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Source: Mission Ventures

The latest cohort will join Three Robins, Nana’s Manners and Soul Soup Co, which were recruited to the programme in December

Mission Ventures and Impact on Urban Health have recruited seven healthier food and drink startups for the latest phase of the Good Food Programme.

Each will receive a £15k equity-free grant and two years of specialised branding support, from marketing and brand strategy to supply chain and retailer listings.

The latest cohort comprises meat alternative brand Vegbloc; plant-based ready meal maker Root Kitchen; wonky veg supplier Oddbox; sugar and fat substitute Sweetable; healthier snacking challenger The Savourists; prebiotic sparkling drinks brand Funki; and cashew-based desserts maker Origin Kitchen.

They join plant-based milk brand Three Robins, children’s food brand Nana’s Manners and instant soup supplier Soul Soup Co, which were recruited to the programme in December.

“These startups are real industry innovators, with products that solve core problems for the food industry,” said Mission Ventures MD Louis Bedwell.

“With our targeted brand-building support, and links to investors and retailers, we’ll help these brands to disrupt the market and create healthier shopping baskets for consumers.”

Mission Ventures announced in August 2022 it would launch the Good Food Programme with not-for-profit Impact on Urban Health, with the aim of helping UK and EU-registered startups develop healthier options and make them “more widely available and accessible, particularly to families on lower incomes”.

According to Three Robins founder Karen Robinson, the initiative offered “an incredible opportunity” for people like herself, who were new to the food industry. 

“Since joining, I have received regular mentoring in all aspects of the business from defining the customer proposition to scaling up logistics to marketing. 

“I’ve also been able to connect with other founders and attend food and drink industry events that have allowed me to grow my network and learn from other start-ups going through the same challenges that we are facing as we grown and scale the business.”

Vegbloc co-founder Simon Day, who was previously MD of plant-based brand Squeaky Bean, said the programme still offered value to “an experienced founding team” like his, which also includes Bread & Jam co-founder Jason Gibb and Gym Kitchen founder Segun Akinwoleola.

“Having a community of like-minded founders to draw on for moral and practical support will be invaluable,” he said, adding “the equity-free grant means we can go a little harder on launch support and give our early listings the best chance of success.”