Dublin food group 250 Kal has closed a €400,000 funding round with investors including state agency Enterprise Ireland and private sources, according to the Sunday Business Post.
The company will also be launching a new range of low-calorie baked goods made with natural alternatives to sugar this year for retail and convenience markets, with the help of the external funding.
“We are releasing a new chocolate range in the coming months and an even lower calorie range of cakes and treats that will complement our 250-calorie range,” 250 Kal co-founder, Robert Hallum told the Sunday Business Post.
“We will have products available in the on-the-go market later this year and we’re working on a range of treats that parents have been asking for, for their kids. They will be low in sugar and will contain a sugar that it ‘tooth-kind’ and doesn’t strip the enamel.”
250 Kal’s products are already sold in over 20 SuperValu stores in Dublin and Wicklow, and the Hallam pair said that they were in discussions with a distributor with a view to rolling out distribution nationwide in the coming months.
Robert added that they plan to enter international markets early next year.
“We’re looking at the US because, as a market, it has significant issues with sugar consumption, but there aren’t a lot of sugar alternatives in the sweet treat market over there,” he said.
250 Kal currently employs only two people full-time and part-time in its current production site in Wicklow Enterprise Centre, which it plans to move from to an outsourced facility in Dublin.
Trial & Error
250 Kal is a client of Enterprise Ireland, who the food company claim to be a “game-changer” for them starting-up.
“We can finally add talented people to help us in our innovation and put in place the strategies we have been building over the last three years,” Robert said.
“Enterprise Ireland continues to connect us with experts who have helped us avoid costly mistakes.”
“Working with alternative natural sugars has required a lot of trial and error, because baking is something of a chemical process,” he added.
“The flavour profile has to be spot on, and the texture, colour and visual appeal have to exactly in line with what customers expect. We completely reworked the mixing process, and we’re continuing to fine-tune and expand our recipes.”
Hole In The Market
The company was founded three years ago by siblings Robert and Denise Hallam, who came up with the idea after Robert was diagnosed with diabetes.
“Sugar was taken off the menu. and I couldn’t find a treat that wasn’t stuffed with artificial sugars or didn’t taste bland,” Robert said.
“Denise and I started fine-tuning some treats I’d been experimenting with. We preserved with all types of natural sugar alternatives until we managed to produce something we felt could stand up against the sugar versions of similar products in the market.”
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.