Impact Food Group

Bridges Sustainable Growth Fund IV

A new platform in educational catering providing high-quality nutritious school meals to primary and secondary school children

  • Theme

    Health & Well-being

  • Date of Initial Investment

    February 2018

  • Bridges Executives

    Emma Thorne
    Tom Redpath
    Oliver Wyncoll

  • Management Team

    Geoff Peppiatt – Executive Chair

Bridges has long been a leader in impact investing, and we felt they really understood our values and our vision for the business. With their support, we’re committing to the goal of becoming an ‘Impact Organisation’: working within the school and wider community to encourage healthier lifestyles, positive employment practices and sustainability.

Geoff Peppiatt, Executive Chair of Innovate


One in every three 11-year-olds is now overweight or obese, and almost 60% more children in their last year of primary school are now classified as “severely obese” than in their first year.  Obese children are much more likely to become obese adults, with all the negative consequences this has for physical and mental health.

Investable Solution

The UK school catering market is worth over £2bn a year, spanning 22,000 schools and serving some 8.3m students. Schools and academy groups are increasingly seeking specialist catering partners who can provide accessible, high-quality and nutritious menus, alongside excellent service and value-for-money.

In 2018, Bridges created the Impact Food Group (IFG) bringing together the combined strengths of Innovate Services and Cucina to create one of the largest specialist school catering groups in the UK. Across the two companies, IFG will provide healthy and nutritious, restaurant-quality food at nearly 200 primary and secondary schools across England, with combined annual sales over £35m.

Both Innovate and Cucina have been growing rapidly as independent companies. By combining their respective strengths within IFG, the goal is to build a best-in-class operator with even stronger potential for future growth.


Promoting healthy eating in schools helps to combat obesity and fosters better long-term eating habits. Studies also suggest that children who eat healthier, nutritionally-balanced meals are more alert, better-behaved and more likely to perform well in school.

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