Today’s busy lifestyles are driving up the popularity of snacking foods as people fuel on the move to accommodate their hectic schedules. Martin Savage of Zeina Foods Ltd believes wholesalers should take advantage of this boom through innovative, versatile alternatives to the traditional snacks.
There are snacking foods to suit every taste but people are becoming more adventurous. Many find that munching salty crisps from a packet, eating a ham sandwich or scoffing a cheeseburger does not necessarily cut the mustard.
Health conscious consumers are turning to nutritious snacks that can keep energy levels high and the mind alert without interrupting other activities. This shift to smart snacking means more people are looking for greater variety and more exotic snacking foods to satisfy their hunger pangs.
Zeina Foods, a family-run business specialising in tree nuts, dried fruit, dates, specialist confectionary & Middle Eastern products since 1983, is devoted to supplying the finest quality products, using premium ingredients, for this important market.
The company is the largest importer of Pistachios in the UK and shifts around 2,500 tons a year of the tasty treats to retail, wholesale, cash and carry outlets, food service and speciality food stores, with customers including Makro and Suma Foods.
But Zeina Foods is not just crazy about nuts. Its portfolio includes dried fruits, seeds, filled dates, corn snacks and Middle Eastern confectionery, such as sweet hand-made pastries, as well as its branded products – Zeina Love our Foods & Flavour of the World.
Zeina creates inventive new flavours including sun dried tomato, basil and garlic cashews, spicy chilli and lime cashews, hickory smoked almonds, toffee almonds & hazels and roasted salted Iranian Sirjan pistachios.
Zeina Foods also supplies American and Iranian pistachios roasted salted and roasted no salt in all sizes and can supply pistachio kernels as well.
Meanwhile, Zeina Foods’ delicious range of dates demonstrates a rare skill in spotting gaps in the market. The company launched three varieties of the fruit in 2008, two in quad bags and one in a glove box. Sales were so encouraging they introduced a further three lines – a 250g punnet style, a 500g quad bag and a 1kg on-the-branch gift box.
Zeina Foods’ ambition is to be regarded as the UK’s number one authority on dates. To achieve this aim the company has added another innovative flavour transformation for this exotic fruit, recently unveiling a scrumptious new range of deglet nour dates filled with an array of flavoursome tree nuts.
These sweet, crunchy morsels are sold under the Zeina Love Our Foods brand, in eye-catching presentation boxes. Each box contains a tantalising assortment of fillings which include whole cashews and almonds, Iranian pistachios and buttery pecans. While rounding off this alluring collection are simple, yet rich and incredibly more-ish dates filled with walnuts.
The Zeina Love our Foods range of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, dates sweet pastries are also available in 200g, 250g, 400g, 500g, and 1kg packs and can be supplied in bulk. They are so versatile they can be stock the nuts under fresh produce, but they can sit with alcohol, baking ingredients and on confectionery and snacking shelves, as well as beside tills for impulsive purchases.
To help push the boundaries of great snacking tastes, the company encourages its 28-strong workforce to be open-minded and to look for inspiration in the experience of a good meal, or a discovery made while on holiday that can be improved upon and developed into a unique offering.
However, Zeina Foods’ approach to NPD is certainly not hit and miss. There is a carefully structured method of assessment and quality control for each idea in order to be sure that there is a market and that Zeina Foods’ in-house team can develop a flavour and processing system that captures the standard of the original inspiration.
Zeina Foods also keeps a watchful eye on market trends and believes 2011 will see the company build on its success when it launches two exciting new flavoured products for the confectionery and snacks markets. It is also confident that by concentrating on niche products in small volumes will also allow it to diversify into new markets.
All Zeina Foods’ products and ingredients are stored on its state-of-the-art manufacturing site in Ossett. It has recently expanded its cool storage capacity by up to 70 percent by investing in a new chill store. The new 2,500sqft purpose built cold room now houses a selection of dried fruits including dates, Middle Eastern pastries, chocolate, macadamia nuts and walnuts.
Zeina Foods also has its own packaging facilities for printing and packing in-house so can prepare new product samples quickly. This flexibility means it can make any slight changes to the packaging design or listed ingredients at the last minute before going into production.
The nation’s snacking habits are changing, but the creative streak running through Zeina Foods is helping the company meet the demand for innovative new products and leaving their customers going nuts for more.
For more information on Zeina Foods please visit www.zeinafoods.com or contact Zeina Foods on 01924 280180.