Yoghurt and cereal brand Cathedral Cove have moved to using glass jars for their packaging instead of pouches. Learn more about the move, and what makes the mixes inside such great quality.
Words: Lara Wyatt
Good: Cathedral Cove have released a range of cereals in glass jars. Can you explain the process behind moving to glass?
There were really two main drivers behind the move to glass jars – our old pouch format didn’t have a window and we take huge pride in the quality of our ingredients and wanted people to be able to see them. The other factor was the environment and trying to protect this beautiful world we live in for future generations – the realities of the current recycling systems and the massive plastic epidemic led us to look for better alternatives. Our pouch was recyclable in theory, but we came to the realisation that this was not a reality – the one statistic we could not ignore was that 93 per cent of all plastic ever made has not been recycled. There are also some nice efficiencies from a production point of view having the same glass jar for seven of our 11 products – plus it connects the two complementary breakfast products together more closely despite the fact they are in different parts of the supermarket.
How tricky was it finding an eco-friendly packaging solution?
This was not easy. The more research you do, the more you discover the seriousness of the issue and the significant challenge to adjust the course – like a container ship, it’s not going to do a U turn in a hurry. The world has been geared up to mass-produce plastic and make it as cheap as possible, which has come at the expense of the environmental aspect. Creating infrastructure, technology and systems for the manufacturing of eco-friendly options, and then processing it afterwards, is a lengthy and capital-intensive process. There are huge strides being made and a global race to come up with solutions. There are lots of ideas but so many of them come up short in one or more areas – re-use, recycle, upcycle, biodegradable, compostable, etc. In the end we decided that glass was the best option available at this time. It’s not perfect either, but we know that we are doing the absolute best we can to provide fresh product to our customers whilst keeping the environmental impact to an absolute minimum. We do believe compostable has a future with potential to achieve a true circular system in the years ahead.
Can you tell us about the cereal range (raw paleo, wheat-free and gluten-free)? Why is it important to you to provide these options?
The inspiration for each of our cereal blends is to provide nature’s best ingredients in a convenient form for our customers – every ingredient has a function and there is a joyful purity knowing that the great taste is all-natural and super healthy. We are mindful of the proliferation in allergies and intolerances that has developed in our modern society and want to ensure that our cereals are suitable for people with intolerances, or following diet choices like vegan or paleo. Our paleo cereals use only raw ingredients to ensure maximum nutritional value and minimise processing. Every one of our products is low in sugar, contains no additives/preservatives and is designed to help support good gut health. No starch, no thickeners, no cheat ingredients – we really do mean natural!
Where do you source your ingredients for each of the cereal mixes?
We have a number of suppliers around New Zealand that we use to source locally grown or imported ingredients – we are always monitoring the options to make sure we are getting the best value for ourselves as manufacturers, but also for our customers. Some of the ingredients like nuts are very expensive but provide outstanding nutritional value and taste profile. Our jars are very nutrient-dense and we encourage people to consider the value they represent – you only need a small sprinkle over your Cathedral Cove yoghurt and some fresh fruit to provide a delicious and fulfilling breakfast to keep your energy up all morning – “find your energy naturally”. The food industry is a big business but we continue to hold our position as a small company that truly cares about the health of our customers and the environment we share.
You also have an organic option for those who hunt out organic options. What makes this one organic?
The Organic Muesli is a foundation product that links back to the very beginning of the Cathedral Cove Naturals brand 15 years ago when it started as an organic macadamia orchard in Hahei. The macadamia nut remains dear to our heart and is one of the healthiest nuts there is – we source New Zealand grown organic macadamia nuts at a premium price for a very special ingredient in this product. Other ingredients are sourced from local-based organic suppliers – the honey we selected is a wonderful addition that helps combine the flavour combination during its light toasting in macadamia oil.
Are your cereals vegan as well? Is this an important factor for you when creating cereal mixes?
We try to take a moderate view and understand that there are a wide range of views and approaches to dietary choices. Vegan diets are increasing as the world becomes more aware of sustainability and the impact food production can have on the environment – it is definitely a diet we cater for and all of our cereals are vegan except for the Organic Muesli, which has honey in it. We view ourselves as a company that wants to push forward with the development of healthy plant-based products that are kind to the environment in every aspect all the way through the process.