Food Innovation Solution

We found the recipe for success by helping food science experts, Food Innovation Solutions to claim R&D Tax Credits

This case study explores how we helped to successfully claim R&D Tax Credits for food and drinks producers, FIS.

Research and Development Tax Credits case study for Food Innovation Solutions

Food Innovation Solutions are a company at the forefront of strategic innovation and food concept development for retailers, manufacturers and restaurants. Based in Bury St. Edmunds, in Suffolk, they cater to both the internal UK market, and international clientelle.
Michael Faers founded FIS in 2011, following a career spanning for longer than twenty-five years of working in the food and beverage industry. Michael correctly identified that there was a real need to provide businesses within the FMCG sector, with access to industry leading innovation. By capitalising on his wealth of experience in culinary services,
Michael was able to offer businesses practical solutions by using innovation to increase revenue and reduce costs. With offices in Bury St Edmunds and London, the company has grown rapidly to being acknowledged as a leader of strategic innovation of food concept development, for retailers and food manufacturers within the UK and overseas.

The Background

Food Innovation Solutions are a food consulting company who offer a wide array of services, but can be split into two sections: Management solutions and Food Solutions.

Challenges that are encountered to create eligibility for R&D Tax Credits for food and drinks producers.

Management Solutions
Management Solutions FIS work with a companies to mentor and coach individuals and teams, along with creating innovative strategies and implement improved processes of food production. They also hold master classes and workshops to address specific training needs.
Food concept development
Food solutions This is the sector of the business in which Food Innovation Solutions encounter technological uncertainty, resulting in a significant amount of research. It is due to this aspect of the business, that they were able to successfully claim R&D Tax Credits with Fiscale.
Food Innovation Services focus on the design and creation of food products, that are bespoke to a client’s specifications. This can range from re-inventing a poor performing item on a menu, to creating an entire menu, from scratch, for a restaurant. As a result of this work, Food Innovation Solutions have worked with several global brands to create products which were not available anywhere else on the market, along with perfecting cutting-edge and innovative cooking techniques, such as sous-vide technology and LT-LT (long time, low temperature) cooking. They design their products based on their highly specialised knowledge of food science and by looking at food on a molecular level, to create highly successful, first to market food products. More information, along with some examples of technological uncertainties, can be found here.

How we helped Food Innovation Solutions to claim Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credits

Food Innovation Solutions, were introduced to the idea of claiming R&D Tax Credits after meeting with Fiscale at a local trade fair. A chance meeting that resulted in them discussing the company’s activities, with Fiscale’s Technical Director, Stephen Bunting. As with all claims for Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credit, we would need to demonstrate that our client were: Producing new or improved products, processes or services Design and development of those products involved technological and scientific uncertainty Following a further phone call, to confirm eligibility and the scope of the research and development activities taking place, an initial meeting was arranged. The first meeting lasted only a few hours, during which time Stephen reviewed the extensive research being undertaken by Food Innovation Solutions, with Directors Michael and Sarah Faers. Following the meeting, Sarah was tasked with collating detailed financial information, relating to the elements of the different projects that were identified as qualifying activities. A further two hour meeting took place to clarify the information gathered, which enabled Stephen to draft the preliminary version of the report. This was sent over to Food Innovation Solutions for approval before being submitted to the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) R&D Tax Credits team in Leicester.

I admit at first I was sceptical about the R & D Tax Credit scheme as it really did seem to good to be true! I was also slightly concerned about the amount of time and effort that would be required to put together a claim. We had an extremely hectic few months in the last quarter of 2014 and my time was really precious. I wasn’t convinced the potential return on investment would justify the time and hassle. Stephen from Fiscale soon put me right! Stephen’s ability to pinpoint the technological uncertainties within the new product and process development was impressive. He explained the information required without using any jargon. I love number crunching and analysis so actually found collating the data required quite enjoyable! We have already submitted two claims covering the last three years; the return has been significant and has provided the means for us to pursue new opportunities. Our experience with Fiscale has been nothing but positive, and they were always available to offer support and guidance. There is no way we could have put the claim together without Fiscale’s help. I have no hesitation in recommending them.
Sarah Mort, Finance Director of Food Innovation Solutions Ltd

Conclusion of claiming R&D Tax Credits for food and drinks

It took around 12 weeks from the initial conversation for Food Innovation Solutions to receive their cheque from HMRC. The directors were surprised at the size of the amount of relief given as it was way beyond their initial expectations.

Could You Be Eligible?

If you would like to discover whether your business may qualify for R&D tax relief