Health food start up on track for £1m sales

Start up health food brand Pip & Nut celebrates first anniversary with Holland & Barratt listing

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A natural nut butter brand, started by marathon runner Pippa Murray just 12 months ago, is on track to break the £1m sales barrier after securing a listing with health food retail chain Holland & Barratt.

Pip & Nut, founded Ms Murray with the help of a £10,000 Government-backed Start Up Loan, is made entirely from natural ingredients and is free from refined sugars, additives and palm oil. The business generated sales of £600,000 in its first year of trading thanks to the rising popularity of natural products amongst health conscious consumers.

Already available in retailers such as Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Marks & Spencer’s, the brand will now be stocked in numerous Holland & Barratt stores nationwide, creating a major opportunity for expansion.

Ms Murray, who quit her job in a science museum to start the business, expects turnover to grow towards £1.8m over the coming year, thanks to a string of new retailer listings, newly launched flavours and new ‘grab and go’ sachets.

Ms Murray originally started the business with help from Start Up Loans, the Government-backed scheme which provides low-interest personal loans, free mentoring and support for new and early-stage businesses. This support was vital to her success, says Ms Murray. Funding from the scheme enabled her to progress product testing and development, while her mentor provided expert guidance on brand development.

Today, the brand – which is also available in Wholefoods, Ocado, Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason’s and Virgin gyms – is going from strength to strength, with plans to launch two new flavour variants and target several export markets, specifically the Netherlands, Sweden and UAE.

Pippa Murray, founder and owner of Pip & Nut, said:

“As a start up, being able to finance the initial stages of your business is always going to be difficult, which is why Start Up Loans played such a vital part in enabling me to launch Pip & Nut. Not only did the cash injection help get things off the ground, but having a mentor on hand from the outset meant I had advice, support and direction when I most needed it, helping me drive the business forward and overcome the challenges that so many new businesses face. I’m hugely excited about the future for the brand and see enormous opportunities ahead for further expansion.”

Tim Sawyer, CEO of Start Up Loans Company, said:

“In just one year, Pip & Nut has grown from a great idea to a well-known brand with listings across the UK’s major supermarket chains, independents and wholesalers. With healthier treats in increasing demand from consumers, along with Pip & Nut’s unique market proposition and strong business plan, the venture is sure to go from strength to strength. There are thousands of success stories just like Pip & Nut 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.”