A fresh concept in ready meals is being hailed as the retail equivalent of a farmers’ market.
Look What We Found, a gourmet convenience range featuring the face, name and place of origin of suppliers on the front of packaging, aims to tap into a growing trend towards provenance-proven food.
It is the brainchild of joint managing directors Keith Gill and Roger McKechnie, original founders of the Phileas Fogg range, who have started Tanfield Food Company in County Durham to produce the meals.
The nine dishes include Hugh Lough’s Wallington Hall Beef in Beetroot, Richard Woodall’s Wabberthwaite Pancetta in a wild mushroom sauce and Mark Robertson’s Northumberland
Cheese Soup - all with the stories and photographs of the prime ingredient producer featured on the pack.
“It’s targeted at the sort of people who visit farmers’ markets, who care about taste and are prepared to pay a premium for it,” said McKechnie.
Recent food scares meant traceability was becoming more important for consumers, added Gill. “We aim to provide provenance-proven almost-ready food of a high quality.”
Producers were chosen mainly from the Northumberland Larder regional food trade group, who McKechnie said were producing food of a very high standard. The long-life ambient meals come in pouches, and are designed to be heated in minutes and served with an accompaniment.
McKechnie said the company had decided to avoid the highly competitive chilled and frozen sector, and instead provide a fall-back meal which could be kept on-shelf with no wastage.
The range, which sells for £3-£5, is going into delis, independents and food halls, and the company is in talks with multiples and overseas markets.
Claire Hu