Maven invests GBP750,000 in CRL Foods

The North East Development Capital Fund (NEDCF), supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) has invested GBP750,000 in Newcastle-based CRL Foods Ltd (CRL Foods), a specialist food & beverage canning, sterilisation and pasteurisation business. 

The funding will allow the business to scale, increasing its production capacity and streamline efficiencies in order to service its growing list of international customers. The investment will also enable CRL Foods to expand its team, creating seven new jobs in Newcastle.

CRL Foods utilises bespoke new retort systems to sterilise and pasteurise food and drink that deliver significant quality benefits over current retort technologies through the ability to heat and cool products at market leading speeds. The business has successfully exploited this technological advantage to win substantial international sales of Ready to Drink (RTD) Cold Brew Coffee, Nitro Lattés, Mochas and Teas as well as Ready to Heat (RTH) stocks and sauces on sale in UK retailers.

CRL Foods focuses its sales and marketing activities in areas where high quality, long shelf life and sustainable processes and packaging are required. 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.

The international food and drinks markets in which CRL Foods operates are boosted by continued consumer changes towards convenience and healthy living and the elimination of plastic packaging Consumer demand is also driving more products towards recyclable packaging and ambient storage due to the reductions in food and packaging waste that this provides.

The business is backed by a highly skilled and knowledgeable management team, led by founder David Lambert, a serial entrepreneur and qualified mechanical engineer with over 40 years’ experience within the food and beverage industries.

David Nixon, Investment Manager at Maven, says: “We’re delighted to support David and the team at such a pivotal point in the company’s growth journey. As a result of the production advantages they enjoy, the business has an impressive client list and is benefiting from an increasingly growing market. They’ve enjoyed a very strong start to 2021 and we look forward to working with David and the rest of the CRL Foods team as they drive the business forward.”

Lambert says: “From a standing start exactly two years ago we have developed what is possibly the most exciting and innovative RTD Coffee and RTH Savoury Products company in the world. By developing new and better ways to process and pack high quality long shelf life products using unique and patented technologies we are building a secure future for applied food technologies in UK. Partnering with Maven will allow us to accelerate our plans and guarantee a great future for CRL Foods.”