Client: Islander Kelp
Knowledge Provider: Southern Regional College
Sector: Food and Drink / Agri Food
Southern Regional Colleges in Collaboration with Ulster University works with Islander Kelp in developing four new products.
Founded in 2013, Ocean Veg Ireland Ltd. is based on Rathlin Island where its owners Kate Burns and Benji McFaul have developed a new fresh/frozen and ready to use seaweed product called Islander ® Kelp. They rope grow and produce kelp noodles, tagliatelle and salad cut products for use in stir fries, soups, salads, in Asian menus and with demand for sea veg increasing in the UK, Europe and the US. This unique and innovative product has already been making exciting inroads to the high-end food service market. Kelp products are currently being supplied to restaurants, specialist deli’s and wholesalers.
About the Knowledge Provider
The innovation and business support offered to local SMEs is delivered through the College’s Business Support Centre, “i3”, (Industry, Innovation, Incubation). In effect, i3 is the College’s business engagement unit, dedicated to providing training and support to local entrepreneurs, as well as established businesses, and taking them further along the innovation escalator. The range of services provided and the level of support the team offers is quite remarkable. The broad spectrum of sectors SRC can help is impressive too.
About the Case
Southern Regional College academics Brenda Kelleghan and Emma Lyttle collaborated with Dr Amy Burns and Dr Lynsey Hollywood from Ulster University on this project along with the Food Innovation students at Ulster University. This partnership was funded by the Connected Competitive Fund and was integral to the success of this project.
The Challenge: The academics involved developed four new products that incorporate Islander ® kelp to target mainstream markets and increase sales. The project involved concept development work in the product development kitchens and sensory analysis testing of the new products developed. The solution to this collaborative project was the development of four new products.
The products have been received very successfully and are now for sale in premium retailers throughout the UK including Booths and Fortnum & Mason as well as in talks with Harrods. Islander Kelp has more calcium, iron and roughage than any other vegetable – it is a true super food. Like they say; good for the ocean, good to eat, good for you.
To find out more about funding & training for your business please contact the Business Support and Innovation Centre: