‘R&D don’t apply to me’ – Food Industry


Even companies that centre around food are eligible for R&D Tax Credits. Whether it be adapting a product due to legislation, like sugar tax, or popular dietary requirement or changing packaging to increase shelf life, there are numerous ways this industry’s businesses can qualify. So it is not just the technology firms that R&D Tax Credits apply to but maybe even a nearby bakery. Here are 3 companies that have made successful claims:

1. ProperMaid

ProperMaid are suppliers of innovative handmade cakes to food retailers, caterers, cafes and delicatessens and even received funding from Deborah Meaden on Dragon’s Den.  They have a passion for ‘proper’ ingredients sourced from Yorkshire and use artisan production methods free from any artificial ingredients or preservatives. However, when an opportunity arose from Ocado to expand their market, this involved longer distances for their cakes to travel. Their products were deteriorating and created a challenge for them to create their well-loved cakes but have them stay fresh for longer. Research and development then took place to overcome this scientific uncertainty and resulted in a ‘Fresh to Frozen’ range being created. They tested for the optimum temperature for freezing and experimented until their products were robust enough to be defrosted. From this project, ProperMaid qualified for R&D Tax Credits.



2. Nucleus

A development kitchen set up in 2009 but redesigned in 2015, Nucleus is the ‘restaurant within a restaurant’. The reason behind it was for owner and two Michelin-starred chef Sat Bains and head chef John Freeman to have a kitchen separate from the busy main kitchen of the restaurant where they could experiment and innovate with new dishes. While many top restaurants have development kitchens, Nucleus is different in that it is open to the public. With 6 places at lunchtime and around 12 for dinner, Nucleus allows a small group to test plates of food while still in the development process and some might not even make the menu if they do not approve. One dish that was created and worked on for 9-10 months was an aerated chocolate dessert. This process of R&D involving testing for the right level of fat content, chocolate intensity and sufficient stability qualified them for R&D tax credits. Another process qualifying them was the development of their freezable liver-based parfait which cut down on waste and improved shelf life.

3. Food Innovation Solutions Ltd. (FIS)

This is a company that is based in London and can help restaurants, retailers and manufacturers if they desire a new recipe or need help launching a new restaurant or new menu. Innovation is at the forefront of this business and it always strives to produce something bespoke for clients and inspire them to continue being innovative by providing knowledge and training to help businesses manage and control their ground-breaking activities. It is apparent that R&D is an integral part of FIS’s operations and therefore, R&D Tax Credits were something that they could benefit from. Within 12 weeks they received a cheque from HMRC and were shocked at how much they actually gained for their development processes and products as they thought the scheme was ‘too good to be true.’


Contact us by phoning on 01292 388 031 or email  info@amas.biz to discover if your firm qualifies and if you can benefit like these companies did.