The start-up pioneering ‘naked ingredients’ and HPP for 'the cleanest, most natural sauces'

By Katy Askew contact

- Last updated on GMT

Tanya Lambert  / Pic: Tanya's Just Real
Tanya Lambert / Pic: Tanya's Just Real

Related tags: Clean label, Sauces

Tanya’s Just Real sauces was founded with a vision: to bring ‘the cleanest most natural sauces’ to ‘time-poor people’. We speak to founder Tanya Lambert about why a clean label is central to her brand and how cold-pressed processing has helped her deliver.

Tanya Lambert’s journey to launching Tanya’s Just Real sauces came about because of a need she personally experienced in the market.

In 2015, she gave up a ‘very stressful role’ in corporate life to ‘take a break and reassess her future’ after suffering a breakdown and an eating disorder since childhood. With two young children – and having felt the strain of juggling work commitments while putting healthy meals on the table - Tanya decided to find an ‘easier way’ for ‘time poor people’ to eat ‘as if from scratch but with all the work done for them’.

“Since 2016 I have made it my mission to bring the cleanest most natural sauces to the market as I know how hard it is to put nutritious, tasty food on the table every day when you are time pressed and probably stressed too,​” Lambert told FoodNavigator.

“Consumers want food that they can produce easily at home without compromising on their or their family’s health, especially when they are working and more recently to help cater for the challenges of the pandemic which has brought health and convenience to the top of the agenda.”

The concept of Tanya’s Just Real sauces was born.

Cold-pressed for cleaner label

Available in Waitrose, Tanya’s Just Real is the first brand to bring a cold-pressed sauce into the retail market in the UK.

The range of six products each contain a combination of at least seven raw vegetables, fruits and herbs which are blended and preserved through high pressure processing (HPP), rather than pasteurising.

Smokey_Cokey_Packshot Tanya's Just Real
Smokey Cokey is part of the Tanya's Just Real line-up / Pic: Tanya's Just Real

It was Lambert’s mission from launch to achieve a 'naked ingredients goal' and it took four years to find a manufacturing partner who was able to deliver this for her product.

“For me it was vital to find the right process to preserve the integrity of all the raw fresh ingredients that made up each flavour,”​ explained Lambert.

“I met many challenges along the way including exploding product, due to fermentation of raw ingredients, and the insistence of previous manufacturers to use additives such as citric acid as the only way to ensure product life and stability. It wasn’t until I met with Pascal who have a wealth of food technology particularly in the area of HPP, that I was able to confidently produce my recipes just as I had at home, raw and without any additives.”

The HPP process combined with a unique blending process, allows Tanya’s to blend the fresh ingredients including peels and pips, in 1.5 to 3 minutes, minimising any heat being generated during production, in turn protecting the nutritional value of the raw ingredients, whilst also reducing food waste.

Unlike pasteurisation, the cold-press process ensures the taste and textural qualities of the fresh ingredients are retained without the need for salt, sugar or any additives or stabilisers. In this way, Lambert has been able to develop recipes that ‘reassurance that they are cooking with completely fresh ingredients’ and no additives.

“It’s been quite a journey, but we made it. I’m proud to be disrupting the sauce category and championing a new way of using sauces, much in the same way that fresh soups brought a new dimension to the soup category.”

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