Organic. Vegan. Local. If you were asked to sum up current trends in the food and drink scene in three words they should be at the very top of your list.
But this is more than just a trend. It is not a passing fad, it’s a lifestyle, a movement, a strongy-held belief that underpins how an increasingly sizeable chunk of society go about their daily lives.
And one Northamptonshire producer is very much ahead of the curve.
Award-winning artisan vodka maker, Jelley’s Distilleries has launched a new range of fully organic spirits with a focus on flavour and an eye on the environment.
The Brixworth-based producer recently showcased its stunning new 100 per cent organic, Soil Association-accredited, ‘grain’ vodka with a glitzy launch event at Village Underground in Shoreditch. It has won plaudits from some of the biggest names in the drinks world and will be on show at a series of summer festivals run by Michelin-starred celebrity chef Tom Kerridge.
Big things are around the corner and, for founder Benjamin Jelley, it’s an exciting time, seeing his vision become a reality.
He said: “We know people care more than ever before about the provenance and environmental credentials of what they are drinking. It has been the target for a while now to produce a range of truly organic vodkas.
“This new range is going to break the mould. We’ve really focused on sustainability and traceability to produce a vodka that is as good for the planet as it is for the soul.
“Using premium, organically-grown grain, our award-winning vodka is lovingly distilled and filtered to maximise the natural, fresh flavours of the English countryside.”
The range starts with an ‘original’ grain vodka and also features an organic pomegranate and rosemary vodka and an organic elderflower vodka. The drinks are all 40 per cent ABV.
A gift pack featuring three 200ml bottles and a range of cocktail recipe cards will be available through organic delivery firm Abel & Cole while discussions are underway with a number of national retailers.
Ben added: “It’s an exciting time. Having Soil Association accreditation is huge for us and really allows us to feed into the whole organic way of life. Our emphasis is on quality, we are a premium product and being organic is a big part of that.
“We are always looking to innovate. I’m a big believer that if you try to latch onto an existing trend you’re already too late. We have products in development which can hopefully take us to a whole new level, nobody else is doing it and we are pioneering a new way of enjoying vodka.”
The new range is also suitable for vegans and it’s this ever-growing market that could prove the catalyst to a period of sustained growth for Jelley’s.
Latest figures reveal a four-fold increase in the number of vegans in the UK in the past four years, with no sign of that stopping any time soon.
Ben said: “Whether you believe in it or not there’s no escaping the fact that veganism is one of the fastest-growing sectors in food and drink. There’s been an explosion in the range available and it’s become a recognised and accepted lifestyle choice.
“The fact Gregg’s launched a vegan sausage roll is proof of that and that one product alone, helped admittedly by Piers Morgan’s utter disdain, has essentially shifted it into the mainstream.”
Jelley’s enjoyed a rise in local prominence having picked up an award at the 2017 Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards and Ben believes the burgeoning food and drink scene in the county has helped him on his journey.
He added: “The county is on fire at the minute when it comes to top quality producers. Whether it’s rapeseed oil, artisan cheese or goats milk ice cream, some of the very best products in the UK are being made in Northamptonshire.
“It’s a very supportive industry and we are all helping each other to grow and put Northamptonshire on the map. We’re starting to get the recognition now and national retailers are beginning to take notice which is fantastic.
“We’re very fortunate to be in such a wonderful part of the UK, with stunning countryside on our doorstep but also able to enjoy unrivalled access to the motorway network and transport infrastructure.
“We are proud to be based in Northamptonshire and look forward to seeing the county represented on the shelves and bars of retailers and pubs up and down the country.”
For more information on Jelley’s Organic Vodka, visit www.jelleydistilleries.co.uk.
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