I was recently sent some Taste Inc chicken fillets to review. They’re predominantly a convenience food brand who are relaunching/rebranding in the UK by expanding their range of healthy options available. I know when most people think of convenience food they think of unhealthy, packaged options with a ton of additives, preservatives and poor nutritional choices. Personally I do buy convenience food, particularly meat – to add to salads or as a base for a quick meal at work when I have little time to meal prep. Although they do often have additives and things you’d probably choose to avoid if you were cooking yourself at home, sometimes I really do think it’s about making life easier and there are plenty of convenience foods with minimal additives available.
Taste Inc currently have two flavours in their range – original and spicy. I was definitely more excited to try the spicy flavour. It had a great mix of spices and was pretty tasty – a great addition to a light salad, or even just good as a snack on its own. The original flavour was actually good too though, as they add salt and pepper so it’s far from bland. Despite not being a particularly exciting flavour on its own, I like the fact that it being plain gave me the option to add other things like hummus or goats cheese to liven it up without creating some bizarre flavour combination!
Both of them had a really nice texture. Although probably partly due to the addition of water, they were very moist – I find that I rarely end up cooking chicken myself at home (unless it’s in a stew or a curry) as it often ends up being dry – probably not helped by the fact that I’m paranoid about giving myself food poisoning so I probably do cook it slightly longer than I ideally should. If by adding a little water they make chicken taste this tender then I have no issue with that!
I think there’s loads of scope for these products to be successful. They’re sold in convenient single serve grab and go packs and can be eaten hot or cold – I blasted a couple on full power in the microwave for about 40 seconds and they became even more soft and tender. The simple packaging makes them easy to eat without making a mess and getting your hands dirty, unlike many other ready cooked meats where you have to battle with peeling back flappy plastic film lids then eat with your fingers! They’re small so they’re perfect for a quick snack (and are the perfect size to be stuffed into a pitta or chopped up on crackers for something slightly more substantial). I’d definitely like to see them bring out more flavours in future. The original, although “plain” is still tasty, I loved the spicy flavour but I’m guessing other flavours like BBQ, pesto, lemon and herb, etc would also be really popular. Yes of course they do have some additives but let’s be honest, with the amount of processed food we consume these days (I’m not just talking about bread/cakes/ready meals but for the fitness crowd protein bars, protein powders and those dreadful calorie free syrups and sauces too!), a few extra ingredients added to chicken to make it tender and flavoursome is hardly a big deal.
It’s worth noting that each one is very small – I’d say a couple would probably form part of a good snack but you’d probably have to eat a whole row of five for it to be substantial enough for a meal. Price wise that’s not unreasonable though. With general prices of pre cooked/flavoured chicken I was expecting them to be very costly but I was pleasantly surprised to see them at my local supermarket at a very, very reasonable £2 (for a row). They’re currently stocked at Morrisons and Ocado but I can definitely see them expanding as I’m sure they’ll be successful – at such a good price I’d definitely consider buying them in future 🙂
Link to their website: http://www.tasteinc.com