Barking and Dagenham entrepreneurs have snack stocked in Sainsbury’s

PUBLISHED: 17:00 30 September 2019

Giuseppe Baidoo with Gusto's line of products. He graduated from Barking and Dagenham College in 2016. Picture: Giuseppe Baidoo.

Giuseppe Baidoo with Gusto's line of products. He graduated from Barking and Dagenham College in 2016. Picture: Giuseppe Baidoo.

Giuseppe Baidoo

A pair of entrepreneurs from Barking and Dagenham College will have their new snack stocked in Sainsbury’s.

Giuseppe Baidoo, 29, graduated from BDC after studying product design in 2016 and 25-year-old Claudio Owusu studied business.

The two have made a new snack that aims to be healthy and ecologically friendly.

During his final year at the college, Giuseppe started to think about innovative ways to reduce food waste after seeing a competition advertised. He founded Ooze Drinks, a sustainable company with the aim of reducing food waste by saving misshapen and surplus fruits and using them to make drinks.

But it wasn't smooth sailing at first. Major supermarkets said they wanted a product with a longer shelf life.

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Switching the idea into a snack, Giuseppe teamed up with Claudio to make a new product, Güsto, which also uses "wonky" fruit. Instead of being thrown away, it is turned into air-dried fruit crisps.

Giuseppe explained its advantage is the added flavour: "Other dried fruit crisps are quite bland and ours is the only one to use unique flavour combinations by adding other ingredients such as chocolate, coconut and chilli to the crisps."

The pair are in talks with Sainsbury's and will be launching their snacks next month. In order to get to this stage, they managed to raise £30,000 of investment and funding from a number of sources. This included a successful crowdfunding project supported by NatWest and a competition run by Shell Livewire.

Giuseppe said he wants to give back to the college: "I would like to go back and talk to the students about setting up a business. Many students think about getting a job rather than starting their own business, but in fact there's lots of funding out there for young entrepreneurs coming out of college and I'd like to encourage others to pursue that.

"What I learnt at college has really helped me to get my ideas on paper and put my imagination down into something that I can then pitch as a business idea.

"When I started at university, I found that I'd already studied a lot of the curriculum in the foundation year that I did at Barking and Dagenham College."

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