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Business & Economy

North East entrepreneurs come out on top in Dragon’s Den

Founders of North East protein snack, Oatein, gave a winning pitch during Sunday night’s episode of Dragons’ Den, securing a £50,000 investment from Peter Jones. North East Times reached out to the Oatein partners to discuss their aspirations for the future

Referred to by Dragon Jenny Campbell as ‘a couple of Geordie grafters’, co-founders Andy Dixon and John Paul Gardner’s range of sweet flavours were an instant hit with the Dragons resulting in three offers.

Peter Jones and Tej Lalvani had earlier offered the full £50,000 for a 25% stake in the business. Touker Suleyman offered the same investment for 20% of the business stating, “I’m not as greedy as the other Dragons”.

With an original aim to impress long standing dragon Peter Jones before entering the den, it was an easy decision for the duo. Making one of the quickest decisions seen in the den, the entrepreneurs agreed to partner with Jones, acquiring £50,000 for 20% of the business.

The Oatein partners gave us more details of what they plan to do with the £50,000 investment:

“We will be launching a new low-sugar high-protein flapjack in the next 2-3 months and the investment will be used for the packaging and marketing of this new product.”

We were also keen to hear what role dragon Peter Jones would take in the company:

“After you appear on Dragons’ Den, no activity happens until after the show has aired. With this, our first call on Monday morning was the BBC’s legal team to discuss the next steps. We are looking forward to working closely with the team on the development of the brand in the coming months.”

Co-founders Gardner and Dixon, who first met in the boxing ring, launched Oatein in 2015 and have since sold more than 2.5million bars, flapjacks and cookies in supermarkets, pharmacies and speciality health outlets in no fewer than 55 countries worldwide. Exports account for 90% of the firm’s turnover, with Oatein enjoying particular success in near and Middle Eastern countries.

The snack firm began by producing its flagship flapjack which combines healthy, slow energy release protein and oats and since has gone on to produce a wide range of products including brownies, protein bars, cookies and peanut butters in a variety of flavours which provide the health benefits of complex carbs, a rich source of fibre and additional protein.

For more information about Oatein and to view the full product range, visit