Adored by epicureans due to their convenient nature and authentic array of flavours, Essential Cuisine’s stocks, gravies, glaces and jus have become a mainstay of home cooks’ kitchen arsenals. The deep culinary understanding that influences the development of the products can be traced back to 21 years ago, when avid chef and owner of the company, Nigel Crane, created a range of quick-to-use, premium foodservice products for professionals to use in their restaurants.
“The stock powders were formulated for chefs who had little time to cook their own stocks as it can be so time-consuming,” explains Jeremy Palmer, head of retail operations at Essential Cuisine. “They proved very successful, and chefs absolutely love them. However, in 2010 I suggested that the company formed a retail division, as we all believed that they had a fantastic product which should be made available to home cooks, too. So we went from foodservice success to launching a whole range of cooking stock powders, as there wasn’t a high-quality or premium cooking stock that came as a powder available for consumers. They’re for those people that really take their cooking seriously.”
Home cook’s best friend
Due to the fervent feedback that the rolling out of the retail range received, the company has grown its portfolio to include chicken, beef, vegetable, veal, fish and lamb stocks; a collection of glaces that include eclectic flavours like duck and lobster; turkey, savoury, chicken and beef gravies; and a veal jus. Never one to rest on its laurels, Essential Cuisine has just announced the launch of a brand new range of four gluten-free liquid concentrated stocks that come in handy and contemporary-looking bottle packaging.
Whether cooks are looking to whip up stir-fries or pies, the liquid concentrated stock range is a foodie’s dream and can be used in both modern or classic dishes – just add a spoonful to any recipe for a rich burst of flavour. The Concentrated Liquid Range is RRP £3.45 and boasts a shelf life of 12 months, Jeremy tells us. “We did a four-week survey with around 40 home cooks who used it every single day, and over that time all of the cooks came back to us and said it was an absolutely fantastic product,” he says. “These were people who use fine food products that come in pots, make their own stocks and who have used our powders for several years. The new products are evocative, they taste just like they’re homemade and they’re not time-consuming. They should revolutionise the stock sector.”
The kitchen essential
As shoppers will be unfamiliar with the product, Jeremy emphasises the importance of getting shoppers to try the stock for themselves, with Essential Cuisine encouraging retailers to offer their customers free samples to run alongside the launch of the Concentrated Liquid range. “We’re aiming to host demonstrations on how to sell the product,” he tells us. “Also, our website is a key hub for educating consumers, as well as the point of sale material which is available. And we have a major sampling campaign to run alongside it all – we’re offering tens of thousands of samples to the trade, so their customers can try them out. All retailers need to do is get in touch and ask us to send them some Concentrated Liquid Range samples and they’ll be rolled out on 31st July. It’s all about getting as many people to try them as possible.”
Just like with Essential Cuisine’s range of powder stock and gravy products, the company has earmarked delis, farm shops, food halls and butcheries as priority stockists for its latest culinary invention. “The majority of people who visit butchers, delis and farm shops are truly home cooks,” explains Jeremy. “You’ve got a real home cook customer there, and we feel that the customer deserves a bloody good stock! This is something that really does make a difference to your dish – customers are naturally going to reach out for a modern-looking product that suits all kinds of cooking.”
Independent shop clientele will appreciate the flavour-forward and authentic character of the new range, says Jeremy. “These stocks really do boast a top-quality taste,” he says. “I believe that if you’re going to use a shop-bought stock, then at least use one that will make a difference to your dishes, and one that should taste exactly how a homemade stock should.”