One Planet Pizza gets dough for growth
- Credit: One Planet Pizzxa
One Planet Pizza, the Future 50 food company launched by father and son Mike and Joe Hill, is poised for dramatic growth after securing a £365,000 investment.
A significant contribution came from the angel investors in the Anglia Capital Group who backed the Norwich-based business, with £90,000. A Dragon’s Den style pitch to New Anglia Capital, the equity investment fund set up by New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, secured a further £25,000 and the rest came from other private investors, and plant based investment funds.
"We’re using the investment to make some serious improvements to our production site in Hethersett,” explains Joe. "We know that we can triple our capacity within a year once these changes are made and we can double quite quickly within the next six months.”
The firm is also working with the University of Lincoln to boost production. “They have a government-funded scheme for SMEs that want to automate or start using some form of robotics," says Mike. “We’re looking at areas around what is basically an incredibly manual process at the moment and seeing how we can use some of the new smart technology to improve that.”
The increase in capacity is essential for securing the supermarket listings that will propel the brand to the next level. “We’re in conversations with a couple of major multiples about where our pizza fits into their range,” says Mike. "We’re a bit like the Ben and Jerry’s of the pizza world: the challenger brand, the premium brand.”
One Planet Pizza's USP is being plant-based, healthy (with less salt, sugar and saturated fat) and environmentally sustainable, with zero-to-landfill packaging and a 54% lower carbon footprint than other pizzas.
“We’re also looking at co-manufacturers, to see if we can get our pizzas made to the same quality using the same ingredients and sticking to our sustainability credentials,” says Joe. “So even if tripling our capacity here doesn’t keep up with demand, we have another contingency.”
For more information, see www.oneplanetpizza.com