The surge in food product ranges, launched by chefs

Mar 24, 2023 Ingredients

The demand for innovation in the Australian food industry has never been higher. With the needs of discerning consumers changing constantly, new approaches are required to identify the gaps and inform the new product development pipeline.

thinkfood LIVE content partner, Straight to the Source, work with key innovators in the food and drink space, such as chefs, and connect them with the industry to commercialise their products. At our sister event, Fine Food Australia in September 2022, Straight to the Source represented three of these chef turned producers via a presentation named ‘From their kitchen to yours’.

The secret behind the creation of Mr Cannubi Noix de Jambon

After working as a chef for 20 years, with apprenticeships at Prahran’s Continental Café and Mario’s on Brunswick Street, before creating a name for himself as one of the original Grossi Florentino team, Michael Nunn started Salt Kitchen Charcuterie in 2014.

Although he learnt the charcuterie trade from the Chapolard family in the Lot-et-Garonne, it is a herd of Victorian pigs that he credits as the secret behind this product.

“Our pigs from Western Plains Pork in Mt Mercer, Victoria, are the major reason Mr Cannubi Noix de Jambon is special and amazing,” Nunn says. “Our relationship with the farm has meant we have access to female pigs that are grown specifically to achieve delicious results with our dry cured charcuterie.

“This product is unique in Australia, and isn’t made by many other producers, so in the beginning it took quite a bit of education and explanation for the market to understand it. However, it’s now one of our biggest selling dry cures and we have escalated production to double what we produced last year.” he says.

Eggzi eliminates wastage for cocktail bartenders

Mark Beattie, another chef with over 24 years’ experience across Michelin star restaurants in Dubai and Europe, identified a gap in the Australian food and beverage market.

“I constantly saw the bar staff throw out egg yolks when making cocktails,” Beattie says. “So I thought there had to be a better solution by providing egg whites. There were other competitor products in the market but nothing that was user friendly for the bartenders.”

“Because of my background as a chef, I really understand the consumers’ needs and what benefit we can add to them. We like to encourage the creativity in our customers – chefs and bartenders – by making their lives easier through delivering products that add value to their professional environment.”

Mark launched the bartenders’ egg whites product, Eggzi at the start of 2020 and this year sees their niche product distributed nationally in Australia as well as looking at international routes to market.

Delivering flavour whilst saving on time with Made by Kade

Made by Kade is a range of burgers designed for the foodservice market, that are entirely plant-based, uncooked and snap-frozen, to enable a fresh tasting experience when cooked to order.

Kade Cohen, the brainchild and namesake of this range, was also a chef by trade who had the aim of supporting industry efficiencies by delivering restaurant quality products minus the labour.

“I’m humbled to say our products are really resonating with chefs.” Said Kade.

“I couldn’t be happier as currently we are ranged with national distributors such as Bidfood and PFD along with local distributors Two Providores.”

“There can be challenges putting out such a product, so as we grow it’s important that we retain the artisanal ethos and production methodology we have nurtured to date.”

Tawnya Bahr, co-founder of Straight to the Source comments on the trend of food products being launched by chefs, based on needs they have recognised from within the industry. “These clever innovators are using their culinary skills to channel themselves in a different direction and that’s exciting.

“However successfully launching into a crowded market isn’t as easy as it may look, which is why we have loved hearing from those that have successfully branched out into their own businesses to hear their inspiration and insights in this growing space.”

Hear more from Straight to the Source at this year’s inaugural thinkfood LIVE, subscribe for updates.

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