primal pantry suzie walker

Primal Pantry founder Suzie Walker

Healthy snack bar producer The Primal Pantry has secured a £3m investment from NVM Private Equity to help further expand its UK retail presence and international growth.

The cash injection is in return for a minority stake in the challenger brand, which has already secured listings in Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Co-op and WH Smith.

The investment will be targeted at growing retail distribution for the brand’s snack bars and in store visibility along with driving brand awareness through consumer marketing.

Founded by Suzie Walker in 2014, Primal Bars are now sold in over 7,000 distribution points in the UK with annual retail sales value of around £6m.

International sales currently account for 30% of turnover and will continue to be developed by co-founder Dominic Maxwell, who will also lead the company’s innovation pipeline.

The business has expanded its leadership team to support its growth plans, with former Mondelez and Kraft Heinz exec Hash Alsaidi joining as sales director and Nathan Griffiths, formerly of Perfetti Van Melle, joining as head of marketing.

Walker commented: “With NVM’s backing we can take The Primal Pantry to the next level, ensuring more consumers have the opportunity to try our products and encouraging them to make better food choices.

“Led by impulse shopper and consumer needs, the healthy snacking category is finally finding its own space in store, but there is a lot more work to be done. With this investment we want to further support the category growth through insight, true innovation and shopper marketing to bring the fixture to life.”

Charlie Pidgeon, investment manager of NVM added: “In a short period of time the business has built a strong and recognisable brand and has accumulated an impressive roster of retailers stocking the business’s products. Having been impressed with the team’s achievements to date, we believe the business has the potential to become a category leader in the rapidly growing healthy snacking sector.”

In 2016 The Grocer revealed that Ex-Pret a Manger director Mark Palmer, former United Biscuits CEO Jeff van der Eems and former Cadbury chief strategy director Mark Reckitt all took minority stakes in the business after a fundraising round led by specialist investment bank Stamford Partners.

All three are understood to remain invested in the company.