Anthony Fletcher, Urban Legend launch (2)

Source: Urban Legend

Urban Legend founder and CEO Anthony Fletcher holds a box of their non-HFSS ring doughnuts

Healthier doughnut brand Urban Legend has raised  £3m in its latest investment round, led by Samworth Brothers’ venture capitalist arm Perfect Redd.

The deal is aimed at helping the company continue to expand its distribution footprint outside London and the southeast as well as access a wider market across new channels. Urban Legend’s non-HFSS products are currently stocked at Tesco and Sainsbury’s stores, with one doughnut sold every 15 seconds on average, it said.

Urban Legend will also now be able to tap into Perfect Redd’s unique expertise in short shelf-life logistics along with support from Samworth Brothers, which owns a portfolio of bakery brands including Ginsters, Soreen, West Cornwall Pasty Co, Dickinson & Morris, and Urban Eat.

“Our partnership with Perfect Redd represents a joint success towards the goal of pioneering innovative solutions to tackling obesity and improving the nation’s health,” said Urban Legend founder and CEO Anthony Fletcher, who was the former CEO of healthier snack company Graze before it was sold to Unilever in 2019.

“It is key that logistics does not become a constraint in rolling out this successful and important brand and Perfect Redd and Samworth Brothers will help us to scale,” Fletcher added.

England football captain Harry Kane and Welsh rugby coach Warren Gatland were among those to also have invested in Urban Legend’s latest funding round. This brings total investment to £13m following £3m in seed funding for its launch in 2021, and an additional £7m of venture capital in 2022 used to set up a new custom-built factory in West London.

Urban Legend has developed novel cutting-edge manufacturing and formulation solutions to its range of sweet treats including glazed ring doughnuts, filled doughnuts, and cinnamon buns. Its steam-baked ring doughnuts, for example, are made without artificial colours, flavours, or preservatives and contain less than 150 calories with a 50-75% reduction in sugar, fat and saturated fat compared to deep-fried alternatives.

“We believe that reducing sugar and fats in one of the nation’s favourite treats is a significant opportunity,” said Perfect Redd investment director Paul Shirt. “We are excited about partnering with a science-led and socially relevant brand and look forward to helping Urban Legend expand their offering.”