Four UK food start-ups earn Sainsbury’s deal

Two additional winners of PitchUp initiative due to ‘high calibre of entrants’

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Four culinary start-ups have been given supply contracts with national supermarket Sainsbury’s, as part of its PitchUp with Sainsbury’s initiative.

Run in conjunction with StartUp Britain, the PitchUp competition aims to work with culinary start-ups to develop their offering from ideas to product stage.

The four winners were chosen from 10 finalists, who were invited to attend a Sainsbury’s pitching day earlier this month and delivered 30-minute pitches.

The 10 finalists also participated in insiders’ workshop sessions, led by StartUp Britain’s Emma Jones and Innocent Drinks’ co-founder Jon Wright.

Frozen yoghurt company Yolly Lolly and luxury marshmallow brand Mallow & Marsh were chosen as the pitch winners, concluding 12-month supply deals with Sainsbury’s and guidance on scaling up their business.

Due to what the programme called the ‘high calibre’ of entrants, Indian sauce brand Rustic India and children’s ready meal company Kiddyum were also awarded three-month supply contracts along with a package of mentoring.

The four brands will work with Sainsbury’s buyers over the next week to begin large-scale production of their products.

Harriot Pleydell-Bouverie, founder of Mallow & Marsh, said: “I can’t believe that I only made my first marshmallows a year ago and now it’s my business.

“To think everyone will now be seeing Mallow and Marsh on Sainsbury’s supermarket shelves is very exciting. It is such a fantastic opportunity and I cannot wait to get started.”

Oli Barrett, co-founder of StartUp Britain, added: “It’s hugely encouraging to see a leading business like Sainsbury’s behaving in such an entrepreneurial way. I’d wholeheartedly encourage other great British businesses to open their doors to start-up talent.

“They took real care to give the finalists access to their people and an understanding of how they work. The judging process was great fun, inspiring and, I must admit, delicious! Congratulations to all of the winners and thanks again to Sainsbury’s.”

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