Reducing waste and beating COVID at Blue Aurora

By James Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

Pictured: Blue Aurora founder Rachel Templeton
Pictured: Blue Aurora founder Rachel Templeton

Related tags: Drink, Npd

Rachel Templeton, founder of blueberry wine producer Blue Aurora, spoke with Food Manufacture about reducing food waste and finding success despite the COVID-19 pandemic in this exclusive podcast.

Speaking at this year’s Speciality & Fine Food Festival, Templeton explained the decision to create blueberry wine was born from a desire to craft a product from the produce retailers were not willing to buy.

“Because the supermarkets are wanting the larger, firmer fruits, what we’re actually using for our English blueberry wine is a slighter smaller, softer fruit – still great quality, but not what the supermarkets are looking for,”​ she said.

“That’s why we’ve diversified and tried to reduce food waste on the farm and that’s where the heart of Blue Aurora began.”

Traditional wine making methods

Northamptonshire-based Blue Aurora produces a range of fruit wines made from blueberries grown onsite and made using traditional grape wine techniques without any concentrates or mixed with grape juice.  

Outside of wine, the family farm was still on the lookout for new developments in blueberry growing to meet demand.

“We’re constantly looking at new blueberry varieties. We’ve got some new varieties – one called crunch, one called grande – that are really large fruit, really crunchy,” ​Templeton continued.

It’s always about looking for the next best blueberry for the fresh market, but also considering what’s going to work really well for the range of English wines.”

Export success

Outside of the UK, Blue Aurora has seen success in the US and Canada where the market for blueberry wines is much bigger, thanks to a much larger blueberry industry in general.

“Fruit wines are starting to increase, so it would be interesting to see what happens with the market,”​ Templeton added.

Many businesses across the food and drink industry felt the sting of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown measures enacted to curb its spread, the worst of which being the mass closure of pubs and clubs. Luckily, Blue Aurora was well placed to circumvent these challenges.

“We launched last year and only produced a small amount – we really scaled up in 2020 when COVID hit,”​ said Templeton. “We were fortunate that we had always planned to create our website so we could sell online, but we did miss talking to people, getting to consumer and trade events.

Related news

Show more

Related product

Plant-based innovation: How to formulate for success

Plant-based innovation: How to formulate for success

Almond Board of California | 31-Mar-2021 | Insight Guide

The trend for plant-based shows no sign of slowing as consumers continue to place an emphasis on personal health, sustainability and ethics. But one formulation...

Related suppliers

comments

Post your comment

We will not publish your email address on the website

These comments have not been moderated. You are encouraged to participate with comments that are relevant to our news stories. You should not post comments that are abusive, threatening, defamatory, misleading or invasive of privacy. For the full terms and conditions for commenting see clause 7 of our Terms and Conditions ‘Participating in Online Communities’. These terms may be updated from time to time, so please read them before posting a comment. Any comment that violates these terms may be removed in its entirety as we do not edit comments. If you wish to complain about a comment please use the "REPORT ABUSE" button or contact the editors.

Follow us

Products

View more

Webinars