Tag Archives: interviews

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.


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.

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.

The EnvirUP Green Index podcast

I had a great chat with Assim Ishaque from EnvirUP.com Ltd today, who had  travelled down from Nottingham to Bath to tell me about his company’s first ‘Green Index’.

The Green Index is a list of 100 well-known brands – many of which are food and beverage brands – all rated according to their green credentials. This takes into account packaging, carbon footprints, labelling and a number of other criteria. Some of the results are astounding, not least the fact that none of the 100 brands achieved a grade higher than ‘C’ (with ‘A’ being the highest).

Unsurprisingly, perhaps, is that washing detergent manufacturers did rather well, as many detergent companies have made a concerted effort to grasp more than a fundamental understanding of what genuine sustainability is.

Strangely, there are some inconsistencies that just don’t make good business sense, such as Unilever’s great result for its detergent brands, yet poor results for some of its popular food brands.