News, Culture & Society

Founder of Koja healthy snack empire selling 100,000 per MONTH reveals her typical daily diet

The founder of healthy snack empire KOJA has offered an insight into her typical daily diet, as well as the day-to-day exercise regime that keeps her fit while running her growing business. 

Kate Johansson, from Sydney, has her healthy peanut butter bars stocked in more than 800 supermarkets across Australia, and currently sells 100,000 of the bars each month.

Kate 33, said she launched the health food brand in 2014 after finding herself disappointed by the number of excessively processed snacks stocked on the shelves. 

Since launching, KOJA made $100,000 worth of sales in the first month at Coles and it is anticipated that it will make millions this year.

The young woman and founder of healthy snack empire KOJA has offered an insight into her typical daily diet, as well as the day-to-day exercise regime that keeps her fit (Kate Johansson pictured)

Kate Johansson, from Sydney, has her healthy peanut butter bars stocked in more than 800 supermarkets across Australia, and currently sells 100,000 of the bars each month (pictured in Coles)

Kate Johansson, from Sydney, has her healthy peanut butter bars stocked in more than 800 supermarkets across Australia, and currently sells 100,000 of the bars each month (pictured in Coles)

What is a typical day on Kate’s plate?

* BREAKFAST: Smoothie with plenty of greens (spinach, cucumber, kale, kiwi), a banana, fresh mint leaves, oat milk and ice.

* LUNCH: Vegetable soup with a piece of sourdough bread.

* SNACKS: Koja bars, fresh fruit, rice crackers and peanut butter.

* DINNER: Vegetarian curries, stews and casseroles.

* DESSERT: Chocolate. 

When it comes to her daily diet, Kate told FEMAIL that she swears by plenty of leafy greens, mainly vegetarian foods and a little bit of what she loves.

‘What I eat depends hugely on the day of the week and what season it is,’ she told Daily Mail Australia. 

‘Some days I’ll eat chocolate and pancakes, and then others I’m all green smoothies, vegetable soups and vegan curries for dinner.’

While Kate said she doesn’t plan her meals, she makes sure she always has ‘healthy snacks’ at work so as to avoid unhealthy takeaway foods.

‘KOJA are my obvious secret there, but I’ll also always have fresh fruit on hand, as well as rice crackers and peanut butter, and a few soups in the fridge,’ she said.

‘Even just keeping a loaf of sourdough in the freezer and having some avocado means you can throw together a basic working lunch without much hassle.’

A typical day on the 33-year-old entrepreneur’s plate involves a smoothie for breakfast, soup and sourdough for lunch and curries, stews and casseroles for dinner.

Kate said she loves eating vegetarian foods, but doesn’t deny herself a little of what she loves: namely chocolate and  weekend coffees and croissants.

Kate 33, said she launched the health food brand in 2014 after finding herself disappointed by the number of excessively processed snacks stocked on the shelves (the KOJA bars pictured)

Kate 33, said she launched the health food brand in 2014 after finding herself disappointed by the number of excessively processed snacks stocked on the shelves (the KOJA bars pictured)

Kate (pictured) also said she is an avid exerciser, and aims for 10,000 steps a day without fail, as well as a weekly yoga class, two or three gym workouts and a jog

Kate (pictured) also said she is an avid exerciser, and aims for 10,000 steps a day without fail, as well as a weekly yoga class, two or three gym workouts and a jog

Kate (pictured) also said she is an avid exerciser, and aims for 10,000 steps a day without fail, as well as a weekly yoga class, two or three gym workouts and a jog

Kate also said she is an avid exerciser, and aims for 10,000 steps a day without fail, as well as a weekly yoga class, two or three gym workouts and a jog.

‘I enjoy exercise as a way to relax, clear my mind and get outside,’ the 33-year-old said.

‘I don’t ever force myself to work out, but I find I do look forward to them and feel better for them afterwards.

‘Right now, I’m doing the majority of my workouts on Zoom, but I am making sure I get outside for a walk almost daily.’

What makes the KOJA bars healthy?

* Kate said when they were developing their natural peanut butter bars, she and her team tested more than 20 natural snack bars and found the average sugar content was 16 grams per bar.

The KOJA bars (pictured) have 75 per cent less sugar than your average snack bar

The KOJA bars (pictured) have 75 per cent less sugar than your average snack bar

* She said she found this shocking, given that the World Health Organisation has a daily recommended dose of 24 grams per day for good health.

* Kate said she wanted to found a range of ‘no added sugar’ bars, and the products contain 75 per cent less sugar than other natural snack bars, ranging from 4.7 grams to 4.2 grams per 30 gram bar. 

* There are several flavours available, at $3.50 each. These include Choc Chip Crunch, Peanut Caramel and Chocolate.

* Kate warns that you should be careful around products labelled as ‘no added sugar’ or ‘natural’ as it doesn’t always mean they are healthy. While natural sweeteners such as dates, honey and malt syrup are healthier for you, they are still a form of sugar and should be consumed in moderation.

* She recommends looking at the ingredients list before you buy something, as what they have most they often list first. If a product has numbers in it, it’s also recommended that you avoid it.

Kate (pictured) dreamed up the idea for KOJA several years ago, when she hung on to her regular 'day job' and launched the snack bar business working two jobs

Kate (pictured) dreamed up the idea for KOJA several years ago, when she hung on to her regular ‘day job’ and launched the snack bar business working two jobs

Kate dreamed up the idea for KOJA several years ago, when she hung on to her regular ‘day job’ and launched the snack bar business working two jobs.

The young entrepreneur took a leap the year later when she resigned from her job and appeared on Network 10’s Shark Tank.

She turned down the Sharks’ offer of an $150,000 investment in exchange for 40 per cent equity – but it didn’t matter. 

KOJA’s products sold out within 15 minutes of the episode airing and made $150,000 in sales ‘overnight’.

‘By the time the episode aired I had put every dollar I owned into stock and bought as much as possible, so it was amazing to see the response,’ Kate previously said.

She later struck a deal with Coles, and by January, the bars were readily available in every supermarket around the country. 

KOJA made $100,000 worth of sales in the first month stocked at Coles and based on the current success, the partnership is anticipated to make the business millions. 

KOJA bars cost $3.50 per bar. For more information about the bars, please click here

What is the KOJA health philosophy? 

The KOJA (bars pictured) health philosophy is that you need to eat real foods and cut the processed snacks

The KOJA (bars pictured) health philosophy is that you need to eat real foods and cut the processed snacks

1. Eat real food

Lots of wholefoods, fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, seeds, lean meat, fish, eggs, dairy, wholegrains. When you can, buy from local shops, farmers markets or at the very least know what’s in the food you eat.

2. Cut the processed food products

Too much salt, too much sugar and poor quality ingredients are used to make these products. Think fast food chains and packaged products with long lists of ingredients and preservatives. It’s not good for you.

3. Enjoy food

Know where it comes from and how it’s been cooked or prepared before you decide to eat it. Share cooking and eating with your friends and family. Even better, grow your own vegetables or visit a farm to understand your food better.

4. Relax

Find time to chill out and do the things you enjoy. Manage your stress levels and look for the positives in everyday. Your emotional state will affect the way your body digests food, and digestion is possibly the most important aspect of your health.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk