Where better to produce meat and seafood marinades than on Canada’s West Coast? Humble and Frank based in Victoria, British Columbia (B.C.), is dedicated to bringing incredible flavours that elevate seafood dishes and meals, expanding your palate and your smile in the process.
Meg Du Preez is the face and co-owner of Humble and Frank along with her partner, Brad, and Adrian Turchet. Meg brings a significant product development background to the table having developed hundreds of products while working for Canadian grocer Sobey’s.
Available across 1,500 stores in Canada, the company delivers a unique solution for both grocery and restaurant category buyers. That solution uses local partnerships and satisfied customers to continue to accelerate new product development and ways to enhance, season, sprinkle, baste, batter, marinate and sauce up a favourite meal.
In March 2022, Humble and Frank was announced as a Golden Ticket winner at the KeHE Distributors TRENDfinder™ event during the EXPO WEST Conference. Nearly 60 brands were given the opportunity to pitch their products live to KeHE’s Category Management team comprised of company experts who were looking for a new product brand’s success, potential and creativity. During the event, each brand was allotted 30 minutes to showcase why their products and business should join the distributor’s expansive portfolio.
Humble and Frank has recently secured warehouse space in the state of California, and their products are now being pitched to natural food stores, chain and independent grocery stores, and e-commerce retailers across the USA with a focus on the West Coast and adjacent states.
In July 2022, the company was also awarded a $2.8M CAN project with Protein Industry Canada to work alongside two other companies in the development of chickpea products. Humble and Frank will test the ingredients and finished goods and work with co-packers, InnovoPro and The Star Group, to scale up production for consumer- and industry-ready products. InnovoPro, a food-tech company with a leading chickpea protein platform, will oversee processing for finished chickpea protein formulas and support Humble and Frank, ensuring its incorporation into a finished product. The Star Group, a plant-based meal kit developer with expertise in maximizing shelf life, will create new value-added meal kits and salads incorporating variations of chickpea protein.
Humble and Frank is also positioning itself to address and educate a wider and growing customer base. Although several of its customers already use its seafood and meat-focused marinades when cooking vegan or non-meat/seafood recipes, they are also looking to further communicate and innovate with these customers.
Consumers today are well-informed and are conscious about how their food and beverage choices affect their own health and wellness, as well as how their choices impact the environment. This awareness of healthy eating habits (which includes increasing their protein intake) is driving several growing trends in the food and beverage landscape. Perhaps most evident is the rise of the “flexitarian” or “reducetarian” consumers segment which, while not tipping entirely into vegetarianism or veganism, deliberately reduces the proportion of animal-based foods in their diet while looking for other alternatives.
This trend is reflected by the growing market for plant-based alternatives. The global protein ingredients market size was valued at USD 38.5 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 10.5% from 2021 to 2028. These projections are evidence of a new opportunity to target this growing industry – consumers who are devoted to making healthier, environmentally friendlier and more sustainable protein-related food and beverage choices.
Humble and Frank took advantage of opportunities provided by Trade and Invest British Columbia to attend meetings organized for the Canadian Flavors Food Festival – a virtual program led by the Consulate General of Canada in Detroit, USA and supported by all the Canadian provinces and the US Trade Commissioner network, held in March 2021. That is where they first met with KeHE, which has put them on the path to distribute their products throughout the United States.
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