PHOTOGRAPHY BY AMY MAIDMENT
WORDS BY VICTORIA McINTYRE
Craig’s career as a performance nutritionist has seen him work for Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, as well as care for Formula racing drivers.
Craig noticed that team sports organisations have a tendency to prepare meals with European cooking techniques and flavours. Given the diversity amongst the athletes he worked with, he felt nutritional food could be bolder, more daring, more varied.
SZND was born; a food and online brand that supports elite athletes with meal prep, and offers home dining. Craig’s greatest ambition is to engage a new generation with food and nutrition through SZND, using his experience in sport and culture to inspire.
Craig talks to us about his experiences as a nutritionist in the world of football, and his vision for SZND.
Where did the idea for SZND come from?
SZND is a food and digital brand. When I was working in Premier League football, I would look around and see a really diverse playing staff. There was often a lot of conventional European cooking techniques and flavours and I thought there was scope for food to be a bit more varied, a little more daring, a little bolder. Footballers in top teams might be in hotels preparing for matches 40-50 times a year and speaking to some players, particularly younger athletes and those from non-European backgrounds, mealtimes could feel a bit repetitive. I’ve seen how this can lead to a lack of engagement towards nutrition advice so I wanted to offer a service that brought a bit more variety and excitement away from their clubs.
What does SZND offer?
There are two arms to it. The initial part came from a tangible food offering. SZND offers a very small-scale meal prep service, although I’m stepping away from that and moving towards a home dining and catering service, but the second arm of SZND is the online brand, and that is where my big passion lies. Reflecting on the issues that I would see in football, I recognised that similar concerns exist on a societal level. We know health is such an important thing, but we’re not adequately engaging younger people with nutrition. We keep doing the same things and repeating the same messages, so I wanted to create a brand to address that. SZND is food and nutrition through the lens of sports and culture. I’m trying to use my experiences and the people that I have worked with and the practices of popular athletes as a hook to engage Gen Z, that 16 to 25 age group, with nutrition.
Read Craig's full interview in Issue 01 of Club71