Posted: 23/12/2019

Ross & Ross eyes vegan market with new plant-based spice rubs

Ross & Ross, the brand well-known for its bacon and salmon homemade curing kits, is hoping to appeal to the growing number of vegans and flexitarians with a new range of plant-based products.

The new range consists of five veggie rub varieties: tandoori-style; umami; rich & smoky; hot chilli; and sweet & spicy. Each come in 50g jars with an RRP of £3.50. A veggie roast dinner kit has also been introduced with an RRP of £21 in the hope of catering to the vegan consumer at Christmas.

Co-founder Ross Bearman told FFD that the new lines were more about fulfilling demand than a cynical decision to capitalise on the vegan trend.

“We kept getting asked if our current ranges were vegan friendly,” said Bearman. “In short, yes they are. But they have got animals on the boxes and our products have always been intended for use on meat with our British Roasts and British BBQ ranges.”

Pitching them more towards flexitarians than committed vegans, Bearman added that even BBQ enthusiasts – which the Cotswold-based business initially cater to – are changing their attitude to vegetables.

“We’ve seen a lot of change in the BBQ market,” he said. “Previously, anyone who mentioned a vegetable in those environments would be shut down. Now people are more open to it. And chargrilled seasonal veg from the BBQ can be very delicious.”

The new lines follow the news that Bearman and co-founder Ross Whitmill have decided to split the business. Whitmill will now manage the catering side with Bearman heading up products and gifts under Ross & Ross Gifts.

“We both wanted to do different things and see if we could do it differently,” said Bearman, adding that current stockists are unlikely to feel the effect of the change.

“The products stay the same, the branding stays the same, and the original emails are still running, although I do have a new email address,” he said. 

“Our plan is to run both sides of the business as two separate companies and see how it goes for a year but what we may need after that is a brand refresh.”

This story appeared in the December issue of Fine Food Digest. You can read more on the digital edition here.

Read more of the latest news from Fine Food Digest here

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