susie Willis, Founder and Creative Director
The Plum brand is now seven years old. What do you consider to be the secret of its success?
Plum’s success is due to a number of reasons. It was created by a mother – me – for mothers, knowing how important it is to give little ones the very best start in life by feeding them real food for babies, not just baby food. All Plum recipes are packed with quality organic ingredients that are wholesome, highly nutritious and taste great – convenience with no compromise.
If you had to sum up the Plum philosophy in one sentence, what would it be?
Helping mothers to do the best they can by giving them the re-assurance and confidence to introduce their babies to a world of tasty, adventurous, wholesome and organic food.
Why do you think parents trust your brand?
Plum prides itself on using the best quality organic ingredients, avoiding the use of any salt, sugar or any other nasties.
How has the company changed and evolved over the years?
I am a former chef and mother of three and I founded the company at my kitchen table – cooking up recipes that I knew my own baby would love. I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit, having previously established and run my own successful Purple Plum cookery school. However, my real moment of inspiration came after the birth of my third child; on returning to the baby food aisles after a gap of nearly eight years, I was disappointed to find that little had changed. I decided to do something about it, combining hmy two main passions in life – children and good food.
What do you consider to be your flagship product?
Plum was the first to create a fromage frais for babies which has been an incredible hit since it launched last year. As a result of its success Plum has now introduced a new range of fruity yogurts that are flying off the shelf.
Do you have any advice for parents of fussy eaters?
The first year is perhaps the most important when it comes to establishing good eating habits – it is important to introduce a variety of tastes and textures as early as possible.
Do you have children yourself?
I have three children – Ben, 18, Honor, 16, and Francesca who is eight.
How did you find weaning your children?
I know only too well that weaning can be a stressful and confusing time for parents. This is why Plum works hard to take the worry out of weaning, building parents’ confidence and their baby’s appetite for healthy, wholesome and adventurous ingredients.
What is your children’s favourite food?
As a baby, my eldest loved squash and sweet potato puree as he started to move on to solid foods, encouraging me to become more adventurous with tastes and textures when weaning the subsequent two. All our Plum recipes are versions of foods that I have created for my own family throughout the years, and tend to evolve from my love of using natural, organic ingredients.
What was your favourite food as a child?
As a child my favourite food was chicken, parsnip and peas.
Do you think that the food we give our babies and children is better now than say a generation ago?
Yes, definitely – there is so much more variety readily available these days. I think that as a market leader and innovator, Plum has done a lot to help modern, busy parents. Our delicious recipes provide babies with a variety of the most nutritious ingredients, in handy pots and pouches – the next best thing to homemade without the guilt!
If you could introduce one thing to better our children's diets in the UK, what would it be?
Quinoa. We add this gluten free nutritious wholegrain to all our smooth stage 1 products. It has a mild cereal flavour and is gentle on a baby’s tummy. It’s also a great stepping stone to stage 2 weaning, when your baby can try alternative proteins such as meat, fish and cheese.
What next for Plum?
We have several exciting plans ahead with our focus, as ever, on helping mothers by creating the best ranges of delicious tasting recipes for babies and toddlers.
See our Highly Commended Little Dish review