Firstly, I wanted to thank everyone who went out of their way to send me messages of support after reading my first Ketchup Chronicles post. The feedback has been truly amazing and you’ve all spurred me on to keep plugging away, making this dream a reality.
Now the big news. Since my last ketchup post I have become the proud owner of a Trade Mark (see below)! After a tense two-month wait to see if anyone would object to my application I can finally say it/type it out loud and share it with you! This is no longer the ketchup chronicles but ‘Mill’s Kidchup™’ chronicles.
The other huge thing that’s happened is, the nutritional testing came back and I’m totally elated with the results. After months and months of experimenting and tweaking, trying to find a nutritionally sound and healthier alternative to refined sugar, I’m there. I’ve managed to get my Kidchup™’ (dropping that little ™ in there gives me such joy!) to 5g of sugar per 100g serving which is exactly where I wanted to be. To give you a sense of what I was benchmarking against the market leader is 22.8g per 100g and the reduced sugar version is 11.4g per 100g and in my opinion tastes of artificial sweeteners.
When I set out on this journey the plan was to create a healthier ketchup for kids that offered an honest alternative to the what’s on shelves now. I wanted to make something kids would love the taste of and parents would be happy to give them. Rather than take the easy route substituting refined sugar for Xylitol, Maple/Date/Agave syrup, I wanted to find a method of sweetening my product that was as natural as possible, hadn’t been refined and wouldn’t cause a massive blood sugar spike when consumed. Using whole apples in my recipe, skin and all, instead of anything processed means I can now, hand on heart, say: ‘Mill’s Kidchup contains no added sugar and only naturally occurring sugars.' It’s practically impossible to convey what it feels like to be stood here after months and months of hard graft but suffice to say my soul is singing.
Having said all this, I’m not home and dry yet. The last hurdle is happening as I type. This week I've sent a batch (those exact two bottles snapped above) for open shelf-life testing and now wait to find out how long Kidchup lasts once opened. Obviously, this is really important from a consumer’s perspective but also key if I ever want to be able to sell my product through retail outlets. They're not going to touch a product with a short lifespan for obvious reasons. Sugar and salt are preservatives so having created a product made with natural and fresh ingredients that's low in both the aforementioned, I am hyper-realistic that the compromise may have to be a short shelf life but I will cross that bridge when I get there. Until then, please keep your finger's tightly crossed for me.
As always, I’ll keep you posted.