Benjoy products include crunchy strawberry slices, crunchy grape slices, and root vegetable mini crisps, as well as two varieties of multigrain 'munchers', and come in a new type of non-spill packaging called the Munchcup. The range the brainchild of entrepreneurial mum Michelle Daniells is aimed at children aged one to five.
It was designed to discourage toddlers from snacking on adult junk foods after they grew out of eating babyfood, said chief executive Mike Bennett. "There are lots of baby foods and baby-friendly products up to the age of one. After that, they are exposed to more and more junk foods such as crisps, cereals and chocolates. What we're trying to say to people is fight the eating of early onset junk food."
Although there were some fruit-based snacks on the market already, sometimes the fruit had been boiled, which caused it to lose its vitamin C content, Bennett added.
By contrast, the fruit in Benjoy's crunchy slices was freeze-dried, which preserved the vitamin C, he claimed.
The Munchcup packaging is a container with plastic flaps that have "shape memory", allowing toddlers to put their hands in time and time again to snack on the product without the flaps losing their rigidity and causing the product to spill out. It also means the cup can be held upside down without risk of spillage.
The products will make their retail debut this week, with five SKUs going into Ocado and three going into Morrisons. Benjoy, which was founded in 2008, hopes to build in excess of £5m in turnover within three years of launch.
The market for toddler finger foods is worth £24.1m [IRI 52w/e 4 September 2010].
Retail and mainstream adult snacks that are served to children were worth an estimated £50m, said Benjoy.