Pulsetta Foods Limited (formerly Plenta Foods Limited; www.pulsetta.com) have come a long way from the spark of an idea originating from the lack of nutritious foods on-the-go when travelling on business.
This, and having a food intolerance himself, led Dr. Karsten Karcher, together with a professional chef and a medical doctor, to develop a healthy nutritious bread range using peas and lentils (pulses) that is also gluten-free and free-from all major food allergens. After many hundreds of trials, they made a breakthrough, and since this appeared to be a world first, they filed a patent application for a food composition and method of manufacture to protect their novel approach.
The Business Challenge
During the early stages of development of their new ‘freefrom’ product, the team at Pulsetta Foods identified the need for marketing and nutrition expertise to help develop their novel product to its full potential. FHIS provided access to Julian Mellentin, a globally recognised expert in the field of food and health marketing to help refine the strategic marketing messages and positioning of Pulsetta products. To fill the knowledge gap in nutrition, Pulsetta Foods were introduced to Interface via his University of Strathclyde contacts to find academic expertise in this area.
The Collaborative Project
With assistance from Interface and the Food & Health Innovation Service (FHIS), they were matched with the renowned Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health (RINH) at the University of Aberdeen. This enabled the product range to be developed to the highest standards. RINH’s experts researched and analysed Pulsetta products and their ingredients to gain a better understanding of Pulsetta’s health and nutrition benefits. This initial Scottish Funding Council Innovation Voucher project and other support has contributed to a better understanding of this innovative product range, and there is now an on-going relationship between the organisations. Further collaborations have included Pulsetta Foods and their manufacturing partner JG Ross (Bakers) working with Food Innovation @ Abertay, at the University of Abertay Dundee, to explore aspects of clean-label, shelf-life and packaging.
The Benefits (so far)
Pulsetta Foods have made the most of support available from Business Gateway High Growth Team and Scottish Enterprise, specialists such as Coeliac UK together with a number of universities to trial their products; and with the assistance of Interface and FHIS have gained access to scientific and marketing expertise. Pulsetta Foods launched in early 2013 and due to their academic partnership with RINH, University of Aberdeen, facilitated by Interface and FHIS, it has already secured significant investment in its Pulsetta brand.
With an innovative new product range now in their hands, the developers of Pulsetta secured a manufacturing partnership with JG Ross (Bakers) Ltd, a multi-award winning, more than 50-year old family business in NE Scotland. JG Ross has invested over £300k in a production site, safe-guarding and creating at least 10 new jobs. Pulsetta is now a leading 100% natural, ‘free-from’ and vegan range of baked goods in the UK. Within weeks of launch, they achieved Scotland-wide distribution through leading wholefoods wholesalers, and discussions are in progress with national catering companies and supermarkets for UK-wide distribution. International licensing deals are planned for the US, Canada and Europe.
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