Probably you have seen the word "natural" used on the name of a product, printed usually with the green colour letters and fully highlighted on the packaging of the product.
Let's make it clear now and tell you the truth that "natural" has been misused by packers and manufacturers.
"Natural" is a food or an ingredient which does not contain any man made additive, especially the chemical and the genetically modified ones. Also, removal of a constituent or a fraction of a constituent or its alteration is not a process that nature will follow and therefore it is not natural either.
The presence of additives and preservatives including the so called natural flavourings are also an alteration of the way nature works.
This word has been so much abused to the point where consumers believe that product with "natural" on is organic too! Organic is word which must be used only by farmers, growers and manufacturers which follow the farming and growing organic standards. Those standards are governed by the principles of not using toxic chemicals such as pesticides, chemical weedkillers such as Round up glyphosate, growth hormones, antiobiotcis, chemical preservatives, and genetically modified organisms.
When we reach, as world, a point where in small rivers across Europe traces of pesticides are found, and in US, pesticide residues are in 70% of produce (Guardian, 29 May 2019) it is clearly understood that there is serious problem.
This problem becomes immediately a serious threat to our health and therefore life on this continent. Worldwide consumers remain in the dark with regards to health risks related to use of pesticides. Pesticides are toxic chemical compounds, which can easily damage vital organs, or disrupt biological processes within human body.
By time, we have become so senseless that we do not see something serious happening in front of our eyes, we are not convinced that pesticides can seriusly harmful.
Organic farmers, growers and producers have to inform more people. It is their obligation to do so apart from selling their harvest.
We have found an interesting inititiative called PAN UK, a pesticide action network: promoting safe and sustainable alternatives to hazardous pesticides.
It is wise to develop more of these initiatives as soon as possible. Soon this world might not have anything which will not be contaminated with pesticides residues
Globally, it seems that organic food sales have gone up year after year. We have been wondering why we need to put the figures first before our health in order to see organic foods consumption increase.
Why we need to reach the soil ''death'' by having a massive concentration of toxic pesticides, herbicides and heavy metals into it when conventional crops are cultivated.
Organic products do not need to be sprayed with toxic chemicals to be protected from diseases. There are numerous studies about the serious health risks when non-organic foods products are consumed. Toxins and heavy metals are concentrated in fat cells and tissues by eating foods of non organic farming. Washing the fruits before eating is not enough anymore, needless to say that you can not rinse off any chemicals from a ready meal.
It is intriguing to check the increase of cancers vs the consumption of conventional food. Apart from chemicals in our foods, these toxic substances remain in the soil for years or rinsed off by rain. The latter phenomenon may lead to the sea and rivers pollution while the former leads quickly to soil quality deterioration. Lowering soil quality means no cultivation of anything at all after a few years.
It seems that there is a certain and serious approach to reduce clear plastic packaging when it is not needed such as fruits, vegetables. Right movement indeed as our seas look full of rubbish plastic packaging which has been easily got rid off without second thought by us the civilised humans!
However we have been wondering why we have not tackled yet the ''plastic'' type food at the same time. Do we really know about the pesticides/chemicals used in conventional farming.
What we mean?
Why a normal snack bar has got 13 ingredients,
with some of them travelling thousand miles see palm oil, and
some of them are additives either chemical preservatives or other substances which are used for sticking ingredients together.
We have shortened our life expectancy by having so much stress from work, now we add extra loss by being fed the wrong things
Let's change chemical ingredients to organic and clean ones and where possible raw.
Honey and Extra Olive oil have some "good" things in common: single ingredient products with unique and complex flavour profiles. Extra Virgin Olive oil flavours are so complex to the point where one might say their complexity resembles the ones from wine. To see the complexity of such flavours, one thing which can be done easily is to read the flavour description as it comes out from the olive oil competition panelist. This can be testified through the plethora of olive oil competition throughout the world from Athens, to New York, and Madrid to Tokyo.
However both of them have been used in food frauds many times in the past. Companies such as Lidl , Filippo Berio and Bertolli had been fined for misinformation about the origin or the tasting quality of the extra virgin olive oil. EU and UK authorities still allow honey and olive oil to have label which mentions in general terms information about the origin of the product. You see label reading:
This is made of EU and non EU blends. In most of the cases, it is impossible to find the exact country of origin of these honeys due to a broken food traceability system.
Why the supermarkets still sell products of honey with the label to read non EU blends of honey at only £3.20 per Kilo when the cost of producing honey for a beekeeper is at least £5.00
What is our action then you might wonder?
Do not buy any of these products when they are blends, and this can be done by checking the label. When you see blends of EU and non EU blends, then immediately it is understood that this products is jarred or bottled using mixtures of various olive oil. Instead buy them from local delicatessen stores across the country where both olive oil and honey products come from one grower or beekeeper. Especially with honey, we recommend any purchase of honey products to be done from a beekeeper who packs their honey into jars by themselves. And remember all products must have a label on with all the legal information on: address, weight/volume, name of the product, best before date, country of origin (which in our case it should be one) and nutritional information (Honey is excepted)
We have made a decision in the past with regards to increase of organic product range. We are working on this constantly. We know that this is not an easy task. We can give you a new addition to our range of organic foods: That is Organic Green Olives. The variety of these Green Olives is Amfissa which a PDO product: Protected designation of Origin.
It is not enough to have foods with organic accreditation , they should also be tasting great too. We give the opportunity to our customers: delicatessen shops and high end grocery shops to taste our products before any purchase. They can quickly expand their product range and buy as many units as they want.
Why we prefer distributing organic honey? A lot of reasons, and one of them is the fact the bees might acquire diseases which need to be removed: not by using toxic chemicals but with non harmful substances.
We found an interesting video to watch: Silence of the bees
We mentioned in the past that we will be expanding the range of our organic products as long as they come from a country which is full of those soil and sun elements.
Now this time is a honey with a very unusual flavour for many foodies.Unusual for many reason
it is a thyme honey with also conifer tree elements and more specifically pine tree honey.
No, it is not a mixture of two different honeys but a honey produced by the bees when the beehives are transferred from a full of thyme blossom area to a pine tree area.
The origin of the product is Eastern Crete - Sitia and it is a certified organic product.
We have been checking recently the quality of some snacks and more specifically the bars.
It is shocking when you count the amount of additives used in some cereal bars.
We would not go to the fact that most of them use glucose or glucose syrup as adhesive material to create a robust bar which does not break easily. What is wrong with honey, a natural sweetener and adhesive food material too?
Preservatives, based on SO2 salts, are mainly used to keep the bar ''fresh'' for a long time.
Apart from being an allergen compound, it is a toxic chemical compound which can cause serious problems to the people with asthma related infections. We used to use it in the chemical lab when we were students in Chemistry College of University as a catalyst.
Would you put such chemical toxic compound in your salad along with the olive oil and vinegar?
Never is the answer why then we should put it in the cereal bars?
Palm oil is another ingredient used. Why we destroy hectares of jungle or natural lands to build palm tree farms, instead of using olive oil?
Food manufacturing has already turned itself to a different direction away from a real tasting quality and sustainability. However the most shocking thing is, we do not care. Why?
You have made the food, you found the correct and the most delicious ingredients, you mix them and put them in the correct container and packaging and then what?
For a small food company start up, it is difficult to survive and increase the visibility of their product and therefore having some sales, unless their product is recognised as unique as one which deserves attention of the experts, the public or the foodies.
An easy way to do make this happen is to win relevant fine foods competition awards. And that means the companies have to participate in these competitions. The more the participation, the better! Through competitions, one learns where they stand with regards to the market from a flavour point of view, as the competitors in some are several thousands.
The British ''Great Taste Awards'' have established themselves one of the best in Europe and possibly in the world. We encourage every supplier/producer/farmer that they produce their own product to take part in this competition.
Below, you will see a video with some instructions from Guild of Fine Food.
The title of this post says it all: we will be driving our business for the next 6 months with one goal:
to increase the range of premium and eclectic organic foods.
We know it is going to be difficult but we see that there is no option. We would like the next generations to live in environment free from pesticides and genetically modified organisms. Our immune systems get weakened by the time as we consume products full of toxins and toxic pesticides and herbicides.
As growers too of organic seaberries we see how the lands are benefited from non existence of pesticides. We also see that some of the weeds growing in our fields are not just weeds, they can be boiled and eaten as a perfect wild organic side salad.
Are you a foodie or a fine foods sourcing expert? Then we might have something common with you.
If you would like to become one then maybe it is time to start your research with full energy and in depth.
We do not believe that new products are found in food markets but in a food kitchen from some innovative and persistent people.
When we do the research for the fine foods, we search for something out of the normal: taste wise and packaging simultaneously.
We do not look for normal ingredients only but something extraordinary. We go to people's place where they produce these fine ingredients, where possible.
We do not search for just another Extra virgin olive oil but:
We supply to market with the Organic Wild Mint, with entirely different flavour to spearmint and peppermint, known for its help towards muscular pains.
Same principle applies to the selection of our herbal teas, unique herbal ingredients are part of the blend (not nasty flavouring boosts):
As regards packaging and its usage, we believe we have got it right, every single product appears to have something unique.
However if the packaging does not follow the superb taste of the product, then the customer will put some things into the right place in other words the food product will have a repetitive sale.
And the other way around too, packaging is not enough to support repetitive sales of a product.
If you want to find more about the finest and luxury foods, we distribute to delicatessens and high end groceries, complete the contact form and
We will call you back!
No matter how small or big is your budget or how ambitious you are for seeing your shop being the jewel of the neighbourhood, we can help you. We supply the finest (premium), most eclectic and luxurious products for all the kind of customers: specialty food shops, high end grocery shops, delicatessen and grocery shops or local delis.
Our approach to fulfill and help you is unique and not similar to anything in the market. We would like to give choice to our customers. You are aware that your end customer wants to have choices too.
We are giving you 5 points of our approach below:
- We give an ''affordable'' minimum order quantity to all customers. This applies even to the most luxurious and the finest ingredients. There are no second thoughts for a buyer or deli shop owner who is sceptical whether this product is going to sell or not.
- We will break the box for you until you are confident that the selected products sell well,
- We taste the product with you. We insist on that, as customers might ask you why they select one product over the other,
- We have now reached the point where over 40% of our product range is organic. We support sustainability because we are organic berries farmers too. We have to respect land and nature otherwise it will collapse.
The choice is yours: to expand the eclectic product range or stay with non flexible situation and terms
Please, check our Product Range to review what you can have in your shop.
There is a plethora of companies in the market distributing already fine and luxurious food products.
What is fine or luxury food, you might wonder.
- Is it its packaging, quality of its ingredients, unique taste or its or something more innovative? Or a combination of the previous characteristics? what about its scarcity? or the multiple awards from relevant competitions.
Other might suggest that it is an obvious characteristic but an indirect one i.e a fine food shop already established in the market which manages to pass a prestige to all food products sold in their premises.
Maybe the last factor contributes slightly to indirect promotion and marketing of the product to the eyes of final consumer but all the other factors can add definitely to the success of the product namely to be named as fine or luxury food.
What is our process which helps us to identify those luxury fine foods?
Some of these factors are obvious such as packaging or a new colourful label, but what about the flavour?
Do we ask your supplier to open the product and taste the product with you?
Do you compare it with other similar products?
If not, then we better start thinking twice why we should buy such product.
Sales are always good and an indication of a success of a product. When they are followed by a product, full of flavour, are even better. The latter will lead to former soon when the producers listens to the customer.
As FOS Squared:
- We open and taste our product with our customers: smell/aroma, texture and an explanation of the ingredients status are useful elements.
-We challenge and compare all our products with ones already on the shelves. We like the competition as we pass this feedback to the producer/growers. This way, our producers have the opportunity to reflect and get better by the time for the benefit of the consumer.
After all this, you make a better decision about the product: you learn more, no matter if you choose to stock it or not. After all, a luxury food has got a touch and a feel, and a buyer needs to know a bit about it in advance.
Please, be brave to ask the supplier to open the product for you as FOS Squared does, you will be surprised.
We have seen many customers in London and around the country, searching online and in reality for the ideal or best delicatessen shop. The one that it has got everything, from service up to best coffee and widest selection of fine products. But yer That ''everything'' will remain not so much objective and different from one to the other customer.
We are not the experts or judges for such thing and we are planning to do it. But what we would to share is a few things and piece of experience defining such ''title'': finest or top deli shop.
For those who have been trying to find the top deli, It is difficult task. We believe that there are so many factors defining the top delicatessen shop, just to name a few: location, the variety of the products, service level, the type and variety of sandwiches and food offered. We are sure the relevant annual awards have strict criteria for selecting the best.
What about some more ''soft'' factors not easily revealed by visiting the deli or the grocery once or hidden by behind an award.
We have experienced these soft factors and that's what we wanted to share before you discover your best deli.
It is the passion of the owners, passion for new foods, flavours and aromas. Passion to learn more about the texture, the origin and the combination of food elements or to learn more about the coffee beans and coffee drinks served. Passion to manage better and teach more to their employees. In several occasions, this passion has reached its highest point where deli owners have become experts in specific food categories.
We applaud such curiosity and thirst for knowledge which earns ''awards'' for the customer's benefit. Owners have taken the responsibility and risk to experiment with new flavours and stock some of the multi-awarded exceptional foods and finest ingredients. We have seen these shops in London but also in some less populated areas, away from big cities.
Those owners remind us of bees collecting the nectar from the best flowers, Well done to All of You!
There is a very large number of producers around the world claiming their product is premium.
And the olive oil is not an exception. As product the extra virgin olive oil has a superior taste, and from countries such as Greece could be characterised as a superb one. Acidity of no more than 0.8% is not anymore the only criterion for the characterisation of an extra virgin olive oil as premium.
Therefore, one might wonder what elements or technical features are making an extra virgin olive oil a finest product then? It is the features coming from the product flavour profile.
There are 3 major characteristics:
The flavour profile is the main structure and the robust foundation for having a superior or premium extra virgin olive oil. While the chemical analysis remains as one the pillars, the tasting of the product by an accredited panel will put the final signature. Excellent and premium packaging completes the picture of the finest product following always the tasting and the analysis.
Whoever is your supplier, ask them to do a taste panel with you explaining some features to understand the extra virgin olive oil (evoo) flavour profile. All these three characteristics should be balanced well, and remember slight bitterness is not a defect on the contrary it indicates high content of antioxidants which is a benefit.
There are several competitions of olive oil products around the world, and the awards can not be given so easily to extra virgin olive oils that they do not meet the strict criteria. Such competitions can be used an indication or supporting hand to select the finest of all.
In these competitions, world experts/taste panellists ''tear part'' the profile of an extra virgin olive oil and identify which one deserves a gold award.
There are 16 sensory classes and 72 flavour descriptions of olive oil!
If you would like to familiarise yourself with extra virgin olive flavours, it is wise to start a tasting session by yourself simply by smelling and tasting the several products and write down the intensiveness of each product characteristic.
Searching for the definition of premium and fine foods, we found that apart from an exceptional packaging, consumers believe that their value should be defined by the top quality ingredients and subsequently superior taste.
But a more ''scientific'' thorough look through the web and books, we sourced* that fine and specialty foods have the following characteristics:
- "Quality, innovation and style,
- Authenticity and originality,
- A commitment to specific processing rules or traditions, superior ingredients, limited supply or extraordinary packaging".
Since FOS-Squared set-up, we have made sure that the above definition is materialised, constantly taking into account that nature is something unique and should be protected and cared.
Thus we select organic finest and eclectic foods, ones of limited production, with uniqueness in texture, appearance and packaging. Some of them are hard work derived from family owned businesses.
Such selection of fine foods does not lack awards. On the contrary, some of these products have won multiple taste and design/packaging awards.
Now we have been looking for foods with even more unique combination of ingredients along with exceptional packaging, not previously found in the market.
Idea: What about some figs mixed with some eclectic ingredients, perfect accompaniment for Cheddar or Roquefort?
If you are producer of such unique foods, please, feel free to contact us. Our products are now found in the best delicatessen shops in London and surrounding counties. We might be able to add your product into product list.
Or if you would like to know more and stock organic, eclectic and fine foods, why don't you have a look on the Products Page? Or send us a message through ''Contact us'' form with your contact details and we will answer as soon as possible.
* Source: Good Food Great Business
We all know the benefits of a Mediterranean diet and where its foundation relies on: the olive oil.
At FOS Squared, we do make sure that olive oil is an extra virgin one and has won awards on taste: gold ones. Moreover, we make sure that at least one of the selected olive oils is a PDO one which means it is a protected designation of origin. This time the PDO product has its origin in Sitia, Crete, in Greece. Of course, a superior quality extra virgin olive oil is a complete one when its packaging is an exceptional one. In our case, both selected extra virgin olive oils have won awards on packaging design too.
Our selected olive oils are eclectic, premium and fine ones, only for those who look for something unique within the delicatessen and high end grocery market of London and UK.
We are nearly at the end of first summer month. It seems that the temperatures will remain high.
At FOS-Squared, we constantly look for something new and exciting: we have now our new range of products which are herbal teas, caffeine free and they can be served cold too.
There are five products altogether, full of flavour and unique aroma compounds, and with a Mediterranean origin. They do not need extra boost with the addition of natural flavourings as you might have seen in other teas.
Their names: Energy, Harmony, Relax, Detox, Light+Lean.
Herbs such as Chamomile, Lemon balm, Lavender, Passion Flower, Aniseed, Scented Geranium, Agrimony, rosehip, jasmine and lime flowers, marjoram, nettle, Greek sage and Greek mountain tea and Penny Royal mint are amongst the ingredients in our herbal teas.
There is a catering pack for all herbal teas, so if you have a café or deli shop in London or around UK seeking constantly to provide unique flavour, new and premium teas, then contact us for a quotation.
Whether you like to enrich your current honey selection or you look for new unique honey flavours, FOS-Squared is the company to choose for.
Organic, luxury, unique flavours, numbered honey jars and limited edition, PDO, truffle honey, pine trees, 2 gold stars and 3 gold stars of Great Taste awards are some of the words being ''attached'' to our honey products, supplied to London and UK delicatessen and high end grocery market.
As wholesaler and distributor, we constantly look for premium and eclectic foods, where the honey keeper has put some serious effort to create an extraordinary product, in flavour and packaging.
We constantly look for new fine ingredients or premium products which are rare to find and have not been into London and UK delicatessen and fine grocery market before.
We have a range of unique products which have won awards upon awards for their flavour, packaging, and scarcity.
One of these categories is our herbal teas.
Ingredients such as wild sage, or wild mint, Cretan dittany, geranium, passionflower, agrimony, angelica sylvastris, olive leaves, Greek mountain tea, hibiscus, previously unknown are now introduced into UK market.
Our herbal teas are purely mixtures of herbs and their flowers. They do not need extra flavour boost by having the so called natural flavourings added in. Our teas are ''pure'' herbal teas.
FOS-Squared have a whole range of herbal teas can be served cold (Iced teas).
Whether you are a London delicatessen , or a London specialty food shop, or even distributor of fine foods in UK, please, feel free to contact us for wholesale prices.
On certain products, there are catering packs too.
However, if you are a foodie/individual seeking constantly something unique and rare, although we do not sell online currently, drop us a message through the ''contact us'' form: we will direct you to the shops where you will find our herbal teas.
We all know that certain countries produce unique flavour products. We all know where to find the best coffee beans in the world, or the best wine in the world. Same applies to honey and its products: we select carefully our honey products and its unique flavours to bring them to London deli market. Thyme honey, chestnut honey, pine honey, fir honey, and oak honey are some of the honeys originated from Greece. One more flavour is the Greek vanilla fir honey which is the only PDO honey in the world.
You might wonder why Greece and Greek honey? Simple reason: due to its incomparable flora with a huge variety of endemic plants and its unspoilt environment from heavy industrial activity.
- the only Organic Thyme honey with 3 gold stars of Great Taste Award,
- the only pine trees, oak trees and aromatic herbs honey with numbered jars in the world.
If you are a London deli shop or a distributor and would like to know more about specific honey i.e the PDO Vanilla fir , please, fill the form in the ''contact us'' page, and we will contact you shortly.
Photo: courtesy of FB group Mani mana
We constantly try to find flavours which are unique to the UK market, while at the same time we select producers/suppliers whose ''work'' has won them awards in various international competitions.
In order to achieve this, we meet and talk to the producers/suppliers and this is our advantage. We do not buy from ''the phone'', instead we travel and meet the producers at their place or field, where the soil and sun continuously and silently work to create these premium and fine healthy foods.