Retail food and drink trends

Not all heroes wear capes: the Caribbean superfood explosion

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The power of food to help consumers live a longer and healthier life is an advertising message which undoubtedly sells products.

People are looking for healthy options and food items that can double up as tasty, as well as wholesome, are in particularly high demand.

During the COVID-19 crisis, the health benefits of what we consume has taken on even more importance, and so-called superfoods have continued to grow in popularity.

Superfoods do not have an official scientific definition but according to the Oxford English Dictionary they are “a food considered especially nutritious or otherwise beneficial to health and well-being.”

A complete list of superfoods is not available but two ingredients which are frequently mentioned in the category are turmeric and cacao.

The potent properties of both of these superfoods have been known for centuries and now two companies in the Caribbean, Jamaica’s ‘Cold Bush Organics Ltd’ and Belizean-based ‘Naledo’, are offering them to a wider audience.

You can learn more about these businesses at Food Matters Live 2020 thanks to the support of Caribbean Export Development Agency.

A medicinal spice

Turmeric is a spice that is well known for its medicinal properties, which are largely due to bioactive compounds called curcuminoids, the most important of which is curcumin. Curcumin has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and is an antioxidant which can be beneficial for the brain and body.

Naledo Belize Ltd manufactures the world’s first wildcrafted, whole root turmeric paste as well as fresh juices blended with turmeric.

The company was founded by mother and daughter Umeeda and Nareena Switlo. It works with small-scale growers based in Toledo, Belize and is proud to say it pays them 28 times more than the average turmeric grower.

Naledo’s turmeric paste and juice blends are currently in over 1,000 retailers in Canada, Belize, America and the Bahamas. The ‘Truly Turmeric’ product has also just been announced as the winner for the ‘New Product of the Year’ award at Food Matters Live 2020.

Chocolate is good for you?

Cold Bush Organics Ltd is a family-run company based in Jamaica. It uses an artisanal approach to processing cocoa into premium chocolate bars, natural cocoa butter, chocolate spreads, and cocoa nibs.

Cocoa, the key ingredient in chocolate, contains biologically active phenolic compounds which make it a powerful antioxidant. The higher the cocoa content, as in dark chocolate, the more benefits there are and the products from Cold Bush contain at least 70% cocoa.

According to the CBI, specialty and fine flavour cocoa are a niche market that is growing strongly in Europe.

Averell French, proprietor of Mount Pleasant Farm Chocolatiers, which owns Cold Bush, says: “We operate in the Blue Mountain area. We grow our own cocoa and interact closely with a network of organic farmers.”

“We like to take things from the plant to the plate; we find that this approach works really well for us, because we are better able to control the quality of the product, and indeed the entire production process. In Jamaica we are truly blessed with having quality raw materials at our disposal.”

Click to find out more about Naledo and Cold Bush Organics Ltd.

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