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

Waste savers
Online retailer Approved Food has taken on approximately 7000 Mediterranean snack boxes following a cancelled order by an airline that left thousands of products heading for the bin. “Demand can change due to seasons, flight destinations, and many other factors, explained Andy Needham, MD at Approved Food. “It can then be challenging for airline suppliers to find a sustainable solution for any excess stock or cancelled orders. That’s where we come in. Just because the orders are cancelled, it doesn’t mean that the products themselves are in any way damaged, inedible or otherwise unsuitable for consumption.”

In this instance, the snack boxes are being sold intact but for previous products Approved Food has minimised waste further by splitting the boxes up due to varying ‘best before’ dates. This enables Approved Food to provide incredible discounts to savvy shoppers and ensure that none of the products are wasted.

Refreshingly not beer
A new drinks category representing an alternative to alcohol-free beer is being created with the launch of Zag. The new carbonated drink, with 0.0% ABV and just 54 Kcal per 330ml can, is a unique blend that delivers the characteristics of a beer-drinking occasion, without attempting to mimic the flavour of beer. Zag is a blend of matcha green tea and botanicals, including mint, cucumber, lime and lemon. It aims to offer a new choice for consumers who want to socialise more and drink less.

“Alcohol-free beer has improved over the years and provides an important role for consumers who want a social drink but cannot, or do not want to drink alcohol,” said Jerry Goldberg, co-founder of Zag Drinks. “However, we realised that alcohol-free beer still doesn’t taste as good as beer – beer needs alcohol to create that magical beer flavour.” “We have taken beer’s major attributes – a long, refreshing drink that’s not too sweet and looks good in a glass – and created an alcohol-free drink that delivers these without attempting to taste like beer.”


The true taste of Spain
Spanish food supplier, Brindisa has been awarded a total of 22 stars by this year’s panel of expert judges at the Great Taste Awards, with its 1605 Manchego Wedge and Cecinas Pablo Cecina Cured Beef receiving the highly sought-after three-star accolade.

Judges awarded an impressive two-stars for Brindisa’s Octopus Tentacles, a product originating from just off the coast of Morocco and used infamously across Galicia, the most North-Western region of Spain. The company’s Alemany rosemary honey also caught judges’ attention for its outstanding taste. Its lightly citric, gently herbal flavour, provides a fresh, acidic aroma, worthy of twostar recognition. Brindisa’s producer Alemany, use honeycomb from hives where the bees are mostly feeding on rosemary and orange blossom, which gives the product its unique and delicious flavour.

The Spanish Food supplier’s Perello Gordal Olives were also given a special mention by judges, commenting that they were ‘A perfect tinned olive – one that one judge felt he had been waiting for all his life. A beautiful balance of flavour, with the clever Guindilla hit absolutely perfectly judged. There is an overall experience of luxury, not just from the prodigious size of these uniform gordals, but the velvet texture and soft sweet sour flavour, that made these judges keep on coming back for more.’

Product Trainer at Brindisa, James Robinson, commented: “Our 2019 Great Taste results demonstrate the breadth of quality we have at Brindisa, from manchego cheese to hot ox chorizo, we make sure quality is the very first requisite for becoming a Brindisa supplier. To receive any number of stars from Great Taste is fantastic recognition and I’m proud that our products have performed brilliantly again this year.”

Saucy sailing
Luxury condiment range Stokes Sauces is now being served to customers across the world onboard Fred. Olsen Cruise Line’s fleet of ships. Rick Sheepshanks, owner of Stokes Sauces, explained why the two companies work so well together. He said: “I started making our award-winning sauces with one thing firmly in mind – they needed to taste amazing and with no compromise on quality. That philosophy and focus on great food makes us the perfect fit on board Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ fleet, where holidaymakers want and deserve the best. We are delighted that Stokes will be enjoyed around the world.”

Seven Stokes’ products have been introduced to Fred. Olsen’s four cruise ships as part of the company’s ‘local, global’ commitment, where they are working in partnership with food producers which are local to their headquarters in Ipswich, Suffolk.

Thomas Rennesland, Hotel Operations Director at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, added: “Suffolk is known for its proud agricultural heritage, which means that we have a fantastic array of high-quality products produced locally to us. Working together with local producers, such as Stokes Sauces, allows us to support businesses right on our doorstep whilst not compromising on quality.

“We know that our guests will love these products as much as we do, and it is great that we can offer them a ‘taste of Suffolk’ whilst cruising all around the world with Fred. Olsen.”

Time to chill
As the CBD trend shows no signs of slowing, Bravura Foods have become the latest company to join the growing market. The vegan specialist is launching a CBD infused, lightly sparkling range of drinks under a new brand, ‘The Leaf Life’, set to make its retail debut at the end of September. ‘The Leaf Life’ is the tenth brand to join Bravura’s impressive portfolio of vegan and vegetarian products, and it is the third of Bravura’s own brands, alongside Free From Fellows and Peanut Hottie. Available in slim-line 250ml recyclable cans, the drinks will retail from £1.99 in three flavours: Laidback Lemonade, Relaxing Raspberry and Mindful Mango and Passionfruit. The natural drinks contain 15mg of full spectrum, fully certified CBD and are free from all artificial flavours and colours. The range is also certified by both the Vegan and Vegetarian Societies.

Lisa Gawthorne, Co-Founder and Director at Bravura Foods, commented: “We’re so excited about this launch, not just because it’s one of our own brands, but because it really tastes amazing, with only 19-25 calories per can. It’s also the lowest sugar CBD drink on the market, made without any artificial sweeteners.

“In a stressful modern world, we’re changing the way we manage our health and wellbeing. The market for CBD products is set to boom in the coming years, as more and more people look for products that can help with natural calmness and tranquillity.”

Lovely bites
Award-winning meringue maker Flower & White, which beat the likes of Mars and Nestlé to become the first company in the confectionery sector to move into plastic-free packaging, is proud to announce a new product, Meringue Bites, which is packed into an innovative paperbased pouch with a heat-sealable coating.

Run by husband-and-wife team Brian and Leanne Crowther, Flower & White has also relaunched its successful Meringue Bars’ range in paper sleeves as part of a wider commitment to improve sustainability and reduce energy at its 13,000 sq ft premises in the heart of Shropshire.

Leanne said customers were looking to make better choices in the wake of more awareness about the lasting effects of plastic. “This isn’t about riding on the bandwagon, this is about trying to move our sector forward so it can win the war on plastic,” she said. “We know consumers are rightly concerned and it’s up to manufacturers like us to do something about it. We are proud to be the first company in the sector to adopt this new paper packaging but this is just the start, not the end, of our efforts.”