What are big supermarkets doing?
There are lots of initiatives. Sainsbury’s have got a 2020 plan and Tesco are doing what they can to reduce waste on every level throughout the supply chain . All supermarkets are doing a better job than they were – there is just still a huge amount to do and it is difficult because it is hard to judge the buyers behaviour. It starts with the packaging and the ordering from the manufacturing level of all foods right down to the consumers plate. It needs to be judged better and there need to be regulations to prevent food being thrown out at the end of the day because of what it says on the label, as it is usually absolutely fine.
Is it important for you to use locally sourced products and support British farmers?
Very – it is what I am trying to do. At the moment I am getting all my vegetables from Spitalfields as I am not making the quantity, but the idea is to grow the business so that I can get all my vegetables from British carrot growers, parsley growers etc. With the bananas and avocados obviously it isn’t possible to buy local, but there are always going to be bruised bananas and avocados in England so that won’t be a problem.
Have you always been environmentally minded?
I was always the one at school who hated seeing things wasted, I was always turning lights off, saying ‘don’t use too much fairy liquid!’, recycle, recycle! It has always been something that is a big part of me really and that is the reason I wanted to start ChicP, to do something with food that is really sustainable – otherwise I would have never started a food company.
Tell us how you created the brand and developed the products?
I started a business plan at work and spoke to so many people about it. I got my friends to trial it then I went to London markets with it, bought all the surplus and then trialled it on friends then came up with names. Finally when I had enough backing around me with people saying I should really do this – I did a big event in London -the first ever Fare Healthy. I was accepted by the organisers who said they really loved the product and they loved what I was doing, so I used that as my first opportunity and it was a great success! This led me on to carry on and develop the brand. I did further branding, loads of developing and getting my name out there. I would go to every event possible , every start up event, with samples to get feedback.
It is a really easy product to make and so versatile, I love it, everyone loves it! You can have it with anything and it is an amazing product to eat with every single meal and something people can eat for breakfast and dessert! It can be changed if consumer trends change too. We make a sweet hummus too which is just getting people’s minds round the concept, because chicpeas don’t taste of anything you can really play around with the recipes.
When should we eat hummus?
It is full of protein so it is actually a really good start to the day. I would happily say, either a normal hummus or a savoury hummus with toast and avocado in the morning, is an extremely healthy breakfast as there is absolutely no sugar. Alternatively the sweet hummus has banana and avocado and is a really yummy healthy chocolatey hummus as there is no refined sugar and it is full of energy. Otherwise for lunch, as a side, as a snack. I mix it in to pasta , have it in meat or in sandwiches. I use it in every meal!