Insane Grain

Launched by Rushina Shah as the first lockdown hit in March 2020, Insane Grain produces bagged snacks made from ancient grain sorghum

Warburtons has invested a six-figure sum in healthy snacking startup Insane Grain through its Batch Ventures bakery innovation fund.

It follows the maiden investment of the Batch joint venture in biscuit producer The Artful Baker in February.

Warburtons joined forces with grocery accelerator Mission Ventures in 2020 to launch Batch Ventures as a vehicle to back innovative startups and SMEs in the baked goods category.

Insane Grain will use the £250,000 Batch investment to scale growth, including supporting its first major supermarket listing into the Sainsbury’s Future Brands bay.

Launched by Rushina Shah as the first national coronavirus lockdown hit in March 2020, Insane Grain produces a range of three bagged snacks made from ancient grain sorghum.

Shah, a former brand manager at P&G and Reckitt Benckiser, as well as a Grocer Top New Talent alumnus, said the backing from Batch was “a momentous milestone” for Insane Grain.

“I founded Insane Grain on the principle of offering healthier, mass market snacks without compromising on taste,” she added.

“Our ambition is to make the world a better place through healthier snacks using sorghum sourced directly from farmers in the poorer regions of the world. Having the backing of Batch Ventures, which brings together the expertise of Warburtons and Mission Ventures, is invaluable.”

Warburtons chairman Jonathan Warburton said the product quality, the founder and the brand all made Insane Grain stand out.

“Insane Grain’s innovative use of sorghum in place of maize to create a flavoursome range of healthier puffed snacks is impressive, and in Rushina Shah we have a dynamic young entrepreneur who is eminently backable,” he added. “We’re excited to see this brand grow from strength to strength.”

Mission Ventures, founded by fmcg industry veterans Paddy Willis, Nigel Parrott and John Stapleton, also runs the Good Food Fund to support brands tackling childhood obesity.

CEO Paddy Willis said: “We’ve already had the good fortune to work with Rushina and Insane Grain as a portfolio brand in the Good Food Fund, our programme tackling childhood obesity. We see all sorts of opportunities on the horizon for the brand to disrupt snacking and other categories.”

Parrott, a former marketing director at Golden Wonder and Hain Daniels Group, is a co-founder of Insane Grain, and Stapleton, who set up New Covent Garden and Little Dish, is also an investor.

Batch Ventures continues to seek new opportunities to back British enterprises in baking and baked goods and is expected to announce more investments during 2021.