Two Birmingham entrepreneurs have tapped into the expertise of Haines Watts Birmingham to help it launch Saucestream, a new pump device that is encouraging consumers to switch from single-use plastic bottles to the more sustainable glass alternatives. It is the second venture for Peter Neath and Ian Worton, two names you recall from entertaining appearances on Dragon’s Den.
Like all good innovators, the pair couldn’t simply sit back and watch their first product grow year after year.
Instead, a chance viewing of David Attenborough’s widely acclaimed BBC Blue Planet TV programme kickstarted the next project that would look to partly tackle the huge amount of single-use plastic found in sauce bottles.
Research found that only 7% of plastic is recycled because of contamination and, with Heinz producing 650 million plastic ketchup bottles every year, the opportunity was definitely there…they just needed to find a way to make sure you could get all of the sauce out of the containers, an age-old problem when using glass condiments.
A few designs here, a few conversations there, prototyping in a garage and before you knew it Saucestream was born, a simple pump device that clips directly onto glass bottles and makes it easy to pump the sauce out with a simple squeeze that is more sustainable for the consumer.
With one business doing well and a new one in its infancy, Peter and Ian needed to explore ways to fund the fledgling venture and the development costs required to get it to market.
Previous experiences had told them that professional business advice and auditing expertise could well make the biggest difference.
However, this view was about to change in 2015 when they decided to approach Haines Watts to help it better understand how they could apply for Patent Box, a Government-backed initiative designed to encourage companies to keep and commercialise intellectual property in the UK by giving them access to lower rates of Corporation Tax.
This is exactly what Haines Watts has done, firstly completing the Patent Box application on both products and, more recently, securing more than £20,000 of R&D Tax savings that the entrepreneurs have put towards development and tooling costs to get Saucestream up and running.
It has also ensured that both firms have moved to digital accounting, installing Zero software to help with stock management and to give everyone greater visibility on purchases, sales, investments, and future opportunities.
This will be achieved by a combination of online sales, its first appearance on Amazon marketplace and a sales agreement with homewares specialist Robert Dyas. These early wins bode well and should pave the way for consistent growth with more consumers looking to move towards everyday solutions that remove the need for single-use plastic.
History has a habit of repeating itself and the duo lived up to this mantra when they became the first entrepreneurs to return to Dragons’ Den with a different offer in 2022.
This time, they managed to attract three offers from Peter Jones, Deborah Meaden and newcomer Steven Bartlett, all keen to maximise the sustainable opportunity Saucestream could deliver.
"Giving entrepreneurs and innovators, like Peter and Ian, the trust and confidence that we’ve got their back is vital in helping them follow their passions and achieve their ambitions.
We’re delighted to see Grillstream mature into a very good business and the potential for Saucestream is huge, especially with the sustainable angle and the desire to remove single-use plastic from daily life.
The next twelve months are going to be very exciting and we’re ready to give them the advice and support they need to make the best decisions"