Kids’ jam startup Fearne & Rosie has secured £450k to support the next stage of its development and turn its reduced-sugar spreads challenger brand into a household name.
The funding will be deployed to help grow the Fearne & Rosie team and invest in product innovation and marketing, as well as build retail distribution.
TwinklHive, the investment arm of online educational publishing house Twinkl, lead the round as core investor, with support from other backers such as female-focused angel investment community Obu.
Ex-teacher and mum of three Rachel Kettlewell launched Fearne & Rosie in 2019 with a mission to create a healthier offering in the spreads category.
Its range of jams contain 70% more fruit and 40% less sugar than traditional rivals, using all natural ingredients.
Fearne & Rosie has so far gained retail listings with Ocado, Waitrose, Booths, Amazon and Morrisons stores in Yorkshire, where the brand is headquartered.
It is also growing rapidly thanks to its appeal to families and young adults, with sales up more than 400% in the past 12 months and the business on track to hit £5m turnover by 2025.
Fearne & Rosie also won backing from serial fmcg investor and entrepreneur Giles Brook in 2021 after turning down a £40k investment offer from BBC’s Dragons’ Den.
“I’m delighted to have the backing of such amazing investors,” Kettlewell said.
“I’m excited to be working with them on driving the strategic development of Fearne & Rosie, helping propel the business from challenger brand into the nation’s favourite jam brand. All our investors share our vision of wanting to make a positive impact, and I believe the next 12 months will be truly game-changing.”
The B Corp has also forged a number of charitable partnerships to support vulnerable children across the UK, including with FareShare and Children in Need, with the latter earning the brand a place on the shortlist for Consumer Initiative of the Year at the 2023 Grocer Gold Awards.
“With obesity rates in both reception-aged and year six school children showing the highest annual rise since the National Child Measurement Programme began, something needs to be done to turn the tide,” Kettlewell added.
“Offering families healthier alternatives is a must.
“As the only challenger healthier family jam brand, Fearne & Rosie is in a unique position to try and effect change. This fundraise will help us achieve our goal of nationwide distribution of Fearne & Rosie jams across key channels, retailers and schools, as well as begin to build a targeted school support programme.”
Jonathan Seaton, co-founder and CEO of Twinkl and director of TwinklHive, said: “Rachel’s hard work and passion is clear, and we are excited to see how the business will grow over the next 12 months.”
Obu co-founder Sarah King added: “Rachel’s startup story inspired us and the Obu community from the get-go. Fearne & Rosie is a great example of a purpose-led, innovative, commercially strong female-founded business. The type of business that, as we increase the number of diverse angel investors in the UK, has an opportunity to really flourish and grow.”
As well as investment from Brook and Pip & Nut founder Pippa Murray, Fearne & Rosie has also previously raised almost £340k in a Seedrs crowdfunding campaign at the start of 2022.
Brook said: “I’m delighted to be helping Rachel shape the future of healthy spreads through Fearne & Rosie, bringing incredible taste and health in unison through her HFSS-compliant, more fruit, less sugar, family-focused proposition.
“Performance is already well ahead of buyers’ expectations, which makes this even more exciting as a B Corp insurgent brand.”