Food Innovation Centre

Luke Evans Bakery 

Luke Evans Bakery is developing Rootles, a healthy snack biscuit brand. The initial product development was the result of a collaboration between Helen Yates at Luke Evans Bakery with students at University of Nottingham. The product is a narrow biscuit made up of over 34% carrot and sweet potato enrobed in chocolate. The range consists of milk chocolate, dark chocolate and vegan dark chocolate biscuits. Initially the product format was partially enrobed biscuit, leaving a plain ‘handle’, designed to be a healthy snack for children; this changed over the course of project to a fully enrobed format. The goal is for the product to be in supermarkets by mid-2021.


Working with the team at Nottingham University has provided us with excellent technical support, a fresh approach and product inspiration. The level of knowledge, expertise and access to resources that would normally be prohibitive due to cost, provides SMEs like us with an opportunity to ‘stay ahead’ and compete in the market at a higher level.
Helen Yates

Project brief 

  • Research and provide a list of co-manufacturers that may be suitable leads for manufacture
  • Research and advise on ethical issues surrounding vegan shortenings suitable for biscuits

The response

  • Several chocolate enrobing techniques were considered such as mechanically dipping the sticks, partial enrobing and complete enrobing
  • Biscuit co-manufacturers that could produce a chocolate covered product were researched that encompassed all these options for manufacturing techniques and scale was provided. These were ranked in terms of likely suitability and a list was provided to Rootles
  • Attended branding day organised by Mission Ventures to help develop the brand identity by bringing a science perspective to consumer trends
  • Provided advice that manufacturing aides aren’t required in ingredients list allowing for a ‘cleaner’ label

Benefit to the business 

This project has given the company leads for co-manufacturers and ingredients suppliers that will help them produce a product that meets consumer expectations and expand quickly. Input during Rootles’ branding day on the underlying science behind consumer trends helped towards the development of a brand that will resonate with the target market.

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