Healthy snacking brand secures £250k funding to expand and create jobs

Carly and Joe Taylor

NPIF-Maven Equity Finance, managed by Maven Capital Partners and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, has invested £250,000 in healthy snacking brand Real Handful.

The funding will allow the Hazel Grove business to invest in product development as well as its sales and marketing activities to develop its commercial offering and expand its team, creating 14 jobs in the Manchester region.

Real Handful is a healthy snacking brand that produces a wide range of naturally flavour-infused fruit, nut and seed snacks.

Products are vegan-friendly, high in fibre, and (plant) protein, free from gluten and refined sugars.

Real Handful also caters for children with its ‘KidsBundlz’, a healthier alternative for the children’s treat snack sector.

The business already supports an impressive client list of high street brands and major UK retailers, including Tesco, ASDA, Sainsbury, Waitrose and Holland & Barrett.

The UK snacking market is worth £8.33bn.

There is currently a shift towards healthier and more natural-ingredient containing food and Real Handful is well positioned to benefit from the steady decline of chocolate and other unhealthy snacks as consumers switch to healthier alternatives.

The business was established in June 2013 by husband and wife team, Joe and Carly Taylor, who have more than 20 years’ combined experience in the FMCG market prior to Real Handful’s launch in 2016.

Joe was part of the Innocent Drinks Commercial team responsible for new launches like ‘This Water’ and innocent juice. Carly spent 15 years at The Authentic Food Company in Sharston, Manchester, most latterly as head of marketing.

Tom Morgan, investment associate at Maven, said: “We’re delighted to support Real Handful, it’s an exciting brand already supporting an impressive client list across the UK.

“The business is operating in a growing segment of the snacking market and demonstrated this potential in 2019 with turnover increasing >100%. We look forward to working with Joe and Carly as they embark on a programme of further growth.”

Joe Taylor said: “Maven’s investment arrives at a very exciting point in time for Real Handful.

“Since launch in 2016 we’ve been able to establish an award-winning company, brand and range of snacks. 2019 was a breakthrough year for us as major retail customers began to share our vision for bringing a fresh approach to the fruit and nut snacking category that delivers incredible flavour.

“We are now focused on our mission to inspire more UK consumers to make healthier snacking choices and look forward to working with the team at Maven, benefiting from their considerable experience, on this journey.

Sue Barnard, from British Business Bank, said: “We are pleased that NPIF has continued to support high-growth businesses in the North, providing vital funding to enable job creation and expansion into new markets.

“This investment demonstrates how this funding can make a real and measurable difference to businesses across the Northern Powerhouse region, which helps create a more prosperous regional economy.”

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.