A fruit crisps entrepreneur is to launch a new range of snacks for children after completing a successful crowdfunding campaign. Nimisha Raja will take her Nim’s Fruit & Veg Crisps brand to a range of trade shows and launch a marketing push after 71 backers pledged more than £22,000 in her product. The figure is the largest raised on the BackIt crowdfunding platform run by Tesco, having launched the initiative with a £20,000 target in October.
Unlike traditional crowdfunding platforms, which swap investment for equity, Nim’s invited people to pledge as little as £5 in return for a variety of rewards. Ms Raja, who launched the Sittingbourne-based business in 2014, is in talks with a major retailer about launching multipacks of her crisps and with a distributor with access to more than 5,000 schools in the UK. She will use some of the cash to employ a part-time sales person, who will be responsible for liaising with potential stockists and pushing the first four varieties of apple, carrot, courgette and pear.
She said: “When we set the £20k target we knew it was ambitious compared to previous raises on the platform, but we also recognised it was the level of support we needed to give our ‘Kids Range’ the launch it required. “To actually surpass what we needed shows the appetite in this country for healthier snacks and ones that parents feel happy to give their children, knowing they taste great, look good and offer lots of vitamins.”
The crisps, which are fat, gluten and dairy free, are manufactured at its facility in Trinity Trading Estate, Sittingbourne, where it is capable of producing more than 12 million packs a year. The company aims to produce between 300,000 and 500,000 children’s packs this year. Katie Hewitt, new business manager at Tesco BackIt, said: “This is our largest ever raise on ‘BackIt’ and proves that the platform is doing exactly what it was set up to do…to get fantastic independent producers out there in front of a captive audience.”