Dare to love dairy

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Dare to love dairy

Dare to love dairy

 

The milk to your cereal. the butter to your bread. The world would be a very different place without dairy. And with all the milk and butter alternatives on the scene we know it’s easy to forget this dietary staple.

In many ways, experimenting and trying non-dairy options is like shoe shopping; it’s fun and sometimes you’ll find keepers (almond mylk has its place), but nothing will replace that pair of boots you’ve always loved. Comparably, dairy free options may have their own unique qualities but let’s be real, Cheerio’s with almond mylk just isn’t the same.

Luckily, we’re big fans of dairy here at Oppo HQ and when it comes to out ice cream we use only the very best. Our milk is always fresh, from meadow-grazed cows free to roam and eat naturally, ensuring every tub tastes as great as possible.

Milk pouring into Oppo Salted Caramel tub

But in addition to great taste, there are plenty more reasons for why we love dairy and why you should to! Here are our top 5.

1)      Dairy is full of calcium so having it in your diet is a great way to maintain healthy calcium levels. There’s a whole list of benefits to ensuring calcium features in your diet but one of the main reasons is the role this mineral plays in keeping our bones healthy and strong. Our skeletal system carries 99% of our body’s calcium and having them properly stocked is crucial: it means we’re less prone to osteoporosis, have a sturdier frame for building muscle and have stronger pearly whites (aka teeth!) - which studies show is a top priority when judging a partner, so drink up single ladies and gents.

2)      Protein is king and for good reason. It’s the building block of muscle and the most satiating food group. Ever heard of whey protein? Did you know it is derived from milk? This is one of the best sources of protein available. But you don’t have to be hitting up the squat-rack and gulping down shakes for protein to be important. It’s key for general muscle health and keeping us satisfied. As an abundant source of protein, dairy is an easy way to ensure you’re taking good care of that precious muscle mass and not nibbling on empty calories all day.

3)      Essential source of vitamins and minerals. We’re constantly learning more about how food makes us feel and we now know that diet plays a core role in our bio-chemistry. Luckily, dairy is packed with a whole bunch of vitamins and minerals including Vitamin B-12 which is vital for our energy levels, and vitamin D which promotes serotonin release (the ‘happy’ chemical). Who wouldn’t want to eat their way to improved energy and happiness, especially when it could be a simple case of eating more cheese… we’re in!

4)      Hold on to childhood memories. When you think of your childhood do you remember all that milk-drenched cereal? Perhaps your parents encouraged you to eat yogurt, and if your Sunday lunches were the real deal then you’ll have had apple crumble for dessert made with real butter and served with cream. Cutting out dairy isn’t far off waving farewell to some of the world’s most incredible flavours. Plus, almond milk in tea will never be a patch on the real thing. Quite simply, dairy has an important, delicious flavour legacy. Why say goodbye to that!

5)      Sleep soundly at night and stay healthy. Firstly, your risk of many diseases and health problems - such as heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes - is reduced by consuming dairy. Secondly, the tryptophan found in dairy can be used by the body to create sleep-triggering melatonin, so you will, quite literally, sleep soundly. Pass the hot chocolate please!

Ultimately the amount of dairy we consume is down to personal preference, and everyone is different. ­

As for Oppo, dairy is what makes our ice cream taste luxurious and authentic. We may have taken out traditional table sugar to make our ice cream healthy but fresh milk is a nutritional asset with many great benefits that we won’t be saying goodbye to any time soon.

So, put dairy back in the spotlight. We guarantee you’ll be glad you did.

 

 

 

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New research reveals that 40% of young adults can’t afford to buy healthy food and drink

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New research reveals that 40% of young adults can’t afford to buy healthy food and drink

New research reveals that 40% of young adults can’t afford to buy healthy food and drink

Today we’re releasing new YouGov research which shows that:

  • 68% of UK adults find healthy food and drink more expensive than those not marked as healthy
  • A staggering 40% of 18-34 year olds, 30% across all age groups, cannot afford to purchase healthy food and drink because they are more expensive than other products   

It is clear. Price is a barrier to a healthy diet.

What is also clear is that the Sugar Tax will not and cannot solve this problem. Policy makers continue to look at the problem of excessive sugar consumption from the wrong angle.

Don't Tax Healthy Campaign Image

Today’s research is further proof that our campaign provides a workable solution which will reduce the nation’s sugar consumption. Let’s cut VAT to the reduced rate of 5% on all lower sugar products and get rid of the price barrier which so many of us face. 

Please share today’s research amongst your friends and family. We need more signatures if we want the decision-makers to listen.

#DontTaxHealthy

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How to indulge healthily this Christmas?

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How to indulge healthily this Christmas?

HOW TO INDULGE HEALTHILY THIS CHRISTMAS

 

#1 Breakfast of champions- Moma

Resist the urge to skip breakfast or grab a handful of chocolate coins during the busy festive period. If you're crazy about oats, or even if you're not, Moma are your go-to guys for the perfect breakfast. Choose from their porridges, muesli and smoothies. Awesome. 

 

#2 The on-the-run snack – Squirrel Sisters 

Dairy free, gluten free and with no added sugar, boost your energy levels with these tasty snack bars. They're in four flavours - Coconut Cashew, Raspberry Ripple, Cacao Orange and Cacao Brownie. 

 

#3 Natural drinks to keep you feeling refreshed - Sibberi

We all know the importance of staying hydrated but drinking water all the time is boring. Try Sibberi's bamboo, birch and maple waters to mix things up. 

 

#4 Your morning coffee – Sandows Coffee

It was a late night, you’re tired, maybe your head is a bit sore too. The only thing that will get you through the day is a coffee. Sandows is the king of cold brew coffee.

Cold brew is fresh coffee and filtered water, brewed slowly and without heat to extract minimal acidity. The result is a way smoother flavour without the bitterness you usually get in black coffee. Seriously good. 

 

#5 Get that chocolate fix - Ohso Chocolate

Chocolate is everywhere at Christmas. Grab some Ohso Chocolate so that you can indulge without refined sugar and with naturally occurring probiotics. No need to share.

 

#6 Simple speedy smoothies - Pack’d

New year, new you... but it can be a little hard to get going, can't it? Make it easy with Pack’d frozen smoothie kits. 100% natural and with whole fruit and vegetables, these kits create the ultimate smoothie in under a minute. Nice. 

 

#7 Food to fuel you – TRIBE bars

If like us, your New Year’s resolution is to get fitter then do it with the help of TRIBE bars and trail mixes – they’re perfect to fuel you throughout your workout and to aid your recovery afterwards.  

 

#8 A refreshing alternative - Jax Coco

Christmas is a time to be merry. This often comes with a hangover...

Keep fresh with the best coconut water around. 100% pure and natural, Jax Coco is the perfect hydration tool.

 

#9 Fight off the cold - Miso Tasty

We might not get a white Christmas, but it's still pretty cold outside. So if you're in, curl up with some miso - a tasty soybean paste with a deep, savoury taste. Miso Tasty have a range of soups and pastes to keep you nourished, warm and cosy. 

 

#10 Move over Coca-Cola - Ugly

100% natural fruit-infused sparkling water with no sugar, no sweeteners, no calories and no artificial ingredients. No need for any sugar because in the words of Ugly, 'you're sweet enough already!' 

 

And of course... - Oppo ice cream

It's simple. Grab a spoon, pick up a tub and enjoy indulging... healthily. If you're feeling a little more adventurous, check out our Panettone French Toast with Oppo recipe here

Why is Oppo healthy? EU Authorised Health Claim: ‘Consumption of foods/drinks containing erythritol and steviol glycosides instead of sugar induces a lower blood glucose rise after their consumption compared to sugar-containing foods/drinks’.

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Top tips for a Festive workout

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Top tips for a Festive workout

Top tips for a festive workout

Right. Picture this. It's the 27th December. You've just watched Love Actually for the third time, your Grandad has beaten you at Chess (again) and you're thinking the 17th mince pie you just ate wasn't such a good idea. In fact, do you feel a little like this..?

Friends Turkey Episode

Well, we're sure you don't. Honest. 

Plus, you're in safe hands because we've teamed up with Vicky Gardner, a writer and Personal Trainer for premium ethical activewear brand, Sundried, so that you can keep active and feeling good over the Christmas break.

Set aside 20 minutes, find some free space and follow the below exercises. 20 reps of each exercise, 30 seconds rest between each and repeat the whole set 3 times. And then mince pies... and Oppo. Nice. 

Right, firstly make sure you'e all warmed up, we don't want you to pull a (cracker...) muscle. Let's get going. 

1. Squat Jumps

How to: Start in your regular squat position, with your feet just outside shoulder width. Sink your weight back into your heels ready to perform your squat, sink your bum back as low as you can but instead of driving up as normal, jump. Explode upwards using all your strength and then land softly. Remember just because you’re jumping - it’s not an excuse to half rep - make sure you’re still nailing your squat depth.

Grab a tree (or a weight) if you're feeling especially energetic .

Grab a tree (or a weight) if you're feeling especially energetic .

2. Walkouts

How to: Start with your feet underneath your shoulders, bend at the hips bringing your hands to the ground. Walk your hands out until they are directly underneath your shoulders, so you’re in the plank. Try to keep your legs straight during this process but avoid locking out your knees. Complete a push up, before walking your hands back towards your feet and returning to the start position.

Plank position 

3. Skaters

How to: Start in a slight squat. Jump sideways to the left, landing on your left leg. Bring your right leg behind to your left ankle, without letting it touch the floor. Reverse direction by jumping to the right with your right leg. Swing your arms to help build momentum to propel you further. You're ice skating. Each jump is 1 rep.

4. Wide and Close Grip Push - Ups

How to: Start in a regular push up position, making sure you sink all the way down so your nose is almost scraping the floor to complete a true push up. Next move your hands closer together, ideally they should be closer than shoulder width, then, keep you elbows in whilst you push up - you can always come onto your knees if you need to. 

5. Burpees

How to: Start with your hands on the floor at around shoulder width apart in a hand plank position, jump your legs forward towards your hands. As your feet reach your hands,  jump both hands up, exploding towards the ceiling. Bring your hands back down to the ground and jump your feet back into the plank.

Burpee exercise position 

6. Plank Rotations

How to: Starting in an extended plank, lift one hand off the ground and straighten it up towards the ceiling, twist your body to follow the extended arm. Once you reach as far as you can twist, lead with the arm and re twist your body to the original plank position, now repeat for the other side.

7. Mountain Climbers

How to: This move fires up your abdominals whilst keeping your heart rate high. Assume a standard pushup position and run each leg in towards your chest as though you were running off the ground as fast as you can.

8. Bicycle Crunches

How to: Start by laying on your back, then lift your head and shoulders off the ground and twist towards the opposite leg. Crunch the opposite leg in bringing your knee towards your stomach. Remember speed is important here but so is range of motion: make sure your torso stays lifted and you really twist to contract your abs.

Done? Done 3 times? Promise? Great, nice work. Just remember to ease your heart rate back down to resting gradually. Slow down, stretch and cool off... now go grab that 18th mince pie!

Merry Christmas from Sundried.

Sun-dried Logo

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9 Ways to oppo this winter

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9 Ways to oppo this winter

NINE WAYS TO OPPO THIS WINTER

Here are nine ways to indulge healthily with Oppo this winter. Time to get inventive in the kitchen...

 

#1  Keep it traditional and add an indulgent scoop with your crumble, pies, puddings and tarts.

Pecan pie topped with Oppo Madagascan Vanilla Ice cream 

 

#2  Try layering your favourite flavour in a dessert, like these millionaire pudding pots by @maxineali!

Millionaire Pudding Pot layered with Oppo

 

#3  About to pour milk over your granola? How about adding some ice cream instead to kick start your day!

Oppo ice cream with granola

 

#4  Give your hot drinks that finishing touch with a scoop or two.

Hot chocolate Oppo Ice Cream

 

#5  Pop Oppo onto your morning porridge for some extra creaminess.

Porridge topped with Oppo

 

#6  Try sandwiching your next scoop between cookies, pastry or even gingerbread!

Pastry Oppo Sandwich

 

#7  Try baking with it and use it as the custard mix in your next bread and butter pudding.

Oppo Bread and Butter Pudding

 

#8  Keep that body-warming muscle on your frame with some extra indulgent protein shakes.

Oppo Protein Shake

 

#9  Put a spin on your favourite crumble by spiralizing it, and serve it piping hot with a big scoop of Oppo.

Spiralized Apple Crumble with Oppo Ice Cream

The possibilities are truly endless, so don't neglect the freezer this winter! Get creative with your Oppo and, if you have any other cool wintery ideas up your sleeve, be sure to snap them and tag us in on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

 

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Join the movement. #DontTaxHealthy

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Join the movement. #DontTaxHealthy

Join the movement. #DontTaxHealthy

We are petitioning the government to cut VAT on foods with a reduced sugar nutrition claim to the reduced rate of 5%. Click on the Change.org button to sign.

We've got a problem. 

National statistics show that 58% of women and 68% of men are either overweight or obese.*   

It's no surprise either; it's cheaper to buy food that's packed full of sugar than healthy food that isn't.  Everyone loves enjoying their favourite sweet treats, so consumption of sugary junk food isn't set to change any time soon. 

Unless we do something. 

It's possible to make indulgent sweet treats without a high sugar content. Although, it’s not easy. It took us 25 months to develop Oppo. Fast forward to 2016 and we have a product which has won a Great Taste Award, but which also contains 60% less sugar than regular ice cream. Healthy indulgence is possible.

The problem is that it's expensive to make healthy food. Sugar is cheap at just 50p per kg, whereas healthier sugar alternatives such as the ingredients we use in Oppo are as high as £11 per kg. We need to level the playing field and make it cheaper to enjoy healthier products.

Sure, George Osborne is going to tax sugary drinks. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. It's approaching the problem from the wrong angle. We should actively encourage consumption of products which have a reduced sugar content. How? Cut the VAT to 5%. Ice cream and most confectionary are currently subject to the 20% standard rate of VAT.

We say that products with a reduced sugar nutrition claim should be subject to the reduced rate of 5%.

The stats speak for themselves. The consumer body Which? recently reported that a majority of UK supermarket promotions were for less healthy foods, and that 29% of UK shoppers said they found it difficult to eat healthily as they think healthier food is more expensive than less healthy food.** But people want to eat more healthily. Mintel have reported that 57% of people would choose to eat ice cream and desserts made with sugar-free sweeteners such as stevia if they cost the same.***

Sure, fresh fruit and veg is VAT zero rated, but fruit will never be a substitute for the craving you have for your favourite sweet treats. If we're serious about reducing national sugar consumption, we need to work with consumer eating habits, not against them. 

At Oppo we make a luxury dairy ice cream that has less than 60% of the sugar and calories found in regular ice cream. It's also more expensive, because of the high quality ingredients we use in place of the lashings of sugar found in regular ice cream. Adding VAT on top of this expense means that healthier indulgences like Oppo are out of reach of most regular consumers.

It's now time for the Government to get on board and put their money where their mouth is in supporting the creation of a healthier nation. 

If you agree, sign our petition.   

#DontTaxHealthy

 

* The Health and Social Care Information centre report 2015 and 2016, a National Statistics publication.

** The Grocer report on the Which? Report August 2016, The Grocer, Ian Quinn

*** Research by Mintel: 'Ingredients and the Consumer – Interest in Innovation in Ice Cream and Desserts' - June 2015; and 'Attitudes towards ice cream and desserts, by demographics' March 2016. Both reports involved asking questions to a panel of 2,000 consumers aged over 16 in the UK. It's unbiased and the participants had no knowledge of Oppo or connection with us.

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How to make your #Foodporn epic

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How to make your #Foodporn epic

HOW TO MAKE #FOODPORN EPIC

What’s that? You went out for lunch and didn’t take a picture of your superfood salad!? Who even are you 

We’re joking of course. Granted, snapping your meals isn’t the be all and end all, but we do live in a world where taking pictures of everything (and we mean everything) has become common practice. So, get that iPhone poised and ready for its #FoodPorn moment. If you're new to snapping when snacking, we've got some great tips to get you started. And if you’ve already got a portfolio of meals on your Instagram, there’s always room for improvement.  

Here are seven easy tips to help you hone those photography skills

  • Lighting is king and natural lighting at that. Always make sure you’ve got a decent light source to work with. Keep it simple: a large window will work perfectly so long as it has plenty of outdoor exposure. Make sure you’ve either got, or can put your setting directly beside the window pane with no obstructions: that way you’ll avoid any shadows falling on the food. 

 

  • Clear the area. Honestly, the last thing you want is to take a great snap only to see a random wrapper or set of keys has crept into the frame. A few minutes of making sure your space is clean and clear will make a big difference. You won’t be kicking yourself later or hectically cropping out that irritating item you wish you’d removed.
Photographing Oppo Ice cream
  • Take time to set the composition (sounds fancy, right?). You wouldn’t get dressed without thinking and the same applies to photography. Play about before you shoot. Choose the bit you want to focus on (such as the plate of food) and accessorise the surrounding area. This is a great way to balance the picture and add depth. For example, placing some cutlery far back in the frame means you can focus on the main element and fade out the distant ones. Similarly, if your focus is on the bottom left corner then scatter some other elements in the top right. You get the idea. 

 

  • Work with colour. Food looks best when it’s natural (why else do you think they scrapped the blue smarties…). So, use bright and natural colours when you can. On occasions where colour may be limited, don’t panic! Accenting with fresh herbs is an easy way to freshen up your images. There are loads of herbs or leaves that work for savoury dishes. For sweet ones, mint or basil fit well. We often find that a sprig of mint on the top of a scoop of Madagascan Vanilla helps to take a shot to the next level 

 

  • Work fast, but be calm. Sounds like a contradiction but we promise you it’s not. Have everything ready so you can shoot your food as quickly as you can once it’s on the plate. It’s amazing how quickly food melts (we should know!), wilts or just loses that moment of pure indulgence. If you’ve experimented with the layout beforehand, you’ll know what angles work best and you’ll probably work much quicker. It’s also important to stay calm; often the best picture will either be the first, when the food is its freshest, or the last when you’re the most relaxed. 
Photographing Oppo Ice cream
  • The great thing about food photography is its ability to tell a story beyond what it shows. Simply including some of the raw ingredients you’ve used in the dish shows, though subtly, both the natural aspect and the cooking process behind it. Popping two spoons into one bowl tells us something is being shared. Whatever way you choose to do it, think about how your pictures can be more than just pictures of food because it’s the story behind them, as well as how nice they look, that makes them awesome.

 

  • Don’t fiddle. Look, Instagram filters are great and we’re not saying don’t use them, just use them sparingly. If you’ve got a good photo to start with it probably won’t need much editing anyway. As a rule of thumb, we suggest avoiding the set filters themselves (except ‘Valencia’ <3). Instead, up the brightness, accentuate the contrast and add some warmth. You can’t go wrong.     
Oppo Ice cream with Granola

There. You’re officially a photography pro. Okay maybe it takes a few years for that, but you are well on the way. As with anything, practice is the real key so do plenty of picture taking and you’ll discover a style comes quicklyThe most important thing is to have fun with it.   

So, grab your phone, get snapping and if Oppo makes it onto your Instagram, make sure you tag us in!

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Startups Awards - We've Been Shortlisted!

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Startups Awards - We've Been Shortlisted!

Startups Awards - We've Been Shortlisted

Forget Trump V Clinton. And the Bake Off … what channel is it even on these days? Strictly? Fair point, that’s pretty good.
 
But there’s only one contest we’re really interested in at the moment. And that’s the Startups Awards. We’re in the race for Crowdfunded Business of the Year, Innovative Business of the Year and People’s Champion. For the People’s Champion Award, we need your help. It’s an all-out public vote. It takes 5 seconds and you can vote here. To say thanks, just email a screenshot of the ‘thanks for voting’ page to team@oppoicecream.co.uk and we’ll send you 3 x £2.50 vouchers for our Madagascan Vanilla ice cream. 
 
For the other categories, with a 24-strong judging panel of some of the UK’s most successful business-men-and-women, including TV Dragon Nick Jenkins, Cath Kidston and Nick Wheeler, we can’t wait to find out the results on the 17th November. But until then here are our thoughts on crowdfunding and innovation.

Crowdfunding 

Individuals. We like to follow individuals. The brilliant expert. The inspirational leader. Individual wisdom is lauded and celebrated. 
 
But what about the wisdom of crowds? Take Francis Galton’s famous anecdote. Taking all of the guesses at a country fair in a ‘guess the weight of the Ox’ contest, he found that the average guesses of the crowd were closer to the Ox’s true weight than the guesses of all of the local experts. Expertise in comparison to the crowd? Inferior. 
 
And this isn’t an anomaly. In certain areas, crowds consistently perform better than individual expertise – check out James Surowiecki’s brilliant The Wisdom of Crowds – and it is only recently with the advent of new technology, that crowds have been able to effectively used. Just look at the explosion in crowdfunding and crowdsourcing. At Oppo we’ve always used crowds to push ourselves farther than we could ever have gone alone. 
 
We’ve crowdfunded twice and for us, crowdfunding was always about more than just the money. We’ve got 650 brilliant investors. 650 individuals who are some of our most passionate brand advocates. 650 people whom we want to shape the Oppo journey along with us. They’ve been invaluable, helping us with our marketing, to providing advice, and even giving feedback on new ideas, branding and propositions.  

Innovation

Oppo’s mission is focused firmly on innovation. 
 
For too long producers have wrongly believed that health and indulgence are opposites, that they cannot co-exist without there being some form of compromise. We’ve proved this wrong. But innovation wasn’t and never will be easy. Oppo took 25 months to create and we weren’t going to launch a product until we were happy that it was perfect – all-natural, indulgent … and healthy (find out how we're healthy here).
 
Look at other industries. It’s innovate or die. Multiple innovations have made our lives easier, quicker and healthier. But Food and Drink? Sadly not. An obesity crises and diabetic epidemic are realities in modern-day Britain … and it’s not getting any better. As producers, we have a responsibility to the consumer. Food should be nourishing and not damaging to your health. People like to indulge, and why not? Eating clean all the time is boring. We think that working with consumer eating habits and making that indulgence healthier could be the key to turning the tide and improving public health. 
 
Here’s to innovation … the healthy way.

And please don't forget to vote - just click on the button below to get to the voting page!

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We won a Great Taste Award!

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We won a Great Taste Award!

We won a Great Taste Award!

Oppo Ice Cream Great Taste Award Photogrpah

Do you remember getting a gold star at primary school? It felt pretty good didn’t it. Or what about your first swimming badge? And don’t even get us started on your Angry Birds score. You legend.

Well take that feeling, multiply it a few times and that’s us right now. We’re stoked to announce that our Salted Caramel with a hint of Lucuma ice cream has been awarded a Gold Star in this year’s Great Taste Awards.

Each year, thousands of products enter and across 49 separate judging days, 400 expert judges work in small teams to identify the very best tasting products on sale in the UK today.

At Oppo, we’ve always believed that product is king. Charlie took over two years to create the recipes for Oppo, and they had to be perfect; indulgent, creamy, delicious … and healthy. This isn’t easy. Take salted caramel for instance, a flavour synonymous with indulgence … and sugar. We had to think outside the box and this is why we use lucuma. Hailing from Peru, this delicious fruit lends its natural maple and caramel flavour to our ice cream. Welcome to nature’s caramel.

The Great Taste judges’ comments included “the texture of this ice cream is lovely and creamy”, “remarkable that there is no added sugar” and that it “had all the elements – fruit, salt and dairy – refreshing and well-made. An unusual idea well-executed.”

We now join a very small and select group of other ice creams who carry the Great Taste hallmark, and we’re most certainly the only one which can legally be referred to as healthy*. Who ever said that healthy food had to be boring? We know that they were wrong.

So if you’re wanting to see what the Great Taste Judges were on about, go grab a tub of our Salted Caramel with a hint of Lucuma. It’s award-winning don’t you know?

Oppo Ice Cream Salted Caramel

*EU Authorised Health Claim: ‘Consumption of foods/drinks containing erythritol and steviol glycosides instead of sugar induces a lower blood glucose rise after their consumption compared to sugar-containing foods/drinks’.

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Who said 'healthy ice cream'?

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Who said 'healthy ice cream'?

Who said 'healthy ice cream'?

“That’s it. Go on now. You won’t be leaving any leftovers now, will you? That’s it, they’re good for you…” Can you remember your dinner lady saying that to you? We certainly can … and who even liked turkey twizzlers anyway? Thank God for Jamie Oliver.

 

Joking aside, it’s not always easy to figure out what’s healthy, and what isn’t. Hidden sugars. Good fats Vs bad fats. Man-made substitutes. We’ve all heard about it, but how many of us actually understand it? For a consumer, making the right choices can be difficult. Particularly when multiple brands are marketing themselves as being ‘good’ or ‘better’ for you, who do you believe?

Oppo. Indulge Healthy.

Recent EU-wide legislation is regulating this area. This is to ensure that consumers are not misled, and that they have access to correct information so that they can make the right choices.

 

Brands now have to comply with a strict set of criteria if they want to be able to make health claims. In effect, if a product wants to be able to call themselves healthy, or good for you, or anything similar, then they have to meet the conditions for a specific EU Authorised Health Claim. If they don’t, then they can’t say it. Simple.

 

At Oppo, we always want to be transparent. We have a litmus test for this. If we’re not comfortable to stand up and say something, ‘on the record’, to a room full of 100 journalists then we won’t say it. When Charlie created Oppo, product was king, Oppo had to be genuinely healthy, as well as taste incredible. We’re pleased to say that we can officially call Oppo healthy as we meet the conditions for the following EU Authorised Health Claim:

 

‘Consumption of foods/drinks containing erythritol (derived from corn) and steviol glycosides (derived from stevia leaf) instead of sugar induces a lower blood glucose rise after their consumption compared to sugar-containing foods/drinks’.

 

Nice one. Who’s up for indulging … healthily?

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The answer to a green problem

The answer to a green problem

Many ice creams use copper chlorophyll to make mint flavours green. When Charlie developed our mint choc flavour we wanted to use a natural ingredient instead.

So we found Spirulina. It's considered to be one of the world's most nutritionally dense foods, with loads of protein, vitamins and iron. Now you can have your childhood favourite, adult style. 

Spirulina used in Oppo's Mint Choc Swirl flavour

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Drink anyone? Oppo on the sugar tax

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Drink anyone? Oppo on the sugar tax

Drink anyone? Oppo on the Sugar Tax?

Jamie Oliver with sugar bus.

Drink anyone?

Water? Great, I’m gasping. Orange juice? Definitely, my throat’s been tickling all day. Tea? Of course, I’m British.

But what if you wanted a fizzy drink? In March, George Osborne announced a new levy on the soft drinks industry. Dubbed ‘the sugar tax’ and coming into force in 2018, sugar-sweetened drinks (excluding fruit juices and milk-based drinks) with more than 5g and 8g of sugar per 100 millilitres, will be levied at 18p and 24p per litre, respectively.

Campaigners have hailed the new levy a success. These are people like Jamie Oliver and NHS Chief Simon Stevens. But why? Just look at the stats, you’ll be shocked. 1 in 5 children now leave primary school obese and there are 2.5 million Brits suffering with type 2 diabetes (90% of whom are overweight or obese). This is not to mention that sugar content in some soft drinks is inordinately high. Take a 330ml can of Coke. It has 35g of sugar. The recommended daily intake for 11+ children is 30g. I bet you’ve just put that can down.

But is this new levy the right way forward?

I think that most of us agree that excessive consumption of sugary drinks is contributing to the rise in obesity. But will this levy reduce consumption? In Mexico, a similar 10% tax resulted in a 12% reduction in sales over 12 months. The question is whether or not a similar effect will be seen in the UK. Time will tell. 

Does this also go beyond the role of the state? This tax almost suggests that sugar is now in the same league as alcohol and tobacco. Now whether it is or isn’t is a blog post (or three) in itself, but what is clear is that the cost of obesity for the NHS is huge (£5.1 billion per year) and rising.

But regardless, is taxing to disincentivize the purchase of unhealthy products tackling the problem from the wrong end. What about incentivising the purchase of healthier alternatives? Surely this would be better.

What about manufacturers?

Manufacturers profit from the products they sell. Now most manufacturers argue that they merely offer a choice to consumers. However, if their products are having a negative effect on the health of the nation, then they clearly aren’t meeting customer needs. Take Unilever. They recently announced that they would be capping their single-serve ice creams at 250 calories. Brilliant. Was that multiple hours in the kitchen? Hundreds of recipe refinements? One eureka moment? Sadly not. They’ve just introduced smaller packaging. So that’s selling less, for the same price, and all under the guise of ‘improving the health of the nation’.

Charlie spent months creating Oppo. It’s not easy creating an indulgent, yet healthy product … but it is possible. Manufacturers need to create products which allow customers to indulge without negatively affecting their health. Perhaps reduced sales from state-imposed levies will force them to do this. Until then … there’s always Oppo.

 

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Oppo to your door (and theatre seat)

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Oppo to your door (and theatre seat)

Oppo to your door (and theatre seat)

Oppo available on Amazon Fresh UK

Fresh (pun intended) out the blocks this month, Oppo is one of the first to be on Amazon's newly launched grocery delivery service. Launching first in central and east London you can now get Oppo delivered within an hour.

Oppo available in the VIP area of all Ambassador Theatres in London West End.

Oppo is now also available in the VIP area of all Ambassador Theatres! If you're taking your hot date to see Jersey Boys or The Book of Mormon you'll know how to impress them. 

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How does a dried fruit make Oppo so creamy?

How does a dried fruit make Oppo so creamy?

How did we make the nation's favourite flavour more creamy?

We used Baobab. Six times more vitamin C than oranges, more potassium than bananas, and more than twice the calcium in milk. It's the only fruit in the world that dehydrates as it ripens.

As it's full of fibre the baobab super-fruit also makes our Madagascan vanilla thick, creamy and deliciously indulgent without a high fat content. There's nothing vanilla about Oppo - except the flavour.

Baobab used in Oppo ice cream 

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Meet our new team member

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Meet our new team member

Meet our new team member

The Oppo team with new additions, Kat and Poppy.

Poppy's a Sprocker Spaniel. That's a cross between a Springer and a Cocker Spaniel. The best of both you might say. Just like health and indulgence.

Special thanks goes to Clean Eating Alice for giving Poppy such an angelic name.

With all the puppy excitement we almost forgot Kat too (in the middle giving the thumbs up)! Kat is from Canada and is a dab hand with a camera, so check out ourinstagram for her tasty recipe photos.

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Oppo in the News

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Oppo in the News

Oppo in the News

Following a comment on rising vanilla prices in the Guardian we were asked to do three national broadcast interviews. All in just one day! 

Charlie discusses rising Vanilla prices on the BBC and CNN.

Kicking off with BBC World News, followed by BBC World Service, Charlie then woke up America to the possibility that ice cream just got guilt-free with CNN.  

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Making caramel without caramel

Making caramel without caramel

The secret's out. This is the super-fruit that gives our ice cream a smooth maple taste, chased by a rounded caramel flavour. No need for caramelised sugar. Lucuma does it naturally.

Charlie first came across Lucuma (known as 'gold of the incas') while travelling in Peru. It's shaped like a melon, with golden flesh and a big single stone. With plenty of beta carotene, iron, zinc, vitamin B3, calcium, and protein, it's also super nutritious.

Lucuma

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TENNIS CHAMPION ANDY MURRAY HAS INVESTED IN OPPO

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TENNIS CHAMPION ANDY MURRAY HAS INVESTED IN OPPO

Andy Murray invests in Oppo
Andy Murray invests in Oppo

 

Tennis Champion Andy Murray has invested in Oppo

In addition to 570 other Oppo ice cream fans, one of our sporting idols has invested through our second record breaking Seedrs campaign which closed last week… 

Wimbledon Champion and world number two Andy Murray!

The Times was first to break the news this morning (and here’s the City AM article if you don't have a Times subscription). 

A few words from the man himself:

 “Giving recognition and support to British entrepreneurs is important to me, especially those who are the driving force behind growth-focused businesses. Every one of these entrepreneurs is inspirational and dedicated to their business and I’m excited to have invested in their team’s vision and work ethic.” - Andy Murray

It’s fantastic that Andy chose to invest in Oppo through Seedrs. This is exactly why we chose to crowdfund for a second time again; to build new fans and tell as many people as possible that healthy ice cream does now exist!

Find out how Oppo is healthy here.

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Oppo Pitch on Dragons' Den.

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Oppo Pitch on Dragons' Den.

Oppo Pitch on Dragons' Den 

If you’ve ever watched the BBC’s Dragons' Den you might have wondered what it feels like to walk out of the lift and deliver a pitch to 5 stony faced Dragons. On a rainy Wednesday in May 2015, almost exactly 9 months ago, we did just that. This Sunday, the pitch we made all those months ago is finally airing, condensing our hour in front of the Dragons into 12 minutes on TV. Here’s the story.

Back in October 2014, soon after our initial launch into Waitrose, researchers from the BBC called to ask us to appear on the show. We declined, as we wanted real customers and shoppers to own shares in Oppo rather than sharp suited Dragons, and had chosen to use crowdfunding platform Seedrs. We went on to break a record as the world’s fastest food and drink company to raise investment using crowdfunding. Early in 2015 the BBC called again, and yet again we declined - we didn’t need the money.

But Charlie realised that even though we didn’t need investment, the chance to get in front of 4 million people on prime time TV would be worth millions in traditional advertising. For a food start up like Oppo generating awareness is what makes or breaks the business, so the next time the BBC producers called, we took a deep breath and said yes. We knew that even if an offer was given it likely wouldn’t be right for Oppo and that we probably wouldn’t accept the investment. We made it through the auditions, got through the rigorous due diligence, and found ourselves on a train up to Manchester with a little freezer full of Oppo and bellies full of butterflies. 

Walking through those lift doors (even if they were fake and there is actually no lift!) was an out of body experience. The producers like to add some tension, so leave you waiting for the doors to open. We stood there for a few long minutes, with Harry thinking he probably shouldn’t have drunk so much water, until finally they slid back and we saw the five dragons for the first time.

We both stepped out of the lift, running on a sort of auto-pilot. The first thing you realise, apart from the fact that the windows are as fake as the lift, is the fact that it’s not just two of you and five dragons. There are about 30 other people and cameras in the room, all along the left hand side. We stood either side of the table and lifted up the black sheet to reveal our old tubs - as one wobbled and then fell - nearly sending the whole display tipping over.

And the pitch started.

We didn’t get the usual grilling you often wince at on Dragons' Den. (Or at least we didn’t think we did - we haven’t seen the edit yet…!) On leaving an hour later, the Exec Producer said it was the best pitch she had ever seen. We thought this was going a bit far - surely Levi Roots was up there! As expected, Deborah Meaden was out immediately as she already owns an ice cream brand. Sarah Willingham opened the discussion by saying she was shocked at how good the ice cream tasted. Peter Jones echoed this by showing his empty tub. Nick Jenkins quizzed us on what we replaced the sugar with, and was impressed that Oppo tastes so good yet contains a tiny fraction of the sugars and calories usually present in ice cream.

Sarah then declared that she could detect a faint after taste in the salted caramel flavour, and Peter agreed. We couldn’t believe it. We thought the Dragons might try to pick apart our numbers or our valuation, but it felt as surprising as a slap in the face to have two of them criticising one of our flavours. We had grown used to people’s exclamations of delight after first tasting Oppo, and just assumed the Dragons would obviously like it. It was especially strange given the hundreds of 5* reviews we have had across Waitrose, Ocado, and Facebook and the feedback from the just over 100,000 tubs of Oppo we had sold so far was always hugely positive. We wondered if it was something to do with the freezer, which we had been told to leave with the BBC while we spent the night in a travel lodge nearby. It could have been left unplugged leaving the ice cream to melt and then refreeze again. Or they could have eaten something strange before. Either way, that meant both Sarah and Peter were out. 

Touker and Nick asked us some questions about our revenue projections and valuation, and ultimately decided that the market was too small for them. We have since smashed our targets and realised that the projections we gave were too conservative. As for the market being too small - ice cream is worth over £1billion in the UK, and the trend towards healthier, higher quality food with less sugar is growing by the day. We suspect Oppo was too far developed for a dragon to be able to take a large enough stake to be interested.

So, the Dragons ultimately didn’t invest. Which was ok really, because we had no intention of taking the money - we had already funded the business by offering shares to our fans which we felt was a much better (and more authentic) way of growing Oppo. We left with what we came for: the chance to tell 4 million more people that you can indeed indulge in luxury ice cream... without looking like you have.

9 months on, Oppo is in 1,300 locations around the UK including Wholefoods Market, Co-Op, Budgens, Holland & Barrett, as well as sports clubs, offices, hospitals, cinemas and hotels. We’ve been awarded the Guardian’s Start up of the Year, won the Healthy Food Guide Award, and accompanied the PM David Cameron on the Queen’s jet to Milan to showcase the best of British innovation.  

But perhaps most excitingly, just last week we launched and closed our second round of crowdfunding on Seedrs, reaching our target of £150,000 in just 6 hours (for 5% of the business), and overfunded to £368k with 574 investors who support our mission to show that health and indulgence can go hand in hand. If you are one of those, thank you. If you missed out on this round, feel free to sign up here for more information on future opportunities to have a share in Oppo’s growth.

And if you haven’t tried Oppo before, find your nearest store here and let us know what you think!

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Dear Unilever

DEAR UNILEVER...

Dear Unilever, 

Congratulations.

No really, I mean it. You have managed to cap the number of calories in your ice cream* to just 250 calories. *T&C’s: only applies to “adult single-serve ice cream” (bad luck Ben & Jerry’s).  

Consumers across the globe are high-fiving your Sustainable Living Plan and ability to look after human health. We can finally eat more, and feel less guilty about it. That’s not strictly true though is it… you’re just making portion sizes smaller. 

I sympathise. I know exactly how hard it is to naturally reduce calories and sugar in ice cream. It took me 25 months! Everyone (including some of your employees) told me it couldn’t be done and I should give up. 

Why couldn’t your employees have given me the golden ticket? The beautiful nugget of wisdom? All they needed to say was “Charlie, reduce the size of the portion by 33% and bingo”. It would have saved me years of painstaking development.  But I guess you wanted to keep this eureka moment for yourself… fair enough. Who knew, and I’m not even good at maths, if you eat a 1/3 as much then you also cut your calories by a 1/3. Genius. If that’s not a press release then what is.

What you haven’t told the consumer is that not only are you cutting calories but you’re also reducing your manufacture costs whilst boosting profits, and all with the veil of philanthropically looking after consumer health. Ahh the privileges of being one of the big dogs. Truly, congratulations. 

Food manufacturers have a responsibility for consumer health. We should all be on a mission to fuse health with indulgence so consumers can indulge without looking like they have, spoil ourselves without spoiling ourselves. At Oppo we are thrilled you have finally realised that health is important. I implore you though – don’t be lazy, don’t take the easy option, don’t just sell us short - start from scratch and reformulate from the bottom up, re-create your ice cream – it doesn’t need to be laden with sugar and additives - Oppo has proved that. Yes it costs more, but we believe product is king, and consumer health is of greater importance still. 

What you have done is prove Oppo’s entire proposition: people want great tasting foods, with fewer calories and sugar. Our mission is to prove that health AND indulgence can go hand in hand. Consumers shouldn’t have to choose between tasteless health food and unhealthy junk. We, as manufacturers, must continue innovating so consumer needs are met. The world’s healthiest luxury dairy ice cream is just the start for Oppo. 

Kind regards,

 

Charlie & Harry

P.s. We’ll let you into a secret… Oppo contains just 80 calories per portion, 6g of sugars opposed to your 25g, and we didn’t even have to cut the pack in half. 

 

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