North East Development Capital Fund leads investment in CRL Foods

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The North East Development Capital Fund has led a £410,000 investment in Newcastle-based CRL Foods, a specialist food & beverage canning, sterilisation and pasteurisation business.

Published: Feb 17, 2022
Focus: North East Development Capital Fund

The Fund originally invested last year to enable the business to expand its team, creating 10 new jobs in Newcastle and increase its production capacity. Today’s funding package will allow the business to purchase new equipment and add additional production lines to its growing factory to service a number of transformational contract wins.

CRL Foods continues to provide differentiated thermal processing technologies to sterilise and pasteurise food and drink with the ability to heat and cool products at market leading speeds which eliminates over processing. The business supports several well-known global customers within the industry that supply both under their own brand and on a white label to most of the major supermarkets in the UK. Since Maven invested last year, the company has enjoyed strong growth with a number of major contract wins. The management team also grown by the appointment of experienced financial specialist Rob Jones as Finance Director and Callum Ruffman as Operations Director, with a wealth of industry experience previously working for Lanchester Wines and Hike Coffee.

Whilst the international food and drinks markets are boosted by continued consumer changes towards convenience and healthy living, CRL Foods is seeing strong demand following the reopening of the main coffee chains post pandemic and other major brands are seeking to move part of their supply chain back to the UK due to the current inflation in haulage costs. The business is also well positioned to deliver the pasteurisation process to USDA and FDA standards, exploiting its technologies to do this at a higher standard and a lower cost.

“CRL Foods has enjoyed very strong growth in 2021 and secured a number of major contract wins, alongside its impressive customer base it supported when we first invested. Following new appointments to the management team and strong sales activity throughout the year we are delighted to further support David and the rest of the CRL Foods team at an exciting time in the company’s expansion.”

David Nixon, Investment Manager at Maven

“Our decision to move to 100% aluminium cans, thereby replacing plastic as a fully sustainable way to eliminate packaging waste in a wide range of food and beverage applications in 2021, has enabled significant growth since the business was started in 2019. Our unique and patented brewing and retort processing methods have also made CRL Foods the first choice for RTD Coffee customers Worldwide, with ‘Geordie Coffee’ now being enjoyed from Singapore to Europe and the Middle East as well as the United States.”

David Lambert, CEO of CRL Foods

If you're a North East business looking to grow, speak to Maven’s local team about your current and future needs, and our experienced investment professionals will be able to guide you on your funding requirements. Contact our team today on 0191 731 8590.

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