Ready-to-eat quinoa products specialist Quinola Mothergrain is hoping to raise £1.5m to expand listings and boost its international growth.

The brand is currently in talks with a number of impact investment funds, vehicles which invest in firms that have social or environmental benefits, seeking ­investment of around £1.1m.

This third round of equity investment, having previously raised £300k in 2015 and £450k in 2017, will be for a stake of 30% at an enterprise value of £4.3m.

At the same time, the brand is set to launch a £400k crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs in the coming days for around 12% of its shares to help grow its team, sales capabilities and overall profile.

The producer of quinoa-based kids meals, rice alternative pouches and snacks currently has annual sales of around £1m from listings in Morrisons and Ocado as well as Planet Organic, Whole Foods Market and Abel & Cole.

“The great thing about quinoa is it’s a versatile grain that can make better-for-you products in pretty much any category vertical,” said founder and CEO James Livingstone-Wallace. “As consumers shift to ­better-for-you products there is a huge amount we can do.

“We’re seeing a real shift in consumer buying behaviour as people switch to better-for-you solutions, and w e’re looking to disrupt what is a massive rice category which is mostly empty calories.” He said the brand was “massively outperforming” the 13.4% annual pulses and grains category growth in Ocado, having grown its branded sales at the online supermarket by 47.3% year-on-year and its microwavable quinoa by 127%.

“If you look at shopper penetration of pulses and grains we’re at a key point in the consumer adoption cycle where we’ve moving from early adopters to the early majority and will quickly grow from there. We need to spend more in retailers to get those new buyers to pick us up and give us a go.”

The brand hopes to use the funding to grow its quinoa-based SKUs and move into other core plant-based ingredients.

It is also eyeing opportunities in the US, where quinoa is a more mainstream foodstuff and the market is three times the size of Europe’s.

Livingstone-Wallace said it was in discussions about a distribution partnership with one of the US’s leading suppliers of own-label quinoa that is moving into branded goods. Quinola Mothergreen shipped its first two containers to the US last year and achieved FDA approval.

The brand currently imports quinoa from organic farms in Peru and France, but is also exploring working with a quinoa producer in the UK to help mitigate currency and customs issues amid the uncertainty around the UK’s Brexit plans.