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Coles helps Aussie business expand ‘free from’ biscuits range

Coles has awarded a Melbourne family business dedicated to making products free from gluten, wheat and nuts a Coles Nurture Fund grant of $400,000.

Not A Trace produces gluten, wheat and nut-free Coles I’m Free From treats like Chocolate Mint Crèmes biscuits, Scotch Fingers and Choc Chip cookies. The business will use the grant to help build an additional bakery production line.

At Coles, customer demand for allergen-free products is said to have grown “substantially” over the past two years. This includes a 75% increase in sales of Coles I’m Free From biscuits and cookies.

Not A Trace Director Samantha O’Brien says the business is thrilled to be able to expand the range of gluten, wheat and nut-free products available nationwide.

“There’s a lot of work that goes into developing these products and making them stand apart from other products that are in the market, to ensure that they taste great,” she says.

“The Coles Nurture Fund is a wonderful initiative that supports local producers and manufacturers in Australia.

“The grant will enable us to expand our capabilities via a 100% dedicated gluten-free, wheat-free and nut-free savoury bakery production line.

“As we bring to life an array of exciting new savoury snacks and crackers, we will be generating many new local jobs and supporting other local suppliers as we bounce back from an extremely challenging year.”

A chef’s tick of approval

Chef and Coles Nurture Fund judge Curtis Stone commends Not A Trace for its innovative approach to producing great quality foods free from allergens and making them more accessible to all Australians.

“Over the years, the Coles Nurture Fund has supported many small Aussie businesses to expand and innovate in the food sector – everything from closing the gap on garlic imports to Australia’s first quinoa processing facility, and a state-of-the-art factory to grow grass indoors for cattle feed,” he says.

“As a chef myself, I know how important it is to cater to the growing number of food intolerances and allergies impacting many Australians. It’s fantastic that the Coles Nurture Fund is able to support Not A Trace to grow its business by producing a savoury range of excellent quality biscuits so that people with a strictly gluten-free diet can enjoy delicious foods without compromise.”

The Coles Nurture Fund

Coles has recently opened a new round of its Nurture Fund, providing grants of up to $500,000 for small businesses to develop new “market-leading” products, processes and technologies.

Businesses with innovative ideas, fewer than 50 full-time employees and turnover of less than $25 million in annual revenue are eligible to apply.

To apply for the latest round of the fund, visit www.coles.com.au/nurturefund. Applications close at 5pm AEST on Friday, 25 February 2022.

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