Not all olives are created equal. Some are big, tasty, and have high nutritional value. Others appear to have lost their mojo.
You might not have given the hierarchy of olives much thought, but Olly Hiscocks, the founder of Olly’s Olives, has given it plenty.
Olly decided he wanted to add colour, character and innovative flavours to the olive market. His love of these Mediterranean staples led him to discover that many olives were pasteurised – something that surmounts to “olive treason” for him. This process of blasting olives at high temperatures for short periods of time to increase their shelf life destroys their taste, texture and nutritional value.
Olly decided consumers deserved better. So, bucking this trend, he came up with the idea of vacuum packed, fresh olives that hadn’t been blasted with anything. His theory proved right, and the business has gone from strength to strength.
Four years ago, Olly was creating pots of olives at his parents’ kitchen table, today he supplies customers in the retail, travel and catering sectors.
Seed Funding for Olly’s Olives
This growth can be attributed to Olly’s love of olives and his sheer determination to give customers what they want. It certainly helped the brand stand out from the crowd.
In 2017 he received early-stage backing from the Epicure SEIS Fund. At the time, the fund was targeting innovative, disruptive companies in the UK Food & Drink market with high growth potential – Olly’s Olives fitted the bill perfectly.
Why? Because these are the world’s first 100% natural, unpasteurised snack pouches of olives with no artificial additives or preservatives. All the ingredients are fresh, meaning the end result is delicious, crunchy, healthy olives you can eat on the go.
Olly tapped into the fact that consumer trends in the food and drink market are evolving. With so many social media influencers and bloggers focusing on nutrition and diet, consumers are becoming increasingly health conscious and want a wider range of healthy snacks. Plus, with less free time, consumers are also opting for more convenient food – they want food on-the-go.
Since securing the SEIS funding last year, Olly’s Olives has enjoyed even more success and gained the recognition it deserves. The lemon and thyme flavour was a finalist at the Innovation Challenge Awards Gallery this month, and the pouches have made their debut on Eurostar, Virgin Trains, and is soon to launch with Australian airline Jetstar over the course of the year.
But then again, we’d expect nothing less from a company whose mission is to become the Muhammad Ali of Olives.
Since Olly secured his investment, the Epicure SEIS Fund, which focused on SEIS qualifying Food & Beverage companies, has been converted to the SFC SEIS Fund. We continue to work in partnership with the award-winning team at Startup Funding Club, who have facilitated investment in more than 110 companies, as we thrive to source the most innovative, disruptive startups out there.