Grace Foods UK, the UK’s leading supplier of Caribbean food and drink*1, is enabling wholesalers to take advantage of rising consumer demand for exciting new flavours from around the world.
The company, which accounts for more than one third of all Caribbean food and drink sold in the UK*1, boasts a broad range of products and ingredients including chilli sauces range Encona, nutritionally enriched milk drink Nurishment and Grace Aloe Vera drinks.
“This is an exciting time for the world cuisine sector and in turn, wholesalers, with growing numbers of consumers expanding their taste horizons and seeking new and exotic flavours,” says Nyree Chambers, Head of Marketing for Grace Foods UK.
“This applies both to home cooking, where consumers are looking to scratchcook more adventurous dishes, and to onthe- go products such as soft drinks where exciting flavours and functional needs are becoming ever more popular. Many people are using Jamaican jerk seasoning as the gateway to Caribbean food, spicing up everyday meat, fish and vegetarian meals before going on to discover the rich array of flavours that Caribbean food has to offer.”
This trend is reflected in the impressive growth of the Afro-Caribbean category, which is worth over £95.4 million in the UK, growing at over 4.4% YoY*1.
Such is the popularity of Caribbean food that Caribbean Food Week (August 25 – 31, 2015), now entering its fifth year and organised by Grace Foods, has become the UK’s biggest celebration of Caribbean food and drink, both for retailers and consumers.
“Grace Foods UK is growing fast, at +13.9% in value YoY*1,” says Chambers. “We are perfectly placed to meet the needs of consumers looking for authentic taste experiences thanks to our unique heritage in the category and our range of longtrusted food and drink brands.”
Much of the UK Afro Caribbean category growth is being driven by snacks: the ‘Snacks’ Caribbean sub-category, comprising mainly of patties and plantain chips, accounts for 40.1% of 2015 value sales growth*1.
Grace Foods UK is meeting the demand for refreshing, functional beverages with Grace Aloe Vera Drink. Grace Aloe is a greattasting, refreshing drink made with real aloe vera that appeals to consumers seeking new and exciting alternatives to traditional juices and flavoured water offerings.
“Grace Aloe, a refreshing drink full of the natural benefits of the aloe vera plant, is an ideal thirst-quenching beverage,” says Chambers.
“Thirst-quenching soft drinks are the perfect addition to fixtures. Consumers are often looking for something a little bit different when it comes to soft drinks, and offering beverages with exciting flavours is a sure-fire way for retailers – and wholesalers – to drive sales.”
The company recently launched a new flavour into the aloe vera drinks range and introduced two of the most popular flavours in larger pack formats. Grace Aloe Vera Peach Flavour Drink (500ml) launches alongside Grace Aloe Vera Mango Flavour Drink and Grace Aloe Vera Strawberry Flavour Drink into 1.5ltr take-home packs.
“Grace Aloe Vera Peach flavour scored extremely well in consumer research on new flavours. Alongside the addition of the larger pack sizes, which will allow retailers to maximise take-home sales, we’re confident that the new products will add incremental growth and consumer choice.
“Wholesalers and cash & carries can maximise sales of speciality drinks by blockbranding those products such as Grace Aloe Vera with flavoured waters and fruit smoothies, and giving them prominent positioning on-shelf, particularly during the summer months. Front of depot placement is also key to driving impulse sales during warmer months when shoppers are looking for refreshing drinks,” adds Chambers.
With scratch cooking on the rise, Grace Foods UK is particularly proud of its range of authentic Encona sauces and marinades, which are inspired by flavours from around the world.
“Consumers are starting to realise just how easy it can be to create Caribbean dishes with incredible flavours,” says Chambers.
“As a result, they are turning to retailers to supply them with the ingredients they need – and the authentic Encona range is the perfect solution.”
“The versatility of the Encona range enables consumers to add exciting world flavours to any meal, and wholesalers to generate maximum profits. The sauces can be used for a wide range of cooking occasions; whether it is as an ingredient for cooking, a marinade before grilling, as a pour over on the BBQ, as a table sauce or simply as a dressing or a dip.”
The Encona brand has recently undergone a label refresh across the whole range, creating greater standout onshelf which is designed to attract shoppers to the fixture.
Grace Foods has also broadened the appeal and usage occasions for Encona with its newly-launched range of marinandes – a first for the brand. Tapping into growing consumer interest in world cuisine and scratch cooking, the new range of Encona Marinades is available in three 180g variants, packaged in square glass jars; Moroccan Harissa, Korean BBQ and Jamaican Jerk BBQ, all with an RRP of £1.49. As well as the new Marinades, the company recently unveiled an addition to its 142ml glass bottle range, in the form of a Peruvian Amarillo sauce (RRP £1.49) as well as a new look for its squeezy bottle format (285ml) featuring two new variants – Mexican Smokey Jalapeno and Thai Mild Sweet Chilli (RRP £1.99).
Encona’s range of sauces provides wholesalers with a diverse selection of flavours from around the world, from mild to extra hot, allowing retailers to cater to a broad spectrum of consumer tastes.
“Our advice to wholesalers is simple,” adds Chambers. “With demand for authentic world ingredients higher than ever, stock up on recognised, authentic cooking ingredients and ready-to-consume products and your sales will soar.” *1 IRI UK Afro Caribbean Food & Drink MAT 52 w/e 10th October, 2015
GRACE FOODS UK