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Billed as a ‘farmstead confectionery’, Vermont’s Big Picture Farms is dedicated to blending the sweet creamy goodness of goat milk into candy. As founder Louisa Conrad explains, the short fatty acid chains found in goat’s milk make for a smoother taste in their caramels. Conrad runs the business with her husband Lucas Farrell – both trained artists who have since turned to goat farming, cheese-making and confections.
Big Picture’s secret touch seems to lie in their relationship with their goats. Each has a name and a personality to match, and the spoiled herd changes pastures daily for better grazing. Due to variations in the goats’ breed and diet, the art of the caramel comes from Conrad’s ability to blend milks from different animals in order to get the desired taste. For the packaging, Conrad draws portraits of the goats and Farrell works it into the label.
A new clothing website launched by ex-Hugo Boss designer, Bruno Pieters, offers men’s and women’s collections that lift the lid on manufacturing costs. ‘Honest by’ provides a radical disruption in fashion (especially designer fashion) where manufacturing costs are often hazy or hidden, allowing brands to demand considerable premiums for labels.
The first limited edition collection (sold exclusively online) has been designed by Pieters himself, with collections from guest designers due to be offered in the future. Honest By claims to be the first company in the world to offer a full cost breakdown of its products. People can see exactly what their money is buying, whether that’s yarn, buttons, fabric or manufacturing, and even the mark-up price is revealed. The company also offers full disclosure of the production process, so people can learn about the materials and the design, where their product was made and by whom.
Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction has launched Snap, a spirit inspired by a 400-year-old Pennsylvanian-Dutch recipe for lebkuchen, a traditional ginger biscuit.
Previously, the brand launched Root, an alcoholic beverage based on a mixture of wild roots and herbs that Native Americans shared with settlers in the 1700s. Snap and Root demonstrate how traditional recipes can inspire new product development.
Take a look at Häagen-Dazs Five which focuses on pure, natural and simple – adjectives which hold a nostalgic, reassuring and calming appeal in today’s ailing economic climate.
As a delicacy with relative affordability and universal appeal, ice cream is one of those products that serves as a barometer of the times. If the Häagen-Dazs Five line is any indication, then simplicity is a possible signpost to the future.
Häagen-Dazs Five is a new, all-natural ice cream crafted with only five ingredients: skim milk, cream, sugar, egg yolks and natural flavouring. Available in mint, ginger, coffee, vanilla bean, passion fruit, brown sugar and milk chocolate, the Five line also includes less fat than Häagen-Dazs’s other ice creams, the company says.
Think like confectioners, Mars, who’ve taken cues from the wine connoisseur and specialist coffee house with their high-end chocolate store, Pure Dark. Based in New York’s West Village, the staff really know their chocolate and are there to educate as well as cut you samples and help you make your own combinations.
At Pure Dark, it’s all about the purity of the pod. This is the delicious, raw essence of dark chocolate: the precious fruit of the cacao tree at its simple, natural best. The Pure Dark™ collection is chock-full of robust ingredients harvested straight from nature – thick, hand-crafted Slabs, Barks studded with plump, dried fruits and crunchy nuts, Rounds dusted with exotic flavors, and lightly roasted cocoa bean Nibs which all deliver an authentic, earthy chocolate experience. http://puredark.com/