According to the UK snack producer, two high profile restaurant chains are trialling the 100% natural ingredients in their dishes. Part of Nim’s Let’s Cook and Let’s Bake range launched in response to the COVID-led drop in food-to-go demand, the ingredients can be used to garnish a salad, add a tweak to porridge, or even as a main ingredient.
The ingredients – which range from the ubiquitous onion to dried ginger and the more exotic sea buckthorn – provide professional and home bakers and chefs with a cost-effective solution with their 24 month shelf life.
“Covid-19 and the work from home edict has pretty much eliminated office life in city centres and this has had a massive impact on ‘food on the move’,” said Nimisha Raja, founder of Nim’s Fruit Crisps.
“We could either bemoan our luck or try and do something different, taking our expertise in air-dried manufacturing to launch a new range of ingredients for use in the food and drink sector and, hopefully, with independent and high-street retailers.
The company invested £75k into a new production line and state-of-the-art machinery at its Sittingbourne plant to run the new range, as well as the ability to produce smaller pieces and in packaging options ranging from small, sealed packs to 5kg bulk bags.
“The initial response has been great, and we currently have two main ranges – Let’s Cook, [including] chillies, courgettes, ginger, mushrooms, peppers and red onion, and Let’s Bake, [encompassing] apples, pears, pineapple and strawberries.
“These are really tapping into the major rise in home cooking and baking and, one of the most pleasing things here, is that nothing is off the table, as the air-drying process means we can work with all fruit and vegetables.”
Raja added that receiving that officially receiving the Queen’s Award – delayed in handover, thanks to the pandemic – was still a significant milestone in the company’s journey, presented by Lady Colgrain, the Lord-Lieutenant of Kent.
It also comes on the back of the successful roll out of Nim’s infusions – used to infuse water, teas and alcoholic beverages – which have received a massive response from a number of subscription-bases businesses, the event sector and festivals. Passengers on the Eurostar, too, have enjoyed air-dried slices of fruit with their drinks.
“The infusions come in packs of 12 to 20 slices, taste great and are a sustainable way of having orange, lemon, lime and other fruit at the ready,” said Raja.
“There is no waste that you would usually get when using fresh fruit; our slices rehydrate to their original state once added to the drink and are ideal for people who have got their own home bar or are attempting to make new creations.
“Whilst Brexit has caused us a lot of issues, the upside is that many businesses are now looking closer to home when they are sourcing ingredients and their infusions. This is good news for our business and one we want to capitalise on going forward.”