Freja is growing 400% each year and has sold one million units since launching in 2020

Bone broth startup Freja has secured £2m in investment from a string of high-profile sporting figures and fmcg heavyweights to drive its next stage of expansion.

Former Unilever boss Paul Polman and serial investor Giles Brook have backed the business, alongside Childs Farm founder Joanna Jensen and Kiddylicious founder Sally Preston.

They all joined Bayern Munich and England striker Harry Kane and Olympic triathlon champion Alistair Brownlee in the £2m fundraising round – the company’s second to date.

The funds are earmarked to help the business fast-track expansion overseas, support NPD and grow the team.

Founded during lockdown in 2020 by husband and wife team Jess Higgins and Ed Armitage, Freja makes a range of premium bone broth from all-natural ingredients.

The brand, which is on a mission to bring back bone broth as a household staple, is growing rapidly, with projected revenues of £6m in the 2023/24 financial year after selling more than one million units since launching.

“This is our most significant fundraise, and one we believe will not only help us accelerate our growth here in the UK, but support our international expansion, taking us one step closer to our goal of becoming the number one bone broth brand in Europe,” Higgins said.

“We have had the most phenomenal start to our journey, but it’s just the beginning for us, and to have so many incredible people on board as we embark on the next phase demonstrates the size of the exciting opportunity ahead.”

Giles Brook, who has a substantial portfolio of fmcg brands including Pip & Nut, Bio & Me, Cheeky Panda, Neat, Fearne & Rosie and Love Cocoa, added: “I’m delighted to join the bone broth revolution and help Ed and Jess grow Freja to its true potential.

“Consumers are increasingly adopting bone broth into their daily routines and when you consider the variety of consumer needs and occasions that bone broth transcends, the projected scalability is vast. Consequently, bone broth is tipped to become a leading ‘power category’ within the next wave of consumer trends that will fuel future food and beverage market growth.”

Harry Kane, who backs a number of food & drink brands including Insane Grain, Bio & Me and Urban Legend, said: “The natural health benefits of bone broth are undeniable and as someone with a keen interest in health and nutrition, Freja felt like the perfect investment opportunity for me. It’s clear bone broth is a growing trend that’s here to stay and I’m delighted to be on the journey with such an exciting brand and one that’s leading the category.”

Institution investors Active Partners, Founders Capital, Syndicate Room and Mint Ventures also took part in the £2m round.