Category Archives: Podcasts

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.


How crowdfunding is helping BerryWhite plan for the future

Crowdfunding is such an amazing thing. It’s helping young entrepreneurs get started in their chosen field, and it’s helping established companies increase funding so that they can expand their horizons.

I had the pleasure of talking to the director of BerryWhite Organic Drinks this morning via Skype, who explained how his company’s use of Crowdcube is paying dividends in terms of planning for the future. BerryWhite will use the new investment to reach into the competitive US market, and will have new listings in Waitrose in the UK very soon.

The primary reason for using Crowdcube is to move the company’s product into PET (plastic) bottles, which Andrew says will be revealed at Sial in Paris in October.

You can hear the full interview right here.

Are you also finding success with crowdfunding? I’d love to hear from you, especially if you’re operating in the food and drink industry.

Ajay Chandran from PureCircle takes on calories and carbon footprints

I had an enjoyable Skype chat with Ajay Chandran yesterday. He’s a corporate sustainability director at PureCircle, a company that specialises in natural sweeteners for the food and beverage industry.

He talked about his role at the company, the development and marketing of stevia, and the background behind PureCircle’s ambitious sustainability targets.

Interview with Daniel Herman from Bio-Synergy

I recorded a Skype interview with Daniel Herman from UK sports nutrition company Bio-Synergy this morning, and found out a lot more about the science that goes into producing functional drinks in order to stay competitive.

It’s a company known for products such as Skinny Water, Skinny Mousse, Beauty From Within, and its new range is called ActiVeman.

You can listen to the interview below, and I’d love to hear from you if you’re producing your own functional drinks, especially if you’ve been around long enough to have originally marketed to gym users rather than supermarket shoppers, and have had to adapt your product and/or marketing to reflect this.

Interview with James Shillcock from Vivid Drinks

Vivid Matcha Drinks

I interviewed entrepreneur James Shillcock this morning via Skype. He’s the founder of Vivid Drinks, and a nice guy to talk to, sharing plenty of useful insights into setting up your own drinks business.

He had that familiar matter-of-fact approach to explaining how a business is set up, as if we all share his entrepreneurial skills; a point of view from the perspective of someone unhindered by fear of failing, or simply sparked by something more creative and ambitious.

We talked about working with the brilliant design agency BrandOpus, and the choices he made in eventually using Tetra Pak’s DreamCap closure.

Here’s the full interview. Let me know what you think.

Review of Packaging Innovations 2014

I interviewed my colleagues Bill Bruce and Andreas Exarheas late last week and asked them about what this year’s Packaging Innovations show was like.

The gist of it is that the show was good, was well attended and had a few cool innovations to show off. Apparently, even the wifi access was decent, which is worth a headline in itself. (For those who don’t know, trade events are generally poor when it comes to providing communications for socially connected journalists.)

So, have a listen, and get in touch if you attended Packaging Innovations Birmingham 2014 and saw something amazing that we completely missed.

See also this big roundup blog, especially put together to provide an overview of the content we gathered from the event.