With March being Food Month here at TechRound, we wanted to feature some up-and-coming businesses and startups within the food industry, including those health foods, those which specialise in alcohol, and not forgetting those which manufacture sweet treats and chocolates!
From hand made fudge and brownie bites to vegan and plant-based chocolate bars, these companies all have a unique offering that the team at TechRound want to showcase!
Companies featured include:
- Bebeto, MD Stuart Johnston
- PROPER SNACKS Popcorn Bars, founder(s) Cassandra Stavrou
- 80Noir Ultra, founder(s) Carole Armiatge
- HAPPi, founder(s) Gavin Cox
- The Yummy Yank, founder(s) Lisa Gair
- Original Beans, founder(s) Philipp Kauffmann
- Fudge Kitchen, MD Sian Holt
- Resident Pheasant, founder(s) Anna Paskins
- H!P, founder(s) James Cadbury
- Blackberry Cottage, founder(s) Kate Saunders
For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.
MD: Stuart Johnston
Kervan Gida is Turkey’s largest candy producer and exporter. Its master brand Bebeto has been trading in the UK since 2015 where the brand aims to bring enjoyment to the whole family, describing these moments as feeling as though, ‘Everything’s bebetter with Bebeto’.
From nostalgic gummies to value-added NPD, Bebeto set out to create a brand that is as inclusive as possible, with a completely Halal friendly range and growing vegan approved lines.
Despite strong competition, Bebeto achieved 58% growth in 2021, helped by a six-figure ATL campaign which included the launch of Bebeto’s first TV advert in the UK.
“We now have a business that has grown 20-fold since the end of our first full year of trading, and one that now positively contributes to our group profitability,” says Stuart Johnston – Managing Director – Kervan Gida UK Ltd.
This Veganuary, Bebeto pledged to support the official Veganuary 2022 campaign which focused on climate change and the positive environmental impact of plant-based diets. With a range of 13 vegan-approved, fantastically fruity flavours and formats, including Pencils, Laces and Twists, Bebeto was able to bring some fun and indulgence to those taking part in the campaign challenge.
With 2021 prompted brand awareness at 1 in 5 consumers*, pre ATL campaign, the confectioner has set its sights on suitably sweet growth in 2022.
Founder(s): Cassandra Stavrou
Founded in 2011 by Cassandra Stavrou, PROPER has quickly emerged as the UK’s number one independent snack brand. Prior to launching PROPERCHIPS and PROPER Popcorn Bars, the colourful snack maker was best known for its award-winning collection of popcorn, PROPERCORN. Starting out by tumbling popcorn in a refashioned cement mixer, its passionate London-based team have grown from kitchen start-up to global snack favourite in less than ten years.
At PROPER, taste is everything. And its new Popcorn Bars are no exception. Combining popcorn, nuts and rice crispies on a smooth chocolate base – PROPER’s team of flavour makers have sourced nothing but the best tasting, real ingredients to hand craft their crispy bars. Made using Fairtrade chocolate, the all-vegan collection offers a moment of pure indulgence for under 116 calories per bar. As well as being palm oil free, PROPER’s Popcorn Bars are high in fibre, gluten free and wrapped in 30% recycled plastic.
PROPER’s Salted Caramel (26g) and Hazelnut Praline (25g) Popcorn Bars are available nationwide, RRP £1.59 for a single-serve bar.
Founder(s): Carole Armitage
During the time Carole was asked to play Badminton for England, she suffered low blood sugar levels. As a result she found it a constant challenge to find a controlled boost when travelling in hotels.
She discovered that ‘hot chocolate’ supplied in hotels was packed full of starch thickeners and flavourings but in fact, absolutely no chocolate.
She was aware that quality chocolate in the right quantities could be consumed in hot chocolate form, much
like an espresso and had really positive health benefits. As such, she set to work with Or Noir to find a solution that could be sold into hotels, that contained pure chocolate.
80Noir Ultra is a multi award winning dark chocolate company leading the way you look after your mental, physical wellbeing by providing premium quality dark hot chocolate without the bitterness, and in daily doses as well as a tea/coffee disrupter. The brand, which was formed in Northallerton in October 2020, creates high quality 80.3% dark chocolate naturally packed with antioxidants and minerals which can be drunk, eaten, melted or added to breakfast and baking for a powerful chocolate hit.
Its rich, creamy and smooth recipe is set to change minds, re-educate people on the truth of good chocolate and bring back the elegance that hot chocolate was back in the 17th centuries when Hot chocolate houses were more prevalent than coffee shops. It is designed to showcase the very best of dark chocolate and give you a moment of calm, happiness and peace when all about is busy-ness.
Founder(s): Gavin Cox
Launched to fill a gap in the market for an oat mi!k based vegan chocolate is HAPPi, the chocolate brand designed to put a smile on your face.
Creating a delicious range of all natural, vegan chocolate, HAPPi is rich, creamy and delicious. Using 47% single origin chocolate sourced directly and ethically from farmers and growers with a full ‘farm-to-bar’ supply chain, HAPPi has created a range of products that appeal to Flexitarian chocoholics everywhere.
All naturally-flavoured, Happi puts great taste above all else and is also 35% less sugar than other mass market brands.
Choose from a range of flavoured bars including Salted Caramel, Orange and White Raspberry, or tuck into its HAPPi Nibbles, a range of chocolate covered snacks, or its Hot Chocolate Spoons for a delicious dairy free hot chocolate treat.
HAPPi uses fully sustainable packaging and contains zero single use plastic. HAPPi buys its Cacao directly from farmers and growers with a full ‘farm-to-bar’ supply chain. This means it knows who grows its chocolate and what they get paid.
The Yummy Yank
Founder(s): Lisa Gair
Yorkshire based baker, The Yummy Yank has launched Brownie Snaps, this year’s most exciting new baked treat. With the flavour of a brownie edge and that signature snap, the totally unique Brownie Snaps are sure to be the most delicious chocolatey snack for any time of the day.
Whether you choose to dip it, dunk it, snap it, or munch it, Brownie Snaps are made with nothing but the finest quality ingredients, including Extra Brute Belgian cocoa, making them a rich, flavourful snack and a Finalist in the Deliciously Yorkshire Best Bakery Products 2021 Awards.
Brownie Snaps come in three delicious flavours – Original – All Chocolate, Chocolate – With A Hint of Orange, and Chocolate – With A Hint of Mint. Proudly available in 100% recyclable drums, Brownie Snaps are a cup of tea’s best friend, the perfect edible spoon for ice cream, or eaten just as is straight from the drum. Whether snacking on the go or treating dinner guests to something special with coffee, there really is no right way to enjoy this snappy, chocolatey treat.
For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.
Founder(s): Philipp Kauffmann
Original Beans is a 100% regenerative chocolate brand which creates a transparent ‘chocolate foodprint’ each year – like the carbon footprint but going several steps further to reveal all that the company has achieved within the realm of being sustainable and eco-friendly.
A seventh-generation forest scientist and conservationist, founder Philipp Kauffmann left his job at the UN in order to create Original Beans – following his forefather Georg Hartig’s advice in 1794 “to manage forests in such a way that future generations can enjoy them in the same way as we do today”. He thought there was no more worthy tree than the cacao but that the leading confectionary brands were plundering cacao, which just wasn’t sustainable. The idea in creating an ethical chocolate brand was that it enabled people to make a simple switch – from a regular chocolate to a superior one in taste (no additives), sustainability, and ethics.
Original Beans champions sustainability through its ‘One Bar One Tree’ programme whereby consumers can track the tree planted for the chocolate bar that they are eating. The brand enables cacao farmers a sustainable way of life – last year 5,272 cacao growing families’ lives improved – without having to resort to deforestation for quicker yield produce. This is achieved by paying them 1.78 times the fairtrade price and through an education system centred around cacao farming.
This in turn means old forests are preserved – last year alone 1,657,032 trees grown in origin were protected and 27,908 football fields of forest conserved, and the diverse, often rare, species that live within them. With the compostable packaging nothing is left behind either, especially with the new ‘couverture’ packaging, launched during the pandemic, typically packaged in plastic in the industry. 2,517 tons of packaging waste has been eliminated over this past year saving landfill sites.
MD: Sian Holt
British artisan confectionery makers, Fudge Kitchen, are due to celebrate their 40th anniversary next year, and the business has gone from strength to strength in the last few decades. What started out as one high street shop has now developed into a fully-fledged e-commerce business, 6 shops in the UK’s most historic cities, and a thriving wholesale business producing confectionery for some of the most luxurious hotels and retailers (think Selfridges, Harrods & Fortnum & Mason).
Fudge Kitchen has recently rebranded, to align the theatrical personality of their 6 high street shops with the premium gifting positioning of their wholesale and ecommerce businesses. MD Sian Holt says, “As part of the rebrand, we felt it was the perfect time to explore more sustainable packaging options, and once we started our sustainability mission we couldn’t stop. We have also switched our chocolate supplier to a more ethically transparent one, and we are making the move from cane sugar grown overseas to beet sugar produced in the UK”.
Innovation is at the heart of the Fudge Kitchen business, and they have recently developed their very own vegan spread to create a new vegan toffee fudge. Every year the 6 shops compete in a New Year New Flavour competition, which see’s them battle it out with innovative new flavours – the winner being featured on the shop menus for that year.
The confectionery they make spans fudge, brittles, honeycomb, coconut ice and even drinking fudge! Each product is lovingly handmade at their countryside HQ in Kent before being hand decorated. It’s this love & dedication to traditional artisan confectionery making that distinguishes Fudge Kitchen from other brands.
Founder(s): Anna Paskins
Anna Paskins, 28 founded Resident Pheasant Chocolate in December 2021, after she’d had enough of the corporate world in her marketing career. She decided to take a leap of faith to launch a brand where pretty much anything goes!
Life’s too short to be boring. Gone are the days of lifeless packaging and taking life too seriously. It’s now time to colour your world with Resident Pheasant Chocolate, with Attitude. Build your own chocolate gifts containing exceptional, ethical chocolate that’s encased in fun, contemporary and sustainable packaging.
Not only is Resident Pheasant Chocolate driven by delicious flavours using high quality chocolate, they’re also passionate about creating a more sustainable world where chocolate can be enjoyed throughout the future. Resident Pheasant launched December 2021 with the aim to be:
1) Kind to the Planet : All Resident Pheasant chocolate wrappers are fully wrapped in GMO-free, compostable and sustainable packaging. The chocolate stays fresh and delicious while giving plastic packaging the ‘SAY NO’ attitude it deserves. Handcrafted in the UK and love partnering with other small businesses alike.
2) Kind to Farmers: A proud partner with Cocoa Horizons Foundation, whose fantastic initiatives help support cocoa farmers’ livelihoods across the Ivory Coast.
3) Throw shade towards boring. You’ll notice everything about the brand from the clashing colours, to contemporary designs is fun and stands out. Not to mention the notorious Resident Pheasant with his backwards cap, who just loves to make an appearance and show his attitude just about everywhere.
Now for the fun bit…so what’s on offer? If you are sick and tired of receiving or gifting chocolate boxes that are uninspiring and contain drab flavours, that’s where Resident Pheasant can help. Check out the ‘Build your Own Letterbox Gifts’ for under £10 or the ‘Build your Own Seasonal Hampers’. There’s something for everyone and the chocolate can be:
● Savoured for those ‘go get ‘em moments’.
● Self-indulged while experiencing feel good vibes.
● Shared and gifted with the people you adore the most.
Founder(s): James Cadbury
Best-selling oat milk chocolate brand, H!P (Happiness in Plants) is all about bringing great tasting, eco-friendly dairy free alternatives to the masses.
The vegan-friendly bars offer a deliciously creamy, dairy free alternative to traditional milk chocolate. The brand blends single origin Colombian cocoa from a slave-free supply chain with creamy oat milk to deliver the ultimate plant powered indulgent chocolate fix. Not only that, H!P bars have approximately 30% less sugar than the average high street dairy milk chocolate bar and more cocoa too (41%).
With its signature eye-catching, contemporary designs, H!P is 100% eco-friendly with plastic free packaging that’s also completely recyclable, in line with the brand’s eco and sustainable ethos.
H!P is the brainchild of James Cadbury, someone who knows a thing or two about making chocolate (he’s the founder of ethical, luxury chocolate brand, Love Cocoa and the great-great-great grandson of the original Mr John Cadbury). The inspiration for H!P came from James’ own personal experience of cutting down on dairy. He couldn’t find anything on the market that tasted like a creamy milk chocolate bar and so decided to create something himself.
Over 1million H!P bars have been sold since the brand launched in March 2021, testament to the ever-growing popularity of oat milk, (it’s the fastest-growing milk alternative here in the UK and globally). Oat milk is also far more sustainable to produce compared with traditional dairy milk chocolate, so it’s better for the environment too.
H!P is available in Creamy & Smooth, Salted Caramel, Salty Pretzels, Cookies No Cream and new Salted Honeycomb, plus the brand has brought out a Salted Caramel Egg in time for Easter. The bars are available via H!P’s website as well as in Ocado, Booth’s and via Getir.
Founder(s): Kate Saunders
Kate Saunders is the baker behind deliciously moreish award-winning chocolate brownies with secret ingredients – namely vegetables! At her beautiful smallholding in the heart of the Berkshire countryside, Kate creates her Blackberry Cottage cakes with veget ables always a main ingredient.
Every morning Blackberry Cottage freshly bakes and posts out cakes throughout the UK with tea time sized treats posted in a convenient postable sized box. Kate’s decadent chocolate brownie selections come either individually or as part of a three month subscription – chocolate brownies with spinach, another made with beetroot, and chocolate brownies with sweet potato.
Other chocolatey treats include the decadent and gooey gluten free aubergine and chocolate torte. Kate used to be a sports masseuse for Olympic and Paralympic athletes and always had a keen interest in food and nutrition. Her company started after a client broke down in tears, distraught, over her child’s refusal to eat any fruit or vegetables. Kate created the spinach and chocolate brownie (spinach being such nutrient-dense veg), and it was such a hit with adults and kids alike she ended up leaving her job and starting a new career creating fabulous tea time cakes with a health conscious twist.
Going from strength to strength, she has extended her business from her kitchen equipped with five ovens to a purpose built shepherds hut, with an extra six ovens to keep up with demand! She has even released a book on baking with an array of sweet treats, including ice creams, cakes and jams made with a dizzying array of veg from savoy cabbage to garden peas and red
Kate also visits schools to teach children about farming and healthy eating, holds baking demonstrations at many large food festivals, and teaches courses on a new healthy way of thinking about baking. She is a regular guest on the BBC chatting about everything veg based – from the historical use of veg in baking, growing your veg, and healthier baking.
A keen farmer, and a farmer’s daughter, she uses eggs and seasonal veg, mainly produced on her smallholding or keeps to (where possible) to sourcing locally to support the local community.