A specialist food producer has secured £500,000 from the East of England Regional Loan Scheme to support the growth of the business.
Hemel Hempstead based Keeto Life, which produces food under its Seriously Low Carb brand, has created a range of award-winning keto and diabetes friendly food that includes bread rolls and loaves, pizza, flour and bread mixes, with pasta currently in development.
The company’s 170,000+ customers seek low carb foods for a variety of reasons that include helping to manage health issues such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome, drug resistant epilepsy and GLUT1 deficiency.
The funding will be used for product development, sales and marketing and to recruit new staff, which will enable the business to expand into the retail and food service sectors and re-establish itself in Europe in the post-Brexit environment.
Keeto Life founder and CEO, Andy Welch, said: “We’ve created a range of innovative foods that have disrupted the low-carb market, attracted a substantial loyal customer base and delivered thousands of five-star reviews. Pre-Brexit we were selling into 15 EU countries but logistical issues halted this. With recent developments in courier services making the EU accessible once more, we are now in a position to re-target this market as well as take up a number of other opportunities, including with supermarkets, the NHS and in education settings, and the regional growth loan will help us accelerate this and capitalise on our first-to-market position.”
Not only do keto and low carb remain some of the most internet searched diet and health related terms, health services are now also recommending these diets for certain conditions. However, despite the NHS endorsing keto and low carb diets, clinicians have confirmed it can be difficult for patients due to the lack of satisfying keto and diabetes friendly food on the market. Keeto Life’s Seriously Low Carb products are recommended by NHS ketogenic clinicians and are being made available in some NHS settings.
Simon Elliott, Investment Manager at The FSE Group, which manages the loan scheme, added: “Andy and his team have looked beyond the snack market to fill a gap for real low carb foods and their 80% repeat purchase rate speaks for itself. Despite being a new company, Keeto Life has achieved significant traction and brand recognition with a pipeline of opportunities within the food service and retail sector, as well as across new international territories, that place it on a high-growth trajectory. We are delighted to be supporting them and look forward to working with the team as the company expands.”
The Regional Growth Loan Scheme (RGLS) is managed by The FSE Group on behalf of Local Enterprise Partnerships in the East of England. Loans between £50,000 and £500,000 are available to established incorporated businesses based within the East of England that have a minimum annual turnover of £100,000. The funding can be used for a range of growth activities as well as to service short to medium-term trade and contract finance requirements. The scheme aims to stimulate job creation and economic prosperity and supports SMEs that have the potential to deliver high-growth and employment opportunities across the East of England region.