A YORK food brand developer is behind the introduction of a new nut-free peanut butter to the UK after completing a deal with a Canadian producer.

Moving Food Ltd was established at Clifton Moor Business Park in 2006 to introduce manufacturers of unique food products to UK retailers.

As well as purchasing from suppliers, the company, run by Bhasker Dhir and Stephen Minall, also works with a flavourist to develop its own products.

The business had been experimenting with nut-free products over the past few years, having tracked the trends and identified the UK market opportunities.

After reviewing several avenues, they signed an exclusive deal with a Canadian producer of nut-free peanut butter to bring the product to the UK.

Less than six months after the launch of Wowbutter, the brand has already secured listings in Booths, Holland & Barrett and Whole Foods and was named winner of the Grocery Ambient – Sweet category in the Quality Food Awards 2013.

Mr Dhir, a former director of Burger King and Walmart, said: “We had been looking into the idea of nut-free peanut butter but were struggling to find a nut-free source of soya seeds.

“Stephen was being interviewed on BBC News about food issues, and mentioned our work in the hope that someone would come forward with a source for these seeds.

“What actually happened was a company in Canada got in touch to say they had already produced the product themselves.

“They sent a batch over and we loved it.

“We have just started marketing the brand and it is really growing.

“We expected to be selling mostly in the 500g jars, but a lot of the volume of has been bulk orders.

“It is being bought as an ingredient by other manufacturers looking to make nut-free peanut-flavoured products. We’ve heard its been used to make cheesecakes, and one of the large companies we are talking to is Starbucks.”

Made from non-GM soya beans, Wowbutter is free from all nuts, as well as gluten, dairy and egg, and is produced in a factory free from all such allergens.

Moving Food has also been behind the branding of the UK’s Nisa stores, and developed a nut-free chocolate and hazelnut spread, which it is currently relaunching, having been in talks with supermarket giant Tesco.

The company is now working with Jollofe, a Nigerian food brand, in the hope of introducing African products to the UK market.