Where Did The Inspiration Come From?
Made for Drink was a long overdue response to a rapidly evolving bar scene. These days when you walk into any decent pub or bar you’ll find yourself choosing from an array of craft beers, small batch spirits and interesting wine options.
And yet, when it comes to snacks things just haven’t kept up. More often than not you find yourselves confined to a dusty bag crisps plucked from an unspectacular cardboard box. Don’t get me wrong, two pints of lager and a packet of crisps works on many levels and yet, sometimes you crave something a little bit more special.
At the very heart of Made for Drink is an inquisitive need to gather inspiration and ideas from other drinking cultures around the world where I have been able to find a rich seam of tasty inspiration to tap into. Then all I need to do (small pinch of irony here) is learn how to make them using the best ingredients I can find, package them up beutifully and serve them.
All the products we produce have a distinct drinking culture attached to them, so drinks from that same region or drinks that share similar qualities pair beautifully with our products. This is why our Duck Fritons are made specifically with IPA in mind (the red wines from the South of France, where the recipe for our Fritons originates, are rich, fruity and tannic which share similar qualities to a quality IPA), whilst our Chorizo Thins lean towards a fresh & fruity young Rioja (a timeless Spanish combination) and our NEW Mangalitza Salami Chips provide the perfect flavour marriage for a refreshing Pilsner style lager from Eastern Europe (where both products originate).
Three Food Trends
Social Responsibility– Whilst taste is undeniably king, we’re very enthusiastic about making the most of every food opportunity we unravel. For instance our Duck Fritons is essentially about turning a waste product (duck skin) into a top drawer nibble. If that wasn’t satisfying enough, the cooking process that we use enables us to render our own award-winning free-range duck fat which we are in the process of establishing as a brand in its very own right called Spud Tub.
Rare Breeds– by championing rare breeds we draw attention to preserving timeless flavours of yesteryear. When looking for the perfect pork for our salami chips, we wandered across the sublime tasting Mangalitza pig from Hungary. This has helped spark a ‘kindred spirit’ collaboration with Unearthed to reawaken interest, appetites and preservation initiatives for this too long overlooked pig breed.
Government Support – Of course it remains very in vogue to criticize much of what government institutions seek to achieve and yet it was thanks to the government’s Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) that we were able to raise a significant amount of money to kick start our own manufacturing. Food and drink export has always been a lynchpin of a vibrant British economy and with all the unravelling uncertainties associated with Brexit means home grown and produced have become very ‘hot’ topics.
Where do you see your brand In 5 Years?
Our medium-term goal is 1,000 pubs, bars, hotels and specialist retailers (farm shops, food halls and delis) by 2020.
We’re very fortunate that our range has such diverse appeal, which is why we’re aligned with distinguished groups as diverse as Daylesford, Fortnum & Mason, The Fat Duck Group, The Rick Stein Group, Borough Box, Red Mist Leisure, Sharps Brewery, Hot Cakes and Punch Taverns.
It’s great to tie up with like-minded partners like Snaffling Pig (on a hamper themed initiative) as well as dip our toe into the export market (currently bedding down our Scandinavian ties).
Of all the opportunities currently on the table an imminent tie up with Waitrose is truly exciting.
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