Seaweed and the Need for Speed
There seems to be a genuine and increasing need for speed these days. The emphasis is on being active, being productive, and getting things done quickly to save on our precious free time. The snack foods sector is very buoyant, and celebrity chefs are falling over themselves to publish books on quick meals. We're all busy people and often we're eating as we go or rustling up a quick family meal while we get through the rest of our 'to do' list.
Contrast this with the timeless, peaceful and unhurried existence of the humble seaweed, as the picture above suggests. Seaweed and speed are not what you typically put together. For anyone who's collected seaweed for using their own use it's a gentle amble along the beach, admiring the scenery and picking the specific marine vegetables we're interested in. Then we have to wash the seaweed if we're going to eat it raw, or else hand dry it for use as a wonder ingredient in our foods. Not a speedy process.
At the same time as this headlong rush for quick or immediate nutritional gratification, we see a few other macro trends emerging as well:
The move towards organic foods
Sustainable sourcing and production methods
The rise of veganism, vegetarianism, pescetarianism and flexetarianism - that's a lot of ism's...
An emphasis on functional foods that provide health-improving benefits besides simply giving us fuel for energy
The battle for consumer attention and wallet share, therefore, is being fought along these lines, with one additional factor still at the head of the table, so to speak, and that's taste. Taste trumps all other considerations.
This is where innovative products like dried seaweed ingredients enter the fray, addressing all the major market moves and consumer preferences. After a decade of experimenting with different types of seaweeds, we've commercialised the collecting, drying and blending of certain seaweed types in quantities that provide the right amount of essential minerals like iodine, are high in fibre, provide a good source of protein and contain the natural flavouring umami, which helps people reduce the amount of salt in their diet.
We already make these blends available in bulk for chefs to use in their baking, cooking, sauces and so on. Now we've put the blended seaweed ingredients into two retail product lines, and we've done most of the work so that you can enjoy great tasting meals and snacks in no time at all.
- The smRt pasta range of penne, macaroni, fusilli and gluten free fusilli is Italian artisan pasta with a little Italian seaweed. Organic, with health benefits, these feel good carbs suit many dietary demands and cook in around 8 minutes
- The smRt range of mint, orange and cocoa health bars hit the shelves later this year. They're organic feel good snacks with a dash of healthy seaweed for great-tasting energy on the go. Preparation time is how long you take to open the wrapper...