A Swansea-based business is set to launch an innovative snack bar which is made using sustainably sourced seaweed from an ocean farm based in Pembrokeshire.
High Tide Seaweed Snack Bars will launch this summer following new product development support from Cardiff Metropolitan University’s ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre, which has been funded by the Welsh Government backed Project HELIX.
High Tide was established by friends Flo Taylor and Beth Joseph-Horne, who met whilst studying Marine Biology at university in Exeter. After their degrees, Flo went on to pursue a masters in Sustainable Aquaculture and Beth trained as a nutritional therapist. In 2020, the duo decided to combine their skills and set up a business together.
“I got really interested in seaweed farming through my masters and started volunteering for a seaweed farm down in Pembrokeshire. I really wanted to do something to help them sell their seaweed in a modern and innovative way. I joined up with Beth at that point and was like ‘we need to spread awareness about seaweed and how cool it is,’” said Flo.
Flo and Beth initially started running workshops on seaweed nutrition and sustainability and this led to their idea for High Tide Seaweed Snack Bars.
“We wanted to demonstrate the incredible potential of seaweed as both a sustainable and a nutritious food source. We would make these little bars at our events and everybody loved them so that ignited the idea of developing the bar,” said Beth.
With Beth having created an initial snack bar recipe, High Tide was put in touch with ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre to help them further develop their product ready for commercial production.
A new product development technologist and bakery technologist supported the company with recipe development, legal labelling, shelf-life testing and production trials, which were all delivered through Food Innovation Wales’s Project HELIX, a Welsh Government funded programme.
“It blew my mind how many different things go into recipe creation for commercial production; there’s just so many things to think about that we hadn’t considered before. ZERO2FIVE really helped us in terms of nailing the texture of the bar with the right level of sweetness and also aiming for the right nutrient levels that we wanted in terms of fats, proteins and carbohydrates,” said Beth.
As a result of the support, High Tide now has a finished product which is both a source of protein and high in fibre. High Tide Seaweed Snack Bars aim to launch this summer and will be manufactured in Swansea using kelp and dulse seaweed sourced from Câr y Môr in Pembrokeshire, the first community-owned regenerative ocean farm in Wales, as well as oats and seeds which are sweetened naturally with maple and date syrup.
The company acknowledges the importance of the funded support in getting their product ready for market.
“The support from ZERO2FIVE has been incredible. It makes the whole process seem a lot more accessible to anyone who wants to start a business. I don’t think we would have been able to get this far without them,” said Flo.
“One of our biggest barriers to moving things forward was the cost. So, to get this level of funded support is invaluable.”
To find out more about the funded technical and commercial support available to Welsh food and drink companies through Project HELIX, visit: www.foodinnovation.wales/funded-support