Doisy & Dam D&Ds peanut

Doisy & Dam has challenged confectionery giants with its range of sustainable, healthier plant-based chocolates

Nurture Brands has rescued Doisy & Dam from administration, continuing its buy-and-build strategy and expanding its sustainable plant-based consumer products offering into the confectionery category.

Insolvency practitioner FRP Advisory was appointed as administrator of Doisy & Dam today (19 October), with the business and assets sold in a pre-pack deal to ensure the survival of the challenger brand, The Grocer can reveal.

Sales at the business – founded by Ed Smith and Richard Wilkinson in 2013 – had continued to grow on the back of major listings with the likes of Sainsbury’s, Ocado, Amazon, Holland & Barrett and Boots but soaring input cost inflation drove the brand to the point of collapse.

Wilkinson told The Grocer the business had suffered “death by a thousand cuts” as energy costs and raw material prices spiralled.

Smith and Wilkinson will work with Nurture Brands to help with a smooth transition before moving on to new ventures.

It’s the second deal this month struck by Nuture, following a takeover of premium pretzel brand Indie Bay Snacks.

Ben Arbib, who founded Nurture Brands in 2019, said Doisy & Dam was “a real disrupter” bringing “excitement and new formats” from the dairy milk category into plant-based chocolate.

“Doisy & Dam will broaden Nurture Brands into the confectionery sector whilst also complementing our better-for-you and sustainability led proposition.”

Wilkinson added: “We look forward to seeing our brand grow under Nurture Brands and wish them every success for the future.”

Doisy & Dam, which was certified a B Corp in 2016, supplies a variety of vegan, palm-oil free chocolate products, made with ethically sourced cocoa, across impulse packs and sharing formats.

Last year, it ramped up the challenge to M&M’s with its own take on dark chocolate-covered peanuts to expand its range of healthier alternatives to a number of classic chocolate treats such as Maltesers and Buttons.

Sales at the business surpassed £1m in 2021 and the brand returned to the crowd to raise almost £500k to supercharge growth. However, the 832 backers of the business across two rounds on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube won’t now see a return on the almost £800k invested.

Nurture Brands is also a certified B-Corp and commits 1% of net revenues to good causes. Including Doisy & Dam, the group now counts eight sustainable plant-based brands in its portfolio: Rebel Kitchen, Myracle Kitchen, Emily, The Primal Pantry, Ape Jax Coco and Indie Bay Snacks.

Revenues are on track to exceed £10m across the family of brands this year, with the group expanding in North American and Asian markets.

Managing director Adam Draper told The Grocer the group’s ambitions were to become “the PepsiCo of UK sustainable fmcg”.

“Doisy & Dam is our second acquisition in October, joining Indie Bay pretzels,” he said. “We continue to seek disruptive snacking and beverage brands that are plant-based, better-for-you and sustainable, so that we can become the leading partner for all retailers in this space.

“We will be making more acquisitions this year and we would encourage any brand owners to get in touch if they are interested in an exploratory conversation.”