A Cambridge mother and entrepreneur wanted to realise her vision for an international sugar kite mark to tackle global problems of obesity and diabetes. EEN helped her establish the Sugarwise business and recruit major food and drink manufacturers to her cause.
Rend Platings was appalled to discover that it was almost impossible for her to identify and buy food and drink products for her baby daughter that did not increase the risk of obesity and diabetes in later life.
She was spurred into registering a ‘Sugarwise’ kite mark to help consumers follow World Health Organisation guidelines that no more than 5% of an individual’s calorific intake should be in the form of ‘free sugars’.
EEN in the East of England has been with her every step of the way over the last year through a fully-funded Innovate2Succeed coaching programme for innovative businesses. The team helped her protect the Sugarwise concept as a registered trade mark and to make the right connections in the global food and drink market.
They also worked with Rend to develop value propositions for the different customer segments, namely food and drink manufacturers, food retailers and hospitality, including pubs and restaurants.
With all the trade and media publicity, there is already a growing revenue stream of food and drink manufacturers offering products for Sugarwise certification. Rend’s company has also taken on its first salaried members of staff.
Building a business offer profile through the EEN Partnering Opportunities Database has added to a network of collaboration partners across Europe while an EEN referral to the Department of International Trade has helped to develop a robust international strategy.
Organisers of the Food Matters Live event have agreed a ‘Sugarwise Zone’ for manufacturers of certificated products. Industry giant Unilever is covering the costs of any startup exhibitor.
Rend said: “Enterprise Europe Network has been the only business support organisation to stick with Sugarwise through this start-up phase. Without their help we wouldn’t be where we are now.”