Members’ News

May 2015

Intrepid Fox Wine wins Royals approval #

Intrepid Fox, single-serve ‘wine in a glass’, has provided Reading FC with a fast serve, ‘better looking’ alternative to single serve bottles at the club’s concourse bars and food outlets. Delivering speed and simplicity, Intrepid Fox enables bar staff to serve the drinks quickly and efficiently, while providing customers with a more attractive product that is easier to carry. The rate of serve is especially important during the frantically busy periods pre kick off and at half time.

The operator of the food and drink concourse outlets at Reading’s Madejski Stadium explained the motivation to sell Intrepid Fox: “The product is simple, easy to serve and looks better than wine served in small bottles with a half pint, plastic glass.”

Intrepid Fox ‘glasses’, which are shaped to resemble a real wine glass, are manufactured from shatterproof and fully recyclable PET, and are sealed with a peelable foil lid. The clever packing process used to fill and seal the glasses provides Intrepid Fox with a 12-month shelf-life.

Being a self-contained product as opposed to a separate bottle and glass also simplifies stock control and reduces waste. Intrepid Fox is available in Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc, and Rose. 

Exhibition success highlights demand for ‘wine in a glass’ #

Wine Innovations reported huge interest in its Intrepid Fox single-serve wine from caterers, hoteliers and transport operators, following the product’s official Scottish launch at the annual ScotHot trade show. Visitors to ScotHot were particularly impressed with Intrepid Fox’s innovative packaging.

A particular feature of the product’s design that resonated with people visiting the Wine Innovations stand at the show was the safety benefits afforded by the shatterproof PET glass. As well as being near unbreakable, each glass comes sealed with an easily peelable foil lid, removing the possibility of costly and potentially hazardous spills.

Business development manager for Wine Innovations, Renu Sunak, explained: “There is a huge market for wine in this country, but for safety reasons most venue and transport caterers are unable to serve the wine in glasses, and the logistics of transporting and storing glass bottles can be troublesome. Intrepid Fox overcomes these difficulties while offering the customer a more sophisticated alternative than drinking out of flimsy plastic cups or beakers.”

Intrepid Fox glasses look and feel just like a traditional wine glass, without any of the safety implications of real glass. The product’s design promotes rapid dispensing, making Intrepid Fox perfect for caterers operating at busy venues where rate of service is crucial for maximising revenue.

Renu further commented: “After speaking to so many people at ScotHot, it is clear that there is a lot of demand for Intrepid Fox, including in markets we may not have considered before. A wide range of traders, from transport and venue caterers to nightclubs and hotels, can all benefit from our easy-serve, shatterproof ‘wine in a glass’”. 

Preston Guild Hall finds single-serve success #

Preston Guild Hall has made serving wine quicker and easier at all of its bars and concession stands by selling Intrepid Fox, the single-serve ‘wine in a glass’ from Wine Innovations. The Guild Hall’s catering staff found Intrepid Fox to be an excellent alternative to single-serve bottles and disposable plastic cups, particularly in the venue’s often-crowded theatre and arena bars.

By choosing to sell pre-filled, single-serve wine glasses rather than single-serve bottles, caterers at Preston Guild Hall have been able to serve drinks at a much faster rate while significantly reducing storage and waste costs that result from serving wine into flimsy plastic cups. Importantly, the design of the self-contained wine glass used by Preston Guild Hall caterers also provides customers with a ‘better looking’ product than wine served into plastic cups or disposable pint glasses.

Speaking of the decision to sell Intrepid Fox, Preston Guild Hall’s head of operations, Richard Simkin, commented: “For popular shows we can get well over 2000 visitors to the arena, and over 800 to the theatre. With such large footfalls, the fact that I can quite literally serve several units in a matter of seconds can make a big difference to our revenue over time. This is particularly true during intervals or during pre-show periods, when we simply can’t serve customers fast enough. Intrepid Fox is just so quick to serve that we won’t be going back to serving bottles. In terms of ease and speed of service, it’s ideal.”

Richard further commented: “It isn’t all about rate of sale of course. The wine itself is good quality, it always goes down well with customers, and it certainly looks a lot better than serving wine into a plastic pint glass or beaker.”

Intrepid Fox is designed for caterers operating in high traffic, glass-free environments such as venues and outdoor events. Each unit comes sealed with a foil lid, allowing caterers to serve wine at the fastest possible rate while avoiding potentially costly spills or breakages. This allows caterers at busy events to maximise revenue during ‘crunch moments’, when drinks cannot be served quickly enough.

The shatterproof PET ‘glass’ is designed to closely resemble a real wine glass in look and feel. This means caterers do not need to sacrifice the quality of a customer’s experience when seeking to maximise safety and efficiency. Intrepid Fox is available in Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz and Rosé from wholesalers nationwide. 

HCM Group secures £14m of new and retained business #

HCM Group (Host Catermasters Management Group) has secured over £6.2m in new business and retained £7.8m of existing business over recent months.

The new and retained contracts are with several organisations including RBLI, Stryker, Arcadia, Portsmouth Grammar School, Kimbolton School, the RSPCA and the University of Law, vary in length up to five year deals, and will see the company provide a broad range of services from cafés and restaurants to hospitality and vending.

Two of the new contracts are in B&I with specialist medical equipment manufacturer Stryker in Newbury, and Arcadia Distribution in Milton Keynes and Birmingham. Arcadia provides distribution services for retail brands Top Shop, Top Man and BHS.

The contract gains are the latest in a series of wins for Host and Catermasters. According to Bill Toner, HCM Group’s CEO, “This is exciting news for us. These are good-sized deals and demonstrate that we are winning over more clients and our retention is as high as ever. We now have a presence in most sectors of the contract catering market, which gives us a springboard for growing our business overall; education and care homes being prime examples. We also have the scale and financial security to compete head-on with the biggest contractors. It’s great news for our team too because growth means more opportunities for them as well.”

Host has been catering for over 4000 students and staff a day at Portsmouth Grammar School and Kimbolton School since 2004 and the retained business is worth over £7m in turnover over the duration of the renewed contracts.

Host has also won two contracts in the care sector, a fast expanding division for the company. The contracts with Apex Care Homes and Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI) will see Host provide catering services at six locations across the South East. Apex homes in Luton and Bedford provide services to residents with mental health issues, learning disabilities, dementia and physical disabilities. The RBLI Village in Aylesford in Kent provides invaluable services to help ex-service men and women with rehabilitation, employability, training and support.

HCM Group appoints new regional sales director #

HCM Group appointed John Ling as sales director for the Midlands and North to drive new business growth for their Catermasters and Host brands.

With a 30-year career in contract catering and facilities services both in operational and sales roles, John will draw on his experience to nurture and develop strong client relationships to deliver innovative solutions to clients’ catering needs.

John joins the HCM Group from Sodexo, where he worked latterly in the corporate sector. Ling commented, “HCM offers an excellent platform for clients that want a truly bespoke offer crafted around their local needs and I’m looking forward to using my leadership skills, sound commercial experience, drive and enthusiasm to help energise future sales.”

Andrew Scott, UK sales director for HCM Group, added: “We’re delighted to be welcoming someone of John’s calibre to the team. His significant experience will be of great benefit to our business, our team, and of course our clients. With his knowledge of both catering and FM, John is in a strong position to advise clients, many of whom are facilities managers, on the best solutions for their business.” 

2015 World Food Innovation Awards winners announced #

The winners of IFE (The International Food and Drink event) 2015’s first World Food Innovation Awards were announced at IFE on Monday 23 March.

2015 is the first year that these establish awards have been announced at the UK’s largest food and drink exhibition, IFE. A panel of experts judged over 340 entries from 30 countries across 16 areas in six categories, including:

• Finished products
• Ingredients
• Packaging
• Brands
• Manufacturing and Processing
• Sustainability
• Marketing

Chris McCuin event director IFE said "This is the first time IFE has hosted the World Food Innovation Awards. It has been a great experience and our visitors have particularly enjoyed being able to view some of the world's best and emerging food innovations here at IFE."

Awards results:

Best convenience food innovation: Yowk – The New Egg Company
Best snacking innovation: Jelly Squeeze – Caterers choice
Best new children’s food: Mini nom nom’s – Mini nom nom’s
Best confectionery innovation: Edible Alcoholic Pastilles – Smith & Sinclair
Best new breakfast innovation: FUEL10K Protibrik – FUELYOUR10KHOURS
Best new condiment or marinade: iASC Something Fishy Irish Shellfish Culinary Butter – iASC Irish Atlantic Seafood Company
Best new food concept: Mini nom nom’s – Mini nom nom’s
Best new food ingredient: Spice Drops – Holy Lama Naturals
Best new packaging design: Liquiglide – Liquiglide Inc
Best convenience or on the go packaging: Shake Me Pasta Pot – RPC Barrier Containers
Best new brand or business: Mini nom nom’s – Mini nom nom’s
Best brand extension or limited edition: Mondelez Oreo Sandwich – R&R Ice cream
Best free from product: Clive’s Gluten Free pies – Buckfast Organic Bakery, Clive’s Pies
Best environmental or CSR initiative: Wyke Farms 100% Green – Wyke Farms
Best food manufacturing or processing innovation:Steam Infusion – OAL Group
Fresh Ideas Award: Yowk – The New Egg Company

A successful food and beverage extravaganza at IFE 2015 #

The biennial IFE exhibition returned to ExCeL London in March. The four-day event saw a packed agenda of world renowned chefs demonstrating their culinary skills, a stellar line-up of industry experts sharing their insight as well as numerous networking and buyer opportunities for exhibitors and visitors alike.

Over the four days the UK’s largest food and drink event saw visitors from over 127 countries as well as products showcased by 57 different countries. The show welcomed visitors from all walks of life including the ever-popular The Gruffalo and soul legend Levi Roots.

IFE’s inauguration ceremony took place on Monday 23 March and included insight from guest speakers including DEFRA Minister, George Eustice MP who announced a 10 percent increase in UK dairy exports and the secretary general of Saudi Export Development Authority (SEDA) who discussed the importance of a UK and Saudi export partnership. 

Over four days the exhibition saw almost 90 bespoke live culinary demonstrations including sessions from celebrity chefs Rachel Green and Aldo Zilli and topical discussions led by some of the biggest names in the industry including Bruce Langlands, director of food at Harrods, Alex Russo, chief financial officer at Asda and Ian Nobel Senior R&D director at Pepsico.

The finalists and winners of IFE 2015’s first World Food Innovation Awards were also announced at IFE. 

Chris McCuin event director IFE said "This is the first time IFE has partnered with World Food Innovation Awards. It has been a great experience and our visitors have particularly enjoyed being able to view some of the world's best food innovations here at IFE."

This year’s show has seen plenty of emerging trends, which hint towards exciting developments in the food and beverage industry through the rest on 2015 and into 2016.

Emerging trends in market include seaweed as well as a distinct move towards coconut products, following the previous success of coconut water. Another key emerging trend in health and wellbeing are gluten free products, with more and more foodservice outlets recognising this trend as a current consumer lifestyle choice.  

Huhtamaki wins contract to supply The Cover Association #

Huhtamaki was awarded a two-year contract to supply The Cover Association with paper vending cups and lids.

Comprising of 15 leading regional vending operators, with 23 service point locations throughout the UK, Cover has, for over 30 years, delivered excellent refreshment services – of which vended hot drinks are obviously key.

Speaking of the new business win, Ray McNamara, UK vending sales manager, Foodservice Division, Huhtamaki (UK) Ltd. said:  “We’re delighted to be working with The Cover Association and its members – many of whom we already supply our products to.  We are confident in our ability to manufacture and supply quality products, and the vending cups and lids for Cover Group are no exception.  We know that Cover pride themselves on being able to deliver a premium standard of service, which reflects the quality of vending now expected by consumers who compare the offering to the beverages they are familar with from the high street.  We look forward to starting what is sure to be a fantastic partnership.”

Huhtamaki will supply Cover member companies with 7oz, 9oz and 12oz paper vending cup sizes, and lids.  Some members have also chosen to have their own branded cups.  The customised paper vending cups for these members will be manufactured in 9oz and 12oz sizes, and 8oz and 12oz sizes for the double-wall cups.

Kevin Templeman, managing director, Automatic Retailing Vending Ltd. spoke of the decision to appoint Huhtamaki as a Cover supplier:  “Not only were we impressed with the proposal Huhtamaki put forward, but many members were already aware of the quality products and service provided by Huhtamaki.  The Company clearly understand the importance of packaging in today’s fast-paced, image-conscious world; and strive to be at the forefront of cup development.  Their knowledge, support and NPD were of importance to members, and so it wasn’t surprising that members therefore voted overwhelmingly in favour of appointing Huhtamaki as their nominated supplier for paper vending cups and lids.”

Clearly the right way to ‘enjoy’ a cold drink! #

Huhtamaki has extended its popular ‘enjoy’ range of cups with the addition of a new-look Polarity tumbler, which features a coloured smile to brighten your beverage service!  The contemporary tumblers help show-off the vibrant colours of a wide range of thirst-quenching cold drinks, and are the perfect way to serve summer-time favourites such as zingy lemonade, refreshing juices and healthy smoothies.

Made in the UK at Huhtamaki’s Gosport factory, the new ‘enjoy’ Polarity tumblers are manufactured from recycled PET (RPET) – a material derived from post-consumer recycled material such as carbonated water and PET bottles – offering strength, flexibility and excellent clarity; whilst being environmentally friendly too.

Like the paper hot and cold cups already in the ‘enjoy’ range, the new Polarity tumblers feature the cheerful ‘smile’ logo; and are available in a choice of 5 different colours in accordance with the cup size – choose from 7oz, 10oz, 12oz, 16oz and 21oz sizes. 

The tumbler’s modern design will appeal to operators, who at a glance can tell the cup’s size thanks to its colour – making orders quicker and easier service! 

Safer than glassware, ‘enjoy’ Polarity tumblers are a safe, shatterproof alternative; and are ideal for those serving cold drinks.  Make the most of the tumbler’s fun, contemporary design and serve colourful soft drinks which can be enjoyed by everyone – fresh juices, slushes and smoothies are a vibrant beverage choice; and creamy shakes and icy frapes will have instant appeal.  Use the tumblers to serve fresh fruit salads, breakfast pots, confectionary and other cold food items too.

Designed for drinks which are enjoyed on-the-go, the new enjoy Polarity tumblers can be fitted with a choice of lid to help minimise any inevitable spills!  Choose from a domed lid with hole, a domed lid with no hole, and a flat straw-slotted lid.

For those who want to maximise their branding, our ‘enjoy’ tumblers can also be customised to feature a company logo, corporate design or promotional message, creating an impactful custom print which your customers will love!  

Easy allergen management with e-foods #

Monitoring allergen information can be complicated and, if not carefully managed, can be very costly to the food service industry. With prosecutions already making the news, accurate information must be available to the consumer, consequently staff must be well trained and have access to information at all times.

e-foods has been providing allergen support to its customers through its online system, e-live, which gives access to complete nutrition and allergen information. e-live highlights where allergens are present, ensuring that customers can easily monitor what’s going into every meal. Alongside this is a recipe and menu builder that not only provides allergen and nutritional information but also delivers live costing of each dish for effective margin management.

Further support is on hand as Rob Henry, e-foods’ fresh food buyer has completed a Level 3 Award in Food Allergen Management for Caterers. Rob can offer expert advice on initiating and managing the required processes to ensure that accurate ingredient information is available for consumers at point of sale and service. He has knowledge relating to the control of food ingredients at all stages of production and can advise on communication strategies.

Paul Mizen, managing director said “The changes to labelling legislation at the end of 2014 meant big changes for the industry and e-live has supported our customers in preparing for and meeting the legislation. Allergen information is updated regularly, so customers can manage changes efficiently. e-live allows e-foods’ customers to manage all suppliers in one place and also brings allergen information under the same umbrella to provide a simple, easy to administer solution.” 

UCC Coffee invests £2.5m at UK’s leading roastery #

UCC Coffee UK & Ireland, the market-leading coffee supplier to the retail and foodservice markets, has invested £2.5m investment in its Dartford coffee roastery.

The major changes, which went live on 1 April 2015, increases its roasting capacity by 50% to 12,000 tonnes of coffee a year, cementing its position as the UK’s largest roaster of coffee by volume and its commitment to driving quality in the market.

Central to the investment is the modernisation of silos, upgrades to its software and green bean transportation systems and the installation of a new state-of-the-art Probat Neptune 1500 Drum roaster. The German manufactured roaster, which is capable of roasting up to 1,500kg of green beans an hour, features market-leading energy-saving, health & safety and roasting temperature systems to produce exceptional quality coffee with every batch.

Elaine Higginson, managing director, UCC Coffee UK & Ireland comments: “The coffee market continues to develop at an astonishingly quick pace. With this, our customers in both retail and out of home are experiencing higher demand for excellent coffee than ever before. This investment in Dartford has significantly increased our roasting capacity and futureproofed our business, so we can fulfil higher volumes for our customers for years to come.

“We’re passionate about coffee excellence across our business, and so this investment is just one part of our ongoing commitment to our customers. We’re continually investing in our people to help us deliver our total coffee solution of on-trend, superior products, training and services. This has recently led to the creation of a dedicated coffee trainer team and the expansion of our specialist barista and coffee development teams at Dartford, which now includes two Q-graders.” Rahul Ghosh, director of roastery operations, UCC Coffee UK & Ireland adds: “The decision to invest with Probat is the result of extensive research into what equipment would deliver for our business. Probat technology is pioneering - the manufacturer is exceptionally successful in the market having operated in it for 100 years and is responsible for roasting six in ten cups of coffee consumed worldwide. It stood out from other roaster manufacturers thanks to the unrivalled roasting quality, which produces an excellent, consistent roast and the highest aroma development in each batch. It truly cements our commitment to our customers to supply the highest quality coffee.”

UCC Coffee UK & Ireland’s site in Dartford is supported by its specialist site in Corby, which roasts fresh artisan coffee using a state-of-the-art Diedrich drum roaster. The UK & Ireland business is part of UCC Coffee Group, which has 28 roasteries worldwide. 

UCC Coffee hosted Orang Utan Experience Room at London Coffee Festival #

UCC Coffee UK & Ireland invited industry professionals to swing by and enjoy unique sensory adventure in its Orang Utan Coffee Experience Room, at this year’s London Coffee Festival.

Orang Utan Coffee, that launched at the festival in 2014, is a 100% Sumatran Arabica single origin coffee that directly protects critically endangered Sumatran orangutans. The Experience Room, which features a living rainforest, will take visitors on a sensory journey through the Orang Utan Coffee story, including live roasting, brewing and tasting with UCC Coffee’s specialist baristas.

Elaine Higginson, managing director, UCC Coffee UK & Ireland comments: “Orang Utan Coffee has gone on an incredible journey from bean to cup. It’s a really inspirational story – for each kilogram of green coffee produced the farmer receives a premium and a further donation is given to the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Project. These unique sessions give visitors the chance to be immersed in the story of the coffee, from the project’s inception through to the roasting, brewing and tasting.”

At the festival, UCC Coffee UK & Ireland also gave visitors a first taste of its new Grand Crü Version 2.5 coffee. Grand Crü - which is the pinnacle of the UCC Coffee range – is made up of three premium speciality coffees from this season’s crop – Colombia Agustino Forest, Ethiopia Hunda Oli and Rwanda Karengera. Each of the individual coffees have been selected based on taste alone in a series of blind tastings, before being carefully roasted and blended to create the new coffee.

Throughout the festival, UCC Coffee’s specialist barista team showcased market leading machines, including customised espresso machines from Dalla Corte and Victoria Arduino, bean to cup from Eversys and Thermoplan, and innovative brew methods including Siphon and Dragon Brewer. They will also supported the festival’s hospitality area – The House of Coffee and Co. – serving up a minimalist espresso menu and caffeinated versions of ‘Dark & Stormy’ and ‘Coconut Affogato’ cocktails to VIPs.

Punchbowl Chef Delivers Knock-out Menu To Land North West Crown West Young Chef finals #

A 19 year-old chef de partie from the Punchbowl Inn and Restaurant in Cumbria, has been crowned as the finest young cook in the North West, taking Essential Cuisine’s coveted 2015 ‘North West Young Chef’ crown.

Arthur Quin, the youngest finalist on show, was described by an exacting panel of judges as “immensely talented” with “fabulously turned out food” as he held his nerve to see off strong competition from five other regional finalists in a tense cook off, held yesterday at Manchester College. 

With ‘local’ and ‘seasonal’ the key watchwords of the competition, Arthur’s winning three-course menu consisted of an asparagus with poached egg and hollandaise sauce starter, Maryport line caught cod, cauliflower, wild garlic and cockleaves farm chicken main, and a dessert of soaked coffee sponge with pea, Armagnac and Lyth Valley honey.

On the win Arthur said: “I’m shocked, but obviously over the moon to win. I was nervous in the run-up but I just kept practising over and over again – that helped to overcome the nerves.”

Arthur paid tribute to Punchbowl owner, Richard Rose as well as the rest of his brigade, saving special mention for Head Chef and 2012 North West Young Chef finalist, Scott Fairweather, whose mentorship helped get him over the finish line.

The judging panel consisted of chairman Brian Mellor; Nigel Crane, managing director of Essential Cuisine; vice chairman of the British Culinary Federation, Matt Davies; chef proprietor of First Floor Café, Steven Doherty and chef patron of El Gato Negro, Simon Shaw. Each was unanimous in their praise for Arthur and the considered, yet highly skilful way in which his menu was constructed.

Chairman of judges Brian Mellor said “From the heats to the final, it’s heartening to see how much effort and energy each competitor put into their menus, especially in the face of a busy working schedule. Once again the competition has served to prove that the North West is alive with cooking talent.”    

Speaking about the winner, Nigel Crane said: “Congratulations to Arthur – he was the busiest chef today, industrious; producing what I feel was the best cod dish of the entire series. His preparation, skilfully overseen by the Punchbowl brigade, shows that practice really does make perfect – a great lesson to young chefs everywhere.”

Judge Steven Doherty said of winner Arthur “He doesn’t realise how good he is. He’s an immensely talented young chef.”

Arthur will now go on to represent the North West, gaining an automatic seed into the semi-finals of the 2015 Young National Chef of the Year Competition.

Elior report reveals what millennials really expect from caterers #

Elior UK has revealed new insight into the relationship between millennials and food in a report, released today. From convenience to technology, The Millennial Eater aims to understand what makes the millennial generation tick when it comes to their workplace and higher education catering.

By 2020, millennials will make up 75% of the workforce , so understanding their eating preferences will enable caterers to tap into this growing market more effectively.

Catherine Roe, CEO, Elior UK, said: “Millennials – also known as Generation Y – fascinate us. They’ve been called the generation that lives to eat and ‘the tastemakers in food’. But no one has ever attempted to fully explore their relationship with food – until now, that is. Our research highlights five key trends that define millennials’ attitude to food, trends that will influence how the food industry meets their demands.”

This first of its kind report revealed five trends:

1. Late Starters: Millennials shun the usual mealtimes. They skip breakfast twice a week on average, suggesting an appetite for mid-morning snacks.
And when it comes to buying lunch, they want value, speed and convenience – and of course quality food.

2. Convenience is king: Millennials are a busy bunch. Habitual snackers, they dash into supermarkets and fast food outlets to grab a quick bite. Speed of service is the most important factor for 42% of them when buying breakfast, and 40% when buying lunch.

3. Digital connections: Social media is a second home to millennials. 66% favour outlets that are active on social media, and expect technology to be part of the eating out experience.

4. A healthier diet (tomorrow): 92% of millennials say they either eat healthily, or intend to. But their food choices suggest otherwise. Sausages, bacon, burgers and fries win out over salads, wraps and fruit.

5. Cooking is the new fashion: 91% of millennials cook at home, and anticipate eating out less in the coming years. They generally serve up the same meals they order when eating out.

Carina Paine Schofield PhD, PGDip, BSc (Hons), research fellow, Ashridge International Business School, said: “This significant report from Elior UK goes some way to answering key questions and closing the gap between millennials want and what the industry currently offers. In summary, millennials expect more. More from an employer, from a food provider and from life.”

Elior UK commissioned Allegra Foodservice to conduct the survey of 1,000 18-30 year olds, including 30% students, to find out what are looking for from their work and university catering options. 

1 Deloitte Millennial Survey, 2014

Elior team at Dulverton Court wins Star Site award #

The extra care catering team at Hanover’s Dulverton Court in Exmoor, beat off stiff competition to scoop Star Site award at the Elior Awards for Excellence 2014.

Working from a small kitchen, the team of four headed by chef manager, Sandy Takel, provides tasty homemade lunches seven days a week, 52 weeks a year, to residents ranging from 60 to 100 years of age.

Dulverton Court is situated on the isolated Exmoor, and the remote location and harsh weather often make for challenging working conditions. But even drifts of snow didn’t stop Sandy and the team.

It was the high praise from their client and customers which caught the attention of the judges.

Mrs Griggs, a resident at Dulverton, says: “Sandy and the team couldn’t do any more for us. The food is outstanding, the service is always with a smile and they are an asset to Dulverton Court.”

Mike Stables, estates manager at Dulverton Court, says: “Sandy, Maria, Esther and Louise all strive to give their very best, going above and beyond the call of duty to accommodate residents’ requests. I don’t think anyone could be more deserving of this award and I’m delighted that their hard work is acknowledged and appreciated. They embody our ethos on care and attention to individuals which Hanover strives for.”

Dulverton Court was Hanover’s first Extra Care scheme and remains the smallest and remotest site among Hanover’s estates. Elior has run catering at the site for the last ten years and staffing has changed little over this time.

The Craft Guild of Chefs honours and awards 2015 #

In its 50th year, the Craft Guild of Chefs presented a record number of honours and awards to its members and supporters at a ceremony held at the Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington on 12 April 2015 following the Annual General Meeting.

Nominated by the membership and ratified by the Vice Presidents’ Council, the honours and awards are made annually for the previous year and this year’s roll call included more than 60 recipients.

The awards were presented by Craft Guild chairman Christopher Basten, Vice Presidents’ Council chairman Stephen Scuffell and the president of the Craft Guild of Chefs, Vice Admiral Tony Johnstone-Burt CB, OBE.

The Special Achievement Award, made by the Vice Presidents’ Council in recognition of achievements in promoting the aims and objectives of the Craft Guild of Chefs, went to Pauline Tucker who, as a trustee, vice president and London Division Representative, continues to make an immense contribution to the Craft Guild.

The Craft Guild of Chefs Culinary World Cup Team picked up the Team of the Year Award for their sterling performance in Luxembourg at the end of last year, which resulted in an impressive haul of medals. It was one of two awards for team manager Fergus Martin, who also received the Chairman’s Award for extraordinary service.

Hayden Groves and Russell Bateman, former and current National Chef of the Year titleholders respectively, received Honorary Memberships while the 2013 and 2014 Young National Chef of the Year winners, Ben Champkin and Luke Selby, were awarded Rising Stars.

Professor David Foskett was named National Hero in recognition of his tireless work over a long period of time to promote the Craft Guild and its ethics.

Following the conclusion of the awards, a special presentation was made to Martin Bates, and his wife Angie to mark the occasion of his retirement from the role of CEO later next month. Whilst Martin was presented with a jeroboam of champagne, and his wife a bouquet of flowers by Christopher Basten, it was perhaps the lengthy standing ovation that proved what a popular and successful CEO Martin has been during his reign.

More than 200 members, family and friends of the Craft Guild attended the awards ceremony and were treated to a sumptuous lunch prepared by executive chef Steve Munkley’s team as they applauded the achievements of all the recipients.

The Honours and Awards recipients were:

Rising Stars: Ben Champkin, Connor Godfrey, Daniel Lee, James Newton, Luke Selby, Nicholas Cottrell, Victoria Scupham, Wayne Harrington

Local Heroes: Ian Nottage, Ian Parsons, Jane Livermore, Nick Creed, Sion Farrell

National Hero: Professor David Foskett

Diploma for Support: Amanda Afiya, Andrew Archer, Bev Puxley, Billie Moore, Craig Miles, Graham Hornigold, Julia Sibley MBE, Paschal Tiernan, Will Torrent

Outstanding Support Award: Sheila Eggleston, Tommy Moran

Diploma for 50 Years Membership: Brian Gunn, Peter Richards

Team of the Year: Craft Guild of Chefs Culinary World Cup Team - Fergus Martin, Christopher Basten, Stephan Wylie, Lea Eastman Thompson, Matthew Edmonds, Steve Jarman, Theo Dalton Maag, Samuel Jones, Nathan Gayle

Bronze Medal: Barry Jones, John Feeney, Nick Wort, Terry Tinton

Silver Medal: Ben Bartlett, Wayne Harris, 

Gold Medal: Lee Maycock

Fellow: Hazel Mulberry, Neil Thomson

Governor: Matt Owens

Honorary Membership: Hayden Groves, Russell Bateman

College Certificate: Guernsey College of Further Education, Highlands College, The Sheffield College

Company Award: Caterer Licensee & Hotelier News, Coastline Produce, Continental Chef Supplies, Dingley Dell Pork, Find a Future, Major International Ltd, Shevill Exhibitions, Tate Catering

Chairman’s Shield: The City of Liverpool College

Chairman’s Award: Fergus Martin

President’s Trophy: Grosvenor House, a JW Marriott hotel

Order of Merit: David Mulcahy, Robert William Kendrew

Special Achievement Award: Pauline Tucker

Shortlist announced for 2015 Craft Guild of Chefs Awards #

The nominees have been announced for the 2015 Craft Guild of Chefs Awards to be held at the Hilton Park Lane hotel on June 15 2015. 

The 16 highly coveted awards will be handed out on the night covering all aspects of the UK chef industry from Public Sector to Ethnic and the Armed Forces Chef of the Year.  There is also recognition for the upcoming chefs with both the Young and Apprentice Chef categories generating huge amounts of entries.

The full list of the 2015 award nominees are:

Apprentice Chef Award: Charlie Aggett, Hartwell House Hotel, Ben Garnett-Sinclair, Lusso, Reece Kallah, Galvin at Windows

Armed Services Chef Award: Andrew Durham, Royal Navy, Amrit Limbu,  10th QOGLR/Army, Jonathon Smith, Royal Air Force

Banqueting & Event Chef Award: Alex Boyd, Chester Boyd, Trevor Garden, Sodexo Prestige, Mark Reynolds, Delaware North

Chef Lecturer Award: David Bittlestone, Compass Group UK & Ireland, Ken Ellis, Sussex Downs College, Gary MacLean, City of Glasgow College

Competition Chef Award: Adam Bennett, The Crown at Kenilworth, Jamie Gibbs, Compass Group UK & Ireland, Robert Kennedy, Compass Group UK & Ireland

Concept & Innovation Award: Bodeans, Dishoom, TED – Think, Eat, Drink, 

Contract Catering Chef Award: Mark Cheetham,  Sodexo UK, Glynn Lawrence,  Sodexo Prestige, Stuart Nisbet, Elior UK, Richard Skinner, Artizian Catering Services

Development Chef Award: Anthony Bennett, La Tasca Restaurant Group, Keith Burton, Sodexo UK, Diane Camp, Reynolds Catering Supplies Ltd

Ethnic Chef Award: Stephen Gomes, Moksh, Saurav Nath, Inito, Chad Rahman, Chez Mumtaj Restaurant

New Restaurant of the Year Award: Chiltern Firehouse, City Social, House of Tides, Typing Room

Pastry Chef Award: Jonathan Belford, Levy Restaurants, Daniel Pearse, Hakkasan , Stephen Tarling, Daylesford Organic

Peoples Choice Award: Allan Blackmore, Levy Restaurants, Billy Campbell, Thistle Glasgow Hotel, Al Crisci, The Clink Restaurants, Jiri Koutny, Edinburgh Marriott, Pilu Pazos, Lakefield College

Pub Restaurant Chef Award: Ray Brenner, The Peach Pub Company, Scott Fairweather, The Punch Bowl Inn & Restaurant, Charles Stott, The Sun Inn

Public  Sector Chef Award: Rob Bean, University of Leicester, Scott Pring, Bridgewater College, Martin Rowe, Quantum Care

Restaurant Chef Award: Mark Greenaway, Restaurant Mark Greenaway, Thomas Lawson, Rafters Restaurant, Adam Smith, Devonshire Arms Country House Hotel

Young Chef Award: Craig Bateman, Compass Group UK & Ireland, Sean Creamer, Aldea, Jack Vassallo, Grosvenor House Hotel,

Finally, one Special Award will be handed out on the night to a chef who has excelled over many years in the industry.

The prestigious awards ceremony will be even more the richer for being held in the ‘golden’ year of the Guilds’ 50th anniversary. 

BHA welcomed election manifestos which give ‘nod to importance of tourism in United Kingdom’ #

The British Hospitality Association welcomed election manifestos from several of the key political parties acknowledging the role of tourism and hospitality as a key contributor to the UK economy for the first time ever.

This is a significant achievement for the thousands of businesses and 3 million strong workforce across the industry who have been campaigning alongside the BHA to bring about a better understanding and recognition of the industry’s contribution.

The Conservative Party manifesto pays tribute to the industry as a supporter of three million jobs and references ‘the value of the tourism industry to the UK economy.’  The document promises to speed up the visa process for tourists, invest in transport infrastructure as well as stepping up its efforts to recruit more apprentices to the sector.

The Green Party manifesto stated their support for the BHA’s long running campaign to cut tourism VAT. The BHA has been actively lobbying all political parties to lower the tourism VAT from 20% to 5% in line with competitor destinations within the European Union.  Reducing tourism VAT would help attract domestic and international holidaymakers as well as allowing businesses to increase investment.  The reduction would also help support struggling tourist destinations, especially coastal areas. 

Welsh national party Plaid Cymru have also made a commitment to reduce tourism VAT in their manifesto, pledging a commitment to make ‘holidays at home more affordable and attract foreign tourists.’ 

The Liberal Democrat manifesto commits to strengthening the Hospitality and Tourism Council, with Business and Culture Secretaries as co-chairs.
The manifesto also pledges to give higher status to tourism within the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and to empower local Tourism authorities decision-making powers to promote tourism propositions. 

The UKIP manifesto, meanwhile, calls for the creation of a dedicated Minister of State for Heritage and Tourism, to be attached to the Cabinet Office.

The only glaring absence across the main political parties’ manifesto is the Labour party who have all but failed to reference tourism in their manifesto, beyond a token reference to promoting access to green spaces in local planning and making them an important part of ‘our thriving tourism industry.’ However, the BHA does welcome the commitment to making a swift decision on the Davies Commission review to expand aviation capacity in the UK.

Ufi Ibrahim, CEO of the BHA said:  “For the first time ever, tourism and hospitality has been recognised as a key contributor to jobs and the economy across the manifestos of several key parties.  This is a small triumph, not only for the BHA, but for the 3 million people working in our industry who together make a significant contribution to the country’s GDP. This is just the first step.  Together with our members, we are calling for all political parties to work with us to support policies which unlock our industry’s significant potential to create more careers, apprenticeships, jobs, exports, growth and prosperity.  We urge them to support policy reforms for growth and prosperity for all UK regions.  And we have a clear message for our next Prime Minister – there is an urgency to ensure the continuation and strengthening of the Tourism Industry Council after its first year. It is imperative that we expand its influence by having the Prime Minister as its leader, uniting all Ministers towards ensuring that cohesive policies drive growth and opportunity for the people of the United Kingdom.”

As well as creating policies which support tourism directly, issues set out in the political manifestos relating to the transport network, technology, national minimum wage, the arts sector, agriculture, churches and green belt property can all have an impact on UK tourism and hospitality.  

BHA partners with Heidrick & Struggles on leadership report #

The British Hospitality Association published a report called Leading Through Uncertainty with Heidrick and Struggles, a provider of senior-level executive search, culture shaping and leadership consulting.

The report captures the views of 42 UK-based hospitality CEOs and leaders from companies including, Domino's Pizza, Elior Holdings, Fullers, Marriott, Spirit Pub Company, Tragus, TUI Travel, Travelodge, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, Whitbread and YO! Sushi. The CEOs who participated in face-to-face interviews in late February to mid April with Heidrick and Struggles for the British Hospitality Association represent £35 billion in sales and over 900,000 employees.

General Election

The report reveals concern over the negative impact the results of the General Election could have on consumer confidence and business this year. CEOs were vocal about politicians treating hospitality as the 'Cinderella' sector with a massive disconnect between Westminster and an industry that delivers over £40 billion in tax revenues and is the UK's fourth largest employer.

Growth Expectations

Setting aside the uncertainty of the general election, more than two thirds of executives (72%) were positive about the UK’s economic growth outlook while nearly the same predicted moderate or significant growth for their own company (67%). More than half reported that their business was performing better this year when compared to the previous year.

Consumer Confidence

Consumer confidence was the top issue executives cited as the key challenge facing the next Government. Over half of hospitality leaders were optimistic that consumers would continue to spend money over the next 12 months. Executives raised their fears on how the fragility of consumer confidence could be affected by any incoming Government that hurried through “rash” policy initiatives.

Leadership Challenges

When asked what keeps executives awake at night, the top issue running through their minds, especially those CEOs with significant operations in central London was fears about possible terrorist attacks and their impact (22%), followed equally by national political issues and commercial performance (17%) and the pipeline of talent management (13%). Leaders talked about the potential threats in London and the Charlie Hebdo attack earlier this year in Paris and their commercial impact. Several executives cited a decreasing number of visitors this year, particularly in London, suggesting a link to security concerns.

Ufi Ibrahim, chief executive of the British Hospitality Association said: “As the country's fourth largest employer, biggest contributor to new jobs over the past five years, and one of the greatest conduits to spreading wealth across the entire country, the incoming government needs to step up to the plate and effectively serve our 3 million strong workforce. Ensuring a conducive policy environment to support the hospitality and tourism industry is not 'rocket science'. It just needs commitment, leadership and a government that works with our private sector, rather than against it.”

Ben Twynam, report author and Head of Practice UK, Travel, Leisure & Hospitality at Heidrick & Struggles, said: “As a firm we work with leaders based all over the world and we’ve found that hospitality, as a sector, still doesn’t appear as respected in the UK as it is in the US, the Middle East or in Asia. In those regions the industry is recognised and respected as a major growth driver for the economy.”

Smart Group acquires Moving Venue #

Smart Group Ltd has concluded a bolt-on acquisition of Moving Venue which will see the venue and event caterer become part of the award-winning group.

The purchase will create a combined turnover for the catering division in excess of £12 million per annum. It also enables Smart Group to enjoy the longevity and experience of Moving Venue’s thirty years working in the Unique Venues of London, Museums and Historic Royal Palaces with prestigious and high profile events including the Man Booker Prize, the Barclaycard Mercury Prize and the Wildlife Photographer of the Year. Moving Venue clients will be able to benefit from the wide range of event services provided by Smart Group including Christmas Party venues, Corporate Hospitality and a creative event design service.

Moving Venue by Smart will keep its brand identity and remain as a separate trading division, with the product quality, team structure, offices and logistic services un-affected, and will continue to be overseen and directed for a minimum of three years by founder and Managing Director, Richard Beggs.

Greg Lawson, CEO of Smart Group, said: "This is a sector of the market that we have had great ambition to enter; the acquisition is enormously complimentary and gives us an opportunity to add our Smart by Angela Hartnett brand to the existing offering. Moving Venue is a market leader in this segment and was the natural partner. Our two businesses share many of the same values which can only help in our goal to become the UK's most respected catering and creative events organisation.” 

Richard Beggs, managing director of Moving Venue by Smart, commented:  "This is a really exciting time for us as we join forces with one of the brightest and most innovative companies in the events and hospitality sector. It will give us greater dining creativity, a presence in new markets such as corporate hospitality and equally will give Greg an established brand with the legacy of 30 years invaluable experience across the museum and heritage sector. This is definitely mutually beneficial and everyone is excited at the opportunities it brings.”

Moving Venue celebrated its 30th birthday in 2014 and joining Smart Group marks the next chapter in its noted history. The acquisition will see Smart Group employ a team of over 50 staff across its Manchester and London offices with a combined turnover on live events, catering, corporate hospitality and Christmas parties in excess of £20million.

A new website for Prestige Purchasing #

The team at Prestige Purchasing have been busy re developing their website. After listening to clients and the market alike, a fresh new easy to navigate website has been born. The new site includes ideas on some of the services they can provide to increase your profitability, testimonials from some recent clients and bios of all the team back in Milton Keynes. Please have a look at  

Bidvest 3663 launches Fortification Week #

Bidvest 3663 is supporting its care home customers to cater for vulnerable elderly patients with the launch of Fortification Week. Designed to help raise awareness of malnutrition and individuals that are at a higher risk of being mal-nourished, the themed week includes product promotions, sharing of specialist information and a competition for care home caterers to win a hamper of goodies to use in the kitchen.

Activities will bring focus to the range of products stocked by Bidvest 3663 that can make it easier for caterers to create high protein and calorific meals that can be eaten by residents to help gain or maintain a healthy weight.

Running from 24 – 30 May 2015, Bidvest 3663’s Fortification Week is in line with the fortification message already being communicated by the National Association of Care Catering (NACC). Neel Radia, National Chair of NACC said: “The demand for fortified diets to support the health needs of the elderly in care settings is increasing. If an older person experiences unplanned weight loss, and underlying illnesses have been ruled out as the cause, it can be a sign of under nutrition. This means action is needed to change their diet in order to maintain their weight and overall health.  Fortified foods that increase the calories and nutrients consumed can play a vital role in such circumstances, so it’s imperative that care home caterers have a deeper understanding of fortification and can offer a variety of appealing snacks, drinks and meals.

“We welcome all initiatives that support caterers in this area and help raise awareness of the foods that are readily available to those creating meals for people that need additional calories. We’re in support of any activity that makes providing a fortified diet more simple and have produced our own Fortified Meals Recipe Book to further support care home caterers in this area.”

Philippa Norton, customer marketing manager at Bidvest 3663 said: “BAPEN stats show that 93% of older people affected by malnutrition are in the community, with 5% in care homes and just 2% in hospitals. This means that individuals are more likely to be malnourished when they go into a care home. We want care home chefs to know that there are many products that can make it easier for them to cater for those that need a fortified diet. Our Fortification Week initiative aims to raise awareness of the issue and the products available to support care home caterers to prepare fortified snacks, drinks and meals.”

Bidvest 3663 food development teams’ tips for increasing calories:
• Adding high calorie, non-filling ingredients to food will increase the calories without expanding the portion size, or make the meal too filling.
• Meals can be adapted by adding cream, butter, whole milk, milk powder, cheese, etc. to foods, e.g.
o Cream and milk powder to custard/mousse/milk puddings/soup/porridge
o Butter and cheese to potatoes and vegetables
o A drizzle of oil to casseroles and soups
• Nourishing snacks are an essential part of a fortified diet e.g.
o A slice of buttered malt loaf
o Piece of cake
o Half a scone/teacake with butter, cream and jam
o A small sandwich
o Snack size sausage rolls
• Serving smaller portion sizes and offering second helpings of fortified foods is useful for those with small appetites.
• Fortification of dishes should be individualised according to the resident’s needs, e.g.
o For diabetic residents, only fortify with sugar under diabetic guidelines/with advice from a Healthcare professional, as medication may need adjustment
o Fortification with high protein foods may not be appropriate in residents with kidney failure

To engage with care home caterers, a recipe competition will run from 1 May 2015 till 27 May 2015. To enter, chefs can tweet @Bidvest3663 with the hashtag #fortificationweek2015 or email with their favourite fortified recipe, including a photo and the name of the dish. Winners will notified on 29 May.

The Lunch Business Awards return for the fourth year running - nominations open #

This year’s awards are taking place on Monday 14th September at The Gable bar and restaurant in Moorgate, London.

The event offers people in the growing market the chance to be judged by their peers and to shine for their excellence and outstanding contribution.

The organisers of the successful awards, which are growing year on year, have also made a few tweaks to the criteria and categories.

Best Coffee Experience
This award will go to an independent outlet or group operating in the lunchtime sector. Judges are looking for entrants to provide and answer the following:
1. Why is this business eligible to win? (answer in no more than 500 words)
2. Attach a menu of the coffee and food offering
3. Prove the team has indepth knowledge of coffee. This could be through examples of training, CV, awards

Your outlet will be mystery dined as part of the judging process. Things we will be looking for include product, provenance and service.

Best Tea Experience
This award will be given to an independent outlet or group operating in the lunchtime sector. Judges are looking for entrants to provide and answer the following:

1. Why is this business eligible to win? (answer in no more than 500 words)
2. Attach a menu of your tea and food offering
3. Prove the team has indepth knowledge of tea. This could be through examples of training, CV, awards

Your outlet will be mystery dined as part of the judging process. Things we will be looking for include product, provenance and service.

Best Lunchtime Menu on the high street
This award will go to the establishment in food to go with the best lunchtime menu offering on the high street. Judges are looking for entrants to provide and answer the following:

1. Why is this lunchtime concept eligible to win this award? (answer in no more than 500 words)
2. Provide evidence of sales growth/commercial performance over the last year
3. Attach an example of the menu

Best Lunchtime Menu in the workplace
This award will go to the establishment in food to go with the best lunchtime menu offering in the workplace. Judges are looking for entrants to provide and answer the following:

1. Why is this lunchtime concept an award winner? (answer in no more than 500 words)
2. Provide evidence of lunchtime sales growth/commercial performance in the last year
3. Attach an example of the menu

Group Operator of the Year
The category is open to a coffee or sandwich shop concept responsible for a minimum of five outlets either on the high street or in the workplace. Judges are looking for entrants to provide and answer the following:

1. Why is this group operator eligible to win this award? (answer in no more than 500 words)
2. What skills does this business have as a group operator of the year?
3. Provide evidence of the past year’s trading performance

Group Area Manager of the Year
This category is open to nominees responsible for multiple sites (minimum of five) in a particular area. This can be on the high street or in the workplace. Judges are looking for entrants to provide and answer the following:

1. Why is this Group Area Manager eligible to win? (answer in no more than 500 words)
2. Provide evidence on how the business has expanded over the last 12 months
3. Provide evidence on how the nominee has been instrumental to increased turnover in the last year

Innovation Award
This award is open to all operators in food to go; small independent operators, contract catering grab and go operators and those responsible for multiple sites. Judges are looking for entrants to provide and answer the following:

1. Why is this business a worthy winner? (answer in no more than 500 words)
2. Attach evidence of the innovation
3. Has innovation driven commercial performance? Provide one example

Marketing Award
Nominations are sought for any individual or organisation in food to go that can prove that a particular marketing initiative or sustained campaign including social media has proved successful and exceeded expectations. Judges are looking for entrants to provide and answer the following:

1. Why is this individual/organisation a worthy winner of this award? (answer in no more than 500 words)
2. Attach an example of a marketing campaign that has proved successful in the last year
3. Has the business financially benefited from the campaign? If so, show one example

CSR Award
This award will recognise and applaud an independent or chain of lunchtime outlets in the high street or workplace implementing a proactive approach to corporate social responsibility. Judges are looking for entrants to provide and answer the following:

1. Why is the business worthy of the CSR award? (answer in no more than 500 words)
2. Identify the company’s four key CSR pillars
3. Provide one example of how the business has involved employees, suppliers or customers through recycling, food sourcing, local community engagement, charitable work, waste management or/and training

Brand of the Year
This award is open to a brand, with a minimum of five sites that has shown the most assurance in responding to the changing dynamics of the food to go market. The brand will have shown clear evidence of innovation, and of extending its reach in innovative ways which deliver a commercial return. Judges are looking for entrants to provide and answer the following:

1. What makes this brand the ‘brand of the year’? (answer in no more than 500 words)
2. Show clear evidence of innovation in terms of the brand and its marketing
3. Show evidence of this innovation delivering a commercial return in the last year – financial figures needed

Independent Operator of the Year
This category is open to a coffee or sandwich shop concept responsible for four outlets or fewer, on the high street. Judges are looking for entrants to provide and answer the following:

1.Why is this independent operator an award winner? (answer in no more than 500 words)
2. Provide evidence of the past year’s trading performance
3. Provide examples of the operator’s strong food & drink offering

Contract Catering Grab & Go
This award will celebrate the best of the brands and concepts operated by contract in the grab & go world. Judges are looking for entrants to provide and answer the following:

1.    What makes this concept an award winner? (answer in no more than 500 words)
2.    Provide an example of how this concept is innovating
3.    Provide evidence that this concept has been a commercial success

Special Achievement Award
This award is in the gift of Lunch Business, who has the opportunity to reward either an individual or organisation on the contribution they have made to the development, growth and prosperity of the food to go market. The winner of the category will have demonstrated outstanding skills, drive, ideas and influence. How to get involved:

To take part, nominees and entrants are encouraged to use a simple nomination form online. More information will also be available in the next issue of Lunch Business.

Pelican’s Piranha shortlisted for Business Innovation Award #

Pelican Procurement Services has been selected as a finalist for the 2015 Catering in Scotland Excellence Awards in recognition of the launch of its cloud-based food allergen, menu costing and nutritional analysis tool,

Piranha™; the industry’s first automated system to provide access to live-pricing data, allergen and nutritional information, in one central portal.

Developed by Pelican to support foodservice operators in accurately costing meals and supplying required allergen data, Piranha delivers access to live-pricing data in a user-friendly environment with full detail over menu costing and portion costs, as well as comprehensive allergen and nutritional content data. Pelican has been shortlisted in the Business Innovation Award category, and is nominated alongside 24, which is a Compass Group offering.

Matt Ferris, online solutions manager of Pelican Procurement Services said: “Piranha™  was developed in direct response to the Food Information Regulations, which requires all organisations that serve food to the public to be able to provide food allergen details on request. With Piranha™, operators have full control of what is being spent on each dish, plus all the additional information which can help both promote and protect their business. 

Adds Matt Ferris: “Hundreds of Pelican customers from the hospitality, education and health sectors are now using Piranha™ and we are proud to be recognised as a finalist in this year’s CIS Excellence Awards. It is particularly pleasing too as our Pelican Pi system, which provides customers with visibility and budget control over their operations, was also featured as a finalist in the Business Innovation category at last year’s awards.”

Winners will be announced at a ceremony on 21 May at the Hilton Glasgow.

FEM stays cool with Manitowoc #

The Manitowoc i-1406A is the latest high capacity ice cube machine to be launched into the Indigo series. Designed to meet the needs of operators who need high quality ice in large quantities, it features advanced diagnostics and incorporates multiple improvements that guarantee consistently pure ice while making it easier to maintain and operate. The Indigo 1406A is now available in the UK through Foodservice Equipment Marketing (FEM).

The i-1406A is a modular ice maker, compatible with Manitowoc’s B-style range of storage bins, and is capable of making 709kg of ice per day. The Indigo range incorporates advanced diagnostic technology that monitors all aspects of ice production, ensuring maximum operating efficiency. It even has an acoustic sensor probe, which listens to the sound of the ice forming, guaranteeing consistently perfect operation even in hard water areas.

The i-1406 produces Manitowoc’s dice cubes, a hard, clear, slow-melting ice cube that provides maximum cooling and quick production. A half-dice model is also available.

The EasyRead display provides cleaning reminders and useful information regarding operating status at a glance. The Indigo series helps cut energy costs by allowing the user to schedule ice production levels by time of day, either taking advantage of off-peak energy rates or to keep pace with varying demand throughout the week.

Designed to be easy to clean, the i-1406A features a hinged front door for easy access and removable components for fast and efficient maintenance. Key components are made from AlphaSan antimicrobial material. The Duratech exterior provides resistance to corrosion while the stainless finish resists dirt and fingerprints. The optional patented LuminIce growth inhibitor controls the growth of bacteria and yeast in the food zone, keeping the ice pure and uncontaminated.

The i-1406A is 122cm wide, 62cm deep and 75cm high. List price is £7390.00. It is backed by a comprehensive 3 year warranty and is available through FEM distributors nationwide.

Purchasing Support Service - proud to be English #

Proud to be English, Purchasing Support Services Ltd once more gave staff members the day off on St George's Day to celebrate all things english, whilst the directors manned the phones and daily operations.

KNORR gravy launches new gluten-free campaign in partnership with Phil Vickery #

KNORR® has joined forces with former Michelin starred celebrity chef, Phil Vickery, to launch a new gluten-free gravy campaign dedicated to helping chefs deliver tasty, nutritious gluten-free food while encouraging creativity.

Phil, who is food ambassador for Coeliac UK, will lead a series of gluten-free masterclasses in the KNORR kitchen throughout June and July. In the classes Phil will demonstrate his gluten-free recipes, offer practical advice and answer chef questions. Based on insight into how chefs are coping with allergen legislation and catering for gluten-free diners, KNORR has tailored each masterclass to give contract caterers and chefs the specific help they need.

Leon Mills, category manager, KNORR sauces says: “We are delighted to be working with such an experienced chef as Phil. His specialist expertise will be invaluable in helping us to provide chefs with the support they need in catering for gluten-free diners.

“It’s important chefs can cater for Coeliacs and those avoiding gluten so they don’t feel second best. But how do they do that without compromising on taste or adding extra complexity to their kitchen? KNORR gravy helps chefs to make great tasting gluten-free dishes that everyone can enjoy.

Unlike some other gravies, KNORR gravy doesn’t just contain gluten-free ingredients, it’s also manufactured using a gluten-free production process, helping operators to meet consumer needs without compromising on taste.

According to Coeliac UK, there are approximately 600,000 Coeliacs in the UK and by not catering for these people and their friends and family, the catering industry is missing out on an untapped opportunity worth an estimated £100 million a year (1).

Phil says: “I’m passionate about improving understanding in the food industry on the need for more gluten-free cooking. Many operators have made great progress over the past few years, but eating out can still be a challenge for people with coeliac disease.

“As more and more people are diagnosed, and an increasing number of people choose to remove gluten from their diet, both chefs and Coeliacs can benefit from providing more gluten-free dishes – and it can be easier than a lot of chefs think.”

Phil is has won many accolades over the years, including a Michelin star, the Good Food Guide’s Restaurant of the Year, The Times Restaurant of the Year and British Meat Chef of the Year, while head chef at The Castle Hotel in Taunton. He also has 14 books to his name, including three award-winning gluten-free books, as well as a gluten-free app.

To find out more about KNORR gluten-free gravy visit or to book your place on a gluten-free masterclass, call Clare Sutton on 020 8256 1360 or email

1 According to Coeliac UK (April 2015)

KNORR calls for chefs to join Thunderclap campaign and raise funds for Coeliac UK Awareness Week #

KNORR® gluten-free gravy is backing Coeliac UK Awareness Week by calling for chefs and caterers to join its Thunderclap campaign, raising money for Coeliac UK and getting the foodservice industry talking about gluten-free.

For each tweet that supports its online Thunderclap campaign on 13 May, the gluten-free gravy has pledged to give £1 to Coeliac UK, the national charity for people with coeliac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis (1).

It’s simple to get involved, simply click here:, then press ‘support’ before 1pm on 13 May. Thunderclap will simultaneously post the pledges of everyone who has signed up on 13 May at 1pm and KNORR will donate £1 to Coeliac UK on your behalf.

According to Coeliac UK an estimated 1 in 100 people has coeliac disease in the UK (2).

Leon Mills, KNORR sauces category manager, said:  “With 67% of people with coeliac disease eating out less than they’d like to due to lack of choice (3), we want to raise awareness of the issue and help operators to easily produce gluten-free dishes. We’ll target our Thunderclap at chefs and caterers, making it difficult for anyone in the industry to miss.

“At KNORR we believe everyone deserves the best. This is why KNORR gravy contains only gluten-free ingredients and, unlike some gravies, is manufactured using a gluten-free production process. But, most importantly, it tastes great.”

The Thunderclap is part of KNORR gravy’s wider gluten-free campaign, which will see a series of gluten-free masterclasses, led by former Michelin starred chef Phil Vickery, run throughout June and July 2015.

1 Dermatitis herpetiformis is a skin condition linked to coeliac  disease
2 Coeliac UK (statistic from Bingley et al., Bristol, 2004)
3 According to a survey by the Free From Food Show (2014)

Time to get baking for a chance to win the 2015 Big School Bake Off competition #

There’s just a few weeks left to get your entry into this year’s Big School Bake Off competition supported by Stork in partnership with LACA .  Not only is this year’s title up for grabs, including trophies for both the winner and their school, but the winner will also receive a baking workshop with TV bake off winner Jo Wheatley and £100 of high street vouchers donated by competition supporter Hobart UK. The closing date is Friday 15 May.

Last year’s inaugural competition saw Sarah Medlicott, kitchen manager at Torbay School in Paignton, bake her way to be crowned the first ever Big School Bake Off winner.

Sarah says:  “The competition is lots of fun, I met some lovely people and really enjoyed the semi-finals and the finals.  It’s easy to enter, just choose one of your favourite bake recipes that meets the criteria, write it out, take a photo and then just upload it with a 50 word comment about why your bake is best.”  Check out Sarah talking about her experience at

A panel of judges will review all the entries and select 18 entrants that best match the criteria to take part in the semi-finals at the LACA conference on 9 July.  Competitors will take part in one of three heats where they will reproduce the recipe they entered.  Eight competitors will be chosen to go through to the final.  The judging team, will once again be led by TV Bake off winner Jo Wheatley.

Nestlé Professional's new head of beverage solutions #

Nestlé Professional® UK & Ireland has announced the new appointment of Richard Green as head of its beverage solutions category.

Since joining the company in 1997, Green has worked in a variety of positions in sales, management and channel/category sales development before being promoted to head of field sales.  Here, he made a significant contribution delivering sustained growth, as well as driving effective structural improvements.

Green replaces Matt Lane who has worked at Nestlé® UK & Ireland for the past 15 years overseeing some of the division’s largest projects and campaigns, including the launches of NESCAFÉ® Milano and NESCAFÉ® Alegria into UK markets.

Speaking of his new role, Green commented: “Over the last 18 years I have been lucky enough to work across diverse areas within Nestlé Professional®, which in turn has given me a rounded market view and understanding of customer needs.  With new innovations and the continued growth of the beverage solutions sector, this new role comes at an enormously exciting time for both the company and the market – I’m really looking forward to getting started.”  

Kent Business Woman of the Year 2015 Award for Rebecca Riches #

After ten years of running The Hub and over 20 years in the profession of promoting and championing brands, their products and ambassadors, The Hub’s MD has won the coveted accolade of Kent Business Woman of the Year Award 2015.

Rebecca was nominated for the Kent Women in Business Awards 2015 and subsequently selected as a contender in the definitive category of Business Woman of the Year, from over 60 entries and amongst eight high-achieving finalists.

Commenting on the award, Rebecca says “It’s a big leap of faith in your own ability, self-confidence and belief in the support of those around you in both your personal and professional life that you embark on setting up a business in your own right.  I must say it has been the most rewarding and exciting decade of my life, not to say sometimes that being a woman in business can be a forlorn role but I couldn’t see myself having done anything else in my career.”

“I would like to thank the remarkable team around me (past and present) - for the energy they contribute in making The Hub evermore successful, year after year.  But also a huge appreciation to my clients for allowing me the pleasure to support their amazing businesses - I never stop being thankful for the ongoing support I receive from my wonderful industry colleagues and peers, many of which I am delighted to call my friends.  I am truly privileged to work in our fantastic industry, doing what I do best and which inspires me everyday, that of the creative communications profession.”

Rebecca Riches - Kent Business Woman of the Year 2015 #

After ten years of running The Hub and over 20 years in the profession of promoting and championing brands, their products and ambassadors, The Hub’s MD has won the coveted accolade of Kent Business Woman of the Year Award 2015.

Rebecca was nominated for the Kent Women in Business Awards 2015 and subsequently selected as a contender in the definitive category of Business Woman of the Year, from over 60 entries and amongst eight high-achieving finalists.

Commenting on the award, Rebecca says “It’s a big leap of faith in your own ability, self-confidence and belief in the support of those around you in both your personal and professional life that you embark on setting up a business in your own right.  I must say it has been the most rewarding and exciting decade of my life, not to say sometimes that being a woman in business can be a forlorn role but I couldn’t see myself having done anything else in my career.”

“I would like to thank the remarkable team around me (past and present) - for the energy they contribute in making The Hub evermore successful, year after year.  But also a huge appreciation to my clients for allowing me the pleasure to support their amazing businesses - I never stop being thankful for the ongoing support I receive from my wonderful industry colleagues and peers, many of which I am delighted to call my friends.  I am truly privileged to work in our fantastic industry, doing what I do best and which inspires me everyday, that of the creative communications profession.”

Black is the new green with Vegware’s low carbon cutlery #

Eco packaging firm Vegware has unveiled its new sophisticated black cutlery made from 100% recycled plant-based materials. The innovative RCPLA material withstands heat up to 85ºC, and boasts 90% less embodied carbon than plastic and 51% less than the PLA used in most compostable cutlery. It is certified compostable, meaning it can biodegrade in under 12 weeks.

Founder and managing director, Joe Frankel, explained the launch: “After two years’ R&D, last year we were the first to launch RCPLA cutlery made from this innovative recycled material. People love its glossy look and eco credentials, but we wanted to push things further and prove that eco packaging can respond to style trends. We aren’t aware of any other certified compostable black cutlery on the market, so we knew it would be popular. Demand has been amazing and initial batches are selling out.”

To celebrate the premium feel of the new range, Vegware have created a tongue-in-cheek film featuring some sleek visuals. Vegware’s filmmaker Mark Cox explained, “We wanted to recreate the futuristic premium feel of an expensive car or smartphone advert. It may just be cutlery, but we’re celebrating the amazing technology that goes into objects you might take for granted.”

Watch the film at

Edinburgh-based Vegware has brought many innovations to the table, including compostable hot cups and lids, soup containers, and the gourmet range, the first compostable spill-proof window box. Going beyond packaging, Vegware’s Food Waste Network is a free service matchmaking any UK business with local food waste recycling.

In 2014, all Vegware clients saved 2,514 tonnes of carbon, the equivalent of cancelling out the carbon from over 4,000 flights from London to New York. With the popularity of this low carbon cutlery, Vegware expects even greater carbon savings in 2015 as part of its Eco Audits – updated daily on