We’ve all experienced that frustrating moment when a craving strikes and the fulfilment of said craving is nowhere to be found. Perhaps you don’t have the right ingredients in your kitchen. Perhaps it’s too late to go to the store or out to the one restaurant in town that has the dish. But what do you do when a craving strikes for something that simply doesn’t exist?
This is exactly what happened in 2005 when two friends couldn’t find a quality, convenient accompaniment to their favourite lamb dishes, and the desire birthed the idea for Australian based Spoonfed Foods, a line of savory jams that have filled a huge hole in the world wide condiment market. “Many of the supermarket relishes [the founders of Spoonfed] tried were bland, dull and over-processed. Even the gourmet products in delis lacked the complex flavours and textures they craved,” said Valerie Charter of Spoonfed Foods, “Eventually, out of desperation, one of the friends, a passionate chef with more than 25 years’ experience suggested they create their own recipes. A short time later, Spoonfed Foods was born.”
Supply meeting demand is a common problem for modern chefs and home cooks alike who crave more gourmet quality products to play with. Spoonfed is doing their part to fill this desire for high quality and creative products with flavours like Garlic Jam, Red Onion Jam, and Winemaker’s Jam. “There is definitely a lot more experimentation of flavours, trying to create new taste sensations and textures,” said Charter, “As we are a gourmet product, rather than an ingredient, we need to ensure chefs appreciate that our products can bring high quality and consistency to their menu and with ease and efficiency.”
This means that each batch of savoury jam is created to a stringent standard so that there is little to no variation from jar to jar, a real challenge in a market that can tempt some food product makers into sacrificing their good intentions for more ease in manufacturing. “There is consistency in the flavour and texture of every batch of our red onion jam (with caramelised onions, shiraz & port), allowing chefs to free up time for themselves or the staff to work on new creations for their menu; and avoid inconsistency in product attributes of their home made red onion jam from their kitchen.” Charter also noted, “We have a limited specialised range, so we find ourselves challenging and tuning our strategy over time, however our core purpose is about providing mouth-watering products that take a meal from great to amazing and bring families and friends together to share great times. We are proud to produce a high quality product, with high end ingredients and an intensive slow cooking method that people really appreciate and we are reluctant to compromise on our product with a move into higher volume production methods”
But ultimately, it’s the customers and their love for a unique product like this that keep Spoonfed on track. “We were in Vanuatu on vacation and met a couple who were completed addicted to our Hot Jam so much, that they could never be without it in their fridge. Their sister (on the boat as well) was a massive fan of our Lamb Jam and wanted to take our photo. Another great example is that we recently had an Australian living in Malaysia, contact us because he was so happy he found our products in his local shop – it meant he didn’t have to use his luggage allowance with our Jams on his flights from Australia.” Being a niche product can be hard when trying to build a customer base, but as Charter says, “the challenges are selecting the right customers for our products, as they are not suited to everyone. We really appreciate the role our retailers play in educating consumers about our special products and their continued support. They are usually small business owners as well and doing the best they can to offer a different shopping experience to the major supermarket chains.”
Find Spoonfed Foods on Find My Rice and order in time for Christmas!