Julianne Ponan, CEO of leading free-from food brand Creative Nature has been named as a finalist in the national 'Free From Hero' awards on the eve of Allergy Awareness Week (24 to 28 May).
The awards were first started in 2008 to celebrate and raise awareness of free-from products - as well as awareness around allergies and food intolerance.
This year Julianne has been shortlisted for the 'Free From Hero' award not only for her work on her own brand, Creative Nature, but for being a voice for those with allergies and her activism around bringing about real change in allergy awareness in schools, hospitals and food labelling.
Last year's winner was the Ednan-Laperouse family for their campaigning work following the death of their daughter Natasha through anaphylaxis - a campaign supported by Julianne.
Julianne said: "I’m delighted to be shortlisted for this award and delighted to be in such excellent company. I'm proud of Creative Nature which is a challenger brand in the highly competitive food and drink sector and I’m even prouder of our performance in this extraordinary past year."
Julianne founded Creative Nature when she was just 22 and has turned it into a profitable free-from food brand to cater for people like her. Julianne has anaphylaxis and lives with multiple food allergies including all nuts, sesame, chickpeas and many skincare products and perfumes.
With her team, she has taken her life experience to create products that work for people living with allergies and intolerance. However, the products are popular across the board as they are also vegan friendly and lower in sugar.
"I am truly passionate about educating people around allergies - which are on the rise, especially among children. People like us should not feel isolated, excluded or ashamed because of a condition we cannot help. Those living with severe allergies and intolerance can live full lives - however, those lives could be made easier with more understanding and acceptance," Julianne said.
Julianne is an ambassador for the Teal App, an app designed to help families and individuals who are affected by allergies. It even includes the ability to communicate vital allergy information in many languages, quickly and easily, if a sufferer has an anaphylaxis attack in a strange place or overseas. She is also an ambassador for The Anaphylaxis Campaign which raises awareness of anaphylaxis and the risks around it.
The Anaphylaxis Campaign launches its Allergy Awareness Week 2021 next week based on raising awareness and empowering those with anaphylaxis to live their best lives. Julianne will be taking part in webinars throughout the week.
Her brand Creative Nature has also been nominated in other award categories for its innovative sweet treats Gnawbles which are free from equivalents of products such as Maltesers, M&Ms or Revels. Gnawbles come in four flavours, have significantly less sugar than mainstream equivalents and the 'cheeky hazelnot' flavour has already been an award winner. Gnawbles have been shortlisted in three categories for innovation, labelling and for a top 14 allergen-free recipe. Winners will be announced on Thursday, 27 May.
Creative Nature offers bars, baking mixes, sweet treats and superfoods which free from the top 14 allergens, vegan-friendly and nutritious. The company has won numerous awards for both its products and the performance of its team. CEO Julianne Ponan has also been named as one of the Forbes 30 Under 30 to watch.
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