Dried fruit industry innovator Andy Humphries has launched a new company, Electric Cherry.

Humphries is promising to “shake up” the sector with a focus on added-value products.

The initial range includes whole, halved, quartered and diced figs, dates and apricots (natural and preserved) and has already attracted the attention of retail packers and ingredient suppliers.

Humphries, who has held leading positions at dried fruit suppliers Humdinger, Mariani and Community Foods, said: “There is no shortage of people importing dried fruit, but nobody is doing what we’re doing.”

As to exactly what this is, he said: “Providing the highest quality dried fruit from trusted growers in different formats. This opens up potential among our customers for new product development, more interesting and exciting retail mixes and all-round innovation.”

He added; “In a sector where the fruit on offer has been pretty much the same forever, Electric Cherry is delivering something different. Although we have only been trading for a few weeks, we are already getting repeat orders, with lines such as apricot halves and fig quarters proving particularly popular.”

Humphries said Electric Cherry only works with leading dried fruit suppliers and has a number of strategic alliances already in place. It has also embarked on its own NPD programme, with a focus on fruit with added natural flavours.

“The early results are very exciting,” said Humphries, “and it is clear that there is huge scope for more innovation within this sector. If it ever was, dried fruit is no longer dull.”