Snacking brand Nim’s Fruit Crisps is targeting new export markets and expanding its range after securing £150,000 bank funding.

The air-dried fruit and vegetable crisps maker, founded by Nimisha Raja in 2011, plans to use the funding from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking to target the US, Europe and Australia – with help from UKTI and the FDF.

Raja is also working with local farmers to introduce seasonal lines, such as air dried fig and orange crisps in time for Christmas.

“The health food market has soared in recent years and it’s more important than ever that we’re able to maintain a competitive edge,” she said. “I look forward to continuing to grow the business both in the UK and overseas and developing new products for our growing customer base.”

Raja funder the business herself in the early stages and outsourced manufacturing to Eastern Europe. She brought production back to the UK in October 2015, opening a site in Kent, and switched banking facilities to Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

A working capital facility helped with the purchase of higher volumes of stock and employing four staff.

Nim’s has since secured listings with Amazon and Costco, as well as having attracted early stage interest from Holland & Barrett. The business is also in discussions for own label products with a number of high street retailers.

It comes as a new study by Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking found that food and drink firms in England and Wales raised their growth forecasts despite uncertainty since the EU Referendum vote.

Lloyds Bank’s third annual study of the food and drink sector found businesses across the industry forecast 19% growth in the next five years, up 3 percentage points from 2015.

Almost half of the 100 firms asked said investment in their business had increased since the Brexit vote and the sector planned to create more than 75,000 new jobs by 2021

Just over half (52%) said that the build up to the EU referendum had had a negative impact on their business.

Andrew Connors, head of client propositions at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “The food and drink industry has faced some unprecedented challenges in 2016, notwithstanding the uncertainty surrounding the EU Referendum vote.

“However, our research shows a relatively confident and upbeat sector which recognises the challenges ahead and is finding ways to address them. In particular, food manufacturers are working together more to improve productivity through joint ventures.”