Hundreds of food and drink founders, from fledgling ‘foodpreneurs’ to FMCG’s biggest names, will take part in Bread & Jam from October 4-5. Featuring two days of talks, panels and workshops, the aim is to help emerging food and beverage brands launch, grow and succeed.
The festival will see the next generation of up-and-coming businesses showcasing the products and innovations they hope to install on retail shelfs.
Bread & Jam’s founder, Jason Gibb, gives Food Spark an insight into the most exciting concepts and how they fit into current industry trends.
As the health benefits and deep flavours of sea vegetables are gaining recognition in the UK, seaweed has been appearing as an ingredient for some time. We’re now seeing a number of products where seaweed is the main star. Umami Drops, for example, which are produced by seaweed start-up Octopus’s Garden, purportedly provide an easy way to include seaweed in the diet, one drop at a time. And given that iodine is lacking in the vegan diet, this growing market of consumers are a primary target.
For those who can’t get enough of the green stuff, the seaweed pasta, seaweed bacon and seaweed wraps from Dutch delegate Seamore is worth a look – a start-up that Food Spark featured earlier this year.
Getting the kids off sugar
Many start-ups are looking at how to create desirable low-sugar products for fussy kids. Small & Wild, for example, has a range of herbal teas aimed at kids that are caffeine free, 100% natural and have no added sugar, additives or artificial flavourings.
Kids’ cereal is probably a more obvious category to tackle and Humble Acre is amongst those creating a range of breakfasts with no added sugar.
If it can crack it, Mama and the Chocolate Factory surely has a winner on its hands with a low-sugar, kid-friendly chocolate bar.
Vegan and plant-based
While there are only two million vegans in the UK, there are also 22 million flexitarians who seem to have an insatiable appetite for vegan versions of everything. This has meant that ‘vegan’ claims are plastered on everything from jam to fizzy drinks.
At Bread & Jam, we’re seeing several interesting vegan versions of familiar products, for example vegan cold-brew coffee from Land and Tide, the UK’s first non-dairy rice yogurt alternative La Cremerie and fiid, which is about to launch a range of plant-based meal pouches including curries and tagines.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is on trend at the moment, but rather than sprinkling it over your chips, it’s being used as a drink. There are claims ACV can lower blood sugar, help fight diabetes and generally improve gut health, so it’s no surprise that the Lost Coast Food Company is launching a new range of low-sugar sparkling ACV juices.
Even serial entrepreneur William Chase from Tyrrells & Chase Distillery, who is speaking at the festival, is in on the ACV act with a new vinegar/kombucha natural energy drink that he plans to make bigger than Red Bull.
A third of Brits are buying or eating free-from products, and start-ups continue to come up with innovative ideas in a wide range of categories. Little Bandits is launching a range of dairy-free, soya-free coconut yoghurts for kids, Sweet Revolution has a range of gluten-free instant drinks and iRaw are making raw, free-from crackers, cookies and desserts.
For more information on the festival, see www.breadandjamfest.com