Flavour First, the leading Northern Ireland producer of farm fresh vegetable boxes, has launched a five-strong range of ready to cook meal kits.
The new meal kits draw on the company’s successful experience in developing popular vegetable boxes from fresh, seasonal ingredients grown on the family farm, which is based near Donaghadee in county Down.
Behind the innovative meal kits are husband and wife team William and Leanne Donnan. They founded Flavour First in 2007 to develop delivered fresh to the door veggie boxes.
The couple now grow a wide range of seasonal vegetables on the 16-acre farm. They also produce seasonal fruits, especially strawberries, and provide free-range eggs from their own hens.
“What the new ready to cook range does is to add further value to our successful veggie boxes delivered to customers in the greater Belfast area as well as to many parts of county Down,” says Leanne Donnan. “The new boxes contain the fresh ingredients required to prepare tasty, home-cooked vegetarian meals,” she adds.
The ready to cook meal kits use ingredients from the family’s farm and are: Rainbow Chilli with Rice, North Indian Vegetable Curry, Vegetable Paella, One Pot Italian Pasta, and Asian Style Cauliflower Rice.
The new meal kits retail at £9.20 each or two for £15 and are all hand assembled and packed fresh to order on the farm along with the veggie boxes. Each pack includes a recipe card on how best to cook the dish.
“The new range blends fresh vegetables with the sort of global flavours that people have experienced in restaurants here and on their holidays,” she continues They are also in tune with the developing trend towards plant-based and flexitarian dishes.”
While the meals, created with the help of experienced nutritionist and educator Kim Close, are suitable for vegetarians, meat can be added if desired.
“The meals are bursting with freshness, wholesomeness and outstanding taste,” adds Mrs Donnan.
In addition to the fresh ingredients, the couple has focused on sustainability by using packaging that is either biodegradable or can be easily recycled.
“Living and working on a family farm means sustainability is in our DNA. We are committed to eliminating waste and preserving the environment now and in the future,” Mrs Donnan continues.
Mr Donnan has vast experience in farm management and in growing and producing vegetables especially for major supermarkets in Australia, New Zealand, Spain and Romania.
They have developed an e-commerce platform for ordering veggie boxes and ready to cook meal kits. Opportunities to grow the business further are also being explored.
Picture: Leanne and William Donnan of Flavour First with two of the ready to eat meal kits they have developed