The rise of Keto and low carb thinking in the UK – Meet SRSLY Low Carb

SRSLY quickly established a passionate 250,000 loyalist following, becoming Amazon’s single largest provider of low carb bread whilst simultaneously exporting to 15+ overseas markets.

Over the years key food movements have been central to shaping our nation’s food fixtures, be that the emergence of an organic sub-category, the rise of gluten & dairy free, the seismic vegan/vegetarian landslide and most recently the rise of good gut health and functional health.

The ketogenic diet, commonly known as the “keto” diet, is a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet that aims to put the body into a metabolic state called ketosis. In ketosis, the body burns fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates. Low-carbohydrate diets, on the other hand, simply restrict carbohydrate intake without necessarily inducing ketosis. Both diets can lead to weight loss and helping manage medical conditions such as Diabetes.

Keto has been the number one diet in the US for 5 consecutive years, and a recent STATISTA UK survey highlighted that Low Carb is now the most followed diet in the UK too, overtaking Vegan by 4:1.  The survey went on to say that today’s ’Low Carb’ following is now equal to the combined total of Vegan and Vegetarian and Pescatarian, which is incredible when you think about it!                                          

Perhaps more incredible still is this food movement initially built its momentum online, via B2C websites that fuelled the arrival of future category pioneers like Hunter & Gather, Boost Balls, The Keto Collective and most recently SRSLY Low Carb.

The 1st incarnation of Keto & Low Carb was for the most part protein-based snacks tasked with providing a meaningful energy lift for healthier living lifestyles without resorting to lazy sugars or cheap, processed fillers.  The arrival of brands like Hunter & Gather and SRSLY Low Carb were game-changers since they took low carb thinking from on-the-go to the kitchen table. 

Back in 2019 SRSLY Low Carb was born from personal circumstance.  Andy was a ‘blue-chip’ corporate type living in airport lounges and boardrooms. Taking an unfortunate turn and collapsing on a work flight home, he made a decision to take a break from the corporate treadmill. With a love of sport his new love was training for the world’s top ten Iron Man race.

This was the moment Andy discovered the benefits of a ketogenic lifestyle. Overnight the transformation from both a mental and physical health perspective was incredible, but the one hankering was his love of high carb treats like a bready sandwich or a bowl of pasta – both off the agenda for ketogenic thinking.

Nine months later, working alongside a handful of ‘small batch,’ artisanal bakeries resulted in the creation of a fledgling range of ‘game changing’ low carb breads. Sales snowballed within 4 weeks he went from selling 2-3 a day to 12,000 loaves a week.

SRSLY quickly established a passionate 250,000 loyalist following, becoming Amazon’s single largest provider of low carb bread whilst simultaneously exporting to 15+ overseas markets.

Two and a half years down the line and SRSLY’s range has significantly extended to include pizzas, wraps, ‘not-cross’ buns, fruit loaves, low sugar jams and essential condiments.                       

Late 2022 was also the moment that the young business embraced a belt & braces branding makeover (website, packaging, literature…) have realised that they needed to adopt a more approachable, vibrant persona to crack bricks & mortar retail (delis, food halls, farm shops, coffee shops & sandwich chains, foodservice and perhaps most importantly of all the game-changing supermarkets).

It should also be explained that the ambitious SRSLY vision stretches far beyond being a supermarket success story.  Major plans are already afoot to significantly extend the brand’s export footprint as well as reaching out to the influential hotel, hospitality, foodservice & airline sectors.  SRSLY are already forging a number of meaningful alliances, elite sports organisations (Oaklands College, Pro Cycling) or the NHS (SRSLY’s products are already actively championed by two leading NHS trusts).     

It’s worth noting that the NHS already has 40+ ketogenic clinicians on its books and two trusts are already working with SRSLY Low Carb to help their Ketogenic patients. SRSLY Low Carb’s other consumers buy specifically for weight loss (80%) and diabetes (50%) 

According to SRSLY founder, Andy Welch, ‘My mission when I started was to make ketogenic thinking both more accessible.  Collagen tablets and protein powders are all well and good but for any credible food movement to truly take root it’s critical that they make their presence felt within everyday real food & drinks aisles.  Our battle is bigger than simply being a significant voice within the UK’s dynamic ketogenic movement, it’s about the ongoing fight against misleading labelling, hidden sugars, synthetic nasties and over-processed food solutions.’

In April 2023 SRSLY are taking over a London Restaurant to host the launch of their revised brand and first equity raise as a result of significant interest building both over the pond and across Europe.