South West food business Real Olive Company launches £200,000 crowdfunding to scale up

Real Olive Company

The Real Olive Company, a food business based in Bristol, has launched what it says are the first-ever chilled tapenades to be available in UK supermarkets, creating a new opportunity within the nation’s paste, pesto and dip market.

The new organic offering, which is vegan, plant-based and gluten-free, comes in recyclable packaging and adds to the existing range of 13 Real Olive Company products that are currently available at more than 1,500 retail points in the UK.  The company, which is aiming to double its existing footprint with Sainsbury with the new range, also has its products available through other UK retailers including Waitrose, Booths, Whole Foods and Ocado.

The launch of its Organic Kalamata Olive Tapenade and smoky Organic Smoky Harissa Tapenade comes as The Real Olive Company embarks on a crowdfunding investment round, aiming to raise a minimum of £200,000 to help the business scale up for international growth. It plans to invest in new product development, including innovative vegan options, hire new staff with retail and digital marketing expertise, and develop its e-commerce proposition.

The company was founded in 1998 by life partners Karin Andersson and Ben Flight and currently employs more than 40 people within its head office and food processing operation. Its advisers include Craig Sams, the Green & Black’s sustainable chocolate co-founder who also launched the UK’s first vegan restaurant in 1966, which welcomed a host of famous clientele including John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

Karin Andersson said: “The new product range, including the unique offering of amazing tasting chilled tapenades, is an important step forward in our progression as a mission-driven business which will connect more consumers to our ‘love life, eat real’ ethos.

“We aim to grow our presence across the UK on the back of these latest product offerings, including within Sainsbury where we hope to double our existing footprint in the year ahead.

“This provides an ideal platform for us to grow the business on a wider scale going forward, targeting sustainability-focused customers across the world. We will invest in achieving that objective following our crowdfunding round which enables anyone to secure a share in our business and support our mission to make life taste better by connecting people to the natural vitality of real food.”