Food for Thought – Taste Collectiv: the story so far… and seeking investment!
12 September 2018
Our story started in 2014 when we were two busy bees working hard, rocking the ‘nine-to-five’ and spending what leisure time we had on our passions in life – travel and food.
It was while travelling on a romantic trip from Rome to Venice, that we had our moment of inspiration – fresh pesto. “Food at home just doesn’t taste like this.” Often the real ingredients are substituted, diluted, then filled with preservatives and put on a shelf for six months.
We decided to challenge the stagnant industry and make something fresh: using the correct ingredients to produce authentic sauces. Our aim was to create a pesto you could enjoy as if you were dining in a top Italian restaurant.
Fast forward to 2018 and we were voted into the region’s Future50, recognised as one of the most high potential, ambitious companies in the region.
Our potential stems from the continued growth, in both volume and value, of fresh food with healthy eating picked as the most important trend in food by Euromonitor International in 2017 with “Natural foods becoming more popular, especially among younger generations.”
Although current sauce ranges in supermarkets are ambient and mainly bought by families, often on low incomes, our fresh sauces are attracting younger and older couples shunning the ambient aisles in search of natural flavour filled products.
Our link with Future50, sponsored by Birketts, has enabled us to partner with the University of East Anglia (UEA), which has given us access to the Tesco’s Clubcard database, providing an up-to-date picture of our consumer, which in turn is enabling us to adapt and deliver a product fit for today’s modern consumer.
Investment – the EIS journey begins
To make the most of the consumers shift towards ‘fresh’ and our success to date, we are now looking for further investment. We have chosen the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) as a way to raise capital as the scheme is so favourable to investors.
EIS qualifying investors are able to claim tax relief of 30% on amounts invested in new shares in EIS qualifying companies up to maximum of £1m in one year, giving a maximum tax reduction of £300,000 per tax year. On the sale of their shares, the EIS investors’ capital gains are also tax free if the shares are held for at least three years and income tax relief was claimed. A company may use this attractive tax treatment to raise up to £5m per year and a maximum of £12m in total over the life of the company.
Tax specialists such as those at Birketts can help companies to confirm, before issuing their shares, whether they qualify for the EIS scheme. It is worth investigating eligibility for EIS, since the generosity of the tax treatment afforded to EIS investors can offer potential investors in companies like Taste Collectiv a valuable sweetener.
The additional investment will enable us to take advantage of contracts offered in one of the biggest UK supermarkets and other significant catering contracts. This will involve a £150,000 investment and we have nearly completed all of the stages involved to secure funding. These are exciting times and I am hopeful that in the next edition of Food for Thought, Taste Collectiv will be reporting on a nationwide fresh sauce category in UK supermarkets.
This article is from the Autumn 2018 issue of Food for Thought, our newsletter for those working within the food and drink industries. To download the latest issue, please visit the newsletter section of our website. Law covered as at September 2018.
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The content of this article is for general information only. It is not, and should not be taken as, legal advice. If you require any further information in relation to this article please contact the author in the first instance. Law covered as at September 2018.