Laura Bounds takes over as owner of Kent Crisps and Kentish Oils
PUBLISHED: 12:32 04 April 2017 | UPDATED: 12:32 04 April 2017
At 31, she is one of the youngest female snack business owners in the UK
Successful county business, Kent Crisps and Kentish Oils, has announced it has a new owner.
Kent-born Laura Bounds, who has been commercial director for the brands since 2014, has now taken over as owner to drive the company forward into “a new phase”.
The firm has grown by some 52 per cent in that time, winning a host of awards, while launching new flavours and undergoing a rebranding process.
“Making the leap and taking over ownership of Kent Crisps and Kentish Oils was the next logical step for me,” Ms Bounds said.
“The company has grown rapidly and I have enjoyed the challenge of being involved in all aspects of this, including the new product ranges.
“As someone who loves the food industry and was born and raised in Kent, it also brings me immense pleasure employing local people and supporting local producers.
“This makes it as authentic as it gets.”
At 31, she is one of the youngest female snack business owners in the UK, and says she now plans to help grow the business further.
This includes new product development for Kent Crisps, new diversification and factory growth for Kentish Oils and a continued push for new markets.
The plan is for further product extensions in the condiments range and a new selection of salad dressings and mayonnaise.
Multiple airline contracts, including two with American Airlines, have already been secured by Ms Bounds, who has also been recognised by winning a number of awards, one being Taste of Kent Awards Producer of the Year in 2016.
She has also been asked to share her experience as a key note speaker at a Department of International Trade event for companies new to export.
Alongside this growth, Ms Bounds will continue pushing the benefits of rapeseed oil and growing the Kentish Oils brand across the south east.
Not only does Kentish Oils grow their rapeseed on farm in Birchington, where the seed is harvested, it is also pressed and bottled there.
The new owner now plans to find further investment to increase capacity, to help support the growth of the oils production side of the business and look at further diversification into condiment ranges.
“My vision for the future is to forge new partnerships and products and fly the flag for rapeseed oil, which has tons of benefits including the lowest saturated fat content over any other oil,” she said.
“At the same time, I plan to enter four new export markets over the next 18 months for Kent Crisps, create a global brand and promote Kent as a destination for visitors.”