“The Goal Is To Have A Business That Works, Even When You Are Not There” – Q&A With Craig Allen, Founder Of GSN

Welcome to the second instalment of our “Leaders of Yorkshire” series, uncovering the stories, experiences, and motivations of some of Yorkshire’s successful business leaders and entrepreneurs.

This week, we spoke with Craig Allen, Founder of GSN (Gold Standard Nutrition). Craig founded GSN in 2012 when he was just 21 years old and through inspiring determination, has successfully created a healthy frozen food brand which boasts hundreds of stockists up and down the country.

Interview with Craig Allen, Founder of GSN

Hi Craig, thank you for taking the time to talk with us. Please introduce yourself to our readers and tell us a little about your company, GSN. 

Craig Allen, 32, Husband, Dad of 2 and Founder of GSN. 

GSN is a healthy frozen food brand designed to offer the best balance of taste, nutrition & convenience.

We started in 2012 from the small town of Selby and as of today, have sold over 7.5 million meals, we are stocked in over 450 UK independent gyms, police ptations, universities, garage forecourts and military sites. 

The mission for GSN is to make healthy eating as affordable, accessible and enjoyable as possible as we all thrive for a healthier Britain. 

What was your professional life like before you launched GSN and what inspired you to do so? 

Prior to launching GSN, I worked mostly in retail. My first job at JJB sports earned me £3.64 an hour. Following this I worked in Ted Baker and then Selfridges before heading off to university in Manchester where I spent a year studying Business Enterprise. After a year I’d had enough and took myself out to work with the family meat trading business before taking the chance on an idea that steam cooked chicken would be a good fit for students and gym goers. 

What were the most difficult challenges you faced during your first year of business? 

Driving my converted Tesco delivery truck round the country for 15 hours a day at the restricted speed limit of 56 MPH, with 3 chest freezers and a frozen compartment jam-packed with 225 bags of chicken and finding the self belief that this little idea could one day become a successful business.

I used to have to walk into bodybuilding gyms at 21 years old and sell a concept that they had never seen before. The gym owners were usually very hard to warm up to, especially compared to retail customers and I had to get them to trust in a 21 year old’s dream. 

What was the initial overall response from your target market when you launched your first range of products and did you need to make any adaptations? 

It was a completely new concept that had only been used in restaurants and food service so people needed convincing, however once people understood the concept the feedback and response was amazingly positive, we have always battled against the preconception that frozen isn’t good for you, so our challenge as a brand is to change this perception. 

Many food products found on supermarket shelves that are marketed as “healthy” aren’t always everything they claim to be. How do GSN products differ as regards quality and nutrition? 

We stick to 2 very simple principles to help people eat healthily:

High Protein – We use quality lean sources of meat to ensure all of our foods are classed as being high in protein. A high protein diet supports an active, healthy lifestyle by aiding muscle repair and growth

Low Sugar – We choose to use low sugar carbohydrate sources to avoid the use of unnecessary added sugar in our foods. Low sugar carbohydrate sources tend to be more nutrient dense than higher sugar options and therefore better to support an active lifestyle. 

Whilst sticking to these principles, before we release anything under a GSN label we have to be sure that it ticks all 3 boxes of being; HEALTHY, TASTY AND EASY.


With a focus on protein-packed ingredients, our dishes will keep you feeling full and satisfied while providing the essential nutrients your body needs. 


Who said healthy eating has to be boring? Our complete solution offers indulgent flavours that bring variety to each day of the week.


We’ve done the hard work, so you don’t have to. Prepared by our chefs and approved by nutritionists, cook from frozen, ready in minutes.

Now we’ve entered a new year, many people will be trying to make lifestyle changes and stick to resolutions. What three pieces of advice would you give to someone keen to lead a healthier lifestyle? 

Don’t diet; change the lifestyle choices

Diets are periodically not enjoyable, people hate dieting so instead of dieting you find a balance to move more, hydrate more and replace the unhealthy food choice with a tasty healthy alternative instead

Address good habits 

Set a routine, stick to the routine and it will mold you into the person you want to be. 

Always have a GSN Meal in your freezer 

It’s the hero you look for when you finish a late shift, when you don’t want to cook or when you and your partner want to eat together but want completely different meals. Cooking up a meal in 6 minutes, saving you time, money and you’re not cheating on the new healthy eating lifestyle. 

Since launching in 2012, GSN has grown substantially and is consistently smashing sales targets and business milestones. What would you say has been your proudest achievement thus far? 

When you set up a business, the goal is to have a business that works even when you are not there. So back in November 2021 it was the day before my 30th birthday and my whole team Facetimed me to tell me we hit the milestone target for the first time ever!

We toasted over the video call and everyone was buzzing! What was even better than hitting the figure was the fact that my team had the same energy as me to succeed and hit targets. That’s when I first took a minute to sit back and appreciate the hustle, the hardship and the success of GSN

In the past two years alone, you have sold more than 5 million meals. Which are your most popular products and where do you find the inspiration for new recipes? 

The most popular product for us is the Breaded Chicken Katsu Curry ready meal.  

It’s a meal that can compete against its restaurant alternatives at a fraction of the price and superior nutritionals!  We can’t give away all of the secrets but this is handmade in the UK. Packed with 29g of protein, we use real panko bread crumbs and are topped with an authentic japanese katsu curry sauce. 

As for inspiration on new flavours we as a team are enthusiastic foodies so that helps us come up with new ideas. We work with some incredibly talented Development Chefs and we challenge the standards. We will look at what is trending on the street food scene, what worldwide flavours are trending and look at how we can make a healthier alternative without losing all of the flavaour and enjoyment. 

Initially, GSN provided high protein ready meals to the indie gym and leisure sector. Where can our readers source your products in 2024?


We work with DPD to deliver the frozen food directly to your door. 

Alternatively you can find us in a local stockist, just drop us a DM on instagram and we will point you in the direction of your nearest stockist. 

We hope to see you join GSN on our journey of becoming Britain’s best loved healthy frozen meal solution provider.

Please use promo code YORKSHIREPRESS for a discount on your first order. 

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