Last month I touched on the new hurdle that is nutritional labelling. Coupled with renaming and, generally trying to make things look a bit smarter, I’ve spent days on end on the blower to printers, designers etc. It’s deeply frustrating but we have to find a solution or there won’t be a kitchen. It’s such an important part of the business and makes us what we are. Most food producers make a few lines by the million, so labels are printed ‘in line’ or in advance, by the tonne, and they cost pennies (or less). We make hundreds of products, by the hundred. Every pre printed label has origination costs and short print runs are almost punitively expensive. For printed fold over cards to go over the top of stand up vacuum pouches we’ve been quoted double the cost of the actual contents. The same with sleeves for hummus pots.
After the Christmas induced lull, you might have noticed more stand up vac pouched products in the shops. It’s a format that works for us – extending the shelf life just long enough to enable us to make worthwhile quantities. It doesn’t work for everything but for stocks & broths, sauces, marinades and the like it’s perfect. It keeps packaging to a minimum and once you get used to them, are pretty user friendly. I tend to use them as a ‘go to’ store cupboard item in the fridge and, if I’m feeling lazy, just put them in a saucepan of simmering water to reheat. They’ll pour out much better when hot. For a no saucepan option, I’ve even done it in the kettle.