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Nim’s Fruit Crisps in Sittingbourne launches new range of air-dried ingredients after Queen’s Award success

The launch of a new range of air-dried ingredients, being trialled by restaurant chains, is helping a healthy crisp manufacturer emerge stronger from the pandemic.

Nim’s Fruit Crisps, which employs 18 people at its factory in Sittingbourne, responded to a drop in demand for picking up food on the go - as people spent more time at home - by accelerating the introduction of its latest products designed for bars, restaurants and retailers.

The Queen's Awards presentation for Nim’s Fruit Crisps was held last Monday
The Queen's Awards presentation for Nim’s Fruit Crisps was held last Monday

Two high-profile restaurant chains, that cannot yet be named, are already trialling the 100 per cent natural bespoke ingredients in their dishes as they look to benefit from “a more cost-effective option that delivers great taste, improved aesthetics and a longer, 24-month shelf life”.

The ingredients are said to be versatile and can be used to garnish salad, flavour a porridge or as a main ingredient – in a soup, for example – and products range from the ubiquitous onion and dried ginger to the more exotic sea buckthorn.

The company has invested more than £75,000 into machinery and a new production line to help increase capacity and give it the ability to produce smaller pieces and in packaging options ranging from small, sealed packs to 5k bulk bags.

This latest product was made public on the same day Nim’s Fruit Crisps was presented with its Queen’s Award for Innovation by Lady Colgrain, the Lord-Lieutenant of Kent.

She spoke glowingly about the firm’s workforce, who has kept going throughout the pandemic, and the way the company is putting the county on the map for its healthy crisps, infusions and ingredients.

Founder Nimisha Raja
Founder Nimisha Raja

Nimisha Raja, founder of Nim’s Fruit Crisps, said: “Covid-19 and the work from home edict has pretty much eliminated office life in city centres and this has had a massive impact on ‘Food on the Move’.

“We could either bemoan our luck or try and do something different, taking our expertise in air-dried manufacturing to launch a new range of ingredients for use in the food and drink sector and, hopefully, with independent and high-street retailers.

“The initial response has been great, and we have 25 varieties available including apples, onions, peppers and courgettes.”

She added: “Officially receiving our Queen’s Award has been a long time coming, but it was definitely worth the wait.

“We wanted to make sure our staff were front and centre of celebrations as they’ve been pivotal to our growth, and what better time to accept the crystal trophy than on the day we bring our latest innovation to market.”

Nim's Kids Fruit Crisps
Nim's Kids Fruit Crisps

The launch of ingredients comes on the back of the firm’s roll-out of its infusions – for garnishing drinks and infusing water bottles, teas and alcoholic beverages.

It has also sealed deals with subscription-based businesses, the event sector and festivals, whilst passengers on the Eurostar have enjoyed air-dried slices of fruit with their drinks.

Retailers have started to stock the resealable pouches, with pink grapefruit and kumquat varieties joining lemon, lime, orange, cucumber and grapefruit.

Nimisha said: “The infusions come in packs of 12 to 20 slices, taste great and are a sustainable way of having fruit at the ready.

“There is no waste that you would usually get when using fresh fruit, our slices rehydrate to their original state once added to the drink and are ideal for people who have got their own home bar or are attempting to make new creations.”

She added: “Whilst Brexit has caused us a lot of issues, the upside is that many businesses are now looking closer to home when they are sourcing ingredients and their infusions. This is good news for our business and one we want to capitalise on going forward.”

For more, visit nimsfruitcrisps.com.

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