Brave eight-year-old Cardiff lends his name to UK’s first vegan caterpillar cake
It wasn’t since Coleen Rooney v Rebekah Vardy that the British public had been so engrossed in a legal matter as when a trademark battle between two chocolate caterpillar cakes took the country by storm.
It all started when Marks & Spencer launched an intellectual property claim against Aldi, with M&S alleging that the supermarket’s Cuthbert the Caterpillar cake infringed its own Colin trademark, the Caterpillar cake.
After dividing Twitter users and making headlines around the world, the ongoing legal dispute took to new heights last week as Cuthbert returned to Aldi stores nationwide after performing a dramatic parachute jump for raise funds for charities.
For many, the case has brought to light the number of anthropomorphic caterpillar sponge logs available in UK supermarkets.
Tesco to Curly, Asda to Clyde, Waitrose to Cecil, Morrisons to Morris and Sainsbury’s to Wiggles.
But now there’s a very special new name joining the ranks – Archie the Caterpillar.
Made by Just Love Food Company, producer of nut-free party cakes, Archie is the first vegan chenille cake to be launched in the UK, and it’s also egg, peanut, nut and milk free.
Although the cake is currently only available for sale online at TheVeganKind supermarket for £ 6.99, it should be available throughout the supermarket in around three months.
But there is still more to Archie than meets the eye and taste buds, as he is also named after a brave young boy from Cardiff who suffers from severe food allergies.
At the age of four, Archie, from Penylan, went into anaphylactic shock after being hit by his cousin who had peanut dust on his fingers, and was taken to hospital, struggling to breathe and red and swollen all over.
After being released from the hospital and referred to an allergy clinic, Archie was diagnosed with allergies to peanuts, tree nuts – including walnuts, almonds and cashews – and both cooked and uncooked eggs. .
Since then, he has suffered from five more severe anaphylactic episodes and over 100 smaller reactions, which brought him out of hives and made his face swell.
Months after his diagnosis, he had another anaphylactic reaction after walking past an open bag of nuts, and last month he was left with swollen lips after eating Chewits candy, which contains powder of egg white.
Archie’s mother Charlotte Murphy said she and her son “were bursting with pride” when he lent her name to the new cake.
“It makes me incredibly proud that through everything Archie has been noticed and honored in such a positive way for his allergies.
“Archie is very proud of this, he can’t believe he has his own caterpillar cake which not only bears his name but is also inclusive for other children like him living with food allergies.
“He loves being able to eat it because it contains no eggs, nuts, peanuts or milk.”
Since Archie can go into anaphylaxis so easily, Charlotte said it was “a daily struggle” to navigate parts of life that others just take for granted in order to keep him safe.
“For Archie, nuts, peanuts and eggs are a deadly weapon for him, and you are constantly on red alert,” she said.
“We can’t just get up and go somewhere – everything has to be planned out, right down to ringing out restaurants, wiping down seats and carrying everything Archie needs to save his life – including his cob pen.”
“Every food he eats needs to be carefully controlled, even if he uses paint or even soap.
“We can’t just go to the park because the kids are having fun and eating ice cream and their hands get sticky, they just have to touch a railing or a swing and Archie could have anaphylaxis.”
Archie is not alone – around two million people in the UK live with a diagnosed food allergy, according to the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation.
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But despite this, Charlotte said allergies were still overlooked in the UK by government and health and education boards.
“They all have a role to play in raising awareness that for some, food can kill. Until another child has to die due to lack of education about food allergies, nothing will change. those who live with severe allergies, ”she added.
“Archie has been shut out of things because of his food allergies, but there’s never any reason to exclude a child from anything.
“As a mom, you only want your child to experience happiness and love, but because of his food allergies, he has experienced anxiety, fear, loneliness and bullying.
“Children shouldn’t have to live this way – it is unfair and unfair to expect children to carry such a burden.”
In March 2019, Archie’s trials led Charlotte to create her own charity – Archie’s Allergies – which supports families of affected children and youth and aims to educate others about the importance of being kinder to those who live with food allergies.
Just Love Food Company, which makes the new Archie the Caterpillar cake, has dedicated a section of its packaging to the charity and the story of Charlotte and Archie.
“It is a privilege that the charity is recognized for its efforts to prevent allergic reactions and all that we do to encourage children to be more positive in the face of such a serious illness,” said Charlotte.
“It can be incredibly scary to think that we can die from just one bite or the touch of food, and we support the families who are going through that.”
Through Archie’s Allergies, Charlotte aims to promote allergy awareness, as well as the empowerment of suffering children by producing stickers and badges that normalize their allergies and make others aware of them.
During the lockdown, the charity sent 3,000 “allergy boxes” – containing stickers, postcards and crafts – to children, and also received funds to provide food for allergy sufferers, because the supply of allergen-free food was threatened at the start of the pandemic.
Last month during Allergy Awareness Week, young supporters of the charity were also encouraged to create allergy awareness posters for their school and to talk to their friends and classmates. of their allergies.
“We want to empower these children – they are so brave to live with the fact that the possibility of dying for them is everywhere, every day,” Charlotte said.
“That’s what badges do, they say ‘hey, no eggs’ or ‘I’m not making nuts’ so they don’t have to remind people. We have parents who send us a message while crying – they wouldn’t have thought the badges would bring them so much joy.
“We just want to be a voice for these kids, we want to show people that allergies are normal, because it’s just fear that appeals to people the most.
But even with the charity’s progress and rave reviews, Charlotte knows there might still be a long way to go before allergies get the attention they deserve.
“Our history is not unique, there are people who are the same as us and some are even worse,” she said. “You sometimes feel so helpless, because all you want to do is show these kids that they’re not what these people make them feel.
“Unfortunately, we live in a world where it’s only when someone dies that we want to do something about it. I don’t want my child, or another child with food allergies, to die, because someone wasn’t bothered or paid attention, or because they thought they knew better .
“I am so happy that we have helped so many families like us, but there is only so much we can do and say – now we need others so that we are not afraid to bring it up.”