EHL Ingredients’ spice blends tap into Mexican food trend

mexican1220EHL Ingredients has added two new Mexican spice blends to its portfolio, tapping into the burgeoning market for the Central American cuisine.

The first is a fiery Mexican marinade, described as a spicy mix of Mexican ancho chillies, cumin, oregano and garlic that creates plenty of heat while retaining savoury flavours to perfectly complement the meats and vegetables used in Mexican dishes. The marinade takes just ten minutes to prepare and gives chicken wings and pork belly strips a simple and strong flavour for consumers looking for a hot and spicy dish, the British company said.

The second blend is a sweet chipotle and lime burger seasoning, with a medium heat that is balanced with spice, tangy lime and subtle sweetness to pack a powerful Mexican punch in traditional burger recipes.

The pair have been introduced after growth in the popularity of Mexican cuisine, which has become the most commonly experimented with food culture in UK homes.

EHL Ingredients sales director Christine Peers said: “Mexican food continues to be popular in the UK within the restaurant and casual dining sectors, in takeaway, in retail ready meals and kits as well as in at-home cooking. Sales of our existing Mexican blends are increasing as well as single spices and chillies of various strengths so we wanted to offer food manufacturers an extra hot blend as well as burger seasoning to tap into consumer trends and demand.

“The Mexican food market is highly competitive within both the retail and foodservice sectors. We understand that manufacturers have to work hard to create successful products and innovate to maintain customer interest. We work with many leading companies to provide our natural herbs, spices and seasonings and can even work with product development teams to develop custom blends or organic varieties of any of our Mexican seasonings, depending on heat strength and taste requirements. We pride ourselves on offering unique spice blends and seasonings and our established Mexican varieties have proven popular and successful year on year.

“Our herbs, spices, marinades and seasonings are all sourced from reliable and approved Mexican suppliers, bringing authentic flavours to dishes and meals for foodservice outlets and supermarket shelves.”


Naked Marshmallow founders create new line of space lollipops

IMG_1192The founders of Naked Marshmallow have started a new confectionery company – and will start production with the launch of a new range of lollipops, designed to look like planets.

Marvellous Confections has already taken pre-orders for the new range of lollipops, which are available in a set of eight for a price of £15. The individually wrapped sweets are made using sugar, liquid glucose, water, natural flavouring, natural colouring and edible glitter – as well as a “top secret technique”.

They are available in watermelon, black cherry, banana, chocolate, cola, cream soda, candy floss and bubble gum flavours.

In addition to the lollipops, the new brand has developed a line of “moon rock” – an edible sugar confection made to look like pieces of the moon and available in vanilla, caramel and raspberry flavours with a price of £10 per tin. The quirky treat provides an ideal option for gifting, Marvellous Confections said, with a six-month shelf-life and plans to further grow the brand through product development.

These are just a taste of what’s to come under the Marvellous brand,” Naked Marshmallow co-founder Joseph Colson told FoodBev.

“The reason for placing these under a new company is because we felt the new products we have planned would dilute the marshmallow brand. We want to concentrate Naked Marshmallow on reinventing marshmallows and products around our marshmallows.

“The new company is for reinventing confectionery, and lollipops are just the start. We’ve let our imaginations go wild on creating wonderful new products under this brand and can’t wait to share our creations with everyone.”


What’s trending? Innovations spotted at Seeds & Chips, Milan

The future of food has been the most talked about topic this year. International Summit, Seeds & Chips, based in Milan, Italy, is right at the forefront of the conversation, showcasing what’s next in food tech innovation from farm to fork. Hundreds of start-ups, companies in food and tech, investors, thought leaders and policymakers come together to share content and visions, projects and experiences.

Running from 11–14 May, Seeds & Chips is currently in full flow, exploring the world of food tech, ag tech and the “internet of food”. Follow our coverage of the event on our Twitter channel using the hashtag #SaC16.

In the meantime, we’ve highlighted three innovations in the food tech space working to provide environmentally friendly and original solutions.

Founded in 2014, Solari is a start-up that has launched the next generation of portable solar cookers. Inspired by their love of the outdoor and passion for the environment, co-founders and designers Bodin Hon and Kevin Johnson created Solari in response to a gap in the market.

Solari works in the same way as a crock pot and the team claims it can cook “virtually anything” using only energy captured from sunlight. This means the cooker is fuel-free and also pollution-free. It’s a perfect piece of kit for outdoor lovers and food enthusiasts alike and is an original innovation which makes use of solar energy, a hugely untapped energy resource.

Natural Machines


Founded in 2012, Natural Machines is a company leading the 3D printing revolution in food. They’ve recently launched Foodini, a 3D food printer that looks to change our vision of home cooking. Claiming to be “the first 3D food printer kitchen appliance to contribute to a healthy eating lifestyle”, Foodini is an IoT kitchen appliance that uses fresh ingredients, which the user prepares at home, to create meals and elaborate edible creations.

The aim of the Foodini is to “streamline some of cooking’s more [repetitive] activities such as forming dough into a dozen breadsticks, or filling and forming individual ravioli”. It does not cook food but rather “assembles” different food components. The team hope that by having this “sous chef” to hand it will encourage home cookers to be more creative with their food and eat more healthily.



Viveat is a packaging company with a difference. Based in Italy, this company is championing smart packaging in the food and beverage sector and is helping companies explore the realms and capabilities of this digital space.

The company was created in 2014 after its founder Marcello Gamberale Paoletti, realised “that customer expectations are now higher than they have ever been”. The rise of smartphones and internet connected objects meant that the rest of the world had to catch up or be left behind.

Viveat has recently launched Viveat Wine, a smart tag that can be placed onto wine bottles to enable consumers to digitally engage with the wine, learn new information, and share their experience and search for other drinks in a range.


Food colour update

GNTNatural colour solutions can provide food and beverage manufacturers with a major edge over their competitors. By removing artificial and additive colours, manufacturers can meet the demands of 54% of consumers worldwide who want their food and drinks to be made with natural colour ingredients only. Alongside this, communicating their use clearly on the label is important as 67% of consumers say easy-to-understand ingredient information is essential. Claire Phoenix looks at how companies are tackling the challenges involved..

Credible front-of-pack claims give producers the potential to increase brand preference even when a price increase is applied. This is the result of a global consumer study which has been conducted by market research institute TNS and the GNT Group, the global provider of Colouring Foods. For the survey, 5,000 people from ten countries in Asia, the Americas and Europe were interviewed.

Choosing the right claim 

A crucial requirement for the success of a product is the right choice of claim: only those perceived as credible lead to a stronger purchase intention. Here, the effect of different claims that promote the use of all-natural solutions such as Colouring Foods has been examined in more detail: both the claims ‘with natural colours’ and ‘coloured with fruit and vegetables’ are perceived as credible by more than 75%. The claim ‘coloured with fruit and vegetables’ conveys positive product characteristics such as ‘is healthy’, ‘is safe’ or is ‘100% naturally produced’ to more than two thirds of consumers.

Which claim is preferable also depends on the product category. For food and beverages perceived as generally less natural, such as sweets or soft drinks, the claim ‘coloured with fruit and vegetables’ is most suitable to uplift brand preference because it provides a clearly distinguishing message for consumers. In food categories with a more natural image, like yogurt, the claim ‘free from artificial colourants’ is perceived equally well. “It is highly important for food manufacturers to understand the reaction of consumers to labelling, in order to choose the right claim for their products. With our survey, we can provide this information for different countries, consumer groups and product categories,” said GNT group managing director
Dr Hendrik Hoeck.

5-INFOGRAPHIC-670x1024What consumers understand

When it comes to using colouring ingredients and corresponding claims, manufacturers have
to bear in mind that shoppers have a clear idea of how they define natural colour solutions.

It seems that 42% expect natural food colourings only to originate from edible raw material such as fruit and vegetables. Only 21% perceive colours made from substances such as insects or minerals to be truly natural.

“The trust of consumers should not be undermined by communicating a product to be all-natural but not satisfying the precise expectations on ingredients,” said Hendrik.

“Colouring Foods meet the demands of today’s consumers to the fullest extent as they are made exclusively from edible raw materials. At the same time, they can be applied to nearly every application and match additive colours in terms of diversity, stability, shelf life and colour brilliance.”

The first impression counts. This is especially true for food products and confectionery goods in particular. A recent global consumer survey, conducted by market research institute TNS on behalf of GNT, shows that when it comes to choosing fruity gums, sugar drops and the like, the colour of a product has great influence on the purchase decision. At the same time, customers all around the world place increasing value on food and beverages that are free from artificial additives. Accordingly, 40% of all consumers wish for sweets without synthetic colourants. Furthermore, almost every second consumer chooses the naturally coloured product option whenever possible.

At ProSweets held earlier this year in Cologne, Germany, the GNT Group demonstrated that manufacturers don’t have to decide between colour brilliance and natural products to fulfil the demands of their increasingly health-conscious consumers.

Visitors looked at the selection of raw materials all the way through to the application of the final concentrates in extruded sweets, hard and soft dragées or colourful snacks like popcorn and many more. With more than 400 shades in its portfolio, GNT says it provides the largest range of Colouring Foods on the market. The concentrates are suitable for nearly all product categories – from confectionery and bakery products to beverages and ice cream.

Today, GNT has global reach with offices in America, Asia and Europe and supplies more than 1,200 food and beverage companies, including seven of the ten biggest producers in the world.


World’s top food companies make progress on social sustainability

Screen-Shot-2016-04-18-at-11.24.10Nine of the ten largest food and beverage companies have improved their ratings in social sustainability by at least 10% in the three years since the introduction of a landmark new benchmark, according to development charity Oxfam.

Oxfam has highlighted major improvements to policies on land rights, agricultural greenhouse gas emissions and gender equality across companies’ supply chains since it started keeping records through its Behind the Brands scorecard. Kellogg (up 30%) and Unilever (up 26%) made the most progress across all themes since the campaign began, the UK-based organisation revealed.

More than 700,000 Behind the Brands actions have pushed the companies to take significant steps to address land rights, gas emissions and gender equality, described as “specific policy weaknesses” as identified by public campaigning. Across the three areas, the businesses improved by an average of 24%, 37% and 32% respectively, Oxfam said. It also judged companies against their work in improving the self-reliance and economic opportunities of farmer suppliers – as well as their records on labour rights, climate change, financial transparency and water management.

Even Danone – the only company in the global top ten not to have made progress greater than 10% – improved its work to secure social sustainability by 7% compared with three years ago.

“These food industry giants all demonstrated that they do listen to consumers by making some bold policy commitments, Behind the Brands campaign manager Monique van Zijl said. We hope this will inspire others to follow suit.

“Now it’s crucial for the ‘big ten’ to substantially change their business models to make good on these promises, and challenge their suppliers to ensure that small-scale producers get fair and liveable wages.

“The ‘big ten’ could make a huge impact in helping fight poverty by ensuring the prices they pay for commodities allow for a living wage for the workers in their supply chains.”

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 12.11.40 copy

Throughout the campaign, Unilever and Nestlé have consistently scored high on climate change policies. Unilever achieved the top spot from Nestlé after two years. Coca-Cola, with strong policies on land rights, remains third at 57%, followed by Kellogg at 53%. But many of the companies made nominal progress on issues such as transparency, water usage reduction and workers’ rights, highlighting the extent of work still ahead of them.

Van Zijl continued: “Despite some strong progress over the past three years, the ‘big ten’ still have a lot of work to do. Given the inequalities and injustices in the food chain that leave millions of people at risk of being food insecure, especially small-scale producers, the ‘big ten must use their power to transform how food is produced, traded and processed. Giving more power and economic value to farmers, workers and food producing communities will not only be good for all of us, but also for the companies’ bottom lines in the long run.”

Public engagement with the campaign showed that consumers care about how companies do business and will take action to help drive policy changes on sustainability issues, Oxfam claimed. It also said that investors can help to put pressure on companies to address subjects like climate change and land rights.

The findings have been published in Oxfam’s recent paper, entitled The Journey to Sustainable Food.

In full: progress of the global ‘top ten’

Improvement to social sustainability by overall score change.

  • Kellogg (+30%)
  • Unilever (+26%)
  • Mars (+19%)
  • Associated British Foods (+17%)
  • General Mills (+17%)
  • PepsiCo (+17%)
  • Coca-Cola (16%)
  • Nestlé (+14%)
  • Mondelez (+13%)
  • Danone (+7%)


Meringue maker Flower & White launches line of pavlova bases

Flower-White-Strawberry-Single-Serve-Pavlova-MediaMeringue maker Flower & White has launched a new pavlova dessert offering for foodservice operators in the UK.

The new Pavlovas line of meringue bases are naturally gluten-free, made using the finest quality ingredients including British free-range eggs. They can help chefs to prepare perfect desserts, saving them time but allowing them not to compromise on flavour or quality. They are available in 25g portions in three different flavours: vanilla, strawberry and chocolate.

Flower & White founder Leanne Crowther said: “Pavlovas are perfect for those chefs who are under pressure to produce quality desserts that taste sublime. We have taken the hard work out of meringue-making and created these sumptuous bases in three delicious flavours. All that they need to do is give them their own unique twist to create a dessert they know their customers will love.

“Simple, delicious and convenient, they are the perfect addition for any chef’s kitchen.”


Nut and cereal milks ‘behind the challenge to dairy’, research says

8596721996_57643d035a_oNut and cereal milks have joined soy in the plant-based challenge to traditional dairy, according to research from Innova Market Insights.

Despite dairy alternatives accounting for just 6% of global dairy launches, in 2015 the market saw continuing penetration outside of the Asian market, where it has traditionally been most successful. This is reflected in stagnant launch numbers for the region, Innova said, while rising activity in Europe has taken its global share up from 30% to 38%.

Soy milks traditionally dominated the sector and still featured in over 60% of dairy alternative drinks launches globally in 2015, either as a main or secondary ingredient, although this has fallen from nearly three-quarters in 2011. Almond milks, which have seen dynamic growth in recent years, have increased their share to more than 28% of launches – ahead of rice, coconut and oat milks.

“The non-dairy milk drinks market has seen considerable development in recent years in the light of rising interest in lactose and dairy-free options,” said Innova director of innovation Lu Ann Williams. “Its initial spread from traditional markets in Asia to the West was via specialist health food outlets, but in recent years it has moved more squarely into the mainstream and grown beyond its reliance on soy to a whole range of other plant-based foods, led by nuts and grains.”

The other notable feature of market development has been the stronger move of dairy alternative drinks out of the white milks sub-category and into flavoured variants, with brands increasingly introducing upmarket and complex flavours and blends in line with the wider milk drinks market, Innova reported.

There has also been a strong move into fashionable milk-based coffee drinks in line with the rest of the milks market.

Soy milk has traditionally been marketed on its health benefits and its newer, plant-based competition has continued this trend. Over 90% of dairy alternative drinks launched in 2015 were marketed on a health platform of some kind.

The most popular individual claim was lactose-free, used in over 47% of introductions and up from about one-third in 2011. Lactose-free’s popularity was probably a result of improved allergen labelling, as well as growing awareness of lactose intolerance and interest in free-from foods in general.

Interest in clean labelling appears to have boosted the use of natural and additive/preservative-free claims, Innova said. These were used on 36% of launches, rising to nearly 64% if organic claims are also included.

There is also rising use of non-GMO claims despite legislation in many markets, including the EU, where non-GMO claims featured on 11% of new products, that means genetically modified ingredients have to be declared anyway. The US has seen growing levels of concern in recent years, with nearly half of dairy alternative drinks launched in the country in 2015 carrying non-GMO claims, compared with just under a quarter globally.

Williams continued: “The dairy alternative drinks market is booming and further growth is expected with growing interest in dairy-free and lactose-free products as a lifestyle choice, rather than simply an option for those with allergies and intolerances. In the move to offer something new, we are also starting to see not only a wide variety of increasingly sophisticated flavour options, but also blends of milks from different sources.”


Flower & White launches range of gluten-free muffins with fillings

Flower-White-White-Chocolate-Raspberry-MuffinsGourmet dessert brand Flower & White has announced a new line of gluten-free muffins with filled centres.

The new muffins are individually wrapped in 110g portions, handmade using natural flavours and British free-range eggs. They are available in six mouth-watering flavours for the foodservice channel: lemon curd, blueberry, coffee caramel, white chocolate and raspberry, salted caramel and triple chocolate.

Three of the flavours – white chocolate and raspberry, salted caramel, and triple chocolate – are also available for retail.

The treats have been launched in response to growing consumer interest in free-from, with market insights provider Mintel predicting further growth within the sector.

Flower & White co-founder Leanne Crowther said: “Whether you need gluten-free or choose gluten free for a healthier lifestyle, we believe you shouldn’t have to miss out. Our range of muffins are gluten-free, but without compromising on taste or flavour – a delicious alternative that can be enjoyed by everyone.”


Heineken brews limited-edition lager from rare ‘mother’ yeast

H41-Image1Heineken has launched a limited-edition lager brewed using a rare type of yeast, and harbours plans to release further new products in the near future.

The new H41 beer is made from a rare “mother yeast” discovered in Patagonia, the name in turn being derived from the initial letter of Heineken and the latitude coordinate of the beech forest where the yeast was first found.

Developed by the brand’s master brewers, the new lager has a fuller taste, with spicy notes balanced by subtle fruity hints, the Dutch beer maker said. It will be launched in Italy in March and selected outlets in the Netherlands from April, available on draught and in 330ml bottles.

Heineken master brewer Willem van Waesberghe said: “Central to the famous Heineken taste is our unique A-yeast. It was first used 130 years ago by Dr Elion, a Heineken brewer trained by Louis Pasteur. It is still used today. The exact make up of our A-yeast is a closely guarded secret.

“However, when the ‘mother’ of our A-yeast was discovered in Patagonia, it presented us with a unique opportunity. Using our unrivalled expertise, Heineken’s master brewers began to work with the mother yeast to unlock a spectrum of new flavours. Our Lager Explorations series was born. The taste of every beer in the series will be surprising and intense, but still balanced and refreshing.”

Gianluca Di Tondo, senior director global of the Heineken brand, added: “Heineken has more than 150 years of passion for beer and brewing mastery, with outstanding expertise in yeast. This means we are in a perfect position to explore different tastes and flavours whilst remaining true to our iconic product.”


IFE World Food Innovation Awards – best new brand or business

fiewdia-tetra-660wThe Best new brand/business category at IFE World Food Innovation Awards 2016 saw a range of exciting and unique new brands/businesses bringing their expertise into the food and beverage industry.

Food Minder is a simple, inexpensive food management tool that offers a visual indication as soon as you open your fridge or cupboard of the expiry status of your food. Food Minder displays different coloured lights depending on how much time is left before the food expires. Using a simple traffic light system, the lights change from flashing green, to yellow and ultimately to red.

Franklin & Sons was first established in 1886, when three brothers began selling their handcrafted soft drinks. Today’s range of soft drinks, tonics and mixers have been inspired by the unique flavours that were first brought to life 130 years ago. The all-natural adult soft drinks and tonics range combines exceptional ingredients, sourced from around the world. Blended with a unique set of ingredients, such as cracked black pepper or Juniper, to deliver traditional classics with a contemporary twist.

Shimla has been formulated to be robust enough to work perfectly alongside the spices used in Indian and Bangladeshi dishes, without overpowering their delicate flavours. It has been authentically brewed and bottled in India which should make it a popular choice with the growing number drinkers who have a thirst for craft offerings.

Angels Tears Vodka is distilled and filtered for absolute purity, resulting in a vodka with clean mineral notes and a soft and silky mouthfeel, plus an attractive touch of sweetness to balance the palate. Angels Tears Vodka is a drink that looks as stylish and memorable as it tastes, thanks to an eye-catching bottle design that draws inspiration from the classical tradition of angelic sculpture from pre-renaissance times through to the atmospheric religious sculptures of the Victorians.

Silent Pool Gin is packaged in a distinctive teal and copper bottle. The packaging tells the story of the gin, the colour of the glass represents the steely blue tinge of the Silent Pool from which the company draw their water, the copper coloured design is a nod to their bespoke copper still, the pattern contains most of the botanicals and local honey used to make the gin and if you look carefully the maiden and the Knight in the Pool’s ancient myth are featured.

Mahtay is a 100% natural premium sparkling vitality drink and provides a natural alternative to traditional mixers and enhancing every night-time experience. By utilising the health benefits of ingredients sourced by Mahtay which  includes yerba maté, coconut water and acai berries, Mahtay restores balance and heightens mental, physical and emotional states.

TrueStart is the only coffee in the world designed for sports performance. Conceptualised by triathletes and husband-and-wife team Simon and Helena Hills, TrueStart is clean, free from synthetics and delivers the optimum level of natural caffeine every time.

The Ten Acre brand includes ranges of hand-cooked crisps and popcorn that are free from plus – that is Gluten, Dairy and MSG free, vegan, halal and kosher certified. Ten Acre crisps and popcorn are available in a variety of unique flavours including cappuccino, wasabi, fennel and lemon popcorn and bombay spice, sweet & sour and pastrami crisps.

Bazqet’s crunchy 100% natural dried vegetables and fruits contain all nutrients of the fresh products, but are presented in a beautiful colourful and responsible way.

Arla Foods have launched their protein brand Arla Move. The launch aims to cover a gap in the protein market concerning products with a broader appeal for the moderate exerciser. A major focus has been to create protein-rich products based on high quality whey and milk protein with no artifi cial color or preservatives.

I Like Tofu wanted to create something new and something organic. Something full of flavour and full of colour. So they started peeling, chopping and grinding. They have now launched eight unique, organic tofus.

PACK’D frozen smoothie kits have produced re-usable packs contain two pouches of fruit and veg plus two superfood sachets – one per portion. Simply blend with your chosen liquid for the ultimate smoothie in under a minute. Each recipe provides the precise vitamins, nutrients and fibre to guarantee their functional credentials and contain five times less sugar than bottled smoothies and no artificial ingredients.

Nom Noms World Food is a new healthy food brand that offers a complete chilled two course ready meal (main, side and dip) concept for the whole family and presented in a multi-compartment format. The meals focus on world flavours and is created with authentic aromatic spice blends that are used to inspire the growing palates of young children whilst offering a personalised approach to seasoning for the grown-ups.

Muddle & Mash is a range of premium crafted pre-mixed virgin cocktails which you can drink as a delicious adult alcohol alternative, or add spirit and enjoy as a high end bar quality alcoholic cocktail. They are hand made and each bottle contains two servings and is only 120 calories.

We bring real innovation to the category. Each mini 250 ml glass milk bottle is filled with 220ml of virgin cocktail. There is a unique gap at the top of the bottle so a shot of spirit can then be added directly into the bottle before being shaken. This unique gap saves time and effort to freshly make and shake up a cocktail. We have gained airline listings as a direct result.

The word tisane is an alternate name for herbal tea but has a more sophisticated nuance. While the word pure reflects nature unaltered. Pure Tisanes is descriptive of a pure and natural herbal infusion. Pure Tisanes encapsulates herbal infusion and tea drinkers who identify with being healthy, discerning and sophisticated.

Mpilo-ende Fortified Foods is a South African based 100% black women owned and professionally managed food manufacturing company, that has identified food fortification as a niche in the food manufacturing sector.