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Catching up with Barenaked Foods

Ross & Richard Osman

If you’re a fan of the BBC television programme “Dragons’ Den” then you probably remember Ross Mendham and Barenaked Foods. The entrepreneur from Norfolk first appeared on the show in 2013, pitching for a £60k investment in his gluten-free noodle business, when things took an emotional turn. Asked about his family, Ross was overwhelmed as he recalled his wife Kelly’s most recent miscarriage and had to leave the den. However, he gathered himself, re-emerged from the famous lift and faced the formidable “Dragons” once more. That was when Peter Jones surprised everybody by offering Ross the investment he needed. The prolific investor immediately saw the clever business idea and the genuine passion of the man behind it.

Three years later and Ross is back in the news – last week saw him interviewed on BBC Radio Norfolk and Look East; featured in the Eastern Daily Press and Radio Times; an appearance on the BBC Breakfast sofa and finally on Sunday, an interview with presenter Richard Osman, for the “Dragons’ Den: Pitches to Riches” follow-up programme.

Ross revealed that with the ongoing support from Peter Jones, Barenaked Foods has now moved from selling a few hundred to 800,000 packs of noodles per week and the business is well on the way to being worth £2 million. His products are on sale in three major UK supermarkets as well as health shops and specialist online stores. Better still, he and Kelly welcomed a baby boy to their family in 2014!

We’re delighted to have been working with Barenaked Foods since 2012, allowing us to experience just a small part of the business’ journey as it has evolved. We’re also very proud of local boy Ross for all his hard work and incredible inspiration!

Catch up or watch again:  “Dragons’ Den: Pitches to Riches” (via BBC iPlayer)

 

Sainsbury’s Success for Barenaked Foods

Barenaked Sainsbury's_SMLow carb, gluten-free pasta specialists Barenaked Foods have now signed a deal with Sainsbury’s to sell their unique range of noodles.

Barenaked Noodles shot to popularity in 2013 following a dramatic pitch on the BBC show “Dragons’ Den” from Barenaked Foods’ Managing Director that secured a £60,000 investment from entrepreneur Peter Jones as business partner.

Barenaked Noodles are made using the Asian-grown Konjac root; a miracle plant low in carbohydrates, sugar and calories. Containing only 8 calories per 100g, they can be used as a replacement in meals for carbohydrates such as pasta and spaghetti.

Now landing his third major supermarket deal, Managing Director Ross Mendham first developed the product in 2011 whilst looking for an answer to his own weight loss and dietary needs.

Ross said, “We’re delighted that Sainsbury’s are stocking our original low carb, gluten free noodles. We’re enormously proud to be able to supply our foods to a wide range of consumers because they’re suitable for so many people – and that includes those on restricted diets, with health issues, have fitness and training demands or are just looking to balance their meals.

Sainsbury’s buyer Lucy McCarthy said, “We recognise the increasing demand for low carb, gluten-free alternatives to popular products and are always looking for ways to offer our customers interesting new products, so we’re excited to introduce Barenaked Noodles into the Sainsbury’s Oriental range.”

Barenaked Noodles will be on sale in 380 Sainsbury’s stores from Wednesday 18th November 2015. For more information and tasty recipe ideas for Barenaked Noodles, visit the website at www.barenakedfoods.co.uk

Barenaked Foods celebrate Waitrose deal

BNF Waitrose-8_SMLow carb, gluten-free pasta specialists Barenaked Foods have signed a deal with Waitrose, the food retail division of the John Lewis Partnership, to sell their range of noodles and rice.

Barenaked Noodles shot to popularity in 2013 following a dramatic pitch on the BBC show “Dragons’ Den” from Barenaked Foods’ Managing Director that secured a £60,000 investment from entrepreneur Peter Jones as business partner.

Barenaked Noodles and Rice are made using the Asian-grown Konjac plant; a miracle plant low in carbohydrates, sugar and calories. Containing only 8 calories per 100g, they can be used as a replacement in meals for carbohydrates such as pasta, spaghetti and standard rice.

Now landing his second major supermarket deal, Managing Director Ross Mendham first developed the product in 2011 whilst looking for an answer to his own weight loss and dietary needs.

Ross said, ”We’re delighted that Waitrose are stocking our original low carb, gluten free noodles and rice. We’ve experienced enormous interest in our range of Barenakedfoods and we’re proud to be able to supply them to a wide range of consumers. Our products really are for everyone – including those with restricted diets, health issues, fitness and training demands or people simply looking for a well-balanced meal plan.”

Waitrose buyer Chloe Graves said “We love working with innovative, smaller suppliers like Barenaked who are endlessly passionate about what they do. Free from products are growing in popularity at Waitrose at a fast pace, so we’re excited for our customers to try these new additions.”

Barenaked Noodles and Rice will be on sale in selected Waitrose stores from Monday 31st August 2015. For more information and tasty recipe ideas for Bare Naked Noodles and Rice, visit the website at www.barenakedfoods.co.uk

Barenaked Rice Arrives in Morrisons Stores

Dragons’ Den winner Barenaked Foods have built upon their recent retail success with leading supermarket chain Morrisons set to sell their revolutionary Barenaked Rice.

Barenaked Riverside -6SMDue to popular demand, Barenaked Foods launched a new rice product to add to their range of low carbohydrate, gluten free foods which are suitable for weight management, coeliacs and vegetarians.

Containing only 16 calories per 100g, Barenaked Rice follows in the footsteps of the original Barenaked Noodles and Barenaked Protein Noodles and are made using the Asian-grown Konjac plant; a miracle plant low in carbohydrates, sugar and calories.

Managing Director, Ross Mendham, is pleased to be expanding the availability of the company’s products since they were first developed in 2011 and were featured on the BBC show “Dragons’ Den” in 2013.

Ross said, ”We are delighted that Morrisons will now be stocking our low carb, gluten free rice, which we developed in response to feedback from our customers. The rice makes a superb alternative to standard rice for those who are looking to limit their carbohydrate intake, avoid gluten or simply want to feel less bloated after a meal.”

Andrew Thomas, International Foods Buyer at Morrisons, also expects Barenaked Rice to be a hit with customers.

Andrew said, “We are excited to be launching an extension to the popular Barenaked Noodles. We have had great customer feedback and it has quickly established a loyal following. This is such a unique proposition and offers a real alternative to traditional rice.”

Barenaked Rice is available online at the Barenaked Foods website and will be available to purchase in Morrisons from 3 August at an introductory offer price of £1.00 per pack.

Barenakedfoods and BBC Dragons’ Den – One Year On

BX7n2oLCIAAx1uVIt’s hard to believe that a whole year has passed since Ross Mendham, MD of Norfolk-based Barenakedfoods, appeared on national television, winning a host of fans as well as a whopping £60k investment from Peter Jones.

So what has Ross been up to since his emotionally charged pitch to the formidable entrepreneurs was seen by thousands of people from all over the world?

A supply deal was immediately struck with high street health food retailer Holland and Barrett and also with GNC stores across the UK. Specialist online store MuscleFood UK also stocked up on Barenaked noodles for their sports nutrition customers and the product range is also listed with Homecare Essentials and Edinburgh-based Real Foods Ltd.

Ross has been in great demand and has given talks about his experience in the Den and life as a successful entrepreneur to audiences at JCI Cambridge, Wymondham College in Norwich and Be Inspired Fitness in London.

He also contributes a regular column to BestFit Magazine, provides low carb products and support to Lomax Fitness in Chelsea, Wigan Athletic Football Club, Calum Best and personal trainer Ollie Matthews.

2014 has been a massive year for Ross, beginning in January with the birth of his first child. Barenakedfoods have updated their packaging design and also developed new products, including noodles enhanced with soy protein and due to popular demand, rice! In addition, the whole Barenakedfoods range has been approved by The Vegetarian Society!

BNF Morrisons August 2014The latest news as we go to press is perhaps the most exciting of all, as Barenakedfoods have now completed a deal to supply low carb, gluten-free noodles and rice to Morrison’s retail stores across the UK – fantastic for the Barenakedfoods brand and also for customers who’re looking to try the products for the first time.

We should also mention that Ross even found time to complete the “ice bucket challenge” to help raise funds and awareness for ALS (or motor neurone) disease. You can view the video link on YouTube!

And if you missed the original episode of BBC Dragons’ Den, it will be repeated on Sunday 31st August 2014!

We’re delighted to continue to support Barenakedfoods on their journey from Norfolk startup to a successful and instantly recognised national brand. Well done Ross!!

Barenakedfoods enter the Dragons Den!

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Sunday 11th August 2013 and a new series of the BBC’s popular business investment programme is due to start at 8pm.  Not having been an avid viewer in recent years, episode one of series 11 was however an absolute must-see.

Barenakedfoods have been a valued Enigmedia Marketing client since November 2012, when we met with Ross Mendham to discuss how we could help manage social media campaigns for his unique low-carb pasta company. Our aim was to promote the Barenakedfoods brand; encourage people to think about what they were eating and consider an alternative product which they could easily buy online. Ross had found a niche in the health food market and his passion for the product meant that our job was an easy one!

Fast forward to the summer of 2013 and Ross has amazing news – he’s auditioned for Dragon’s Den and got through to pitch his business to Peter Jones, Deborah Meaden, Duncan Bannatyne and new potential investors, Piers Linney and Kelly Hoppen. Knowing that Ross is such a lovely guy, we didn’t envy him facing what could be a very stressful experience. But we knew he was more than capable of winning them over with his down-to-earth approach, positive attitude and absolute belief in the Barenakedfoods experience.

Watching Ross on national television last night proved to us just how much he has achieved on his own. He has a personal story to tell but judging by the feedback received on Twitter and Facebook last night, so many people identify with him already. Ross’ business pitch began very well indeed, despite the inevitable nerves! He fell down a little on mental arithmetic but who wouldn’t in that situation? The Dragons were a little harsh when they were grilling him about the whole gluten-free debate which muddied the waters a little! (The noodles are in fact naturally gluten-free because they are made from a root vegetable, not wheat/oat flour!)

After the initial business background and product chat came the inevitable financial questions. As Duncan Bannatyne asked how he was being supported while developing the business, Ross explained that his lovely wife, Kelly, was working full-time despite recent health set backs. And that’s when the tears started. Oh my, this was difficult viewing now and we really felt for Ross at this point. Could he compose himself and rescue the pitch….? (Ross told us that he knew he only had one shot so he had to get back out there and finish what he’d started).  So he gathered his thoughts, got back into the Den and not only received investment offers from Peter Jones but Piers Linney and Duncan Bannatyne also expressed an interest in the Barenakedfoods brand! The look of surprised shock on Ross’ face was just wonderful and after careful consideration, he accepted Peter’s offer and the pair embraced to seal the deal.

We’re absolutely thrilled for Ross and so proud to support him on the next chapter of an awesome adventure for Barenakedfoods. (And have we mentioned that he’s a Norfolk lad too…..?!)

Episode One from Series 11 of Dragon’s Den is available on the BBC iplayer at http://bbc.in/13AtzHA

Read more about Barenakedfoods by visiting the website at https://www.barenakedfoods.co.uk/

Follow on Twitter @barenakedfoods

Like on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Barenakedfoods/312668482113488

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