Three Virgin StartUp Foodpreneur winners secure deal with huge U.S retailer

We’re thrilled to announce three of the winners from the Virgin StartUp Foodpreneur Festival 2015 are on track to see their products launch into the U.S market with Target.


We headed out with the entrepreneurs as part of an all-expenses paid trip to pitch to Target at the companies headquarters in Minneapolis, Cauli Rice, Double Dutch Drinks and Harry Brompton’s London Iced Tea impressed buyers with their pitch and are set to be stocked in stores.

This gamechanging opportunity for the businesses mean the three startups are finalising the logistics of a six month trial in Target Stores, and if successful, will see the products rolled out across 2,000 stores throughout the U.S.

We created the Virgin StartUp Foodpreneur Festival to shine a light on the UK’s burgeoning food and drink startup scene and these businesses are now flying the flag for British startups in the world’s biggest economy.

The winners of the Virgin StartUp Foodpreneur festival were revealed by Sir Richard Branson in October. Their prize was an all expenses trip to the US with Virgin Atlantic, where they received training and mentoring sessions with the UKTI and Paul Lindley, of Ella’s Kitchen, before pitching to Target. After the news three had impressed Target so much they are to be exported to the U.S Sir Richard said:

'It’s good to see the ‘Made in Britain’ brand is as strong as ever abroad and this is further proof it still carries a lot of weight in the USA. I’m delighted for Cauli Rice, Harry Brompton’s Iced Tea and Double Dutch - and pleased Virgin StartUp has helped provide the platform to launch their products to an international market. I'm sure their journey will be an exciting one.”

Cheers boss! The buyers at Target were impressed with the uniqueness of the products. Cauli Rice is a rice alternative made from Cauliflower, which has 75% fewer calories and counts towards your five a day, Harry Brompton’s London Iced Tea provides alcoholic and non-alcoholic teas made from Kenyan black teas, and Double Dutch sells premium soft drinks and mixers.

“It's been great to work with Virgin StartUp and UKTI on the Foodpreneur project, said Matt Becker, Category buyer at Target. “The four businesses we met were some of the most prepared pitches from the UK we've seen so far and we were extremely impressed by the quality and character of the brands who flew over to meet us. “

As part of the support we provided on the trip we organised for Paul Lindley, founder of Ella’s Kitchen, (a product stocked widely in the U.S) to give the entrepreneurs advice.

“The US market can be a holy grail to British brands looking to expand internationally. I’ve had my fair share of pitching to buyers over the years so it’s great to be able to introduce fellow entrepreneurs to important contacts and impart some of that wisdom. All three winners delivered particularly impressive pitches to Target and now deservedly have a fantastic opportunity in America.”

The products should hit the shelves by next summer and we can’t wait to see the British products we found through the Virgin StartUp Foodpreneur Festival sitting proudly on shelves across the U.S.

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