Woolworths and Coles will both start selling a new range of sandwich spreads that are free from the top 10 allergens, developed by two Melbourne dads who wanted to increase the lunchbox options for food-allergic kids. The supermarket deals, reportedly worth $1m, were struck prior to any sales of the product.
Seong-Lee Ang’s two children have severe food allergies. Both are allergic to nuts but his four-year-old is also known to be allergic to dairy, egg, sesame, fish, shellfish and citrus seeds. Having found that no restaurant can cater to her allergies, the family were fearful of their daughter starting school where other kids were likely to have these allergens in their lunch boxes.
With the help of his business partner Rodney Chieng, Seong-Lee created a nut butter alternative based on chickpeas plus a chocolate spread. Compared with conventional spreads, the range also contains less sugar, less saturated fat and is free from palm oil.
Their hope is that, as well as offering a new lunchbox choice for kids with food allergies, the products will be a hit with other kids and adults too.
According to Mr Ang, the fact that Woolworths and Coles wanted to stock their spreads before they had sold a single jar is a testament to the big gap in the market for this type of product.
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