• WonderlandDesign

Lunch! and Young Foodies 2017

Maybe I hate change? But to me Islington Design Centre, at the heart of gastro London, is a better venue for Lunch! than the rather desolate EXCEL. But never-the-less, I found a few interesting brands which amplify some of the upcoming trends.

Miniaturisation - less is more A L’Olivier 

This brand had one of the most elegant stands at Lunch! All the feel of a 5 star hotel foyer and welcome break from the hand written street vibe of the surrounding stands with not an apple crate in sight!.

The company takes a classic food ingredient and offers it in a ‘grab-and-go’ format while losing nothing of the premier indulgent feel of a high quality olive oil.

They have taken a cue from the whisky makers and in my mind produced the perfect ‘miniature’.

I loved the bold alternative to hard to open sachets - which are messy and and feel cheap. This beautifully sized mini bottle give you the same the ‘shake the taste alive’ of its life sized counterpart.

It seems the business has no plans to sell these in retail format and is concentrating on food service options. Who will be the first to premiumise their salads - Pret or Eat?

Bringing craft into mainstream products Chewsy

I confess to being a chewing gum addict. Hypocritically, I also hate the chewing gum stains on our pavements which are nearly impossible to clean up. I’ve also always wondered how come Wrigley’s get to own all the shelf space in every store I use? And how many versions of peppermint can any consumer want?

Spearmint, peppermint, double mint, black mint, ice peppermint, shelf space mint, etc

I’ve nothing against the ubiquitous Wrigley’s but surely there must be a more ‘natural craft’ version somewhere? After all the trends say there should be.

Well, I met the answer the this question at Lunch!.   Chewsy - founded by Sunitt Halai. A niche brand and neatly presented with unfussy confidence.

Perhaps Wrigley’s are not worried just yet -  but I think Chewsy offer a viable option which scores on three points. 1. It’s natural gum from the sapodilla tree Not a polymer so breaks down and is bio degradable. (Hopefully cleaner payments?)

2. The gum contains natural xylitol A natural sweetener which helps with dental health. 

3. The flavours are all natural.   (Oh - and No 4. - it’s not Wrigley’s.)

Sunitt tells me the most popular flavour is lemon which is outselling peppermint. (Maybe our taste preferences changing?)  He has plans for a cinnamon and a berry flavour.  

I tried some Chewsy gum and can report it has a pleasantly different feel from Wrigley’s  - so in my mind wins on the taste test.  I’ve yet to see if it loses it’s flavour on the bed post overnight.

Indulging our senses

Little Moons I missed their stand at Lunch! but was interested to meet the owner Howard Wong  - at Young Foodies.

Little Moons are billed as ‘sushi’ ice cream. Which they call Mochi. So, that’s bringing eye appeal along with exotic tastes to each hand crafted ‘moon’.

I can’t think of anything harder to do than hand craft ice cream treats.  An opinion born out by Howard’s explanation that it takes a well trained work force to produce the Little Moons. So scalability is an issue in that you need to be near your trusted work force?

It’s admirable how since 2010 Howard and Vivien have turned such a testing food product into a £3M turn over business. And all from a unit in Park Royal. How long before ‘big food’ takes an interest?

Peter Walker, Director, wonderlandWPA

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