Dragons's rejection spurs on Secret Sausage maker

By Alice Foster

- Last updated on GMT

Dragons' Den
Dragons' Den

Related tags Sausage

A food entrepreneur whose vegetarian sausages were spurned by Dragons’ Den investors has pledged to continue her battle to build up the brand. 

Businesswoman Rachel Wicklow, from Scotland, failed to win investment for her range of Secret Sausages, Vegetables in Disguise, on the hit TV show aired on Sunday night (August 23).

Wicklow felt “devastated”​ as she walked out of the Den empty-handed, but remains determined to succeed after being overwhelmed by the positive response from viewers.

“If anything, I’m more determined that we have got something that consumers can really relate to,”​ the mother turned entrepreneur told FoodManufacture.co.uk.

‘Watch this space’

“I’m going to take a little bit of time to review the feedback from the Dragons. Watch this space. I would love to see Secret Sausages on shelves near everybody who enjoys the product.”

Reaction from viewers

 “I have had the most amazing support come through from loyal customers who love them and consumers who love the space and territory of secret sausages.”

  •  Rachel Wicklow, director at Secret Sausages

The ‘secret’ in the name refers to the fact that the rice and seaweed sausage casing contains vegetables instead of meat or meat substitutes.

On Dragons’ Den​, she faced criticism over the branding with some of the investors complaining that vegetables should be celebrated, not hidden in another product.

But since then, Wicklow said there has been an outpouring of support for Secret Sausages and even indignation that investor Peter Jones did not understand the idea of vegetarian sausages.

‘Most amazing support’

 “I have had the most amazing support come through from loyal customers who love them and consumers who love the space and territory of secret sausages,”​ she said. 

Wicklow said that the pre-cooked sausages were unfortunately left on the side while the television crew prepared to film the episode of Dragons’ Den​.

“My only regret was I didn’t cook live on the show because the one bit that let me down was the product taste,”​ she said.

During the programme, investor Deborah Meaden backed the vegetarian concept behind the sausages, but said she did not like the taste or texture of them.

“I don’t blame Deborah for her comments, but I would love her to try them freshly cooked. Then she can actually try them how they are meant to be served instead of dehydrated and sort of dead at the back,” ​Wicklow said.  

Summing up her feelings, she said: “It’s been a bit surreal, out of body, just phenomenal, amazing and weird experience, all rolled into one.”

Failure to impress the Dragons is not necessarily a barrier, as shown by James Nash​ who designed a machine that fills plastic goblets with wine and seals them.

Another Dragons’ Den reject, Dan Cluderay​, founder of surplus food distributor Approved Food, has also gone on to achieve success. 

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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