TREK launches new flavours, packaging and recipes

Natural Balance Foods launched a range of TREK Protein Energy Bars featuring four flavours and a packaging transformation, featuring bright, bold splashes of colour as well as vivid scenery from across Europe.

Reporting growth of 553% v 2013, Trek has strengthened its position in the market with the recent re-launch of its Trek Flapjacks, which helped add £1.2 million value to the brand and drive it from 35th in the Healthy biscuits singles category to 14th.

With strong momentum behind the brand, the new Trek Protein range is set for a strong launch this Autumn, with Supermarkets & High Street retailers including Tesco & Boots already agreeing to list the range.

The new range will also be available to buy on the Natural Balance Foods website from August 2014, The four bars in the range are: Peanut Power, Cocoa Chaos, Banana Blast and Berry Burst.

For the first time TREK Protein Energy Bars are gluten free and are, as ever, 100% natural, dairy and wheat free without any added sugar or syrups. The exciting new adventure-inspired packaging takes consumers on a mini journey across Europe with images from the stunning Lake District, lush Scottish Highlands, the Caucasus Mountains in Russia and the breath-taking Dolomites in Italy.

With a simple ingredients list of just gluten-free oats, dates, raisins and protein soya ‘crunchies’, TREK bars contain one of your five a day and also 10g of protein to help keep consumers feeling fuller for longer. Each bar is split into three snack-size segments so you can refuel before, during and after exercise.

This format also means the bar can be enjoyed at steady intervals throughout endurance events such as marathons or triathlons or, simply at your desk for a quick hit of energy.

Jamie Combs, Managing Director of Natural Balance Foods, says: “We are very excited to be launching our new and improved range of TREK Protein Energy Bars. Over the past year, we’ve not only listened to what consumers think about TREK, but also what they want and need from an energy bar. With TREKs exciting new flavours, nutritious recipes and attractive packaging we’re sure these will be a summer hit.”

Molson Coors to offer 5 million free Sky Sports Day Passes

Molson Coors, one of the UK’s biggest brewers, is offering 5 million free NOW TV Sky Sports Day Passes with selected packs of Carling.

For the second year in a row, Carling has teamed up with NOW TV – Sky’s internet TV service – to give consumers a free NOW TV Sky Sports Day Pass. The offer gives Carling customers free access to all seven live Sky Sports channels for 24 hours through NOW TV.

Selected packs of Carling will contain a Unique Ref Number (URN) which will access a day pass worth £6.99. The URN can be activated on-line and channels can be streamed to a range of internet-connected devices, including tablets and smartphones.

As a result of the promotion in 2013, the growth of Carling supported an overall 2% growth within the category. To date, Carling is performing better that the category with 11% MAT growth (moving annual target), compared to 5% average MAT for mainstream lager.

This year, five million codes will be given away in 2014, compared to 3.6 million in 2013 – almost a 40% increase. Also new for 2014, Carling British Cider will be included in the promotional packs alongside Carling lager.

Alpesh Mistry, UK Customer Marketing Director at Molson Coors, says: “The campaign last year brought a number of shoppers back to mainstream lager. Following this success, our focus on the needs of our shoppers and a great partner like NOWTV, it seemed natural to re-launch it bigger and better again in 2014.

Pascal Wharton, Commercial Director NOW TV, says: “Carling is a great partner for NOW TV and following the popularity and success of the promotion last year we’re delighted to have it return in 2014. Customers love the ease of the mechanic - being able to simply apply a code to their NOW TV account - and with the breadth of fantastic sporting events available across all 7 Sky Sports channels, every sports fan will find something to enjoy with their free pass from Carling.”

The promotion will be available from mid-October through to December in all major supermarkets and convenience stores.

The Saucy Fish Co. releases something unique to the fish aisle

The Saucy Fish Co. is bringing something unique to the fish aisle once again with a new Squid, King Prawn and Chorizo with a Sherry and Herb Sauce – from £4.50 per pack, available from Waitrose stores.

The latest addition to its range of easy to cook oven bake bag products is the first to offer a combination of meat and seafood in a Spanish-inspired twist on the classic surf and turf.

Neatly encased in a reflective bag, simply oven-bake for 11 minutes at 180°C until the sherry butter infuses into the freshly baked seafood – for a dish of restaurant quality. Best served in tapas style or alongside a fresh radicchio salad.

Simon Smith, Managing Director at The Saucy Fish Co. says: “Our latest offering really brings something unique to the fish aisle – a dish combining seafood and meat, designed to attract time-strapped shoppers seeking a quick and tasty mealtime option of restaurant quality.

"We’ve seen a growth in sales within the convenience sector, and our easy to cook foil bake bag range of products are perfectly placed to cater to this audience.”

This new product joins Smoked Haddock with Vintage Cheddar, Salmon with Sweet Chilli and Salmon with Red Pesto to make up a four strong range of foil bake bag products – perfect for novice cooks.

DS-gluten free adds extra crunch with the Mini Os biscuit

DS-gluten free, the gluten free biscuit brand leader,1 is delighted to announce the launch of the delicious Mini Os into its popular gluten and wheat free biscuit portfolio.

With a staggering 92% of UK adults regularly indulging in sweet snacks2 and over half of UK households now buying into the free from category,2 DS-gluten free expects this new option to be welcomed by the 20% of gluten free consumers eating biscuits on a daily basis.

Exclusively available in 115 Sainsbury’s stores from 28 September, the Mini Os sandwich a soft, creamy, vanilla filling between two mouth-watering chocolate flavoured biscuits. With a 12 month shelf life, and containing no gluten, wheat, egg or preservatives, this crunchy treat meets a number of gluten free consumer demands and comes in a nine biscuit foil tube for £1.20.

Drawing on over 30 years’ experience in gluten free foods, DS-gluten free has used its unparalleled expertise to develop this exciting addition to its biscuit portfolio.

Bradley Grimshaw, Commercial Director of DS-gluten free, says: “Our top selling biscuit range has experienced a significant growth in sales over the last year,4 so we are confident that this new addition will prove to be popular amongst consumers.”

The DS-gluten free Mini Os will sit alongside popular consumer favourites DS-gluten free Custard Creams, Chocolate Fingers, and Rich Tea.

“This Oreo inspired biscuit will appeal to both adults and children alike,” adds Bradley.

“We are investing in a targeted marketing and PR campaign to raise consumer awareness of this new product through both social and traditional media.”

Launch of The British Bottle Company takes drinks to the rest...

The British Bottle Company, which recently unveiled its portfolio, is the first company to specialise in the export of premium British drinks.

Founded by food and drink entrepreneur Red Johnson, the company represents a portfolio of suppliers in three categories; Craft Beer & Cider, English Sparkling Wine and Artisanal Spirits.

Red is supported by an Advisory Board that includes leading names from the drinks industry including his father, wine writer Hugh Johnson, wine industry veteran and English wine specialist Mike Paul, author and spirits expert Ian Wisniewski and beer expert and author of Three Sheets to the Wind and the annual Cask Ale Report, Pete Brown. (see attached biographies).

Together, they have assembled a portfolio of twelve of Britain’s most exciting and respected drinks brands; including ‘World Champion English Sparkling Wine’ as judged at the Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships, Digby Fine English; Camel Valley, produced by Sam Lindo, who was nominated for IWC Sparkling Winemaker of the Year 2014; ‘Brewer of the Year’ 2013 Otter Brewery and Double Gold Medal winner at the World Spirits Championships 2014 Warner Edwards Gin. 

As Red explains: “This is an amazing period for the British drinks industry, in all three categories. English Sparkling Wine is coming of age, the craft-brewing sector is buzzing and British premium spirits are in demand worldwide. There is so much talent and quality here and we’re committed to promoting and developing our portfolio and the industry as a whole worldwide.”

Based in Hampshire, The British Bottle Company provides a full service export facility for its suppliers including market analysis, distributor matching,marketing, logistics and administration.

Red says: “Even large producers can struggle to find the resources and expertise to manage export effectively. We essentially act as the in-house export team by managing the entire process, from strategy and sales to the nuts and bolts of export. It’s all we do and we are out there in the market representing our suppliers all the time.”

Camel Valley winemaker Sam Lindo says: “We are absolutely delighted to be working with The British Bottle Company. This unique approach is exactly what our fledgling industry needs to help us pool resources to enter new export markets. Red has a great team with a lot of experience in all aspects of export.”

The Saucy Fish Co. achieves CoolBrands status again

For the second year running, The Saucy Fish Co. has officially been named a CoolBrand, in the influential annual initiative to identify the UK’s coolest brands.

The CoolBrands list, now in its thirteenth year, follows a vote by a combination of 2,000 consumers and a panel of 37 designers, style experts, media personalities and prominent figures from the worlds of TV, fashion and music.

The brand’s bold, contemporary packaging, distinctive tone of voice and playful personality helped The Saucy Fish Co. stand out from the crowd and impress both the consumers and expert panel.

Last year The Saucy Fish Co. became the first ever fish brand to make it on to the prestigious CoolBrands list. This year it remains the only fish brand in a list dominated by premium fashion and technology brands.

To celebrate its 2015 CoolBrands status, The Saucy Fish Co. have mounted a giant CoolBrands badge onto the exterior of the Grimsby-based factory.

Simon Smith, Managing Director at The Saucy Fish Co, says: “Gaining a place on last year’s CoolBrands list won The Saucy Fish Co. nationwide attention and acclaim, so we’re delighted to remain on the list. It’s a great boost for the strength of the brand to be listed alongside such prestigious company, and is fantastic recognition for the hard-working team behind Saucy. Our ambition has always been to get more people eating more fish more often, and if an accolade like CoolBrands can contribute to keeping fish a desirable dinner, I’m all for it!”

Launched in January 2010 with the ambition of getting more people to eat fish at home The Saucy Fish Co. has grown into a £30m UK brand by providing both convenience and inspiration for mealtimes. The last year has seen the brand move into the US and Australian markets, and secure a high-profile High Court interim injunction against Aldi for their imitation Saucy Salmon Fillets.

Co-ordinated by The Centre for Brand Analysis, the prestigious CoolBrands list was drawn from over thousands of independently identified brands and whittled down into a shortlist. The panel of 37 influencers then scored each brand, bearing in mind factors such as style, innovation, originality, authenticity, desirability and uniqueness, before 2,000 members of the British public gave their ratings. Helping rate coolness this year were the likes of musicians Labrinth, Laura Mvula and Reverend and The Makers, Digital Entrepreneur & Founder of SB.TV, Jamal Edwards, and models Jodie Kidd and Sophie Dahl. The Saucy Fish Co. beat tough competition to take its place in the influential list.

Stephen Cheliotis, Chairman of the CoolBrands Expert Council, says: "For The Saucy Fish Co. to be viewed so positively by both influencers and consumers is a great achievement and recognition of the brand’s desirability. Achieving CoolBrands status illustrates that The Saucy Fish Co. is among an eclectic but small group of brands that are providing an authentic, innovative and unique proposition to consumers.

"This brand clearly resonates and The Saucy Fish Co. strong performance in the survey is something the entire business can be proud of. Hopefully the competitive advantage a strong reputation provided in the marketplace can give The Saucy Fish Co. the platform to continue advancing further.”

The CoolBrands survey has been compiled annually since 2001. The results are published every September.

Cafepod partners with Warner Brothers for Friends’ 20th anniversary

British coffee capsules brand CaféPod has partnered with Warner Brothers to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the iconic 90s TV show Friends.

CaféPod creates high quality Nespresso-compatible capsules using responsibly sourced coffee which perfectly recreates coffee shop quality coffee at home.

Since Friends first hit TV screens on 22nd September 1994, the six New Yorkers’ lives and their memorable quotes have become intertwined with their favourite haunt, Central Perk and its legendary orange sofa, which truly brought coffee culture over to the UK.

To mark Friends officially hitting the big 2-0, CaféPod are embarking on a UK tour with the iconic Central Perk sofa, so fans of the show will be able to make like their favourite characters, lean back with a steaming cup of CaféPod and snap a selfie of themselves with a piece of televisual history.

Fans can shout about their Friends experience on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #Friends20th. The sofa is already making waves, having made its way around Latitude Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Leeds Festival and it will be heading to Westfield Stratford Shopping Centre (22nd – 29th September), Tesco Kensington (11th October) and Waitrose Canary Wharf (23rd October) in the upcoming weeks.

CaféPod’s core range is also getting the Big Apple makeover, with the New York skyline adorning all five varieties, announcing the chance to win a fantastic trip to the home city of Friends - New York. This trip of a lifetime not only includes flights from London and three night hotel stay for two, it also comprises of a guided tour of Friends’ filming locations, including the iconic apartments lived in by Rachel, Monica, Joey and Chandler. Entry to the competition is via: until 31st January 15.

Each variety of the CaféPod core range has also been assigned to the six cast members:

• The CaféPod Ristretto Espresso, with its full-bodied intensity and spicy finish is first choice of everyone’s favourite stormy couple, Ross and Rachel.

• CaféPod Intense Espresso naturally suits Chandler to a tee, the phrase “could I be more intense?” springs to mind.

• CaféPod Smooth Espresso has Joey written all over it “How you doin’?” The epitome of Smooth!

• Full of character, CaféPod Arabica Lungo Espresso is perfectly teamed with Monica’s light and lively nature.

• Phoebe is best kept on the CaféPod Decaffeinated Espresso, a fittingly sweet and mellow coffee that packs a real punch.

Warner Brothers are also releasing a special edition Friends 20th Anniversary Box Set available for retail from 22nd September. CaféPod are part of the occasion with 400,000 DVD inserts promoting its fantastic competition and offering a special 50p off packs of any CaféPod blend from Tesco, Waitrose or Whole Foods until the 31st March 2015.

Kara launches innovative 50:50 sliced loaf for foodservice sector

A Half & Half bread, combining wholegrain and white flours has been launched to the Out Of Home market by Kara, the foodservice brand of Fletchers Group of Bakeries.

The launch of the healthier half-white, half-brown bread provides the foodservice industry with its first major branded 50:50 bread which has the taste and texture of a white sliced loaf, but carries the nutritional benefits of whole wheat.

Kara’s Half & Half bread provides a great new concept for the foodservice industry and responds to a 20 per cent increase in retail market demand for 50:50 style bread by young adults - and 30 per cent growth in demand by young families over the last twelve months according to Tesco data by Dunnhumby.

Fletchers Group head of foodservice, Chris Haddy, says: “This is an innovative product for the foodservice sector and taps into an established trend towards healthier breads, which still carry a white bread flavour.

“Our Half & Half bread has been extensively researched prior to manufacture to deliver a product which matches consumer likes. This includes reduced bitterness, increased sweetness and the texture of a white bread, but it also contains no hydrogenated fats or preservatives.”

Kara brand products are frozen at the point of baking, which offers significant benefits to OOH caterers such as increased shelf-life and sealed in freshness – enabling the product to be defrosted and used immediately to regain the freshly baked quality.

Chris adds: “Kara’s Half & Half combines a delicious taste with important nutritional benefits and complements our existing bloomers & sliced bread range. It is ideal for families, health conscious individuals, adults, teenagers, children and those not willing to compromise on bread’s taste.

“This places the bread to perform well across the consumer board, but also makes it ideal for the educational market.”

Dunnhumby’s data from Tesco indicates that as well as increases in uptake of 50:50 breads by young adults and young families, there is a 24% rise in demand among older families, a 14% rise among older adults and an 11% rise among pensioners.

The new Half & Half bread is a thick-sliced 18 plus two sliced loaf configuration and contains all the natural nutritional benefits of whole wheat, manufactured from 50 percent wholegrain flour and 50 per cent white flour.

Half & Half is available in 110mm x 115mm slices and each loaf weighs 750 grams.

Foodservice is a fast growing sector for Fletchers Group of Bakeries, due to continued NPD and Kara’s focus on customer service.

Food & Drink Export Month launched

The Food and Drink Federation has announced the start of a month of food and drink activity with online export community Open to Export, designed to help small and medium-sized food and drink companies grow their exports business.

A joint initiative between Open to Export, Government and industry, the Food and Drink Export Month will run from 15 September – 10 October and include free-of-charge live webinars, latest exports statistics and case studies, as well as the 2014 update of a free downloadable guide ’10 Steps to Export Success’.

The first live webinar on 18 September will feature presentations from successful exporters Kallo Foods, Eat Natural and Queens Award winner Broker Gin, who will give details of their export journey and provide top tips for other businesses looking to begin exporting or expanding into new markets.

Further webinars include a webinar on food labelling and the implications of the new EU regulations on 25th September; ‘How to export dairy’ on 2nd October and ‘How to export beer’ on 9th October.

This activity in 2014 follows the successful launch of the Food & Drink Export Week last year, as part of FDF’s commitment to help exporters overcome the barriers they face when trading overseas and promote the benefits of export to inspire food and drink businesses to start exporting or export more.

Steve Barnes, Director of Economics and Commercial Services at the Food and Drink Federation, says: “The inaugural Food & Drink Focus Week was such a success that we’ve decided to scale it up to a whole month and introduce a raft of new content for 2014. Food & drink exports are a long-term opportunity for growth for companies of all sizes. For those wanting to take a more proactive approach to exports and expand into new markets, the free materials and expert advice on Open to Export throughout the coming weeks should be a valuable resource.”

David Lowe, Director of Operations for Open to Export, says: “Last year’s feature saw thousands of companies make use of the free online resources on Open to Export, with over 200 questions answered on our forum, and 77% of webinar attendees saying they were more likely to consider exporting as a result. We hope that this year’s expanded feature will reach even more companies and get them thinking about the international opportunities for their products.”

DC Thomson consumer products cooks up expansion for Maw Broon’s Kitchen

DC Thomson Consumer Products has announced exciting new developments for its food brand, Maw Broon’s Kitchen.

As part of its plan for the brand, DC Thomson Consumer Products has unveiled significant developments in the expansion of Maw Broon’s Kitchen into new markets, demographics and products.

DC Thomson Consumer Products has entered an exclusive partnership that sees the food sales, marketing and distribution specialist, Food and Drink Hub Scotland, form a new business (Maw Broon’s Retail Management Ltd) to become the sales and distribution arm of Maw Broon’s Kitchen products. Food and Drink Hub Scotland will be responsible for supporting the licensor and its partners as they expand the Maw Broon’s Kitchen brand at retail starting this Christmas. Offering a retail ‘one-stop shop’ for all licensees and key buyers, Food and Drink Hub Scotland will roll-out the now extensive product line of Maw Broon’s Kitchen cakes, bakery, confectionery and gifting items into grocers, garden centres, delis and farm shops across the UK.

Food and Drink Hub Scotland will also work closely with DC Thomson Consumer Products and its partners to develop innovative new products and brand extensions in order to grow the commercial potential of this food brand.

The impressive activity surrounding the brand also sees the first ever Maw Broon’s Kitchen pop-up café launch at the Eat Drink Discover Scotland food festival this weekend. The festival celebrates the best of food and drink in Scotland and welcomes a variety of exhibitors, enthusiasts and notable chefs. The Maw Broon’s Kitchen pop-up café will serve a traditional home-style menu featuring Scottish favourites Stovies, Mince Rolls & Afternoon Tea for 2. The pop-up will be a chance for DC Thomson and its partner to test the concept of a permanent café in key cities.

Tim Collins, Head of Brands, DC Thomson Consumer Products says, “We launched the first Maw Broons products late in 2012 and are now accelerating plans because of consumer and trade demand. We are delighted to welcome Food and Drink Hub Scotland as a partner. They bring really detailed expertise to reach new audiences and open the door to greater commercial opportunities for the brand. We look forward to celebrating the brand this weekend with our very first Maw Broon’s Kitchen inspired pop-up café at the Eat Drink Discover Scotland food festival as well - the perfect chance to showcase the best of Maw Broon’s to all visitors and partners.”

Inspired by the matriarch of Scotland's favourite family -The Broons - the classic weekly comic strip from The Sunday Post newspaper, Maw Broon’s Kitchen is now established as a prominent yet fictional ‘celebrity chef’ whose homespun wisdom and hearty recipes have spawned a best-selling cookery book series and licensing programme which features 15 partners that cover every day and gift food lines in addition to kitchen and home ware accessories.

Paul Anderson Managing Director of Food and Drink Hub Scotland Ltd and the new Maw Broon’s Retail Management Business says, “We are delighted to be involved in supporting DC Thomson and its food and drink brand licensees develop and grow the Maw Broon’s Kitchen Brand through collaborating and working in partnership with all stakeholders. We believe that through our unique Hub model and working in partnership with DC Thomson, licensees and retailers alike we can further increase the opportunities for the brand.”

DC Thomson Consumer Products is investing to establish Maw Broon’s Kitchen as a standalone food brand in the food, drink and gifting sector, firstly in the heartland of Scotland but with ambitions to expand across the UK and overseas. It sees a great opportunity to capitalize on the momentum built up by overwhelming consumer demand for Maw Broon’s Kitchen products, by working with Scottish partners on commercial projects that share the brand’s emphasis on home cooking, tradition, family values and quality.

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