Irish Spice Merchant Green Saffron Set to Taste UK Success with Waitrose Listing

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Arun Kapil, founder and CEO of Cork-based spice company Green Saffron. The firm has announced a deal with UK supermarket giant Waitrose & Partners which will see its unique spice blend sachets on British shelves – and in British shopping baskets - from September 2019. Founded by Kapil and wife Olive in 2007, Green Saffron’s Indian sauces, spice blends and Fresh Pots chilled meals use ingredients sourced directly from partner farms in India. Waitrose & Partners is the UK’s sixth-largest grocery retailer with an estimated 5.1% market share. Picture: Brian Lougheed.

Irish spice company Green Saffron has announced details of a significant expansion into the UK market, inking a deal with supermarket giant Waitrose & Partners which will see the Cork firm's unique spice blend sachets on British shelves – and in British shopping baskets - from September 2019.
The Waitrose vote of confidence in Green Saffron products – comprising the best of ingredients sourced directly from partner farms in India - comes amid a well-documented swell of UK consumer interest in 'authentic', Indian-style street food flavours, blending intensity of flavour and convenience of preparation with natural health benefits of plant-based ingredients and fresh spices.
The agreement represents a toehold into the UK market for Green Saffron, already a familiar sight to Irish shoppers through its ambient range of spice sachets and cooking sauces (available through Supervalu and Tesco) and its currently Tesco-exclusive selection of chilled Fresh Pot Indian meals.
It also comes at a time of significant domestic consolidation for the company. Green Saffron has recently finalised an agreement with BWG Foods for the rollout of its ambient range to Spar, Eurospar, Londis and Mace outlets and has also recorded double-digit growth in its B2B ingredients business, which counts Dawn Meats Dunbia as a major customer.
For Green Saffron’s founder Arun Kapil, born in Scunthorpe to a Yorkshire mother and an Indian father, this bridgehead into the UK is about more than just a business opportunity – it’s about a sense of homecoming
“For me this is the Green Saffron story coming full circle,” Kapil said. “I’m so proud of being an Irish company. It’s in East Cork that I was given the chance to start and it’s in the fertile land of Ireland that we sowed the seeds of this little idea, where the locals helped it take root, supported its growth and helped it flourish.
“The combination of an Indian heritage and a British upbringing is in my DNA. I was bought up with a strong sense of heritage and home. Ireland has my heart and I’ll always remember the journey I’ve been on to get here. It’s an immense source of satisfaction for me to be able now to bring our company Green Saffron – nurtured by my wife Olive, supported by our brilliantly bright team here in Cork– into the homes and kitchens of Britain.
“The mission from day one has been to share the vibrant flavours of fresh spice, to shake up the Indian food aisles and to shine a light on the glorious colours of this most delicious of complex cuisines. Green Saffron is expert in sourcing the best, highest quality fresh spice direct from source and Waitrose really gets that. They are focused on bringing quality food to shoppers and for us, that made this the perfect partnership.”

Arun Kapil, founder and CEO of Cork-based spice company Green Saffron. The firm has announced a deal with UK supermarket giant Waitrose & Partners which will see its unique spice blend sachets on British shelves – and in British shopping baskets - from September 2019. Founded by Kapil and wife Olive in 2007, Green Saffron’s Indian sauces, spice blends and Fresh Pots chilled meals use ingredients sourced directly from partner farms in India. Waitrose & Partners is the UK’s sixth-largest grocery retailer with an estimated 5.1% market share.
Picture: Brian Lougheed.

The agreement represents a toehold into the UK market for Green Saffron, already a familiar sight to Irish shoppers through its ambient range of spice sachets and cooking sauces (available through Supervalu and Tesco) and its currently Tesco-exclusive selection of chilled Fresh Pot Indian meals.

Arun Kapil, founder and CEO of Cork-based spice company Green Saffron. The firm has announced a deal with UK supermarket giant Waitrose & Partners which will see its unique spice blend sachets on British shelves – and in British shopping baskets - from September 2019. Founded by Kapil and wife Olive in 2007, Green Saffron’s Indian sauces, spice blends and Fresh Pots chilled meals use ingredients sourced directly from partner farms in India. Waitrose & Partners is the UK’s sixth-largest grocery retailer with an estimated 5.1% market share.
Picture: Brian Lougheed.
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