The Food Incubator helps food and drink start-ups navigate their way to market through its expertise in thermal processing, identifying appropriate and assured processes to improve safety and shelf life.
Having worked across the food and drink industry at a number of well-known names – including senior roles at the Fabulous Baking Boys, Everfresh Natural Foods, Shipton Mill and Celtic Bakers – Russell was well placed to share his experience with other businesses seeking help.
“When the opportunity came to run the food incubator, we realised very quickly we would have an incredible diversity of products that would come through us, so we weren’t going to be limited to one or two product types,” he explained.
“I just felt like doing something a bit different and bringing some of my knowledge to help other companies really understand what they could do. Also, the move to and desire for clean label products is such that thermal processing has a really unique offering in that respect – you can do a longer shelf life product, ambient or chilled, without using expensive freezers or preservatives, that’s fantastic.”
“In the short few months we’ve been around we have helped some surprising companies that thought they were not going to get something that we were able to deliver. The range of products and companies that we are talking to is challenging, but mentally stimulating.”
Russell went on to speak of the challenges that may face start-ups in the food and drink industry, before moving on to the major challenge surrounding the lack of understanding that consumers and some manufacturers have for thermal processes.