38. Bold Bean Co

Using quality heirloom ingredients, Bold Bean Co aims to get us all eating healthy, delicious legumes that won’t cost the planet.

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Marketing Award Shortlisted

To recognise the startups that demonstrate the most creative and effective method for building early-stage brand awareness.

Startups 100: Marketing Award

Founder: Amelia Christie-Miller and Ed Whelpton

Year founded: 2021
Website: boldbeanco.com

Beans may be a pantry staple, but they are rarely the protagonist of a dish. The creaminess of butter beans, or the richness of chickpeas, is usually the supporting singer in the symphony of flavours within a recipe.

While studying abroad in Spain, and battling a sangria-induced hangover, cofounder of Bold Bean Co, Amelia Christie-Miller discovered a delicious jar of butter beans that she felt deserved to be sung about. “My little legume appreciation turned into a full-on obsession,” she recalls.

As she dug into the jar of creamy heirloom butter beans, she had an epiphany: ‘why weren’t more people eating beans?’ Her lightbulb moment would translate into a business dedicated to uplifting the value of beans.

In a bid to awaken people’s palettes, Bold Bean Co is a new F&B brand that makes tasty, premium beans, including butter beans, peas, chickpeas, red kidney beans, and black beans packaged in stylish recyclable glass jars.

Bold Bean Co has come a long way since that night of sangria and dancing. In last year’s Startups 100 Index, it ranked in position 86 and has since climbed its way up thanks to a variety of achievements. 

Having become operationally profitable in 2023, and gained B Corp certification, the startup has grown 100% year-on-year. It also won a book deal for its publication “Bold Beans: recipes to get your pulse racing”, which became an instant Amazon bestseller.

Both the Bold Beans, and its recipe book, are set to fly off the shelves in 2024. The world is becoming increasingly environmentally-conscious and while most challenger brands have focused on meat-alternatives, natural protein sources like chickpeas had “bean” unexplored – until Bold Bean. 

In an effort to change the way we view a staid F&B category like beans, the founders have also focused on sharing what they have coined ‘beanspo’, where the company shares tasty ways to cook the product to its 70k followers across TikTok and Instagram.

This word-of-mouth method has consistently brought brand success. In May 2023, Amelia filmed herself discovering that her beans were out of stock at a Waitrose store. The video went viral, amassing more than 100,000 views.

Impressively, Bold Bean Co is now populating the aisles of multiple big grocery names in the UK. Planet Organic, Selfridges, Gorillas, and most recently Sainsbury’s, have joined the company in its goal to make more Brits eat beans.

Bold Bean Co will continue to pursue its mission to become an international household brand for all things legumes. In short, it wants to be known as the brand that made the world love beans.

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