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Hot right now: The business brains behind the latest tasty trends

Community Manager

Hot right now: The business brains behind the latest tasty trends

Exotic ingredients are big news. But even more interesting than a fruit that tastes of pulled pork (no, really) or one with more antioxidants than any other, are the entrepreneurs who created these companies. 

 

#MakeBaobabFamous

Andrew Roof1.JPGFirst up, Andrew Hunt of Aduna, who arrived in Africa unemployed, in the midst of a nervous breakdown and has gone on to transform the lives of thousands of the poorest women in Ghana by linking them to the fast-growing market for healthy foods. 

 

Andrew says, “One of the greatest achievements of our business is that the Ghana business is self reliant. We work in partnership but what we bring number one is the market.”

 

His problem was that the baobab crop was going to waste and no one in the West had even heard of it. So he set about creating a trend, happy for others to piggyback.

 

“Now it’s been trend spotted, all the Mintel reports have named it as the next big food ingredient, it was on a Channel 4 show just last night. Those are the necessary steps to take it to a billion dollar industry for rural Africa.”

 

Cornershop hits

Project Jackfruit Jordan and Abi.pngUnlike Andrew, Abi @abirobertson, and Jordan just found a can of Thai jackfruit in their local Asian food store and started experimenting.

 

Abi explains, “As vegans we really struggled to find convenience foods. It was all falafel and hummus everywhere. We knew how good jackfruit tasted. This is why we decided to do it in the sauces in the retort packaging. It’s shelf stable for long enough to just reheat it and eat it quickly.”

 

Project Jackfruit has only been going since April this year. 75% of Indian jackfruit are wasted (it’s seen as a poor person’s food), so their fledging business is good for more than just UK vegans.

 

Jordan says, “There’s no shortage of interest in terms of vegans really, it’s blowing up.”

 

In fact, they’re aiming for a bigger market, because who wouldn’t fancy a healthy fruit with the exact texture of pulled pork, that’s quick and easy to cook? Keep and eye on these Voom Pitch: Birmingham winners!

 

Thinking of starting a food business?

Andrew says, “Don’t bother, unless you’re truly passionate about it. Because it takes way longer and costs far more than you ever expect. And you have to make a lot of sacrifices. If it wasn’t something I really cared about I would have probably given up a long time ago.”

 

He adds, “Neither myself nor my co-founder come from food backgrounds. It took five years to get it. It’s very helpful to have someone in your founding team with specific industry knowledge.”

 

Abi recommends getting to some small events or farmers markets, “Anything where you can start getting feedback on your products because that was invaluable for us at the start. You can tailor your products to customers. You learn the kinds of customers buying your products. It’s helps you build the brand around everything the customers are saying.”

 

And very sweetly, Jordan’s final advice is, “Don’t do it alone.”

 

Success tastes great

Drink Baotic.pngBe sure to check out @DrinkBaotic too.

 

The Voom Pitch: Glasgow winners are also bringing the wonders of boabab to a store near you!