Revolutionary Cold Pressed Drinks…

Focus on SIAL: Coldpress Drinks

Over the next week I will be focussing my attentions on Paris and SIAL: the world’s largest food innovation exhibition.

Innovation is the lifeblood of food retail as it drives new shoppers, new interests, new sales and new opportunities. There has been a plethora of game changing innovations over the last few years that have redefined food retailing in one way or another: bottled water, the shelf check-out, home delivery, micro-meals, vaping…the list is endless.

So, in the spirit of SIAL, I’m going to give my view of the world of retail and food innovation before I adjust my focus to an exhibitor at the conference in Paris.

Sustainability

This has been a hot topic in the food industry for a long time and probably always will be. Sustainability can mean different things to different people but in its simplest form it’s a means to ensuring that we have longevity in supply of food. That can be achieved through fair wages and working conditions, exploring renewable energies or protecting the environment that produces the food. I wrote on this subject in a previous blog and in particular about how manufacturers are turning away from organisations, like the Fairtrade Foundation, in search of a more effective way of creating a sustainable supply chain.

In commercial terms, sustainability is still important to shoppers which can be evidenced from campaigns like The Grocer’s Waste Not Want Not. Suppliers should be mindful of their sustainability stance and can use it for commercial gain such as the multiple retailers’ adoption of ‘wonky veg’ to win hearts and minds.

Food Waste

I touched on this point briefly above but, as odd as this may sound, the management of food waste is becoming more and more trendy. This is partly driven by social awareness and hardship programs like Fair Share and also a socio-economic drive to stop throwing money down the drain through negligence and ignorance.

This trend has seen brands such as Toast Ale, beer made from surplus bread, to emerge. Now, I’m not claiming this is a new trend, far from it; the practice has existed for hundreds of years since fruit manufacturers wanted to preserve their wares in sugar to make jam or potato farmers wanted an outlet for surplus potatoes in a snacking format. What I am saying is that this concept and story is now becoming a commercial opportunity.

Dot Com

Online food shopping is something that has been growing steadily year after year in the UK but there has to be a significant leap forward in the near future that will be a game changer. If I was a betting man I’d say that is more than likely going to come from Jeff Bezos et al over at Amazon where drones are already lining up laden with groceries. Amazon will steal a march on the grocery sector, it’s just a matter of time.

For now, companies like Deliveroo will continue to innovate and do things differently and better than before but surely no one can beat the Amazonian beast to the online food retailing crown?

Flavour Trends

Flavour trends are really difficult to predict and if I could tell you the difference between a flash in the pan and a sticky trend I’d be a very rich man!

Flavour and food trends tend to be driven by social elements like which holiday destinations are popular at the time and therefore it changes frequently, almost on a yearly basis. One trend that is definitely here to stay in the UK is provenance. We are still obsessed by where our food comes from to keep a check on traceability and quality.

Health is still prominent on the trend agenda in the UK and the movement over the last 18 months has seen protein come into the limelight. Is this trend a sticky one? I think not but only time will tell.

Now that my soap box is well worn, I’ll introduce my SIAL 2016 exhibitor focus for today…

Coldpress

Who are they?

Coldpress is the product of Andrew and Bradley’s desire to bring the food industry into the 21st Century by improving production methods to produce a tastier, healthier and more sustainable foods. The business’ ethos is literally about taking the heat out of the production process

Why are they innovative?

This is easy. Two things: process and packaging. I’m a big believer in brands finding ways to ‘pop’ off the shelf and I think the iconic hexagonal bottles achieve that. The process is Coldpress’ raison d’etre and gives the product life. The packaging allows the drink to speak for itself and is the main selling space.

Why should you love them?

Again, this is easy. The taste. The product delivery is just fantastic. Whether you buy into their mission to revolutionise the drinks manufacturing process you’ll definitely buy into their flavours – in fact I’m drinking one right now as I write this if you must know! So, do yourself a favour: put down the concentrate and pick up the Coldpress.

Details: www.cold-press.com

SIAL Location: JK 042 National Pavilions and Regions of the World

So all that leaves me to ask is what are your food or retail trends for 2017 that you want to highlight? Come on people, sharing is caring.

Northern Munkee.

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Pasta with a Protein Punch!

Product Review: Supergrain Pasta

In previous blogs I have described myself as a gluten evader as opposed to someone with a diagnosis that recommends a diet that’s high in cardboard and low in flavour. I do actively seek out freefrom products because a) I know they’re good for me and b) I’ve had to give up bread recently, which is devastating!

I do, however, really struggle with the range of products available to people like me or those with a proper condition. Freefrom should not mean freefrom flavour. For example, I still haven’t found a good bread to help me enjoy peanut butter again.

The freefrom category is no longer something that is banished to a dusty corner retail space it is now front and centre in many mainstream retailers and the range is gradually increasing and improving. Retailers have recognised that the market isn’t just populated by early adopters and niche purchasers but regular shoppers are now opting for freefrom foods. It’s also a great way for retailers to drive value back into categories that have been facing terminal decline since the recession – a freefrom shopper is not a shopper that’s driven by value alone.

I’m still relatively new to this category and I’m still exploring. Pasta is a food that I find particularly problematic to replace. My common experience of freefrom pasta is similar to boiling elastic bands, I imagine. So, when I got the chance to try some new gluten free pasta I jumped at it…

northernmunkeebites-supergrain1

Supergrain Pasta: Green Banana Penne

Rating: 9.5/10

Packaging

Spot on. The brown paper bag appeal is just perfect for farm shops, delis and specialist outlets and is the signature of a true artisan. I think the branding is simple but effective and there’s a lot to work with going forward. My only criticism of the packaging would be that the branding doesn’t scream out the products main USPs. This product has a cornucopia of benefits to the consumer and I don’t think this is clear from the packaging alone.

Price

£4.10 (from Nomad Health)– this is definitely market appropriate. However, if you’re a typical retail buyer comparing this to 500g of Napolina pasta then you’re going to suggest it’s a little pricey. However, in my opinion, this is a sign of quality and will appeal to the freefrom brigade who aren’t afraid to dig a little deeper into their pockets to find a great food.

Delivery

Truly brilliant. Now, I can say that I’ve found a good pasta substitute that won’t leave me gasping for flavour! On a basic level this is a great tasting pasta with a good shape to really take on its surroundings; but this is much more than a great tasting pasta.

As well as being a freefrom ambassador it also boasts 40% lower carbohydrates, 25% protein content 7% fibre content and a wealth of beneficial minerals and weight-hating goodies.

Verdict – in a word, superfood! Supergrain Pasta has a large range of products in its portfolio to satisfy any casual or serious freefrom foodie. Pasta is a staple of the British store cupboard so finding an alternative like this is a game changer. I can’t wait to explore more of the range.

Details: www.nomadhealth.uk

So all that leaves me is to ask: if you’re a gluten evader how do you get your peanut fix? Come on help a nutbutter nutter out and leave me a comment below because sharing is caring.

Also, before you go take a look at my blog on more gluten free treats!

Northern Munkee.

Superseed Granola Breakfast

Product Review: Troo Foods Granola

This is a breakfast-inspired blog and one that is close to my heart as I started off life in the commercial world working for one of the biggest breakfast food companies in the world.

They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day but it is fast becoming the most forgotten meal of the day. I’m not suggesting that the trend is that people have stopped eating breakfast; however I am suggesting that it’s not a meal any more. The days of sitting around the table to eat breakfast are all but gone except may be on weekend, instead people are yearning for a more convenient and faster way to consume their morning meal. This trend has contributed to the success of cereal bars, breakfast biscuits and breakfast drinks.

I am a big believer in market innovation to drive interest and new shoppers so there’s no doubt that the explosion of on-the-go options has driven the category forward but I want to see innovation driven by creativity not convenience. The Grocer published a great article this summer in their breakfast feature which demonstrated some inspirational developments including a fresh take on black pudding!

There is a ray of hope for the breakfast occasion that’s being driven by health conscious audience as demonstrated in Eat Yourself Skinny’s blog.

Granola is playing a key role in this new movement with its versatile uses we just need more market innovators like Troo, a fresh granola subscription service, to come to the party…

Troo Superseed Granola

Rating: 8.5/10

Packaging

Now it’s safe to say that I have never seen granola packaged like this before, but I have to say I love it. The ‘sealed-in-freshness’ appeal of the coffee-style packaging really adds to the appeal and branding. I also think the faintly stamped roundel calls up connotations of adventure and the exotic. I would question how this packaging would translate onto a retailer’s shelf (mainstream or specialist) as it isn’t clear what the product is or what it’s unique selling points are. However, as something that is intended to be received in the post I think it’s brilliant.

Price

£6.99 (monthly subscription)– this is definitely market appropriate. A mainstream granola or cluster-based cereal can cost up to £4 for 200g so I have no issue with being charged a slight premium for a far superior product.

Delivery

This is fantastic! The granola delivered a fantastic juxtaposition of textures and flavours from a generous blend of sweet, soft fruits and crunchy nuts and seeds. These notes were interspersed with a smooth, creaminess that developed from the oats and milk.

The final twist in the journey that this product took me on was an overarching cinnamon burst that held all the individual components together with a soft, sweet warmth. What a brilliant way to start the day!

Verdict – in a word, kick-starter! Breakfast doesn’t have to be a functional time of the day as there are now so many options available to us. As a foodie make a promise to yourself that you’ll plan your breakfast meal with as much consideration and care as you do an evening meal just once a week. Try something new, something healthy and treat yourself to a food smile at the start of the day!

Details: http://www.troogranola.com/

So all that leaves me is to ask: what’s your favourite way to eat granola? Come on folks, leave me a comment below because sharing is caring.

Also, before you go take a look at my blog on another fantastic granola I reviewed earlier in the year; it offers something completely different to Troo but is just as inspiring!

Northern Munkee.