What’s new: Latest launches, business and brand news


Alara’s Affordable Organic range is culmination of 45 years’ work 

Alara Wholefoods’ new Affordable Organic range of mueslis is the culmination of 45 years’ work in sustainable and organic food production, says the company’s founding director Alex Smith. 

The retail launch for the new range took place earlier this month at Bristol-based Better Food, renowned too for its uncompromising ethical values and commitment to organic. 

Commenting on the launch, Smith says: “The Affordable Organic range brings together all of the values that underpin Alara’s businesses ethos, that we been developing over more than four decades. That includes our early commitment to organic, a business ethic founded on sustainability and fairness, being a zero waste and carbon neutral manufacturer and never compromising on quality and great taste. These are also the first Alara products to carry a Scope 3 carbon emission declaration on pack, and information about how we have been offsetting the embedded carbon in the products through our five year partnership with Rainforest Saver. In that way, they are culmination of 45 years’ work in sustainable and organic food production.

“It’s very fitting that we launched the range at Better Food, which has been a beacon of innovative organic and ethical retail for nearly twenty years”. 

Phil Haughton, founder of Better Food, says: “Alara Wholefoods are an important and long-standing supplier for Better Food and a popular choice for our customers due to well-established organic and environmental credentials as well as accessible pricing and a commitment to quality. Alara fit closely with our own ethics and values and we’re delighted to offer the new Affordable Organic range in all stores”.

“Affordability is not often part of the organic conversation. But at Alara we want to show that organic is both good value and, in many cases, genuinely affordable”

Making affordability part of the conversation 
Affordability and accessibility were key goals during development of the new four-product strong range. Alex Smith again: “Affordability is not often part of the organic conversation. That’s part’y because the organic sector is engaged in an important debate to highlight the costs – to the environment and public health – of cheap food. But at Alara we want to show that organic is both good value and, in many cases, genuinely affordable. I also believe we have a responsibility as a movement to make organic accessible to as many people as possible. Alara’s Affordable Organic Range offers a great entry point to organic, while delivering fully on quality, taste and ethics.” 

With retail pricing at £270-£3.29 for a 650g pack, a generous 70g portion costs around 30p. “We think that’s a very affordable price for a nutritious breakfast made from high-quality organic and responsibly source ingredients,” says Smith. 

Alara’s new Affordable Organic range comes in four variants – Apple & Cinnamon Bircher, a creamy Bircher with sweet apple; Crispy Fruit Muesli, a crunchy mix with dates and coconut; Fruits & Seeds Muesli, with linseeds, pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds; and Original – an evolved copy of the recipe used in Alara’s first ever cereal product, produced in a squat in London’s Tolmer’s Square in 1975. 

The range is packaged in card from sustainably sourced wood, with ‘no plastic’ garden-compostable enclosures.

Photo: The new Affordable Organic range from Alara Wholefoods

British Hemp Company launches with bold new strategy to ‘nourish and empower communities

An ambitious new commercial hemp enterprise has just been launched in the UK. 

The British Hemp Company (BHC) launches with three major initiatives in its strategy to harmonise people, profits and the planet.

A new mill opens in Warminster with accreditation from the Soil Association and ISO9001. Meanwhile, it has unveiled plans for its 12 farms across the UK and announced details of its commitment to a new economic plan that gives profit, people and the environment equal weighting.

The scheme is pioneered by Steve Glover (pictured), the founder and MD of the multiple award-winning Severn Project CIC in Bristol. He says his new venture The British Hemp Company is his most passionate commitment yet. For the first time UK, he says, grown hemp seed products will be available at scale.

Glover has formed an alliance of like-minded investors, farmers and specialists who believe in growing sustainable local produce that benefits all communities across the country. The success of the plan hinges on one remarkably versatile crop: Hemp. “With Britain’s rich fertile soil, this could be an abundant resource, in a time when Britain really needs to be more resourceful”, says Glover.

Hemp is available in the UK but many suppliers sell seed-based products that carry a huge carbon footprint.

The British Hemp Company launched this month with a range of products including Hemp Protein Powder, Hemp Seed Oil, Whole Hemp Seeds, Hulled Hemp Seeds, Hemp Flour, Hand Cream and Face Oil. A full range of body care products will be rolled out over the next few months including Lip Balm and Body Moisturiser. In future

ChickP revs up production of its novel plant-based protein 

Rehovot, Israel-headquartered FoodTech start-up ChickP Protein has announced full commercial production of its 90% chickpea isolate. The company is simultaneously expanding its global activities, having kicked-off a venture in the US by sealing a joint market development agreement with Socius Ingredients.

ChickP revved up consistent, stable production capacity to 20 metric tons per day, equating to more than 5,000 metric tons annually of its concentrated non-GMO, allergen-free chickpea protein isolate. The ingredient is designed to provide protein-infused functionality and a nutritional boost to an array of food and supplement applications, including dairy alternatives, baked products, and gluten-free foods. The company also is actively seeking new opportunities in the plant-based alternatives industry, especially in the thriving US market.

“We have established a modern, BRC certified food facility, where we have applied proprietary technology for the production of high-value, clean-label chickpea protein,” explains Ron Klein, CEO of ChickP. “We’ve already attracted considerable interest from major food brands, and this month alone welcomed a number of production commitments from several new customers.”

ChickP is currently partnering with several food companies on specialized projects to develop the North American market for plant-based innovations. “Socius has exemplary protein application expertise and, with a state-of-the-art technical center in Chicago, boasts strong connections to manufacturers of plant-based products,” explains Klein. “We’re strategizing with Socius to explore the many creative possibilities for producing chickpea protein-based prototypes.”

“ChickP’s offering sets a new standard for pure protein solutions through multiple beneficial attributes, including a dense nutritional profile, neutral flavor, and distinguished functional properties,” says Conor Buckley, Vice President of Socius. “These render it an excellent candidate for integration into a full spectrum of dairy analogs, including beverages, desserts, creamers, and more. We look forward to working with the ChickP team to bring the organoleptic and nutritional potential of chickpea to our customers.”

ChickP has appointed Itay Dana as VP of Sales and Business Development to lead these activities. With nearly 15 years of experience in the food, supplement, agrotech, and life science industries, with a focus on plant-based proteins, Dana is a veteran in food engineering and biotechnology. He formerly served as the VP of Marketing and business development at Equinom, Director of New Technologies for Lycored Ltd., and was Head of Food Innovation at Galam, Ltd.

“The US is fast emerging as a key global player in meat and dairy alternatives,” notes Dana. “This market already is familiar with soy and pea proteins. However, these sources still cannot meet all the desired specifications for the broader spectrum of applications. Food companies are demonstrating an openness to try new plant-sourced protein contenders and the mighty chickpea is now gaining its due recognition and momentum.”

Amazon Fresh opens first UK ‘Walk Out’ store

Amazon has opened its first UK Amazon Fresh grocery store at Ealing Broadway. The 2,500 sq ft grocery store concept is Amazon’s first outside of North America and uses the company’s Walk Out Technology. 

The store offers a range of grocery staples along with ready-to-eat and ready-to-heat meals options. 

The new till-less store can only be used by Amazon Prime members, using the Amazon mobile app. Shoppers scan items with their phone and the app calculates the the basket value and automatically bills the customer as they leave the store. 

Matt Birch, the former Sainsbury’s executive who now leads Amazon Fresh Stores UK, told PA the company has strived to make grocery shopping “as convenient as possible”.

“The focus was just creating a really easy shopping experience for customers. We recognise that UK customers want to shop in a convenient way so we really think they will appreciate being able to walk in and walk out with the shopping they need.”