Posh peas: Snack brand's plans to go from Channel 4 to shelf domination

Behind the scenes of filming Food Unwrapped for Channel 4 at Novo Farina 

Behind the scenes of filming Food Unwrapped for Channel 4 at Novo Farina - Credit: Novo Farina

This week's Food Unwrapped on Channel 4 included some familiar faces. 

Novo Farina, a scientifically-minded snack business based in Norwich, featured on the food programme's healthy eating special. 

But managing director Chris Harrison says that this is just the beginning of increasing the brand's part in the global conversation about healthy snacking - which is only set to accelerate this year. 

Mr Harrison said: "We launched Novo Farina around four years ago and produce pea flour which is then used to make snack and meat replacement products.

"We spoke to Food Unwrapped about the benefits - not only the health benefits but also the economic and environmental benefits - of using peas as a food source instead of the likes of soy beans. 

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"We know that a lot of soy beans on the market are genetically modified and a lot of air miles are required in flying them around the world. Our pea flour is all sourced in Norfolk and with the exception of the flavouring on our snacks we add no other ingredients - which many other 'healthy' snacks do."

The Novo Farina products

The Novo Farina products - Credit: Novo Farina

The Bowthorpe Industrial Estate-based company works closely with the John Innes Centre, which has a well-documented history in pea research.

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Mr Harrison, having completed his PhD at the John Innes Centre, said the findings out of the lab will only increase the pace of uptake in the market. 

"We know that for health reasons peas can actually be healthier than other carbohydrate sources because of the type of carb and starch they contain - which is slower releasing. 

"I think appearing on Food Unwrapped spells our plans for the future, which is getting into more mainstream supermarkets and shelves. We don't want to be on the 'free from' or the vegan shelves, we want to be in there with all the normal snacking products and make it a more normal buying experience. 

"We're already in WHSmith but the majority of there stores are in travel locations which made this year difficult - but we would like to get it into supermarkets. 

"We have plans for expansion and would love to be able to do all of the production here in Norwich. We're very open to speaking to potential investors should we meet someone who has the right level of interest in our work."

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