To celebrate British Food Fortnight we caught up with two of our favourite sweet and salty snack brands, to find out more about the delicious tempting treats they create!
One of our favourite salty snacks in store comes from Snaffling Pig, the pork scratching aficionados on a mission to celebrate the noble porker. A huge hit in the UK, they’ve also had great success on Dragon’s Den and are now considering expanding abroad. We chatted to Andy Allen, one of their founders, about Snaffling Pig and its exponential rise to porky stardom!
Hi Andy, lovely to meet you! Tell us about Snaffling Pig. How, where and when did it all start?
Lovely to meet you guys too! First and foremost, it’s very much a passion project. We loved the idea of making something connected to good times with friends and family - be that socialising in the pub or special days involving gifting. It’s been an amazing 20 months since we got going - from spending all day making our first batch in my business partner Nick’s kitchen, to now where we’re in 900 pubs and starting to export.
Sum up the brand in 3 words?
Proud being different.
Tell us about your processes - where do you source your ingredients?
Ultimately, pork crackling is a pretty simple product to make - that’s part of it’s charm. We make everything in the Black Country, the spiritual home of the porky snack. Our crackling is double cooked, which is why it has a more teeth-friendly consistency compared to the hardness of traditional scratchings. The initial range was all about using flavours people already knew (Chilli, Salt & Vinegar etc.) but showing they can work amazingly on crackling. Once we’d established the concept we could be more adventurous - things like Fennel (which won a Great Taste Award this year), Maple and our seasonal specials. After that, it’s really down to tasting and tweaking. which as I’m sure you can imagine for a team of porky snack lovers is just awful!
What made you decide to go on Dragons’ Den and how did it go?
We set out with the idea of taking the humble pork crackling to places it had never been before, so the temptation of a room full of Dragons and a huge audience was too exciting to turn down. The Den is totally ‘real’ in terms of the business element - The Dragons know nothing about you in advance, it’s literally a case of the doors opening and it’s up to you to impress. But, it’s also about making good TV, so you really are in the hands of the edit. We didn’t get a preview but were delighted with the overall outcome. Having Nick Jenkins on board is a piggin’ dream.
How has this changed the business since?
The biggest thing is the amount of awareness and interest from fellow porky snack lovers- we’ve suddenly got a much bigger audience to talk to, which is so exciting. Perhaps the best bit is the positive feedback. We’ve always believed we had a great product but it’s so much nicer when other people tell you they think the same.
What’s your favourite Snaffling Pig scratching?
Probably the fennel - it’s not the most common of flavours, but pork and fennel as a combo is a gift from the porky gods. It was also one of our Great Taste Award winners along with Black Pepper and our Perfectly Salted.
What’s your favourite accompaniment?
The on brand answer is our beer! We’re very proud of that. Apart from that, crackling is actually awesome for dipping - a good apple sauce or a nice sweet chilli.
What do you think makes pork scratchings so popular in British pubs?
There’s definitely a nostalgia thing for some people- they’re a traditional snack and there’s a degree of comfort in that, in the same way people love ‘Mum’s Sunday dinner’. There’s also the cheeky indulgence element - there’s definitely a shift towards living a perceived healthier lifestyle, and that’s absolutely a good thing, but occasionally you need a little treat to relax and for a lot of people that’s popping to the pub for a drink and a bag of something tasty to go with it.
What’s next for Snaffling Pig?
We’ll continue to try new flavours and we’ve got some very exciting things lined up on that front. Watch this space!
How/ will you be celebrating British Food Fortnight?
We’ve actually got a couple of weeks doing pub shows and tastings so we’ll be spending it meeting the heroes that make the British pub so great!
Chocolate is a must if you fancy a sweet treat at snacktime, and one of our favourite in store chocolatiers is Lauden Chocolates. Born out of a love of good quality chocolate and a DIY wedding food fix, the chocolate masters over at Lauden Chocolates have taken chocolate treats to new heights, with their beautifully crafted delights now being served on BA First Class. We spoke to Stephen Trigg who founded the brand with his wife Sun, about Lauden Chocolate and there delicious sky-high chocolates.
Hi Stephen, great to meet you! Tell us about Lauden Chocolate – how, where and when did it all start?
It started in 2007 on our kitchen table, out of a love of good chocolate and wanting to make our own as we weren’t able to find good quality chocolate locally. We made them for our wedding in 2008 and everyone wanted to know where we’d bought the chocolates as they wanted some for themselves. This gave us inspiration to start a company and see how far we could take it.
Sum up your brand in 3 words?
British, artisan, passionate.
Tell us about your processes? Where do you source your ingredients?
We source our ingredients from all over the world! Madagascar to Ghana, to South America. Choosing the best tasting ingredients is an on-going process that we devote a lot of time too.
Tell us about your different chocolates? What’s your favourite?
We make a range for artisan chocolates of filled chocolates, classically know as a truffle but our speciality is the fruit-based truffles. We don’t use cream but make a fruit puree instead which gives the chocolates a wonderful intense and clean flavour on your pallet. We also make chocolates bars which reflect their origin; each origin’s chocolate has a different tasting profile just like a fine wine! Everyone has their favourite but mine would be the Peru 65% Single Estate chocolate bar and the Marc de Champagne filled chocolate.
Do you have any chocolatier secrets to share with us?
Sun, my wife and head chocolatier, received a very rare sample of a chocolate from South America, called Porcellana, its name deriving from the white interior of the bean when cut open. Its taste was exceptional! So she wanted to experiment with the sample after our Christmas production. However, the chocoholic in me kept taking a little bit of it every day (yes, even I sometimes lack control around chocolate, who doesn’t?) until I’d eaten the entire 2kg bag. I was hoping she wouldn’t notice, but later in the month she went searching for it, and needless to say she hit the roof when she realised it had all gone. It ended up costing me a trip to London to a Michelin-starred restaurant, to meet with a guy from the plantation who was only in London for one day to buy 21kg in the middle of the restaurant out of a suit case! 20kg for Sun and 1kg for my addiction.
Tell us about your exciting ventures with BA?
I still have to pinch myself at the achievement of our chocolates being served on BA First Class, from our kitchen table to First Class in 5 years. When I started the company it was one of my goals to be a true British chocolatier, and have them served on our national flag carrier. It actually happened by accident as they approached us rather than me actively seeking them out. It’s one of our most proud achievements.
What’s next for Lauden Chocolate? Any future projects or products you’d like to share with us?
There are lots of ideas in the pipeline, from a school to new chocolate ranges. It takes a lot of time to implement as there is so much to consider. Watch this space is all I can say really.
How / are you celebrating the British Food Festival this year?
To be honest we’ve not even thought about it as we’ve been so busy with our heads buried in chocolate and focused on our busiest time of year.
FANCY A TASTE?...
Fenwick have partnered up with The Snaffling Pig Co. to bring you a cracking competition!
*T&C's apply: see here for details.