Kendal-based pharmaceutical research company and Britain’s only infant formula manufacturer, Kendal Nutricare, has swept to victory in the FSB and Worldpay UK Business Awards 2017, by winning the top accolade of ‘UK Business of the Year 2017’.
Kendal Nutricare also won the ‘Exporter of the Year’ award, at the London-based awards ceremony compered by the first ‘Apprentice’ winner, Tim Campbell MBE, and arranged by the ‘Experts in Business, the Federation of Small Businesses.
Beating off all competition meant that the company, still less than two years old, scooped £12,000 in prize money, as well as two prestigious trophies and the kudos of being judged Britain’s best business.
Its success comes just as its unique Kendamil infant formula – with a brand new palm-oil free recipe that further improves an already excellent and nutritious product – is due to appear on the shelves of 150 Morrisons supermarkets (for June 5). In the months following, Kendamil will be on sale in ASDA and Sainsbury’s, making Kendamil available nationwide for the first time.
‘Kendamil’ has been the cornerstone of Kendal Nutricare’s success, because it is unlike any other infant formula and the only British-made formula available. Its unique recipe incorporates full-cream natural nutrients and essential fatty acids from British cow’s milk, which help infants to absorb calcium and other essential fatty acids for a growing infant.
Food science experts such as Dr Emma Derbyshire and Bernadette Delplanque and Charlotte Baudry say a cow’s milk formula better mimics human breast milk than big-brand formulas that do not use the natural nutrients of full-cream, relying instead on oils to give the child energy.
With these nutritional benefits, Kendamil’s export business has boomed. One year ago, it signed a £6 million deal to sell Kendamil in China and has since entered other overseas markets in Africa, South East Asia and the Middle East. Kendamil is now stocked in over 8000 mother and baby stores in China, making Kendal Nutricare one of Britain’s most successful exporters to China.
A brand new Kendamil Organic formula will be launched at CBME – the world’s biggest mother and baby show – in Shanghai, in July. Its launch will be accompanied by that of Kendamil cereals, packed in 300g tins for the first time, and new superfruit smoothie and meal replacement shake ‘Kendalife’.
With a super-kosher Kendamil Mehadrin product on sale in specialist Jewish grocery stores in Britain, and in stores in the USA and Canada, Kendal Nutricare has wasted no time in taking its brands out to world buyers.
This success story also has a warm feel to it. On taking over the former H J Heinz factory in Kendal in June 2015, Kendal Nutricare saved 88 jobs. It immediately reversed a five-year trend of redundancies and has already taken the total staff numbers to 118. This is set to grow significantly once Morrisons and ASDA shoppers appreciate Kendamil’s benefits and understand the advantages of a palm oil-free infant formula from a health point of view, as well as an environmental one.
Kendal Nutricare’s CEO, Ross McMahon, says: “We could never have predicted that we would become the UK ‘Business of the Year’ in under two years. We are delighted to win both this award, and the FSB and Worldpay UK Business Awards’ award for Export. We have worked incredibly hard to get to where we are and there has never been a moment’s breathing time. We now look forward to making our listings in Morrisons and ASDA a huge success, as well as launching our brand new products and attracting even more buyers.”