Cauli-Rice unveils low-carb, preservative-free, shelf-stable alternative to pasta, rice: ‘It took us three years to get it right’

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By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

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Cauliflower rice is now available in the frozen and chilled sections of some retailers, but British brand Cauli-Rice is hoping to carve out new territory in the emerging category with a shelf-stable, microwaveable product with a more ‘al dente’ texture and no preservatives.

Speaking to FoodNavigator-USA at the Winter Fancy Food Show earlier last month, co-founder Jamie Harris said Cauli-Rice​ had been a big hit in the UK – where it secured listings in 3,000 retailers in less than 12 months, and is now hoping to achieve similar success this side of the Atlantic.

“We just started retailing in the US, we’re doing a little trial with H.E.B. in Texas ($2.99/pack), we’ve developed some new products with them and it’s going very well… We’re also available online but we’re looking to expand over the next year more broadly.”

It took us three years of failure to get it right

He added: “It took us about three years to figure out how to create a product with no preservatives that was shelf stable for a year ​[the original SKU has one ingredient: par-cooked cauliflower].

"We have patented that process globally, it was very very tricky… it took us three years of failure to get it right," ​said Harris, who noted that consumers were using Cauli-Rice as a low-carb replacement for regular rice, pasta or potatoes or just as a vegetable side dish.

“It has no preservatives and a 12-month shelf-life. There are other cauliflower rice products in the fresh produce and the frozen section of stores, but we believe that our products is more convenient; it’s microwaveable or you can dry-fry it ​[cook under high heat with oil], and it always gives a perfect al dente finish in the mouth, whereas in our opinion, the frozen version is a little bit detrimental to the structure of the vegetable, while fresh cauliflower rice has a very short shelf-life, less than a week in most cases."

cauli rice original
Making cauliflower rice at home can be "messy and time-consuming," claims Cauli-Rice. "Our pouches are ready in just 2½ minutes. No mess. No fuss."

Low-carb replacement for rice, pasta

The brand, which has raised around £2million, but is now “self-sustaining​,” is positioned in the rice aisle, “which helps a lot of customers to understand how to eat our product,” ​said Harris.

“It’s a direct swap-out with rice but you get the caloric advantage; you’re saving up to 73% of calories on a white rice.”

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