General Mills' venture arm makes first-ever overseas investment in UK potted pudding producer
The investment of up to £15m is 301 Inc's first overseas investment and its first in a UK company and will help the London-based producer expand its product range and distribution in the US.
“Our mission is to discover new and emerging food brands with a remarkable offering,” said John Haugen, founder and MD of 301 Inc.
“Pots & Co fulfils that mission with its focus on natural ingredients to create puddings of restaurant quality.”
“As our first overseas investment and first investment in a UK company, we believe Pots & Co will deliver substantial growth with an increasing range of puddings and with its move into savoury products.”
Pots & Co currently turns over 16 million hand crafted chilled and hot puddings annually, produced at its factory in London, such as Lemon & Lime Posset, Baked Lemon Cheesecake and Hot Maple & Pecan Lava Cake. The desserts are notable for their packaging of signature ceramic pots, made by a family of potters in Valencia, Spain.
According to Pots & Co, ceramic uses less energy to make than plastic, and 95% of the waste generated in the process is recycled and reused – so it is a planet-friendly way to store a pud, along with extending its fridge life.
Last year, Pots & Co ventured into the savoury snacking category with a range of Mezze style dips, launched exclusively in Selfridges. The dips were created in collaboration with Michelin star chef, Phil Howard, and include only premium vegan ingredients, like chickpeas, tahini, cold pressed olive oil and olives. Each dip is served in a table ready glass pot.
Exploring the US market
Pots & Co said the funds from 301 Inc. will enable it to explore manufacturing capabilities in the US, as well as invest further in marketing and distribution, a strategy supported by a recent listing win in retail outlets across the West Coast and Rocky Mountain region.
“We want to create one of the world’s leading food brands and we are thrilled that General Mills has invested in Pots & Co, enabling us to speed up the growth of our business and creating fabulous products for the American consumer,” said Julian Dyer, founder of Pots & Co.
Pots & Co has generated rapid growth since it was founded in 2013, producing sales of £2m in 2014, which increased to £14m in 2020, a 700% increase. Its products are sold in major retail outlets across the UK, including Sainsbury’s and Waitrose and Tesco, as well as Carrefour in France, Albert Heijn in the Netherlands and Globus in Switzerland. Its Little Pots are also served on various airlines.