Grace Foods UK, the UK’s leading supplier of Caribbean food and drink*1, is enabling retailers 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 spicy sauces range Encona, nutritionally enriched milk drink Nurishment and the Grace and Dunn’s River branded food and drink ranges.
“This is an exciting time for the world cuisine sector, 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 scratch-cook more adventurous dishes, and to on-the-go products such as soft drinks where exciting flavours are becoming ever more popular.”
This trend is reflected in the impressive growth of the Afro-Caribbean category, which is worth over £87 million in the UK, growing at +6.0% in value.
“Grace Foods UK is growing fast at +18.0% in value YoY*1, and is strongly driving this market growth,” 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 long-trusted food and drink brands.”
Much of this growth is being driven by soft drinks: the ‘Soft Drinks’ Caribbean sub-category accounts for 41.2% of the value sales.*1
Grace Foods UK is meeting the demand for exciting soft drinks with the launch of Grace Aloe Refresh – Aloe Vera Drink (RRP: £1.39 per 500ml bottle).
Launched in February 2014, Grace Aloe Refresh is a refreshing, reduced sugar soft drink, containing real aloe vera pieces. It satisfies the demand for thirst-quenching, lower-sugar alternatives to traditional chilled juices, smoothies or flavoured waters.
“Containing natural sugars and sweeteners, revitalising Grace Aloe Refresh consists of three varieties – Original, Strawberry and Mango – and is a great thirst quencher.”
CARIBBEAN FOOD WEEK
In August 2014, Grace Foods UK once again boosted awareness of exotic flavours with its annual Caribbean Food Week. Launched in 2012, Caribbean Food Week features activity such as nationwide sampling and promotions, advertising and social media campaigns and consumer competitions.
“Caribbean Food Week increased demand for Caribbean food and drink to new heights,” says Chambers. “With awareness of Caribbean cuisine at an all-time-high, retailers should stock up to make the most of the continued demand.”
With scratch cooking on the rise, Grace Foods UK is particularly proud of its wide range of authentic ingredients under the Grace and Dunn’s River brands, from sauces to seasonings to coconut products, which offer all you need to make cooking real Caribbean food at home accessible.
“Consumers are starting to realise, with the help of Caribbean Food Week, 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 Grace and Dunn’s River brands can help meet this need.”
Another must-stock is Encona Sauces, the UK’s number one hot pepper sauce brand*2 which comprises sauces inspired by flavours around the world.
“The versatility of the Encona Sauces range enables consumers to add exciting world flavours to any meal, and retailers to generate maximum profits,” says Chambers. “Encona 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.”
Demand for the Encona range is at an all-time high thanks to the launch of Encona Sauces’ first ever national TV advertising and sponsorship programme in 2014, and the brand continues to develop.
With an investment of £1 million, the 7 month ‘hot or sweet?’ campaign reached approximately 20 million consumers. Featuring real fans of the brand, the advert aired on Channel 4, More 4 & Good Food Channel, sponsoring the very best food programming, such as Come Dine With Me, Jimmy and Jamie’s Friday Night Feast and Sunday Brunch.
Nurishment, the UK’s number one nutritionally enriched milk drink*1, is another must-stock for retailers. Nutritionally enriched milk is the second biggest sub-category of Caribbean value sales, of which Nurishment Original has a 91.1% value share.*1
Nurishment Original, in its iconic can, has been enjoyed by consumers for more than 20 years to help support a healthy lifestyle. It supplies consumers with much of the day-to-day goodness they need, including vitamins, minerals and calcium. It can be used to kick start the day, as a ‘top-up’ for busy people who have missed a meal, or whenever consumers need a nutritional boost.
Nurishment Original is available in eight flavours to cater for all tastes: strawberry, vanilla, chocolate, raspberry, banana, mango, peanut and recently launched mocha.
“Our advice to retailers is simple,” adds Chambers. “With demand for authentic world ingredients higher than ever, stock up on recognised, authentic cooking ingredients and ready-to-consumer products and your sales will soar.”
*1 Source: IRI UK Caribbean Food & Drink Category – MAT 52w/e 13th September 2014