In August 2021, Itsu reached out to Cheeky with an urgent request to develop a Sesame Free Shichimi Togarashi for new menu items, and they needed it fast – within a month!

The challenge was to create a seasoning that mirrored the appearance and taste of traditional Japanese 7 spice Togarashi, but without any sesame in an effort to eliminate this major allergen from some of their dishes.

Embracing the challenge with our usual enthusiasm, Cheeky was tasked to innovate from concept to production in under four weeks – a timeline that we thrive on! 


Leveraging our vast experience in New Product Development (NPD) and procurement, we swiftly formulated two distinct options for Itsu within the first week.  

The focus was on balancing the complex flavours of Japanese 7 spice Togarashi while substituting sesame with allergen-free ingredients that maintained the desired earthiness and texture. After presenting these options to the Itsu team, they quickly chose their preferred version.

With the selected recipe in hand, the next step was to expedite production and deliver the final product to Itsu’s stores within the following two weeks – a challenge well-suited to Cheeky’s capabilities.  


Cheeky successfully delivered the new Sesame Free Shichimi Togarashi to Itsu, achieving a record turnaround time from the initial brief to the final delivery in less than four weeks! This new product has now replaced the traditional Togarashi across all Itsu outlets, meeting the needs of customers looking for allergen-friendly options without compromising on taste.

The project, while demanding, was a thrilling ride from start to finish, proving once again that at Cheeky, no challenge is too big and indeed, the tougher the challenge, the more fun we have!  

Find out more about our bespoke recipe development process here

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Frequently Answered Questions

What are Sprinkles ?

Sprinkles are seasoning mixes of superfood seeds, spices and herbs that are an easy way to add flavour, texture and nutrition to everyday meals.

While a spice mix is usually used during cooking, sprinkles are ready to eat and can be added on top of finished meals to improve the flavour and visual impact of the dish.

A Sprinkle a day keeps the bland away. Sprinkles can be your chef’s new best friend to quickly add layers of flavour to a base recipe.
For example, the same base soup can be flavours with a Coconut Thai Sprinkle or a Japanese Shichimi Sprinkles creating two completely unique end dishes.
Our sprinkles are also premixed in the right proportions to cut down cooking time for your kitchen staff.

We only use BRC certified suppliers and contractors for our entire supply chain.
We also do positive release for evert batch produced ensuring full quality assurance.

Yes. With 5 years of development experience for some of the leading food manufacturers and restaurant chains across UK.
We can take your sprinkle/seasoning brief from an idea to samples and finally to production.
Please see more here

We take approximately 4 weeks for our bespoke service.
This includes collecting brief, creating 2 bespoke sprinkles and fine tuning your preferred one to a final recipe.
Of course, based on any specific requirements like specialised ingredients or delays in feedback can make the process longer.
Please see more details here

We usually take 4 weeks from acceptance of purchase order to delivery.
If your lead times are shorter, please do discuss this with us.

All our products are Nut Free. We offer Allergen Free alternatives to some of the usual commercial ingredients like our Gluten Free Crispy Fried OnionSesame Free Togarashi and Nut Free Dukkah.
To see our full range of allergen free opliions, please see here