What is your name and job title?
Co-founder and Chief Bottlewasher - Angus Oliphant
What did you love to eat the most, as a child?
Shepherd’s Pie and Stewed Apple (homegrown) with custard.
What do you love most about working in the world of family-friendly food?
Not sure I’ve discovered a ‘world’ of family friendly food – though there is certainly a lot of masquerading going on. Oh, the power of marketing! The single most rewarding aspect of making a product I can completely believe in and one that is completely honest (and tasty) is the fabulous feedback we continually receive from our customers.
What makes your food brand so great for children/families?
Honesty, I hope. We simply select tried and tested, tasty recipes with a good healthy balance of nutrition and, most importantly using good quality, organic (and therefore unadulterated) unprocessed ingredients from as near to home as possible. All our meat is always from British organic farms and our dairy from the West Country. We literally do what you would wish to do if you always had the time to do it. And it is much easier for a specialised company like ours to ensure all our ingredients are consistently from the farms and suppliers we can trust.
How important is it to keep up with changing food trends?
Funnily enough, I find trends tend to be a marketing necessity rather than a consumer need. Actually, from experience, what most children want is familiar food that tastes great and is easy to eat. Most of our recipes have been in the shops for over ten years, and date back from the seventies if not earlier, and are just as popular now as then.
The trend, if there is one for kids, has to be the sloth like realisation that we should be more concerned about what goes into our kids’ meals and how those ingredients were grown or produced. Obesity, diabetes and allergies are all to some degree biproducts of the intensive food production era. Over processing to achieve ever cheaper solutions strips all the natural goodness out of our raw ingredients and then doses them up with all kinds of substitutes to regain some degree of flavour – it’s a hopelessly flawed attitude which is only encouraged by us, the consumer, and our willingness to go along with it – believing the hype.
Do you get to taste test everything?
Yes, I have a very healthy, and portion controlled diet – at least every lunchtime. It’s important to continually monitor the product to ensure we retain our high standards and consistency.
Why is it important to ensure a high quality in family food brands?
How do you do that? Raising our children right has to be the biggest responsibility any of us can have in life and for that trust is central. Parents have to work and can’t do everything, even if sometimes doing it yourself seems to be the only way to be sure. So to become a successful family brand it’s imperative to earn the trust of your customers. As soon as doubt sneaks in, it’s over. Parents need to trust that we will provide the best alternative (better even) to feeding their kids themselves, when time is tight.
Why did you enter the Junior Design Awards?
We‘re a very small challenger brand that has been stubbornly knocking on those big doors at Waitrose and Sainsburys for years, hoping they would hear our cry. It is only through PR, awards and competitions that we really get to reach a wider audience.
What do you predict for the future of family-friendly flavours?
We would love to grow our range of recipes to reflect a wider world of culinary influences, but the essence is still to keep things simple. Tasty, healthy and simple.