London retailers are cashing in on the Olympic Games. But that’s not quite as easy as it might seem.
We’ve all seen the ads from official Olympic sponsors like Coca-Cola and McDonald’s, but a law enacted in 2006 restricts non-sponsors of the Games from using any images or wording that would suggest a close tie to the Olympics.
Violators can be hit with a fine of up to $30,000. Even the Duchess of Cambridge has not gone unscathed; Kate’s parents’ party-planning business has been asked to modify some of its products after skirting too close to the edge of acceptable use of the Olympic logos and language.
Mastering this delicate dance, though, are food sellers who have linked their products to the Games in creative ways. For these purveyors, what comes first and foremost is a celebration of Britishness — with a little sport thrown in for good measure:
Hope and Greenwood
Hope and Glory Mint Balls boast the colors of the UK flag.
Hope and Greenwood, Purveyors of Splendid Confectionary, prides itself on producing sugary treats wrapped up in whimsical packaging that not-so-discreetly waves the UK flag. Britishness is the order of the day for Hope and Greenwood’s red-white-and-blue-striped Hope and Glory Mint Balls. The refreshing mixture is cooked in open copper pans and tightly pulled into shape by hand — a sweet and subtle nod to the Games.
The cookies in the Biscuiteers Sports Tin feature athletes made of icing.
The Biscuiteers Sports Tin, full of handmade iced sport-themed cookies, is perfect for dunking in your tea as you watch the Olympic drama unfold. The 19 cookies feature athletes from gymnasts to sailors to stadiums to medals all packed up in a very cute tin, which you can use to store your own medals after the Games end.
Melrose and Morgan
Behold, the Breakfast of Champions.
Breakfast of Champions, being sold by London grocer Melrose and Morgan, is a hamper full of locally sourced breakfast treats. Included in the bag is homemade spelt loaves with bananas, maple and pecan, Bircher Muesli, Emmett’s Suffolk dry-cured bacon, Somerset Fenton Farm eggs, River Cottage natural yogurt, Chegworth Valley juice, strawberries from Kent and Lost Malawi Tea from London’s Rare Tea Company. They’ll even deliver it to your hotel room or apartment if you’re here for the Games.
Teapigs Organic Macha Tea promises an energy boost.
Teapigs Organic Matcha Tea is billed as the ideal drink for the sportsperson or the busy mom on the go. Made from organic green tea leaves from Japan ground down to a fine powder, this tea is said to increase energy levels for up to six hours after drinking. This year, three British athletes are swearing by the tea’s all-natural boosting powers.
Fortnum & Mason
A liveried footman will deliver a Fortnum & Mason picnic basket to you at a London park.
First opened in 1707, Fortnum & Mason holds the royal warrant as the Queen and Prince of Wales’s grocers. Fortnum & Mason created special teas in honor of last year’s royal wedding and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee earlier this year. Now, just in time for the Olympics, Fortnum & Mason is offering custom-made picnic baskets, delivered by liveried footman to the gates of either Green Park or St. James’s Park. Choose from such typically British specialties as coronation chicken salad, strawberry Eton mess and smoked salmon tea sandwiches, and wash it down with a lovely English Kir royal. Finger wipes included.
Sally Hurst is an American chef and food writer who lives in London. You can check out her blog here.
More from TODAY in London: