From Street Food Condiment into a Supermarket-Ready Brand

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Richard Howarth
3 Mins

LAFIC supported 2 Fingers to create a supermarket-ready sauce by providing:

  • Process review of production methods - recommendations were made for process improvements
  • Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) support and review
  • Microbiological and nutritional analytisis of the 'original' recipe Chunky Tartare Sauce
  • Shelf-life investigation into the original 2 Fingers recipe

LAFIC (London Agri-Food Innovation Clinic) helped 2 Fingers to devise a production process for its artisanal Chunky Tartare Sauce that ticks all the relevant health and safety standards

2 Fingers' milestone product is 'Chunky Tartare Sauce', an artisanal sauce that's the perfect accompaniment for high-quality fish finger sandwiches.

2 Fingers is the young brand behind Chunky Tartare Sauce, originating from the street food scene. The condiments are made using small batch, artisanal techniques, reviving the lost craft of tartare sauce, according to founder Rick Panesar.

The start-up was initially making its tartare sauces for serving with fine quality fish finger sandwiches at food market stalls, but during lockdown it had to act quickly and move its business online. This meant working out of a small domestic kitchen to supply initial volumes.

In order to scale and be in a position to supply a product suitable for established retailers, distributors and wholesalers, 2 Fingers needed to learn how to ensure its Chunky Tartare Sauce product met relevant due diligence and food safety guidelines during its production.

Specifically, 2 Fingers wanted its condiment to meet Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP). Having learnt about the LAFIC programme through the Bread & Jam Festival, 2 Fingers began working with LAFIC in December 2020.

The LAFIC Collaboration

The collaboration ran for 16 weeks from the first session until project completion, including an accelerated shelf-life study lasting 12 weeks.

LAFIC provided several elements of support: 

  • Process review of production methods - recommendations were made for process improvements
  • Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) support and review
  • Microbiological and nutritional analytisis of the 'original' recipe Chunky Tartare Sauce
  • Shelf-life investigation into the 'original' recipe

The collaboration led to a clear, safe process for the production of the original recipe Chunky Tartare Sauce that can be scaled up, plus a UKAS-accredited shelf-life for the original recipe and UKAS-accredited nutritional and microbiological results.

Founder Rick Panesar with his Chunky Tartare Sauce in a fish-finger sandwich

Panesar says working with LAFIC gave 2 Fingers a "real insight" and helped the condiment brand understand the hurdles to laying the groundwork for a scalable retail-ready product, and how to address these challenges in a "structured and methodical" way. The collaboration has resulted in 2 Fingers having the necessary technical skills required to complete a comprehensive HACCP management system.

"Our food safety is addressed through the analysis and control of biological, chemical and physical hazards from raw material production, procurement and handling, to manufacturing, distribution and comsumption of the finished product."
-Rick Panesar

Throughout the collaboration, 2 Fingers received support and mentorship from LAFIC Food Technologist, Iyabosola Miedzianowska. Miedzianowska advised 2 Fingers on how to incorporate food safety into the process from the stage of buying the raw ingredients through to the full production of the sauce, establishing a stepwise process for producing safe products when strictly adhered to.

Chunky Tartare Sauce

"I was able to modify the existing processes and develop new ones by introducing chlorine wash and a forward and backward traceability process for the production of the sauces," says Miedzianowska, adding, "I feel transferable skills had been passed onto an SME that would help them in realising their goals of developing new, safe products that would be sold on the supermarket shelves one of these days."

"It was a real pleasure to work with the team at LAFIC, who really took the time to understand out innovation needs to realise our potential."
-Rick Panesar

Want to try this fantastic sauce on your fish finger sandwiches? Check out eat2fingers.com to follow their journey, or connect with 2 Fingers on Instagram.

Do you need support making your home-made product fit for supermarket shelves? Take a look at the LAFIC programme, which provides free business and R&D support to innovative food and drink businesses.