Thursday, 26 April 2018
Collaborate grant helps Food Attraction reach new markets
A food manufacturer based in Leicester has benefited from a grant of nearly £19,000 from the Collaborate business support project that helps growing small and medium-sized businesses in Leicester and Leicestershire.
Family-owned business, Food Attraction manufactures frozen and chilled food for national restaurant chains and supplies a range of finger foods to national wholesalers.
Food Attraction is run by Jake Karia, brother Nayesh and wife Neeyantee. It has grown rapidly since starting up in 2013, employs 52 people and holds the highest hygiene accreditation (AA Level) as well as being an Investor in People.
Last year it developed a unique range of handheld snacks called the Naanster (made from fresh naan, mango chutney, pilau rice, sauce and meat or vegetable) and also the Calzone range. These were launched into Sainsbury’s and Aldi supermarkets and sold well.
However, there was a need to increase capacity to produce the snacks for more customers and one of the challenges Food Attraction faced was around the Naanster’s cardboard packaging, which wasn’t working for customers.
Food Attraction used a Collaborate grant of £18,846 to buy a new flow wrapping machine which allows it to change the way in which it packs products to make them more appealing. Three new jobs will be created as a consequence of the increased output volume.
Managing Director, Jake said: “As a result of this investment we’ve seen a growth in supermarket sales and we’re in serious talks with other retailers and sport stadiums to stock the Naanster. The new packaging means customers can eat the Naanster on the move so the grant has helped solve a problem for us and grow the business.”
Food Attraction has received industry recognition for its products with a gold win at the Lunch Show Innovation Challenge Awards and was a finalist in the 2017 Bakery Awards, just pipped to the post by Marks and Spencer.
Leicester City Council is the accountable body for Collaborate. Regeneration Projects & Programmes Manager, Joanne Ives said: “Food Attraction is just the type of company the Collaborate project was created for. It is innovative, ambitious and forward-thinking. We’re delighted to support this growing Leicester business.”
Eligible businesses can access capital grants from £5,000 to £25,000 for a third of the cost of projects in addition to free sector-specific workshops and one-to-one business advice. Businesses interested in Collaborate should visit www.llepbizgateway.co.uk/collaborate and complete a simply enquiry form to access free support.
Collaborate is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and partners: Leicester City Council, Leicestershire County Council, East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire) and the Food and Drink Forum.
Pic 1: Jake Karia of Food Attraction with his Naanster snack products
Pic 2: Jake beside the new flow wrapping machine purchased with support from Collaborate
Images by Lionel Heap Photography