Product Review: Organic Buko Coconut Jam
The spreads market in the UK is going through an interesting transition with traditional fruit jams being picked up less and less frequently. Most large manufacturers have set off on a race to the bottom on price which is no good for the shopper or the market place as jars get smaller, quality gets poorer and jobs become more fragile.
So what does the market need? Value. Who is going to drive this value? Small producers with the ability to be flexible. How will they drive it? By being different.
There has been a real surge in the popularity of anything either nutty or chocolatey which is now bringing more shoppers back to the shelf to buy spreads. There has also been an advance made by new sub-categories, hybrids if you like, which take an element of the familiar and blend it with the unfamiliar. For example Tesco have launched a strong range of their own branded biscuit spreads including Custard Creams and Cookies & Cream.
It was inevitable that someone was going to bring coconut to the fixture sooner rather than later; it’s been a bit of phenomenon everywhere else! I remember receiving a jar of coconut butter from Vita Coco when I was a buyer with a generic marketing flyer which said that you could eat it, drink it, cook with it, wash with it, moisturise with it or put it in your hair. Now, I get that it’s versatile but that sort of thing doesn’t sit right with me. I don’t want to put the same thing in my mouth that I do on my feet; I’ve only just got over the confusion The Body Shop caused me with tasty looking soaps. Call me old fashioned but I need to know what’s what; I’m not going to start putting Lynx shower gel on my chips or exfoliating with Rice Krispies. I digress…
When I saw the Buko Coconut Jam I just had to know what it tastes like…
Appeals to: bakers, health fanatics and competent cooks
The jar doesn’t look like a traditional jam jar but it would serve to break up the ‘noise’ on the fixture well. The label is quite small so it would force a shopper to pick it up to engage with it however it does simply and quickly highlight its USPs.
£4.49 – this prices the product at the premium end of the market so Buko Organic will really be working on the emotional purchase to get shoppers to see passed the price point. It will add value back into the category and the price point may automatically exclude some retailers which will enhance the premium, exclusivity for consumers.
I really didn’t know what to expect when I opened each jar, but I certainty wasn’t expecting what I saw. Even though I had read the ingredients beforehand I still expected a fruit jam-esque texture; it’s nothing like that. Imagine the coconut is the fruit in this jam. It creates something that I can only describe as a cross between cream cheese, chocolate spread and cocoa butter. You couldn’t spread it on toast; so I kept it simple and just grabbed a spoon!
This is a really thick, deep coloured spread. The first flavour that hits the front of your mouth is a sweet caramel that melts around the tongue. The coconut notes follow up and linger for a few seconds.
You initially get an intense cocoa hit which quickly fades and is followed again by the chewy coconut. Don’t think Bounty, instead think Bounty, melted and mixed with dulce de leche.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t think I’d enjoy this one but it was my favourite! It was lighter than the first two and the sea salt served to emphasise an initial sweetness. Really good.
Verdict – in a word, coconutty! I wasn’t sure what to expect with this and the word ‘jam’ may be a little misleading. However, I think it’s a brilliant product, absolutely on trend and would work fabulously as an ice cream topper, in baking or cooking ingredient. As an added slice of goodness the products are Soil Association certified, GMO free, low in cholesterol and preservative free. There’s also a fantastic incentive for eco-warriors as every jar sold saves a square metre of rainforest due to a partnership with green lifestyle brand Cuipo.