‘Secret’ vegetarian sausages fail to impress Dragons

By Alice Foster

- Last updated on GMT

Businesswoman Rachel Wicklow makes her pitch on Dragons' Den last night
Businesswoman Rachel Wicklow makes her pitch on Dragons' Den last night

Related tags Vegetarian cuisine Dragons

A mum turned food entrepreneur failed to impress investors with her range of vegetarian sausages on hit TV show Dragons’ Den last night.

Businesswoman Rachel Wicklow asked the Dragons for £50,000 in return for a 15% stake in her company which makes Secret Sausages, Vegetables in Disguise.

Wicklow said the product was designed to help parents, like herself, who have to smuggle healthy vegetables into their children’s meals. 

“The secret, referred to in the name, is it contains no meat, no meat substitute,”​ she told the Dragons.

Rice and seaweed casing

“It’s packed full of yummy garden vegetables and rice, natural herbs and spices, smuggled inside a unique casing made of rice and seaweed, which means it cooks like a regular sausage​.”

But the Dragons were not impressed by her pitch and the disappointed entrepreneur walked away from the Den empty-handed.

Dragon and restaurant entrepreneur Sarah Willingham said: “I think that kids should be brought up loving a vegetable for what it is, rather than trying to grate it and hide it in something else.”

Another Dragon, online greeting card business founder Nick Jenkins, agreed that vegetables should be “celebrated”,​ not merely hidden in another food product. 

‘Nothing secret about it’

Meanwhile, entrepreneur Peter Jones gave a blunt assessment of the branding strategy. “There’s nothing secret about it,”​ he said. “It’s not a sausage and you’re making no secret of the fact it’s vegetables in a skin.”  

Verdict from one Dragon

“If you’re going to crack this, it’s got to taste gorgeous.”

  • Deborah Meaden, Dragons' Den investor

Even though investor Deborah Meaden was the most interested in the vegetarian concept behind the sausages, she simply did not like the flavour of them.  

“I don’t think they taste very nice and I don’t think the texture is very nice,”​ she said. “If you’re going to crack this, it’s got to taste gorgeous.”

At the end of the programme, Wicklow admitted that she was disappointed by the response to her Secret Sausages. She said: “I felt it went downhill very quickly.”

The range of gluten-free sausages includes chilli and coriander, rosemary and garlic, Cumberland, Honey Bee and cheese & spring onion flavours.

Meanwhile, more successful in their bid to wow the investors were Tags crisps​ founder John Tague and founders of Korean food firm Yogiyo​.

Other bids this month

  • Husband and wife team get £50,000 investment for Korean sauce firm Yogiyo 
  • Business partners fail in bid for investment in gluten-­free range, Rule of Crumb
  • John Tague gets £125,000 investment for Tag crisps business

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