The Delicatessen Magazine - November Issue

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e h T DELICATESSEN November 2018






HEALTHY PASTA Sara Danesin explains why pasta is healthier than we seem to believe


111 Countries

27,000 Attendees

e t s a T A w o r r o of Tom Register to attend at

1,350 Suppliers

Co-locate d



From the Editor


elcome to our November/December issue of the magazine. This issue will be the last of this year, and incidentally the last before our revamp for next year! A lot has gone on this year, with lots of great brands featured, lots of important topics covered and importantly – lots of fun had by the team. However, with Brexit issues looming, lots of uncertainty and turmoil, we felt now is a good time to step up the magazine to more issues a year. More humour, more controversy,

more interesting brands. The British way – keep calm and carry on. We have a new addition to the team, Ella Heather – our new Content Director who has been having a great time this issue finding new brands for us to talk about. Our new deputy editor Amber has also got her feet well and truly under the desk now too and is already planning lots of exciting features for next year. So sit back, grab a cuppa and have a read. Chris McNeill Co-Owner & Editor Delicatessen Magazine



A small taster of what´s inside this issue...

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Introducing... Ella Heather l Please join us in welcoming Ella Heather to The Delicatessen magazine team! Ella comes to us armed with many years experience in the media industry. From her high level role in a London media agency, to her time working with Vhari Russell at The Food Marketing Expert, Ella has been helping brands to become recognised CO-EDITOR Chris McNeill E:

for a long time now. She now joins us the other side of the fence and is helping us source great content and brands worthy of recognition. Outside of work, Ella loves visiting delicatessens and farm shops to find great produce for her and the family to enjoy, often sharing information on the best shops she’s found and new and interesting products. With a keen eye on detail, a great palate, and a cracking sense of humour - we are very lucky to have Ella assisting us on our publishing journey. FREE-FROM FOOD WRITER Victoria McCormick E:

CO-EDITOR Ian Bates E:


DEPUTY EDITOR Amber Fox-Hammond E:

DESIGNER Sharon Larder E:

CONTACT US: T: 01206 240 798 E:



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alking into the restaurant and private members club Quo Vardis in London’s exuberant Soho, I was a little confused if I had made it to the right place. After being ushered upstairs to a function room and seeing Nigel Barden and the rest of the crew drinking coffee, I realised I was, and what an interesting venue they had picked for our judging day too. Seeing all the familiar faces from returning judges, and with new judges appearing this year too – it was really nice to catch up with many key figures from the industry. It just goes to show how important getting out of our offices, shops, and factories is really. A chance to chew the fat with our industry peers whilst trying to not mention Brexit

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was great and also useful for many of us. Then, after filling up with coffee and pastries, we split into our teams and the judging commenced. To go back through our judges notes on each of the applications from all the entrants was nice. It takes us each around a day or two to review and write notes about each of the applications for the entrants we are to judge. A large time investment, but one that each of us are willing to undertake, and genuinely enjoy. We then review each of our notes and discuss around the table each and every one. At no point do we tire and get agitated, instead, we all agree how proud we are of our industry. How much we want to do to see it further onward and upward and how proud we are of each of the

applicants, from established deli to months old start-ups. We also discuss ideas and review how award winners can make the most of their title wins, such as with the social media support offered by the award hosts, and how we can further assist in any way we can. Previous winners often talk about how winning helped them with their marketing in their local areas afterward. If you don’t win or aren’t a finalist, it’s also a good exercise to enter – not just for the glory, but also it’s good to be challenged with a set of questions about your business. It’s good to get it all out on paper and read it back and remind yourselves what you do well, how much you have achieved and how great your shop is. l




just checked our ‘in-box’. The 1st of July. I’ll just say that again. T H E 1 S T O F J U LY ! That was when we received our first nudge from a distributor that we had to start thinking about the ‘C Word’ (and even though I’m on a rant, you won’t get me to say it!). That would be the middle of what we like to call … Summer. And you want me to dust off the tinsel, check the best before date on the Sage and Onion Stuffing and start to order chocolate Santas. Well, tar me, feather me and call me a turkey, but that is NOT the way we do the seasonal stuff around here. Don’t get us wrong. We love a Joyeux Noël as much as the next deli owner! There is always room for a bit of Nat King Cole, a slow roast, robust red wines, cold cuts on Boxing Day … there’s generally some fun to be had with Secret Santa gift giving. We love some twinkling fairy lights to give the windows a seasonal sparkle (and Mr Deli has often declared himself to be a fan of stockings). BUT … it can’t just be us who has noticed that rampant consumerism seems to have become the prevailing message as St Nicholas takes his red coat to the dry cleaners and prepares for his seasonal responsibilities? No sooner has the last crackle of the Catherine Wheel died away on a crisp November evening and the embers of the town bonfire have cooled, than the sound of Michael Bublé crooning ‘Frosty the Snowman’ is being piped out of speakers throughout the retail world! Well, not here in ‘Deli HQ’. No chance, Tiny Tim. At the risk of sounding a little out of kilter, Bob Cratchit, we’re just not ready for it yet. All Mariah Carey wants for Chr***mas might well be us … but she can’t have us until the time is right – and that time is not now! Here at The High Street

Delicatessen, we have a “great tastes are for life, not just for the ‘C Word’…” approach and it seems to be appreciated by our customers. We think there’s something to be said for taking a long-term view of deli life. Our handpicked curation of great tastes means that we stock gorgeous things that work throughout the year. Our customers are a discerning lot. They already trust us to pick the good stuff. The food gifts they select throughout the year are appreciated whenever they are given. We trust our customers not to need us to remind them that 25th December is on the horizon. We’re pretty sure they know that. We’re confident that our customers have been carefully checking out the stuff they love throughout the year. When it comes to gift shopping, they already know that there is nothing better for friends and family who have everything than a hamper packed with handpicked tasty treats. We trust them to come to us when the time is right … and they trust us to have the right produce, the great tastes they have grown familiar with over the course of their relationship with us.

The food stories we can bring to their table sound no better against a backdrop of Noddy Holder bellowing unseasonal tunes while the Autumn sunshine is painting golden pictures in the trees. Let us at least allow the leaves to fall before we succumb to faux snowflakes in our shop windows. So, whilst we will be celebrating the season, we will be doing so at the right time of the year. You have full permission to shout the ‘C Word‘ from 1st December onwards! Until then, let’s just celebrate the Autumn! Drink a mulled cider. Eat a toffee apple. Bathe in butternut squash soups. Shake a sparkler as you dance around the town bonfire. Maybe even celebrate the cool things you already have on your shelves. Don’t over-order the seasonal offerings that just seem too good to refuse when the catalogue arrives in July! Don’t make it your Instagram feed that is offering 30% off your remaining 27 panettone in February. There’s a time and a place for everything. Mr and Mrs Deli will be celebrating the festive season NEXT month! l

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’m a big fan of anything with chilli’s involved. So much so that I have been on chilli farm tours and tastings and have a whole selection of chilli related products in my larder. My favourite chilli would have to be the Lemon Drop Chilli, albeit it’s not very often used in products. However, when I saw that Single Variety Co had made a chilli jam out of it, I became giddy with excitement and just had to get my hands on some! Single Variety Co specialise in making great tasting single variety fruit preserves and chilli jams, and in just two years they have already picked up a plethora of awards including Great Taste award wins as well as Gold at the World Marmalade Awards in 2017.

Their Lemon Drop Chilli Jam and the King George Blackberry Preserve both achieving 2 star accolades, and their Jalapeno as well as the Maravilla Raspberry Preserve achieving 1 star accolades. Incidentally, the Maravilla Raspberry is a favourite amongst customers, a fast moving product off many shelves we hear. Particularly good swirled into a yoghurt or used in jam cocktails!


• Lemon Drop Chilli Jam- SUPER HOT • Jalapeno Jam- HOT • Anaheim Chilli Jam- MILD • Seville Orange Marmalade • King George Blackberry Preserve • Maravilla Raspberry Preserve • Flair Strawberry Preserve • Ben Starav Blackcurrant Preserve

Website: Instagram: @singlevarietyco

“Our customers LOVE the combination of style and substance with Single Variety’s products. Awesome design and great tastes. The mouth tingling chilli jams add a real zing to our sourdough cheese toasties, we love that they work directly with their farmers to identify the best variety for each of their products to deliver the very best flavour.” Barrie Thomson - The Highstreet Delicatessen

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WE CATCH UP WITH NICOLA SIMONS FOUNDER OF SINGLE VARIETY CO. HOW DID THE BUSINESS START AND WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND IT? I founded the company just over 2 years ago after a holiday in Sri Lanka where I discovered the most amazing jams and on my return home Single Variety Co was born. I was determined to launch a brand where taste comes first after seeing first hand more and more brand losing focus on this. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE VARIETY AND WHAT IS THE MOST POPULAR WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS? Lemon Drop Chilli Jam is very popular with our customers. It is our “superhot” chilli jam and has a fresh citrus flavour with a fiery chilli kick. We love it with chicken or in a cheese toastie. My favourite variety is the Ben Starav Blackcurrant Preserve which is bursting with a rich and tangy fruitiness; I think it is perfect served on pancakes or dolloped on porridge. WHERE ARE YOU CURRENTLY STOCKED? We are currently stocked in over 100 retailers including Wholefoods and Harvey Nichols as well as independent retailers. The majority of our stockists are in the UK, but we also export to Europe (currently Germany, Malta and Finland).

yoghurt or porridge for your breakfast, through to be stirred through a delicious dessert to end your meal, the pleasures of our fruit preserves can be experienced in so many ways. Our chilli jams can be enjoyed with cheese, as a glaze for meats, or smothered over bread in a cheese toastie or sausage sandwich. WHAT MAKES YOUR PRODUCTS DIFFERENT? We make seriously delicious fruit preserves and chilli jams using one single variety of fruit in each recipe. The fruit is the hero, so all our products are packed full of the best tasting variety of fruit, are reduced sugar and we only use natural ingredients. We make our products in small batches to really preserve and showcase the fresh flavour of the fruit.

DO YOU HAVE ANY NEW LAUNCHES/ VARIETIES PLANNED? We launch seasonal flavours throughout the year and the first for 2019 will be Harbinger Rhubarb Preserve in early February. The Harbinger Rhubarb has a magnificent pink colour with a sweet tangy flavour, which I feel is perfectly encapsulated in this preserve. I love it on yoghurt and ice cream.

CAN YOU INCORPORATE YOUR JAMS INTO RECIPES, AND CAN YOU GIVE A BRIEF EXAMPLE? (THINKING ABOUT IT’S VERSATILITY). Yes definitely! I am really passionate about telling and showing customers that jam is not for just spreading on toast! From topping granola and

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elebrating its 21st year, The International Food & Drink Event (IFE) – the UK’s leading and largest food & drink event – is returning to ExCeL London 17–20 March 2019. A must-attend event, IFE 2019 will provide buyers with the chance to discover emerging trends; meet with thousands of international, futurefocused producers and brands; and hear inspiring and thought-provoking talks from key figures across the food & drink industry. Taking place in London – the home of food & drink innovation – IFE 2019 will provide a taste of tomorrow with the launch of captivating new event attractions, including:


Taking future trend-gazing to the next level, this multi-sensory experience will allow visitors the opportunity to see, smell and taste some of the most innovative and ontrend food & drink products. The bi-annual event provides both British and international suppliers with the rare opportunity to meet and connect with top retail, wholesale & distribution, import & export and foodservice & hospitality buyers all under one roof. With 1,350 innovative, global and cuttingedge food & drink manufacturers attending from 111 countries, IFE 2019 is one of the only places to experience the best of the what the

To register for the show visit: 8 The Delicatessen Magazine

food & drink industry has to offer across the globe. Co-located with Pro2Pac, the food & drink processing & packaging event, the joint festival will provide a comprehensive snapshot of the food & drink industry, making it a calendar highlight for all forward-thinking companies. l




alm Oil has received wide media coverage recently, which has only accelerated since Iceland decided to stop using it in its own products. CEO, Richard Walker, has come under pressure to delist 200+ other branded products to show he means business. The advertising authorities have banned their recent Christmas advert, produced by Greenpeace, which unsurprisingly has just added fuel to this debate.

So, instead of my planned column, I felt it relevant to share with you all instead a piece written by my step son, Daniel Butler who is now 19 years old and he wrote this piece for his English homework about a year ago following a trip to Borneo in 2016 where he witnessed first hand some of the environmental impacts of palm oil production. He also visited the famous Sepilok Orangutan sanctuary. l



l These magnificent orange ‘Men of the Forest’ share 97% of their DNA with us, human-beings, however, if the human race was under threat of extinction we would be doing more to prevent our species from dying out. So, I ask you, why can’t we do the same for our jungle cousins? Did you know that within the last 60 years the orangutan population has halved, whilst also, in the last 60 years the human population has increased by approximately 4.4 billion people? The dramatic decline of orangutans is unfortunately influenced by the

majority of the population around the world as one common product is used in many confectionary, beauty and hygiene products: PALM OIL. Every day in Indonesia and Malaysia jungles are being cut down and leaving the size of over ten football pitches of land in order to create palm Oil plantations. Whilst the vast majority of people worldwide are blindly using many products containing palm oil on a daily basis, the users of palm oil rarely realise that they are supporting the impending extinction of the orangutan. You may ask; “how is palm oil causing orangutans to become

extinct?” The answer is simple. If a group of men come along one day and bulldozed your home, and all the houses around you within a ten mile radius, to the ground, and you had no insurance or human rights, it is likely that you would be sleeping rough on the street that very night, and for days or even weeks to follow. Now imagine this happening to orangutans where they have been used to sleeping in trees all their lives to avoid the venomous predators on the jungle floor. These orangutans will have no home and no safe place to spend the night once their maternal trees that they thought would be there to comfort them every days and night are gone. Therefore, as the orangutans know a map of their jungle by the different features of the trees, many orangutans wonder into villages and are captured by the illegal pet trade, or they find themselves roaring onto local farms in which many farmers commit to shooting the orange men, women and babies as they are considered ‘pests’, solely due to their struggle to find food. My question for you is, next time you buy a loaf of bread, crisps, instant noodles, or soup, will you check the ingredients, and if it contains palm oil, change your mind? Buy fresh bread that does not contain palm oil, and the next time you buy instant noodles, spend the extra 10 minutes cooking fresh and healthy noodles, in order to save thousands of orangutan lives that may have little time left of our planet. l

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ith evening on its way, and after writing about food all day, I go to the bookshelf and look for some recipe inspiration. Sticking out a little, almost as if fate was playing it’s part, was the bacon jam cookbook that Eat 17 sent me last year. Luckily for me, I had a jar or so in the larder cupboard so I set about making a culinary delight (ok, it was a Mac & Cheese…) but it reminded me of just how easy using Bacon Jam really is as well as it’s versatility. Way back in 2012, in Eat 17’s Walthamstow restaurant, head chef Chris O’Connor was experimenting with his homemade onion jam that he used to top burger with. Having a ‘Eureka’ moment, Chris wondered what would happen if he added crispy smoked bacon to the recipe and see what happened. Well, what happened is still happening and growing even now. With stockists growing each month, from farm shops and delis to butchers and other retailers, Eat 17 is paving the way for culinary success.



There are five varieties in the range currently: Bacon Jam the original. Now even smokier! A definite favourite. Chilli Bacon Jam – the original flavour with a proper chilli kick. Chorizo Jam the premium in the range, we’ve used real Chorizo Jam in this chunky jam! Onion Jam the vegan of the group – smooth and silky, a totally unique condiment. Chinese Bacon Jam brand new this year! We are proud of this one – five spice and sesame oil make our Chinese Bacon Jam really special. It tastes just like BBQ pork ribs from the takeaway! Also, Eat 17 have recently announced the launch of a brand new Vegan Bacon Jam in the New Year! We’ll be ensuring we get one of these in to try as soon as we can!


I believe that most of the success of bacon jam comes down to

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it’s extreme versatility. You can add a dollop to a really cheesy mac & cheese, spread on your favourite burger, or it could be the secret ingredient in homemade sausage rolls or even the perfect accompaniment to a fry up. Or you can get hold of a Eat 17 Bacon Jam cookbook and try any of the ways in there too! Truth be told, being a fairly impatient person in the mornings, I find that a generous slathering of bacon jam in a cheese toastie or on toast gives me the flavor I want, without the agro of getting the bacon and pan out. l



ccording to Nielsen data, the non-alcoholic drinks market has grown by 16% in the past two years. Retailers are starting to join the trend by adding more to their range, as well as starting to “co-locate” zero alcohol wines with low/no-alcohol beers and spirits in or near the alcohol sections. With sales percentages massively up year-on-year, this is a growing opportunity that is here to stay. I started to hear more and more about non-alcoholic spirits over the last year and with an array of mixed reviews. I will admit that I was erring towards the ‘no thanks’ camp to start with, until of course I was sat there with a disappointing diet coke realising that surely us who can’t drink because of driving, health, wellbeing or for any other reason, should also deserve an interesting drink too. During the writing of this feature,

I became quite poorly and as per the usual advise, decided to stay clear of the alcohol. However, this was also the perfect opportunity for me to get comfy by the fire with my laptop and test out the range of non-alcoholic spirits we selected.


Being a big fan of gin, I am always on the search for another to excite my taste buds with an array of delicate botanicals. Well, a non-alcoholic spirit acts in the same way but without the alcoholic base. Distilled often by ‘steam distilling’ the botanicals – nonalcoholic spirits are as complex and enjoyable as their alcoholic cousins.


The worlds first distilled nonalcoholic spirit brand, with three

unique & complex blends - Spice 94, Garden 108 & Grove 42.


Borrago is a new alcohol, sugar and calorie-free spirit, which launched in January this year with a mission to create “naturally delicious drinks for grown-ups”. The spirit can be used in the same way as gin or vodka, either mixed with tonic water or as a base for cocktails.


Memento, a blend of distilled aromatic waters filled with the scents of the Mediterranean. Made from organic ingredients, no alcohol, no sugar, no gluten, Memento is a sophisticated vegan product for a multisensory impact: it’s an elegant drink on its own and a versatile base for cocktails.


“In a world where people are increasingly looking for grown up alternatives to a wild night out, Seedlip stands out as a great tasting nonalcoholic alternative. Clever flavours, endless variations for mixing, stunning design.” Barrie Thomson - The Highstreet Delicatessen

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ver three hundred years ago, it was common for physicians to distil herbal remedies using copper stills, harnessing the power of nature & alchemy to solve medical maladies. In 1651, one such physician, John French, published The Art of Distillation documenting these non-alcoholic recipes. At that same time, a family in Lincolnshire had started farming, hand-sowing seeds using baskets called ‘seedlips’. Centuries later, Ben stumbled across John French’s recipes & began experimenting with them in his kitchen, using a small copper still & herbs from his garden. That might have been the end of the story, if he hadn’t been given a sickly sweet pink mocktail one Monday evening in a restaurant. The result was the beginning of an idea to combine his farming heritage, love of nature, his copper still & forgotten recipes with the need for proper nonalcoholic options; a name inspired by the seed baskets carried by his family

centuries before & a process of Seed to Lip: and so Seedlip was born. Ben wanted to solve the dilemma of what to drink when ‘not drinking’. He set out to create a good grownup sophisticated alternative. Ben masterminded the Seedlip brand, and set about getting Seedlip the market introduction it deserved. After launching in Selfridges back in 2015, Seedlip quickly became a sell out. It is now available in over 15 international cities, over 6000 venues, over 250 Michelin restaurants including The Fat Duck and Eleven Madison Park as well as the world’s top cocktail bars including The Dead Rabbit, Dandelyan, and The American Bar at The Savoy.


What began in a kitchen in the woods is now part of a worldwide revolution - the way we drink is indeed changing. The days of lime & soda are over, sugary carbonated or fruit juicebased drinks just won’t do.


SPICE 94 A complex blend of aromatic Jamaican Allspice, berry & Cardamom distillates with two barks & a bright citrus finish. Simply serve with tonic & a red grapefruit peel garnish. Seedlip Spice 94 is aromatic with warm spiced notes, citrussy top notes from Lemon & Grapefruit peel and a long bitter finish from the highest quality barks (Oak & Cascarilla).


Our Verdict l Well, from the moment I set eyes on the bottles of Seedlip that we had ordered, I was already sold. I find the Seedlip bottles and branding to be stylish and contemporary, but with a traditional feel and very much a head turner on a shelf. The nose of each was significant and interesting, inviting me in to get better acquainted. I almost necked the first from the bottle! Alas, I found my composure and created some culinary masterpieces of which I can not take any credit for at all. I am not the only fan of these amongst the team; in fact we all were taken by Seedlip especially our columnist Barrie Thomson, owner of The Highstreet Delicatessen who stocks the range in his deli. Each of the flavours gives you something quite different and brings memories and feelings flooding through you, truly interesting and a marvel. Something I didn’t quite expect I’d ever say about a nonalcoholic drink! One of the lovely touches with this brand is their gift kits, as well as the fact their bottles are available in 20cl and 70cl. Come back next issue to read an interview with Ben Branson himself !

GROVE 42 A zesty & complex, citrus-forward blend of three types of orange & uplifting spice distillates. Simply serve with tonic & a twist of orange peel. Orange & Mandarin peel & pith top notes, with juicy Blood Orange undertones open up to a stalky, grassy character. Clean, fresh notes of Ginger & Lemongrass with a dry finish from a subtle Peppercorn prickle. GARDEN 108 A floral blend of hand-picked Peas & homegrown Hay from founder Ben Branson’s Farm, with traditional garden herb distillates in celebration of the English countryside. Simply serve with tonic & a sugar snap pea to garnish. The fresh & floral Seedlip Garden 108 captures the essence of the English countryside. Sophisticated top notes of hand-picked Peas & Hay and a complex herbal base character of Spearmint, Rosemary & Thyme.

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pening the box, we couldn’t wait to try Borrago, which is the Latin classification name for borage - a bright blue edible flower. Like the drink, this lovely flower is delicious, colourful, beautiful and multifaceted. Borrago is a delicious grown-up drink with no alcohol, sugar, fat or calories. It is full of natural botanical flavours and smells, built from the ground up to give a complex, dry and flavoursome nonalcoholic spirit drink that you will remember. It also makes a great base for exciting and different non-alcoholic cocktails. We enjoyed this drink over ice and also with a good quality tonic. We made a cocktail or two of course, but we found that we really enjoyed the flavours produced by the sex botanicals. The moreish nose and long smooth finish really made us keep going back for more. Made from six individually steam-distilled botanicals – including citrus, spice and pepper, cardamon and rosemary – that are then blended together, #47 Paloma Blend is fresh, zesty and complex. ‘I decided to start Borrago because I have a love of food, drink and entertaining,’ said creator Chef Tom Tuke-Hastings. ‘With alcohol being a declining part of this, I struggled to find exciting grown up non-alcoholic options and wanted to create something that would be delicious, grown up and worth celebrating with. ‘Non-alcoholic drinks choices have previously been seen as childish, sugar laden and downmarket. I set out to create something sophisticated, that you can celebrate and even show off with. Where you can have the theatre of a cocktail without the alcohol, sugar or calories.’

Our Verdict Another stylish bottle, and created for all the right reasons. We really enjoyed our bottle of Borrago and wouldn’t’t hesitate to go get another anytime. The bottle design and shape really make for a premium feel, and one that would look great on the shelf. Well worth your consideration.

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n exclusive selection of distilled natural aromatic waters, mixed according to ancient traditions. MeMento is made from organic ingredients, and is vegan, sugar and gluten free. According to ancient knowledge handed down in the ‘Ricettario Fiorentino’ published in 1498 by the College of Physicians and Pharmacists, botanical essences are blended in a unique, a deja-vù of wellbeing and happiness. The vertical slits on the label of these gorgeous bottles recall our five senses and allow us to look beyond, where we find a landscape, a memory, a MeMento. The story of this drink really got me quite excited about trying it. Opening the lid and drawing in a long breath, I could already smell the scents of the Mediterranean – a gentle honey like aroma with rosemary and citrus. I tried this drink neat first, and I was not disappointed and at no point did I feel ‘ready’ to top up with tonic or mix into a cocktail, instead I waited for ‘round two’.

Our Verdict

MeMento works very well over ice with a slice. It has a lovely long finish, which really screams of a real spirit drink. It’s almost hard to believe this is non-alcoholic! The bottle is very stylish and with a real premium feel to it. MeMento is certainly quite the crowd pleaser on the shelf and one that attracts a lot of questions and delighted reactions. With a mix of rosemary, lemon verbena, rose and the ‘curry plant’ as it’s known – this mix of botanical flavours really excites the taste buds and makes for a super refreshing drink whichever way it is enjoyed.


Each ingredient is distilled separately, allowing each single component to maintain its individual identity, before being blended together to form a sophisticated bouquet. The makers also use aromatic waters – lightly perfumed, lighter than essential oils but retaining the same qualities and perfect to balance with botanicals.

l Truly, truly wonderful. We all really enjoyed this product and really felt it was a ‘proper’ drink rather than another joining a trend. MeMento is complex bouquet of wonderful flavours, which really did remind of us the Med. We were genuinely sad when we ran out. For retailers, this bottle would make a stylish appearance on your shelves and certainly make a great gift for a non drinker.

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Good Energy


’m the first person to get irate with sales calls for services, but then, that’s because I seem to be on every list known. However, I received a call from Good Energy and for the first time in a long time, my ears pricked up and I was interested to find out more, and now I wanted to share some of this knowledge with you all too.



I am often seen unleashing my inner ecowarrior – often to be spotted adorned with a reusable water bottle, reusable coffee cup, a bag for life and shopping in places where I don’t need to procure a plastic coated cucumber… however, when I choose my energy supplier, I have (up until now) just looked at the cost and not thought twice. So, here I am ‘protecting the planet’ and at the same time, sanctioning the burning of more fossil fuels to save a few pennies. Well, I am glad I had the call from Good Energy as it highlighted to me just how we all need to think about all facets of our businesses and in fact our lives, and where we source our energy from is no joke either. With over 62% of millennials wanting to work for companies that are making a positive impact (Global Tolerance, The Values Revolution, 2015) and with more and more the press praising businesses for working harder to help preserve our planet, and moreover the negative press associated with those who aren’t doing anything – it’s more important than ever to consider how to futureproof our businesses and also gain some good PR at the same time.


Owning and operating two wind farms (including the UK’s first commercial wind farm) and six solar farms, Good Energy can power over 19,000 households yearly with just these alone, however they also guy renewable energy from over 1450 independent renewable generators each year too. So, let’s take a look at Good Energy and find out a little more about how they can help us make our businesses better in more than one way: 20 years ago, people in the UK had little choice about where their energy came from. 98% of UK energy was

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generated from fossil fuels – and with the growing threat of climate change, we desperately needed alternative and more sustainable options. Good Energy was set up to give people the choice to do something about climate change by choosing renewable energy for their homes and businesses – and they’ve been doing just that ever since.

Here’s a timeline on how Good Energy started with a vision and now service over 200,000 customers with sustainable renewable energy. 1999 – Juliet Davenport founds Good Energy as part of Good Energy Group PLC l Good Energy was an entirely new kind of UK energy company – a small, green sustainable supplier in an industry of coal, oil and gas giants supplying households and businesses. They want to give people a better choice: 100% renewable electricity from a company committed to growing the UK renewables industry and they’ve stayed true to that ever since. 2002 – Juliet Davenport becomes CEO of the Good Energy Group, and it makes its first share offering l More than 600 of their 5,000 customers purchase shares, allowing Good Energy Group to buy Delabole wind farm in Cornwall – the UK’s first commercial wind farm. In 2004 and 2007 Good Energy’s second and third share offering successfully raises new funds to help grow the business. 2004 – launch of HomeGen – the first scheme of its kind in the UK l To encourage more people to generate renewable energy, they launch the

Good Energy HomeGen scheme to pay independent generators for all the energy they produce, even if they use it themselves. HomeGen wins a host of awards – and national recognition as an innovator. Homegen formed the blueprint for the Government’s Feed-in Tariff scheme, which launched in 2010.

2008 – They Pioneer renewable heat incentives l After half our customers told said they want Good Energy to supply them with gas, and support renewable heat projects, this led to the development of our Gas tariff and award-winning HotROCs scheme. This becomes the UK’s first Renewable Heat Incentive.

2009 – The £11.8 million redevelopment of Delabole begins l The original 10 wind turbines at Delabole are replaced with four more powerful ones with a total combined capacity of 9.2MW, enough to supply around 7,000 homes with electricity – more than doubling its previous output. This was completed in 2010. 2012 – Making their mark on the London Stock Exchange l Good Energy is accepted onto the LSE’s AIM market – the world’s most successful growth market. Over the year, the company raises £4million in equity, to support the growth of the business. 2013 – Leading the way with the first local energy tariff l Good Energy launches an exclusive tariff for communities around Delabole wind farm – a big step in the mission to give people more choice over where they get their energy. The tariff gives households living close to Delabole a 20% discount and a ‘wind farm windfall’ bonus every year.

2013 – Solar bond issue l As a growing company, it was time to look for new ways to overcome financial barriers. The company launches its bond scheme, raising £14million, 85% of which came from its customers. This

allowed Good Energy to push forward with plans to develop more solar generation sites – and shows how strongly its customers believe in its goals. 2013 – Raising a glass to new customers l Good Energy reaches a landmark 100,000 customers including our electricity, gas and home generation customers.

2014 – A warm welcome to Hampole l Good Energy’s second wind farm, this time in Doncaster, comes online. It offers the surrounding communities a special local tariff, just as it did in Cornwall. 2014 – Investing in tidal technology l Good Energy announces plans to invest for the first time in a tidal energy project, the Tidal Lagoon in Swansea Bay, Wales. It is set to purchase 10% of the tidal lagoon’s output to further diversify its sources of renewable electricity.

2014 – Going solar l The company’s first two solar farms – Woolbridge in Dorset and Creathorne in Cornwall – come online, supported by the solar bond. They add more variety to Good Energy’s renewable electricity sources, and boost generation capacity by 6.7MW.

2015 – Time to shine l Four more solar farms add an extra 23MW of electricity – almost doubling the amount of renewable electricity generated from Good Energy-owned resources. 2015 – Supporting local communities l Good Energy becomes the first energy supplier in the UK to take and make payments in a local currency – the Bristol Pound. Another step forward in creating a local energy market. 2015 – Award wins l Good Energy named Company of the Year at the BusinessGreen Leaders Awards, Leaders of the Year at the British Renewable Energy Awards and Social Impact Company of the Year for the second year running at the Small Cap Awards. A good year for awards!


So, here’s a case study from a name that you all will know! Tracklements in Wiltshire. The family company sells 12,000 jars of condiments each day and now employs over 40 people. They hand make a range of 60 different artisan relishes, chutneys, mustards and sauces in a factory deep in the Wiltshire countryside. l

2015 – Good Energy shares available through the Social Stock Exchange l As a founding member of the Social Stock Exchange, Good Energy was proud to announce that its entire issued share capital would commence trading on the Social Impact segment of the ISDX Growth Market.

2016 – Consistent customer service recognition l Good Energy is awarded with another impressive score in the Which? energy company customer satisfaction survey, becoming the only energy company to achieve a score of more than 81% for 5 years in a row. This follows the company also topping three consecutive MoneySavingExpert polls by users for customer service.

2016 - A sunny start to the year l Good Energy’s seventh solar farm at Oaklands in Dorset goes ‘live’ and planning permission also obtained for three additional sites. 2016 – A record number of customers l Good Energy reaches a new landmark of over 200,000 customers including their electricity, gas and home generation sites. 2016 – Launched Green Gas l Good Energy launches a new gas offering which includes biomethane and is totally carbon neutral, supporting some amazing carbon reduction projects around the world.

2016 – More awards Good Energy wins ‘Company of the Year’ and a trophy for ‘Customer Service Recognition’ at the Renewable Energy Association awards. It also picks up an award for ‘New Energy Champion of the Year’ at the New Energy & Cleantech awards. l

2016 – New share offering l Good Energy raises over £3.1m through customer investment with significant oversubscription in its latest share offer. The majority of the 2,000 individual applications were made by Good Energy customers and will be invested

Tracklements uses their own solar panels to power their operation, which is great during the summer months – they use Good Energy to supply renewable energy to them when they need it. Sustainability is “really important to us in all of its guises”, says Managing Director Guy Tullberg, including how they buy raw materials, work with suppliers and hire staff. Switching to


l It will boost your business. Switching will improve the sustainability of your business and prove your credentials in an increasingly important and competitive area. l Switching to clean power is one of the most important acts your business can do to tackle climate change. l Reputational advantage. As a business you already care about social and sustainable issues: you pay a fair wage, recycle your rubbish, and encourage your people to cycle to work. Switching to 100% renewable energy company is the next, and natural, choice. Good Energy is a UK-based ethical company which works directly with over 1,450 independent generators. l Good Energy has a longstanding experience in this area and already supplies thousands of businesses with clean power. These include well-known brands, including Watergate Bay, innocent drinks, Pukka Herbs, and Neal’s Yard.

in Good Energy’s operational platform, generation portfolio and to further strengthen its financial position.

2016 - Launch of Selectricity l Good Energy launched the UK’s first peerto-peer renewable electricity matching platform, Selectricity, allowing businesses to match their usage with local renewable generators.

2017 - One year of Green Gas l The Green Gas offering hit one year one, helping thousands of our customers be carbon neutral for both fuel types. 2017 - Electric Vehicle Tariff l To help their customers get the best value for money when charging their electric vehicles at home, they put together a brand new electric vehicle tariff.

100% renewable electricity was the logical next step and the company has also installed their own solar panels. “We’ve arranged our factory hours around sunlight hours, so even in winter we are able to mainly use electricity we have generated. It’s great to know that when the sun isn’t shining, we are still being powered by 100% renewable electricity from Good Energy,” Guy adds.

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hornton’s Budgens in North London recently launched its mission to reduce dependency on single-use plastic packaging supported by local resident celebrities Dame Janet Suzman and Jim Broadbent. The place was buzzing as you can imagine! In collaboration with A Plastic Planet and with the backing of the world ‘s first Consumer Plastic Free Trustmark, APP’s Project Director curated and designed Plastic Free zones throughout the store including an new bay called “Eco Station”. The visuals designed by Made Thought were produced on special GF Smith paper made from recycled coffee cups which can be seen throughout the store. Over only 10 weeks she sourced over 50 new brands and suppliers from around the world equating to 500+ skus for store, an impressive feat. Talking to the owner, Andrew Thornton, he said “this is just the start of the journey to encourage customers, suppliers and other retailers to change behaviour and provide choice for consumers who want to buy products which are not over-preserved in plastic”.


Disappointingly, no global brands were evident other than those already using glass and metal containers. Here are a few I spotted which are already making fabulous progress: The Curiosities Co, Troo Museli, Percol Coffee, Love Chock, Superfoodies, Mastic, Little Goat Company, Georganics, Who Gives A Crap, Simply Soaps, Vegetive, J Cocoa, Two Farmers, The Original Lces Company, Renegade and Langton, Go Bites, Drivers Pickles, A Little Bit Food Co, The Wasabi Company, By Ruby, Edgy Moose, Abeego, Bambu plus more by the day! It was refreshing and really quite moving to see so many great products

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Interesting, that this was one of the most popular purchases yesterday. I met with Simon and he said “this is all rather exciting and time I scaledup a bit”! Simon makes the most delicious hand-cured bacon too!


displayed including fresh vegetables, fruit, meat, cheese and fish – without the need for difficult-to-recycle and potentially harmful plastics.


There’s a mixture between the obvious materials which are already widely recycled like glass, paper and metals. Then there is the less obvious, but equally important biopolymers made from cellulose, sugarcane, corn, wheat etc that provide extra protection, visibility and extended shelf life. One excellent example is the Curiosities bacon pack made from an FSC certified kraft paperboard envelop and a cellulose/plant-based laminated and sealed inner pouch which is home compostable and can be disposed of with food waste.

I don’t think so. Talking to the very wise Dame Janet Suzman, she’s delighted that change is a foot and thinks plasticfree supermarkets are the future. And my personal view? I have been developing packaging for retailers and brands for over 30 years and I’ve never seen such a genuine appetite for change. Sure the commercial implications worry certain people, but as a society we need and deserve better. Plastic is clever stuff, but it’s unrealistically cheap and over protective. Shelf-life of two years on some food products is barmy. I’ve recently been working with a food producer, which typically states 6 months shelf-life, but on closer analysis this could easily be cut to 3 months. This makes a huge difference in pack preservation terms and opens up many possibilities. This is where retailers and buyers need to start to source smarter where there is less reliance on back-up stock, which starts to deteriorate the day it’s packed. l

And now for something

completely different



f you’ve ever met either co-owner Ian Bates or myself before, or seen our pictures on Instagram or Twitter – you’d likely have noticed we like interesting shoes and can often border on a little ‘eccentric’ with our style choices. This article therefore is no coincidence, as we here at Reelbrands Ltd (of which Delicatessen Magazine is a part of) also own The Original Laces Company. Yep, you couldn’t make it up – magazine publishers, packaging experts, branding experts and shoelace makers… a good fit? Well, grab a cuppa and get settled and let me tell you the story. Back in 2014, Ian was in the airport on his way to Hong Kong on a packaging consultancy trip, when he popped into a Ted Baker shop in the airport and purchased a nice new pair of shoes. These shoes came with a pair of blue laces in them, which was one of the reasons Ian actually went for them. Roll on a little while and one day, when putting on his favourite shoes, these blue laces broke. Ian was pretty disgruntled and immediately went in search of coloured laces. Well, as it happens, that turned out to be quite difficult and in the end, Ian had to buy in a pair of coloured shoelaces for dress shoes from Canada… at a rather high cost plus P&P. Most of us would moan about this to our loved ones or pals in the pub and leave this story to end here. However, Ian got Ian thinking “Well, why don’t I make them myself” and before you could say “is that wise?” he’d already ordered a machine, cord and metal aglets (the end sections of the laces) and started setting up his ‘man cave’ for the new business. Very quickly, offering a bespoke laces offering became popular amongst independent retailers local

and further afield. The combination of being able to offer different lengths and different colours in stylish packaging and with a premium feel with the high quality cord and metal aglet ends plus the fact they are made in Britain made for good sales. Ian then decided he would tell his story to Ted Baker, and wrote to the owner Ray Kelvin himself explaining about the broken laces and the new business and how he had to thank Ray for the opportunity in effect. During a meeting with the purchaser at Ted Baker’s head office, Ray Kelvin walked into the canteen where they were looking at Ian’s products and made a beeline over to personally introduce himself. Most people would at this point be humbled and leave it there. No, not Ian (Notice a theme here?). Ian at this point had noticed that Ray had in fact not tied his laces technically correctly (along with nearly 80% of the rest of the population). When the knot is being tied, we have a tendency to go over the loop, however this creates a wonky set of loops in the laces, which unties itself requiring the ‘double knot’. Going the opposite way in the knot will create in effect a perfect ‘reef knot’ which stays tied and looks neater. Next minute, Ian has Ray’s foot up on the stool with Ian giving him a lesson in correctly doing the knot in his laces. Ray was pretty amused, and to Ian’s surprise – dragged him unwittingly through the canteen to the boardroom

whence he had originally came from where he was conducting a global board meeting. Ray proceeded to tell everyone they couldn’t tie their laces and watched them all looking rather disgruntled and instructed Ian to show them all what was to becomes Ray’s new party trick. Roll on a few months and Ian was back at the Ted Baker head office, where the purchaser suggested he was likely the most annoying chap there to them now, as Ray had got himself around the building showing off his new found skill and party piece of suggesting people ‘couldn’t tie their laces’. We still supply Ted Baker, and each time their order size grows – so it just goes to prove, it pays to speak out, and sometimes have a little fun. So, that’s the story of how The Original Laces Company started. Now days, we are supplying a plethora of independent retailers, Ted Baker and Osprey too – we’ve retained our premium identity and premium packaging too, and lately, we have removed plastic from our business and gone plastic free. In fact, we have become the first ‘non-food’ item to be granted the ‘Plastic Free’ trust mark from A Plastic Planet, earning us a shelf space in the UK’s first plastic-free aisle in the Thornton Budgens. The reason we are telling you all of this is two-fold. Firstly, we felt you’d appreciate a light-hearted story with some mild humour. Secondly, we have noticed a rise in higher end stores such as delicatessens with ‘lifestyle’ sections stocking products like these and thought it wise to offer these to you too. Because of our packaging and premium nature of these laces, we find that many are brought as gifts rather than necessities. Offering men people the chance to accessorise with a bit of colour, breathing new life into old shoes or simply being able express yourself in a new way. Our laces retail anywhere around £10 a pair – and there is plenty of margin in there for you too. We can also supply quality counter top presenters and any other information you need too. l Web: Email:

Crunch with a conscience




hilst all the larger brands battle it out to be the first to release a compostable crisp packet, Two Farmers were busily getting theirs finished and ready to launch. The new Herefordshirebased crisp brand, Two Farmers, has created shockwaves in the snack sector by launching its delicious artisan range of crisps to UK retailers using a 100% compostable packet. The ethically-minded brand is the brainchild of Herefordshire farmers, and longtime friends, Mark Green and Sean Mason. Second generation potato farmers, Mark and Sean decided to develop their own range of hand-cooked crisps that celebrates local ingredients whilst causing minimal impact to the environment, with a 100% compostable packet. Sean comments, “As farmers living and working in the beautiful Herefordshire countryside we have seen first-hand the impact plastic waste can have on the environment. We are also crisp lovers and our greatest challenge has been to make great tasting crisps and find a way to bring them to market without compromising on our principles. We have also been keen to source as many of the ingredients from our own farm as we can, or from local suppliers. Even the salt we use in our Lightly Salted variety is sourced from neighbouring Worcestershire, where Droitwich Salt harvest their natural salt springs using renewable energy.”

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The Two Farmers range of crisps comprises of four flavours: Hereford Bullshot Gently seasoned with spices and the delicious flavour of Hereford Beef.

Salt & Two Farmers Cider Vinegar Lightly salted and flavoured with Two Farmers own cider vinegar, made from apples grown in their Herefordshire orchards.

Lightly Salted Lightly seasoned with Droitwich Salt, which is harvested by hand from natural springs and crystallised using renewable energy.

Hereford Hop Cheese & Onion Seasoned with deliciously sharp and sweet Hereford Hop cheese, made by artisan cheesemakers Charles Martell & Sons, and onions grown on Two Farmers’ Herefordshire farm. The founders have high aspirations for this challenger brand and with public sentiment embracing the reduction of plastic in everyday uses, Two Farmers hopes to provide a sustainable crisp packet option that consumers will welcome. l

AN INTERVIEW WITH FOUNDERS SEAN & MARK So, how did it all start? The Two Farmers brand was an idea that as friends Mark and I had over a pint and a packet of crisps. Our intention was always to build a brand that respected our countryside and made use of the potatoes we grow and shone a light on local ingredients. The business took three years to launch as we wanted to ensure that everything we did was thoughtful to our main aim of building a sustainable and environmentally conscious brand. The brand launched in September this year. What made you decide to use plastic free packaging? As farmers living and working in the beautiful Herefordshire countryside we have seen firsthand the impact plastic waste can have on the environment. We want to protect this for our families and generations to come. Have you managed to get many listings since recently launching? We launched to trade last month and already have a number of listings nationally, which is growing daily.

The response from farm shops, delicatessens and food halls has been amazing. We have launched at a critical point where we recognise that we all have a role to play in minimising our use of single-use plastics. We have also made our products available online direct to the public and via a trade shop for our retailers, How did you come up with your flavours? All of our flavours are based on local ingredients which whilst being super tasty also minimises the food miles travelled. We have four flavours in total. Hereford Bullshot, Salt & Two Farmers Cider Vinegar, Lightly Salted, Hereford Hop Cheese & Onion. Our Bullshot flavour has been most intriguing to consumers with its unique combination of Hereford beef and spices with a gentle heat. The Lightly Salted has also been wellreceived, seasoned with Droitwich Salt which is very flavoursome and we are delighted to be using local salt that tastes this good!

What are your thoughts on the current unrecyclable nature of crisp packets normally used in this sector? Public sentiment around single-use plastics is high and with 90% of the population eating crisps it is a sector crying out for a solution. We believe our crisps give consumers an alternative so that they can crunch with a conscience!

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Plastic free tea

After finding a couple of tea brands that we love stocked in the UK’s first plastic-free aisle, and with a brand launching recently straight into being plastic-free, we thought we would delve deeper into this subject


ith consumers recently learning that many of the UK’s teabags contain plastic, major tea brands are pledging to eliminate plastic from their teabags in the c coming year. However, there are some already who are way ahead of the game and we wanted to show you just a few! Two of the brands in this feature (teapigs and Hampstead Tea) were both stocked on the UK’s first plasticfree aisle in Thornton´s Budgens, however we also wanted to introduce you to Noble Leaf as well. With the recent news that our tea industry has been reignited, and with consumers looking for brands with better brand responsibility, it’s ever more important for us to highlight brands taking steps forward such as the three we bring to you this issue.


For a while now it has been suggested that the nation was turning it’s back on tea in favour of coffee, which has undoubtedly soared in popularity in recent years, but a new report which delves into the industry and concludes that the market is indeed changing but the future is definitely bright for tea. The report, commissioned by National Tea Day, combines research for the first

time from over 50 tea brands, venues and consumers alike to give new insight into the sector. It indicates that a major shift has occurred, largely driven by younger generations who are less tempted by the traditional ‘builders brew’ and look to herbal teas for more diversity in flavour, a sensory experience and added health benefits. Marco Geraghty, National Tea Day Founder, commented: “Our mission at National Tea Day is to ‘Reignite Britain’s Passion for Tea’ and in writing this report we have rediscovered that Brits are becoming far more passionate about tea than we ever imagined. “What we are seeing is a complete shift in consumer behaviour. Drinkers are buying less poor quality teas and opting for premium offerings, a shift which is transforming the tea industry into a dynamic trade with bags of room for growth. “The move is driven by consumer demand for great quality products with added health benefits – including anti-oxidants and amino acids - but drinkers are also viewing tea as less of a routine based beverage and more of an experience led drink.” With 150 million cups of tea consumed out of the home each week and many venues claiming afternoon tea sales account for over 50% of all F&B takings, it’s clear there is huge potential for outlets to capitalise on this growing trend.

The experience must surpass what the drinker can expect to receive at home so variation and presentation, as well as quality are vital. Modern consumers also like to be educated about a product and are more concerned about sustainability so brands with a strong story of provenance, ethics and sourcing do well at giving drinkers a richer experience. Diaz Ayub, National Tea Day Founder and Tea Futurist, commented: “New brands are emerging by the week, and with them bringing new ideas and new products to the market. With this consumers are building direct relationships with brands with a genuine focus on embracing products which are sustainable and have a story.” Marco added: “Tea is a pleasure, not an obligation and increasingly we are learning that the modern tea drinker wants to really enjoy the experience and savour the moment. If this expectation is met then they are more likely to share their experience on social channels, resulting in impactful marketing for outlets and products alike.” l National Tea Day is 21 April each year. For more information visit

We will certainly be featuring National Tea Day in more detail as the year moves on, however for now, let’s look at the current plastic-free tea brands which we have to offer!

Plastic free tea



rom our dealings with A Plastic Planet’s wonderful team, including Frankie, (who helped Thornton´s Budgens source plastic-free products for the aisle on the run up to the Thornton´s Budgens aisle launch), it was apparent how hard it was to find products that are currently plastic-free or producers willing to invest the level of money and time into becoming that way. There are however some brands out there who are working very hard on reducing plastic in their business and are speeding through the process needed to get there. One of these brands is Hampstead Tea. Hampstead Tea has always made conscious decisions not to follow trends where the packaging or materials used do not fit with their beliefs. In fact, they were the first tea company in the UK to use the ‘stitch method’ on their tea bags as opposed to using plastic based glues. They are now going further and with the help of packaging manufacturers seeking environmentally friendly innovation; they are now offering their Loose Leaf Tea pouches in the new NatureFlexTM material (cellulose based). It looks and feels like a plastic type material... but it most certainly is not. The material is created from renewable wood pulp and reformed to create the bags.


Missing home one afternoon in July 1989, having just moved to London from India, Kiran took time off from mothering 2 little boys, and dropped in to the Tea board of India’s London office. There was the usual warm

welcome and a flurry of teacups, and in Rajah Banerjee walked, full of his infectious enthusiasm for his beloved Makaibari estate in Darjeeling. “No nasties in my soil” he declared, and his comments instantly resonated with her. She had been very concerned at the many “extra” ingredients in food, even baby food, full of E’s and sweeteners. Urging him to tell people about his vision of clean tea cultivation, he replied “YOU tell people if you feel so strongly about it”. The challenge was too good to resist and she launched into the world of tea growing (a huge change from being the strategic consultant!), and organised for the estate to be certified organic. Then came the big leap – biodynamic status for Makaibari – a first for tea estates. Biodynamic farming simply ensures that you put more in than you take out, and that animals, plants, people and soil all work together to create a forever-living environment. Yet no tea estate had ever thought about going biodynamic before. So she packed 5 chests of Darjeeling leaf tea into paper bags in her kitchen and took them to shops, individuals and cafes around London. There was a bit of an uproar from some “250gms of leaf tea... no one drinks leaf tea these days”. But others made space for the hand filled packs and a year later Hampstead Tea was awarded best in category at the Organic Food Awards, for the Darjeeling Whole Leaf Tea and it was presented by HRH Prince Charles. l

The earth is important to us here at hampstead tea. Its plants nourish us, it’s sunsets make us smile, and the seasons teach us important lessons. For all these reasons the tea plants we nurture are our small thanks to the earth for her kindness. We use the best practices we know of in our tea growing, trying always to put more in than we take out. Kiran, founder of Hampstead Tea


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Plastic free tea



lbeit the other tea brands we have featured in our plastic-free-tea feature were present in the Thornton´s Budgens plastic-free aisle, we heard about this fantastic new brand and just had to tell you all about it! Noble Leaf is a passionate, independent tea company who are on a mission to build a conscious business that helps humanity return to wholeness through the world’s finest tea leaves. Noble Leaf was established in 2018, after three friends; Chris, Jonathan and Gen realised work was becoming all to consuming and they searched for another way. They met back in 2000 while studying at university and although their professional lives took them down very different paths, they all realised life was too short, and they needed to appreciate the present more. In 2017, Jonathan went on a journey of self-discovery and travelled the world. Chris at the time was completely consumed by his work and decided to take some time out and met up with Jonathan in India, and it was there they uncovered a completely different offering to tea and were enchanted by Darjeeling. The seed had been planted and Chris and Gen started work on setting up a tea business combined with mindfulness and on Jonathan’s return, Noble Leaf was founded.

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Combining tea with mindfulness was a natural progression. All three friends had started their own individual journeys with mindfulness and experienced first hand the benefits this practice had on their lives. The ability to slow things down and concentrate on the here and now is not only something that can benefit personal life, but in the workplace too. Mindfulness is at the heart of Noble Leaf and they strive to ensure the sourcing and production of their teas and the relationships they build with

the individual tea estates are ethical, fair and honest. Noble Leaf offer a range of loose leaf tea and beautifully designed teaware which compliments their brand and ethos.

Plastic free tea FIVE QUESTIONS WITH THE FOUNDERS! What is the background to the business - why tea? Three friends who met at university in 2000 and all took very different paths professionally but all came to the same conclusion; life is hectic, we work too hard and we don’t have enough time for ourselves. In 2017, Jonathan left his job in San Francisco and went on a journey of selfdiscovery and travelled the world. Chris at the time was completely consumed by his work and decided to take some time out and met up with Jonathan in India and it was there that their love affair with real tea began. Chris returned and together with Gen started working on the idea of building a conscious tea company with mindfulness at the heart, then on Jonathan’s return to the UK the company was founded. What makes you different from other tea brands? We source all of our tea directly from the tea estates. We know where the tea is grown and the processes it undergoes as we have been there and visited the estates first hand. We also look for smaller tea estates who are passionate about their tea and have a story to tell. We also work closely

with the tea gardens to ensure the tea is sourced ethically, fair and honestly. Where are you currently stocked? We have only just launched as a company so currently we are only stocked online in a number of wellness websites but our plan in 2019 is to work with farm stores, health food shops and delis.

What varieties do you offer and what is your favourite? We currently offer 6 different teas, with the focus very much being on the flavour of tea. All tea comes from the same plant and it is the processing which varies the type of tea and flavour. I love all our teas at different times but our white tea is very different to how people think tea should be and yet 100% natural. It has a subtle taste which is naturally sweet and is delicious both as a hot tea and a cold brew and also has amazing health benefits. We noticed you lovely tea flasks on your website, are these also part of your offering? In addition to our delicious teas we also provide a range of beautiful teaware, cold brew flasks, and a glass

cup with an in-built infuser as well as launching some new flasks in the New Year. Our aim is to encourage everyone to slow down a little. We all work so hard and constantly strive for the next ‘big’ thing, without stopping and appreciating what is directly in front of us. Our range of teas and teaware is designed out of a passion for the finer things, if we could all just stop and enjoy a cup of tea and experience the here and now, we would all be a little less stressed and appreciate what we have a bit more.

What made you decide to be plastic-free and what does your packaging consist of? We are building this brand independently from scratch and from the very beginning we have ensured we have done things as best we can. For us, being plastic free was an obvious choice and we try to think mindfully about every element of the business. Our tea is presented in a beautiful cardboard tube with the inner packaging being made from plants and is compostable.l Email:

Plastic free tea



ou’ll know from our previous articles about teapigs – we are fans here. Especially the editor, whom often recounts the story of how in his moment of need (after eating dried cricket products) teapigs were on hand at the same trade show to offer a simple but tasty and lifesaving cuppa to an otherwise weary editor. We love everything about the teapigs offering, from their temples to their matcha, it’s always stocked in the deli mag team cupboard. Upon finding out about teapigs move towards plasticfree a long while back, and watching their progress since, we have always been very impressed and the culmination of this was seeing this great brand featured on the shelves of

the UK’s first plastic-free aisle at the Thornton´s Budgens, alongside only one other tea brand.


With the current increased scrutiny on single-use plastics in their supply chain, tea and coffee companies are scrambling to eliminate plastic from their products and prove their environmental credentials. teapigs are ahead of the game. Unlike many other major brands, their tea temples have never contained plastic and the majority of their product packaging can be easily reused, recycled or composted. Louise Cheadle, teapigs’ cofounder and tea-taster, says: “There has been a lot of consumer


interest lately (and rightly so) in the shocking revelation that many teabags contain plastic. The food and drink industry in general has a responsibility to move away from the use of unrecyclable plastic and to ensure that its production practices are sustainable in the long-term. We have had lots of concerned customers contacting us over the last few months and we wanted to put their minds at ease: our tea “temples” have never contained plastic (we use a mesh bag made from corn starch to hold our whole leaf teas) but there are lots of elements that make up our packaging and it can be quite confusing to know what to do with it all because it can depend on local recycling facilities too. There are things that we think we are doing well and things that we certainly need to work on, but in the interest of full transparency we have published details of all the packaging used throughout our product range.’


teapigs packs are made from FSC certified paper board which means that the forests from which the wood is originally sourced are sustainably managed. The cartons are reusable, recyclable, and biodegradable. The ink used on the cartons is vegetable-based.


teapigs use clear inner bags inside their cartons to keep the tea “temples” fresh and have recently invested in switching over to a material called Natureflex. Made from renewable wood pulp, the Natureflex bags are fully compostable. All teapigs tea temples are now being packed inside Natureflex inner bags but, as with all major production changes, it will take a little while for them to filter through to product shelves. The older inner bags are made from polypropylene, which is widely recycled and can be put in with your plastic recycling.


teapigs tea “temples” have never contained plastic. The temples and string attached are made from corn starch, a natural carbohydrate extracted from corn. The label on the string is made from paper, the ink is vegetable-based and everything is sealed with heat so no glue is used at all. While the tea temples are fully biodegradable (and so will eventually naturally break down), teapigs recommend you put them in your food bin to be processed by your local council because they will take a long time to degrade in your home compost.


As for the other products in the range, teapigs metal tins of tea are made from tinplate and aluminium. They are reusable and can be recycled in your home recycling bin. Their 30g and 80g tins of matcha are made from tinplate and can also be reused or recycled. The outer carton of the 30g matcha tin is made from FSC recyclable paper. ‘We’re happy that the majority of the packaging we use can be safely reused, recycled or composted,’ adds Louise, ‘but we recognise that the packaging from our loose tea pouches and matcha sachets needs to be improved. All the materials used are technically recyclable but – because they are composites – they need to be separated to be recycled which many councils can’t facilitate. We’re working on new packaging for these two products and hope to roll it out within the coming months.’ teapigs loose tea pouches are made from paper and polyethylene. Although these are both recyclable materials, the pouch is a composite, meaning the materials need to be separated before they can be recycled, something that many councils cannot currently facilitate. teapigs’ matcha sachets are likewise a composite. Despite these two concerns, teapigs are enthusiastic in their commitment to becoming the UK’s leading environmentally-friendly tea company.

After the recent announcement by many teabrands that they are to eliminate plastic from their teabags, it should have been widely noted that teapigs are ALREADY plastic free and they were the first tea brand to be awarded the Plastic-Free Trust Mark by A Plastic Planet. “Our tea temples have always been biodegradable. They’re made from corn-starch and you can put them in your council food waste bins. Our temples are packaged in a clear inner bag to keep them fresh: late last year, we switched from a plastic inner bag to a material called NatureflexTM – it’s made from wood pulp so it’s 100% plant-based and compostable. It’s great!” says Louise Cheadle, teapigs’ tea taster. “We’ve always tried to do the right thing and made these greener changes to our packaging as soon as they were available to us despite the increased cost. The recent news that most teabags contain plastic has really surprised consumers and we’ve had a big wave of concerned customers asking us for more information.” It was recently announced that 96% of the nation’s teabags contain plastic. “We’re really pleased to have been accredited with A Plastic Planet’s Plastic-Free Trust Mark – it’ll make it easier for consumers to make the right decisions about the products they buy – there are so many logos on packaging these days and it can be confusing to know what they actually mean”. The A Plastic Planet Trust Mark was launched on 16th May 2018. Designed to sit clearly on the front of the pack, the Trust Mark will instantly inform and empower consumers to make plastic-free choices. The confusion around different logos and abundance of plastic packaging in the supermarkets means that those with innovative packaging will be nice and easy to spot. teapigs are committed to being the UK’s greenest tea company. The cardboard across their whole range is FSC certified and they print using vegetable ink. Their signature everyday brew is 100% Rainforest Alliance Certified and they are an approved member of the Sustainable Restaurant Association. l

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Plastic free tea A few minutes with Louise Cheadle – co-founder What made you decide to use plastic-free packaging? We have had lots of concerned customers contacting us over the last few months and were happy to put their minds at ease: our tea “temples” have never contained plastic but there are lots of elements that make up our packaging and it can be quite confusing to know what to do with it all because it can depend on local recycling facilities too. There are things that we think we are doing well and things that we certainly need to work on, but in the interest of full transparency we have published details of all the packaging used throughout our product range. We’ve always tried to do the right thing and made these greener changes to our packaging as soon as they were available to us despite the increased cost. The recent news that most teabags contain plastic has really surprised consumers and we’ve had a big wave of concerned customers asking us for more information. This is why it’s so great to be accredited with A Plastic Planet’s Plastic-Free Trust Mark as well as working together with organisations like The Rainforest Association and the Sustainable Restaurant Association to keep developing our sustainability program and informing our customers. The food and drink industry in general has a responsibility to move away from the use of unrecyclable plastic and to ensure that its production practices are sustainable in the long-term. We’re happy that the majority of the packaging we use can be safely reused, recycled or composted but we recognise that the packaging from our loose tea pouches and matcha sachets needs to be improved. All the materials used are technically recyclable but – because they are composites – they need to be separated to be recycled which many councils can’t facilitate. We’re working on new packaging for these two products and hope to roll it out within the coming months. We’ve upped the focus on sustainability over the last year and now have a team of teapigs working hard on this.

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What are your thoughts on the use of plastic packaging in this sector? The consumer awareness surrounding plastic and the harmful effect that this has on our environment is a hot topic internationally. We have seen this especially within Scandinavia. In fact, earlier this year Dutch supermarket chain Ekoplaza introduced the ‘world first’ plastic-free supermarket aisle in partnership with A Plastic Planet. Many of our international accounts have stressed that plastic-free and sustainability is becoming a key decider when picking the brands they stock. Unfortunately there are still some countries where this matter is not as high on their agenda. In the UK, we’ve really got to thank the great Sir David Attenborough and the recent Blue Planet programme for bringing this topic even further into the public eye. He’s a real national treasure! It can be frightening to see just how much single-use plastic is used in tea and food and drink in general. In some cases, this is avoidable and change needs to happen fast. In other cases, keeping food and drink fresh, convenient and safe to use whilst protecting the planet can be a challenge. Alternative solutions to plastic have their challenges too and the recycling industry itself also needs to develop faster to be able to process more eco-friendly plastic material alternatives. But we do have a big responsibility to the right thing by the environment – single-use plastic reduction is just a part of this – and to help consumers make the right choices when disposing of packaging. Out of all the wonderful flavours you create - what is your favourite and the biggest hit with your customers? While traditional black teas will always be popular, we are seeing

some changes. More and more consumers are looking for drinks that give them specific health benefits and demand for healthy green and herbal teas is growing. My fave tea at the moment is teapigs’ tung ting oolong – tasting oolong in the hills of Taiwan is a special experience and the tea to go with it is delicious. Halfway between green and black tea, this tea has both strength and flavour (no milk!).

What makes teapigs different? We believe in something very simple – no airs, no graces, just fine tea. Basically, we love tea but didn’t like the snobbery that can come with it. Instead we concentrate on bringing the very best tea we can find and not taking ourselves too seriously. Our range is unrivalled with over 34 whole leaf teas and herbal infusions. The teas really pack a punch too. Real, whole ingredients mean big flavour. Lots of people drink green and herbal teas because they’re healthy but often aren’t keen on the taste. So many people tell us they buy our teas because they taste as good as they smell. We’ve won over 80 great tastes awards over time – our mums are very proud. Lastly, we’re committed to being the greenest tea company out there and we work extra hard to support the communities that bring us our tea. We make a donation to the Point Foundation charity in Rwanda with every pack of everyday brew we sell (the majority of tea in the blend is sourced from Rwanda!) and we match donations our customers make online. The money raised improves the lives of vulnerable young people in the area and we’ve raised over £240k so far. Several teapigs also ran last year’s Tough Mudder race to raise more money, which was an incredible (if muddy) experience!

HEALTHIER SNACKING With many looking to shed the winter weight after Christmas, and with the healthy snacking trend still on the rise, we highlight a few up interesting brands to consider

no exaggeration that I try l It’s to lose at least half a stone in

December as a safeguard against the Christmas bulge. In fact, they say that on Christmas day we as consumers gobble down an impressive 7,500 calories each on average. When I heard this, those around me recoiled in horror. I on the other hand shrugged and realised I definitely am bringing that average up. Winter is particularly bad on a lot of consumer’s diets. The cold and wet weather seems to have an effect on us. Perhaps a prehistoric way of us ‘fattening up’ a little to stay warmer? Whatever excuse I can find I will. The reality however is that just after the festive period, the gym suddenly becomes super busy (for a few weeks) and consumers go mad for ‘Dry January’

and ‘Veganuary’ and many other healthy sounding challenges. What does that mean for you as food retailers? A vast swathe of activewear clad consumers rushing through the doors looking for the latest healthy snack, promising them a plethora of benefits whilst filing them up. Well, hopefully. So, for this issue I felt it would be good to find a few interesting healthy snacking brands who’s products look good, taste good and sell well. I must place particular importance on the ‘taste good’ part – I’ll assure you that in my search for healthy products I have had some experience that would rival Gordon Ramsey’s on Kitchen Nightmares. Therefore, and without further adieu – the line up:

BAKES & BALLS Feel Good Food. Natural Energy Balls and Healthy Bakes. Everything is Gluten, Dairy and Nut Free. Paleo and Vegan friendly too!

PEP & LEKKER Crunchy organic Seed Snacks which are packed with over 40% seeds, so they're a great source of plant protein and fibre. GREGORY’S TREE Great tasting, organic, gluten free snacks that give you a lasting energy boost or ' Beat The Dip' as they call it.

GO BITES 100% natural, bitesized energy balls. Developed by a marathon runner/nutritionist turned food entrepreneur. 3 varieties expertly formulated to give you the right energy at the right time. The Delicatessen Magazine 29

Healthier Snacking




We’ve featured energy balls in the past, I’ve tried making my own (won’t be trying that again!) and eaten a great deal of different brands attempts in the last few months. I was pleasantly surprised when I spoke to Bakes and Balls, who firmly believes that albeit low in sugar and packed full of natural ingredients, all balls should pass a few key tests: taste – fantastic; look – great and texture – just right for the recipe. Well, we couldn’t agree more. Founder Stephen Hall’s idea for launching Bakes and Balls came from producing low-sugar baking for his children’s lunch-boxes. He loved spending time in the kitchen and experimenting with flavours so the opportunity to combine baking with producing energy balls was a natural one. Christmas 2016 he decided to take the leap of faith and set up a new company. The family are actively involved in all aspects of the business – from product development and testing (if it fails the test; it goes in the bin!) through production to packaging and sales. It is great to spend time cooking together, but equally there are invaluable lessons to be learnt on the journey from concept to sale.


This started with the premise – Can we produce a gluten free bake that isn’t just for coeliacs? Why should coeliacs have to accept that gluten-

l Well, when I first saw the new flavours and got some sent over, I was keen to try to hide them and keep them all to myself. This wasn’t to be as they got spotted and a fight nearly ensued.

Editor´s Verdict

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free products are a compromise on taste and texture. It took three months to develop a gluten-free flour blend that he was happy with for the original Chocolate and Bean Bake. It then had to pass the taste test with the children – were they as happy We all really liked the taste, the flavour profiles are very clever, especially the Coffee, Mango & Goji! The texture was pure bliss. Velvety and luxurious for a ball. I feel however that the best bit of the experience for me is knowing how much love and effort Stephen personally puts

with this version as they were with the original? The same applies to all diets – no compromise on taste. When adapting a recipe to make it work for somebody on a particular diet – whether they are vegan, dairy-free or have a nut allergy – there should be no compromise on taste and texture. They hope we have achieved this: They are proud that all their products are free from all 14 allergens as well as being Vegan and Paleo. l

into this brand. These do not feel mass produced in any way. They feel homely and made with care. A really nice business to deal with too. These would be perfect for delicatessens and farm shops who are looking to stock products from specially selected and up and coming brands.

Healthier Snacking




ith World Vegan Month underway (November) it’s worth noting that a recent survey conducted by suggested that there are now some 3.5m active vegans (7% of the population) in the UK, a seismic shift of some 700% in less than two years. Cast your net a little wider and you’ll see that a significant 14% of the UK population would proudly classify themselves as vegetarian, whilst even growing numbers of die-hard meat lovers are actively seeking out a more thoughtful flexitarian lifestyle (reduced meat intake) to reflect the recalibrating of their ethical (animal welfare), dietary (personal health), or lifestyle (brass tack economics) values. It would certainly appear that contrary to what any Waitrose magazine editor might suggest that veganism is truly on the move, making the perilous journey from niche to mainstream food movement.


One of the lead drivers behind veganism’s resurgence has been the growing numbers of artisan start-ups who’re willing to support an increasingly upbeat vegan cause, small, single-minded food specialists who insist on bestin-class ingredients and minimal processing methods because their focus is to show that there’s no reason whatsoever to stifle taste buds or settle for mild-mannered flavours & textures.


Pep & Lekker is just such a nimbleminded business set up by former corporate lawyer, Susan Gafsen, who became convinced that a resurgent vegan aisle could benefit greatly from a back-to-basics product portfolio that focused solely on full-bodied flavours and all-natural, everyday ingredients.

According to Susan, ‘The very nature of my legal career meant I spent a significant chunk of my day listening and advising successful entrepreneurs about the various pioneering projects they were launching and whilst I didn’t realize it at the time I suspect a small part of me was rather envious. The touch-paper moment for me to enter the vegan fray arrived when I noticed that my lazy, time-poor son’s health was starting to lapse. The more I rummaged through the available products I hoped might improve his poorly balanced diet, the more I realized just how many products were either trumpeting spurious health claims or employing ‘foggy ingredients’ that were anything but all-natural!’ Entering the artisan food & drink

movement was certainly a terrifying departure from a successful career in law. Pep & Lekker’s non-negotiable focus was to assemble a new range of seed-inspired snacks that could either be munched on-the-go or dunked in flavoursome dips. The outcome was an awardwinning 3-strong collection of magnificently seedy snacks that were snapped up this Autumn by Ocado Daylesford, As Nature Intended & Planet Organic; 3 deliciously distinct snacks that marry a minimum of 5 different seeds with a signature ‘superfood’ (Wheatgrass, Maca or Brahmi) that has been cunningly bound by apple to avoid the need for any unwanted oils or unsavoury sugars. The result is a tasty, low calorie baked bite with a seriously satisfying snap. Later this year Pep & Lekker will broaden their vegan horizons yet further by relaunching their wholesome vegan soup collection. Soup & More will be positioned as full-bodied, nut-free recipes that have embraced the humble cannelloni bean in its ongoing quest to assemble a tight-knit range of fulsome soups with rich, velvety textures. l

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Healthier Snacking




fter I’ve had a meal, I do quite like my afters too. I have often tried to have a piece of fruit instead, but it just doesn’t seem right. Well, I’ve found the answer. I must admit, these fruit twists have so many uses that I could go on about them all day long with ease. On the go snack? Yes. Lunchbox snack? Yes. After dinner snack? Yes again. I can’t pinpoint why, but a fruit twist is just so much nicer than a piece of fruit alone. The Gregory’s Tree fruit twist bars look similar to confectionary in a way, yet are a healthy alternative. Perfect for those of us who have a sweet tooth but also a conscience for our health. The Gregory's Tree fruit twist snack bars are free from dairy, gluten and wheat and made with 100% organic ingredients. Each Gregory’s Tree

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Blueberry and Raspberry Double Twist bar bursts with fruity flavour as each is made from pure organic fruit, which is gently heated and pulped to give it that extra tasty twist. They’re naturally great tasting and with being only 60 calories a pack and one of your recommended five a day portions of fruit and veg, they are perfect for those seeking a healthy snack bursting with flavour. Gregory’s Tree fruit snack bars are already available in over 250 coffee shops and delicatessens in London including Partridges of Chelsea, Sourced Market and Fusion Leisure. National distribution is handled by Tree of Life. Richard Moore, Founder of Gregory’s Tree said: “I love snacks but couldn’t find one that was healthy, great tasting and gave me a long-term

energy boost. Everything fig, cereal or nut-based and I wanted something more. I wanted something that had all the flavour and goodness of fruit with the ease of snacking. I wanted a snack that gave me a lasting pick-meup, or to ‘Beat the Dip®’ as we call it. “We have spent nine months developing our product and are delighted with the taste and product benefits of the Gregory’s Tree Blueberry & Raspberry Organic Fruit Twists. Each bar is 18g of fruit goodness that looks great and tastes great. And because Gregory’s Tree snack bars are all fruit, the natural fructose gives you a sustained energy release, unlike the quick burning empty calories found in biscuits, cakes and chocolate.” l

Healthier Snacking


Recently upgraded into Plastic-free packaging, and with the promise of making life more ‘enerJoy-a-ball’ we couldn’t resist trying out Kate Percy’s Go Bites ‘Fruit Pursuit’ range.


ounded on the principle that ‘real food fuels you better’, Go Faster Food was launched 10 years ago by marathon runner turned fitness food entrepreneur, Kate Percy, who passionately believes that everybody should understand the link between what they eat and mental and physical wellbeing. Kate has since authored multiple bestselling active lifestyle cook books and nutrition guides, the most recent eating well and performing better, one, Go Faster Food For Your Active both mentally and physically. 10% Family, helping busy mums on the net profits from the sale of every pack run with family-friendly recipes and of Go Bites goes towards funding our healthy eating advice. ‘5 x 2025’ mission. By 2025 we want Go Bites energy balls were every child to be able to cook 5 simple, developed from one of Percy’s most wholesome recipes by the time they popular recipes with practicality and leave school, as well as understand palatability in mind: three small balls the link between what they eat and per pack totalling under 150 calories their mental and physical wellbeing. with no compromise on taste. Go Bites, evolved from one of my most The brand recently launched popular recipes, are crafted to provide three new varieties of its energy ball busy people and active communities brand, Kate Percy’s Go Bites back with a real food, practical energy in September 2018. Hand-rolled product that tastes exceptional and is in freeze-dried fruit powder, these really enjoyable to eat. As consumers colourful new energy balls add a fruity become more health-conscious, they zing to the existing range launched in are no longer buying a product, they 2017, which has incidentally just won are buying a lifestyle. There is also a two Great Taste awards. demonstrable trend for plant-based The new ‘Fruit Pursuit’ range is products and that’s where Go Bites 100% natural with no added sugar. It meets the need perfectly – a 100% is vegan-friendly, high in fibre, wheatnatural, free from, vegan-friendly free, dairy-free and gluten-free and product to fuel active lifestyles. As we approved by the Coeliac Association. grow, we are also making progress Lucille Tichivangana, Holland & with reducing the amount of packaging Barrett Category Manager – Active we use. We recently made the move to Nutrition: “Go Bites have been selling compastable packaging which is a great exceedingly well since launch. The step forwards for us as a business.’ rate of sale on the Go Bites range is by THE FRUIT PURSUIT RANGE far one of the best I’ve seen for a new brand in a very competitive market. Kate has produced a range that appeals Raspberry & Cacao: Boost your exercise. Energise your day. 100% to the Holland and Barrett customer Natural Energy. Gluten, wheat and that is reflected in and dairy free, no added the sales to date – our sugar, high fibre, vegancustomers clearly friendly, and Coeliac UK love the range.” approved. 36g pack of Kate Percy Tasty, good texture, great 3 x 12g balls or box of comments: ‘I back story and with 12 packs. RRP £1.99 am passionate sustainable packaging – per pack, £23.88 per about the what’s more to love. They box of 12. link between sell well in other retailers and after trialling them, we can see why. Well worthy of your consideration.

Our Verdict

Strawberry & Cashew: Refuel during exercise. Energise your day. 100% Natural Energy. Gluten, wheat and dairy free, no added sugar, high fibre, vegan-friendly and Coeliac UK approved. 36g pack of 3 x 12g balls or box of 12 packs. RRP £1.99 per pack, £23.88 per box of 12. Blackcurrant & Blueberry: Recover after exercise. Treat yourself! 100% Natural Energy. Source of Protein, gluten, wheat and dairy free, no added sugar, high fibre, veganfriendly and Coeliac UK approved. 36g pack of 3 x 12g balls or box of 12 packs. RRP £1.99 per pack, £23.88 per box of 12.

ORIGINAL ‘DISCOVERY’ RANGE Date and Coconut: Boost your exercise. Energise your day. 100% Natural Energy. Gluten, wheat and dairy free, no added sugar, high fibre, vegan-friendly, and Coeliac UK approved. 36g pack of 3 x 12g balls or box of 12 packs. RRP £1.99 per pack, £23.88 per box of 12. Great Taste Award 2018 – 1 star. Apricot and Seeds: Refuel during exercise. Energise your day. 100% Natural Energy. Gluten, wheat and dairy free, no added sugar, high fibre, vegan-friendly and Coeliac UK approved. Shortlisted for ‘Best Foodto-Go product’ and ‘Best product from a Start-up’, in the FreeFrom Awards 2017. 36g pack of 3 x 12g balls or box of 12 packs. RRP £1.99 per pack, £23.88 per box of 12. Hazelnut and Cacao: Recover after exercise. Treat yourself!100% Natural Energy. Source of Protein, gluten, wheat and dairy free, no added sugar, high fibre, veganfriendly and Coeliac UK approved. 36g pack of 3 x 12g balls or box of 12 packs. RRP £1.99 per pack, £23.88 per box of 12. Finalists in Food Matters Live’s ‘Most innovative food to go product’ 2017. Great Taste Award 2018 – 1 star. l

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ith more and more deli’s and farm shops offering a range of lifestyle products to enhance sales and customer experience within their shops, we’ve been on the hunt for great products to show you. We were quite excited when we stumbled across LIGA’s products. LIGA is a brand who make eco homewares Cornwall. They use recycled, organic and sustainable materials in their products as a personal acceptance of their responsibility to the planet. A great ethos if we may say so. Their products are contemporary, and inspired by nature with a stylish, yet earthy and quirky feel about them, perfectly suited to being sold in deli’s and farm shops. One of the many reasons we really

liked the LIGA proposition was their background in retail. Not only do they pull out all the stops to keep their stockists happy, they also understand what it is you want and require, from POS’s to good margins and real advice on what sells. There is a lot to be said for a manufacturer who is also a retailer.


There is a rather extensive range of products from LIGA, so it’s well worth getting yourself on their website to take a look! However, we absolutely love their cock placemats and coasters, their Oyster candles, their clocks and the diffusers however there is much, much more to look at too! l

We interviewed Jennie Elderkin to find out more So Jennie, tell us a bit more about how Liga started? We have two lifestyle stores in Cornwall, which sell Homewares and Gifts and so I am regularly buying products and looking at styling, visiting trade shows and generally feeling immersed in this lovely creative world. I wanted a brand/range of products to sell in our shops, that had contemporary design, was affordable for everyday use, practical and was made from eco and sustainable materials. I looked at what was on offer on the market and just couldn’t find it. So I tentatively decided to design it myself. Having our own stores gave me confidence, as I knew that we would be able to try out our products and most importantly learn from customer feedback and see the sales figures. Having tried out some of our products in our stores through 2017, we were thrilled with the results and felt ready to go to our first trade show in Jan 2018 and launch LIGA.

How has the business evolved since starting out? It has been an exciting fast moving year this year; we are now stocking just under one hundred shops across the UK. It has been a pleasure working with small business owners like ourselves and with our background in retail we have really gone the extra mile to give retailers what they want. The margin we offer is good and we offer low minimums on top ups, POS and frank advice on what sells the best. We are excited to be planning work with some bigger names next year with bespoke designs and products too. We love your statement about accepting your personal responsibility for the planet. Have you always been passionate about sustainability? I think the knowledge about the need for sustainable products has only hit our radar in the last ten years or so, although I am sure others have known about it for much longer.

sellers. Our Oyster Candles which we hand make in Cornwall are always a popular and thoughtful gift. We are launching a Dining Collection of Tableware in 2019 which is really beautiful and incorporates Cork in a really unique way. We are loving working with Cork - designing our range of tableware and homewares. Cork is harvested every nine years, the bark is extracted from the Cork Oak without any harm. Cork trees can live for more than 200 years and the more cork we use, the more trees will be planted. Cork is sustainable, renewable and recyclable - practical too, water impermeable and easily wipe clean and insulating. What we really wanted to do was to connect simple design with eco and to get away from the idea that eco had to be about a certain ‘hippy’ look. What we need to be moving towards is that everything that is produced is accountable, ethical and has a real reason for being made in the first place. The movement for our world to become plastic free is so important. You have a lovely looking range of lifestyle products, perfect for retailers such as those who read our magazine. Which products in the range sell well in other similar environments? Our Cork placemats and Coasters and trivets our amongst our best

If there was one piece of advice you would give to a deli or farm shop or food hall that would look to stock more lifestyle items, what would it be? The customers who love to buy fresh local, possibly organic food are the customers who will love eco homewares. Our range is affordably priced as an everyday pickup, that could be easily popped in your basket, guilt free along with apples and carrots ! I think the best advice I could give is if you’re tempted to try homewares, do it convincingly, on its own table or shelving. Arrange the display appealingly, don’t just pile up products in a heap. We give POS to educate about Cork and to tell the LIGA story so customers can feel good about what they are buying into.

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more responsible


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f you had a drink every time you saw the term ‘plastic-free’ in this issue, you’d not remember reading it in the first place. As I perused the plastic-free aisle in the Thornton Budgens I saw one of my favourite dips, pasta sauce and dressing companies – A Little Bit, with their products on the shelf adorned with the Plastic-Free trustmark from A Plastic Planet. As I’ve aged, I’ve become such a cynic, disbelieving most things until proven otherwise and always looking for an ulterior motive. I’m a massive fan of A Little Bit, often using the products in my own cooking. I decided I would put them to the test. I would visit and try to pull out the real reason behind their journey to better packaging and face-to-face, it would be easy for me to be able to get the full truth. I almost wanted to prove myself right by visiting A Little Bit and ex-pecting to see another brand doing the ‘right thing’ for the ‘right reasons’ – yet, I left feeling rather ashamed that I’d ever let myself think that way. Faith in humanity and business well and truly restored. As with each of the brands we have featured in this edition who have dedicated themselves to going plasticfree, A Little Bit is another one who has done it be-cause of a cause far greater than a marketing effort.


So, after phoning Sophie Lane-Fox, founder of A Little Bit, I arranged to visit her at her Herefordshire base to find out more about the business and their health and responsibility credentials (ok, she mentioned cooking lunch, so the engine started no sooner than the call ended…). Well, you’d be hard pressed to find a nicer team, a nicer brand to deal with or in fact a nicer range of products. Sophie takes business very personally, and re-ally puts her heart and soul into each of the products that is sold. Following her around the office, I see plants growing in glass jars still with labels attached from their former uses. It’s commonplace for the team to actually practise what they preach here, not just for instagram posts. Watching Louise and Julia at-tempting a selfie and filming one of Sophie’s office dogs trying to help plant herbs was a particular highlight for me.

For some, the move towards going plastic-free is centred around the PR hype and to gain further business (or incidentally, to retain business with retailers demanding less plastic). However, I remembered Sophie actually talking about her annoyance at the reliance on plastic components within packaging before the Blue Planet effect took hold. Sophie revealed the lengths they’ve had to go to and the investment they have had to put in to make the last changes as well as the process of achieving the very stringently vetted Plastic-Free Trustmark from A Plastic Planet. Not only are all of A Little Bit’s products made using actual fresh herbs, but they are also palm-oil free, gluten free, vegan friendly and with the range now being plastic-free too, this is a brand that really cares. Sophie commented: “There are still so many products out

there that are packed in materials that we take from our planet that can’t ever be broken back down by our natural flora or fauna. We are investing in protecting what we have today, for our future generations. Yes it may cost us more, yes it may marginally affect some products shelf life, but these are small sacrifices for a much greater cause.” So, what have I learnt? Well, this issue has taught me a lot actually. I tried to eek out the truth from each company we featured in this section of the edition about going plastic-free, and each of them has a brilliant story behind their journey. The interesting point to note is that the brands we have featured in this section all share in common the fact they are responsible in many ways, not just with their striving to be plastic-free. They say ‘what goes around, comes around’ and I just hope that for these companies, this translates into good healthy sustainable businesses for the future. l

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Chocolate innovators, GNAW have launched a range of indulgent chocolate bars with a healthy twist. That’s right – the GNAW team have succeeded where most fail; making healthy taste delightful

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esigned specifically as a ‘grab and go’ impulse purchase, the small 35g bars are handcrafted in Norfolk with 35% healthy ingredients and with no added nasties; seeds, fruits, nuts and British granola – grown in the finest Norfolk fields. As such, they are great source of fibre too; up to 14% of the bar. People are more conscious than ever about the importance of maintaining a healthier lifestyle, parents are conscious of the treats they give their children and increasing numbers of people have a food intolerance or are making food-consumption lifestyle choices. Gnaw’s forward-thinking new product development team have developed this new range with these audiences in mind. All three products in the new range are all gluten-free and suitable for vegetarians; the dark bar is also dairy-free. Always keen to make life as easy as possible for busy retailers, Gnaw supply the new bars pre-packed in their own eye-catching counter top display unit – simply remove the top and display. Designed to sit next to your till point, these impulse bars are flying off the shelves. There are three bars in the range; Milk Chocolate with Peanuts, British Granola & Seeds, Milk Chocolate with Cranberries, Raisins, British Granola and Seeds and Dark Chocolate with Orange, British Granola & Seeds – Crunchy deliciousness.

72% COCOA DARK RANGE And Gnaw’s free-from range doesn’t stop there… July saw the launch of their new 72% dark chocolate range – Toasted Coconut and Raspberry Crisp; both dairy-free and suitable for vegans and vegetarian’s.

OTHER FREE-FROM PRODUCTS IN THE QUIRKY GNAW RANGE: No Added Sugar: l Cranberry & Hazelnuts l No Added Sugar l No Added Sugar Milk Chocolate Bar

Dairy Free & Vegan l New 72% Raspberry Crisp l New 72% Toasted Coconut l Coffee & Mint Dark Chocolate l Crystallised Ginger Dark Chocolate l Chilli + Lime Dark Chocolate l Dark Chocolate Orange Zest Mini Bar Tel: 01603 501518

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’ve often said that I’m unemployable; therefore I had to employ myself. I have never ‘fitted in’ with regards to a ‘normal’ situation. Over the years, more and more people in business have spoken out about mental health and how it can affect us, or open the door to opportunities too. Hearing about the work done by Alessandra Bester, founder of the Functional Food Company, I really wanted to feature this business and one of their brands here in this magazine. Under the Functional Food Company umbrella, there are various food brands such as Nono Cocoa, IBsnack and more, and we will revisit and look into the ranges of the other brands in time, however this issue I wanted to convey the story of how it all started, and show you all the fantastic tasting yet better for you chocolates that this brand offers. The Functional Food Company offers work opportunity to those with autism as well as other mental health issues, and to those who would otherwise struggle to find opportunities. This in itself makes a brand worthy of recognition, yet the products are simply divine and offer those with certain dietary needs a way of being able to indulge too.

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It started some years ago when Alessandra’s autistic son learned the word ‘No’ and as an autistic, he would repeat it a lot. He would specifically say ‘Nono’ to food as he struggled to eat. Fast-forward a few years and he wasn’t growing out of the ‘fussy eating’ stage and he was now 7-8 years old. Alessandra had to think outside the box about how to keep him healthy. Since he trusted everything that was brown (that’s also a separate story ) and he would only eat chocolate or chocolate cake…. she researched functional foods to start adding to his snacks.

Then a concern emerged about the sugar he was consuming as a result, so she investigated (innovative at that time) solutions, to reduce it and make it healthier. His snacks had to be gluten free, dairy free, without any artificial ingredients and nutritionally dense…. Recipe after recipe emerged and suddenly Alessandra had a collection of different truffles that supported different functions. It was never planned to be a company, until others around her insisted. Alessandra commented: “The idea that as a single Mum, recently

diagnosed with a chronic condition, looking after a disabled child with complex needs, totally unemployable in the light of many recruiters… How was I ever going to run a company?” After making a start in her own home kitchen, Alessandra quickly found people around her offering her help, and those who did and who want to be involved would be the ones that I gave the opportunity to, because no one else would give them it. That was clear from the start. At first, they were but a few single Mum’s, some with diagnosed mental health issues, some just isolated and crushed by their selfesteem. It was like a support group more than a production. Then Alessandra discovered the world of Camden Carers and how many ex carers are left unemployed assuming they have no skills or experience. Alessandra says: “The first light bulb flashed. What if we give them an opportunity in a safe and nurturing environment? I could see immense possibilities looking at the skills and experience the carers had. It was when I noticed how my low functioning autistic son keenly participated in the work-related activities like labelling, packing, sticking, that I realise that this company could be our future. With this mindset, I didn’t feel it was impossible, I thought it would take a ‘road less travelled’ and new formats designed, innovating with processes and time management… but not impossible! Even if it was impossible, I could imagine, to try and give me and my son some sort of future to look forward to. Either that or to be left at the mercy of others.” Outside of incredibly difficult circumstances around the health of her son, the work was life saving, a therapy almost. An opportunity for social interaction and purpose as well as meaning. ‘Nono Cocoa’ was born under the umbrella of Functional Food Co, as Alessandra offers more than just natural and nutritious chocolate.


Upon investigating the immediate network of people around her, Alessandra was reminded of the connections she already had from her days running a charity for Autism. She approached Elfrida Rathbone Camden that runs the Leighton College for young people with special needs and it was a winwin situation. It all started with a few students attending our production kitchen for work experience. So much has been learnt from them. So much so, that Alessandra designed a curriculum to see a real result for the young people and the possibility of preparing them for a real employment, enthused by these wonderful young people that brought an energy, enthusiasm and joy into the kitchen. The rest of the team was influenced and inspired by them. The bravery to overcome difficulties and determination to be best they can be. When you think you are giving, don’t overlook how much you are receiving. When asked about the values of team Nono and who they are, Alessandra realised how much they have to represent and stand for. Nono Exclusion was the first campaign that they ran, to bring awareness to others who may want to consider a more inclusive work environment. Nono Stigma to the mental health issues affecting one in four people in the UK alone. Nono Discrimination, Nono Harassment , Nono Bullies …. Standing for what they believe in – team nono aren’t a charity asking for donations, but they just want to create their own future where unemployable is the criteria for employment – that is what team Nono really is.


Chocolate Snacks - Natural, Vegan, Raw & Free-From: You are one truffle away from good mood These little treats are made with micronutrients, which are rich in minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. For example, one bag of Nono Cocoa Raspberry and Beetroot chocolate snacks contains 2 medium beetroots. Without the messy fingers. Perfect on-the-go, for travel, lunch box, handbag, for Vegans, Coeliac, people with Allergies and food sensitivities, on lowFODMAP diet, Foodies and anyone who understand the connection between what we eat and how we feel. No gluten, no nuts, no dairy, no egg, no yeast, no sulphides, no artificial colouring, no GMO or preservatives, no refined sugars, no cholesterol, however no compromise on quality & taste! Handmade in small batches, lovingly and with care by people with autism in our London based kitchen. Shelf life: 6 months, 6 packs (each 30g) approximately 7-8 disks. l @functionalfoodsco @nonoclokocoauk @ib_snack

Our Verdict

l Obviously, it is important as a retailer to have options for those with dietary requirements. You’d be hard pressed to find better tasting chocolate snacks, which cover so many different requirements than the offering from Nono Cocoa. Delightful branding and packaging, a great company ethos that we would all do well to adopt and follow.

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asta is a big part of the Mediterranean diet, known all over the world as one of the healthiest ways of feeding ourselves. As a true Italian, chef and marathon runner, I cannot think of a better way to ingest carbohydrates before, during and after endurance exercise. In order to understand how carbohydrates work in our body it is important to understand the concept of Glycemic Index (GI). This index describes how the carbohydrates we eat, affect blood sugar levels after ingestion. In order to have a healthy diet, it’s vital to balance all the macronutrients, carbohydrates, proteins and fats, as well as vegetables and fruit. Not all types of carbohydrates release energy in the same way. White bread, biscuits and refined products, for example, have the highest GI and are not considered part of a healthy diet. On the other hand, oats, cooked or raw, whole wheat pasta and bread, in small quantities, and lots of fibre-rich vegetables like kale, spinach and others, should be an everyday occurrence.

For some odd reason however in countries outside Italy, pasta is frowned upon and deemed “fattening” and a real enemy of a good diet. Pasta, especially whole wheat has a medium to low GI as it releases energy in the blood stream very gradually keeping you full for longer and prevents you from snacking in between meals. However, there are many factors that determine the GI of pasta. The way we cook pasta is a very important factor. Pasta should be cooked “al dente” to maintain not only its nutritional

value but also the lower GI. An average portion of pasta not dressed with any sauce is about 300 kcal.( to give you a comparison any bought sandwiches are on average 400 kcal). Quality of pasta also plays a very important role as the pasta slow dried, like Garofalo, naturally carries a lower GI. The only factor that makes pasta more caloric, is the sauce it’s dressed with. It is important to understand that the calories present in a simple pasta with tomato sauce is very different from a pasta full of cream, cheese and animal fat.

COMMENT FROM SALLY ASSINDER l Whole wheat pasta has many healthy benefits for anyone wanting to maintain a healthy diet. Along with the low GI carbohydrates it is also high in natural fibre. Garofalo whole wheat pasta contains unprocessed whole durum wheat which means its natural bran, germ, fibre, vitamins and minerals remain intact. Fibre helps control your appetite as well as keeping your digestive system regular by promoting normal bowel movements. Whole wheat pasta is also rich in proteins, iron and folic acid. Contrary to belief by some,

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whole wheat pasta is a pleasure to eat! Garofalo whole wheat pasta is rich in aromas with a nutty flavour and retains an al dente texture after cooking. A big benefit is that cooking times of the whole wheat pasta shapes are the same as Garafalo’s white pasta. A quick internet search results in a few brands with whole wheat pasta in their portfolio but only the usual shapes of spaghetti penne and fusilli. All shapes that are found in the Garofalo whole wheat range, but in addition Garofalo has some interesting, less well known shapes in

their range, including Stelline a star shaped soup cut, Pappardelle, a thick ribbon perfect mix for a ragu and Casarecce a perfect match for chucky sauces. In total there are 10 Garofalo whole wheat shapes to choose from, all of which are also organic.

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