In July 2021, Inc Retail – the retail arm of digital collective Inc & Co – finalised its latest acquisition, this time welcoming plant-based food and beverage brand GUT Instinct to the award-winning group. With invaluable guidance from Inc Retail and funding from capital investment agency Fresh Thinking Group, GUT Instinct is set to enjoy an amplified presence in the UK’s competitive food and drink market.
Having taken a 42 percent stake in GUT Instinct through a share purchase, Inc Retail is already strategising methods to help the company execute a major marketing and growth plan. Its designers, marketing managers, industry specialists, and retail experts are currently brainstorming the launch of new plant-based food and drink products with GUT Instinct’s existing team. As the first phase of the growth plans, each of Inc Retail’s Chop’d locations will also now use GUT Instinct’s oat milk in its fresh breakfasts and lunches.
Here, Scott Dylan, founder and key partner of Fresh Thinking Group, shares his thoughts on Inc & Co’s acquisition of GUT Instinct. As a widely recognised private equity and distressed M&A investor, Scott Dylan plays a major role in identifying ideal investment and acquisition opportunities for the holding group.
Introducing GUT Instinct
GUT Instinct has already made its mark on the UK food and beverage industry and has become the preferred alternative milk in several coffee houses, including Manchester’s Grindsmith chain (which recently crafted Nestlé’s inaugural instant craft coffee). Many supermarkets throughout the United Arab Emirates have also adopted GUT Instinct as its preferred alternative milk product.
GUT Instinct’s Mission and Values
GUT Instinct’s ongoing mission is to help consumers step up their physical and mental health by making good nutritional choices. The company fortifies its nutrition-packed oat milk with vitamins D, B12, and B2; calcium; and folic acid. This fortification process fills the milk with more nutrition than any other milk alternative on the market.
GUT Instinct highlights the importance of gut health and backs up its offerings with hard scientific data that proves both plant-based diets and gut health are essential to physical and mental wellbeing. It’s no surprise that plant-based diets are becoming increasingly popular as a result of this research.
‘Looking after your gut is up there with the easiest ways to look after your wellbeing, and studies have shown that your gut and brain are intimately connected,’ says Dan Shaw, managing director of Inc Retail. ‘Having GUT Instinct join us at Inc Retail along with our sustainable eatery, Chop’d, is a match made in heaven, and we’re intent on ridding the high street of food and drink that is processed and genuinely bad for you.’
‘Our goal is to bring to market a range of quality plant-based products that have tangible gut health benefits, and Inc Retail can accelerate our growth plans and expand distribution,’ adds Chris Joll, who founded GUT Instinct after learning to manage his chronic fatigue syndrome through dietary choices. ‘I’m looking forward to working with Dan and his experienced team on current and some exciting unreleased products in the pipeline, too.’
Nutrition aside, GUT Instinct also visualises a world where food and drink products promote animal welfare and minimise environmental impact.
‘With the global oat milk market size projected to reach £4.8 billion by 2026, GUT Instinct is ready to take a cut of that market with its vitamin-rich, healthy milk alternative,’ says Jack Mason, Inc & Co’s group CEO.
Guidance From Inc Retail
Inc Retail is working in close collaboration with GUT Instinct and looks forward to announcing up-and-coming developments for new plant-based products with concrete gut-health benefits. Meanwhile, Inc Retail is also fostering growth for several other brands under its umbrella.
As the home of brands in fashion, beauty, and food and beverage sectors, Inc Retail’s acquisitions enjoy routes to exceptional performance and transformation strategies that help them take leading positions in their sectors. Other businesses that are benefitting from Inc Retail’s growth-inspired platform include luxury bag provider KNOMO, sustainable high street eatery Chop’d, award-winning unisex children’s clothing brand Tootsa, and the on-demand laundry app Laundrapp.
About Scott Dylan
Scott Dylan has managed business growth projects in a range of sectors, including e-commerce, digital, technology, property, and logistics markets. He has led several business transformations, including an impressive three-year £20 million growth and exit plan, and directed digital applications for major companies such as Microsoft and the UK Ministry of Defence. He balances his high-level skills in web development, creative applications, and investments with his extensive expertise as a business mentor, working with Fresh Thinking Group’s business teams to instil essential skill sets.
Now, Scott Dylan oversees the strategic direction of capital investment agency Fresh Thinking Group, which enables numerous businesses to re-map their routes to success. Fresh Thinking Group funds several sector-specific groups, including Inc & Co, a collective that helps businesses in the digital space step up their offerings so they can take their places at the forefront of their industries. Inc & Co works with Fresh Thinking Group to offer these businesses the guidance, resources, and funding they need to thrive.
As a private equity disruptor, Fresh Thinking Group invests in healthy companies that are looking to grow, distressed companies that need support, and start-ups that are looking to get off the ground. Fresh Thinking Group enables these companies to ramp up their business profiles, match with better-fit clientele, and develop healthy working cultures. This way, they can position themselves to improve their conversion rates and returns on investment.
A few of the companies Fresh Thinking Group has funded include the tech-focused logistics provider Caribou, parcel delivery company Parcelwise, logistics company GLB Transport, award-winning digital marketing agency Neon, creative agency Brass, and mobile app development company Cuhu.