Holland & Barrett


12th January 2024

Holland & Barrett with Life Kitchen is a first-of-its-kind launch on the high-street to help people experiencing changes to taste or smell due to short or long term illnesses, like cancer treatment or long covid.

The first-of-its-kind range on the UK high-street features six innovative taste-boosting food products that help enhance the flavour of mealtimes for those experiencing changes to taste - which impacts 70 per cent of people affected by cancer[1] and 40-50 per cent of those with Covid-19 globally2. The collection will also help those experiencing changes to smell, with recent studies revealing 11.34 million UK adults experience this at any given time - equivalent to more than one in five adults3.

The health and wellness retailer has created this groundbreaking taste-boosting range by combining its culinary expertise, and partnering with specialists at Life Kitchen and founder of the Centre for Study of the Senses, Professor Barry Smith, all with the aim of helping people find pleasure in food again.

Life Kitchen was founded by chef and best-selling author, Ryan Riley, and Kim Duke, after they both supported and sadly lost parents to cancer, and  saw first-hand how chemotherapy affected their parents’ experience with food and drinks, and ultimately, their enjoyment of mealtimes. 

The collection has been formulated to enhance each of the five basic tastes - sweet, sour, salt, bitter and umami. Either working to one of these tastes, a mix-and-match approach, or working to enhance all five, each product has been designed to work with the corresponding taste receptor on the tongue to create the ultimate flavour experience, all through the use of cutting edge research.

The six-strong range has been created as simple cooking hacks that are quick, easy additions to supercharge taste and flavour of any dish – delicious whether or not your taste buds have been affected. The range includes:

  • Sensation Salt (£3) – a meticulous blend of white pepper, sour citric acid and umami to create a full sensory experience that can be used to replace normal salt. Add the end of cooking – it’s particularly great on chips or popcorn 
  • Seed, Kale & Wasabi Blend (£4) – a mix of the bitter flavours which are the unsung heroes of a balanced dish, bitter flavours, to add depth and intrigue to anything sprinkled upon. Taste enhancing for salads or as a garnish for soups 
  • Soy & Honey Umami  Paste (£3.50) – a combination of three umami rich ingredients, soy sauce, honey and dried mushrooms, to create a flavour boost that makes all other ingredients in a dish more intense. We recommend you use in marinades and dressings 
  • Miso Honey (£3.50) – a rich umami miso which boosts the honey’s sweetness. The outcome being rich, decadent flavour notes that can be used to enhance both sweet and savoury dishes. Great poured over a grilled chicken breast or equally with a bowl of ice cream or yoghurt 
  • Citrus Sensation Spritz (£3.50) – a delicious blend of vinegar, glucose syrup, yuzu juice, rice koji and natural ginger flavourings, with yuzu chosen due to its small scent molecules to reach the nose quickly, working with the koji on the tongue to create a multi-level sensory taste experience. Perfect on fish or grilled vegetables 
  • White Chocolate & Miso Raspberries (£4) – a fusion of umami-rich miso and white chocolate sweet cocoa butter, to result in a sweet, salt and savoury balance that makes the chocolate bar intense and satisfying. A perfect on-the-go treat.

April Preston, Global Product Director at Holland & Barrett, commented, Food is at the heart of H&B, and we’ve long been passionate about creating delicious products that also help to support our customers’ wellness. We’ve brought many innovative ‘food firsts’ to the high-street over the past 150 years, and our new Holland & Barrett with Life Kitchen range is our latest example of delicious products that love you back. We’re incredibly proud to launch this brand new range to help people find their pleasure and joy in food again.”

Speaking on the range, Life Kitchen Co-Founder, Ryan Riley, said, “Our experience at Life Kitchen – which saw us create the world’s first cancer cookery school – means we know the profound impact that taste and smell has on our physical and mental health. Our aim is to help as many people as possible enjoy food again, whether or not your taste buds have been affected, so we’re thrilled to work with H&B to bring this innovative product range to the high-street. Sadly, we’ve seen first-hand how chemotherapy affected our parents’ ability to experience food and we’ve been on a mission ever since to change this. We’re so excited to see the positive impact our taste-boosting range will have to anyone looking to add more delicious flavour to mealtimes.”

The new Life Kitchen range follows Holland & Barrett’s recent launch of 300 new food own-brand lines in September 2023 and supports the retailer’s mission to provide unique and nutritional food which caters for specialist diet needs. 

The Holland & Barrett with Life Kitchen range is available online and in-stores nationwide at Holland & Barrett.

[1] The Oncologist, 2010

2 BMJ, 2021

3 YouGov and AbScent, 2021