At Food Matters Live 2018, Harriet Jachec spoke with Jessica Herridge, founder of fermented food product line Bodkin’s, about how probiotic foods can help with consumers looking to improve gut health.
Herridge detailed the background of why she decided to specialise in probiotics and gut health: “My son had had quite a lot of issues with his gut. He’d been prescribed a lot of antibiotics and they were causing him some gut problems, so I was desperately trying to find foods that were rich in probiotics in order to support his gut health.
“I did a bit of investigating and I know there’s popularity for products such as kombucha and kefir, but fermented vegetables came up quite a lot.
“I started making more fermented vegetables for him, then for my daughter, and for my family and friends. Gradually, it grew, and I’ve been selling them at farmers’ markets.”
In terms of preservatives, Herridge mentioned that she tries to keep salt levels to a minimum, as she is aware of concerns consumers may have about fermented condiments.
“You need a certain percentage relative to the amount of vegetable content in your products to ferment them properly and get the correct level of acidity within them so that they are safe. But I am conscious of not adding large amounts of salt or brine [due to consumer concerns].”
Herridge also detailed her experiences of leading a startup within a more niche sector.
“What surprised me is how many people talk about their gut health now. It’s a lot more prevalent, common, and being discussed in the media. So I have had quite a lot of conversations about probiotics and gut health, which is surprising but good.”
Bodkin’s are marketed as condiments, to have alongside main meals as part of salads, or to enjoy as snacks such as with crackers. Herridge offers six varieties of Bodkin’s fermented vegetable condiments, including kimchi, cabbage with peppercorns and carrots, and cabbage with chilli flakes and oregano.
This emphasises the need for versatility within the health and wellness space, offering products to be enjoyed in a way that is tailored to individual consumer lifestyles.
Health and wellness and organic foods were major trends at Food Matters Live 2018.
Presented and edited by: Harriet Jachec
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