Scottish startup snack firm expands business with new technology ahead of healthy growth forecast
A healthy snack vending machine business is launching its first cashless machine in London following a successful second year of trading, with profits predicted to more than treble from £40,000 to £150,000 in the next two years.
Healthy Nibbles was founded two years ago in Scotland by ex-branding consultant, Sara Roberts, with the help of a £20,000 Government-backed Start Up Loan. The idea was born when she returned to the UK after living in Kenya for eight years, and became frustrated with the lack of healthy snack foods available to consumers on-the-go.
The popular vending machines use SMARTvending technology and are located in offices across Scotland, including the BBC headquarters in Glasgow, tapping into the health-conscious professional market.
The startup firm’s latest innovation in vending technology is its first ever completely cash free vending machine, designed in response to the growing popularity of cashless payments. It launches at leading advertising agency Bogle Bartle Hegarty’s offices in Soho in April.
The business also operates a healthy snack box delivery service, and is introducing a new snack box filled with child-friendly treats which are available to order online.
Stocking over 250 branded products, Healthy Nibbles caters for a range of dietary requirements and preferences including paleo, vegan and gluten free, only stocking food and drink which contain wholesome ingredients with no chemical additives.
After originally starting the business using her own funds, Sara approached Start Up Loans, the Government-backed scheme which provides low-interest personal loans, free mentoring and support for new and early-stage businesses, to provide a second injection of capital to expand the company.
Sara’s next steps are to develop her own range of products to stock in Healthy Nibbles vending machines, with the help of nutritionist and brand ambassador, Amanda Hamilton, who has previously presented health food shows including BBC’s ‘How to live longer’ and ITV Tonight’s ‘Food, Facts and Figures, the Great British Diet.’
Sara Roberts, managing director of Healthy Nibbles, said:
“The health food revolution sweeping the nation, combined with the ever-increasing demand for convenience and snacking on-the-go was the catalyst for the launch of Healthy Nibbles. Support from the Start Up Loans Company was essential in enabling the business to continue to grow and remain at the forefront of the latest vending technology. I’d encourage any startup business owner to bear in mind that there are a range of funding options out there to support you at every stage of your growth journey, even if you’re already set up.”
Tim Sawyer, CEO of Start Up Loans Company, said:
“Healthy Nibbles came to us as an already successful business, but needed extra capital to invest in assets to help it adapt to the ever-changing needs of consumers and fully embrace the movement towards digital payments. There are thousands of success stories just like Healthy Nibbles who’ve got their businesses off the ground with a Start Up Loan. Our message to anyone thinking of starting a business is that there’s support out there to help you succeed.”