Bobby Patel, CEO and founder of Appy Food & Drinks, founded the company back in 2012 having worked in FMCG and food distribution for 13 years.

Frustrated at the market dominance of high-sugar food and drinks, Patel set out to create a new drinks category within the sector. Following two years of rigorous research and development, the team perfected its first kids’ range of juices under its Appy Kids Co brand.

The company entered the UK retail market by selling its products directly through well-known supermarkets, including Tesco and Whole Foods Market, as well as online via Ocado. Through the use of popular children’s character licensing on the product packaging, the brand aims to keep kids happy, while the healthy ingredients and low sugar gives parents peace of mind.

“We wanted to make products that were both healthy and affordable,” says Patel. “When parents see our logo, we want them to rest assured that they don’t have to worry about what’s inside.”

The MarketInvoice difference

In 2016, Appy Food & Drinks decided to make the move from using a distribution partner, to adopting a self-distribution model that would allow the business to grow whilst providing more control. However, the change came at a cost; the retailers they worked with wanted longer payment terms, and they still had to keep paying suppliers.

“I know I can continue to grow my business and seize opportunities without fear. We’ve got big ambitions and I love having the reassurance that, if we sign a big contract, our cash flow can cope.” Bobby Patel, CEO, Appy Food & Drinks

At the time, the company had a large line of credit with its bank and the team felt that they were borrowing unnecessarily. Patel explains, “We looked at other funding options with our bank, but while the headline price might be low, you soon get buried under extra fees and hidden costs. It’s very dangerous for a business working to tight margins.”

Appy Food & Drinks consulted with UK Export Finance (UKEF), the UK government body specialising in international trade finance, who recommended MarketInvoice as a great solution to suit the business’ needs.

“MarketInvoice made it really easy for us to access cash when we needed it, and helped us to get to market more quickly,” said Patel. He continued, “The best thing for me is that I know I can continue to grow my business and seize opportunities without fear. We’ve got big ambitions and I love having the reassurance that, if we sign a big contract, our cash flow can cope.”