Sea buckthorn Scotland, the first British producer of a raw juice made from the coastal plant of the same name, has developed two new products in partnership with SAC Consulting.
The products – a water-based prebiotic kefir drink and a ginger beer – are set to be launched in 2020 as an alternative to alcoholic and fizzy drinks.
Alistair Trail, SAC Food and Drink consultant, said: “The two fermented products we have developed with Seabuckthorn Scotland tick a lot of the boxes for people looking for healthier alternatives to soft drinks that also promote gut and general health.
“Sea buckthorn is a prickly invasive plant that grows in abundance around Scotland’s coasts. It isn’t popular with local councils, but the bright orange berries are packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
“We have worked with the SRUC development chefs to harness the astringency of the berries into unusual flavours. It is also a really good utilisation of a natural species which appeals to the rising consumer demand for the sustainable use of Scottish natural ingredients and minimal waste.”
Seabuckthorn Scotland founder Kirstie Campbell approached SAC Consulting after launching the products Buck Russian – a take on a Russian hangover cure, and Buck Shot – designed to be taken as a shot to boost energy, earlier this year.
She said: “The berries are high in omega 7 as well as omegas 3, 6 and 9, have more vitamin C than a kiwi and more vitamin E than a soya bean. It is also claimed that sea buckthorn helps to reduce blood pressure, boost the immune system and has benefits for the gut, so it packs a punch in many ways.”
SAC Consulting works on around eight new projects a year, helping Scottish businesses to bring innovative food products to market.
Currently the trend is for plant-based foods and substitutes to meat, with the team working on a number of projects investigating how local Scottish produce or waste products can be turned into healthy food options.
Alistair said: “If an organisation comes to us with an idea, we can take that all the way through the process of value proposition, product development, branding and routes to market, and help upscale it to a viable commercial enterprise.”