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Dean Fowler - Natures Flavours

UK: Thai basil fast becoming most popular herb

Nature's Flavours is the first fully branded range of herbs from UK company R&G Herbs. Around a year ago the company saw a gap in the market, there were no UK companies providing truly branded herbs.

"The brand name ensures customers of consistent quality at retail standards, the herbs come in Micro perforated packaging which works by slowing down the herbs’ metabolism, which in turn helps the herbs stay fresher for longer, in the most natural way possible," explains Dean Fowler from R&G Herbs.

There are 18 different herbs which come in 25g, 50g and 100g packs. "The advantage to our Food Service and wholesale customers is that they get the same herbs as the retailer all packed under the Nature's Flavour brand. Harrods is one of the few retailers who carries this brand, most of the retailers sell under their own labels.

According to Fowler, coriander is the most popular herb on the UK market and has been for a while, "There is a seasonal rise in demand for rosemary, thyme and sage at Christmas, but the fastest growing herb at the moment is Thai basil, which even out sells normal Basil. This is partly down to celebrity chefs using it more, but also a move by the UK population from traditional curries to more Asian dishes."

R&G's sales of Thai basil outside retail have reached 750-800 kg in just two years.

In the summer months 85% of R&G's herbs are grown out of doors in the UK on 9-10 hectares of their own land plus a substantial supply from another grower, but in the wintertime most is imported from countries such as Spain and Israel. Fowler explains that this is essential for a smooth supply to the retailers.

The company is always looking to the future and Fowler does not rule out growing herbs in greenhouse to prolong the UK season. Currently they are constantly re-inventing the packaging making it variety specific to try and extend shelf-life as far as possible.

R&G also supply baby aubergine.

For more information:
Dean Fowler
Nature's Flavours
Tel: 0044 1483 474041

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