Fudge Kitchen marks 40th anniversary with annual new flavour contest
UK confectionery business Fudge Kitchen has marked its 40th anniversary engaging guest judge, Stefano Cuomo – CEO of Macknade Food Hall, to determine a winning entry for its annual flavour New Year New Flavour competition, writes Neill Barston.
The company, which has its headquarters in East Kent offered the chance for its six retail shops to battle it out for its yearly contest, putting their NPD skills to the test, to create a brand-new variety to boost its existing portfolio.
As the business noted, its anniversary year is a notable milestone for the company. It began as a handful of fudge shops has evolved into a fully-fledged artisan confectionery business with an extensive product offering, a strong wholesale network and own label production for premium hotels and department stores.
The past few months have also been notable for the company’s MD Sian Holt (below), who recently collected a Great British Entrepreneur Award for the business, in recognition of its determination amid challenging times amid supply chain challenges and increasing production costs.
Its New Year New Flavour Competition took place earlier this month at its production site in Aylesham, Kent. The business invited guest judge, Stefano Cuomo – CEO of Macknade Food Hall, to join their judging panel. The six flavours entered were Atomic Fireball Fudge, Red Velvet Fudge, Old-School Toffee Fudge, Sour Cherry Fudge, Jam Donut Fudge and Merry Berry Fudge. Teams from across its Canterbury, Bath, York, Edinburgh, Windsor, and Cambridge stores all fought it out to gain the honour of seeing a new brand reach shelves.
After much deliberation, the winning fudge flavour was announced as Old-School Toffee Fudge – created by Fudge Kitchen Canterbury. In the words of the shop manager, “It’s the flavour that made us famous, and the flavour that our customers miss. We’ve tweaked the original recipe so there are fewer ingredients to source, and we’ve used our skills and knowledge from many years of fudge making to reimagine an old-school classic.”
Runners up were Jam Donut Fudge from the Windsor store and Sour Cherry Fudge from the Edinburgh store. Fudge Kitchen pride themselves on their commitment to remaining innovative, even after 40 years in the business. The winning fudge flavour in last year’s New Year New Flavour competition was Butter Pecan, which was so popular that it became part of their all-year-round menu.
The Old-School Toffee Fudge is available online and in stores throughout February and is priced from £6 a slice. Other seasonal flavours available now include Salted Caramel Fudge, Butter Pecan Fudge, and Clotted Cream Fudge. The shops also offer Fudge Making Experiences, and between 25th January and 14th February you’ll receive a free 5-slice box of fudge when you book a 2-person experience voucher to be redeemed at a later date.