Made For Drink: ‘Pubs Are Changing. Snacks Need To Keep Up’

A bowl of Salami Chips

Dan Featherstone, an ex Walkers Crisps marketeer, and founder of Made for Drink – has created a superior range of meat-based snacks that pair perfectly with your favourite alcoholic drinks.

Launched in 2016, the brand was born from an enthusiasm and drive to ‘recreate’ the finest snacking traditions from around the globe, by acquainting themselves with best-in-class ingredients, cooking methods and cuisine to restore the local pub, and food-centric downtime with friends and family.

Dan was disappointed with ‘one-dimensional snacking’ (too many bland nut and potato options) in a rapidly changing pub/bar environment. In an age of clean deck sodas (Fever Tree), adult soft drinks, small batch artisanal spirits and the revival of regional breweries, the traditional snacks no longer cut it.

Initially, the business started out as a hobby, in Dan’s kitchen, but it soon turned into a growing business, following a successful trial at Heston Blumenthal’s The Crown At Bray.

“I started Made For Drink purely as a personal project. I wanted to see if I could design a product and brand to meet a gap in the market. I wrote myself a brief and designed products at home in my kitchen that would meet that brief. It was only as this project really took hold of me and I was spending every spare hour working on this project, did I think, perhaps I could give it a go in a real pub. Really see if it could work. And if I was to put it into one pub, what was the best pub I could think of, Heston Blumenthal’s  The Crown (Bray). Cutting to the chase I managed to get a meeting with the General Manager and Head Chef – it was and still is the best meeting I’ve ever had – because they liked the products, thought there was an opportunity and if I could make it and package it properly & legally they would trial it.

Dan Featherstone, Founder of Made for Drink

Even though the brand has grown significantly, the Made For Drink range is still made in Berkshire, something which Dan is very proud of.

“We’re really proud of our Berkshire roots, employing local staff, paying them above the living wage and training them in a craft that will hold them in great stead moving forward.

Dan Featherstone, Founder of Made for Drink

Each snack is packed with intense flavours and authentic foodie gravitas, with flavours and textures that compliment your favourite drinks:

  • Chorizo Thins for Rioja
  • Duck Fritons (think Duck Scratchings) for IPA
  • Salami Chips for Fruity Pilsners

“One of the most common questions I’m asked when sampling at festivals or instore. Is ‘are they healthy?’ My stock answer is always, ‘absolutely not. We are all about Friday night.’ The normal reaction is, ‘oh good, I’ll have 10 packs then please!'”

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Dan Featherstone, Founder of Made for Drink

Whilst pubs, hotels and bars are evolving to survive in a landscape of independents, and customers are beginning to want and crave something different, pub snacks have failed to adapt, and have remained largely unchanged – until now.

Made for Drink’s focus has unquestionably been on trade (pubs, bars and hotels), which have suffered terribly during the lockdown, but being a resilient, artisanal snack provider, they have found other ways to march forward, by exploring alternative channels — they are now in Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Ocado, Cook Stores and Amazon Prime.

Made for Drink’s 2020 vision is to service the top 1,000 UK pubs, bars and hotels while aligning with like-minded, leading lights in the UK’s thriving food movement.

They have also had some significant export success: Germany, Scandinavia, North America, South Africa, Australia and Canada.

A bowl of Salami Chips

With evermore awareness to the environmental impact of product packaging, the brand is also trialling plastic-free, home compostable pouches, and is aiming to get CO2 neutral status.

Of course, what good snack would be complete without some awards?

  • BBC Good Food – Best Snack 2018
  • Delicious Magazine Award – Best Snack 2019
  • Q Award – Best savoury Snack 2019

As well as many others.

You can find out more about Made For Drink here.

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