The Good Food Programme (GFP), which it has launched with Impact on Urban Health (IoUH), part of Guy’s & St. Thomas’ Foundation, is aimed at making healthier food options more widely available and accessible, particularly to families on lower incomes.
The GFP is looking for UK or EU registered companies that have created or that have the potential to develop products healthier than existing options. It is especially interested in hearing from healthier soft drinks and sugar confectionery.
It is offering 10 founders of progressive food and drink start-ups the chance to benefit from up to £15k of equity-free funding and two years of practical brand and business support to accelerate growth.
The programme will commence this autumn and will run for two years until the same time in 2024.
This follows a successful pilot that ran from 2020 and culminated earlier this year, where 13 healthier challenger brands underwent an accelerator programme and/or received funding via the Good Food Fund. These included Urban Legend, Rootle’s vegetable and chocolate biscuits, Jim Jams’ chocolate spread, and Insane Grain’s super grain crisps.
Louis Bedwell, managing director at Mission Ventures, said: “Investing in healthier challenger brands and making their products more widely available on shelves is one solution to helping households consume a better diet, rather than expecting them to change entrenched shopping habits or ignore the constant onslaught of promotions for unhealthy products.
She added: “While HFSS regulations are going some way to tackle this, it really is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of how industry can help meaningfully improve the nation’s health. The Good Food Programme is a way of fighting against the current “health washing” from big food and drink, proving that challenger brands can drive the industry forward to a healthier future.”
Rebecca Sunter, programme director, Impact on Urban Health, said: “Everyone deserves to be healthy, no matter where they live. But right now, in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, there’s a dearth of healthier, affordable meals and snacks on our high streets. Instead, children and families are being flooded with unhealthy food and drink options near their homes and schools. This has to change.
She added: “We know that the products available in high street food stores have a real impact on what we put in our baskets and ultimately eat. We are excited to launch the Good Food Programme to improve access to affordable and healthier food products so all families can eat well and thrive.”