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Sunday Times 100: Nottingham’s Skinny Food Co named one of the Midlands’ fastest growing companies

today1 July 2022 2

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Healthy foods retailer, the Skinny Food Co., has been named the fourth fastest growing company in the Midlands in the inaugural Sunday Times 100 rankings. The Nottingham company’s sugar-free products and healthy treats have proved a massive hit since launching in 2018.

The company began because founders James Whiting and Wayne Starkey both had family members with diabetes. Using an initial £3,000 investment they launched with calorie-free syrups and sauces including ketchup, mayonnaise, salted caramel and chocolate fudge cake.

Today the range has grown to include fruit bars, low-carb high-protein bread and low calorie fakeaways, such as sweet and sour chicken and chicken tikka, and low-sugar chocolate treats. In four years the company has processed more than 1m online orders.

Read more: Work begins to rebuild fire hit Tap & Run pub

More than 270 products are sold, with more in the pipeline, as a growing number of people turn to healthier alternatives. And as well as being available online, the Skinny Food Co. items are also on the shelves in major retailers including Morrisons, Aldi, Lidl, Holland & Barrett, Spar and TK Maxx.

Even though initial idea was to help diabetics, the healthy range struck a chord with fitness fans, dieters, coeliacs and vegans. The company is an official nutrition partner with Nottingham Forest and Wigan Warriors.

The founders were so confident in their products that they twice turned down the chance to appear BBC’s Dragons’ Den. In the first year they made sales totalling £1.5m and trade hasn’t slowed down. After launching online they went on to open a shop at their warehouse at John Rann Business Park in Eagle Close, Arnold, in 2020 and now employ 30 staff.



Skinny Food Co. zero-sugar sauces and syrups
Skinny Food Co. zero-sugar sauces and syrups

According to the new annual rankings, the Skinny Food Co. had a compound annual growth rate of 125 percent and sales last year of more than £19.5m. As well as being fourth in the Midlands, the company came in at 18th nationally.

Mr Whiting said: “We are delighted at how fast the company has grown and how well the customers have responded to the products and how popular they became in such a short amount of time. We’re a bit overwhelmed with it all. It’s great to be recognised as one of the fastest growing companies. We’re over the moon with it.”

He put the success down to a fast turnaround of products and customer demand matching it. He said: “We have been relentless for four years and absolutely non-stop with innovations. The key to our success, one of them, is all the products we have got. We are always looking at new innovation and new flavours.

“On top of that we listen to the customers and give them what they want. If they tell us they want a certain flavour of something we’ll do it for them.”

Sportswear and fashion brand, the Redditch-based AYBL Group, topped the Sunday Times’ rankings. Jim Armitage, business editor of The Sunday Times, said: “The Sunday Times 100 is our new-look annual celebration of the UK’s entrepreneurial achievements.

“The founders of these exciting businesses are vital job creators and innovators. The top 100 have performed exceptionally during the pandemic and show how some companies used the change to consumer and work habits to their advantage.”

Just last week the Skinny Food Co. featured in the FEBE Growth 100 list champions the fastest growing, founder-led, privately owned businesses across the UK. Last year Mr Whiting was recognised for his drive and determination on Forbes’ latest ’30 Under 30’ list.

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Written by: thehitnetwork

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