Founded by entrepreneur Pippa Murray, now 33, Pip & Nut launched to the market in January 2015 and has been shaking up the healthy food and drink sector ever since. Now seven years old, Pip & Nut can be found in over 6000 stores around the UK and Ireland. We caught up with Pippa to discuss why not all nut butters are created equal and how veganism has impacted on sales. 

Pip & Nut founder Pippa Murray

Pip & Nut founder Pippa Murray

What motivated you to want to create a new nut butter brand?

So many mainstream products these days are highly processed and the ingredients are so far removed from what you’d find in your kitchen. It's a big part of what’s driving the obesity crisis in this country and it has to stop! When it comes to the nut butter category it’s exactly the same. All the products in this space are filled with palm oil and heavily processed. I knew there was a better way of doing it and in doing so help to change the food system that we operate in, create products that people will really love and that are good for them and the planet too!  

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur? What did you do before owning your own business?

Running a business was never something that I imagined myself doing. In fact business wasn’t really anything I knew about – growing up my dad was a doctor and my mum was a nurse so much of what I heard and learnt from them was about the NHS. Naturally I always thought I’d go into the charity or public sector.  Despite not going down that path, in many ways I’ve brought a lot of that thinking with me to my business. One of things that I love about running Pip & Nut is that as a brand you have such a platform to change the world. You can have a positive impact on the communities and environment around you and in doing so reframe the traditional way of doing business. It used to be purely about delivering profit and value to shareholders, which we do but while thinking about how we can increase value for the planet and society at the same time. Placing these three things on an equal footing means you think about business in a totally different way and are able to deliver a meaningful impact on society. 

Please tell us about the process of making your first jar through to selling it to millions of consumers. 

I started Pip & Nut from my kitchen table with just some jars and some nuts. I’d sell my products that I’d created in my kitchen at markets at the weekend whilst I did my day job and every week I’d sell out. I learnt so much about what people wanted in those early days at the market and they gave me the confidence to scale up the brand. It took nearly 2 years to scale up the products from the market stall which involved finding a manufacturer, creating the brand identity you see today and raising some investment. Our first customer was Selfridges and in the first year we landed big retailers like Holland & Barrett, Ocado and Wholefoods but it was when we achieved a listing with Sainsbury’s that things really started to move. Since then, we’ve launched into all the major supermarkets in the UK and have grown our footprint through broadening out our product range to include more flavours and formats.

You have recently moved from plastic to glass jars, so how difficult was this to do and should other businesses do the same?

From start to finish it took about two years to make the switch from plastic to glass and there was a huge amount of complexity and cost involved, from designing and testing our new glass structure to working with retailers to make the change across all 7000 stores. What a lot of people don’t realise is that by changing something like this you’re effectively creating a whole new product with new weights, dimensions and materials, so it has ripple effects on your whole supply chain. 

With the recent surge in veganism has the demand for nut butters increased?

As a naturally plant based protein nut butter has continued to gain relevance with consumers especially those that follow a vegan or flexitarian lifestyle. What’s also brilliant about nut butter is that compared to other proteins it has one of the lowest carbon footprint which means it’s both good for you and good for the planet.

What tips do you have for other women who want to start up their own business?

The product is queen!

Focus on making sure there is a consumer need and gap for your product and then relentlessly focus on bringing the best product to market. A business's success is all dependent on creating a brilliant product, so don’t rush the process and make sure your product is better than the rest. Even today we’re continually improving our product and finding ways to make it even better.

What are the benefits of eating nut butter and how do you enjoy it in your everyday life

Nut butter is a natural source of plant based protein which means it helps give you fuel for your day. I still eat it every morning with granola for my breakfast.

How are your nut butters different from the other brands that have gone before?

As a starting point, none of our products contain palm oil, unlike most conventional peanut butters. It means they are 100% natural and as a result naturally separate over time. When they do separate consumers simply have to stir the oil back in. We’re also the best tasting nut butter out there, which is down to using the best single origin nuts that we spent years searching for. We use 4, out of over 40, types of almond in our almond butter and a special variant of peanuts called hi oleic which we specifically choose for their taste. Then comes how we make our products. We make everything in small batches to ensure the best quality of products every time and roast and mill our nuts within 24 hours to lock in as much flavour as possible.

Many of your products are vegan so is this a lifestyle you've adopted yourself and did you always want to have a mostly vegan range?

I’m not vegan however increasingly I’m choosing to eat more plant based everyday. Pip & Nut’s ethos when it comes to food very much stems from my own belief system that it’s all about a healthy balance and positivity when it comes to food. Most people, including myself, will switch from eating healthy in one moment to indulging in the next and as a brand we’d never judge anyone’s choices, neither do we preach about health. 

MORE: Founder of 3D printed vegan vitamins explains why we should be taking personalised supplements

by for
find me on and follow me on

Tagged in