Sauce Shop

Sauce Shop now has more than 7,000 retail distribution points across grocers

Condiments challenger brand Sauce Shop is aiming to become a household name after securing backing from an angel syndicate led by former Samworth Brothers boss Flor Healy.

The latest raise, which is also topped up by crowd investors, comes as the business launches its sauces in 300 Asda stores nationwide.

It is the third major retail listing for the brand, increasing its distribution points to more than 7,000 across the likes of Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Booths and Whole Foods Market, as well as supplying the foodservice industry.

Sauce Shop is currently overfunding after beating a £400k target on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube and has so far raised £660k from 520 investors, valuing the business at more than £6m.

Former Samworth and Kerry Foods CEO Flor Healy, who sits on the board as chief advisor, also took part in the round, leading a syndicate of angel investors.

The business plans to use the money to continue its retail expansion, improve efficiencies at its manufacturing site and fuel further growth.

Founded in 2014 by Pam and James Digva, Sauce Shop has generated total revenues to date of more than £9m, turning over £3.1m in 2021.

The pair launched the brand after spotting a gap in the market for more natural, craft condiments made using the fewest ingredients possible and containing less sugar than traditional sauces.

“This [funding round] is the push Sauce Shop needs to become a household name,” said James Digva.

The UK condiments market was worth £767m last year [Kantar 52 w/e 20 March 2022], but traditional brands such as Heinz, HP, Hellmann’s and Colman’s were in decline, according to the latest Grocer category report.

“The table sauce category has been crying out for disruption by a craft challenger brand,” Digva added. “With consumers choosing more purpose-led brands and really caring about what they put on their plate, Sauce Shop is perfectly placed the challenge the incumbents in the category.”

Sauce Shop began life on a stall at a Nottinghamshire farmers’ markets, before winning its first listing with Sainsbury’s in 2018.

The business now produces about 50,000 bottles of ketchup, BBQ sauce, hot sauce and cooking sauce a week from its factory in Nottingham.

The latest raise is the third crowd round for Sauce Shop, which received £400k from 910 investors across two rounds in 2018 and 2019.

Healy said: “There is a fabulous track record of growth in Sauce Shop and the team can be very proud of what has been delivered. It is hugely rewarding to be able to work with two founders and their team, who are so passionate about the business, making a product that sells itself because of its quality.”

Sustainability is at the centre of the brand’s model, with seaweed shrink bands instead of plastic used to seal bottles and bubble wrap ditched in favour of paper and card packaging for all orders.

The business is carbon negative, working with Ecologi to plant a tree with every order made through the online store.