WHO THEY ARE
Based in Northern Ireland, Kestrel Foods Ltd is a family run business at the forefront of the market for premium quality dried fruit and nuts, in the retail and foodservice sector. Forest Feast, one of the company’s brands, was founded by husband and wife duo, Michael and Lorraine Hall. Lorraine was working for a blue chip company at a very senior level and Michael persuaded her to leave the business and join him. They set up the company in 1996 and it has gone from strength to strength ever since. Michael personally sources all the ingredients from approved and accredited suppliers located all over the world. He meets every supplier, every supply-chain and every factory to make sure all the standards are being met. Unfortunately Lorraine passed away last year after a short illness.
WHAT THEY DO
Mango was the first product Forest Feast started with 21 years ago. Michael sourced it from a foundation in the Southern Philippines that still supplies the company today. The mango is Fair Trade so the company gives a percentage of its profits back to the farmers in the Philippines. It’s a single origin product, so it can’t be sourced from anywhere else.
The success of this line allowed Forrest Feast to add other dried fruits to its portfolio including pineapple, papaya and coconut. The company then expanded into nuts, bought in a packing line and started to pack for a local supermarket in Northern Ireland. The brand is recognised in the snack food industry for its outstanding packaging design, combined with premium quality and taste. The company’s emphasis on sourcing high-quality ingredients and manufacturing diverse products allows it to deliver added value to its consumers. Healthy snacking is growing in popularity and Forrest Feast aims to stay at the forefront, continuing to bring new ranges to the market.
LESS IS MORE
Forest Feast has recently launched a range of dried fruit with no-added-sugar that has been very well received. Whereas some of the brand’s signature or traditional fruit lines would have more sugar in them, predominately as a processing aid the brand is now moving towards healthier dried fruits. Even though they still contain sugar, it’s natural sugar. Forest Feast has also launched a ‘Baked not Fried’ range. Instead of frying or coating savoury nuts in oil, they’re baking them or roasting them without compromising the flavour. The healthier range is available in five flavours.
Development and innovation is key for the company. Forrest Feast offers several types of nut combinations and some mixes are gluten-free, or suitable for vegans and vegetarians. In addition, the company has a chocolate-coating facility with Belgian chocolate, 70 per cent cacao chocolate, organic chocolate and Fair Trade options available.
The company has found that the Middle East is a really good market for premium products as well. Chocolate-coated products and chocolate-coated fruits sell really well here. Other products that Forrest Feast has planned for the Middle East region include nuts coated in gold glitter or dusted with vanilla for the festive period.
DID YOU KNOW?
Forrest Feast uses fair trade mango so the company gives a percentage of its profits back to the farmers in the Philippines.
For more information, visit www.forestfeast.com