A company bringing an innovative product to the sports health and nutrition market is the latest business to benefit from a Thames Valley Berkshire Funding Escalator loan, which provides government backed funding to help local businesses grow.
Reading based Macacha Health have created an all-natural, plant-based protein powder that is both organic and vegan. With the sports nutrition market dominated by products focusing on muscle gain and having a largely male appeal, Macacha founder, Inés Hermida, was keen to offer something different. Having spent several years in charge of nutritional supplements at the UK division of the world’s biggest health food retailer, Inés had witnessed the distinct lack of a high quality protein product that could tick all the right boxes, as she explains:
“The majority of protein powders contain artificial, genetically modified and chemically processed ingredients. When I set up Macacha, my vision was to create a more inclusive product that would appeal equally to women as well as men, supporting a high-energy lifestyle without a primary focus on muscle mass – all whilst being the cleanest and most natural on the market. I am pleased to say that, working with a leading natural supplements nutritionist to achieve the right blend of proteins and health boosting botanicals, we have succeeded in this aim.”
With the protein powders now available in more than 85 retail stores, including listings in all of the premium UK health food chains, Macacha is set to expand significantly over the next three years. The £50,000 TVB loan will be used to scale the marketing operation and support roll-out into further UK stores during 2018. This year will also see the addition of four new products to the Macacha offering. Whilst focusing initially on a UK wide expansion and increasing the product range, Inés and the team are also positioning Macacha to take advantage of the $15 billion global sports nutrition market, 75% of which is made up by UK and US consumers.
Ian Baker, Senior Fund Manager at The FSE Group, which manages the loan scheme on behalf of Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) comments: “By establishing the product range in premium health food stores, Macacha is targeting a different kind of customer to the big players in protein supplements. Inés has used her wealth of experience in this sector to create a distinct brand to reflect this difference – one its target market can identify with. We are excited to be supporting the company to achieve its ambitious growth plans.”
The Thames Valley Berkshire Funding Escalator is a £8.3m initiative funded by the Thames Valley Berkshire LEP. The escalator includes an Expansion Loan Scheme, Trade Finance Loan Scheme and a Growth Fund, which provides eligible companies with loans and equity funding between £25,000 and £250,000 for activities that will deliver high-growth and employment opportunities.
For more information about the Thames Valley Berkshire Funding Escalator, please visit www.thefsegroup.com/thames-valley-berkshire-funding-escalator or contact Ian Baker firstname.lastname@example.org tel: 01276 608517.