Category Archives: Events

A peek at Glanbia’s new mill for OatPure gluten-free oats

I’ve spent the day in Ireland with ingredient innovator Glanbia Nutritionals, which announced a big breakthrough in gluten-free purity with the launch of OatPure gluten-free oats.

Certified at max 10 parts perm (ppm) gluten to exceed industry standards, OatPure oats are developed at Glanbia’s new state-of-the-art food grade milling facility in Portlaoise, guaranteeing gluten-free oat traceability and purity.

The day started with a minibus journey to Glanbia’s new state-of-the-art food grade milling facility in Portlaoise. This is a well-known company in the dairy sector, but has specialised in next-generation grains since 2007. Its business evolution has happened over a long period of time, as the company patiently took on new grain endeavours.

Today’s news about the gluten-free oats makes sense, and I can vouch for the impressive new oat mill, which may take this €3.3bn revenue company into new sectors, expanding its reach beyond the 19 countries in which it already does business.

Of course, I wasn’t allowed to take pictures of the machinery, but I was allowed full access to each stage of the processing on a guided tour by Larry McDonald, head of quality at Glanbia Agrifood. Thanks to Glanbia’s full ownership of the NSF-certified closed loop supply chain process, the plant is unique in processing only oat ingredients to guarantee a certified gluten-free product. The oat processing facility operates to Grade A BRC accreditation and the raw material supply chain is further independently certified.

David the farmer

Glanbia’s agronomists work closely with a team of 20 Glanbia cooperative farmers to initiate the controlled process at seed selection stage, using dedicated gluten-free equipment throughout the protected supply chain system. I met one of these farmers, David Walsh-Kennis, who walked me around his large farm and shared his thoughts about crop rotation, costs and the benefits of growing oats for the gluten-free market.

Once his GPS-monitored land is prepared for planting, the Glanbia team supervises the specialist crop from planting through to sampling and storage to ensure full seed traceability. The oats are examined at all growth stages to optimise rotation, minimise the risk of cross-contamination and ensure the highest quality of pure oats for harvest.

At the milling facility, trained personnel implement an audited labelling and tracking process with guaranteed gluten-free equipment to deliver a fully traceable end product. During processing, the OatPure gluten-free oats are heat-treated for optimum food safety and stability, before being dried, stored and milled in dedicated gluten-free facilities.

The company says the OatPure gluten-free oats are ideal for bread, cookies, granola bars and on-the-go nutrition. By offering beneficial properties such as fibre, protein and ALA omega-3s, OatPure gluten-free oats can enhance the texture and health profile of these products.

“The gluten-free market is expanding rapidly and, as such, offers great potential, as we see consumers opting for gluten-free choices in pursuit of a healthy diet,” said Carla Clissmann, EMEA regional director at Glanbia Nutritionals. “We believe our OatPure gluten-free oats are the purest on the market today, which is testament to our commitment to research and setting the highest standard in regulatory compliance.”

Glanbia’s OatPure gluten-free oats will be available to customers in Europe from November 2014. I’ll be taking a look around the company’s Innovation Centre tomorrow, so will hopefully have some photos to share with you.

A fennel-flavoured Speciality Fine Food Fair

I was looking forward to the Speciality & Fine Food Fair at Olympia in London this week, but didn’t expect to be so rushed off my feet! I met so many lovely people, small and large producers, and tasted some interesting products.

Among these was a popcorn by Ten Acre, a company usually known for its crisps. This popcorn was fennel and lemon flavoured, which took me right back to an Italian restaurant in New York and the amazing sausage I quite regularly enjoy when I go there. It was a fantastic flavour experience, void of any chemical aftertaste and overbearing personality. I loved it and only regret not taking a bag home.

I’ll post an interview with the charismatic CEO of Ten Acre, Tony Goodman, as soon as I get around to it. In the meantime, here are a couple of interviews I did in other parts of the great hall, such as Roy and Usha Verman from Dhaniya:

I also had a chat with Simon Bell from Donatantonio, who was launching 16 products in the Lupetta range of Italian ingredients.

I didn’t want to miss out on the Chocolate Fair, so wandered around taking photos and meeting lots of confectionery entrepreneurs, and even managed to catch the giant chocolate saxophone. Jean-Marie Dessard and Philippe Wall were responsible for bringing the 10ft tall chocolate saxophone to launch the exhibition, and it really is quite eye-catching.

It was nice to catch up with Jim Cregan from Jimmy’s Iced Coffee, whose beard was looking rather fine (as usual). He told me that there’s a new product on the way in the not-too-distant future, and I have no doubt that he’ll come up with a fun way to promote it. If you haven’t seen any of Jim’s videos yet, start here:

Finally (for now), here are a few photos from the event, with some from my colleague Claire Phoenix. The show’s organiser tells me that there have been a record number of exhibitor re-bookings for the 2015 Fair, which just goes to show how popular, vibrant and important this show is.

Preparing for the 15th Speciality & Fine Food Fair in London

I’m at the Speciality & Fine Food Fair in London next Tuesday, so I’m getting my batteries and memory cards together and hope to see and talk to lots of you.

Believe it or not, this is the 15th edition of the show, and incorporates the Speciality Chocolate Fair as well as the two main theatres, Fine Food Forum and Speciality Chocolate Live. At the start of July 2014, I read that exhibitor space had already sold out, so more space was released to accommodate demand. This will see producer numbers exceed 650.

It’s a great opportunity to network with people in artisan food and confectionery, who I don’t get to see as often as I’d like. As well as the industry ‘giants’, I’m looking forward to meeting many small producers and those who are just starting out. The last time I was here was 2010, so I think I have a bit of catching up to do with some old favourites and those who have grown their business over the last four or five years.

There will also be ample opportunity to sample some new and interesting food and drink products, and the Trussell Trust is making sure that food wastage from the three-day event is put to good use. The charity will be running a food collection service during the Fair and any leftover goodies will be sent to food banks close to Olympia Grand.

I’ll be catching up with Donatantonio and Olives Et Al, as well as a host of others, discovering new innovations in food and packaging. If you fancy a chat while I’m there, drop me a line and we can arrange to meet up.

On the day, I’ll be using the Speciality & Fine Food Fair hashtag of #SCF14 and will be tweeting from @ShaunFoodBev. Hope to see you there!

An overview of Packaging Innovations Birmingham 2014

I’ve had a busy time lately putting content on FoodBev.com following Packaging Innovations Birmingham 2014, and this blog entry is a convenient place for you to see it all in one go.

Andreas Exarheas and Bill Bruce actually attended the event, and I caught up with them back in the office to talk to them about what they’d seen and what their thoughts were. The podcast for that interview is right here.

Andreas also wrote a blog about his first time at Packaging Innovations, while Bill conducted a few video interviews with some new faces and some more familiar to us, such as Stuart Kellock from Label Apeel.

In the following videos, Lucy Frankel from Vegware talks about procurement, sustainability and ‘eco packaging’, and how ‘clarity is key when it comes to compostable labels’.

Lars Liebscher from BASF talked to Bill about ecovio biodegradable plastic and the world’s first compostable coffee capsule. He also talked about the company’s association with Beanarella.

In this video, Nick Brewin from Silgan talks about the brand’s new microwaveable plastic can food container, and the unique manufacturing process that goes into making it.

Nathan Daniel from CS Labels discusses Color Logic technology, and provides a demonstration of the company’s augmented reality app using an iPad and a Madness Gladness beer poster.

Finally, we produced a modest gallery of photos, which you can find on our Flickr channel.

Ella’s Kitchen creates the world’s first edible forest

In a small part of London today, kids and parents will be enjoying what’s been described as ‘the world’s first edible forest for little ones’ courtesy of Ella’s Kitchen.

The idea is that toddlers get to explore a small world made of fruit and vegetables, which I think is a great marketing concept. It gets kids interested in something other than dinosaurs and Lego, and helps parents understand what the Ella’s Kitchen brand is all about.

Yes, it’s a marketing exercise, but it’s a very good one, albeit a small-scale one that I think hopes to spread its message via social media and word of mouth.

The Ella’s Kitchen brand has done this sort of thing before, with its vending machine for babies and the world’s tiniest milk float. It’s a brand that likes to think a little differently and I can only imagine it must be fun at marketing meetings!

The edible forest was created by food artist Prudence Staite, with the edible landscape consisting of more than 600 kilos of fruit and vegetables. Apparently, it took a team of six people more than 460 hours to create.

I’m afraid it’s a one-day-only event, taking place at Horniman Museum & Gardens, and is free of charge for parents and little ones. Following the event, all of the fruit and vegetables used in the construction of the edible forest will be provided to The Horniman Museum and Gardens for use in its Museum Café.

A roundup of Vending Paris 2014 interviews

My colleague Andreas recently made the short (ish) trip to France to attend Vending Paris 2014, which took place at Paris expo Porte de Versailles.

According to Andreas, it was one of those events that doesn’t cut the mustard when it comes to providing good press facilities for us journalists, despite us living in the digital age. Can you think of any event organiser who does this well? Let me know.

During the two days he was there, we managed to get a handful of short interviews with companies showcasing new technologies, including the Easymeal microwave vending machine and the machine with gesture recognition technology. Check out the videos below, or if you’d prefer to see what the event looked like, here’s a link to the Flickr channel.

Looking ahead to the Beverage Innovation Awards at Drinktec 2013

With not long to go until the entry deadline for the Beverage Innovation Awards @ Drinktec, it’s a good time to look back at previous awards shows.

The first time we ran the Beverage Innovation Awards at Drinktec in Munich was in 2009, when Preshafruit took top honours with ‘Best overall concept’ and ‘Best new juice or juice drink’.

We interviewed Preshafood founder Andrew Gibb at the event, who went on to co-found Coldpress, a winner of the FoodBev.com Awards 2011.

 

2009 was also the year that saw Pepsi Natural (or Pepsi Raw) win the ‘Best adult or gourmet drink’ award, but the drink was eventually discontinued in many countries, including the US and the UK.

More successful in that category was finalist Hopper Soft Brew by The Juice Brewery, which has achieved solid growth since 2009, and has added new flavours to its range.

Since 2009, the Beverage Innovation Awards has been held atInterBev (2010), with functionaldrinks (2011), which we labelled the ‘BIFDAs’ the year after (2012).

Now that Drinktec has come around again (the event is held every four years), we’re looking forward to seeing a range of winners and finalists from the bustling beverages sector. If you haven’t entered yet, now’s the time to do it.