• Written by Elena Eckhardt

From rural beginnings to a multi-million dollar health food company - how Narelle Plapp is successfully challenging the multinational brands

When Narelle Plapp was growing up in the small town of Ballarat she never thought she would one day create one of Australia’s leading muesli brands, Food for Health, with a turnover of over $5 million.

The success of Food for Health is no secret. It is now one of the leading muesli brands in the “health food” category in Australia. The products are sold throughout all the major and independent supermarkets and are currently Virgin Airlines preferred health food partner. Narelle plans to continue creating innovative products and create a stronger focus on exporting. Food for Health currently exports to 14 countries.

The seeds of her future business were sown from the age of 13 when Narelle she began to develop skin problems and so her mother took her to a naturopath. Narelle fell in love with the philosophy and learning about the importance of good nutrition and the many added benefits that came with it. As a result she began her path into naturopathy and eventually established Food for Health.
As a naturopath Narelle wrote meal plans for her clients to combat a variety of different digestive disorders. She developed two mueslis for her patients to incorporate with these plans and the results were incredible. She began to sell the muesli separately until she realised how high the demand was for the product and created Food for Health out of this need. Food for Health was officially born in late 2005 and the brand has grown to incorporate a range of products including muesli, gluten free muesli bars and muesli pods.

“All the ingredients in Food for Health products are both nutritious and functional. I have always been passionate about creating nutritious food for busy people and when creating new products, I always keep my mantra “food is medicine” top of mind. I love that we create healthy products for people and we always find a solution to a problem,” says Narelle.

Ten years after she first began Food for Health and after giving birth to two children, Narelle is a busy woman. Between managing a growing team to breastfeeding and playgroups Narelle still holds that same passion for her company than when she first started.

However, despite all of Narelle’s success she has encountered some setbacks and tragedies throughout her journey.  “About 14 years ago my niece suffered from an allergic reaction to nuts and tragically, due to a lack of knowledge in the community about the issue, she lost her life. This happens more often than people think. I have always been a strong ambassador of allergy friendly foods and this pushed my passion even further,” says Narelle.

“I make sure my company focuses on health, functionality and allergy friendly products with a lean towards gluten free. We have improved and developed our products substantially over the years and we will only continue to push ourselves further,” says Narelle.

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