6 innovative products from the International Food & Drink Event

Health and snacking were a recurring theme among the more interesting new developments.

20 March 2019
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1. Salad snacks

Delivering on-the-go veg in a can, Roughs makes crispy snacks from the ingredients of a homemade salad. There are five flavoured SKUs, each constituting one of a consumer’s five a day.

Three of the products are vegan, including a red pepper and walnut option with smoked paprika and a sweet, rich undertone of pomegranate molasses and walnut. This is joined by a carrot and kimchi variant that is seasoned with shitake mushrooms, sesame seeds and seaweed for an umami zing, as well as a pea and courgette flavour.

The range is rounded out by a couple of dairy-based packs: tomato and feta with basil and onion, and a beetroot and goat’s cheese product made with Greek yoghurt, chickpeas, hazelnuts and a sprinkling of za’atar. Both are vegetarian and contain around 90 calories.

Roughs claims the line is an entirely new type of snack, as it’s not a crisp, cracker, wafer or tortilla, nor is it made with potato, wheat or corn with a dusting of flavouring.

Founder Dr Heather Daniell claims to have developed an original way to bind together healthy ingredients, eliminating the need for added sugars and starches. Instead she uses an “all natural patent-pending method to turn real food into an exceedingly delicious crispy snack.”

Another thing setting the product apart is that it is packaged in a recyclable can to avoid plastic, while the labels consist of wood-free biodegradable paper made with bagasse – a sugarcane fibre byproduct. Snacks are cooked in a kitchen that uses 100% on-site renewable energy, including biomass heating to dry them.

“I always tried not to snack because most options were loaded with salt, sugar and artificial flavourings. I wanted something tasty, convenient and healthy – that’s where the idea for Roughs was born,” said Dr Daniell.

2. Sprouted chocolate-style spread

Food scientist Dr Mary created Sproutin, a vegan protein spread. It pairs sprouted organic wheats with two types of flour and a splash of water to make a nutrient-rich spread. (The sprouting process imbues the condiment with a versatile, natural sweetness.)

There is no added sugar, fat, salt or preservatives in the product, but it is a source of protein and fibre.

It can be smothered on top of food as a healthier replacement for chocolate spreads or eaten straight out of the jar.

“Having worked in the food industry for several years and also lecturing at universities, I was confident that I had both the knowledge and experience to introduce a healthy product to the market to fill the gap," said Dr Mary. "It became my mission to create a product to taste fantastic, yet to not contain any added sugar, salt, fat and absolutely no additives. A product which one could enjoy regularly without any worries.”

3. Aloe vera snacks

Claiming to have produced the world’s first dried aloe vera snack, Alo is pairing its creation with Asian flavours. So far, mandarin, ginger and mango are on sale, sweetened with sugar cane.

The aloe vera plant is grown on organic farms and hand cut first thing in the morning. The leaves are brought inside for soaking and washing, before being transported to Alo’s facility within 24 hours of being harvested. The leaves are hand filleted to remove the pulp from the outer skin and the pulp is washed thoroughly, cut into small pieces and pasteurised.

4. Puffed corn desserts

Mamma Loretti’s puffed cream-filled rolls are the perfect guilt-free treat, according to the start-up. They are made from corn – not wheat – so are naturally gluten-free and contain fewer than 80 calories per pack of two rolls.

They come in four flavours: chocolate, tiramisu, hazelnut and vanilla.

5. All the puffed veg

US import Vegan Rob’s was created by Robert Ehrlich, who was looking to launch a global snack brand focused on nutrition and compassion.

Now sold in Kroger and Safeway in America, Ehrlich is hoping to set up a manufacturing site in the UK where he wants to make his Cauliflower Puffs. In fact, he was speaking to Sainsbury’s at IFE about becoming a stockist.

Vegan Rob’s range of puffed snacks consists of spinach, beet, jackfruit, wild mushroom, asparagus, wild rice and Brussels sprout, as well as flavours like turmeric, moringa, matcha, sea buckthorn and dairy-free cheddar. It also sells Himalayan pink salt popcorn and sweet and salty popcorn.

6. Tea pops

These products hope to turn making tea into a convenient and fuss-free experience. The tea pops fully dissolve in hot or cold water to form the perfect brew, according to the maker.

High in antioxidants and vitamins, Tea Pops are made from the natural extracts of organic fruit and leaf teas. Brewed and made in the northwest of England, they are free from artificial ingredients, sugar and preservatives.

The range includes classic teas like English breakfast, Earl Grey and Darjeeling, as well as varieties such as caramint, wildberry, punch and passion fruit, alpine green, jasmine green and oolong.

Tea Pops are the result of a long collaboration with Chester University, and the fledgling company says it’s ideal for in-flight services or as part of a novel dining experience.

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