From soups to sandwiches, Patak's begins offensive on out-of-home eating

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Related tags: Indian cuisine

Indian food manufacturer Patak's is busy developing a whole host of new products for food manufacturers and caterers to bring Indian flavours to a...

Indian food manufacturer Patak's is busy developing a whole host of new products for food manufacturers and caterers to bring Indian flavours to a wider range of applications.

The company is creating a number of products specifically for out-of-home eating as part of its FoodSolutions business which it launched in February. Through FoodSolutions, Patak's says it will be offering foodservice operators and manufacturers a wider range of new concepts and will in the future be branching out into less obvious areas for Indian cuisine.

"We want to move away from the famous five old stalwarts, such as chicken tikka masalla and chicken korma," says Peter Fitzpatrick, business controller at FoodSolutions. "What we're trying to do is go the next step to give people more ideas and to use the same flavours of India but put them into new products."

One example of where Patak's is branching out is in soup bases, and it has successfully worked with Covent Garden Soup for a range of Indian-style soups. "Soup is not something that people would necessarily use a curry paste for," says Fitzpatrick. "We have a great deal of different ideas."

Patak's is also shifting some of its focus to sandwich concepts and is working with a number of sandwich companies that are looking to introduce Indian breads into their ranges. Bakery chain Greggs, for example, is about to start trials of its new chicken tikka naan bread sandwich. The Indian food manufacturer also plans ultimately to launch its own range of Patak's-branded sandwiches as an extension of the work it is doing.

Also fresh from the development kitchens are new spreadable sandwich pastes, again for sandwich manufacturers, which Patak's believes will be a low-fat alternative to mayonnaise. Three new flavours have been developed: Goan -- a hot spread; Achari -- a medium hot lime-based spread and Nizami -- which is a mild curry paste flavoured with cashew nuts. All sauces are heat-treated and therefore can be used hot or cold in sandwiches.

Sunil Menon, executive head chef at Patak's, says the pastes provide a more even flavoured sandwich as they offer an Indian alternative to the mayonnaise dressing usually used. "At the moment there is nothing to complement the meat in a chicken tikka sandwich -- which is what these sauces do," he says.

Patak's has also brought its frozen foods business back in-house after a number of years in partnership with Unilever Bestfoods to have more autonomy over it. The company has redeveloped all the recipes in the range, which it relaunched at the end of last month.

Related topics: NPD

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