Arona Khan’s Top Ten Treats – Harrogate Speciality Food Show

With artisan food and drink becoming increasingly popular gifts, the Harrogate Speciality Food Show on 26-27 June 2011 was the place to be for retailers keen to source new product to stock shelves or fill hampers.  Next stop will be the Speciality & Fine Food Fair at Olympia in London, but for those who can’t wait that long I went on a hunt after Sunday’s seminar:

My award for the most outrageously eye-catching gift goes to Choc-Affair’s chocolate cupcake.  It also has sweets inside so I feel a sugar rush just thinking about it but what a way to attract your customer’s attention!  Smaller sizes are on the horizon.

The cheery chaps at Wild Trail make the most delicious yoghurt coated popped corn cereal bars packed with fruit, seeds and nuts.  Ideal as an impulse purchase near the till or a tasty addition to a hamper, they are already award winning and win a gold star from me too!

Divine Deli’s Decorate! is a ‘must have’if your customers are keen on baking their own beauties.  A mouthwatering selection of glitters and sprinkles plus dressy cupcake wraps will have bakers from far and wide beating a path to your door.  The choice is great and so too are the price points.

I’m going to loiter a little longer in sugar central to tell you about crumbly liquorice fudge from Thistle Products.  It melts in the mouth and has a delicious mellow taste.  They’ve got other tasty temptations including stem ginger fudge and all come in packs that would sit smartly on a shelf or in a hamper.

If you want to be ahead of the posse get in touch pronto with Bill at Tasmanian Gourmet Kitchen.  Bill’s beetroot marmalade is an award winner in Australia and is bound to be here too.  A perfect accompaniment for everything from salmon to lamb, it is not yet sold in the UK but Bill is still in the country so contact him soon!

Sweet and smooth with a zing of lime Heather Hills Farm lime honey would make a tasty treat on its own or in a hamper.  No need to worry if you don’t sell out right away as it has a 5-year shelf life.

The Fine Cheese Company’s Toast for Cheese is best described as crisp, thin slices of deliciousness packed with lots of flavour and texture courtesy of pistachios, apricots, cherries and more.  It would be rude not to offer them to your customers, with or without cheese!

Wow, check out what a difference using rapeseed oil makes to crisps, Just Crisps to be precise!  A new addition to the Just Oil range that includes assorted oils, sauces and salad dressing, the crisps come in various flavours and are light, tasty and delicious. Need I say more?

They would partner perfectly with Godminster’s organic horseradish flavoured Vodka.  With a kick like a mule it also comes gift boxed with their Bloody Mary mix.

Finally if you are looking for a top tipple go no further than Celtic Marches’ Number 9, brandy, apple and blackcurrant liqueur.  Perfect on the palate, it would also be delicious poured over ice cream or a plum pud!  Retailing at a very affordable £16.99 it will guarantee lots of Christmas cheer!

See you in London at the Speciality & Fine Food Fair where I’ll be sharing some top tips and techniques on the WBC stand 4-5 September.

Picture credit – hamper designed by Arona Khan