Product Showcase 2020: Sri Lankan street treats, a riff on a classic and the Royal seal of approval

By Gill Hyslop contact

- Last updated on GMT

What's new on shelf? Pic: GettyImages/Kwangmoozaa
What's new on shelf? Pic: GettyImages/Kwangmoozaa

Related tags: street food, vegan, better-for-you, Pudding, Gluten-free, Dietary fibre, unsaturated fats, Upcycling, Queen's Award, Shelf life

Elakkia brings Sri Lankan tastes to the UK, premium pudding brand Pots & Co reinvents a classic by going upside down, and Nim’s and Simply Doughnuts celebrate one of the UK’s most prestigious business awards.

Time out together

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Family-run Sri Lankan snack producer Elakkia has launched a range of five vegan snacks that celebrate the bold flavours of traditional street food.

Created for ‘time together’, the better-for-you snacks are handmade in the UK from traditional recipes handed down from generation to generation using authentic Sri Lankan ingredients.

The range includes Chickpeas roasted in turmeric & sea salt; Crunchy Mix with mild spices & Himalayan pink salt; Jaffna Mix with sea salt & garlic undertones; Murukku made with coconut & fiery Tellicherry pepper; and Pakoda made with onion, fennel and Sri Lankan spices.

Muthuthamby (Siva) and Arudselvi (Selvi) Sivapalan first created the snacks 30 years ago to bring the ‘taste of home’ with them when they moved to the UK.

“Traditional family life in Sri Lanka is all about community and enjoying time together,”​ said Selvi.

“Our handcrafted healthy snacks have been created to celebrate ‘time out together’ – that’s when we are at our happiest, surrounded by friends and family.”

Makanish Varatharajah, Elakkia’s marketing manager, added, “Our bold offering brings something completely new to the category, introducing consumers to authentic Sri Lankan ingredients. Each snack is vegan friendly, free from any artificial colours, flavours or preservatives, and handmade to authentic Sri Lankan recipes.”

The range is available in 60g and 120g paper-based packs designed to stand out on shelf and reflect modern Sri Lanka. On front of pack is a traditional Sri Lankan celebratory message written in Tamil, which translates as ‘happiness and joy’.          

Elakkia’s Sri Lankan street bites are available in over 300 Sri Lankan stores around the UK and Europe, plus Elakkia’s own estate of seven stores with an RRP of £1.59 (60g) and £2.49 (120g).

Reinventing a classic

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Premium pudding brand Pots & Co has launched an ‘upside-down’ baked lemon cheesecake, with a biscuit crumble contained in a ‘hat’ that sits on top of the pot that is sprinkled on top to add playfulness to the eating experience.

It also enables the crumble to retains its fresh, golden crunchiness.

“Re-inventing classic recipes has always been a passion of mine – I love seeing how we can take something as classic as a lemon cheesecake and put our own contemporary twist on it,”​ said Julian Dyer, founder of Pots & Co.

“Lemon Cheesecake is a classic but to do it justice we felt we needed to do an upside-down version, with a portion of biscuit crumble in a sprinkle & serve portion, to ensure it retained its golden crunchiness, giving you a better all-round experience.

“This is what Pots & Co is all about, keeping to our principles – making simple puddings with top ingredients, precise cooking and consistent delivery.”

The Lemon Cheesecake is baked in Pots & Co’s signature ceramic pots sourced from a family pottery in Valencia, Spain, which adds an extra depth and flavour to the pudding, said the company.

All Pots & Co products are recipes perfected by restaurant chefs in the Pots & Co London-based kitchen. Everything is handmade without any preservatives or additives.

The Baked Lemon Cheesecake is available from major UK outlets, including Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Co-Op, Morrisons, Ocado, Costco, Booths, Budgens, Farm Drop and Selfridges, from April 29, 2020 for an RRP of £2.00.

The Cheesecake will also be rolled out in the US in the next few months.

Fruits of the forest

Fruit Forest

Fruit Forest – a natural, vegan snacking brand by SweetLife AG – has expanded its range of snacks with Crispy Bites, baked bite-sized balls of crispy extruded rice and popped quinoa blended with fruit chunks, sunflower seeds and the company’s Fruit Forest Sweetening Syrup.

According to the producer, the natural Bites stimulate a range of senses with a sweet aroma, a fruity taste and a crispy mouthfeel.

Crispy Bites are 100% natural, vegan, gluten-free and made with non-GMO ingredients, making them a guilt-free between-meals snack.

They are also packed with protein, dietary fibre, essential unsaturated fats ‘and positive energy to help keep you fit and active’, said the company.

Available in 25g packs, the Crispy Bites come in two variants, available online and on Amazon.

Sustainable indulgence

Upcycled Dark Chocolate Brownie Mix (18 oz)

Renewal Mill, a next-generation ingredients company that is fighting climate change through upcycling, has expanded its line of gluten-free, planet-friendly baking mixes with a Dark Chocolate Brownie Mix.

Developed by 5x James Beard Award-Winning cookbook author and chocolatier Alice Medrich, the mix requires only oil and water and can be made in a single bowl.

“For those of us who are working with children at home during this pandemic, the brownie mix is a perfect activity to break up the day. It's easy, quick, delicious, and a wonderful way to share time in the kitchen together,”​ said Claire Schlemme, Renewal Mill’s CEO.

The mix features Renewal Mill’s flagship ingredient, okara – a nutritious flour made from the soybean pulp leftover when soymilk is made, as well as upcycled pea starch and upcycled vanilla bean.

Schlemme added, “We’re quickly becoming a multi-ingredient platform. The brownie mix demonstrates that upcycled ingredients are the hero ingredients of today’s pantry staples. It’s truly sustainable indulgence at its finest.”

The company’s portfolio also includes 1-to-1 Baking Flour, Organic Okara Flour and Okara Chocolate Chip Cookies, available online, as well as on Amazon, Imperfect Produce and Vegan Essentials.

Japanese diva

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Hatsune Miku returns with a sporty new look for Calbee’s chips with salt and spring onion

Virtual singer Hatsune Miku – known for her turquoise tresses – is once again gracing the package of Calbee’s potato chips.

The Japanese snack producer teamed up with Miku last year on umashio (umami-rich salt) and spring onion-flavoured potato chips, which proved so popular, it decided to give her an encore.

This time, Calbee has tapped manga artist and illustrator Ren Sakuragi to create an original illustration of Hatsune Miku, showing her in three sporty poses as a cheerleader, a tennis player and a track and field athlete.

The snacks will be available at amusement facilities throughout Japan from late April, as well as prizes for online crane game apps.

Royal seal of approval

Nims Kids Pineapple Multipack  Pack

Nim’s Fruit Crisps and Simply Doughnuts are among the bakery and snack brands that join an elite group of 220 businesses to receive the Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

Now in its 54th​ year, HM’s Government describes the awards as ‘a royal seal of approval for the UK’s most outstanding businesses… recognising and celebrating business excellence across the UK.’

This is the first time Kent-based Nim’s – which taps into the demand for better-for-you food-on-the-go with the UK’s only air-dried fruit and veggie crisps – has received this prestigious accolade.

The company recently invested another £100,000 into R&D that will see it launch its first infusion slices for drinks in the next few weeks.

“Wow, we are absolutely gobsmacked that a small firm has been recognised with the biggest business award in the UK, maybe even the world,”​ said Nimisha Raja, founder of Nim’s Fruit Crisps.

“This Royal seal of approval is a massive boost to our growing brand and will give industry buyers and independent retailers even more confidence to select our products. We innovate, we create and importantly we have a track record of delivering.”

Nim’s products – which comprise one of your five-a-day – are 100% nut and gluten-free, certified vegan and kosher and are available in more than 20 countries, including the UK, Belgium, France and Ukraine.

SimplyDoughnuts_Factory (1)

Lancashire-based Simply Doughnuts has also been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Innovation for its products with an exceptionally long shelf-life.

According to the company, its unique manufacturing process enable its foods to stay fresh for much longer than similar products, extending the shelf-life from two days to 27-30 days.

This longevity greatly reduces waste – not only in terms of the food itself but also in terms of packaging, energy and road miles.

“We are absolutely delighted with this award,”​ said Shiraz Master, Simply Doughnuts’ MD.

“Getting here has taken literally years of effort – lots of testing, research and refinement – plus a massive contribution from the whole team.

“But it has all been worth it. All that work has produced a hugely successful range of products. They save waste, they minimise risks to retailers and, on top of everything, they’ve enabled us to win the country’s most prestigious business award.

“The Award represents real recognition at a national level. It’s a stamp of credibility, so I’m confident that it will help us to boost our profile and protect jobs in the midst of what has certainly been proving to be an unusual and challenging year.”

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