Urban Legend - example batch

Urban Legend makes non-HFSS steam baked doughnuts with 50% less fat and 30% less sugar than traditional deep-fried alternatives

Samworth Brothers has taken a minority stake in Urban Legend as part of a multimillion-pound investment round to back national expansion at the ‘healthier’ doughnut brand.

The Soreen and Ginsters owner led the £3m investment round through its venture capital arm Perfect Redd. Paul Bennell, the group’s supply chain MD and also the president of the Cold Chain Federation, will take a seat on the board of Urban Legend as non-executive director.

Footballer turned F&B investor Harry Kane also took part in the oversubscribed round, after initially backing the company in 2022, as did Wales rugby coach Warren Gatland.

It is the latest deal struck by Perfect Redd and will see Urban Legend, which joins the likes of Holy Moly, Tiba Tempeh, Cheesegeek and Tastily in the VC firm’s portfolio, receive support from the wider Samworth group.

Founded in 2021 by former Graze CEO Anthony Fletcher, Urban Legend makes non-HFSS steam baked doughnuts with 50% less fat and 30% less sugar than traditional deep-fried alternatives.

Samworth’s support will help Urban Legend expand its distribution footprint with Tesco and Sainsbury’s, with the brand currently stocked by the retailers in stores across London and the south east.

Urban Legend said gaining access to Perfect Redd’s “unique expertise in short shelf-life logistics” would bring its products to a wider market.

“Our partnership with Perfect Redd represents a joint success towards the goal of pioneering innovative solutions to tackling obesity and improving the nation’s health,” Fletcher said.

“It is key that logistics does not become a constraint in rolling out this successful and important brand, and Perfect Redd and Samworth Brothers will help us to scale.”

Perfect Redd investment director Paul Short added: “We believe that reducing sugar and fats in one of the nation’s favourite treats is a significant opportunity. We are excited about partnering with a science-led and socially relevant brand and look forward to helping Urban Legend expand their offering.”

Urban Legend has now secured £13m across three funding rounds, with investors including Eka Ventures, the Good Food Fund and JamJar Investments.

A Samworth spokeswoman said: “We have a minority interest in a handful of carefully selected startups in the food sector, including Urban Legend. Our aim is to help these small businesses to scale up and contribute to the future of a healthier nation.”