Speciality & Fine Food Fair returned to Kensington Olympia on September 10-11 and showcased some of the latest and greatest artisanal food and drink for buyers across the retail, hospitality, foodservice, manufacturing, import & export and wholesale sectors.
Dom Richardson, founder of Whistler’s Storm, explained the growing trends across tea drinking and alcohol that inform the development of his three alcoholic teas – Assam Black, Earl Grey and Masala Chai.
A market for alcoholic tea
“Initially, we weren’t too sure about the market for a tea-based product, but two things we realised people like are tea – especially loose-leaf tea – and alcohol,” said Richardson.
“We see a lot more availability [of loose-leaf tea] in shop, supermarkets and so on and obviously alcoholic drinks are very popular – then we find a trend for lower ABV strength alcoholic drinks, which is why we went with a 20% volume.”
Standouts at this year’s fair included British Wagyu reared in Yorkshire from Freedown Hills, sweet and savoury popcorn from the likes of Maize and Grace and Joe and a world of new flavoured cheeses from across the UK.
Cheese and chutney
The Cheshire Cheese Company was on hand to showcase some of its latest product launches, including a new ‘Masala’ cheese featuring mango, chutney and nigella seeds.
We also caught up with vegan chocolate brand PlayIn Choc to learn about its partnership with the Sea Life Trust and Food Manufacture Excellence Awards winner Fudge Kitchen and its new plastic-free packaging.
Meanwhile, Food Manufacture rounds up some of the spooky new product development that manufacturers have released in advance of Halloween 2023.