Wheyhey new packaging

WheyHey is among the brands selected this year by Tesco Labs

Wheyhey, Grenade and Deliciously Ella are among the 14 brands to have been chosen by Tesco for its 2018 incubator programme.

The annual initiative from Tesco Labs, launched four years ago, aims to drive growth, innovation and strategy for selected fmcg startups and SMEs “through a mix of business services, support, and people”.

The year-long programme offers resources including workshops, discounted access to Dunnhumby data, access to Tesco’s media outlets, and one-to-one support from the supermarket’s partnership team. Past participants have included Lily’s Kitchen, Propercorn and Sipsmith.

Juliet Barratt, chief marketing officer of sports nutrition brand Grenade, said she was “over the moon” about being chosen by Tesco. “It’s a great opportunity to be recognised as a brand with huge potential for growth.”

Barratt co-founded Grenade in early 2010. Last year, Grenade experienced triple-digit value sales growth, becoming worth a market-leading £6.5m [Nielsen 52 w/e 9 September 2017]. The business was “growing like a weed”, she added, and Tesco was now “working out what to do with it”.

For WheyHey, participation in the incubator programme marked “the next milestone for us in our great partnership with Tesco” said the high-protein ice cream brand launched in 2013. Its founder, Damien Kennedy, added that the supermarket “became a partner very early on in our journey, and making us as part of this incubator shows its commitment to offering consumers real choice in healthy eating”.

The news comes soon after WheyHey secured £3m from UK investment syndicate Adjuvo, with the backing including support from a group of high-profile, experienced business people such as former Weetabix CEO Giles Turrell, Saga CEO Lance Batchelor and Alan Parker, chairman of Mothercare.