The FoodChain team sample a selection of new and innovative foods and drinks
Better than water
no&more is a new concept drink designed to bridge the gap between plain and flavoured water. The brand aims to cater for people who want better hydration, but without the sugar, sweeteners, preservatives and calories that often come with soft drinks. Through a blend of natural spring water, natural botanicals and extracts, no&more has created three incredible drinks – cucumber & mint, raspberry & blueberry, and watermelon & melon.
Gemma Pond is the Founder of no&more, having created the brand in 2015. Gemma has established one of the most talked about water alternatives, taking the brand from her kitchen table to the shelves of stockist all over the UK and mainland Europe.
“I found each of these waters very refreshing, with the flavours subtle, but enough to give them a lift and set them apart from just plain water. I also found the flavours quite unusual and interesting; quite an adult drink in my opinion. I found that it was a great addition to a work out at the gym, as it wasn’t sickly or sweet,” commented our reviewer
Nairn’s, the UK’s number one gluten free brand and number one producer of oatcakes, has created the first ever popped oat snack – Pop Oats. Being at the forefront of oat innovation, it has perfected this savoury, gluten free snack that is full of flavour, with all the health benefits of oats.
With no frying involved you get all the flavour and crunchiness of your favourite crisp with the benefits of wholegrain oats. Nairn’s Pop Oats are only 83 calories per bag and have 60 per cent less saturated fat per 20g serving than the average packet of crisps. In three flavours: BBQ, sour cream and chive and salt and vinegar.
Our reviewers found these snacks to be light, crispy and totally delicious! “I was impressed with the low calorie count per bag, and with no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives, the Pop Oats felt like a healthier option than crisps.”
Pocket pack of energy
Go Bites are delicious little power packs of energy based on Food for Fitness writer Kate Percy’s original recipes: made from 100 per cent natural ingredients, combined and rolled together to create bite-sized energy.
Kate comments: “I am passionate about the link between eating well and performing better, both mentally and physically. Go Bites are crafted to provide busy people and active communities with a real food, practical energy product that tastes exceptional and is really enjoyable to eat. As consumers become more health-conscious, they are no longer buying a product, they are buying a lifestyle. There is also a demonstrable trend for plant-based products and that’s where Go Bites meets the need perfectly – a 100 per cent natural, free from, vegan-friendly product to fuel active lifestyles.”
“These are such a cute little snack, and their healthy credentials really made me think more about what I am currently eating between meals, and what substitutes I could make to improve that. The bites were very tasty, with the fruity variants having a good tangy hit. The hazelnut and cacao had a nice chocolatey tone that felt indulgent. I think this is a clever product,” said our reviewer
Soylent, one of the top grocery products on Amazon in the US, took the UK market by storm when it launched in September 2018 through Amazon UK. Targeting gamers, students and successful millennials, the brand has since partnered with an esports team as well as sampled over 5000 products through seeding and key events.
Each ingredient is carefully chosen to offer a complete meal in every bottle of Ready-to-Drink Soylent and each scoop of Soylent Powder.
Soylent is now partnering with WHSmith in the UK to put its high-protein, ready-to-drink meal, with 26 added vitamins and minerals, in the fridges of 100 travel stores UK ensuring that people can access better nutrition on-the-go.
As part of its UK expansion plan, the brand is also bringing over the product that started it all, its meal replacement Powder, on Amazon UK, RRP £24 for 245g (ten servings). Versatile and convenient, these pouches of Original and Cacao contain five meals per pouch, each with 20g of plant protein and 36 essential nutrients.
“The background to Soylent is fascinating and I loved the science behind the products. I found the drinks were a very convenient meal replacement when I was busy – they were filling and tasted great, and I was reassured by the nutritional value of the contents of the bottle. It was a very easy way of getting 20gm of protein, Omega 3s and 26 vitamins and minerals – no effort!”
Little Moons, the family-run gourmet dessert brand with its roots in Asian cuisine, has launched vegan Belgian Chocolate Mochi. Spending over a year in development, these moreish bite-sized balls of vegan Belgian chocolate ice cream are wrapped in a layer of soft mochi and dusted in rich cocoa powder – reminiscent of a chilled Belgian truffle. Little Moons knew it was on to a good thing, as before launching they submitted the mochi to the Great Taste Awards, where it brought home a star, nestling it nicely amongst the other winning flavours.
From 64 calories per ball, Little Moons mochi are gluten free, free from artificial flavourings, colours and preservatives and they are suitable for vegetarians, and now vegans, with the launch of Belgian Chocolate mochi. Their bite-sized shape makes them perfect for those looking for moderation, as an ideally portioned indulgent treat. Of course, for those wanting to feast, the other available flavours pair beautifully in a pick and mix and make for a gorgeously colourful spread for a dinner or birthday party.
The Taste Test Team were already big fans of Little Moons, and the new vegan addition did not let them down. “The mochi starts to soften as soon as it’s in your mouth, as does the ice cream, with the two textures making a very interesting combination. The ice cream is super creamy in flavour, and the chocolate flavour was rich and true; the cocoa dusting added a very slightly bitter edge which perfectly complemented the sweetness of the ice cream and soft covering of mochi. Little Moons definitely know what they’re doing and we always are excited to try any new flavours!”
Real Good Ketchup (no added sugar) is vegan, allergen-free and free from artificial flavours and preservatives, with 78 per cent less salt than other regular ketchups and only naturally occurring sugars, making it the healthiest choice for everyone.
There are two delicious flavours to choose – Real Good Tomato Ketchup is made from delicious Mediterranean tomatoes, whilst the Smokey BBQ is a super tasty sauce made from with fresh tomatoes and natural Hickory & Oak smoked water from the deep South of Tennessee.
Both products are made with only natural sugar alternatives, including xylitol from sustainable birch and beech wood in Scandinavia. Xylitol is not only good for our waistlines, but it has also been seen to help promote healthy teeth and reduce plaque.
“The Real Good Ketchup has a lovely, rich tomatoey flavour, with the right level of seasoning,” said our reviewer. “I think it also has a more natural taste than some of the sugary shop alternatives and a lovely deep red colour as well, which was appealing on the plate. The Smoky BBQ alternative was also delicious, with a deep and interesting flavour, and the perfect contrast of sweetness with the smoke.”