The London Crisp Co.
We believe we are experts in the snack industry and what we are offering is an investment opportunity in not just one, not two, not even three, but FOUR incredible snack brands. Each of which enables us to target a different sector of the >£2bn UK snack market.
Whilst our number one priority is to grow our existing brands, we are constantly on the look out for new trends and thinking about new ideas; an investment in this company is not only an investment in our existing brand portfolio but also in our future brands and NPD.
We are delighted to announce we have signed a contract with ex-footballer and international movie star Vinnie Jones to become our "Global Brand Ambassador". Our first step is to launch a special edition "Salt & Vinnie-gar" flavour crisp.
First up is The London Crisp Co., which is a fantastic brand that has already secured a great foothold in the premium crisp market in the UK and formed the basis of our previous funding round. Created to really shake up the hand-cooked crisp market, the stylish designs encapsulate what is cool about London. We have already made incredible progress on this brand since our last funding round and we expect this to continue over the next 24 months.
Next we have The London Popcorn Co. (www.thelondonpopcornco.com) which is primed to launch and has already secured a listing in Tesco, including meal deal participation. By capitalising on our existing customer base, we hope to further increase our presence on shelf and achieve traction very quickly. Where The London Crisp Co. showcases the neighbourhoods and places of London, The London Popcorn Co. showcases the people of London, or as we like to call them, London's "Urban Tribes". Made in London (of course!), the brand is witty, incredibly cool and very eye catching.
Our Awfully Posh brand is about the finer things in life. It is about shunning nasty, needless ingredients and about making delicious products. The current product range consists of two flavours of pork crackling, and a new traditional pork scratching which allows us to tap into the growing meat snacks market.
The final brand is a highly exciting multipack concept, which unfortunately we are unable to discuss details of publicly due to us having IP protections pending. However, we believe it is a very exciting development in the snack industry and are very excited to launch.
Substantial accomplishments to date
The London Crisp Co.:
◆ Now available in the Fuller's pub estate across London.
◆ Listed in a large number of Tesco stores for our 40g single serve bags, including prestigious participation in the £3 Meal Deal.
◆ We launched our new 150g sharing bags, which have secured regional listings in both ASDA and Waitrose.
◆ As part of a new export deal our crisps are available in over 7 countries throughout the Middle East.
◆ Both of our pack sizes are now available at the famous Selfridges Food Court.
◆ Tendering for two large airline contacts, including the world's second largest airline by number of passengers carried.
◆ Secured listings in 3 key wholesalers giving access to thousands of independent accounts across London and the UK.
The London Popcorn Co.:
◆ Secured a listing in a number of Tesco stores launching in October, including participation in the £3 meal deal.
◆ Secured a listing in Tesco stores nationally, launching in September.
◆ The first pork snack to win a Gold Great Taste Award.
◆ Achieved national listings with Waitrose, Ocado, Whistlestop and Amazon.
◆ Fantastic press coverage (including the Daily Mail and Daily Mirror).
◆ Sent our first container to Australia as part of an exciting export deal.
We continue to implement a very simple, low overhead and lean capital business model. Rather than needlessly hire administrative and accounting staff, we have partnered with an experienced third party to handle our 'back office' in its entirety.
This third party holds our stock, processes the orders, and does the invoicing and cash collection.
This cost-effective solution saves us the overheads of hiring staff, the worries and cash flow difficulties that come with running a complex debtor book, and most importantly allows the team to concentrate on growing our brands rapidly and generating a brilliant pipeline of new products.
Use of proceeds
We intend to grow our sales team in order to continue to drive the business forward and to continue to generate new business and listings. We want to hire a new National Account Manager to look after the Food Service and Independent Sector and we also plan to create a £50k marketing pot which will be used to drive trial and awareness of our entire range of products.
We believe everyone loves a great snack. So ultimately, our target market is anyone who likes their food to taste great, but wants it made properly. Our research revealed that more and more consumers really care about the ingredients that go into food, and want to avoid horrible artificial things like MSG (which is why we never use it in any of our products).
There is little doubt that, despite appeals for healthier lifestyles, the UK has an insatiable appetite for savoury snacks. However, we believe that you do not need to compromise on the ingredients and production processes to deliver great tasting snacks. For example, our Sea Salt crackling is the first pork snack to win a Gold Great Taste Award, yet it is made with just two ingredients, contains zero carbohydrates and is high in unsaturated fat (which is good for you because it contains omega fatty acids). Of course, all snacks should be consumed as part of a balanced diet. We believe that our snacks beat the competition hands down when it comes to the purity and simplicity of our ingredients.
Our key target demographic is 18-40 ABC consumers, who care about what they eat, but still want it to taste great. We see them as part of the Highly Affluent, Wealth Achievers and Urban Prosperity groups. Our brands are cool and fun and are targeted at young professionals and families who feel the same way.
Characteristics of target market
The crisps and snack market in the UK is not only fast growing, but is also currently seeing unprecedented levels of M&A activity. For example, Tyrrell's, a manufacturer of a range of snacks including crisps and popcorn, has recently been acquired by an American popcorn manufacturer for £300m. Metcalfe's Skinny recently sold their popcorn and healthy snack business to Kettle Chips, and popcorn brand Propercorn has closed a deal to sell a minority stake to a private equity firm that values the business at £25m.
According to The Grocer magazine, in 2014 sales of crisps, nuts and snacks grew 6.1% to £2.2bn driven by increased prices (up 3.6%) and higher purchase frequency (up 3.5%), which is impressive given the deflation in prices across the food industry as a whole.
In 2015, the market grew by a further 2.1% to £2.3bn and the sharing bag crisp market grew 4.5% to reach £579m. This is a market we are strongly attacking with our new sharing bags with The London Crisp Co.
Since our last fundraise, we have significantly grown our product range by adding a new 150g sharing bag to our crisp range as well as adding the sister brand The London Popcorn Co. This strong portfolio of brands, is complemented by a very exciting NPD multipack concept which is currently under development.
We couldn't be launching popcorn at a better time. The popcorn market is currently growing at an astounding 38% YOY. The average UK consumer now consumes nearly 5kg of popcorn every year.
Since our last fundraise, our routes to market remain the same:
► 1. Multiple retail:
At the time of our last fundraise, we dealt with just Waitrose and Ocado. We are pleased to announce we are now stocked in those two, in addition to new listings with Tesco, Selfridges and Asda and we are in discussions with Sainsbury's and Morrison's. Despite being challenged by the discounters, the Big 4 grocers (Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda, Morrison) command 73% of the total UK grocery market, and they are our biggest target.
► 2. On-trade:
After a successful trial with Fuller's brewery, since our last fundraise our entire crisp range is stocked in their entire London estate of pubs and hotels. We are confident of adding to the range of products we supply to them with our range of popcorn and pork scratchings.
► 3. Independent trade:
London and the UK is full of great independent farm shops, delis, coffee shops and food halls. Since our last fundraise, we have picked up 3 key London based wholesalers who distribute to independent cafes, delis and coffee shops. As part of the fundraise, we are a looking to hire a dedicated Sales Manager to help drive growth in this sector.
► 4. Travel Sector:
We have developed a 20g single serve bag of crisps, and are developing a small single serve bag of popcorn with which we intend to strongly target the travel sector, in particular airlines.
► The London Crisp Co.:
◆ We "ousted" Tyrrell's (one of the market leaders in hand-cooked crisps) from over 100 Fuller's pubs.
◆ Against a backdrop of a highly competitive sector of the UK grocery market, we were able to very quickly achieve listings with two major supermarkets in the UK, with further listings currently pending.
► The London Popcorn Co.:
◆ Like our crisps, our popcorn designs are unique and incredibly vibrant. Each flavour has it's own character from one of London's "Urban Tribes" and is set against a different London backdrop or skyline. We believe it is this incredible shelf presence, along with our great tasting flavours, that will set us apart from the competition.
► Awfully Posh:
◆ We compete at the high end, super premium sector of the food and drink market and ensure that our products taste great, as proved by being the first pork snack to win a Gold Great Taste Award.
◆ We shun artificial ingredients and use the purest, simplest ingredients to make great tasting products. For example, our Anglesey Sea Salt Crackling contains just two ingredients: pork and sea salt.
◆ We use bold colours and simple iconography to ensure our products have an excellent shelf edge presence.