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We have been following Cauli Rice, now Full Green, since the couple started on Crowdcube with their first business Righteous Salad Dressings. Righteous turned out to be a little disappointing and so they moved onto Cauliflower.
They are now back on Crowdcube for what is probably a record breaking number of rounds for any of the same two directors. They simply need more money. The raise is going very well and they are consummate artists when it comes to the story and presentation. Hats off. The trick here is that they make it look like their process and end product produces the carb benefits. Actually that is all down to the simple cauliflower.
But with another hat on - a tin one worn when looking into the real guts of a business, Im not convinced this is a good bet. Reviews of their products are and have been consistently very mixed. The bad ones are to be honest, not for pre watershed reading.
Full Green have also never managed to come in on budget - Righteous never did either. And like the switch from Righteous when that didnt work, FG are now launching a brand new product - cereal - which is in a brand new market. This is not being done on the back of a solidly built brand with break even points reached, with existing products. In fact rather the opposite. They never really cover off the reasons for the budget misses or for the continued losses.
I have little doubt it will fund but I am really struggling to see why. Stuffing freeze dried veg into long life plastic bags is from the 90's. Fresh Cauliflower is cheap and keeps very well. It takes 2 mins to make a fresh Riced Cauliflower dish and is much cheaper and I would say better for you. Why help increase the amount of plastic waste on our planet? We are desperate to do exactly the opposite.
So it has just been revealed - as nobody bothered to ask this Q before, that Full Green use Non RECYCLABLE plastic pouches for their processed cauliflower etc. They are very keen to tell everyone that they have sold 5m of these bits of plastic which will have gone into landfill, been sold to Malaysia where they are sitting in huge waste dumps polluting the surrounds. So why is this so? Well it turns out that the very process used to make their products demands non recyclable plastic. How many investors knew that? You are destroying the planet.
We estimate that if you put this plastic waste from Full Green end to end it would run from Landsend to north of Glasgow. What would that cost them and their shareholders to clean up?
Oh and finally the term Cauli Rice is now off the menu - or in the US at any rate. The Rice lobby, a powerful body in the States, were getting a little fed up with Rice This and Rice That. So new packaging and branding has been required - is that paid for as part of this round?
Good luck to all who sail in her.
Wednesday June 19, 2019
Hardman and Co’s Brian Moretta in conversation with ECF Buzz Founder Rob Murray Brown on start up investing, equity crowdfunding and what’s a good read.