30. Candy Kittens

The popular gluten-free, gourmet confectionary brand with a celebrity founder at its helm…

Founders: Jamie Laing and Edward Williams
Founded: May 2012 (Launched February 2014)
Website: www.candykittens.co.uk

“As I grew up, I found that the sweets I liked didn’t grow up with me”, remarks Made In Chelsea star-turned-entrepreneur Jamie Laing in his Startups 100 entry.

In 2014, Laing finally got to make his dream of being a real-life Willy Wonka a reality when – alongside friend and business partner Edward Williams – he launched gourmet confectionary brand Candy Kittens.

Using natural ingredients, flavours and colourings, Candy Kittens is on a mission to reinvigorate the confectionary market with its range of “tongue-tingling”, gluten-free sweets in flavours such as sour watermelon, Eton mess, sour blueberry and sweet pineapple.

Now stocked with Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Ocado, as well as WH Smiths, BP forecourts, River Island, Missguided and Tesco Express, the company has recently also embarked on its first brand collaboration with Hello Kitty. A partnership that has seen it launch a brand new sour apple flavour in Topshop stores nationwide and as far afield as Paris, Berlin and New York.

Up 10 places on last year’s ranking, Candy Kittens achieved a sweet £1.3m revenue for 2016 and a cool £400,000 in profit and is already on track to more than double turnover in 2017.

A relative of Sir Alexander Grant – the man credited with inventing the digestive biscuit – if Laing’s confectionary heritage is anything to go by, he and Williams have got a lot to offer yet.

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