Gü founder James Averdieck has bought a controlling interest in award-winning coconut-based desserts brand Bessant & Drury.
Three years since selling Gü, Bessant & Drury caught his eye as he himself moved towards a healthier lifestyle.
Replacing his obsession for chocolate with a passion for coconuts, Averdieck spotted the potential of Bessant & Drury, who launched the UK’s first coconut milk ice cream two years ago and which is currently stocked in Waitrose, Tesco, Whole Foods and 500 leading independents around the UK.
Averdieck said that with a daughter who is lactose intolerant, he had become aware of “the over-consumption of dairy” in the UK.
“Bessant & Drury is one of the most innovative young brands that I’ve seen in recent years and the products are not only really healthy but taste great.
“The best ideas come from small entrepreneurial businesses and I’ve come on board to work with the founders, Ian and Steve [founders Ian Drury and Steve Bessant], to accelerate the brands growth.”
Bessant & Drury’s dairy and gluten free ice-cream has quashed beliefs that free from foods also compromise on taste – scooping the best Free From Food award in April this year, beating leading competitors and high street supermarket groups. It also picked up two Great Taste Awards in 2012.
Averdieck will take a hands-on commercial role, working with founders Ian Drury and Steve Bessant – a wellness expert and exercise coach who developed the dairy free ice cream by experimenting in his kitchen with a borrowed ice-cream maker in 2011.
Bessant said: “We have been thrilled with the progress we have made in only two years. From kitchen experiments to working with such a successful food entrepreneur we are delighted to be working with James who like us started with his own unique idea and then created an international brand.”
With 13.7m people affected by dairy intolerance, Bessant & Drury is also free from gluten, soya and cholesterol with no artificial additives, colourings and preservatives. Its range of four flavours (strawberry, vanilla, chocolate and lemon) is soon to be expanded.
With its highly nutritious and functional food status, coconut was chosen as the main ingredient because it provides many health benefits beyond its nutritional content, which includes being cholesterol free. Traditional ice-cream has an average of 11g of saturated animal fat per 100g whereas Bessant & Drury has just 5.1g of the healthiest medium chain saturated fat, the unique properties of which means it cannot be stored as body fat. Furthermore it contains zero cholesterol – only animal products contain this.