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Real Olive Company launches UK’s first chilled tapenade range as it prepares for global growth

by Jessica Weisman-Pitts
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green olive branch SBI 300746530

Bristol-based sustainable foods business, advised by UK vegan pioneer and health food entrepreneur Craig Sams, aims to double Sainsbury offering by 2022

The Real Olive Company, a mission-led food business based in Bristol, has launched the first-ever chilled tapenades to be available in UK supermarkets, creating a new opportunity within the nation’s paste, pesto and dip market.

The new organic offering, which is vegan, plant-based and gluten-free, comes in recyclable packaging complimenting the existing range of 13 Real Olive Company products that are currently available at more than 1500 retail points in the UK.  The company, which is aiming to double its existing footprint with Sainsbury with the new range, also has its products available through other UK retailers including Waitrose, Booths, Whole Foods and Ocado.

The Organic Kalamata Olive Tapenade and smoky Organic Smoky Harissa Tapenade, which will be available within retailers’ chilled sections, represent a new offering for UK consumers. They were developed on the back of extensive product tastings and surveys where they secured an 88% approval rating from participants who said they would want to purchase the tapenades.

The new product launch comes as The Real Olive Company embarks on a crowdfunding investment round, aiming to raise a minimum of £200K to help the business scale up for international growth. It plans to invest in new product development, including innovative vegan options, hire new staff with retail and digital marketing expertise, and develop its e-commerce proposition.

The company was founded in 1998 by life partners Karin Andersson and Ben Flight and currently employs more than 40 people within its head office and food processing operation. Its advisers include Craig Sams, the Green & Black’s sustainable chocolate co-founder who also launched the UK’s first vegan restaurant in 1966, which welcomed a host of famous clientele including John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

Karin Andersson said: “The new product range, including the unique offering of amazing tasting chilled tapenades, is an important step forward in our progression as a mission-driven business which will connect more consumers to our ‘love life, eat real’ ethos.

“We aim to grow our presence across the UK on the back of these latest product offerings, including within Sainsbury where we hope to double our existing footprint in the year ahead.

“This provides an ideal platform for us to grow the business on a wider scale going forward, targeting sustainability-focused customers across the world. We will invest in achieving that objective following our crowdfunding round which enables anyone to secure a share in our business and support our mission to make life taste better by connecting people to the natural vitality of real food.”