Hooba Foods

As tastes change, the production of food has become an area ripe for research and development. Our client has created a range of foods for all the family.

The aim of the food manufacturing company is to develop meals that reduce meat production while being healthy and natural. In addition, they taste great, so everyone wins. They appeal to meat eaters as well as vegetarians and vegans.

The business looked to develop an alternative to minced meat and have this widely available for commercial kitchens and the home. This all had to be delivered at an affordable price to be saleable.

There are mince alternatives available, but none were made from the same raw ingredients that the food manufacturing company proposed. This meant that they had to begin with a blank slate and research how to make their product and ensure it was stable. There are stringent regulations regarding food production in the UK and these were at the forefront of the food manufacturing company’s mind as they worked.

They wanted the final product to have many of the qualities of minced meat and this took testing and understanding the results. The way the product binds is a major component in the way it behaves in the cooking process so needed to work right for all the different cooking methods.

There are so many variables in the process that it wasn’t possible to predict the results in advance. There was a great deal of research and product testing to ensure it worked well. This meant an R&D tax claim was inevitable in our eyes. We can see R&D tax claims where others may not because of our vast experience in this area. We took the time to explain to the directors the data needed to submit a successful claim.

Finished food products need to be robust enough to withstand the rigours of changing temperatures from freezing to fresh and cooked. These were significant challenges the production team faced in this project. We worked with the production team to understand these challenges and present them to
the HMRC.

Much of the first claim for this food manufacturing company was based on the prototypes and tests carried out before the finalised product was available. This still forms part of a valid claim as the R&D has been carried out.

The cash injection from the R&D tax claim here helped the food manufacturing company to develop their solution and bring it to market.

It is important to gather all of the costs associated with an R&D project. We looked at the raw materials used in the process as well as the staffing costs and outside contractors. Missing related costs such as employer’s National Insurance and pension contributions could reduce the effectiveness of a claim. We made sure all of these were included for the food manufacturing company.

This helped them to move forward with their ideas after the first claim and has supported them in subsequent years too.

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