Toppa the Salads!

OK, stop what you’re doing. Grab a pen and paper and prepare to write this down, What I’m about to say is ground breaking…

Health is a key trend in food and drink.

Now I’ll just pause so you can allow that to sink in as you recover and make yourself a brew to calm down.

I jest. This isn’t new news. In fact it could almost be classed as postmodern. This agenda has long been on the ‘To Do’ lists of food manufacturers and consumers. So what is new news in this world?

I’m currently sat writing this post at lunch time in the busy canteen of one of the biggest food retailers in the UK. In my proximity I can see one person has soup, another has a dry crisp bread and another has a jacket potato. No one has gone for the burger and chips that’s also on the menu today. So everyone is consciously watching what they’re consuming and opting for the healthier choice. But what’s missing? Well for one a smile on their faces! Now you can accuse me of jumping to conclusions but I think the joy has left their faces because the flavour has left their plates.

Now we have established that we, as a food eating nation, want a healthy option and we want the choice we are now demanding more from our healthy options. A healthy lifestyle should not be a compromise and a chore and…FLAVOUR IS KING.

A Food Adventurer should constantly be seeking out new and exciting flavours and we shouldn’t exclude the health conscious from this search.

Enter Toppa from Plain Tasty…

Plain Tasty


Rating: 7/10

Appeals to: vegitarians, flexitarians, free-from followers, food lovers, healthy-food-hunters and just about any body


The packaging is very simple and a lot of the key cues emanate from the fresh, bright and simplistic branding. The packaging hints at the products’ flavour-enhancing qualities and would break-up an otherwise repetitive fixture. Another important element of any healthy product packaging is that you can clearly see the product., which you can here. This is vital in terms of giving potential shoppers confidence over quality and sets expectations.northernmunkeebites.toppa1

My only criticism of the packaging is that it doesn’t successfully communicate what the products’ functions are. Although toppers aren’t a completely new concept it would be difficult to attract new shoppers to buy if this isn’t clearly communicated.


£3.75 (based on company website) – on first glance you may think this is a little steep but I actually think it’s market appropriate. Consider the items that it’s likely to be purchased with (oils, crutons and spices) and this price point works really well within that.


Chilli and Lime, Lime & Seaweed

Now, this is a very versatile product but the beauty in it is its texture and flavour enhancing qualities. The magical mix is a blend of textures and ingredients in itself which marry together to produce a symphony of flavours. However, when you add the mix to a soft salad or soup it really comes to life and offers a stark juxtaposition in mouth feel.

I tried the product all three ways that are recommended on the packaging: as a snack, with soup and on a salad. I must admit the product performs exceptionally well as a meal topper but it’s not something I’d choose to snack on in isolation. This product comes alive and is really at home when it’s enhancing and adding another dimension to food. Banish the bland!

Verdict – in a word, tops! There are a few branding tweaks that I’d suggest but on the whole this really delivers against expectations. It’s a fantastic food flavour enhancer and it certainly would have brightened up some of the faces of the people around me right now!


Any comments, thoughts or questions? Or are you a healthy-food-hunter yourself and you want to offer me some tips? Leave a little comment below because sharing is caring!

Northern Munkee.