Nom is an ethical foods business with strong brand values, which launched in July 2013 with a range of organic, vegan, health bars. Nom bars are made with exciting, innovative superfood ingredients like coconut oil, coconut palm sugar, oat bran and cacao – they don’t contain any refined sugars, are free-from dairy and are made only with low GI, natural, alternatives to sugar. They were the first organic bars on the UK market to contain coconut oil as a key ingredient – offering a real point of difference from other, heavily fruit-based health bars.
Nom products are 100% certified organic, vegan and ethical. This ensures that they are good for the people who eat them, better pay for the farmers who grow the ingredients, and GMO free and sustainable for animals and the planet. The idea behind Nom foods is to add value to people’s diets, not just by cutting out the bad stuff, but also packing as many nutritious ingredients into the products as possible – and they’re never baked, to retain maximum nutrients in the ingredients.
Within the first 16 months of trading, Nom Foods had secured listings at; Ocado, Tesco, Whole Foods, Holland & Barrett, Planet Organic – and many other health food stores, cafes, delis and gyms.
Nom outsources the manufacture of its products to UK factories, approved to high standards and with the accreditations necessary to supply major chains and ensure full traceability and safety of the products. The shelf-ready products are then sold into wholesalers and distributors (dealing direct in the cases of supermarkets and larger chains). Nom is primarily a food brand, rather than a food manufacturer.
Nom Foods has big plans for 2015 – and is seeking investment to scale up, put a passionate team in place, increase distribution both in the UK and worldwide and to launch several new products.
In 2014, two of the top three fastest growing supermarket products by volume were Sports Nutrition and Free-From (ref Nielsen Scantrack data). Nom products fall into both of these categories.
Sales of organic products in the UK grew by 2.8% in 2013. The UK organic market is now worth £1.79billion in sales. The rate of growth was above the annual inflation rate of 2% and the strongest growth was seen by Ocado (+10.4%), where Nom products are listed (ref Soil Association data).
In terms of the market, Nom bars are not really comparable to existing bars. This is mainly because of their ingredients. Nom bars are coconut oil based. Coconut products have been gaining popularity in the health food world due to their numerous health benefits; including the fact that coconut oil is naturally sugar and cholesterol-free. These superfood ingredients and the organic status of the bars, creates a point of difference for the customer.
Nom aims to encourage people to adopt a diet which contains less refined sugar, wherever possible – by offering tasty, on-the-go alternatives. Unfortunately, we have largely become a society hooked on refined sugars. The benefits of a low GI diet are well documented and by reducing the intake of refined sugar, studies show that one can lessen the risk of type two diabetes. There were 3.2 million people who had been diagnosed with diabetes in the UK in 2013. By 2025, it is estimated that 5 million people will have diabetes in the UK (statistics from Diabetes UK).
Nom Foods’ great competitive position also comes from making a commitment to source fairly traded and sustainable foods, wherever possible. The business has been awarded ethical accreditation for its use of fair trade, organic and vegan suppliers. This logo is displayed proudly on packaging and marketing material. Adding to the appeal of the brand, by being kinder to people’s health, animals, farmers and the planet.
Nom bars have funky, eye-catching branding for a health bar – with vibrant colours. Competitor’s products can be quite brown and green in terms of colour schemes. Nom Foods has created really great point of display packaging for the bars – attracting lots of attention and compliments, especially at trade shows and via social media.
Importantly, Nom products taste delicious. This can be hard to find in the current free-from and health bar market.
Steph Croft-Simon is 27, founder, managing director and 100% shareholder of Nom Foods. Steph has a Bachelor of Science degree from Bristol University and her real experience is in diet, nutrition and food – with a background in the food industry. Steph’s knowledge comes from her own dietary requirements – hence being able to spot a genuine gap in the market for Nom bars and keep up-to-date with consumer behavior/spot upcoming food trends. In November 2014, Steph won ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ at the Venus women awards. Steph does all of Nom’s own marketing, PR, sales, business and product development. She has done all of this at extremely low cost, by being resourceful and creative. Low-cost exercises like regular in-store sampling and exhibitions have helped to gain exposure and drive sales.
Outside of the business, but working closely with Steph since the beginning, is a group of trusted advisors, who believe in the business and share Steph’s passion.
- Jan Paul Harding is the Creative Director of Wetdog Creative. Graduating with Distinction from the Design and Communication HND at Sheffield University in Summer 2000. Jan has 15 years experience creating brands and designing for both print and web.
- Caroline Harding graduated in the Summer of 2000, from the University of Northampton with a BA (Hons) in Business Studies. Caroline started her marketing career at a design agency and co-founded Wetdog Creative in 2007. Caroline has 14 years experience in working with clients on their marketing strategies.
- Doulla Croft is Steph’s Mum. Doulla shares Steph’s passion for all things organic, nourishing and healthy. Doulla has 17 years experience in FMCG, both on the retail and manufacturing side – currently specialising in social and digital media. Doulla is able to draw upon her experience in the industry to advise on many things, from consumer buying habits and market trends, to social media strategy and customer engagement. Doulla is also trained as a Young Enterprise mentor.
- Offering advice and guidance on the financial side is a CFO who has over 16 years experience and is qualified with the Association of Chartered Accountants and who has had the Finance Director for a privately owned FMCG business. Madeleine supports the business with forecasts, strategy and expansion and has helped prepare the business’ financials for CrowdCube.
The Exit Strategy
The idea is to grow Nom Foods over the next 3 years, making our products available to as many customers as possible, with the aim of Nom becoming a favourite household brand. There is so much potential here; to increase distribution of the bars, secure more listings, launch new product ranges, start our online shop and secure more export trade.
Clearly the best time to sell Nom Foods would be when the above has been achieved. Even though we’ve only been trading for 16 months – because of our fast growing brand, strong brand identity and of course, our products, we have already been approached by a few of the bigger food businesses in the industry with questions about the possibility of a sale, or part sale of the brand.
In terms of an exit strategy, a trade sale to another food company in 3-5 years time would make a fantastic return on investment for Crowdcube investors. We would conservatively expect to attract an offer of a multiple of around eight times revenue. Based on projected earnings (EBITDA) in year three of around £478,872. This would create a valuation for the company of £3.83 million and a return to Crowdcube investors of more than 280%.
An extension of the time frame beyond year three would obviously result in a greater return still.
Invest £5,000 and get
Invest £5,000 or more in Nom Foods, and receive a case of Nom bars – any flavour of your choice!
Invest £15,000 and get
Invest £15,000 or more in Nom Foods, and receive a case of Nom bars and a Nom T-shirt – to tell everyone that you’re a Nombassador!
Invest £30,000 and get
Invest £30,000 or more in Nom Foods, and get trade pricing on our range of products when you buy through our web-shop – for the life of the investment.
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