Interview with Patrick Woods, Managing Director of Linwoods. The Linwoods story began more than 50 years ago with a small local store owned by the Woods family. After suffering a health setback in 1994, John Woods, former Managing Director of Linwoods, became fascinated by the benefits that foods could bring to health and wellness. It was then that he discovered the nutritional potential of flax and Linwoods Health Foods was born. What started as an idea in rural Ireland quickly exploded across the globe with its range now sold in over 20 countries. Patrick is the newly appointed Managing Director of Linwoods Health Foods. Taking over from his father, John, he represents the 3rd generation of the Woods family business.
Linwoods is now led by the third generation of the founding family. How has the company developed from its beginnings to today?
Over the years, Linwoods business has expanded to include the development of innovative new products to meet our consumers changing needs. A growing part of the business strategy is to bring organic, healthy and more nutritious products to consumers, thereby satisfying the growing demand that exists for these types of products in the market place. Today Linwoods produce a range of healthy super food combinations, many of which contain Milled Organic Flaxseed, and they are a convenient, easy and quick way to gain a wide range of essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals in your diet.
1996 was a key year, how did it mark the company’s path?
In 1996 when John had a health setback, he became fascinated by the benefits of food for health and wellbeing and in 2003 Linwoods launched its ‘Health Foods’ range. From the initial Organic Milled Flaxseed, the product portfolio has now extended to include the core flaxseed range, a hemp seed range and a functional range.
Over the last 10 years the company has become fully focused in the production of health foods and has ceased trading in any other previous business interests, eg dairy or bakery goods. The team has expanded to include many experts in food manufacturing, quality standards and safety in addition to branding including sales and marketing.
«Linwoods business has expanded to include the development of innovative new products to meet our consumers changing needs»
What sparked John Linwoods’ interest in seeds?
It was in 2003 that Linwoods first initiated their interest in Flaxseed and healthy super food product. John Woods, Managing Director of Linwoods, grew up on a farm and remembered as a young boy how healthy their farm animals were when being fed on a meal of Flaxseed and how glossy the animal’s coats were. Years later whilst attending a Natural and Organic fair in the United States, John once again came across Flaxseed and recalled this memory, and it occurred to him that if it made the farm animals so healthy, then it must be good for humans also. His intrigue led him to research the benefits of Flaxseed to which he discovered the many healthy attributes it could deliver, such as:
- Omega 3 (ALA) which supports normal cholesterol level.
- Fibre which is recommended for a balanced diet.
- Plant-based Protein supporting muscles and bones.
- Magnesium to support energy levels.
- Phosphorus to maintain bones and teeth.
«Eat smart. Live better». How can things as small as seeds can have the biggest impact on our health and well-being?
Our range of healthy super food combinations, many of which contain Milled Organic Flaxseed, are a convenient, easy and quick way to gain a wide range of essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals in your diet. Eating milled Flaxseed is beneficial for our health and well being in various ways, such as:
- Digestion. The big difference between eating milled flaxseed vs whole flaxseed involves the digestion of the seeds. Flaxseed provides your body with the benefits of both soluble and insoluble fibres and other micronutrients within the seed. Milled Flaxseed can be more easily digested whereas the whole Flaxseed can pass right through your body without being digested.
- Full Nutrients Remain Intact. Our Milled Flaxseed is prepared with great care through our unique cold milling process to unlock the benefits of the seed for easy digestion and ensures the full nutrients remain intact.
- Your Body Absorbs More of the Benefits. When flaxseeds are cold milled, your body can look forward to enjoying the many benefits that are released. These benefits include protein, omega 3 and magnesium.
Why is it important to grind seeds in cold?
At Linwoods we mill all of our Flaxseed to allow the body to fully absorb the nutriments. We use special cold milling process to protect the Omega-3 and all the vital nutrients found within Flaxseed as some of them can be damaged by heat.
«We mill all of our Flaxseed to allow the body to fully absorb the nutriments»
How have eating habits changed, and how has Linwoods adapted to consumer needs?
In most recent times we have adapted to changing consumer needs and focused our efforts on growing part of the business strategy which is to bring organic, healthy and more nutritious products to consumers. During and in the aftermath of the Cornoravirus pandemic we have seen more people taking an increased interest in their Health and leading healthier lives. People are more aware of how important it is look after their Health and an increased focus on Immune support in particular.
At Linwoods we are absolutely passionate about producing healthy and nutritious foods, that are convenient and are an easy and quick way to include a wide range of essential nutritents and functional benefits through your diet, we live by this mantra when providing solutions for consumers.
Innovation is one of your strategic pillars at Linwoods. What are the keys to success? Can you give us a preview of new releases?
Innovation is difficult to get right. We have a dedicated team within the business who develops new products but we also have innovation in terms of branding, packaging and processes.
For new concepts we use internal idea generation and then follow a stage gate process where we assess demand, viability and then actual development. It is an intense process and can take time to get to launch.
Our interests at present are around organic, function and breakfast. At present we have 3 projects going through our stage gate process but for now I am keeping them under wraps. This summer we hope to launch a new range into the Spanish market so keep your eyes peeled!
Further information available at www.linwoods.com
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