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Thursday, 5 March 2015

Dragons' Den reject has last laugh, making millions selling cut-price food - Telegraph

Dragons' Den reject has last laugh, making millions selling cut-price food - Telegraph:



'via Blog this' - Weird. I have an account now and the shop is mostly empty. I guess it is pretty popular. Hmmmm.



Dragons' Den reject has last laugh, making millions selling cut-price food

Approved Food ships out-of-date food to 600 households a day, cashing in on Britons' love of deals and discounts

Dan Cluderay, Approved Food
Dan Cluderay (right) says his website has become a hit with shoppers looking to save pounds on their weekly shopping bill Photo: Approved Group
When entrepreneur Dan Cluderay appeared on Dragons' Den last year, his business proposal was rejected by the five celebrity investors.
But now Mr Cluderay is having the last laugh as his online business, which sells food that has gone past its 'best before' date, is making millions.
Approved Food sells sweet treats, grocery and drinks that are reaching or have hit their 'best before' date. It doesn't sell chilled or frozen products that have a 'use by' date.
The website has become a hit with savvy shoppers looking to save pounds on their shopping bills.
A look at some of the bargains the company offers
Mr Cluderay says he saves shoppers around 70pc on their weekly grocery bills, and ships to 600 homes a day.
"Who wants to be known as the supermarket selling food out of date? Well I do," he says.
Consumers are becoming more savvy about picking up items that have gone past the 'best before' date, he adds.
‘Best before’ dates appear on most dried, tinned and other foods, and are used as a quality measure. 'Use by' dates apply to fresh food that goes off quickly, such as fish, meat and dairy products.
Mr Cluderay says he will sell two bottles of Coke for £1. Picture: ITV
The 40-year-old appeared on ITV's Bargain Fever Britain last night, which looked at UK consumers love of deals and discounts.
"A use by date is there for health and safety reasons. But buying best before dates are for things in your cupboard - your tins of soup, pasta, crisps. It's got nothing to do with the safety of that product."
The TV show appears to have generated so much interest in Approved Food that the company's website was showing signs of strain this morning.
ApprovedFood.co.uk was redirecting customers to the company's Facebook page as it was so busy
However, when the entrepreneur appeared on BBC's Dragons' Den last month, his pitch was rejected by Duncan Bannatyne, Peter Jones, Kelly Hoppen, Deborah Meaden and Piers Linney.
Mr Cluderay, with his business partner Andy Needham, had asked the panel for a £150,000 cash injection in return for a 10pc share in Approved Food.
After being turned down by the Dragons, they managed to raise £400,000 through various loans and investments, and last year Sheffield-based Approved Food reached £4m turnover.
The company sends out more than 3,000 orders a week, and has recently moved into a bigger warehouse to cope with demand. Mr Cluderay employs 50 full-time staff in the warehouse.
The pair were rejected on the Dragons Den programme, which aired in February but was filmed last year
Mr Cluderay's business began 14 years ago as a market stall, and the business moved online in 2007. Previously, he had worked in IT but was forced to have a career rethink after being made redundant in 2001.
Bargains have become big business in the UK, with around half of people now shopping in discount stores. Retailers and consumers are also becoming more aware about food waste. Last year, London's first 'social supermarket' opened to help fight food poverty.
The Community Shop in Lambeth gives local shoppers access to surplus food from supermarkets for up to 70pc less, and follows a successful trial in South Yorkshire.

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