No nonsense nuts

July 10, 2018

Fruit, nuts and seeds specialist Petrow Food Group was at WTCE this year to test the waters for its new snack brands aimed at airlines. Laura Gelder finds out more.

A business-to-business operation until last year, Petrow Food Group now offers own-brand snack products and private label goods.

It has recently invested £1.5 million in a production line to pack nut butters into jars, tubs and sachets, and also has organic certification and a Fair Trade line.

Says Petrow’s commercial director Fatma Akalin-McGee: “Our USP is that we are a peanut-free nut specialist, a big selling point for airlines who want to offer a risk-free food service. We go straight to the origin when we source, have strong relationships with our suppliers and go above and beyond with our audits. Many people these days want supplier mapping so they have an understanding of the products they’re buying and where they come from.”

Petrow has developed three brands specifically aimed at airlines: Petrow for Economy, Gastronut for Business and Trique for First. The latter includes unusual blends using intense flavours and strong colours – a mix of savoury notes like cracked black pepper, exotic flavours like spicy coconut and combining nuts with fruit or chocolate.

“We’re trying to push boundaries,” says Akalin-McGee. “We have a new product development department to work on our own recipes. During WTCE we were asked to develop a non-nut mix. We aim to follow flavour trends, such the current trend to hot and sweet.”

“One of the biggest snack sectors currently is dried fruit and seeds. Nuts are also on trend and nut butters in particular. They can be added to smoothies, used as an on-the-go protein shot or paired with cheese – as well as dolloped in porridge or spread on toast or crackers. They’re a great choice for kids snack boxes.”

The range Petrow offers includes dried fruits (apples, apricots, sultanas, figs, raisins, dates, mango, cranberries, peaches and pears), roasted, dried and pasted nuts (almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachio and walnuts) and seeds (heat treated and roasted pumpkin, poppy and sunflower seeds), as well as blends of each. There’s also a range of coconut products including milk, cream, flour, and raw coconut chips.

UK-based, Petrow was founded in 2009 and has two processing plants in the UK – one in Perivale, West London, and the other an 80,000sqft grade BRC factory and warehouse facility in Haverhill, Suffolk which opened in 2015.

The company is connected to the C.J. Petrow Group, a family business which was founded in 1954 in South Africa and is now in its second generation. It comprises more than 20 companies located across the world, from Singapore to Canada. •