Low-carb food producer Keeto Life has secured £500k to push into supermarkets and expand its range.
The funding from the East of England Regional Loan Scheme will enable the Hertfordshire-based business, which produces a range of keto-friendly foods under its Srsly Low Carb brand, to expand its range.
The supplier produces loaves, rolls, hot cross buns, pizza and more, with plans to launch pasta products.
The funding will be used for ongoing product development, beefing up sales and marketing initiatives, next stage packaging innovation and recruiting new staff.
The company said these initiatives will allow it to build from its B2C/online heartland into bricks and mortar retail as well as hospitality and foodservice sectors.
Additionally, it will use the funding to explore export opportunities across Europe.
Keeto Life founder and CEO, Andy Welch, commented: “We’ve created a range of innovative foods that have disrupted the low-carb market, attracted a vocal loyalist community and delivered thousands of five-star reviews. Pre-Brexit we were selling into 15 EU countries but mounting logistical issues temporarily halted this arm of our business.
“With recent developments in courier services once again making the EU both accessible and financially viable, we’re finally in a position to re-visit a vibrant export opportunity that’s once again within reach. Other openings include bricks & mortar supermarkets, an increasingly receptive NHS and foodservice. Thanks to this significant financial injection (regional growth loan), our pioneering operation can truly capitalise on its first-to-market status.”
The group said that keto and low carb remain two of the most internet searched diet and health related terms, and “increasingly health services are recommending these diligently choreographed diets for a range of health conditions”.
However, despite the NHS endorsing keto and low carb diets, it claims that clinicians admit that it often remains difficult for patients to make the conversion due to the lack of satisfying keto and diabetes-friendly food currently within the market.
“Keeto Life’s expanding Low Carb portfolio is endorsed by growing numbers of ketogenic clinicians providing some very real opportunities within the more progressive NHS trusts,” the company stated.
Simon Elliott, investment manager at The FSE Group, which manages the loan scheme, added: “Andy and his team have looked beyond the snack market to fill a gap for real low carb foods and their 80% repeat purchase rate speaks for itself.“
Despite being a new company, Keeto Life has achieved significant traction and brand recognition with a growing pipeline of opportunities within the food service and retail sectors, as well as a significant lift in export enquiries, that place this trail-blazing operation on a high-growth trajectory.”