What was the inspiration for starting K’s Wors?
The rise of the UK’s artisan food & drink movement and the increasingly cut-throat nature of a UK food retail scene working tirelessly for any possible competitive edge (however small), means there’s never been a better time for an accomplished ‘specialist’ producer to usurp a half-hearted generalist.
I’ve long been a vocal ambassador for a wider appreciation of Southern African cuisine and have been so encouraged but the escalating enthusiasm for gastronomic world cuisine.
Of course sausages already enjoy an enviable following within British cuisine and yet for an outsider looking in, the choices appear very samey! Worse than that, in these increasingly health-conscious times I worried that sausages were being side-lined as a ‘so what’ commodity. I believe passionately that consumers are happy to take a time-out from a healthy regime on the simple proviso that they’re breaking ranks for something truly worthwhile.
Boerewors are a gastronomic meat feast of a sausage (up to 92% meat content) made from heavily seasoned fine cuts of beef, lamb and pork, a sausage so prized its ingredient make-up is jealously guarded by South African law.
My vision is to play a key role in restoring sausage’s stagnating fortunes by providing a new super-premium perspective to a sausage fixture that a) encourages traditional sausage die-hards to broaden their flavour horizons, b) intrigues ‘early adopters’ to consider the very best overseas-inspired cuisine & c) to galvanise the UK’s home-sick ex-pat community who crave stronger ‘flavour ties with their homeland.
Describe a typical day at K’s Wors HQ?
Our day usually starts at 6am! Having cut through the e-mails and social media, the orders system is checked and updated. We then agree who is doing the rounds locally, either delivering samples or following up previous calls, as establishing a local heartland will be central to our longer-term success.
Most of the day is then spent liaising with potential customers. Our biggest challenge is convincing die hard local sausage lovers that this is something new, exciting and deliciously distinct. Whilst a lot of retailers are fascinated by our product, they’re still very loyal to their old-guard suppliers so reluctant to take many risks. Marketing is a huge part of our daily activities too as we’re gradually building brand awareness. We usually end the day by looking at what we have achieved on our goals chart before re-evaluating our next steps.
Where do you see K’s Wors in 5 years’ time?
I believe in 5 year’s time boerewors will be a well-understood and appreciated sub-strand within the wider premium sausage fixture, a sausage whose proud overseas roots resonates with a significant portion of the sausage-loving community, in much the same way the noble Cumberland, Suffolk, Lincolnshire or Gloucester already enjoys hard-core loyalists.
I believe we will have broken out of our Manchester heartland and be a truly national offer, not simply within the more discerning artisan delis and prestigious London stores, but across a network of the more discerning retail chains.
I also hope that K’s Wors will make meaningful inroads into the more enlightened subscription box food scene, within the blossoming gastro pub heartland and across the stylish independent hotel network. I also think we have the potential to be exporting our sausage expertise overseas.
What do you think will be the 3 biggest food trends of this year?
Flexitarian:Is certainly a vibrant movement of the moment which is completely understandable when you appreciate the rise in healthy living aspirations and the costs of meat. Flexitarian is a mindset we embrace because when people take well deserved meat breaks it will hopefully be for something truly memorable like our boerewors.
World Cuisine: The world is certainly becoming a smaller place as tastes become more curious and aspirational. Best practice is essential to ensure longer term success and I truly believe that businesses like ours who put best-in-class ingredients and artisanal foundations in place (limited mechanisation) have a fantastic future.
Artisan: I truly believe we’re returning to a time when major mult, jack-of-all trade food providers will continue to lose ground to ‘hands-on’ category specialists. More people than ever want ‘best in category’ solutions, not instantly forgettable, quick-fix convenience.
What do you like to eat/drink?
Apart from our Sausages, I love tasty meat dishes. When we go out, I usually go for a meat platter or similar. I like to drink red wine and Prosecco.