Dream job alert! If there were ever life goals, it would be to fill the shoes of Terri-Ann, our Snacks HQ head honcho. Terri-Ann and her team work tirelessly every day, dreaming up mouth-watering ways to hit us with the sweet stuff, from protein-pumped brownies and blondies to, of course, Charity Protein Ballz. She’s the munchie maestro, the treat teaser, all-round good sort, who’s giving us a rare sneak peek into her delicious YF life!
You have access to a chocolate fountain, delicious ingredients, and get to taste-test treats all day… how exactly did you land the tastiest job at Youfoodz?
About 18 months ago, I was looking for a change from restaurants, and at the time, Youfoodz needed someone to cook ‘bulk pasta’. When I interviewed, they mentioned they had something different in mind for me involving snacks… I was shown through the snacks department, which was like a mini Willy Wonka chocolate factory-looking place with a few weird machines, and I thought: “This looks exciting, I’m definitely up for this!”
I remember getting excited when I used to receive a 10kg bag of chocolate at the restaurant… at YF, we make protein chocolate by the tonne!
What’s a typical day look like for you?
There’s no typical day. The coolest stuff is the menu development – I was exploring the supermarket this morning!
I get to gather up ideas and flavour profiles, and look at how we can take something ‘naughty’ and Youfoodz-it, making it healthy and adding a punch of flavour.
The role is very different now to when I first started. Initially I was on the floor rolling balls with the team and putting stickers on packs, now I’m able to sink my teeth into the business overall, and get the products right. I can only do this because I have a driven management team that support me, and an amazing production and warehouse team making the magic happen.
We make hundreds of thousands of units of snacks a week! We’re very busy – haha!
What are the most popular snacks?
- Raspberry & Macadamia Protein Blondies
- Choc-Protein Brownie
- Choc-Mint Protein Slice
- Charity Protein Ballz
- Blueberry Bliss Ball
Where do your snack menu ideas come from?
I always try to think of things that I love and that my family love, to give it a bit of meaning. Turkish delight is our favourite family chocolate; we’re all obsessed with it, so there’s no way I couldn’t create a Turkish Delight Protein Ball [Ed note: thank you!]. My mum used to make the best-ever mint slice, so that snack is a nod to her too.
I’m pretty proud of bringing in the more holistic snacks as well, like the Blueberry Bliss Ball and Cranberry Super-Bites. I definitely look at what’s popular, especially health trends.
What are your favourite YF snacks?
Blueberry Bliss Ball, the ‘Just Wing It’ Brekky Balls on Virgin Australia flights (I’m biased because I mostly try to stick to a vegan diet), and the Hazelnut Protein Balls. I always have a Blueberry Bliss Ball in my lunchbox, too.
How do you hack your snacks?
- I cut my Blueberry Bliss Balls into quarters and eat them with small pieces of dark chocolate – the darker and more bitter, the better!
- I scatter Cranberry Super-Bites and Blueberry Bliss Balls over cheese platters because they go really well with creamy, salty cheese!
- The Gone Nuts Snack Pack is also a hit on a cheese platter!
- I pop a Youtella Protein Cookie into the microwave for a little bit to warm it up and melt the choc chips a little.
- I like putting the Choc Protein Brownie in a flat sandwich press for a minute or so until it’s warm, gooey, and crispy on the outside!
What are your favourite YF meals?
What’s your best YF meal hack?
I like to add Kewpie mayonnaise and furikake seasoning (a mix of dried seaweed, sesame seeds, and salt and pepper), bonito flakes, and pickled ginger to turn the Glazed Tasmanian Salmon into a Japanese-style meal!
Can you give us any clues on any upcoming YF snacks?...
We’re working on using many more natural ingredients with health benefits... that’s all I can share!
What do you love about working at Youfoodz?
I’ve been with Youfoodz for 18 months. It’s probably the most unique place I’ve ever worked, and it’s the people I work with it that make it wonderful. It’s the whole vibe. It starts with our CEO’s enthusiasm and passion, which filters down through to everybody.
How are you supporting the It Takes Ballz charity campaign?
I was very excited when I found out we were running this campaign to raise $1 million for cancer research, and the fact that my team is so heavily involved. For us at Snacks HQ, it’s such a HUGE challenge to make 1 million balls to start with!
When I told my team it was to raise money for cancer, they were even more excited. We had a big celebration when we hit 500,000 balls made!
Unfortunately, we’re all living statistics, so most Australians are likely be impacted by cancer in one form or another at some stage. Obviously, it’s a great cause, and you’ll get a delicious protein ball for your efforts!