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March 29, 2021updated 06 Apr 2021 6:34pm

Warburtons’ Batch Ventures JV invests in snack brand Insane Grain

Batch Ventures, the joint venture established by UK bakery major Warburtons and challenger-brand builder Mission Ventures, has invested in a local healthy snacks firm.

By Leonie Barrie

Batch Ventures, the joint venture established by UK bakery major Warburtons and challenger-brand builder Mission Ventures, has invested GBP250,000 (US$344,980) into local healthy snacks business Insane Grain.

It is the venture’s second deal following its investment in Dorset-based specialist biscuit manufacturer The Artful Baker in February.

Insane Grain makes a range of baked snacks from the ‘supergrain’ sorghum, which is said to offer a strong source of nutrients including iron and potassium. 

The company was established early last year by Rushina Shah, who worked in brand management at Procter & Gamble and Reckitt Benckiser, and Nigel Parrott, co-founder of Ape Snacks. 

Last month, the London-based company saw two of its bagged snack products listed in 70 Sainsbury’s stores as part of the retailer’s Future Brands initiative.

Speaking about its latest investment, Warburtons chairman Jonathan Warburton said: “What stood out immediately to us were three things – the product quality, the founder and the brand. Insane Grain’s innovative use of sorghum in place of maize to create a flavoursome range of healthier puffed snacks is impressive and in Rushina Shah we have a dynamic young entrepreneur who is eminently backable. We’re excited to see this brand grow from strength to strength.”

Paddy Willis, CEO of Mission Ventures, added: “We’ve already had the good fortune to work with Rushina and Insane Grain as a portfolio brand in the Good Food Fund, our programme tackling childhood obesity. We see all sorts of opportunities on the horizon for the brand to disrupt snacking and other categories.”

Insane Grain CEO Shah said: “I founded Insane Grain on the principle of offering healthier, mass market snacks without compromising on taste. Our ambition is to make the world a better place through healthier snacks using sorghum sourced directly from farmers in the poorer regions of the world. Having the backing of Batch Ventures, which brings together the expertise of Warburtons and Mission Ventures is invaluable.”

just-food’s free-to-read guide: Big Food’s stake in the future – in-house venture-capital funds

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