Innovative sports nutrition firm targets further growth

Innovative sports nutrition firm targets further growth

Kieran Fisher

The founding father of a fast-growing sports activities diet producer has spoken to Insider in regards to the significance of innovation to the corporate’s success.

KBF Enterprises was established in 2008 by managing director Kieran Fisher from his bed room.

The Trafford Park-based firm operates seven sports activities diet manufacturers which can be found on six continents and greater than 25 nations. These are Warrior, Warrior Princess, Bodybuilding Warehouse, Sports Fuel, TANKED, The Bulk Protein Company and Protein Café.

Fisher advised Insider the corporate was buying and selling “exceptionally properly”, with turnover of £30m double that of 2021.

“We have grown at a mean charge of fifty per cent for the final 5 years in a row, and the latest years progress is being pushed by our Warrior model, that now produces 15 million protein bars per yr. We are Asda’s bestselling sports activities diet model, have 1,200-plus areas promoting our bars in Israel (the place we’re the quantity two bestselling bar out there), and have lately expanded to Vietnam, Canada, Spain and elsewhere. Someone eats certainly one of our Warrior protein bars each two seconds.

“KBF now employs round 90 folks from 45,000 sq ft in Trafford Park and is fully unbiased. We’ve grown with out enterprise capital or non-public fairness funding to be one of many main sports activities diet companies within the UK, and the quickest rising.”

Fisher mentioned innovation was key to the success of the enterprise.

“We make wholesome, tasty meals that folks devour as a result of they wish to look, really feel and carry out higher,” he mentioned. “Taste is all the time vital however what usually tastes good, is sugar, fats, and carbs. Each of those can result in poor well being outcomes or over consumption. Most folks within the UK immediately aren’t in wonderful form. Because of this, you see folks residing longer via superior drugs, however not residing properly – I bear in mind a statistic from the US that the typical individual over 65 is on eight totally different drugs. Looking on the rise in well being circumstances like weight problems and diabetes, it’s all linked to poor well being.

“We innovate by making merchandise that aren’t solely good for you, however are additionally pleasurable to eat. If it’s not tasty, folks received’t eat it. Our Warrior CRUNCH bars are filled with 20 grams of protein (greater than 3 complete eggs) but have between 0.5g and 2g of sugar which is hardly something (every penny candy is 1g, so a full-sized Warrior CRUNCH bar tastes like a sweet bar but has as a lot protein as a hen breast with nearly zero sugar. Sugar in future years will grow to be seen in the identical approach as cigarettes – contributing to poor well being. Part of our mission is actually a warfare on sugar and combat for nice tasting, wholesome merchandise for everybody.

“We launched a number of new Warrior protein bars and flapjacks in 2022 and might be launching ‘Birthday Cake’ and ‘Fudge Brownie’ within the coming months. These each style like an American sweet bar and look wonderful – the primary chunk is with the attention. Like our different bars, these are excessive protein, excessive fibre and low sugar. We’re additionally engaged on increasing our present protein bar line by transferring from a reasonably easy extrusion-based line that makes 20,000 protein bars per shift (we’re in twelve months a yr working a number of shifts), to 120,000 bars per shift. This will allow us to chop again on working time while increasing our whole protein bars produced to round 48 million bars a yr. That’s greater than another model within the UK made final yr, I imagine.”

Fisher mentioned the current tasks would assist growth and job creation within the enterprise.

He mentioned: “Presently we make use of 90 folks and two years in the past it was 30 – we’re an incredible employer, with our common worker being right here for 3 years or extra. That’s uncommon in our trade the place tenures are usually shorter and folks job hop, however folks love working right here and we love being a giant group.

“We count on to extend our group to over 100 in 2023 however we do want extra space. We’re trying to develop into 150,000 sq ft within the subsequent 18 months we simply must plan how one can do it. We spill out the perimeters of our current unit.

“In the final couple months, we’ve made quite a lot of hires – most senior of that are our NPD Manager who got here from a giant contract producer, our head of technical who ensures our high quality and processes are spot on (once more he got here from one other profitable enterprise, and we managed to tempt him away), and several other group members in our wholesale and ecommerce groups.”

Fisher added that KBF Enterprises was focusing on additional progress, together with growth in each the UK and abroad.

“We set a purpose round two years in the past to develop to £100m in run-rate turnover in 5 years’ time,” he mentioned. “At that point, we’re round a £10m enterprise. We’re now a £30m enterprise and grew 60 per cent within the calendar yr 2022. This was pushed by 227 per cent progress in our Warrior model and 300 per cent progress in our protein bar gross sales. It places us on monitor to attain a £100m run charge within the subsequent 3.5 years.

“That’s our purpose, and we’re on monitor to achieve it. To obtain it, we have to get listings in additional multiples – e.g., extra of the large supermarkets, petrol forecourt chains, comfort chains, in addition to increasing overseas. We have an exquisite enterprise and distributor in Canada who hit £700,000 in 2022 and we plan to develop to the US in 2023, which is the most important market on the earth.

What we would love to push to the large multiples is that this – you want Warrior. We’ve seen numerous ‘cool’ fashionable manufacturers pop up right here and there, backed by non-public fairness cash the place their underlying enterprise is poor (unprofitable, shedding money). You cannot make one thing occur the place shoppers don’t need it to occur. With Warrior, we’re 100 per cent self-made. We merely make implausible merchandise, that buyers love, on the proper value level, and we all know our prospects. As a results of this our charge of sale is nearly 4x probably the most stocked manufacturers. For each one protein bar offered on cabinets by a competitor in shops the place we’re listed subsequent to them, prospects will purchase 4 Warrior protein bars.

“We know the market higher than anybody else as a result of along with our wholesale channel, we now have an incredible ecommerce enterprise that provides us a ton of perception into what prospects really need, and all we do is ship that properly. Do what prospects need, at a value they’ll afford, in a bundle that tastes nice and appears superior, and also you’ll do properly.”

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