Whitley Bay firm capitalises on growing appetite for seaweed
A Whitley Bay business selling products made from seaweed is expanding across the UK as people embrace a more plant-based diet.
Seaweed & Co., founded by marine biologist Dr Craig Rose, sells a range of culinary oils infused with seaweed and seaweed nutritional supplements in Holland and Barrett and Sainsbury’s stores nationwide.
However, with a growing interest in seaweed-based products, Seaweed & Co. is attracting interest from other major retailers including Lakeland and Boots.
The Waitrose Food and Drink Report 2019 listed seaweed alongside noodles and tahini as one of the foods that “led the way this year”.
Craig, 40, who founded Seaweed & Co. thanks to a £25,000 Virgin StartUp Loan, supplied food and nutrition manufacturers with a range of seaweed products before launching his own consumer-facing brand, Doctor Seaweed’s Weed and Wonderful, last year.
Craig said: “I’ve always been an advocate of the benefits of seaweed and launched Seaweed & Co. after noticing the trend towards healthier and ethically-sourced food.
“It’s brilliant to see that I was right to take the chance on an alternative product, and a forgotten food.
“It’s a huge milestone for the business to have launched nationwide in Lakeland, and in good time to offer people some great tasting and healthy New Year inspirations.
“We’re also excited to have expanded to such an iconic British store as Boots and are looking forward to further expansion during 2020.
“None of this would have been possible without the support and advice we received from Start Up Loans.”
Richard Bearman, Managing Director of Start Up Loans, said: “We’re delighted to have helped Craig kickstart such a fantastic business.
“Growing a business can be tough and his success shows what’s possible when you combine a great idea with passion and determination.”
Andy Fishburn, Managing Director, Virgin StartUp, said: “Virgin StartUp is proud to have supported Craig and the team at Seaweed and Co. Craig is a true entrepreneur who saw a niche gap in the market and created mainstream demand for it.
“We love to see brands like Seaweed and Co. promoting a more sustainable lifestyle and look forward to seeing them go from strength to strength."