Producer Focus: Pico Sauces
Pico Sauces promise authentic flavours from modern India and that’s exactly what they deliver. Arjun Gadkari’s sauces take a big step away from the classic supermarket Indian curry-based sauces that the UK food market has become used to, offering in their place something that is far closer to modern Indian cooking. That’s why Pico is one of ShelfNow’s favourite producers.
In this blog we’re going to dive into Pico’s history, inspiration and mission.
A Short History of Pico
Having grown up in the UK, Arjun travelled to India to gain first-hand experience of the revolutionary change that Indian cooking has undergone in the past 20 years. Part self-discovery, part culinary pilgrimage, the trip inspired the creation of a set of sauces that are now enjoyed across the world.
What Arjun found in India was a food culture that is criminally simplified when exported. In the UK, Europe and the US most Indian food is still based around outdated stereotypes - curry sauces, thick gravies. But in India itself there has been an explosion of richness, complexity and depth from dynamic food culture centres in Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai and elsewhere. Modern Indian chefs have applied daring creativity to traditional Indian food to create something entirely new.
This trip was the genesis of Pico. While living in India Arjun started the company with the intention of challenging the perception of Indian food across the world.
What Makes Pico Different
Ordinarily, outside of India, when you purchase an Indian ‘sauce’ you’d expect it to be the base for a curry. Arjun found that no-one in the UK, or globally for that matter, was really exploring the new style of Indian cuisine to full effect. With Pico, Arjun wanted to introduce people to the far broader potential of modern Indian flavours - in the form of condiments, hot sauces, chutneys, marinades and more.
Pico encourages people to have fun and push the boundaries of how and where they use Indian flavours. They’ve been thrilled and inspired by the creativity people have shown in adding Pico Sauces to their cooking, discovering new ways of eating at home.
The business started by building an enthusiastic following in India and Singapore before picking up distribution and popularity in the UK, Europe and the US. On the back of this, Pico has won two Great Taste Awards and has been featured in The Independent, Speciality Food Magazine and Fine Food Digest.
Why Pico Distribute Through ShelfNow
Pico has been with ShelfNow since they entered the UK market, using it to grow and get into more independent retailers.
“ShelfNow tackles a problem felt by a lot of small producers, who find themselves at the beck and call of very big, inflexible wholesalers who would rather stock established brands.” said Arjun. “This makes it hard for small producers to make any headway.”
One of our core goals at ShelfNow is to give small, innovative producers like Pico the chance to gain exposure to the UK market and challenge the status quo. For that reason, we try to be as flexible as we possibly can with minimum order quantities, discounts and a fulfillment infrastructure that is purpose-built for small producers to plan and manage their UK distribution.
We’re delighted to work with Pico Sauces and are excited to see what the next chapter holds for them. We recommend you follow them on Instagram @picosauces; the recipe ideas are to die for.