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Ready to use chopped and cloved garlic uses no preservatives

With a background in food service, owning several restaurants themselves, Hellas Quality Foods owners, Christos and John, were looking for a new venture, but wanted to offer something different than olive oil, olives and wine. Knowing the food market well, they saw a need for ready to use garlic and wanted to come with a product that was different than others already on the market.

Most of the ready to use chopped garlic or garlic cloves on the market have been frozen or preserved in some way, by either freezing or creating a pulp, but Christos and John have developed a 100% pure product with no preservatives.

Panagiotis Kouvaras from Hellas Quality Foods explains; "We use a thermo cyclic process for our chopped garlic, which halts the growing process, leaving the garlic in suspension. For the cloves, we have developed a way to peel them without disturbing the garlic or adding any moisture. These processes gives our chopped garlic a shelf life of 6 months, and 6 weeks for our garlic cloves. Something interesting with the shelf life, it is not that the garlic goes bad after this period, but its when we think the garlic will start sprouting."

Panagiotis stressed that around 95-99% of the garlic is from Greece, depending on the season, with the remaining 1-5% being sourced only from other countries in the Mediterranean. Sowing starts in the fall (Oct/Nov.) and with the harvest taking place from June to Oct.

"We are primarily selling to the domestic market at the moment, with some exports to Cyprus, but we would really like to expand into other markets. In Greece, we are mostly for high end customers, because price is still a big factor when consumers are considering a purchase. It's such a shame too because you only need around a small teaspoon of our product, which makes it less expensive than they think, and our quality garlic makes a big difference," stressed Panagiotis.

The garlic is offered in small 70-80 gr jars for consumers, but they also offer 650-2kg buckets for food service and there has been a lot of demand from caterers and restaurants for the convenience and freshness of their product.

"The product sells itself in the Horeca sector, unfortunately the growth has been a little slow going in building up steady contracts with retailers. Every customer I speak to loves it, but we are still searching for the proper channels to build up long contracts with retailers. At the moment, the product is available in supermarkets and corner stores," concludes Panagiotis.

For more information:
Panagiotis Kouvaras
Hellas Quality Foods
Tel: +302102322090

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