Members’ News

April 2016

Sodexo signs up to Courtauld 2025 #

Sodexo has signed up to Courtauld Commitment 2025, the world–leading voluntary agreement to work along the entire food chain to reduce the environmental impact of our food and drink, from farm to fork and beyond.

The pioneering commitment was unveiled on Tuesday 15 March by the UK’s resource efficiency charity WRAP, on behalf of the UK Government and Devolved Administrations.

Sodexo is one of 100 signatories including all major UK food retailers, brands, food service companies, trade bodies and local authorities which have signed up to the commitment. The commitment goes further than ever before with three ambitious targets:

• A 20% reduction in food and drink waste arising in the UK bullets
• A 20% reduction in greenhouse gas intensity of food & drink consumed in the UK
• A reduction in impact associated with water use in the supply chain

Edwina Hughes, corporate responsibility manager at Sodexo, said, “Becoming a signatory of this initiative fits perfectly with our Better Tomorrow Plan commitments. This new agreement will help us and the food and drink industry as a whole focus our efforts on reducing the environmental impact of our business operations. We look forward to working with WRAP on this new initiative.”

Richard Swannell, director of sustainable food systems at WRAP, said, “Courtauld 2025 is our most ambitious agreement yet and we are delighted that Sodexo has pledged their support as a signatory. We are faced with some big challenges ahead with rising populations, climate change and dwindling resources. But tackling food waste offers a practical option to address these challenges and in doing so, will create new opportunities. Only by working together can we hope to realise the big changes that are essential to ensuring a more prosperous future for individuals, businesses and the planet.” 

First glimpse of the new Jardin Blanc Hospitality at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show #

Images of the new hospitality area at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show were made public for the first time as tickets for this coveted event continue to sell quickly.

Jardin Blanc and the Queen Elizabeth II Suite is a new partnership between the RHS, Sodexo and Raymond Blanc OBE, chef patron to the two-Michelin star Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire.

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show marks the beginning of the UK’s summer events season. Visitors can enjoy a full day or evening of hospitality including champagne and canapés, entrance ticket to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and musical entertainment for as little as £200+VAT per ticket.

Chris Bray, Sodexo UK & Ireland CEO Sports & Leisure, said: “Jardin Blanc is a new concept dedicated to an incredible and exclusive dining experience, unique to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The event is the jewel in the crown of the hospitality season and marks the start to the summer, so Jardin Blanc is the ultimate central London destination to start the entertainment season in style.”

Raymond Blanc OBE said: “The RHS is a standard bearer of excellence in horticulture, while the RHS Chelsea Flower Show is arguably the most extraordinary gardening event in England - possibly the world. As for me, I’ve always been in love with gardens; there, the colourful plants will flourish and the heritage vegetables will grow. From the garden, my gastronomy is born. Each season brings its drama and its own beauty. In partnership with the RHS and Sodexo, I truly look forward to designing a space, menu and experience that will delight and embrace our guests.”

Packages start at £200+ VAT for Saturday and evening packages at Jardin Blanc.

For more information, email

For links to the RHS page visit:

The spaces:

Guests will enter Jardin Blanc through a beautiful set of concentric planted circles that frame Le Potager, a French style ornamental vegetable and kitchen garden. A floating wooden pathway marks the start of a winding sensory journey through rows of planted herbs, vegetables and wildflower beds, all carefully curated by horticultural experts and previous gold medal winners at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Playful signs and oversized white flowers are dotted along this walkway to guide guests through. Hidden amongst the shrubbery are a series of ‘speaking benches’. These recordings of classic and quirky stories and poems - retold by Raymond Blanc OBE - become a secret, immersive audio sound-scape for visitors to enjoy.

Guests will then come across The Greenhouse - a beautiful exterior bar and kitchen. The combination of elegant design and integrated art, so often featured at UK’s most prestigious RHS gardens, is the centerpiece. Elegant tall glass panels, inspired by traditional glass flower presses, frame the space and contain a stunning installation of pressed gin botanicals. The bar transforms throughout the day, beginning as a breakfast juice and smoothie bar, serving tea mid-afternoon and becoming an exclusive artisan cocktail bar by late afternoon and evening, mixing drinks with the best ingredients from local distillery partners.

Inspired by the joy of cooking, the dining experience found inside will be a celebration of seasonal ingredients, combined to create fresh and modern spring dishes. The space features an abundance of colourful delicacies, seasonal garnishes and local produce bringing the garden indoors. Oversized light-features flood the space with colour and playful graphics bring the rooms to life. Guests will be encouraged to pick their own herbs from feature table terrariums to embellish the food they are served.

Guests looking to relax away from the crowds will find that there is plenty of time in the day to discover the Wildflower Garden; a place of entertainment and fun where traditional games are given a modern twist. This space is the social hub of Jardin Blanc where one can enjoy a cocktail whilst playing petanque and interact with other guests in a fun and relaxed setting.

Styled to fit seamlessly with Jardin Blanc, the Queen Elizabeth II Suite is a twist on the traditional royal colour palette and is available for private parties for up to 110 seated guests directly on the show ground. Daytime and evening packages are available, from champagne reception and canapés to a four-course meal. The space is sure to please and is designed to be enjoyed by our royal visitors and guests alike.

Sodexo team recognised at Green Can Awards #

A team from Sodexo has been awarded an Every Can Counts, Green Can Award for the implementation and success of a drinks can recycling programme introduced at military bases across the South and South West.

The team of 12 from Sodexo’s defence business, known as the Go Green Team, are environmental volunteers who inspire their colleagues and customers to segregate waste resources. 

The Go Green Team are ambassadors for Sodexo’s Better Tomorrow Plan (sustainability roadmap to 2020) a part of which aims to reduce the environmental impact in the areas where Sodexo operates and to engage the local communities.  

The drinks can programme came about when one of the volunteers spotted an Every Can Counts collection box and knowing the high volume of drinks cans which the military bases sell arranged for the collection boxes to be introduced at all sites in the region.

The Go Green Team organise Waste Not roadshows at the sites which Sodexo deliver catering retail, leisure and cleaning services. The interactive roadshow includes pop up panels to educate and engage both Sodexo’s employees and the armed forces community at each site. 

The roadshows also include examples of items which have been made from recycled material which helps bring to life how different objects can be recycled and remodelled to become other useful items. Items include the Sodexo fleece which is made using recycled plastic bottles.

The ‘Rubbish Bin Quiz’ is a fun interactive part of the roadshow with those taking part who answer the question correctly receiving a pencil made from recycled CD cases or a pen made from corn starch and wood powder.

The team will receive framed certificates for each of the ten sites, a hamper of aluminum packaged goodies and will feature in Alupro’s (aluminium packaging recycling organisation) upcoming edition of its ‘CanMail’ magazine and on the Every Can Counts website.

Andy Leach, CEO for Sodexo Defence, UK and Ireland, said, “Well done to the Go Green Team. Over the last year the team has been working hard to communicate the benefits of recycling to our employees and our military customers. They have come up with some great ways to engage people in to thinking about what they can recycle and the impact it can have on the environment. The team is incredibly committed to supporting our Better Tomorrow Plan and we are immensely proud of them receiving this award.”

Sodexo Defence manager wins Cost Sector Catering Award #

A Sodexo Defence services manager was named multi-site manager of the year at the Cost Sector Catering Awards (31 March).

Steve Whiting won the award for his commitment to the training and development of his team, work supporting local communities and charities, and his outstanding financial results.

Steve is part of Sodexo’s Wales and Central region, based at Infantry Battle School Brecon, where one of his highlights of 2015 was winning the contract to support a short-term camp for Joint Warrior, one of NATO’s largest training exercises.

The contract included setting up safe disposal of grey water, and supplying mess hands for washing up and dining room duties while the military chefs fed the ever-hungry 2,000 troops. Steve was also called upon to provide cleaners and additional supplies within a 24-hour turnaround.

Sodexo was shortlisted in two other categories at the awards, held at the Hilton London Metropole.

John Hassall, services manager at Ministry of Defence Stafford, was a finalist for unit manager of the year. Sodexo’s new supply chain inclusion programme was shortlisted for the corporate responsibility award.

Steve Whiting, Sodexo Defence services manager, said: “It was a surprise to even be nominated never mind shortlisted, you feel you have already won being there on the night. To actually be announced the winner on the evening for doing a job I really enjoy was fantastic and Sodexo having one table made enough noise cheering to let them know we were there. I have won several Star awards over the eight years I have been with Sodexo but this is the first industry award I have won.”

Alison Walker, the Sodexo Defence account manager who nominated Steve Whiting, said: “Steve is an exceptional services manager and worthy winner of the Cost Sector Catering multi-site manager award. The testimonials in support of his nomination demonstrate his exemplary work ethic and extraordinary commitment to the delivery of Sodexo’s services to the highest possible standard on a daily basis.” 

Responsible Business Week 2016; new Sodexo CR report #

At the start of Business in the Community’s Responsible Business Week, Sodexo released its 2016 Corporate Responsibility (CR) Report. The report tracks Sodexo’s progress against a series of measures relating to environment, local communities, nutrition, health and wellbeing and the workplace.

The report shows that Sodexo has made strong progress in the area of sustainable, responsible sourcing. In autumn 2015 Sodexo launched its Supply Chain Inclusion Programme, a four-month mentoring scheme to help small and medium-sized businesses into its supply chain. The scheme is focused on businesses owned by women and minority ethnic groups and on social enterprises, with 17 of the participants nominated by regional government bodies and NGOs.

Following the launch of the programme, Sodexo now sources 30 products from eight of the participants, with four additional suppliers in the final stages of review to become regular Sodexo suppliers. Sodexo will repeat the programme again later this year, with another 20 small firms.

Building on its leadership in diversity and inclusion, Sodexo has launched two new employee networks – Pride and Origins – which, in addition to its Generations and WomenWork networks, provide a strong base of employee support and participation in Sodexo’s diversity and inclusion programme. Each network is focused on a primary diversity characteristic and aims to increase awareness, understanding and engagement.

The report also covers the launch of Green & Lean, a set of sustainable meals, which were created by Sodexo chefs in partnership with conservation charity WWF and were successfully piloted at eight of Sodexo’s independent school contracts between October and December 2015. The meals, which are versions of popular favourites such as beef lasagne, chicken and leek pie and Lancashire hot pot, meet ten criteria to ensure they are nutritious, lower-carbon and that the ingredients are responsibly sourced. For example, plant-based foods have to account for at least two thirds of the volume of each meal; refined grains are replaced with whole grains; and meat and fish has to have relevant certification, such as MSC or RSPCA Assured.

Sodexo’s corporate responsibility manager Edwina Hughes took part in a BITC panel discussion, Products with Purpose: Improving society and the bottom line through your core business. The event explored the ways in which having an ethical ‘purpose’ can be a differentiator in a competitive, conscious marketplace.

Edwina Hughes, Sodexo UK&I’s corporate responsibility manager, commented; ‘As a major employer in the UK and Ireland we have a responsibility to give something back to the communities in which we operate. Programmes such as Green & Lean, our diversity and inclusion networks and the Supply Chain Inclusion Programme, illustrate how we are doing this in a practical and tangible way and show the breadth of our commitments. More generally, the CR Report represents the hard work of people right across our business to live out our mission to improve quality of life and make a positive different.”

Another notable CR achievement is the fact that in 2015 Sodexo raised £457,000 for its corporate charity, Stop Hunger. Through the company’s global Stop Hunger initiative, employees donate time, skills and money to tackle hunger, support good nutrition and promote life skills in local communities. Sodexo’s UK and Irish employees will mark Stop Hunger Day on Tuesday 26st April with team activities such as quizzes, cake sales and sponsored walks and runs.

The full report is available here:

Sodexo named in Top 50 Employers for Women third year running #

Sodexo has been named in The Times Top 50 for Employers for Women for the third year in a row.

Published  on 21 April as a supplement in The Times, the top 50 recognises the leading UK organisations which ensure their workplaces provide women with the opportunity to achieve their full potential.

The Times Top 50 Employers for Women is compiled though a partnership between The Times and Opportunity Now, the gender campaign within Business in the Community.

Since Sodexo’s inclusion in the 2014 list, the company has announced a public pledge to undertake regular pay audits of its 34,000 employees in the UK and Ireland.

Sodexo plans to publish its gender pay gap later this year, ahead of the April 2017 date required by Government legislation.

Sodexo’s Gender Pay Pledge was launched alongside the announcement of the results of its gender balance study, which gathered data from 52,000 Sodexo managers working in some 100 entities across its global footprint. The study has shown better performance across all the performance indicators measured, including employee engagement, brand image, consumer satisfaction, retention, organic growth and profits in parts of the business where there is gender balanced management (between 40-60 of managers are women).

The Sodexo Women’s International forum for talent (SWIFt) drives the organisation’s gender diversity approach across the globe. SWIFt is co-chaired by Sophie Bellon, the daughter of Sodexo’s founder Pierre Bellon, who succeeded him as chair of the company in earlier this year.

Made up of 35 members, including two executive sponsors and nine alumni members of top female and male executives from around the world, SWIFt UK and Ireland members include CEO Schools Jane Bristow, CEO Justice Services Janine McDowell and Global Vice President Operational Solutions of Energy & Resources Susan Elston.

BITC held their Workplace Gender Equality Awards last night, where Sodexo was shortlisted in the transparency category.

Neil Murray, Sodexo UK & Ireland regional chairman, said: “We are delighted to be included in The Times Top 50 Employers for Women for the third year running, which reflects our genuine commitment to gender equality. As well as being the right thing to do, our global research shows where our teams are more gender balanced they are more engaged, productive and profitable, so there’s a clear business case. Our gender balance strategy supports our mission to improve the quality of life of our clients, customers and employees.”

Bird on-board as 2016 Best Brigades judge #

Celebrated chef and restaurateur, Alan Bird, has been recruited by Essential Cuisine in its hunt to find the UK’s hardest working chef team, joining as judge for Britain’s Best Brigades 2016. 

The chef patron of Bird of Smithfield, one of London’s best new restaurant, bar and private dining spaces, joins incoming British Culinary Federation chairman, Matt Davies and Essential Cuisine MD, Nigel Crane, in a quality judging panel tasked with whittling paper entries down to just eight regional finalists. 

Launched this January, kitchens across hospitality had until midday on April 25 2016 to register their brigade as Britain’s best. The competition is offering an £1000 prize alongside the kudos, a trophy and bespoke menu development masterclass with a leading chef.

Following judging, eight regional representatives from London, the South East, the South West, the Midlands, the North East, the North West & Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland, will be chosen to bring their paper entries to life in the form of a 60-second video.

The final eight videos will then be put to a public vote to decide which kitchen should be crowned as Britain’s best.

On his appointment, Alan commented: “I’m delighted to join Essential Cuisine in their hunt for the most outstanding kitchen team in the UK. Having worked in some high pressure kitchens, I know the importance of chef teams pulling together when it matters the most.

“Your brigade is your family – but it’s not just the best food, you need good communication, understanding and, most importantly, mutual respect to succeed in this game. Those are the attributes I’ll be looking for as judge.” 

Nigel Crane, managing director for Essential Cuisine, added: “We’re delighted to have Alan on board – a chef with serious pedigree who, having worked as executive head chef at The Ivy, as part of the Soho House Group and for six years mentored chefs at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen – knows what makes a good kitchen tick.

“We have had some fabulous entries into the competition so far, and I urge those teams looking to demonstrate their flair, togetherness and hard work, to not miss out and enter Britain’s Best Brigades today.”

Matthew Clark portfolio tasting encourages on-trade to #beinspired at largest event in company's history #

Matthew Clark celebrated its largest, most well attended tasting ever at its Discover Love Inspire event. London’s Tobacco Dock came alive with over 1200 visitors, a 40% increase from last year’s attendance.

Visitors were spoilt for choice with the opportunity to discover wines from all sides of the globe with over 190 new premium lines to fall in love with; including cool-climate South African producer Shannon Vineyards from Elgin Valley, Californian producer Meiomi with blends from three coastal regions Monterey, Sonoma and Santa Barbara, as well as a diverse selection of Old World names including cutting edge producer Casa Rojo with vineyards from various regions across Spain, award winning Chianti producer Vicchiomaggio, top Burgundy producer Remoissenet Père & Fils, and renowned Rhône winery Dauvergne Ranvier.

Matthew Clark also inspired its customers through a series of engaging and commercially relevant masterclasses, which also received a record number of attendees. Michelin starred chef Marco Pierre White demonstrated how to pair top ingredients such as lobster with wines from a variety of producers including artisan producer Ceres from Central Otago, Rhône wine personality Jean Luc Colombo, and Mosel legend Dr Loosen. Elsewhere, Champagne Taittinger offered Matthew Clark customers the chance to preview upcoming vintages of its prestige cuvees at its Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs Futurtech tasting, the first masterclass of its kind to be held outside of France. Over the course of the day, Matthew Clark saw over 280 eager attendees pass through the buzzing masterclass theatre, keen to learn from the experts presenting.

Damien Le Sueur, managing director of Champagne Taittinger said, ‘It was a great privilege to present vintages of Comtes de Champagne, which haven’t even been released yet, at the Discover Love Inspire tasting yesterday. I was so pleased to see so many top on-trade customers there, the session was really well attended and filled to the brim with enthusiasm for Champagne. We look forward to working with the Matthew Clark team as they continue to supply more and more high end accounts throughout the UK”.

Exclusive new accounts

Many of the attendees were drawn from an array of prestige accounts, reflecting the successes of the last 12 months, which has seen the drinks supplier move from strength to strength now supplying some of the UK’s most reputable venues; St Pancras, Q Hotels, Conrad St James, Berner’s Tavern and more recently M Restaurants - a sector that continues to grow. In the last year Matthew Clark has seen boutique hotels grow by 12% YOY , quality locals 21% YOY , and top food venues by 12% .

M Restaurant’s wine director, Zack Charilaou, said ‘Matthew Clark has been instrumental in helping us build our 500 bin wine list at M Victoria over the past few months. Its portfolio includes a wealth of wines from all corners of the world and it was great to meet some of the producers in person at yesterday’s Discover Love Inspire tasting and even better to be able to host the winemaker after party at M Restaurant on Threadneedle Street”. 

Matthew Clark commercial director Ian Smith, said ‘Yesterday’s event was magnificent, it was wonderful to see the Matthew Clark teams, suppliers and producers all pull together to put on a fantastic show for our ever supportive customers. It was also great to welcome on board so many prospective customers including those from some really exciting premium accounts. We received such a positive reaction to the selection of wines showcased at yesterday’s event. Our Wines of Distinction portfolio now includes our best selection of wines yet which is fundamental when it comes to supplying our growing number of premium accounts. We’re now looking forward to taking our wines on tour around the UK at our series of Uncovered events, next stop Edinburgh!” 

New appointments at CH&Co Group reflect strength of the business #

CH&Co Group has expanded and strengthened its team with a raft of new appointments across its brands and head office departments.

The vigorous recruitment drive is a result of further growth in new business and continued strong client retention.  Many of these new managers are taking on roles that have been specially created to support the company’s growth and retention strategy and are a clear demonstration of the Group’s commitment to enhancing client services and support for onsite teams.

CH&Co Group’s new employees include:
• Catherine Silvester, Head of HR, CH&Co Group
• Phil Wilkinson, Operations Director – North, Host & Catermasters
• Chloe Smith, Operations Manager, Lusso
• Alison Wallington, Finance Manager, Host & Catermasters
• James Houston, Senior Category Manager – Procurement, CH&Co Group
• Leanne Johnson, Non-food Category Manager – Procurement, CH&Co Group
• Michael Edwards, Senior Web Developer, CH&Co Group
• Neil Barclay, IT Operations Manager, CH&Co Group
• Yasmeen Andrikopoulos, Marketing Manager – Commercial Division
• Darren Bowers, Operations Manager, Catermasters

Bill Toner, Chief Executive of CH&Co Group, comments: “We’re delighted to welcome our new colleagues to the team – they each have an important part to play in our future success.  This latest wave of recruitment at CH&Co Group has been very exciting. The business is in great shape and our investment in strengthening and expanding the team reflects this. We have a very diverse business portfolio, operating across many sub-sectors of the hospitality industry, and we find ourselves in the privileged position of experiencing a growth in the number and calibre of applicants. We are seen as a ‘company to join’ and people are keen to explore the varied roles and development opportunities we can offer. ”

CH&Co Group secures ISO business certifications in quality management, environmental standards and health and safety across its entire estate #

CH&Co Group successfully completed its IMS (integrated management systems) audits and now boasts business certifications in quality management, environmental standards and health and safety across the entire CH&Co Group estate.

The in-depth, re-certification audit has secured ISO9001, ISO14001 and OHSAS 18001 certification for a further three years at every CH&Co Group site, including the brands Apostrophe, Host and Catermasters that were not previously included in the certification.

The external auditor was impressed at the business’ operational compliance with its management systems.  The report praised CH&Co Group for effectively embedding and improving upon its management system and for continuing to embrace the standards for their intended value to the business and its employees.

The areas assessed – from document and records control to management review, internal audits and corrective and preventive action – were described as ‘exceptionally well managed’ considering business activity, the size of the organisation, the number of employees and recent mergers and acquisitions. The assessor also commended CH&Co Group’s excellent approach to the audit, proclaiming it a ‘first class management system and a first class organisation’.

Bill Toner, chief executive of CH&Co Group, comments: “This was an incredibly important and particularly challenging IMS audit for the business. The re-certification process was in-depth and its expansion to include the brands Apostrophe, Host and Catermasters compounded this.  I congratulate everyone involved in the process for their fantastic success in retaining all of our business certifications across every brand and site within the business. The assessor’s comments were deservedly excellent.

“The fact that the entire CH&Co Group estate is covered by the certification is great news. It is testament to the robust management systems we have in place in quality management, environmental standards and health and safety.  These attributes are of great value and benefit to our business, our employees and our clients, and strengthen our position as an excellent company to work for and do business with.”

Ampersand Events strengthens venue portfolio with new and retained supplier accreditations #

Innovative events and catering business, Ampersand Events, has expanded and strengthened its portfolio of London venues with two new supplier list accreditations and six re-listings.

The company has secured a place on the accredited supplier list at the four sites of Royal Museums Greenwich and at Dulwich Picture Gallery.  It also successfully retained its accredited supplier listings at Kew Gardens, Museum of London, Tower of London, Kensington Palace, Hampton Court Palace and Banqueting House.

Following the three-month tender process at Royal Museums Greenwich, which assessed proficiency in quality, consistency and adherence to health and safety regulations, Ampersand Events was awarded a place on both the caterer and wedding caterer lists. The business now has the opportunity to operate at Cutty Sark, National Maritime Museum, Royal Observatory and Queen’s House, one of London’s most esteemed wedding venues. 

Richard Meyer, group general manager at Ampersand Events, said: “It’s been a great start to 2016.  We are thrilled to have secured accredited supplier status at Royal Museums Greenwich and Dulwich Picture Gallery and to have retained our established listings.  The team has worked hard to demonstrate our capabilities and professionalism, as well as the value we can add to our clients’ business, with great success.  The new venues are great additions to our diverse portfolio and we are keen to work at the amazing locations. In fact, we have already referred and confirmed business into the National Maritime Museum.”

UCC Coffee UK & Ireland partner with Master Sommelier #

Total coffee solution provider to host exclusive wine and coffee masterclasses

UCC Coffee UK & Ireland partnered with Master Sommelier, Ronan Sayburn, to launch a new Grand Crü coffee and host an exclusive wine and coffee pairing experience at this year’s London Coffee Festival.

The new Grand Crü, which was developed in conjunction with Ronan, features three specialty grade coffees* from Colombia, Brazil and Kenya which were selected from the best of the season’s crop before being carefully roasted and blended to create an exceptional taste in the cup.

The blend was served for the first time at London Coffee Festival (7-8 April) during an immersive, sensory experience hosted by Ronan. Working with UCC Coffee head of coffee quality and Q-grader Gayan Munaweera, Ronan paired red wine with the new coffee and educate visitors on the similarities of wine and coffee – from the growing and terroir to the flavour, aroma and tasting notes.  Guests tasted the new coffee through chemex and taste red wine while exploring the similarities between the two.

The 25 minute experience for five people took place in a specially created Grand Crü Lounge on the trade days of the festival. 

Ronan Sayburn, master sommelier, comments: “There’s lots of synergy between coffee and wine – from the growing and quality, to the way we describe it. Just like using different grape varieties to create a classic Bordeaux, with the Grand Crü blend you get the benefit of three premium components that complement each other. Operators need to be taking coffee as seriously as they would their wine menu.”

Gayan Munaweera, head of coffee quality and Q-grader, UCC Coffee UK & Ireland comments: “Ronan’s ability to taste and identify flavours is second to none. His contribution to the development of our new blend has meant we’ve been able to create something exceptional. We’ve also relooked at our packaging and supporting material – drawing on the similarities between wine and coffee, as well as creating a really premium looking and tasting brand. It’s perfect for operators looking to serve something special in the cup.”

As headline sponsor of London Coffee Festival, UCC Coffee UK & Ireland had two stands at the event with its team of specialist baristas showcasing the trends and innovation from UCC HQ in Japan, a new conceptual White Label Collection coffee and the latest launches from equipment partners Dalla Corte, Nuova Simonelli, Victoria Arduino, Eversys and Thermoplan.

On its main stand, head of coffee excellence, Gareth Davies busted the myths of coffee with hands-on micro training sessions. The ten minute, mini masterclasses in coffee covered the basics of latte art, pouring a heart in three easy moves, as well as easily digested techniques that can be used across a range of machines and how to brew perfectly balanced coffee.

Its second stand featured unique innovation including a new Drip Pod for filter coffee at home. Also appearing was Largo – specialty grade coffee in a hermetically sealed aluminium can. The range, which is yet to launch in the UK, allows specialist cafés to offer a variety of single origins without compromising freshness or quality in the cup.

A brew bar featured siphon, a Gino Dripper and Woodneck filters, a nitro coffee brew tap and the Dalla Corte Mina – a new quality espresso machine.

* All green coffees score in excess of 80 on the SCAA specialty coffee scale

Unilever Food Solutions celebrates Nutrition and Hydration Week with an afternoon tea party to remember #

Residents of Admiral Court care home in Essex welcomed Jo Wheatley (winner of TV Bake Off 2011) and PG tips’ Monkey to an afternoon tea party to celebrate World Afternoon Tea Day, 16 March. The event was thrown for them as their prize for winning Unilever Food Solutions (UFS)’ Gingerbread Challenge earlier this year.

In a fun filled day that will keep everyone at Admiral Court talking for a while, Jo and the residents spent the day decorating cupcakes before sitting down to share some laughs and stories over afternoon tea.

Admiral Court’s catering team were also treated to a live demo as Jo baked an ‘Ultimate Chocolate Cake’ with a royal birthday theme. This marked the launch of UFS’ new challenge for care homes – the Novelty 90th Birthday Cake Challenge.

To be in with a chance of winning some fantastic prizes, including five tickets to a National Trust venue of their choice, care homes simply need to create a royal-themed birthday cake with their residents and enter it via post or online at

Sarah Savidge, events and activities coordinator at Admiral Court, said: “We thoroughly enjoyed the activities taking place at the home and it was so nice to see everyone smiling and laughing together over tea and cakes. New friendships and relationships have been made and the residents and our catering team have come away feeling inspired and excited to bake.”

Jo Wheatley said: “It was such a privilege to work with the team at Admiral Court following their success in the Gingerbread challenge. I was bowled over by the enthusiasm of the residents and how involved they got in my demos.  It was great to see them sharing time with their families and doing something fun that they all got involved in.”

UFS executive chef, Alex Hall, said: “An afternoon tea party is a simple way for care homes to keep their residents hydrated. Working so closely with care home chefs, combining food with a fun activity is something we are really passionate about at UFS. It’s an important part of a quality care experience, which is why we’re so thrilled to support Nutrition and Hydration week.”

The tea party was one of several activities UFS laid on for care homes across the UK to help them get involved in Nutrition and Hydration Week. Other activities included an extra special breakfast with The Beeches Care Home on Monday, bedtime snacks at Rose Lodge care home on Tuesday and nutritional smoothies and shots for customers on Thursday. UFS also invited residents from local care homes and the Royal Hospital of Chelsea to an afternoon tea party at UFS’ head office in Leatherhead on the Wednesday.

KNORR launches guide to help venues gain gluten-free accreditation #

KNORR® has teamed up with Coeliac UK, the national charity for people with coeliac disease, to release a gluten-free kitchen guide. The KNORR guide – the second in the series – offers operators step-by-step instruction on how to set up a kitchen so it complies with gluten-free best practice. It also explains how to get Coeliac UK’s gluten-free (GF) accreditation, which can help to boost sales. In fact, some operators have reported up to 10% increase in sales since getting accredited[1].
Sarah Sleet, chief executive of Coeliac UK, said: “Not only does gluten-free accreditation reassure customers that your food and kitchen are safe, it has a real impact on your bottom line too. It is estimated that the catering industry is missing out on £100 million from people with coeliac disease and those they eat out with[2].”  

Leon Mills, KNORR marketing manager, said: “Gluten-free is big business. Last year, sales hit £184m[3] and the market is growing 15% year-on-year[4]. As the demand for gluten-free grows, more and more familiar names like Pho and Côte Brasserie, are getting accredited.

After all, it’s not just those with coeliac disease that gluten-free accreditation attracts – it’s their friends too. When it comes to eating out, 80% of people with coeliac disease are the decision maker on where their group go[5]. We also know that Coeliac UK’s GF symbol makes 84% feel safe to eat somewhere[3]. In other words, by getting accredited, venues will win the trust of people with coeliac disease – and win the business of everyone they dine with.”

But the new KNORR guide isn’t just for commercial operators. It provides practical advice and examples for contract caterers in schools, care and workplace too.

Leon said: “People with coeliac disease don’t want to be made to feel different.  They want to be able to choose something from the menu that they trust has been prepared properly so they don’t get sick. Gluten-free accreditation offers operators the opportunity to provide that reassurance.

“Our first guide showed how simple making great tasting gluten-free meals could be. However, we know that many operators think getting their kitchen set up properly is the biggest challenge. With bitesize advice for every stage – from supply right through to service – our second gluten-free guide shows how straightforward it can be.”
In addition to the new guide, KNORR has created a host of new gluten-free recipes with Phil Vickery. To download the free guide and recipes go to

1 Marine Hotel, Ballycastle, 10% increase in sales Feb 2014 – Feb 2015 compared to previous year.
2 Coeliac UK research (2012)
3 The Guardian (February 2015) 
4 Food Standards Agency
5 Coeliac UK member research, n=5,300 Coeliac UK members (July, 2014)

‘Bin the Bag’ for your chance to win a Tea Fusion machine #

Tea Fusion launched a campaign encouraging operators to ‘Bin the Bag’ and inject some theatre into their tea offer. To get the campaign on the boil, the brand is offering the opportunity to win one of four revolutionary Tea Fusion machines – which brew perfectly consistent loose leaf teas and infusions – and a case of each of the 12 variants in the range and supporting POS.

Research has shown that while tea is the nation’s favourite drink when at home[1]  – it’s less popular out of home, as consumers want something different that offers an improved experience and value for money. 53% say they want to see more loose leaf tea available, as well as revealing they would be willing to spend more on premium tea[2]. That’s why Tea Fusion is encouraging operators to ‘Bin the Bag’ – and discover the profit potential a more sophisticated tea offering brings.

Designed to get the most out of the tea leaf, Tea Fusion offers a range of premium hand-picked loose leaf teas and infusions, at the touch of a button. Each are brewed in under a minute without the mess or fuss of a teabag. And when positioned front of house, customers can watch the leaves ‘dance’ in the chamber as it brews – injecting some theatre into the experience.

To enter the draw to win a machine, tell Tea Fusion why you want to ‘Bin the Bag’ by completing a short online form at Or complete one in person at the TUCO Conference, the HTA Catering Conference or Lunch!

Business controller for Tea Fusion, Amanda Cooper, said: “We’re a nation of tea lovers, but 35% of consumers who drink tea at home wouldn’t do so out of home[3] – consumers know the cost of a teabag so expect something different if they are to pay a premium for tea out of home.”

Tea Fusion provides this as well as the excitement of the theatrical brewing chamber.  By binning the bag, operators can discover a high quality loose leaf tea which is consistent every single time and offers real profit potential.”

“Trials have shown that the introduction of Tea Fusion has increased tea sales without impacting coffee sales. In fact, sites which have binned the bag in favour of Tea Fusion have experienced double-digit volume and value growth[4].”

Theresa Saunders, catering manager for Apex Plaza in Reading, said: “We started with a trial of Tea Fusion to see how it was received and it was really popular with our customers. During the trial period alone, Tea Fusion grew our tea sales by 50%.”

So for a perfect brew every time – Bin the Bag – and discover how Tea Fusion can transform your beverage offer. To be in with a chance of winning a Tea Fusion machine – simply enter online by visiting

For full terms and conditions see

1, accessed 15 January 2016
2 Allegra Tea Report Out of Home, December 2014
3 Source: Ipsos Europe insight study (France, UK, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Switzerland)
4 Kadence International. Three month trials conducted in 14 outlets in 2011

Unilever Food Solutions announces partnership with the Children’s Food Trust #

Unilever Food Solutions (UFS) and the Children’s Food Trust have teamed up to help school caterers make sense of the ever-changing school meals environment. They share a common goal to create a generation of well-fed, healthy, forward-thinking children who will change the world for the better.

Together they’ve produced a guide for school caterers that will help them meet the school food standards while offering simple tips to start them on their journey to achieving one of the Children’s Food Trust new awards. They’ve also created a selection of recipes that school caterers can use when developing a menu that meets the School Food Standards in England. 

The salesforce at UFS has been trained by the Children’s Food Trust to guarantee they’re delivering exactly what school caterers need while ensuring they’re kept bang up-to-date on how the different food standards impact school caterers across the UK.  The training has also equipped the team with the knowledge to help school caterers meet legislation on allergens and Ofsted requirements.

James Allred, channel marketing manager, Unilever Food Solutions said: “We’re one hundred per cent committed to supporting the Children’s Food Trust in its quest to make every meal a great meal for children and young people.  And we’re proud to support the relaunch of their awards programme which gives school caterers the chance to showcase their commitment to children’s nutrition.  The awards not only focus on good food that children are encouraged to eat, they’re about the work that goes on behind the scenes by caterers and teachers to tirelessly encourage children to eat a balanced meal.”

Linda Cregan, CEO, Children’s Food Trust adds: “We’re on a mission to get every child eating well – because when children eat better, they do better, and that means they’re better placed to achieve their full potential.  We share UFS’ commitment to raise the profile of school caterers because they’re at the very heart of getting children excited about what it means to eat well and to enjoy good food. What children learn about school will stay with them for life, so it’s a powerful way to improve our nation’s health.”

To download your copy of the School Guide visit and for more details on how you can enter this year’s Big School Bake Off competition visit

Jellybean & Wrap Film Systems celebrate FPA Marketing Award 2016 #

Jellybean and Wrapmaster Film Systems are celebrating winning the FPA (Foodservice Packaging Association) Marketing Award 2016 for their fully integrated campaign, Wrap Smart.

The campaign which included digital, social, design, print, video and PR to drive trial and conversion, along with chef engagement and brand awareness, was hailed the resounding winner. Judges described it as “a well thought through and executed campaign” and “an excellent example of an integrated product launch.”

The Surrey-based, full service agency – which specialises in the foodservice market – developed the campaign with the aim to raise the brand awareness of the Telford based company, as well as convert chefs and caterers to the award-winning  Wrapmaster in a bid to get catering professionals to experience effortless dispensing of cling film, aluminium foil and baking parchment paper.

The seven-month campaign which also raised funds for Hospitality Action, reached over 1.2million people and drove an extraordinary 15% uplift in re-fill sales.

Paul Feery, marketing director, Wrap Film Systems had this to say about the award-winning campaign: “We’ve really enjoyed working with Jellybean Creative on what has been a very successful foodservice campaign. As a member of the FPA we really value this award especially as we were up against some great work from other entrants. We look forward to building on the success of the Wrap Smart campaign as we continue to work with Jellybean and hopefully create more award-winning campaigns.”

Jellybean managing director, Fiona Rickard, added: “The best campaigns are a mix of sound strategy and stand out creative and we’re incredibly proud that Wrap Smart has been recognised. Thank you to the FPA for this award, and thank you to Paul and Wrap Film Systems, for believing in the campaign.”

A full case study about ‘Wrap Smart’ and how Jellybean helped to deliver a 15% uplift in sales is available to view here

Jellybean is a diverse collection of minds and talents from across the industry. The Surrey-based RAR (Recommended Agency Register), Outstanding Public Relations Consultancy Silver Award winner (CIPR PRide Awards) and Elite Agency (The Drum Independent Agencies Census) is trusted with the reputations of some of the biggest names in the business, offering unrivalled services in integrated marketing, PR, consultancy, insight, digital, creative and social media.

Elior takes the top spot at Best Bar None Awards #

Elior UK, catering partner at BT Murrayfield in Edinburgh, secured two top accolades at Scotland’s Best Bar None Awards. The win includes the Champion of Champions award, naming BT Murrayfield as the best licensed venue in the country.

BT Murrayfield also received the Best Specialist Entertainment Venue title at the Best Bar None awards – which recognise socially responsible venues. According to the judges, Elior gained the award because of its customer-focused approach to the sale and consumption of alcohol across all hospitality areas.

The panel, comprising senior police officials, licensing board members and drinks industry professionals, also offered outstanding praise to the Elior team.

Mandy Haeburn-Little, Scottish Business Resilience Centre director and panel judge, said: “We were particularly impressed by the level of staff engagement, education and training, and the way in which Elior has built a great culture throughout the organisation. The concept of welcoming and thanking every member of the visiting crowds was very impressive and I hope it is mirrored by other venues.”

As part of the judging process, BT Murrayfield underwent an assessment by the judging panel, which took place while 67,000 rugby fans visited the venue to see Scotland play France.

James Nicholson, site director for Elior at BT Murrayfield, said: “We’re so proud to have been named the best licensed venue in Scotland. Whether its 10 or 10,000 guests coming through the doors at BT Murrayfield, we work hard to make the whole experience matter. From greeting every guest as they arrive, to providing a great selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, we’ll continue to do everything we can to make BT Murrayfield a safe and enjoyable venue.”

The Best Bar None scheme was developed by Greater Manchester Police as part of the Manchester City Centre Safe project in 2003. Its remit is to address alcohol related crime, particularly anti-social behaviour and violence and promote socially responsible venues.

BaxterStorey’s new training tool sees sales soar #

Following the success of Butter Wouldn’t Melt, Phill Skinazi and Annie Herriott from BaxterStorey’s food development team have created The Modern Baker, a recipe book celebrating the best of baking in the 21st century. The book has been introduced to chefs as a new training tool and the offering has seen sales increase by as much as 30% at some BaxterStorey cafes and restaurants.

The 80 new recipes have been made available throughout BaxterStorey locations across the UK and Ireland estate to inspire chefs to expand their repertoire with a selection of unique sweet and savoury bakes that will excite customers.  The book guides you through the day to offer customers treats that will entice from breakfast through to supper. It combines modern classics with unusual and exciting flavour combinations such as breakfast muffins flavoured with HP sauce, beer and pretzel cupcakes, and green tea pancakes with red bean paste. It is giving BaxterStorey customers a range of new choices that rival the high street.

Phill Skinazi, executive pastry chef at BaxterStorey, said: “The feedback from our cafes and restaurants after the first book was fantastic. With the second book we looked to include more technical tips on things like understanding different flours and raising agents and bespoke costings. This ensures our smaller, multi-skilled teams who don’t have a dedicated pastry chef can create adventurous bakes easily.”

BaxterStorey locations using the book as part of their café display have experienced better interaction with customers who enjoy flicking through the recipes before making their purchase choice.

Annie Herriott, part of the food development team at BaxterStorey, said: “Alongside The Modern Baker we created a style guide. This has helped to build confidence when it comes to displaying and styling counters, helping our teams to better market their products.”

Natural & Organic Awards Europe 2016: winners announced #

The winners of the coveted Natural & Organic Awards Europe 2016 were announced on Monday 18 April at the Natural & Organic Products Europe trade show; which took place at ExCeL London.

The awards, which celebrate the standout brands and products of the year, were hosted by Natural Products News; in association with the Soil Association.  The 2016 presenter was leading business woman and BBC Dragons’ Den star Deborah Meaden.

“The Natural & Organic Awards are now in their 21st year, and it’s been fantastic to see them grow in stature – to the point, where now, they are the recognized benchmark for excellence in natural and organic,” said Jim Manson, editor of Natural Products News.

“But as well as celebrating fantastic businesses and great products, the Awards also provide us with an opportunity to stop for a moment and celebrate the people – and the shared values – that make our natural and organic industry so special, and enduring.  Congratulations to all of our fantastic winners and finalists,” he said.

The ‘best new product’ awards were voted for by visitors to the show on Sunday 17 April and then judged by a panel of leading industry experts; including Al Overton (head of buying at Planet Organic), Julian Wright (‎purchasing director at The Health Store), Julie Goodwin (owner of Natural Health) and Jeff Martin (MD of As Nature Intended).  The 13 winners were selected from over 320 New Product Showcase entries, in categories covering food, health, beauty and natural living.

The 2016 results:

Winner: Bounce Foods – Coconut Lemon Protein Crush
Finalist: Pulsin’ – Fruity Oat Bars: Strawberry
Finalist: Perkier Foods – Oaty Cranberry & Cashew Sprouted Bars
Finalist: Naturya – Superfood Breakfast Boost

Winner: Booja-Booja – Booja-Booja Dairy Free Ice Cream
Finalist: Go4raw – Go4raw Crackers
Finalist: The Coconut Collaborative – Chocolate Snowconut Sticks
Finalist: Creative Nature Superfood – Organic Chia & Cacao Brownie Mix

Winner: Pukka Herbs – Turmeric Gold
Finalist: Zealong Tea Estate -  Organic Tea
Finalist: Alo Drink – Alo Crisp
Finalist: Tropicsoul – Tropicsoul Smoothies

Winner: Tsuno – Tsuno Bamboo Sanitary Pads
Finalist: Tosh Products Ecoffee Cup – Bimbamboo Bamboo Fire Dining
Finalist: Natracare – Dry & Light Incontinence Pads
Finalist: Message Earth – Slow Living. No Stress!

Winner: Nutristrength – Goat & Sheep Whey Protein
Finalist: Revive Active Products – Mastermind by Revive Active
Finalist: Gofigure – Go Figure Meal Replacement Shake
Finalist: Pukka Herbs – Turmeric Active

Winner: Tabitha James Kraan – Organic Dry Shampoo (compact)
Finalist: True Organic of Sweden – Undercover Agent
Finalist: Savannah Bee Company – Honey Bee Bar Soap
Finalist: Westlab Mineral Salts – Revive Epsom Salt Scrub

Winner: Kinetic Natural Products Distributor– Jason Men’s Range Forest Fresh
Finalist: Hope’s Relief & Bodyverde – Speed Shave
Finalist: Fair Squared – Green Tea After Shave Balm

Winner: Natrasan – Natrasan First Aid Spray
Finalist: Marili Skincare – Caramel Hair & Body Wash
Finalist: Natural Senses – Pure Organic Baby Lotion
Finalist: Shea Mooti – Baby’s Gentle Lotion

Winner: Hope’s Relief & Bodyverde – Topical Spray
Finalist: Eterno Naturals – Wooden Spoon 100% Natural Rose Butter
Finalist: Sóley Organics – Birta Lift & Glow Nourishing Serum
Finalist: Spa Technologies UK – Flower Peel

Winner: Inika Cosmetics – Vegan Lipstick
Finalist: Eterno Naturals – 100% Natural Active Deodorant
Finalist: You & Oil – Vitamin Serum Nourish & Energise

Winner: YES Organic Intimacy – YES Cleanse Organic Intimate Wash
Finalist: True Organic of Sweden – All You Need Is Me
Finalist: Freshious Life & Beauty – 5-A-Day Radiance 2-In-1 Cleanser

Winner: Bob Parker, G & G Vitamins
Finalist: Bridget Cole, Pukka Herbs

Winner: Wild Oats, Bristol
Finalist: Mulberry Bush, Lampeter
Finalist: Nature’s Corner, Newbury

Winner: Holland & Barrett
Finalist: Revital
Finalist: Wholefoods
Finalist: Planet Organic
Finalist: As Nature Intended

Winner: Lovechock – Lovechock Mylk Cranberry Buckwheat
Finalist: BodyMe – Raw Cacao Orange Protein Bar
Finalist: Conscious Chocolate – Lions Raw
Finalist: Natures Aid – Ultimate Superfoods

Winner: Viridian Nutrition – Scandinavian Rainbow Trout Oil
Finalist: Sam-Har LLC – Organic Blackberry Compote
Finalist: Pukka Herbs – Machta Tea
Finalist: Sunwarrior – Sunwarrior Organic Classic Plus

Winner: Lynn Lord, Natures Aid

Vegware wins 2nd Queen’s Award for compostable packaging with recycling support #

Edinburgh eco packaging firm Vegware won its second Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation – the SME’s 60th accolade. This recognises Vegware’s innovations in zero waste for foodservice – compostable catering disposables backed up with free expert recycling support. Scotland’s 5th fastest growing-firm, and among the UK’s top 100, Vegware has grown 57% on average a year since 2012, now accounting for around 2% of UK catering disposables. The firm mark the win with a short animation on the compostable solution to cup recycling, and their new Green Tree collection with motifs celebrating sustainability.

Managing director Joe Frankel founded the firm in 2008. “Winning the Queen’s Award again is a huge honour. The journey has been fantastic - when we started, the only option for used takeaway packaging was to go to landfill or incineration, as most still does. But we changed that by creating the widest range of genuinely compostable plastic-free catering disposables, and simultaneously working closely with the waste sector to ensure recycling options for clients all around the UK. With the current appetite for recycling, we are soon announcing a crowdsourcing campaign to create additional composting routes. We are proud to be a sustainability leader in foodservice.”

Vegware’s environmental team set up the Food Waste Network, a free consultancy service matching clients with suitable composting and AD options, as well as offering bespoke bin signage and expert support on communication and engagement to avoid contamination. Using these techniques, Glasgow’s Commonwealth Festival 2014 achieved 81% recycling, and the University of Cambridge composts 1.5 tonnes of used Vegware every month.

The University of Surrey serves food in Vegware’s Green Tree collection, a new design celebrating sustainability. Like all of Vegware’s products, the compostable collection replaces plastics with plant materials with a lower carbon footprint.

Director of hospitality Simon Booth explains: “Historically, cost was the most important factor for caterers, but the University of Surrey looks at the whole picture. Landfill costs are only going up, and a solution that removes this factor completely really helps us from a business perspective. The University of Surrey is very environmentally conscious. When we realised that over 80% of the landfill waste produced was coming from retail areas, our caterers and estates got together to address the issue. The most positive step forward was to switch to a compostable range of foodservice products. Vegware was the perfect partner as they had the vision to help create the Green Tree collection, which meets all our needs. This year, we’re using the collection for our conferences and location business.”

Vegware’s new 1-minute animation explains the recycling problem with plastic-lined cups, as highlighted recently by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s War on Waste which exposed that 1 in 400 disposable cups are recycled. Using the hashtag #wastenot, the film gained over 6,000 views in a week on @Vegware’s Facebook page, demonstrating huge interest in the compostable solution to zero waste in foodservice.

Awarded on the Queen’s 90th birthday, during her 50th award year, this win means a second invitation to meet Her Majesty at Buckingham Palace. Richard Branson will also be hosting Vegware at his Oxfordshire home this summer, as winners of the 2015 Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100 with 57% average growth a year over 3 years.

The firm’s products are used at 50% of the UK’s universities, swathes of Canary Wharf and throughout the artisan café sector. Vegware is the only completely compostable packaging company operating globally, and has operational bases in the UK, USA, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, UAE and Hong Kong, with distribution throughout Europe, North America and most recently Barbados. As Vegware grows, it supports more non-profit projects with grants and product donations through the Vegware Community Fund. The firm also provides Eco Audits to quantify the carbon savings of switching from oil-based plastics to plant-based materials; in 2015 the firm displaced over 3,500 tonnes of carbon. 

Hoshizaki Europe Limited gets the royal seal of approval #

Hoshizaki Europe Limited proudly announce that it received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade 2016.

This prestigious award recognises Hoshizaki Europe Limited’s dedication to driving business growth and exports to the European, North American and Asian markets. Awarded to outstanding businesses annually, the Queen’s Award for Enterprise celebrates and rewards organisations that have achieved substantial growth in international export earnings and significant overall commercial success measured over a three year period.

Proud of its heritage, Hoshizaki Europe Limited offers Japanese designed and engineered products manufactured in the UK, having a quality and brand reputation that has enabled it to achieve a sustained increase in export earnings from 2012 through to 2014 year end. Excelling in international trade, Hoshizaki Europe Limited provided evidence of its year on year growth that was recognised as outstanding by the award panel for its products and service. 

Established in Telford in 1994, the factory is now responsible for producing 80 percent of Hoshizaki ice machines sold in Europe and the Telford team’s success has been attributed to its dedication to a strong and innovative R&D department, a concerted effort to develop products to suit a variety of consumer budgets and the pursuit of a compelling product diversification strategy.

Haydn Humphreys, Hoshizaki Europe Limited’s finance director commented: “We are extremely proud that our hard work over the three years 2012 to 2014 has been recognised by the Queen’s Award for Enterprise committee. To win the award is a great privilege. We hope that our achievement will inspire other businesses to help grow UK exports and build a strong and vibrant UK manufacturing base.

We have what we believe to be a challenging but achievable vision to manufacture the full Hoshizaki ice machine range in the UK and for the whole range to be developed by 2020 using environmentally friendly hydrocarbons .

Whilst being part of a global business, we firmly believe in the experience, capacity and capability of a locally sourced work force to manufacture products that are exported to European, North American  and Asian markets, an achievement in which we can all take a great deal of pride.

"The Queen’s Award for Enterprise is announced annually on the 21st April, the birthday of Her Majesty The Queen. The awards are made on the advice of the Prime Minister based on recommendations made by his advisory committee comprised of industry, commerce, trade union and government representatives. We thank the committee for considering and awarding this accolade to Hoshizaki Europe Limited and would like to take this opportunity to offer Her Majesty The Queen our very best wishes on her 90th birthday.”

Huhtamaki Sorello cups capture Café Life! #

Whether it’s a macchiato or a mocha, a cappuccino or a café au lait; the skills of expertly trained barista have certainly encouraged us to become a nation of coffee lovers.  The trend for speciality coffees is growing* and almost 80% of the UK population purchase a hot drink to go**.  So be sure that your beverage service is able to provide a premium quality takeaway drinks experience and use the new ‘Sorello’ smooth double wall paper cups from Huhtamaki – the latest addition to Huhtamaki’s insulated paper cups range, made here in the UK.

The new Sorello cups offer a quality smooth surface coupled with outstanding insulation – essential for premium hot beverages bought to drink on the move!  A uniform air gap provides consistent insulation over the entire surface of the cup.  9oz, 12oz and 16oz sizes are available.

The ‘Café Life’ stock design has been created to help convey the superior print quality offered by the cups’ smooth exterior, and gives the cups a sophisticated appearance.  Each of the black and white photographs used to create the print depict an image of high street drinking and captures the café culture trend, giving the cups a classic feel.  To evoke feelings of quality and warmth, the design includes a black band that runs around the middle of the cup featuring the words ‘fresh, hot and delicious’.

The cups’ smooth exterior lends itself perfectly to more detailed custom printing, as the Café Life design shows.  So for operators who want to customise their order with branding and/or a promotional message, the new Sorello cups can be customised with up to 8 colour-printing.  A variety of colours, messages and promotional details can be used to create customised designs, which can be offered as a mixed sleeve of different cups.

Like all Huhtamaki UK paper cups, the new Sorello cups are made with 100% PEFC certified paperboard and are fully compliant with the EU Timber Regulation No. 995/2010.  They are also recyclable, and can be collected and recycled via the Simply Cups scheme – of which Huhtamaki is a member company. 

For customers buying hot beverages to take away, sip thru lids are also available.  These too are made here in the UK (the importance of using UK manufactured products was highlighted in independent consumer research commissioned by Huhtamaki, which shows that 83% of consumers want caterers to use disposable cups which are made in the UK) and are available in a choice of black or white, to complement the Café Life design.

*Allegra World Coffee Portal – UK Retail Coffee Shop Market – Strategic Analysis, December 2015©.
**According to independent consumer research commissioned by Huhtamaki into consumer attitudes towards takeaway hot drinks and the use of disposable cups within beverage services found on the UK high street.

Premier Foods raises the bar with new and improved McDougalls Sponge Mixes #

Premier Foods has redeveloped its McDougalls Sponge Mix and Reduced Fat Sponge Mix this month, now both with 30% less fat than previous versions , helping caterers rise to the challenge of creating freshly baked cakes which will appeal to a growing number of health conscious consumers. From restaurants and coffee shops looking to offer a lighter cake, to school caterers who need to comply with the School Food Standards, the new recipes ensure the mixes are versatile and deliver consistent results time after time.

The McDougalls Sponge Mix recipes for both products have been reformulated and now come with improved mixing instructions, helping to create an even better, quality product. With a demand among profit and cost sector caterers for time saving solutions when it comes to baking fresh cakes, these products are well placed to meet their needs. Although some caterers may turn to ready-made products to cope with the time constraints faced in the kitchen, it is far more cost-effective to prepare baked goods using flour based mixes.

Sarah Robb, channel marketing manager at Premier Foods, comments: “We have listened to customer feedback and are pleased to re-launch these two products, offering caterers an improved baking experience. The Reduced Fat Sponge Mix is ideal for those caterers looking to provide a lighter option; whilst the new Plain Sponge Mix offers greater rise, making it perfect for use when baking large cakes and gateaux.

“Our McDougalls Mixes are ideal for creating fresh baked goods quickly and easily, and the new Plain Sponge Mixes will offer caterers the versatility and freedom to create a range of on-trend cakes. As a business, we are committed to continually updating our product portfolio to suit the developing needs of our customers.”

McDougalls Reduced Fat Sponge Mix and McDougalls Plain Sponge Mix will be available to order from May. For recipe inspiration, visit, or email to receive a free sample.

  McDougalls Reduced Fat Sponge Mix is now 6.2% fat and McDougalls Plain Sponge Mix is 9.4% fat

See the latest FRIMA VarioCooking Center at Commercial Kitchen #

See the latest FRIMA VarioCooking Center at Commercial Kitchen, The Catering Equipment Show 7-8 June 2016, NEC Birmingham, stand B6.

The FRIMA family will be out in force at Commercial Kitchen, The Catering Equipment Show, with three different models on the stand. The biggest is the 211+ floor-standing version and the smallest is the counter top 112T, while the newest is the counter top 112L.

These models will give visitors a great overview of the FRIMA range. The FRIMA VarioCooking Center is a modern, multifunctional cooking appliance that can replace kettles, large pots, bratt pans, fryers and griddles, saving 30% or more space in the kitchen. It’s super-fast too – four times faster than conventional cooking. For even speedier cooking the 211+ has a pressure cooking feature that can cut cooking times for products such as casseroles, soups and stocks by 50% or more.

The latest member to the family, the 112L, was developed in direct response to customer demand. It is a two-pan unit, each with a capacity of 25 litres. Previous Frima two-pan units have had 14 litre pans.

The 112L’s two pans offer maximum flexibility both in production and in à la carte. Chefs can be boiling pasta in one pan and cooking steaks in the other, frying chips in one and creating béchamel sauce in the other – the potential is vast. The 50 litre capacity provides sufficient frying surface and boiling capacity even at peak times. The height of the pan base is ergonomically designed to make it easy for chefs to work with, which is an important benefit compared to tilting pans or other multifunctional appliances.

The 112T has already proved popular as it brings the advantages of multi-function equipment to the kitchens where space is limited. It can be sited anywhere. On a table, a work surface, a central cooking block, a production area…  wherever it’s needed. Measuring just 962mm wide by 800mm deep and 400mm high, it has two 14 litre pans, giving it the same capacity as its larger stablemate, the VCC 112.

On the stand FRIMA experts will be able to advise chefs and catering managers as to which VarioCooking Center is right for their establishment.

For information and brochures, or to come to a free Cooking Live demonstration, call FRIMA UK on 0845 680 3981, email or visit