EVERY morning, millions of people slowly move one foot in front of the other, carrying their barely woken bodies into the kitchen to open the cupboard, take a bowl, pour some cereal, open the fridge, pour some milk over the cereal, close the fridge door, take a spoon and start eating.
What seems to be an endless effort for sleepy minds is what we call breakfast. Breakfast. Even a marathon seems an easier task on some mornings.
Of course, the easiest option would be to either stay in bed or teleport yourself to the office but, see, unfortunately, life isn’t that simple!
However, while people stare bleary eyed over their bowl of cereal trying to remember how to get their mouths to shape a simple ‘Hello’, thousands of brains are spending hours, days and weeks to create the recipe that will turn mornings into a pleasant moment.
The idea of people putting their thoughts together to make mornings a relaxing time for millions of men, women and children before the storm of the day begins intrigued me. It was time for some in-depth learning and investigation at Jordans Cereals’ headquarters to find the key to such a successful market.
Back in 1969 and the hippy years, when Bill Jordans went to the States with his music band, he could never have imagined that he would come back with granola in his luggage and years later, run one of the most successful breakfast cereal businesses in Europe.
With his family already working in the milling industry, Bill and his brother launched the first Crunchy G in 1972, followed by Muesli which would be produced using sustainable farming methods.
Having witnessed his local Biggleswade devastated by over-farming and transformed from the quaint hedge-rowed countryside into an industrial plantation, Bill Jordans set up the Conservative Grade.
The idea is to help farmers to create nature-friendly habitats on 10% of their farmed land. This practice allows natural predators to thrive and keeps other pests under control for the benefit of the crops. The farmers taking part of the scheme also plant crops which provide food and habitats for the wildlife.
Back to cereal and the creation process. A cereal recipe isn’t just about mixing oats and additional ingredients in a bowl. And once the oats are collected, the creative process starts.
“Our team works with six fine and thick traditional oats and more than 200 ingredients. Depends on what we are trying to achieve, a recipe requires about 1-2 months development in the kitchen and then 2 months in the factory to ensure all recipes on a bigger scale.”
There are 4 people who create recipes for Jordans products, spending an average half their day in the kitchen. Then, the entire company gets involved at some stage to taste recipes to make sure people enjoy them before the packaging and the sales teams get involved.
40 years after his trip to the States, Bill and his family have made Jordans Cereals a company that produces 20,000 boxes of muesli a week with 7 different flavours – Natural, Fruit & Nut, Super Berry, Organic, Nut & Seed, Truly Fruity and Fruity Fibre -, and has launched 3 recipes of porridge including Traditional, Quick & Creamy and Organid as well as 6 Country Crisp recipes: Strawberry, Raspberry, Raisin, Honey, Dark Chocolate, and 4 Nut.
From the Granola G. to the current Country Crisp, clusters seem to have always been people’s favourite. For their customers to share their love for clusters, Jordans Cereals has launched the Country Crisp Appreciation Society. The website aims to become a platform where the company will engage the conversation with its customers by sharing ideas and news.
With 13, 500 subscribers, it seems that breakfast still has a long life ahead of it, even when half asleep. Come on, the weekend isn’t that far off.
Country Crisp Pear & Chocolate Crumble Cake – Serve 6-8
For the pears
30g golden granulated sugar
2 pears, peeled and thinly sliced
For the cake
75g butter, softened
75g golden caster sugar
3 eggs, beaten
75g self raising flour
50g chocolate chips
150g Jordans Chocolate Country Crisp
1 tsp vanilla extract
Single cream, to serve
Preheat the oven to 180 C fan/ 200 C/ Mk 6. Prepare a 23cm/ 9 inch tin.
Heat the butter in an open pan over medium heat, and add the pear slices. Cook for 2 minutes, then sprinkle over the sugar. Turn the slices, then cook for a further 2 minutes. Set aside while you mix the cake.
Cream together the butter and half of the sugar until creamy. Add the eggs in 3 batches, and stir until well combined. Fold in the flour, and then the chocolate chips. Spoon this in to the base of the prepared tin, and sprinkle over half of the Jordans Country Crisp. Arrange the pears decoratively on the surface, and sprinkle with the remaining Jordans Country Crisp.
Bake for 30 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean. Serve warm with single cream.