Food manufacturers launch crowdfunding campaigns

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Creative Nature and Northern Bloc have both launched crowdfunding campaigns
Creative Nature and Northern Bloc have both launched crowdfunding campaigns
Food and drink processors have been increasingly turning to crowdfunding platforms for investment in their businesses, with some achieving great success.

Last week, free-from food company Creative Nature – previously named the UK’s small business of the year​ by the Federation of Small Businesses – almost hit its £350,000 target in less than a week. The company’s campaign is now 93% funded by 241 investors of various sizes.

Julianne Ponan, Creative chief executive, said: “We cannot thank everyone enough for coming on board and trusting us to see through our plans for growth.

“It’s humbling that people want to be part of our journey and trust us to commit to our plans and to our business ethics around sustainability and being as green as possible.”

Ponan said the money would be used to develop new products, increase brand awareness and grow the number of staff at the business.

Hit the target

The campaign was launched to the public on 20 August and runs for 60 days until Friday 19 October 2018. Creative has to hit the £350,000 target to get the funding.

Ice cream maker Northern Bloc has also turned to crowdfunding to help raise money for the expansion of its current business. 

The manufacturer is aiming to raise £400,000 through the Crowdcube platform to fund the development of manufacturing and storage capacity, improving sustainability and driving research and development into vegan, low-sugar and protein varieties of its products.

Co-founder Josh Lee said: “Myself and Dirk Mischendahl founded the company in summer 2014, starting off as a street food trader out of the back of an old Bedford van. We saw a gap in the market for using fresh ingredients in ice cream, as it was an area that had been stagnant terms of innovation.

“We're aiming to raise capital to help us grasp opportunities and maximise our potential in the UK and beyond. Crowdcube will give us a range of investors across the UK and a group of people connected with the brand who can guide us.”

Successful crowdfunding campaigns

A number of other food and drink manufacturers have launched successful crowdfunding campaigns in recent years.

In March, Leeds-based brewer Northern Monk Brew Co smashed its £500,000 crowdfunding target​, raising more than £823,000 of investment in less than a week. The company hit its target in less than three hours, receiving investment from 600 backers.

Vegetarian pizza business Purezza hoped to supplement its recent £35,000 investment​ in its ‘vegan cheese’ factory from Pitch + Plant with crowdfunding on the Crowdcube platform.

Last month, artisan chocolatier York Cocoa House opened a manufacturing facility​ in York city centre, after securing successful crowdfunding and grants from the Leeds City Region and University of York.

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