Up-to-date products and announcements from the food and beverage sector

Chocolate with benefits
Benefit Chocolate from UK based company Montrose Chocolate has been named Best Confectionery Innovation at the World Food Innovation Awards 2019 in London. The awards were announced as part of at the International Food and Drink Event (IFE) which took place at ExCel London.

Benefit Chocolate is a farm-to-bar chocolate, made using the highest-grade single-origin cacao sourced directly from ethical farming co-operative CasaLuker estates in Colombia, and avoids milk solids to be completely vegan friendly. Benefit Chocolate is currently available in three functional varieties – the Protein Bar, Vitamins Bar and Energy Bar.

Judges were particularly impressed with the ingenuity of Benefit Chocolate for ‘combining pleasure with functionality’ saying it was a unique, innovative and inspirational idea and that ‘chocolate that provides any additional health benefit is surely a worthy winner’. They also praised the brand’s attractive design and clear messaging.

Gavin Cox, Founder of Montrose Chocolate said of the award: “I’m delighted that Benefit Chocolate has been recognised with this award for innovation in confectionery for delivering indulgence and functionality with high-grade cacao products. A really important consideration for us when developing the bars was appealing to those customers looking for better-for-you products, while not losing sight of the quality of the chocolate so that it delivers on taste too. This accolade certainly validates our concept and confirms that we are well on our way to achieving our mission.”

Protein on the go
SCI-MX Nutrition has launched new PRO 2GO, a range of high protein packed snacks for the health-conscious consumer, supported with a £5m investment including above-the-line and in-store campaigns.

Launching in major retailers including Asda, Morrisons, Tesco, Sainsburys, WH Smith, and SPAR, the range includes indulgent gooey bars, with a liquid centre, raw bars which are vegan and come in two convenient portions each less than 100 calories, high fibre flapjacks and gluten free bakes which provide a healthy, savoury alternative to everyday crisps.

Steve Rich, Sales & Marketing Director, PRO 2GO added: “The snacking space is becoming much more sophisticated as consumers seek out products that support their lifestyle, ensuring their choices contribute to help meet their overall health demands.”

Addressing skills gap
Catering and food manufacturing equipment supplier, Euro Catering, is addressing a key skills gap in the catering sector by launching ‘Equipment Plus’ training options that provide those charged with operating hi-tech equipment with 360° support, whilst also delivering on-point consultancy in all aspects of food production or service.

Regardless of whether or not they purchase equipment from Euro Catering, end-users, restaurateurs, dealers, supermarket kitchen operatives and private individuals, who can be operating ovens, rotisseries, bakery equipment, or something else, can approach Euro Catering for training.

Darren Massey of Euro Catering believes end-users and chefs, on average, currently only use around 60 per cent of their equipment’s functionality at best. Many could reduce operational costs and optimise their menus, if they knew how to use the functionality behind their control panel to the full, operate programme selection to their advantage and better plan recipes and dish costings.

Darren says: “We believe the content of our training will be unique and the approach we are taking to this, truly enlightened. Those we work with through this programme can be using any brand of equipment, as the principles of capitalising on functionality and focusing on the minutiae of a food manufacturing or food service business, to ensure that all works in harmony and on an optimal basis, is the same regardless of what is being used.

“This is about added value, but much more. It can provide participants with all the tools they need to make their business run more effectively, dynamically and profitably, whilst generating higher levels of customer satisfaction and better product taste, presentation and payback. It might be training for half or a full-day in most cases, but it will be training with purpose and intent that will be embedded in processes forever more, if applied post-training.”

Going nuts
One company that has embraced the new trend for nut butters is Borna Foods, a young British company selling premium pistachios and butters, which are sourced from its family-owned farms and certified pistachios farms around the globe. Launching in July last year, Borna has introduced six different butters onto the market, each of which is full of flavour and packed with nutritional benefits, such as healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which can contribute to a healthy heart. Pistachios are also a great source of protein, fibre, magnesium and vitamin B-6. Borna Foods Crunchy 100% Pure Pistachio Butter won a Great Taste 2018 Award and its pistachio butter range received an SIAL Innovation Award also in 2018.

It was this message – that their nut butters are healthy – along with the high quality of the raw ingredients, which the company wanted to portray via their branding and packaging. The overall result is a modern, 19sophisticated jar and label that uses coloured foiling to distinguish between the different varieties of butter.

“Borna Foods chose label.co.uk to produce our butter labels as they were able to give us the quality and finish to complete our high-end packaging,” comments Inesa Slevaite, in the marketing department. “It was important for us to find a label printing company that could offer this additional element at an acceptable cost as we wanted our labels to be highly visible; the colour options are very vibrant.”

Drink the classics
The London Classics are Bimber’s newest premium drinks range – a London Vodka, a London Gin and a London Rum. Frustrated with a lack of creativity, individuality and value for money in the current spirit market dominated by mainstream brands, Bimber Distillery set about creating a trio of unique spirits that challenge the norm and reintroduce character and flavour into the consumer’s glass.

With a strong emphasis on provenance and skilfully selecting ‘best of the best’ ingredients from all over England; Bimber Distillery can proudly say that the London Classics are handcrafted in small batches with every bottle distilled, packaged and labelled by hand at their West London site – yes, the London Classics are 100% made in London.

The distillery has even gone as far as to choose a bottle design for the London Classics with customers in mind – the style chosen works well both in the speed rail or on the bar when pouring. A light, stylish, contemporary 70cl bottle with clean lines and simple branding.

Bimber has remained true to its brand ethos and has not cut corners on the quality of the spirit with the London Classics. Instead it has looked at how it could find cost savings on the cost of the bottle, cork and labels, thus ensuring it remains competitive and provides the right price point.

Cool news
Following news of further stockpiling in both the food and pharmaceutical industry, companies across the supply chain are facing the challenge of finding additional storage and cooling solutions (chillers) to cope with demand.

One viable solution, according to Aggreko, is for manufacturers, retailers and warehousing sector to consider temporary cooling systems/chillers. Chillers, which modularly range from 50kW to 1500kW and can be maintained as low as (minus) -40°C, provide companies that are either considering or have already taken action to stockpile, with convenient, effective cooling for all applications, ensuring warehouses meet the required temperatures for the stored materials. Matt Watson, Sales Manager at Aggreko, added: “Aggreko’s chilled and cold storage solutions are available immediately and, importantly, work within existing facilities without impacting production. We hope that this solution to industry will ease concerns manufacturers, retailers and warehousing sector continue to face, allowing them to store unexpected stock in units that meet industry standards.”

Aggreko’s rapid response team means equipment can be delivered and set-up within hours. Additionally, the company’s experienced engineering team can visit locations and design a bespoke package – and install it – with minimum disruption.