The company launched a crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs in November 2015 to raise £300,000, with the funds to support marketing to increase brand awareness. The investment currently stands just shy of £155,000 at the time of writing.
Offering insight on the ambition for the firm, Williams told us: “We’re trying to sell our sweets as a premium product to style-conscious consumers – something that hasn’t been done before, a premium gummy sweet
“Generally gummy sweets start at the low end of the confectionery market, the cheap bags of Haribo and things like that and we’re providing a premium in that sector.”
Leading the way to sales of £2.5m and turnover of £800,000, the premium products will set users back between £1.49 and £3 per bag while sharing boxes are tagged between £5 to £10.
Read more on premium brands:
- This couple’s business lets duo travel the world in luxury and work just 20 hours a week
- Apple Watch more desirable than Rolex on 2016 list of world’s top luxury brands
- Got a spare £100,000? Range Rover offers “the most luxurious road trip on Earth”
Over the past two years, Candy Kittens has supported youngsters with over 100 internships, developing a sweet team with roles including student brand managers and brand ambassadors. With brand growth on the horizon, the company will take on three new full-time members of staff in the coming weeks.
Laing believes that he and Williams have successfully secured a niche for high quality sweets. The numerous flavours include lemon sherbet, sour watermelon, wild strawberry and more are set to arrive throughout the year, including a vegetarian option.
“We’ve built a loyal fan base for our products over the past few years and look forward to reaching a new group of customers now that we have nationwide listings with Topshop, Tesco and Sainsbury’s,” Laing detailed.
Candy Kittens products are now in over 1,700 shops across the UK. According to the firm, some two billion bags were sold nationwide in 2015 and securing a 0.13 per cent share of the marketplace will double its revenue over the next year.
When talking to Real Business, Laing explained: “We’re trying to get people to buy into a lifestyle brand and the experience rather than just sweets.”
Williams concluded: “It really is an important time for the business and we are excited about moving into the next phase of growth. An important element of our success moving forward will be the response to the Candy Kittens crowdfunding campaign, which has been a huge success so far.”
Laing isn’t the only reality TV star to make it as an entrepreneur. Real Business spoke with a handful of The Only Way Is Essex (TOWIE) cast members about their various enterprises, which span fashion, beauty, ecommerce and more.
Share this story