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Fresh vegan range secures business win for Applied Nutrition

Published on Business stage: Scaling, Unlocking

Case Study

Applied Nutrition design and manufacture a range of energy and nutritional supplements from its base in Knowsley, Liverpool City Region. The business was established in 2009 by the Managing Director, Thomas Ryder, and five friends, all of whom have over 30 years’ experience in the sports and nutrition field.

The Challenge

The business had seen rapid growth and approached the Business Support Team in Knowsley to consider its strategy.

Thomas said:

“Our products had reached a receptive market and we were incredibly busy very quickly, but we knew it was crucial to capitalise on this success. We reached out to the Local Growth Hub in Knowsley to help us consider our growth strategy.”

The team worked with the business on their plans, helping them to bring in new staff to support their growth and helping them to new supply chains.

Cllr Tony Brennan, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development at Knowsley Council, said

“Applied Nutrition is a fantastic young business with huge growth potential. With support from ourselves and our partners we have been able to help Thomas improve his operational capacity and accelerate the expansion of the business”

Thomas said:

“Our next plans were to increase our of range snack bars, which included a new vegan ‘Protein Indulgence Bar’. In order to launch this product in the vegan health market, we needed to meet strict guidelines in our souring and processes. Steve introduced us to Phil Anders at the Liverpool City Region Manufacturing Growth Fund, to bring in specialist expertise on this.”

Phil met with the business on site to understand their challenge and offer his advice. He said:

“The vegan health market had the potential to be a lucrative new supply chain for the business, but they needed to achieve British Retail Consortium (BRC) accreditation. This required a large investment of time from the business which were already struggling with capacity, so I recommended that they use a grant from the Manufacturing Growth Fund to bring in a Process Improvement specialist to help them achieve this.”

The Solution

The business was awarded a grant of £3,600 towards the cost of the process improvement project and with Phil’s support they appointment a process improvement consultant. Thomas said:

“Phil helped us to identify a consultant with vast experience in delivering this type of project in the Food and Drink industry. Our consultant conducted a complete review of our processes, identified improvement opportunities and worked with the team to implement new quality systems.”

The business launched the new Protein Indulgence Bar in November 2018, winning business through major national retailers including Dolphin Fitness.

Thomas said:

“The support we have received from the Local Growth Hub and the Manufacturing Growth Fund has been vital for our business growth. We’ve launched our new range, secured contracts with major national retailers and we anticipate this will boost turnover by £500k in year one. Not only this, the project has helped us establish a clear plan for what’s next.”

The business has recently been awarded another grant from the new iteration of the Manufacturing Growth Fund, which is being used to increase production capacity. In addition, they have joined the Made Smarter UK programme which supports manufacturing firms with the adoption of advanced manufacturing practices.

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