It was quite a few years ago I first discovered butter substitute – don’t panic, there’s no butter substitute here – the chef selling it was very impressed with the “mouth feel” and the baking qualities, which could match that of real butter.
It sounded intriguing and opened up baking to dairy free and vegan customers. I wanted to know more.
But hold the phone – I feel like I should clarify something before we go any further. I’m not a vegan. I have tried living meat free and animal product free for a short time, but I love butter, honey and meat. That said, I hate mass production methods, which are unnatural for animals. I won’t touch veal or foie gras.
I think there’s a balance between healthy, happy animals, which provide products for humans. I also think too many vegan food producers substitute meat for chemicals, which are completely unnatural, and brings me back to butter substitute. The number of ingredients on the fake butter and the chemicals I had never heard of, completely put me off.
Fast forward a few years and I’m baking biscuits for a living. One of the earliest enquiries I had was for vegan shortbread and I immediately dismissed the idea. I wanted nothing to do with chemical butter.
Then, by chance, while working on a healthy food for e-sports athletes, I became aware of refined coconut oil. So if you’re like me, you’ve tried coconut oil. It comes in a glass jar from the supermarket and has a lovely light coconut smell and sweet taste when used in cooking. What I didn’t know was, refined, industrial coconut oil, is odourless. And doesn’t taste of coconut. Naturally I immediately bought a “test” tub. Which is about a kilogram of oil (in industrial terms, this is considered a sample).
The first batch worked but was a little oily. The second batch worked too, but turned oily after a day or two. Skip the next many, many batches and I had a recipe for vegan shortbread. Along the way I read a lot about stabilisers, enhancers and many other chemicals which would “improve” my shortbread.
But shortbread is just fat, sugar and flour. So sticking rigidly to this premise, I worked on testing the ratios and baking times to find the balance. A delicious, sweet shortbread, that was vegan.
It took quite a few months of testing to find the balance, but when I did… I ate them all. I even like them as much as I like my butter shortbread.
I have put the recipe through the rigorous process of development and testing. They’re in shelf life testing now and will soon be ready, but now they need to be shelf ready – in a manner which both vegans will discover and love them, and non-vegans will be intrigued enough to try them and hopefully love them as much as I do.
How You Can Help
So here’s how you can help vegans and non-vegans alike. I have a keyline drawing; the outline design used by printers to produce the box. I have placed the legal requirements for UK food packaging on the box. Beyond this, it’s an entirely free space to play with.
So break out your crayons and your watercolour sets. Bring your Photoshop skills and your photography hacks. Show vegans and non-vegans your amazing skills to take my shortbread box from ordinary to incredible!
One last thing – make sure you include your signature on the box – this can be your social media name, your website link, your email address or even your actual signature. Place it with the credit: “Box design by:” and your design and your link will be printed on every box.
So How Do You Submit Your Design?
Produce your design your way, using any medium, following the template files below.
Take a picture or video of your design and share it on Facebook, Instagram or TikTok with the hashtag #iconicveganbiscuits
From the entries, I’ll choose a selection of the best for followers to vote on via social media. The winning design will then be used for the launch. The closing date for design entries is Tuesday 31st August 2021.
Files You’ll Need:
Notes for Design
Dotted Red Lines
These are the fold lines and don’t appear in the final design.
These are the edges which are cut out.
The outer edges of guaranteed visible content. (Keep text a further 3mm inside these lines).
These are inside cut lines, where card is cut to allow slotting together but nothing is removed.
Colours are printed in CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black), with the Fogra 39 colour profile .
Images in RGB or with PANTONE colours will be converted automatically using a standard colour separation profile.
The optimal resolution for the print files is between 250 and 300 dpi.
Margins and Bleed
The required bleed of 5 mm is shown on the template.
Leave a minimum of 3 mm between text and the cut line.
Terms and Conditions
- The closing date for the design entry element of the competition is midnight on 31st August 2021.
- The competition is operated by Iconic Biscuits Ltd.
- By entering the competition you are agreeing to receive promotional emails from Iconic Biscuits. Your details will not be shared with any other parties. Every email includes the option to unsubscribe at any time.
- Winners will be notified by email or via their social media platform.
- No purchase is necessary.
- The prize is as stated on the competition page or published platform.
- No cash alternative is available.
- Entry to the competition is open via Facebook, Instagram and TikTok unless otherwise stated.
- Only one entry will be accepted from each entrant.
- Results will be announced following the closure of the competition and successful notification of the winner.
- The winner will be chosen at random.
- We reserve the right to publish the winners full name and with permission, their photograph.
- Employees of Iconic Biscuits Limited or their immediate family may not enter the competition, nor the employees or immediate family of any third party sponsor or prize provider.
- Winners agree that we may use materials featuring them for promotional purposes.
- No fees are payable to any entrant for participation in a competition.
- If a competition is not capable of running as planned for any reason, including but not limited to, technical failures, tampering, unauthorised intervention, computer malware, network failure, broadcast failure, fraud or any cause beyond our control which affects fairness, security, integrity or conduct of Iconic Biscuits or a competition, we reserve the right to terminate, modify or suspend a competition.
- Iconic Biscuits Ltd. may vary the terms of, or terminate a competition at any time without liability to any contestant or other person for any reason.
- The promoter will not award the prize if the competition is terminated.
- All our decisions relating to the competition or prizes are final. No correspondence or discussions with entrants or any other person will be entered into.
- Tiebreakers, disputes, conflicts, questions or concerns will be managed by us, and if required by law, an independent adjudicator.
- Competitions with a draw element will have a winner randomly selected. This decision is final.
- A failure by us or a third party to enforce any of these terms and conditions will not give rise to any claim or right of action by any entrant or prize winner, nor shall it be deemed to be a waiver of any of our rights.
- Except as specifically set out herein and to the maximum extent permitted by law, all conditions, warranties, representations expressed or implied by law are hereby excluded.
- To the fullest extent permitted by law, we hereby exclude and shall not have any liability to any entrant or prize winner in connection with or arising out of any competition howsoever caused, including for any costs, expenses, forfeited prizes, damages and other liabilities, provided that nothing herein shall operate so as to limit or exclude our liability for personal injury or death caused by our negligence. For the avoidance of doubt, this rule applies in respect of any prize provided by a third party provider.
In the event that any provision of these Terms are held to be illegal, invalid, void or otherwise unenforceable, it shall be severed from the remaining provisions which shall continue in full force and effect.
- The competition is run in accordance with the governing rules of Northern Ireland, United Kingdom.