Tom Russell is heading up the new business
Launching this month, The Food Incubator is a brand-new business designed to help food producer companies and start-ups navigate their way to market, by identifying appropriate and assured processes to evidence proven safety and shelf life (while still retaining taste, flavour, and visual appeal).
Headed up by food industry heavyweight, Tom Russell (whose professional career spans senior roles with Everfresh Natural Foods, Shipton Mill, Celtic Bakers and The Fabulous Bakin’ Boys), The Food Incubator offers a suite of services to help both established and fledgling food enterprises.
As experts in thermal processing (sterilisation and pasteurisation), The Food Incubator works with companies to explore processing options and identify those must suited to their product; operate small batch runs for start-ups; provide data analysis to validate commercial viability for multiple runs and create early samples for evaluation. In addition, The Food Incubator offers bespoke training courses to enable a deeper understanding of thermal processing and retort operation with operators, technical staff and new team members. The company can also deliver specialist assistance to established food producers looking to test products or investigate viability of increased capacity. Further support in terms of the provision of specialist promotional activities and new product development is available, the latter providing clients with the opportunity to secure early affirmation of a product’s propensity for manufacture to ensure a seamless rollout. The business is equipped with two state-of-the -art Lagarde Steam/Air retorts and also has a range of other pilot food processing equipment for clients to use.
Commenting on the launch, Russell said: “The food and drink industry represents the UK’s largest manufacturing sector. It contributes £28bn to the economy and is growing year on year. UK lockdown restrictions have only fuelled this growth, with the Covid crisis spurring many entrepreneurs into action. These factors combine with a renewed focus on the important role that food plays in maintaining health and well-being and the rise in consumer demand for products that don’t rely on artificial preservatives to maintain shelf life. There is also increasing recognition that success for a brand is no longer dependent on securing a listing in a multiple due to the change in consumer buying habits, and a strong appetite exists for the continued investment in new food and drink products. Our team has years of industry experience to bring to the table, along with a comprehensive understanding of best-in-class thermal processing techniques and systems, compatible with achieving the relevant food safety compliance.”
The Food Incubator is based in a new state-of-the-art bespoke facility in Leicester, with plans to extend the business operations to include the delivery of packaging consultancy and implementation in the future.
The team has in excess of 50 years’ experience of working in the thermal processing industry, having applied its expertise to support a broad range of categories including soups, sauces, food-to-go, baby food, health foods, plant proteins, dairy products, and pet foods.
The business has already attracted interest from a number of companies looking to access its specialist range of skills with a relatively equal split between start-ups or those new-to-market, and long established, recognised food producers.
For more information, visit: www.thefoodincubator.co.uk.