After creating a strong brand identity with the London Agri-Food Innovation Clinic (LAFIC) team in 2021, Good Koffee returned to improve the shelf-life of its products and develop clearer information on packaging.
LSBU’s student consultancy service had previously helped the brand to create a clear identity and develop labelling and designs for their products. You can read more about the past support here.
However, to push its market reach, Good Koffee needed a product with an excellent shelf-life and a clear idea of the safety margins and best practice for storage at home.
Shelf-life and why it is important
Fresh, perishable, and non-perishable foods all have a shelf-life. Every food item has an expiration date that is determined by the components used and the processing conducted.
The shelf-life of food refers to the amount of time after manufacture that it is safe or preferable to consume the product before it loses quality. The shelf-life of a food begins when it is made and is determined by a variety of factors including the manufacturing process, packaging, storage conditions, and ingredients.
The purpose of shelf-life is to help consumers make safe and educated food choices once it has left the shop and is in their fridge or cupboard at home. The shelf-life of food is only considered valid if it is bought intact and undamaged. Consumers also have to consider shelf-life information to avoid wasting food. Unlike items with use-by dates, many foods with best-before dates are safe to eat long after the expiration date.
It is critical for every food business to conduct testing to assess the shelf-life of products and ensure that the safety margin is communicated accurately. Businesses want to set a shelf-life for longer-life ambient-stable products. Consumers should consider the quality of a product reaching the end of its shelf-life as good as when it was fresh.
Good Koffee is a new beverage company established in south-east London that uses ethically sourced raw ingredients to create delicious and healthful beverages. Coffee-based kombucha, coffee-based cocktail mixers, and tonics are the company's three primary product categories.
Chris Crocker, founder of Good Koffee, has spent many years working as a performer with numerous roles in film, TV and theatre. Another love has been his opportunity to travel the world. During his global adventures he met a huge variety of people from different cultures, saw products on the shelves never seen in the UK, and his eyes were opened to a colourful and interesting culinary world.
From a young age he had been fascinated and concerned about hidden ingredients in food and drink, and his passion and determination led him to create a healthier drink in the UK. During a visit to New York, Chris discovered kombucha – a fermented tea-based drink. As the drink started to appear in independent cafes in the UK, Chris struck on the idea of developing a coffee based kombucha.
Good Koffee also aspires to give back. The coffee is sourced through the Café Femenino Foundation, a co-operative of female coffee producers dedicated to increasing their social empowerment and status in their communities. Through Work for Good, the organisation also distributes a small portion of proceeds to charity and supports the arts sector through Create London.
If Good Koffee wanted to move beyond selling their products at farmers’ markets, they needed a safe product with an excellent shelf-life.
So, Chris and the Good Koffee team started working with our food technologist. To improve the safety margins for the consumer we:
- Conducted a process review, identifying and rectifying production challenges
- Arranged and conducted microbiological analysis
- Started shelf-life testing for new products
- Helped the company to complete HACCP accreditation
Shelf-life testing has now been completed. The previous shelf-life cycle for Good Koffee was six months but our LAFIC team is confident this will be much longer after reviewing the product.
The future of Good Koffee
Chris is currently selling Good Koffee products directly to consumers, markets and events while they repurpose their product range to better reflect the brand’s socially uplifting ethos. Good Koffee has also relaunched their website with a clearer message and cleaner look, so their brand is now ready to expand with an online shop.
Chris is optimistic about the future. planning to grow his production runs as he develops links with online off-licences and partnerships with premium social events. The LAFIC business workshops have prepared him to pitch for investment and expand his business – enabling him to fulfil a lifelong dream of owning a brand producing inspiring drinks with no hidden ingredients.
Chris said: “I have confidence in my products and believe the help LAFIC has given me has been integral to this, giving me a source of information, contacts and support to call upon.
My social coffee drinks are adventurous and like nothing else out there. I want to take coffee into new uplifting moments of the day which differentiates Good Koffee and is a great addition to the expanding non-alcoholic and craft drinks sector. I am excited about the prospects of more people enjoying my drinks and the business being able to do some GOOD through our charitable partners along the way.”
Although our LAFIC programme - co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund - has come to an end, you can still connect with us today to keep up to date with future collaborations and business growth opportunities.