Picrure by Harrison Photography
Pictured at the company’s stand in the Food Pavilion at the Balmoral Show, is left, Olive Hill, Invest NI, and Shauna McCarney, Managing Director, Heavenly Tasty Organics.
Heavenly Tasty Organics in Omagh is being assisted by Invest Northern Ireland to develop a new range of innovative and nutritious frozen baby meals that are both dairy and gluten free.
The company is using an Invest NI Innovation Voucher to build on the success it is already experiencing from the launch last year of a range of organic fruit and vegetable purees for weaning babies aged between four and six months.
The Innovation Voucher enabled Heavenly Tasty Organics to access expert advice and support from the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise at Loughry Campus, Cookstown in developing a range of new meals for babies aged from six to 12 months. The company is now based at Omagh Business Centre.
The Innovation Voucher support for the work with Loughry was announced by Olive Hill, Invest NI’s Head of Innovation and Technical Development, during a visit to the company’s stand in the Food Pavilion at the Balmoral Show.
Heavenly Tasty Organics was founded in November 2010 by Shauna McCarney, the Managing Director, and has won a series of awards for its products including a prestigious SMA Nutrition Maternity and Infant Award in the Republic of Ireland last year.
Mrs Hill said: “Heavenly Tasty Organics has developed into one of our most innovative companies in a relatively short space of time. The company’s initial range of products has been well-received here and is attracting attention in markets outside of Northern Ireland largely because of a growing demand for ‘free-from’ products among parents of babies.
“The new products being developed with an Innovation Voucher will enable this ambitious company to offer a portfolio of organic meals for the crucially important first year of a baby’s life. The voucher is enabling the company to develop and taste test the new recipes and to look at other important issues such as shelf-life and packaging opportunities, areas in which staff at Loughry have vast experience and tremendous knowledge.
“This expertise will also assist the company as it seeks to bring the new meals to market as quickly as practicable.”
Ms McCarney, outlining the company’s latest developments, said: “Our move into a new range of baby meals has been influenced by customers of our existing purees who wish to continue to wean children in their most formative years with meals that are allergen-free. There’s now a greater awareness especially among new and young mothers about allergies.
“As a mother of two young children, I know that finding such organic meals for babies on the shelves and fridges of supermarkets can be extremely difficult.
“What we are creating with Loughry College and Jane McClenaghan, our nutritionist, are two ranges of baby meals that can be used during the first 12 months.
“All our products have organic accreditation through the Soil Association and will be packaged for convenience and will include nutritional information and guidance on preparation on the labels. The meals we are developing include shepherd’s pie and a mild chicken curry. All are free from lactose and gluten.
“The Innovation Voucher scheme is very worthwhile and is making it easy for us to learn and benefit from the knowledge and skills of various technical teams as well as the excellent facilities at Loughry. As a small and recently established business, we wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford the expert services the college provides.”