Warburton forms JV to support disruptive UK bakery brands

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Are you challenging the status quo to bring fresh ideas to market? Pic: GettyImages/Paul Campbell
Are you challenging the status quo to bring fresh ideas to market? Pic: GettyImages/Paul Campbell

Related tags Warburtons Mission Ventures incubator Batch Ventures

UK-based bakery giant Warburtons has formed a joint venture (JV) with independent business accelerator Mission Ventures to provide financial and mentoring support to UK bakery businesses that are willing to challenge the status quo and bring fresh ideas to market.

Batch Ventures aims to assist SMEs and startups with equity funding and hands-on support from industry professionals, including the team at Mission Ventures run by challenger brand co-founders Paddy Willis (Plum Baby), Nigel Parrott (Ape Snacks) and John Stapleton (New Covent Garden Soup Company and Little Dish). Brands will also have access to technical expertise and other support from Warburtons.

According to its website, Batch Ventures is seeking out businesses that create novel products that are related to baking, such as:

  • Sweet & savoury baked snacks (biscuits, crackers, extruded products)
  • Cakes and cake mixes
  • Bread and bread mixes
  • Gluten-free bakery products
  • Grain-based snack bars
  • Any of the above that may be raw, semi-raw or cold-pressed

Successful applicants will be judged on their future potential and can include businesses at all stages of development. If, for example, the brand is pre-revenue, it must have some proof of product concept.

Backing British baking

“As a fifth-generation family business, we are proud to be backing British enterprise during these uncertain times and this programme allows us to support the next generation of innovative bakery led brands,”​ said Jonathan Warburton, the bakery company’s chairman.

“We are excited to be partnered with Warburtons, one of the top five food brands in the UK today. We see this as a smart way for the industry to build compelling challenger brands that deliver true innovation,”​ added Paddy Willis, CEO of Mission Ventures.

“This partnership leverages my team’s experience as exited food entrepreneurs and six years of running food and drink accelerator programmes, together with the depth of industry experience that comes from Warburtons.”

To apply, SMEs and startups are invited to express their interest on the Batch Ventures website.

Up to five businesses are expected to be selected over the first 12 months. The JV is hoping to make initial investments – typically between £50,000 to £250,00, but dependant on merit – in early October. Batch Ventures will take a minority stake holding in the successful applicants.

Warburtons – established in 1876 – is a fifth generation family business that today is the UK’s largest bakery brand and the fifth largest UK food brand. Recognised as leading innovation in the bakery category, half the company’s sales come from other wrapped bakery products such as crumpets, bagels and thins. Warburtons has 27 sites across the country and delivers over two million bakery products to over 20,000 stores daily.

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