Supplying the NHS across England is helping the UK’s only air-dried fruit crisp manufacturer make inroads into the foodservice arena.
Nim’s Fruit Crisps, which has recently become a fundraising partner with Save the Children, has successfully completed the stringent evaluation required by NHS Supply Chain and will feature on their Cold Beverages, Confectionery and Snacks framework.
This means that catering managers in every single hospital in the country will be able to order its apple and pineapple crisp varieties for sale in visitor and staff canteens. The Sittingbourne-based firm has already attended two Hospital Caterers Association meetings to present the benefits of its healthy snacks and, with the response being overwhelmingly positive, predict that it could grow to become its biggest sales source within the next twelve months.
“This is a major breakthrough for our business and highlights how the NHS is looking to incorporate healthier products into its offer,” explained Nimisha Raja, founder of Nim’s Fruit Crisps.
“As the only crisp range that has been certified by Public Health England as one of your five a day, we knew we had a good opportunity, but still needed to satisfy requirements around sustainability, sales, service, quality and certification to BRC. I’m delighted to say we scored 100%.”
She continued: “The initial opportunity will be to supply the visitor and staff canteens, but there is also the chance that our products can be offered to patients at the discretion of the catering manager. That potentially could transform our business forever.”
Nim’s Fruit and Vegetable Crisps are fat, gluten and dairy free, as well as being Vegan, Kosher and Halal certified.
The ten different varieties, including pineapple and kiwi, apple and beetroot and parsnip, are all manufactured at its bespoke, ‘A Grade BRC-accredited’ facility in Sittingbourne where, after recent investment in new lines, it is capable of producing over 15 million packs of crisps a year.
2019 has also seen it enter into a partnership with Garden County Vending to trial its products in a number of its sites across the UK. Paul Woodard, managing director of Garden County Vending, added his support, saying, “Nimisha and her team are great people to work with and have a fantastic product to sell.
“We are really pleased that our vending machines will be the first in the country to stock the best healthy-option crisps on the market.”
Nimisha concluded, “Working with the NHS gives us a fantastic boost in the foodservice sector and we are now actively looking to target other opportunities like Garden County Vending.
“Word is getting out about how natural and aesthetically pleasing our products are for dessert toppings and air-dried ingredients. Combine this with the fact that all foodservice operators have targets they need to meet in terms of offering healthier CQUIN (Commissioning for Quality and Innovation) compliant alternatives to traditional, high fat, sugary snacks and it appears to be a good time to be expanding our market presence.”
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