The FoodChain team sample a selection of new and innovative foods and drinks

Citrus zing
Citrus ZingDuerr’s new range of marmalades is bursting with flavour, and natural simple ingredients, aimed to help consumers spread a little sunshine onto morning toast or afternoon tea! Available in four fruity flavours – Classic Seville Thick Cut, Sunny Seville Fine Cut, Half Sugar Seville Fine Cut and Golden Ginger – they are guaranteed to brighten up even the darkest winter morning. The stunning new jar design also includes the easy-open ORBIT lids and an easy peel label, allowing creative marmalade lovers an easy step to re-use their empty jars.
“I loved the Golden Ginger jam – it had enough ginger heat balanced by sweetness, and was a gorgeous consistency. Not only did I use it on toast but also on desserts and even added a spoonful to a freshly halved apricot – perfection!”

Get the juice
Get the juiceFollowing extensive consumer research and analysis of market trends, the small team at The Cracker Drinks Co headed into their blending room with a brief to create the very best blended craft fruit juice drinks. The result is Crafted, a new range of four great tasting juice drinks in Mango & Passion Fruit, Pineapple, Coconut & Lime, Still Cloudy Lemonade and Apple, Mint & Lime. With no added sugar or sweeteners and high juice content, each 200ml serving of Crafted represents one of your five a day. The brand’s uniquely designed craftfeel packaging represents the bold character and individuality of the brand and seeks to communicate its craft credentials: attention to detail, creativity, small production runs, locally produced, independently owned. With its bold and vibrant colours, Crafted is guaranteed to stand out as something a little bit different, new and slightly adventurous on the shelf.
The quality of the juice drinks that the Test Team receives has been on an upward trend for a while and Crafted proved exactly how high the bar is now set. The design of the cartons was really outstanding and different to the norm, which immediately sets them apart. The flavours tasted fresh and carefully considered and the range also had some more unusual options, with the Apple, Mint & Lime standing out especially. “This is so refreshing and different, I am really impressed,” said our tester. “I think it would make the basis of a great cocktail too – on a nice day, in a tall iced glass, this could be my new go-to beverage!”

Divinely crunchy
Divinely crunchyInspired by Italy, Filippo Berio’s new crunchy crostini snacks have been baked to perfection using the finest Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Available in five tasty flavours – Lightly Sea Salted, Formaggio, Sun Dried Tomato, Rosemary & Sea Salt and Fennel & Garlic – they are delicious on their own as the nicest of nibbles, great for dipping and perfect for parties topped with your favourite canapé creation. Baked rather than fried, and 30% less fat than traditional crisps, they are uniquely moreish and wonderfully versatile and perfect with dips.
“These were really interesting – I loved the option of small packs for snacking and larger ones for sharing, and the sophisticated packaging and flavour options made them feel more adult-targeted. While I am sure these would make excellent bases for canapes, I doubt they would last long enough in my house to be topped with anything – they were so easy to snack on and had a lovely savoury crunch that was perfect with both wine and beer.” “I appreciated that these were made with not just olive oil but a brand I respect and trust, and also they are baked not fried, which does help if I am trying to be healthy. I think Filippo Berio has really hit the spot with these crostini.”


Little bars of loveliness
Little bars of lovelinessMade with raw, organic Ecuadorian cacao, unrefined coconut sugar and real juicy fruits, every bar of Ombar is packed full of goodness and deliciousness. No gluten, dairy or refined sugar is used in the bars and keeping the cacao raw helps to preserve the naturally occurring antioxidants and flavanols. Every ingredient in an Ombar chocolate bar is naturally and organically sourced, for a delicious and ethical chocolate experience. Only real fruits and berries are included in bars, with selected versions containing probiotics to aid gut health.

The Ombar range comprises nine delicious varieties: 90% Raw Cacao, 72% Raw Cacao, Coco Mylk, Goji Berry, Coconut 60%, Lemon & Green Tea, Blueberry & Acai, Strawberry Mylk and Cranberry & Mandarin.

Ombar Chocolate bars are available to purchase from Ocado, Planet Organic, Wholefoods and independent health food stores, or online.
“I absolutely loved this chocolate,” said our first tester. “The quality was outstanding, the flavours amazing and the texture was so smooth and creamy (despite the lack of actual cream!) I would definitely buy it for myself and it would make a perfect little gift to include with a birthday card, too. The Free From and vegan credentials were impressive and the packaging didn’t let the side down. Overall a very impressive range!”

Tooti Phrooti
Tooti PhrootiWith new investment under its belt and a refocused marketing strategy, real-fruit infused water brand, PHROOTI has been relaunched. Driven by a fresh injection of cash, customer feedback and consumer trials the very low sugar soft drink brand (only 1.4g natural sugar per 100ml) has revamped its packaging, introduced new flavours and a larger format as it rolls out its drinks to thirsty consumers across the country.

Available to retailers, cafes, restaurants and hospitality, the new PHROOTI 330ml glass bottles are a different shape to the original design, whilst the striking new labels really reflect the USP of the brand as an all-natural, no added sugar or sweetener drink that’s the perfect, healthy thirst-quencher.

The new 330ml bottles of PHROOTI are available in three flavours: Raspberries & Strawberries, Blackcurrants & Blueberries and Apricots & Mangoes (RRP £1.99). PHROOTI is already sold through 40 outlets nationwide via distributor, Cotswold Fayre.
“I loved the bottles as a starting point as I find cold drinks in glass are more refreshing and enjoyable than in plastic,” said the tester. “I loved the shape and I found the small neck nice and easy to drink from. The drinks themselves tasted very fresh, and they had a very authentic flavour – just like the fruit had been added to the water that morning! I liked the slight sharpness that brought to the product, as it made it feel healthier and more natural.”

Meet the Jujube
Meet the JujubeNew to the UK market, the Jujube fruit, also called the Red Date, has been widely enjoyed for health and well-being in South-East Asia for 1000s of years. Brought to the UK by Abakus Foods, the Jujube is packed with flavonoids, phenols and antioxidants, and fresh Jujube fruit has 20x times more vitamin C than citrus fruits. It is also dense in Manganese and Iron, and boasts 18 out of the 24 important amino acids which are essential to the formation of more than 50,000 proteins found in the human body.

In countries where the Jujube fruit is well known, consumers eat them to help with a range of health issues including insomnia, anxiety, gastrointestinal problems and to lower blood pressure. The high levels of vitamins and minerals help support the immune system, build red blood cells, and help reduce tiredness and increase vitality.

Beside the pitted dried fruit, Abakus also offers freeze-dried Jujube crisps, which make a fun and crunchy snack for both adults and children
The Jujube fruit went down a treat with the Test Team. The dried fruit were quite soft and chewy, and pretty similar to a more familiar date – the cashew stuffed option was the favourite as it added a new crunchy dimension. The dried Jujube crisps were excellent – little tiny fruity disks, with an interesting texture. “The pack was a generous portion, and it made a great, fun snack. I’d buy these if I was out and about,” said our tester.