A Kent company has seen sales of its award-winning, air-dried fruit and vegetable crisps soar by 70 per cent this year after opening its own factory in June 2016.
Nim’s Crisps now sell in Marks & Spencer’s stores, the Co-Op and other major outlets and founder Nimisha Raja has just launched a new children’s range. It is the only brand authorised to display the ‘five-a-day’ logo.
Her plans to expand the business, supported by EEN in the South East of England through an innovation-based growth strategy, include adding two to three more staff.
Nimisha, who set up her business in 2011 after failing to find healthy, nutritious snacks that would appeal to her own children, had approached EEN last year for support on a range of issues.
They included engaging with consumer groups, speeding up the innovation process and understanding how to gain further advantage over her competitors.
She and her EEN adviser, Ian Pateman, also looked at the management team structure, organisational skills training and business operations.
Through EEN’s Innovate 2 Succeed programme, he provided one-to-one coaching, competitor and market analysis and practical help on operational matters such as the lay-out of the new factory at Sittingbourne.
Nimisha said: “Benchmarking our products against the competition has given us some really useful insights.”
She added: “We received advice on marketing grants that are available to companies like us. Ian also organised a focus group of parents and children to taste-test our Nim’s range for kids and to give us feedback. That’s been really great in moving the children’s range forward.”
A series of innovation workshops being planned with EEN advisers will further develop Nimisha’s management team.
As well as support in developing new products, EEN has helped the company to establish new partnerships and commercial deals that will drive growth in international markets.
"EEN worked with us to identify trends in global markets and other healthy snacks which were competing directly against us."
Nimisha Raja, founder and CEO, Nim's Crisps