Going Nuts…Over Nuts!

With the focus on healthy eating, there has been scare-mongering within the health PR industry to steer clear of items that are termed ‘junk’. Whether that’s pizzas, burgers and chips or crisps, chocolate and sweets.

So the search to find healthy replacements for these foods has surged with focus on energy bars and protein balls. Yet one of the food groups that has always seemed to balance between the healthy and the unhealthy are nuts and seeds.  This small yet powerful food group have been hailed as ‘superfoods’, ‘miracle-foods’ and everything else associated with ‘clean-eating’.  That is if you have them in moderate amounts of course otherwise they become the epitome of bad eating, unhealthy eating and everything else associated with over-eating!

Whilst nuts have been around for eons, and come in all shapes and sizes – the popularity of these have grown as consumers add pumpkin seeds to porridge, nibble on brazil nuts as an afternoon snack or grind almonds to make almond butter. They can be sweet or savoury, pre-meals or post-meals, starters or desserts.

The variety these little foods offer are endless.

Miss Nang Treats: Nang Cin-Almond, Nang Sweet Pea-Original, Nang Vee-Cornish

northernmunkeebites.missnang2Rating: 7 out of 10

Appeals to: nut-lovers and those with a sweet tooth who want to (try) and be relatively healthy

Packaging:

These delights come packaged in little bags of equal looking delight. Wrapped in clear bags with tasteful ribbons, the consumer can see the nuts clearly which are attractive.  The colours of the nuts add to the overall look and feel, one can see these presented as favours in weddings or gifted to loved ones for special occasions.  I like the fact that these are small enough to pop into your bag as well rather than being in a box or dividing up a larger bag.  The tasteful sticker details the ingredients, although perhaps the brand could be a little more prominent on this.

Price:

For 100g bag, ranges from £2-£3. These can be purchased from the website directly.  Although the price is a steep for one bag, these are intended as gifts and can be bought in bulk for events.  The price though for one bag can be deemed fair as the nuts do last over a few days/weeks and can be shared.  It helps manage consumption that’s for sure!

Delivery:

These little bags of nuts are tasty! The three different flavours I tried were all spot onnorthernmunkeebites.missnang1 with my favourite being the Cin-Almond one.  These were so more-ish, sweet without being too sweet, tasty without being overpowering.  Whilst they were sweet flavoured nuts, at no point did I feel guilty for having one too many.  The Nang Sweet Pea – Original were just incredible too, the ingredients just say sugar and salt but these seemed to have just the right balance of delicious-ness.  There is definitely a certain je ne sais quoi as you can’t quite put your finger on the flavours but whilst popping these in your mouth, all you need to do is savour and enjoy them rather than trying to figure it out.  Although I may not purchase these regularly, I do know where to go now for a tasty nut treat and to order some packets for special friends.

Verdict: in a word –more-ish. Whilst the price can initially cause you to pause to purchase, after tasting it you can see that it’s actually a fairly reasonable price.  The whole look and feel is of something that is quite homely and very personal.

Details: https://missnang.com/

I would love to hear your thoughts if you have tried this product – feel free to leave comments below.

Guest Blogger: Mrs M.

About Me

As a person with a recently diagnosed sensitive digestive system, I’m now on a path to make sure I eat well whilst still enjoying myself. Having been fearful of food, I now love finding new products, going to new restaurants to try new twists on dishes and am constantly looking for quirky items to consume.  I’m a huge supporter of simple food that is made tasty with the right combination of ingredients and more importantly enjoying your food and diet in a balanced way.  That means I always have room for my favourite item – chocolate!

 

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Nut Shot

Nut Butter Mini-Series: Nut Shot

This is the second in my Nut Butter Mini-Series exploring various nut butter brands from brilliant producers around the UK. I am a nut butter nutter – I love the stuff! I can eat it straight from the jar with a spoon, on porridge, in a quick butty or as an ingredient in a fancy meal.

The nut butter market has exploded over the last couple of years and, alongside chocolate, is supporting the entire spreads market in the UK. In recent weeks a catastrophic shift has occurred in mainstream retail that signals how shoppers have shifted their buying habits as Whole Earth overtook Hain Celestial’s Sun-Pat in the nut butter rankings. Now, Whole Earth, isn’t the best example of this new trend as it does contain nasties but this news is a great dipstick into what the modern consumer is now demanding of the fixture.

So what’s driving this surging growth in nut lustings? Well it’s partly due to health connotations and the protein junkies; it’s also partly down to the purists seeking foods provided completely by Mother Earth and, as much as we may not like this fact, we can also thank our cousins across the pond who’s love affair with nut butters is a daily rendez-vous!

Right, enough of that! On with my review…

Product Review: Nut Shot Chunky Peanut Butter

Rating: 8/10

Appeals to: this is the purest of pure peanut butters with (literally) one ingredient so this product will particularly appeal to health nuts (pun definitely intended).

Packaging

Well, marketeers always talk about ‘popping off the shelf’ (apologies, disgusting phrase I know) and this brand definitely meets that brief! The colours are vibrant, it’s fun and it will stand out against the wallpaper that is the rest of the category. This jar will certainly appeal to a younger audience and the tongue-in-cheek branding will have the students gathering and gawping.

Price

£2.95– this is a very reasonable price point when compared against its competitive set. I did pick this up in my local Spar so anything over the £3 threshold would have stood out like a sore thumb and, more than likely, gone dusty. On a side note: I think it’s great that this local shop is doing it’s bit to support artisanal producers and differentiating against the melting pot of generic retailers in the industry – well done you!

Delivery

Really very good! Please don’t be put off by the fact that you have to stir the nut butter before you consume; that’s how you know it’s good. The nut oil has separated from the solids and formed a delightful layer across the top of the jar. Stir it in and get amongst it! The delivery is astounding to say there is just one ingredient. It’s thick and chunky and just how I like it. This has a completely different consistency to the Funky Nut Co I tried earlier as it’s more of a nut pate than an out and out spread.

Verdict – in a word, amazing! I really like this product. It’s doing something different to other nut butters out there and really differentiates on taste. I can see why it may not be everyone’s cup of tea but, as an enthusiast, I’m a big fan.

Details: http://www.nutshot.co.uk

Northern Munkee.

Whitworthless…

Product Review: Whitworth’s Fusions Chilli Nutty Coco-Chaos

This post is a product review on one of my favourite category: snacking! The world of snacking is fast-paced, ever evolving and always exciting however, that doesn’t mean that all innovation is good innovation! In my role as a Food Buyer I saw hundreds of pitches from companies, big and small, with their idea of what the next big snacking movement was and how it was going to change the face of the category and add incremental value to my business. I can think of just one pitch that actually delivered on that claim in the snacking category.

I’m always looking for new things to review and new ways to enjoy snacking and I thought I’d found something tasty and interesting in Whitworth’s Fusion…

Rating: 4/10

Packaging

Whitworth’s are a large business and the packaging is spot on trend as you’d imagine with a company of their size. The re-sealable foil, stand-up format is perfect for the sharing snacks category and gives it great impact on shelf. The pack imaging and messaging is also spot on giving the shopper a sense of the freshness of the food inside and captures the essence of what they’re trying to achieve with the fusion of flavours.

Delivery

 I was disappointed by the delivery of this product. Fusion flavours and textures are right for snacking at the moment and there are many great examples of this working out in the industry; however, I think the flavour profile of this product missed. The ‘chilli’ element of the whole product was a very salty dusting on the almonds which didn’t blend well with the other flavours. The chocolate used was dark, which I think is the right format, but very powdery and didn’t melt to the touch or taste which indicates to me that it hasn’t been cared for in the production process. True to form the cashews and soft fruits were fabulous, as are all similar products from Whitworth’s. I persevered through the bag with a nice crisp cider but the most interesting thing about the whole proposition, the chilli almonds, ended up being discarded in the empty bottle.

Verdict – in a word, disappointing. I don’t want to be too downbeat about Whitworth’s as a company because their portfolio is really good, in particular their on-the-go Shots, but this just didn’t hit the mark. With a few tweaks to the flavours I think they could be onto a winner; perhaps a chilli chocolate as opposed to an overly salty dust.

Northern Munkee.