Real Wrap co Wrap

How Real Wrap Co has grown from selling local sandwiches to supplying the nation with lunch 

Providing delicious ready-made sandwiches, wraps, and other lunchtime meals, Real Wrap Co is the brainchild of two lifelong friends, Jason Howell and Phillippe Gill. As one of the fastest growing food-to-go companies in the UK, Real Wrap Co supplies the education, healthcare, travel, and business sectors, while operating in environmentally friendly ways. 

Phillippe Gill(left) and Jason Howell (right)

In fact, Real Wrap Co is proudly the first carbon negative food-to-go manufacturer. Under its commitment to minimize environmental impact, the business regularly assesses where it can make changes, with recent initiatives including reducing waste, adopting renewable energy, using plastic-free packaging, and educating customers on best practices.  

Before we delve into sustainability, let’s take a look at where it all started. Although the business wasn’t officially founded until 2012, Jason and Phillippe have always been entrepreneurs, with their business ventures starting by selling bacon sandwiches to local workers during their school holidays. The pair went their separate ways but reunited with a mission to start a business. So, they opened Real Wrap, a healthy fast-food store in Bristol, in 2010. 

Following the store’s success, Jason and Phillippe opened a small production kitchen in 2012 and started supplying to all the University of West England’s catering outlets. After receiving STS and SALSA accreditation, the pair won the company’s first airline contract in 2013, closely followed by an NHS and TUCO framework, which later resulted in Real Wrap Co supplying all hospitals in Wales with its tasty lunch options. 

With a production factory in Avonmouth, England, now in its portfolio, Real Wrap Co reached a production capacity of 15 million products per year by 2019 and employed 220 experts. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit the UK, the company diversified its operations to support councils by providing food and free school meals to vulnerable families.  

Sustainability initiatives 

Today, the business has grown to occupy two sites in Avonmouth and Aylesbury, from which it continues to produce healthy, high-quality products that are delivered to more than 1000 sites across the UK every day, via its own chilled delivery network. Although its core product remains ready-made sandwiches, Real Wrap Co also produces wraps, salad bowls, and pasta pots, as well as a ‘hot eats’ range of ciabattas, sourdough toasties, and hot wraps.  

Its latest innovation is a new premium range, including sandwiches, toasties, and wraps. The ready-made sandwiches are made gourmet through the use of high-quality products and on-trend flavors. Similarly, its premium tortilla wraps incorporate global cuisine, with options including katsu chicken and chana madras.  

Additionally, Real Wrap Co distributes three unique brands; Pollen + Grace, Flawsome!, and Tanpopo Sushi. Specifically, to align with the company’s sustainability mission, Flawsome! rescues ‘wonky’ fruit, or in other words, those deemed not suitable for sale, from waste, and turns them into delicious juices and health shots. To date, it has saved over 45 million pieces of fruit and is on track to save 20,000 tons of produce over the next three years. As a B Corp organization, Flawsome! is available to order alongside Real Wrap Co’s products, serving as a complementary asset to the overall business. 

As the first carbon negative certified food-to-go manufacturer, sustainability is embedded in every aspect of Real Wrap Co. The company’s leaders work tirelessly with specialist advisors and emissions experts to decrease its carbon and is on a rapid path to reach net zero by 2028. It invests in carbon capture schemes to offset those emissions that can’t currently be cut.  All sites use 100 percent renewable energy and are a zero-waste-to-landfill manufacturer, amongst lots of industry leading initiatives.   

Proactive partnerships 

In terms of manufacturing, its headquarters are built to the highest possible spec with LED lighting and a heat recovery system to ensure high operational efficiency. Any food waste, on the other hand, enters anaerobic digestion chambers to produce energy that powers homes and businesses across Bristol. The business is even working with a local brewery to convert waste bread crusts into delicious beer!

Sustainability goes hand-in-hand with quality when it comes to ingredients. Real Wrap Co continuously monitors its suppliers and has recently changed some of its core suppliers in favor of greener alternatives that introduce more British-grown meat and dairy into its products. In an effort to further reduce its carbon footprint, the business took the decision to remove all beef products from its menu, and instead continues to add more vegan and vegetarian options, which currently make up a large percent of the menu. 

Because of these efforts, Real Wrap Co has recently made the decision to be completely transparent when it comes to its emissions. Each product on its menu now comes with a carbon rating, from A-E, based on the carbon footprint of the lifecycle of the product. Things taken into account include farming, processing, packaging, manufacturing, transportation, retail, cooking and food waste. Real Wrap Co hopes that this will help to educate consumers and give them a nudge towards making more positive choices. 

Real Wrap Co’s sustainability efforts have led to unusual partnerships, like its relationship with Forest Green Rovers Football Club in Gloucestershire, England. As the world’s greenest football club, the two organizations have a clear commonality when it comes to the environment and have been working together for the last four years. 

With sustainability at its core, Real Wrap Co will continue to succeed, especially as consumer demand for healthy, sustainable food options continues to rise, alongside the UK’s general environmental consciousness. Regardless of the market, the entrepreneurial spirit of founders, Jason and Phillipe will continue to shine through the business as it embarks on its next steps.