Thinking of giving your foodie friends something a little different this Christmas? Then check out our top suggestions of groundbreaking, innovative Christmas gifts for foodies below.
These interesting innovations will sure take any foodie on an on-trend taste adventure. From award-winning to environment-saving to reinvention, all of the brands below are shaking up their marketplaces in one way or another.
1. Peter’s Yard Charcoal & Rye Crispbread
Charcoal is currently a big thing. It’s appearing in products ranging from cheese to ice-cream to pizza bases. Its purported functional ability is to help absorb toxins from the body. It can reduce bloating and gas and even prevents hangovers. This might not be as mad as it seems though as charcoal has been used for years in emergency rooms to stop certain cases of acute poisonings or overdoses.
We selected Top 50 Great Taste Winner Charcoal & Rye Crispbread by Peter’s Yard. This product has been getting some great reviews including a 4/5 by The Mail in its trial of new charcoal-based products.
Peter’s Yard is one couple’s mission to bring the very best of Swedish baking to the rest of the world. Their products are all made in the UK using organic ingredients. All are high in fibre, low in sugar and free from hydrogenated fats.
A mini version of traditional Swedish knäckebröd, Peter’s Yard suggest trying this crispbread topped with a smothering with soft goat’s cheese or a ripe brie.
2. Joe & Seph’s Gin & Tonic Caramel Sauce
Joe & Seph’s Gin & Tonic Caramel Sauce is a great example of an innovation that hit the bullseye by tapping into two trends at the same time; sweet and savoury and the ongoing gin hype.
The sweet and savoury trend sees no bounds. Many brands, such as Joe & Seph’s, are even exploring further afield than the ubiquitous salted caramel. On top of that this caramel sauce (made with 5% gin and 6% tonic) is just one of the plethora of gin-inspired products on the shelves this Christmas as the gin trend continues apace.
The London-based team of pastry chefs at Joe & Seph’s is passionate about high quality sweet treats. Since their inception in 2010, they have developed a range of over 40 flavours of gourmet popcorn, 10 varieties of caramel sauce and have won no less than 29 Great Taste Awards!
This scrumptious sauce can be stirred into freshly popped corn, drizzled over ice cream or pancakes, or it can be used as a topping or filling for cakes and bakes. Plenty of opportunities to engage consumers in a ritualised behaviour.
3. Saf Life Nutty Nori Salt & Vinegar
Low in calories and high in calcium and iron, seaweed has been 2017’s most popular superfood, overtaking kale, and so has made our list of top Christmas gifts for foodies this year. Jamie Oliver has gone so far as to call it “the most nutritious vegetable in the world.” At The Strategy Distillery, we’ve seen it in everything from skincare to pasta and even desserts. More on this in our article on clean eating.
Saf Life have been true pioneers of the raw food movement since 2006. They are a dedicated bunch of raw food nerds who make all their products by hand in their East London kitchen. There they create unique flavour combinations and textures from natural, organic, high quality ingredients. They use techniques such as activation through sprouting and dehydrating products. Not heating above 46°C preserves key nutrients and enzymes that would normally be lost when cooked at high heat.
These delicious Salt & Vinegar Nutty Nori consist of flaked almonds and sesame seeds sandwiched between wafer thin seaweed sheets. And at 70 calories per serving… what’s not to love?
4. Coconut Marshmallows by The Marshmallowist
Like doughnuts and macarons before them, marshmallows have been swept up in the artisanal food trend. Many of today’s marshmallow makers are twenty-somethings who spotted the trend early.
The Marshmallowist, aka Parisian-trained chocolatier Oonagh Simms, creates her painfully trendy confectionery using only fresh fruits, organic herbs, fairtrade sugar and boutique alcohol. She was the first producer of gourmet marshmallows in the UK and spearheaded the revival of the fluffy sweet treat. Packed in bold, minimalist, little boxes, they have been recommended by many including Vogue and Wallpaper, The Times and The Economist.
Most people will have only encountered mediocre marshmallows. These are a very different experience, incredibly light and delicate, like a soufflé.
5. Jimini’s Grasshoppers in Greek Spices
Angelina Jolie created a buzz during a visit to Cambodia this year, telling a reporter that her kids snack on crispy crickets. Entomophagy (eating insects as food) is being embraced in a big way.
Why all the interest? Well, a 3oz portion of dried caterpillars supplies over 50 grams of protein, twice as much as the same serving size of lean flank steak. Also, farming bugs requires fewer resources and generates less greenhouse gases than farming cattle. As such, many food and nutrition experts believe that supporting entomophagy will be necessary in order to feed a growing population while protecting the planet.
Premium edible insect brand Jimini’s launched in 2012. Their range of edible insects includes naturally flavoured appetisers of crickets, grasshoppers and mealworms. All of which are low in fat and sugar. Much to our surprise… they taste good too!
6. Sandows Cold Brew Coffee
With recent astronomical growth, cold brew may just save the coffee market. US retail sales of cold brew have rocketed 460% from 2015 to 2017. While growth of chain coffee shops such as Starbucks and Costa slows, consumers are investing more in boutique coffee houses and artisanal coffee.
Cold brew, as its name suggests, is coffee that is brewed without applying heat. This means it takes longer (about 20 hours) but it yields a sweeter, smoother taste.
UK cold brew brand Sandows was founded by barista buddies Hugh Duffie and Luke Suddards, who according to GQ Magazine “are at the vanguard of the cold brew craze.” Named after the iconic Victorian bodybuilder, Sandows emblazon their coffee with blue barbells as a reminder of the time and effort cold brewing demands.
An obvious contender for a refreshing summertime drink, cold brew coffee can be surprisingly festive. Make a cold brew Irish coffee by stirring in rye whiskey and sugar syrup and top with sweetened double cream.
7. Lickable Bubbles by BubbleLick
Toys for grown-ups are kind of a big deal in 2017. Sales have increased by 21% in the UK since last year. Millennials are leading the charge, owning 50% of that spend. They buy toys as part of their escape from ‘adulting’ and relive their footloose and fancy-free childhood days. Edible bubbles tap into this nostalgic ‘Peter Pan’ trend perfectly. Kids have been blowing bubbles since the 17th century and today bubble solution is still the bestselling toy in the world.
Lickabubbles were invented by a paediatrician / allergist / immunologist / physician after his children asked him why bubbles couldn’t have a flavour and be lickable. Apparently lickable bubbles were already a thing (no one told us) but Lickabubbles can be flavoured as well.
These edible bubbles securely check the growing mixology trend box and make for an exciting cocktail garnish. So why not try something festive like eggnog, brandy or mulled wine bubbles? The possibilities are endless.