Renewability and sustainability go hand-in-hand in the eyes of the shopper, and providing products with emotional pull is one of the best ways to maintain shopper loyalty and repeat purchases. With mission-forward companies like Foraged & Found on your purchase order, you are bound to get consumers looking for a special niche just waiting to be satisfied. I got in touch with Jennifer Brown, a Founding Partner, to learn how a dip into the ocean opens a vast category just waiting to be explored.
“Our mission at Foraged & Found is to make aquatic plants a pantry staple across as many American households as possible,” Jennifer tells me. “Sea plants are a common ingredient in many cultures, including the indigenous Alaskan diet. There are many shoppers who have never experienced these veggies or have preconceived ideas about the taste of aquatic plants. Our products aim to show that foods like these are not only nutritious but also delicious!”
Foraged & Found turns these aquatic plants into a sea of opportunities—pun fully intended. By incorporating “mainstream” twists into its products, the company can make kelp and sea asparagus, or salicornia, into approachable pantry staples such as pasta sauce, salsa, and pickles.
And by turning these aquatic products into delicious offerings, the company is also completing another vital mission—sustainability.
“Crops such as bull kelp and aquatic plants are highly renewable crops that are easy to cultivate and can offset ocean acidification,” continues Jennifer. “As far as human health goes, aquatic plants have an excellent protein-to-carb ratio and are an incredible source of important trace minerals such as iodine, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, and more.”
Shoppers are continuing to put sourcing and traceability high on their priority lists. Jennifer notes that she and the company have noticed smaller producers are increasingly focusing on ethical and sustainable production practices, a push known as fragmentation.
“We wholeheartedly support the fragmentation of agriculture and food production. Chelsea Goucher, our Sales and Marketing Director, and I are on the Board of a nonprofit in our local community that is focused on creating a local food system in our rural community in Alaska—it’s about more than just business to us,” expounds Jennifer. “It’s about feeding the families in our communities with food produced by those communities, not just importing everything.”
Teaming up with Chelsea, an Alaskan-born who shares a similar passion, Jennifer and Foraged & Found are committed to promoting manufacturing in Alaska, creating jobs, and supporting the work being done to promote mariculture and expand fisheries.
The team put their expertise to work and have developed delicious, familiar food products utilizing wild-foraged Alaskan superfood ingredients while also protecting and maintaining the splendor of the environment. One such product is its line of Kelp Pickles, an incredibly popular offering amongst shoppers looking to differentiate their pickle repertoire and available in Dill, Bread & Butter, or Spicy.
Additionally, the company is gearing up for the release of its new line of pasta sauces coming out this year—all fortified with bull kelp.
“What makes bull kelp so unique from other kelp is that it is not a blade kelp, which can get a bit slimy when blended,” explains Jennifer. “The firmness of bull kelp allows it to cook and blend flavor similar to onions or carrot. It doesn’t overpower the sauces nor change the mouthfeel. So, we blend diced kelp with organic tomatoes, high-quality olive oil, onions, garlic, and herbs to make some truly delicious and nutritionally-impactful Marinara and Spicy Arrabbiata sauces. We love finding new ways to incorporate this ingredient into delicious pantry staples!”
Food life is shaping up to be better under the sea, if you catch my drift. Keep checking back to Deli Market News as we report on the latest trends and offerings making waves in the industry.