Whilst food delivery services like Deliveroo, Menulog and UberEats are trying to ensure Australian's "never have to cook again", one Aussie female Entrepreneur is single-handedly trying to make sure we reinstate the magic of home cooking back into our families' lives.
Jordyn Evans, the Melbourne-based founder of Mingle Seasoning has invested her life's savings to build a business on Australians shaking up and waking up both with ingredient transparency in the spice aisle and Australians opting to get back in the kitchen to cook with confidence.
3 years ago Jordyn had a vision to shake things up in the spice aisle and challenge mass-market brands with a range of spice blends that were free from preservatives, added sugars and high amounts of salt. Tired of multinational companies cutting corners and compromising on quality, Jordyn wanted to give customers a flavour offering they could trust and feel confident using and that is how the brand Mingle was born.
With an immense amount of dedication and hard work, Jordyn has built a business that is now stocked in over 1000 stockists around Australia. Despite building great momentum, the entrepreneurial journey hasn't always been tasty and this year Jordyn learned one of the most valuable life lessons to date. Working endlessly overtime on Mingle had caused Jordyn to be missing in action at family dinners and functions leaving her disconnected, burnout and frustrated.
It wasn't until one day when her employee, Emma, brought in a cookbook called "Nonna to Nana" that prompted Jordyn to take stock, pick up the phone and reconnect with her Nanna that she hadn't seen for 6 months due to her work commitments. She invited her Nan over for dinner to gather around the dinner table and opted to put her phone down and enjoy the beauty of a home-cooked meal. The dinner table was a place to bring people and food together, a valuable ritual and one that had been disregarded with the busy "hustling" of modern day life. That night though, something shifted for Jordyn forever and she reconnected to seeing cooking as more than a chore, it was an opportunity to create and connect with the people she loved.
This just happened to be the last meal Jordyn spent with her Grandma as she suddenly passed away 2 weeks after this dinner. This experience has ignited a new perspective for Jordyn and she set out to make a change from one family to another. Jordyn and Mingle are out to reframe the way people look at cooking. She no longer wants Australians to see cooking as a chore, but see the forgotten value in it; it's an opportunity to create together, nourish one another and connect with our friends and family.
Eating together over a home- cooked meal is one of the most important rituals for parents to be connected with their kids. (2) And the thing is, each day Australians are spending on average 3.15 hours on the Phone, 2.27 hours watching TV, 3.50 hours on a laptop per day (1). If we took 10 minutes away from each of these activities (this is so doable for us all!), we would have the time to cook. It is also shocking to discover that as millennials (and the other generations are not too far behind), we actually spend $100 of our weekly food allowance on takeaway. (4) Mingle is committed to households "shaking up and waking up" to what is disconnecting Australians and stopping us from seeing the invaluable benefits that cooking at home brings.
Inspired by Jordyn's grandmother, Mingle Seasoning has just launched their "Phone's Down, It's Time To Mingle" campaign, which is timed with the launch of their product in Spice Aisle at Coles Supermarkets Nationally from mid-November. With a clear mission, the Mingle brand is out to shake things up in the food industry and bring awareness to the forgotten value of cooking; it's an opportunity to create together, nourish one another and connect with our friends and family. Watch out food delivery services, Mingle is here to shake things up!
Question: What is Mingle Seasoning?
Jordyn Evans: Mingle is shaking things up in the spice aisle with a range of spice blends that does tasty the right way, without the nasties. Our products are more than just spices, they are solutions for dinner creations and get Australians confident to cook healthy, fuss-free meals.
Question: Can you tell us about the range?
Jordyn Evans: Mingle currently sells a range of 10 all-natural seasoning/spice blends.
Mingle's shaking things up in the spice aisle, de-commoditising spices and selling them as solution-based products that can be used every night for cooking. By simply selecting a protein, some vegetables and mingle you are able to create a meal that's fuss-free, healthy and you betcha, naturally tasty!
Mingle's healthy, all-natural spice blends include:
Mingle's Seasoning Range:
All Purpose Seasoning: Mild in nature but still provides a punch, thanks to the delicate combination of garlic, onion, cumin, and sweet paprika. Perfect on any protein or vegetable.
Garlic and Herb Seasoning: A must in any kitchen. We all need some garlic and herb in our lives. This blend has a distinctive garlic taste, combined with aromatic herbs. Perfect on any protein or vegetable.
Smokey Seasoning: This blend has an unpretentious earthy flavour thanks to the combination of smokey paprika, all-spice and cinnamon. Smokey spices are particularly popular with our plant-based customers who are looking to replicate the taste of barbequed meat.
Spicy Mexican Seasoning: A Mexican Fiesta that has just the right amount of spicy kick. We'd say it's a 7/10 in terms of chilli tang. Perfect on any protein or vegetable, but has been popular with our customers when making guacamole.
Garlic and Dill Seasoning: The tangy and zesty combination of garlic and dill. Finally a ranch seasoning you can enjoy without the nasties and guilt! Perfect on any protein or vegetable.
Moroccan Seasoning: Mingle takes you to Morocco, bringing the Moroccan aromas to any meal. Free from onion and garlic, this blend is also Fodmap friendly. Perfect on any protein or vegetable.
Mingle's Meal Solution Range:
Curry in a Hurry: Mingle has done all the hard work for you and blended a range of spices together so you can create a Southern Indian Madras-style curry in a hurry.... and yes without the nasties (say no to sugar and vegetable oil).
Spag Bol Speedy Style: Bring new life to this mid- week hero. Make anything taste like Spag Bol and yes, without the nasties.
Butter Chicken: One of the most popular Indian meals cooked at home by Australian households. A household classic that's guaranteed to be a winner, winner chicken dinner. Mingle has done all the hard work for you and blended a range of spices together so you can create a Butter Chicken curry in a hurry.... and yes without the nasties (say no to sugar and vegetable oil).
Taco Mexican Fiesta: With Mingle's Mexican blend, you can easily shake things up in the kitchen and add our delicious and healthy flavour to your favourite taco combo. We've got the flavour covered, the rest is yours to decide. It's that easy, you've got yourself a healthy and tasty Mexican dinner!
Question: Do you have a favourite or a most used seasoning?
Jordyn Evans: At the moment my favourite is Mingle's Curry in a Hurry that's available nationally in Coles.
It's super versatile! Not only can you whip up a delicious mild Indian curry in a hurry within 30 minutes, but you can also use the spice blend for BBQ meats; at the moment this curry chicken brown rice salad is an absolute winner!
Question: How do you hope to inspire Australians to cook, at home, again?
Jordyn Evans: We're out to make Australians more confident in the kitchen and get them to the see the forgotten value in cooking; rather than see it as a chore, see it as an opportunity to create, nourish oneself and connect around a dinner table.
Studies show that there is growing evidence of a relationship between low cooking confidence and poor food choices. Higher levels of cooking skills and confidence are associated with higher vegetable purchasing and healthier eating. Mingle's range are not just a range of spice blends, the products are tools in the kitchen to give people the confidence to create again! Mingle aims to make cooking simple, easy, fun and delicious again to cook. We have a created a cooking equation (Protein + Vegetables + Mingle spice) that gives customers the foundations to cook, but fundamentally they own their creations with their selection of produce and mingle spice. Nonetheless, they are guaranteed a tasty, healthy meal, that is whipped up within 30 minutes.
Question: Can you share how easy it is to use Mingle Seasoning, at home?
Jordyn Evans: We are all about simplicity here at Mingle, we think cooking should be as simple as picking your protein, a range of vegetables and your mingle spice. The creations are endless and you can change it up every day with a different spice.
The spices are also versatile. For example our Curry in a Hurry blend can be used to whip up a curry blend, but also can be used on grilled meats on the BBQ or on some chicken fillets for a Curry Grilled Chicken Salad.
Regardless of your cooking skill, you're guaranteed a tasty meal! Mingle makes anyone look good in the kitchen.
Question: What was it like to see your range on the shelves at Coles?
Jordyn Evans: So special, it was three years in the making. The first thing I did was grabbed my Grandpa from the nursing home and we popped down to our local Coles. Grandpa was one of the first people to inspire me to start my business as he had owned his business for 40+ years, standing there with him was a moment I won't forget.
Being nationally stocked in Coles allows Mingle to have greater distribution and more Australians to cook with natural confidence; we're really out to continue to shake things up in the spice aisle in future years to come!
Question: Can you tell us about the Phone's Down, It's Time To Mingle campaign?
Jordyn Evans: The Phone's Down, It's time to Mingle campaign was inspired by my experience this year with my Grandma.
Working endlessly overtime on Mingle had caused me to be missing in action at family dinners and functions leaving me disconnected, burnout and frustrated.
It wasn't until one day when my employee, Emma, brought in a cookbook called "Nonna to Nana" that prompted me to take stock, pick up the phone and reconnect with my Nanna that I hadn't seen for six months due to my work commitments. I invited my Nan over for dinner to gather around the dinner table and put my phone down to enjoy the beauty of a home-cooked meal. The dinner table was a place to bring people and food together, a valuable ritual and one that had been disregarded with the busy "hustling" of modern day life. That night though, something shifted for me forever and I reconnected to seeing cooking as more than a chore, it was an opportunity to create and connect with the people I loved.
This just happened to be the last meal I spent with my Grandma as she suddenly passed away two weeks after this dinner. This experience has ignited a new perspective for me and I'm out to make a change from one family to another. I no longer want Australians to see cooking as a chore, but see the forgotten value in it; it's an opportunity to create together, nourish one another and connect with our friends and family.
Question: What's the biggest lesson you've learnt since starting Mingle?
Jordyn Evans: That it's okay to ask for help and be vulnerable to share yourself, especially the struggles. You always hear about the struggles from entrepreneurs after the victory. I've learnt that I need to have the courage to share myself when I'm struggling whilst deep in the mud. That's where the greatest lessons have been and realising I don't have to deal with them alone. This is something I have fostered with my team as well. I no longer pretend when I don't have the answers and we figure it out together. Building this business is certainly not one that has been done alone. It really takes a village of people to back you and support you.
Question: What's next for you and Mingle Seasoning?
Jordyn Evans: 2020 is the year for shaking things up more in the spice aisle across supermarkets in Australia! I also am out to facilitate "Confidence and Connection" workshops in corporates and schools to get Australians back to the dinner table.
Interview by Brooke Hunter