*Capital at Risk*
In the midst of our Crowdfunding campaign, we now have just over a week to go until we close – which means we are mere days away from you missing out on the chance to invest in what we’re up to. If this doesn’t immediately inspire you to head to our Crowdcube page, you might want to read our pros & cons for investing.
The campaign has been a big success so far and we are pleased to announce we’re now overfunding, but there is still a lot more to do and we’d love you to help us reach our stretch target of 450k. Overfunding means we’ve hit our original target, but we are still open to new investment and with it we can fast-track our plans and move forward with our mission to make better snacks that improve lives, that will include a bigger investment in marketing and sampling, creating more jobs in the NW region, launching more unruly products and opening up new sales channels to spread the word and drive Real Handful to profit, so that we can be here to stay.
Crowdcube interviewed our Co-Founder Joe to find out more about the unruly world of Real Handful and our big plans on Crowdcube.
Why do you think Trail Mix is the solution to our snacking problem and just what is Trail Mix anyway?
Good question, it’s a traditionally American snack that is usually a combination of dried fruits, nuts, seeds and sometimes chocolate or sweets. It is designed to give the perfect mix of fast and slow-release energy so the snack is commonly taken on hikes, which in a likely turn of events is how I stumbled across it.
Our Blood Orange Burst Trail Mix in Porridge
I was training for an Ironman a few years ago and went on a big hike through the Grand Canyon, I purchased a bag of Raisin, Peanut and M&M’s Trail Mix and have been hooked ever since. What is so great about Trail Mix, is that you can see the ingredients you’re eating. It’s minimally processed and is mainly made up of really nutritious dried fruits, nuts and seeds.
How does Real Handful differ than other snacks on the market?
What makes a ‘Real Handful’ Trail Mix different is the fact we make mixes with ‘unruly flavour’. So from infusing our raisins with a natural Peppermint flavour or covering our coffee beans in a Belgium dark chocolate! It’s this focus on flavour that makes us think Trail Mix could have such a positive impact in the UK. The average UK consumer snacks on approx. 11kg of chocolate each year but does this really fuel us?
We want to inspire people to make a switch to something like our Trail Mixes that still contain up to 20-25% dark chocolate. Because that indulgence is blended with natural ingredients, if that average consumer swapped to Trail Mix then across a year they would consume over 2kg less sugar, 1.3kg less of saturated fat whilst also adding more than 1.5kg of natural plant protein and fibre to their diet. That kind of switch can have a huge impact on how we feel and our general health.
So tell us about the journey at Real Handful, how did you get started?
Upon returning to the UK from the US, we were waiting for another brand to launch Trail Mix, but as no one did, Carly (my wife and business partner) and I took on the challenge ourselves. We registered Real Handful in 2013 (the name for the company dropped into my head while I was walking the dog one day) and spent the next 3 years working evenings and weekends to develop the range.
By the start of 2016 we had found the right suppliers and factory partners to help us pull the range together – I had plucked up the courage to leave my full-time job, Real Handful was alive!
We started initially working with customers like Holland & Barrett and Ocado and lots of lovely independents in London and the South East. In 2017 we launched with Sainsbury’s and things got a bit more serious, we realised that we needed to invest further to create a standout brand so we raised further funding from Angel investors, primarily based in the North West.
In 2018 we launched Real Handful 2.0 with our new branding that has gone on to win 4 International Design awards. We also took this opportunity to expand our range with the addition of our Trail Bars format which again has become award-winning in the past 12 months. With this much more compelling brand identity the major retailers that we set out to support started to really take notice. It all lead to a bonkers start to 2019 as we launched with ASDA, Waitrose and finally Tesco all between February and June. This all leads us to this fund-raising round and our desire to keep up the levels of growth we saw in 2019.
Real Handful 2.0
And you’re a husband and wife team running a start-up business. We assume life is full of peace and tranquillity then?
Ha ha well Carly joined the business full time in March 2019, a real landmark moment for us as we went ‘all in’. Running a business and looking after a young family of three boys at the same time can definitely be chaotic and challenging, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.
So what is next for Real Handful in 2020 and beyond?
Well, first, of course, we’re looking forward to closing this over-funded round and bringing the community of Crowdcube investors into our Real Handful family. We’re hoping they can all be fantastic ambassadors helping us to spread our mission at Real Handful.
But our plan this year is to really support the amazing customers that are already stocking our range so we will have the right promotion and marketing plan to support this.
We will also be busy in the first half of the year launching our new savoury Trail Mix range, we’re planning to focus this on Foodservice customers and will be exhibiting at the World Travel Expo in Hamburg in April/May to target airline and rail customers looking for this kind of offer.
Alongside all of this we’re expanding our team with at least one new recruit and following up with many possible new customers that we’re in conversation with.
One thing is for sure, it’s never going to be quiet at Real Handful HQ!
Remember Capital at Risk!