The final of the fifth annual support scheme to find Britain’s most exciting food company helmed by a young businessperson was announced at this year’s Speciality & Fine Food Fair
The title was awarded to 25-year-old Chloe Stewart and her brand Nibs Etc, a range of granola, crackers and loaf cakes predominantly made using leftover juice pulp, after being chosen by the attending audience. Three finalists pitched to the crowd for up to 10 minutes and shared samples of their products.
Runners up in the competition were Get Wonky, a drinks company using unwanted fruit as its chief ingredients, and Elly Joy, a brand of soft scoop coconut milk ice creams which come served with a variety of healthy toppings.
As winner, Chloe will receive a year of mentoring from Paul Hargreaves, chief executive of Cotswold Fayre, £1500 and marketing support for developing her business.
Chloe Stewart said, "I'm really overwhelmed and so grateful! There were some really interesting brands this year and some great competition. I'm so thrilled that people are excited about pulp as I am!
"My initial next steps will be to work on the packaging - the customers love it but I think retailers will need it to be a bit more detailed. I want to convey the message as much as possible about the fibre you get from pulp. I also want to outsource production - that will really help to scale it up and bring the products to retailers."
Paul Hargreaves, chief executive of Cotswold Fayre said, "All of the products and presentations were definitely the best we've experienced over the last five years that we've ran this scheme. The number one thing I am most pleased about is that we have a female winner, as we've had female finalists before but it's always been boys that have won over the last four years, and I feel there needs to be more role models for girls at school to show that women can go out and run businesses just the same as boys can.
"I think that the product itself is absolutely fantastic, particularly the pulp crackers. The biggest challenge will be developing the packaging and getting that right, but that's quite an easy thing to put right. It's a very innovative product which will have its challenges compared to some other products we've worked with - it's always more challenging if a product is truly innovative. The recycling side of the project is really on trend, so it's going to work really nicely in health food shops in London, and it will cross over nicely into delis as it's a very good tasting product, too."