Founders Interview | Alexei Khatiwada @ Lexi's Crispy Treats
At Lexi’s, we make lighter treats a JOY to eat!
Fed up of ‘healthy’ snacks that are often surprisingly high in calories and low calorie snacks that tasted like cardboard, I set off on a mission to a create a range of delicious sweet treats which were only 99 calories, super satisfying and hit the sweet spot… without the guilt factor!
Why did you become interested in the world of snacks & drinks?
I’ve always enjoyed whipping up something tasty in the kitchen and really enjoy seeing big smiles on faces when people eat something I’ve made, so it was a natural choice for me!
What inspired you to do what you do?
I wanted to create a lower calorie snack that was genuinely satisfying and would allow people to indulge without overindulging.
I also spotted that no-one had ever reinvented this childhood favourite for the better and thought I could create a range that could tick a whole bunch of boxes!
What current & future trends does your product meet?
My ooey gooey Crispy Treats are a childhood favourite, made with healthier ingredients and new exciting flavours.
‘Nostalgic’ comforting foods that are reinvented for the better are on trend and I think one of the big reasons customers LOVE our Crispy Treats
We’re also big with customers looking for ‘healthier indulgence’ as we make our Crispy Treats without any artificial flavours, colours, preservatives, sweeteners or unsustainable palm oil… and they’re only 99 calories!
‘Permissible treats’ are a big thing right now and we cater to the average person trying to be relatively healthy, as well as those really watching the calories (e.g. following a programme like Slimming World)
We’ve also reinvented the marshmallow to be vegetarian, which is on trend at the moment.
Finally, our Crispy Treats are a real hit for those looking for gluten free and free from products. This trend shows no signs of slowing down and consumers are becoming more demanding – we offer a product that is free from 10 allergens AND doesn’t feel like a ‘free from’ product. Customers LOVE this!
What did you do before starting your company & what made you take the leap into entrepreneurship?
I was a senior manager at several large banks heading up the Loans and Overdrafts teams. I wanted to do something I truly loved, so I decided to give it all up and started whipping up my own Crispy Treats in an east London kitchen in October 2019
What has been the hardest part of starting your business?
Finding new avenues to sell the treats! I sold over 30,000 Crispy Treats directly to consumers via Instagram in the first month, so I know the demand is there from consumers, who really do love the products.
It just takes a long time to introduce them to new retailers, especially as I launched bang in the middle of the Covid situation!
What has been the BEST mistake you’ve made & why?
Quitting my job to put smiles on faces with my Crispy Treats.
I’m poorer than ever, but I’m also happier than ever and I’d never change it for the world!
What do you think are the key skills required to make yourself & your business a success in the world of snacks & drinks?
I think it’s the ability to move quickly, have confidence in yourself (people laughed at my idea at the start) and work really hard to get your product out there.
I’m naturally a perfectionist so I was a little nervous about getting prototypes out into the world, but the quicker you do that, the quicker you learn, so just grit your teeth and get it out there for real customer feedback.
I was lucky to have launched and had amazing reviews on the whole, but I’ve taken the ‘constructive feedback’ on board quickly and we’ve already made drastic improvements.
What is your favourite meal?
What do you do to make yourself relax?
Who told you there’s any time to relax in this business?
What is your No.1 thing you want to achieve/do on your bucket list?
I love travelling – I’ve visited just short of a 100 countries and hope to visit every country in the world at some point.
This business isn’t leaving me much time to even get one more country onto my list at the moment though!