A Llantrisant-based food and drink start-up has been shortlisted for an innovation award after just four months’ of trading following support from a Welsh Government and EU-funded project.
Kind Protein, a small business that makes vegan seitan bites and snack bars near Llantrisant, has beaten hundreds of other companies to be shortlisted in the Innovator category of Speciality Food Magazine’s New Producer Awards. It was thanks to the support of Project HELIX, an initiative designed to boost innovation and efficiency in the Welsh food and drink industry, that Kind Protein were able to launch their products successfully.
Hannah Seifert set up Kind Protein when she spotted the growth of vegan food and a gap in the market for good quality seitan products. Having no previous experience of food manufacturing, she turned to ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre at Cardiff Metropolitan University for support.
ZERO2FIVE supported Hannah through Project HELIX funding to write a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan so she could put effective food safety procedures in place. She was also helped to develop production paperwork and assisted with nutritional analysis and labelling so that any product claims she made were legal.
Following the support, Hannah mastered the processes needed to produce safe food products and her company went on to obtain a hygiene rating of five from the Food Standards Agency. Kind Protein successfully launched in May 2018 and was shortlisted for Speciality Food Magazine’s New Producer Awards just four months later.
Hannah Seifert, owner of Kind Protein said “We approached ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre as a new business with no previous knowledge of the food manufacturing industry. They helped us immensely with explaining food safety and supporting us to write our HACCP plan. The team very helpful, knowledgeable, and patient as we had plenty of questions!”
Professor David Lloyd, Director of ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre added “Project HELIX aims to boost innovation and efficiency in the Welsh Food and Drink industry so it’s great to see national recognition for innovative Welsh start-ups we’ve worked with like Kind Protein. It’s through this type of support that Project HELIX has been able to deliver over £44m impact to Welsh food and drink businesses within its first two years of operation.”
Project HELIX is delivered by Food Innovation Wales, which is a partnership of three food centres based in Cardiff, Ceredigion and Anglesey.