Discover the amazing story of 2die4 Live Foods - the world's first activated nut brand, created from a passion for Slow Food and a desire to promote health and sustainability.
This story starts in 2004, in Byron Bay, in the kitchen of a bloke named Clive Lawler. Clive loved food. In particular, he had a passion for Slow Food – traditional methods of organic farming, local artisans, fermentation, pickling, preserving, sour dough bread, and the enjoyment and satisfaction provided by these nuanced varieties and flavours.
His experiments with fermentation led to the creation of recipes for the preparation of walnuts, almonds, and pecans. These delicacies proved to be extremely popular with his friends and it wasn’t long until he started selling them to local health food shops and cafes, and so 2die4 Live Foods was born and the (now universal) name “Activated Nuts” was coined.
A few years went by and the popularity of activated nuts continued to grow. In 2007, Clive’s long-time friend Jon Henning was brought into the operation to help keep up with demand. They moved out of Clive’s kitchen and rented a space in the Byron Bay Arts & Industry area, and acquired some commercial ovens that they had modified specifically to slow-dehydrate the nuts at low temperatures.
Before long, 2die4 Live Foods Organic Activated Nuts & Seeds were available Australia-wide, and were even popping up in Asia. A sister-company emerged in Germany to cater to the European market. Clive retired from the business and Jon shifted up a gear. By this time the rented premises were too small for production requirements, so Jon designed a factory for the sole purpose of activating, packing, and shipping activated products. At this time, he also commissioned the manufacture of world-first dehydration machines, using his years of knowledge and experience so that timing and temperatures could be tailored to optimise the flavours and textures for each individual variety of nut or seed.
The range of activated nuts and seeds was augmented with the addition flavoured nuts, activated mueslis, and the creation of other health food snacks utilising “superfoods” such as hemp seeds and cacao.
At the end 2021, after 15 years Jon was ready to hang up his apron once and for all. The only problem he faced was: who could possibly pick up this project and develop the potential it offered?
After long and careful deliberation, he had only one answer: Matt and Karen Ward.
With a remarkably similar story, Matt and Karen founded Honest to Goodness as a small “cottage-industry” venture, and through years of hard work have grown into one of the great success stories of the Australian Organic Industry, culminating in winning the Australian Organic Retailer of the Year in 2021.
After a few discussions, both parties agreed that the fit was good, and the rest, as they say, is history.
2Die4's Modern Rebranding: A Sustainable Nod to Heritage
In 2023, 2Die4 officially launched a rebranding with a fresh new look and feel that includes a new logo and packaging design. The new packaging reflects the brand's heritage and home with a modern, clean look, featuring a sketch of the lighthouse on the packaging as a nod to Byron Bay, while the waves and sand link back to the old kraft paper bags. The packaging updates include a modern coastal palette and subtle prints for flavoured and fancy snacking products, and it gradually replaces the old packaging to reduce waste. Additionally, the new packaging includes updated nutritional and origin information and is recyclable through soft plastic recycling programs, making it not only visually appealing but also environmentally friendly.
Looking to the Future
At 2die4 Live Foods we aim to continue just as we started – using the best quality certified organic produce, and tried and true bespoke preparation methods to ensure that our product remains the premier Activated Nuts and Seeds, so (and most importantly) that you get the most enjoyment and nutrition from eating them!
As per the survey conducted by the 2die4 crew, the top-ranking activated nuts were the Tamari Almonds, followed by the Activated Trail Mix and Masala Cashews, both developed by in-house foodie Lilly. Pecans, Brazil nuts, Pistachios, and Macadamias also received honourable mentions, while Mixed Nuts and Salted Maple Hemptations were other noteworthy options. Trust us as experts, these activated nuts are not only tasty but also nutritious snacks to keep you fueled throughout the day. Read on for a brief description of each nut and why they made it to the list of the best activated nuts:
1. Activated Organic Tamari Almonds: These premium almonds are activated and seasoned with the finest Tamari for a deliciously satisfying snack that will keep you coming back for more.
2. Activated Organic Trail Mix: Packed with activated nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and puffed sorghum, this 100% organic trail mix is the perfect snack to keep you fueled and energised throughout your busy day or outdoor adventures.
3. Activated Organic Masala Cashews: These curried cashews are sweetened with crushed currants and are a tasty alternative to Tamari Almonds. Try them for yourself and see why they might just be even tastier!
4. Activated Organic Brazil Nuts: From the forests of South America, these activated Brazil nuts are rich in vitamins and minerals. They are long-soaked and slowly dehydrated, making them a heavenly and nutritious snack.
5. Activated Organic Pistachios: These creamy and flavoursome pistachios are light on the digestive system and packed with absorbable nutrients. With their rich, earthy flavour, they are a delicious and healthy snack option.
6. Activated Organic Macadamias: These buttery and creamy macadamia nuts are activated for maximum nutrition and flavour. They are a satisfying snack that will leave you feeling satisfied and energised.
Why do we activate nuts and seeds?
In the beginning it was to aid digestion, but we soon found out it enhances flavour and texture.
“Activation” is a traditional method of food preparation and preservation developed by many indigenous cultures around the globe, notably the Incan and Mayan cultures. It is commonly used to prepare nuts, seeds, grains, legumes, and beans. The process is simple; the food in question is first soaked in water (often salted) and then dehydrated – historically in the sun, but in more recent times in purpose-built dehydrators that maintain specific temperatures to preserve nutrients.
The soaking process is used to induce germination; water is absorbed resulting in the rehydration and expansion of cells, which leads to the resumption of metabolic processes such as cell respiration, along with other structural changes in the plant embryo. Essentially, we are “activating” the life in the dormant nut. This sprouting process breaks down phytic acid, which is present in the outer coating of many of these foods and impairs the absorption of some minerals.
The dehydration process is then used to capture the enlivening transformation and preserve the just-activated state and all the nutrients that have become available.
Whilst there is little in the way of solid scientific evidence (yet) that activated nuts, seeds, and other foods are healthier or more nutritious than their raw form, there is no doubt that activation greatly enhances the flavours and textures of the food, and the gratification and comfort provided in the eating!