Members’ News

February 2018

Modern European, Middle Eastern and Asian twists set to be the top food trends in 2018 #

The top food trends set to dominate the year ahead were revealed in a new guide launched by Bidfood.
The extensive ‘Food and Drink Trends 2018’ guide identifies the key overriding themes that are set to dominate menus. Driven by the rise of travel and mixing of cultures, Modern European, Middle Eastern and Asian twists are set to be the three biggest trends this year.
The guide is available via and will provide catering professionals with inspiration on how to bring these trends to life via a host of recipe examples, tips and serving suggestions. Highlights from the guide include:
- ‘Moreish MENA’: The desire to try new and authentic global foods is reflected in the growing interest for cuisine from the Middle East and North Africa.
To tap into this movement, catering outlets are offering a mix of fresh traditional ingredients and spices, cleverly fused with well-known Western dishes.
- ‘Modern Europe’: An increased movement towards all things European.
Shoreline fish, quality meat and local produce reflect dietary choices from across Scandinavia and the Balkans, right through to the East and West of the Mediterranean. Bringing cooking back to its very basics by creating simplistic and fresh meals is a great way to meet this trend.
- ‘Asian Appetites’: The demand for global cuisine has grown exponentially.
Consumers are seeking out the traditional flavours associated with Asian food, including rich, bold and spicy dishes. To capitalise on this trend caterers are incorporating everything from Japanese ramen noodle soup to popular Korean barbecue dishes onto their menus. 

Lucy Pedrick, insights manager at Bidfood, says: “Consumers today are being introduced to a variety of flavour and food combinations. As a result, they are becoming even more experimental and adventurous when dining out or cooking at home.
“We’re already seeing brands rise to the challenge and offer on-trend bold concepts and products to delight customers and keep them coming back for more.”
Bidfood’s 2018 trends have been identified using a range of resources including partnerships with The Food People, research from customers and consumer views from relevant food events.

Bidfood creates summer with trend-filled range #

Inspired by the latest consumer dining trends, Bidfood unveiled its 2018 Create Summer range to help caterers kick-start the new season.
Developed following extensive research, Create Summer showcases a variety of new-to-market food and drink products, enabling businesses to capitalise on the trends driving consumer choice in 2018. With the rise of vegan eating and middle eastern cuisine key for this year, Bidfood has introduced tempting summer treats such as vegan chocolate caramel brownie and inspiring dishes including freekah (a cereal made from green durum wheat) and lamb kibbeh (a Levantine dish made with finely ground meat and spices).
Laura Mason, campaign manager at Bidfood, said: “We’ve loved designing, developing and choosing the exciting new Create Summer range and it’s been fantastic to share the final collection with everyone.
“Central to the range is our in-depth industry knowledge which ensures caterers can stay ahead of the curve with on-trend and bespoke menu suggestions that directly cater to their diners. This year, consumer desire for new flavour combinations and experience-led dining will continue to dominate. Equally, government mandates around sugar and the ever-growing demand to meet dietary requirements with interesting menu options will be top of the agenda. Bidfood’s Create Summer range ties all this together to provide caterers with a wide variety of options to meet these needs and more!”
Working alongside Public Health England (PHE), Bidfood’s summer range includes reformulated own brand products which address operator needs to meet the latest sugar targets. New products include a Lemon & Raspberry Ginger Crunch dessert and Vegan Coconut and Chocolate Tart.
In addition, Bidfood has developed a nutritional screening tool for new product development, used to review the nutritional content of products within its own brand range to build its nutritional credentials, as well as to support its healthy eating agenda.

Premier Foods kicks off 2018 with new Carvery Guide #

Latest consumer research from Premier Foods reveals that 65% of respondents enjoyed a carvery in the last month. To help chefs capitalise on this opportunity, Premier Foods launched a new addition to its popular menu solutions range, a 2018 carvery guide. With recipes, hints and tips, the guide will help inspire chefs ahead of occasions such as Mother’s Day and Easter when carveries are an ideal offering. The guide also tackles the topic of food waste offering a number of solutions to reduce waste in caterer’s outlets. Premier Foods’ trusted brands - Bisto, Paxo, McDougalls and Ambrosia – can help placed to make a carvery with all the trimmings as simple as one, two, three.
From expert butchery advice, to inspiration from a pub already running successful weekly carveries; the guide and its 19 delicious recipes are all underpinned by exclusive consumer research which has been used by executive chef, Mark Rigby. Traditional dishes with a twist such as Buttered Roast Chicken with Bisto Thyme & Rosemary Gravy, and Roast Leg of Lamb with a Mustard Glaze and Bisto Rosemary & Redcurrant Gravy are part of the line-up. With vegan and vegetarian dishes increasing by 7% in the past year on UK out of home menus[1], Premier Foods recipes within the guide also include Bisto Potato, Spinach & Blue Cheese En Croute and Bisto Vegan Balls with White Beans & Mushroom in a Tomato Sauce.
Mark Rigby says: “It was really interesting in our research to uncover diners’ favourite meat choices and the trimmings they just can’t do without. An impressive 62% of those surveyed strongly agreed that a carvery would be nothing without a good gravy, and beef came out as the favourite meat choice. Bisto, consumer’s number one gravy brand[2], is the perfect base for a range of delicious gravies that chefs can add their own personal touch to elevating a carvery offering.
“We also broke our research down by regions, discovering that 33% of people from Northern Ireland are extremely likely to enjoy a starter, and people from the South of Great Britain most likely to seek gluten free and low salt options. The regional specific insight helps chefs across the country ensure they are offering the right dishes to increase spend per head.”
With food waste a hot topic, more and more outlets are looking for ways to reduce wastage and the carvery guide also suggests recipes which can be made using carvery leftovers. Chefs can try Premier Foods’ Bisto Steak and Ale Pie or Pork Stir Fry on their specials menu to make the most of leftover roast.

[1] MCA, Menu & Food Trends Report 2017
[2] IRI Grocery Outlets 52 w/e 04.08.16

Speed is in good company with Company of Cooks #

Company of Cooks supports growth ambitions with first retained PR agency

Speed has been appointed as the retained PR agency for Company of Cooks, the London-based hospitality business.  Specialists in the arts and culture sector, the independent firm partners with prestigious venues including the Royal Opera House and the National Portrait Gallery to provide bespoke food and drink perfectly matched to each location.
Company of Cooks prides itself on its collaborative approach.  Its aim is to work in sync with its partners, understanding their market, their customers and what they are looking to achieve – and delivering the right eating and drinking experience to match.  A major factor in many of the company’s contract wins to date, Company of Cooks offers thoughtful and tailored white label hospitality in restaurants, cafés and bars as well as for events. Its personalised service allows partners to bring their own character to the table, providing a seamless experience for customers.
Speed’s dedicated Food & Hospitality team, based in London and Bristol, will deliver engaging and inspiring communication campaigns across national, consumer, trade and regional media. Activity will focus on raising the profile of Company of Cooks, both within its existing market and in new sectors, to help it achieve its ambitious business objectives.
Mike Lucy, founder of Company of Cooks, said: “Over the past 21 years, we have built a strong
business and a talented team and have forged high-profile partnerships we are very proud of.  Now we want to take this further by appointing Speed’s Food and Hospitality team.  We believe that their industry knowledge and connections and their appreciation of our business make them the right PR partner to help us enhance our reputation and grow.”
Cat Jennings, director of food & hospitality at Speed, said: “Company of Cooks is known as a quality and personable catering partner for sites who require food and drink as outstanding as their setting. We’re really looking forward to helping them grow as a result of our extensive experience in the sector and creative retelling of their fascinating story and offering.” 

BRITA Professional hires Speed to take communications up a gear #

Speed appointed to handle creative thought leadership and press office programme in 2018

Water filtration specialist, BRITA Professional, has appointed Speed as its retained 2018 trade PR agency. Speed will deliver a multi-channel communications strategy, including an insight-driven thought leadership programme, designed to reinforce the company’s position as a sustainability leader and the partner of choice for water filtration products.
BRITA Professional has been supplying out of home water filtration solutions to the hospitality and corporate sectors for nearly 40 years and is the trusted expert when it comes to water optimisation. Last year it fully acquired Vivreau UK, a BRITA subsidiary known for providing commercial and hospitality environments with sustainable drinking water dispensers. 
Rebecca Widdowson, director of marketing at BRITA Water Filter Systems, said: “Speed impressed us with its full capability offer – which spans lead generation, a dedicated studio and digital services plus a strong heritage in foodservice. We’re looking forward to the creative campaign taking shape and are excited to share this new approach with the wider hospitality industry over the coming year.”
Cat Jennings, director of food & hospitality at Speed, said: “As a brand, BRITA has unlimited potential with its appetite for creativity, market-leading product offering, and trailblazing sustainability initiatives. This fits directly with our strengths and experience working with some of the most well-known products, businesses and projects within the hospitality sector. We’re excited to be working with BRITA Professional. They are the perfect partner for us.”

MDC Foods make an important announcement #

The management of MDC Foods and Homestead Foods formally announced the merger of both business effective from 1 July 2017.

The new combined business will eventually trade under the banner of Crop's UK, but during transition, both businesses will continue to operate under existing structures.

Crop's UK will have the benefit of combining the industry leading production facilities within the Crop's Group and the long standing supply partnerships operating within Homestead Foods.

Celebrate Chinese New Year with Tilda #

Tilda is encouraging operators to make the most of upcoming events that could prove profitable. A long-established favourite in the UK, Chinese frequently tops polls of the nation’s favourite foreign cuisine and with 16 February marking Chinese New Year 2018, there is a fantastic opportunity for operators to boost sales.

A simple addition of Chinese dishes onto the menu can prove its worth in more ways than one. Not only will it offer customers a taste of the Orient and a chance to celebrate an event they may have otherwise overlooked but it will also allow operators to gauge the popularity of Chinese dishes and whether they could potentially become permanent additions to the menu.

Craig Dillon, head of foodservice, Tilda, says: “Giving diners a chance to celebrate Chinese New Year with your food offering needn’t require a huge menu overhaul. By including one or two relevant dishes, there is huge potential for increased profit margins.

“Using speciality rice in Chinese dishes is a brilliant way of boosting incremental sales as its premium taste means you can demand a higher price. Tilda Fragrant Jasmine is the perfect sticky rice for Chinese cooking. It can be cooked and chilled to use for fried rice and because the lightly sticky grains separate when re-heated, operators are guaranteed to serve the best product with little to no waste.”

Tilda Foodservice has collaborated with group development chef for Brend Hotels, Dez Turland, to help showcase the wonderful versatility of rice and inspire caterers.  Recipes such as Chinese Prawn Potsticker Dumplings make the perfect addition to any starter or bar snack menu to celebrate Chinese New Year.

Caterers looking for great tasting recipes should visit

Tilda Together returns bigger and better for competition’s third year #

Back and bigger than ever, Tilda Together returns in 2018 with the chance for schools to win £500 cash, a Tilda Together Day as well as a vegetable garden designed by horticulturalist, Frances Tophill.

The competition, which focuses on the role nutrition can play on healthy bodies and healthy minds, is this year centring its stance on fresh, seasonal produce and the importance of where food comes from.

Available to enter now and open to both primary and secondary schools, a brand new vegetable garden designed by author and presenter of ITV’s Love Your Garden, Frances Tophill, awaits this year’s winner. The prize also includes a fun and engaging Tilda Together Day at the winning school, with a nutritional talk from dietician Dr Sarah Schenker, £500 cash and 25kg of Tilda Brown & White Rice rounds off the prize.

Craig Dillon, head of foodservice, Tilda UK, comments: “With recent research from the British Nutrition Foundation revealing the startling misconceptions children have about where food comes from, ensuring children understand that dinner doesn’t grow on shelves has never been more important. To date, Tilda Together has been a real success story in terms of educating and inspiring youngsters, and I’m thrilled that we’ve got Frances on board this year to boost our campaign and show the positive impact that growing food can have on young people.”

Frances Tophill adds: “When I visit schools that have a veg garden, however big or small, the kids just love it. It’s a great opportunity for kids and young adults to try something they’ve never done before and show them how easy it is to grow their own food.”

The prize also includes local PR for the winner organised by Tilda, helping to raise awareness of the event in the community and demonstrate that healthier eating and nutritional education is a priority for the school. What’s more, every school that enters will receive a free 1kg bag of Tilda Brown & White plus a Tilda Together Recipe Book created by highly acclaimed LACA School Chef of the Year 2015, Kate Davies, helping school caterers deliver great tasting dishes with Genuine Goodness.

A 50:50 mix of wholegrain and white rice, Tilda Brown & White Rice is naturally gluten free and has over 30% lower GI than standard white rice to help maintain a sustained flow of energy throughout the school day. Offering a range of vitamins and minerals important for pupils’ development, it is the blend recommended by the School Food Standards so school caterers can be confident they are producing meal plans which meet current targets.

To enter the competition, all schools need do is visit by 29 March 2018 to explain in 80 words or less why they would like to win this fantastic prize.The competition is part of Tilda's commitment to work together with local authorities and school caterers in bringing healthy, balanced recipes that are easy to prepare to the dining hall. It also builds on independent research by Tilda which shows 90%¹ of parents would like to see more education around health and nutrition in schools from an earlier age, while over four in five parents would like to see more rice dishes on menus for their children. A further 65%¹ of parents feel it’s important their child has wholegrains, such as brown rice, in their diet.

¹Source: Independent research, Toluna, July 2015

Reynolds named best UK fruit & veg supplier for fourth year running #

For the fourth year in a row, Reynolds has been chosen by hundreds of chefs and readers of Restaurant Magazine as the best fruit and veg supplier in the UK.

Restaurant Magazine’s annual Readers’ Choice Awards highlight those suppliers, brands, wholesalers and manufacturers who deliver consistency and excellence to kitchens across the UK. The Awards are judged by professional chefs from every sector of the restaurant industry – the most discerning, demanding and experienced audience of all!

Tony Reynolds, managing director, commented, “Winning this prestigious award for the fourth year in a row is a real privilege and I know that the entire team at Reynolds are chuffed to bits. To be chosen as the UK’s best fruit and veg supplier by the people who use our products day in, day out, is fantastic recognition for us. It somehow makes all of that hard work so much more worthwhile. Many thanks to all the chefs who took the time to vote for us – we really appreciate it.”

London based Barista crowned winner at national championships #

London based Egle Stuksyte, who works for BaxterStorey at Gazprom Marketing and Trading Ltd, has been crowned winner of the BaxterStorey Barista Championships 2017, which showcases exceptional talent from across the UK and Europe.
Following two months of hard-fought regional heats where over 50 baristas across England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Brussels, 16 semi-finalists took to the stage at the Salvation Army International Headquarters in London on Thursday 18th January. By lunchtime, the judges had chosen the six finalists who spent the afternoon demonstrating their creative flair and in-depth coffee knowledge through their 10 minute presentation. After an intense afternoon, Egle was announced as the winner.
Egle took inspiration from her trips to Morocco, with her signature drink made of coffee caviar, Moroccan spiced infused espresso and condensed milk.
Jana Slamova, BaxterStorey barista trainer and the UK Barista Championships finalist, said: “The competing baristas highlight the incredible level of talent within our business. Our competitors showcased incredible talent to a panel of experienced judges who represent the top of the UK coffee industry.
“The competition offers an opportunity for our baristas to be recognised for their passion and talent. We hope it continues to inspire, and arms them with the skills and confidence they need to produce quality coffee for our clients across our many locations.”
Dale Harris, 2017 World Barista Champion, was in attendance to help judge the competition. Speaking of the finalists, he said: “It was a fierce competition with so many talented baristas vying for the top spot. The trend for different approaches to coffee continues to grow, so it’s been great to see how each finalist experiments with their tools, coffees and other ingredients to create some exceptional drinks. However, Egle’s Moroccan inspired presentation and drinks really worked”.
BaxterStorey’s Brussels team dominated the top three with Remy Poirot achieving second place, and Erica Lemestre taking third.

BaxterStorey named Sustainable Business of the Year #

BaxterStorey has been crowned Sustainable Business of the Year at the edie 2018 Sustainability Leaders Awards, fighting off stiff competition from its peers.
The winners of the 17 Award categories were announced at a black-tie dinner and ceremony on Wednesday 24 January, which was held during the middle of a two day edie Sustainability Leaders Forum.
Up against eight other businesses, including Adnams, IKEA, The Coal Authority and Timberland, BaxterStorey’s sustainability initiatives and programmes were praised for their proactive approach to find innovative sustainable solutions. 
One programme in particular recognised by the judging panel was ‘Green Flash’ – a suite of 20-30 minute, peer-led training sessions covering broad topics such as ‘Energy & Water Efficiency in Your Location’ to more specific projects like, ‘Marine Stewardship Chain of Custody for Sustainable Fish and Food Waste Minimisation and Reporting’.
Judges were also impressed with the fact that, since 2014, BaxterStorey has been segregating, weighing and reporting all food waste produced by the business. This is now practiced at over 900 sites and has resulted in a 39% reduction in food waste across the business.
Mike Hanson, head of sustainable business at BaxterStorey, said: “This is an incredible achievement for our team and testament to the work we’ve been doing to establish sound sustainable practices since we launched our agenda in 2006.
“It’s great that our sustainability programme has been further recognised by the industry and we are proud of be part of a wider movement working towards a greener environment.
“We still have big plans including developing our strategy to support the 17 UN sustainable development goals. Subsequently, we have now committed to procure 100% renewable electricity across our business by 2020.”

Casual Dining secures stellar keynote line-up for 2018 #

New World Trading Company’s CEO Chris Hill, Yo!’s marketing director Luisa Fernandez, and Dishoom’s operations director Brian Trollip are the latest speakers now confirmed for Casual Dining 2018, which returns to the Business Design Centre in London on 21-22 February.
They’ll be appearing at the event alongside other big names from the Casual Dining Group, Mitchells & Butlers, Jamie’s Italian, PizzaExpress, Pho, and Loungers.  Plus, over 200 exhibitors (across three floors at the BDC) showcasing a host of new products, equipment and services.
Chris Hill will be sharing his thoughts on the casual dining pub and bar sector in an exclusive interview, hosted by Peter Martin, VP of CGA, on the show’s opening day.  He’ll be discussing his experiences in helping to grow New World Trading Company’s innovative portfolio, including their plans for further expansion, and how an important focus on staff development secured them a top ten ranking on ‘The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies’ to work for in 2017.
Luisa Fernandez, who joined Yo! as its marketing director earlier this year (having previously spent over 15 years working in-house at British Airways), will be making her Casual Dining speaking debut the following day (22 February).  Using her experience as head of the innovation lab at BA, she’ll examine how other industries are using their customer data to personalise customer experience and how, in turn, casual dining operators can make the ‘power of personalisation’ work for them.
Another second day session highlight comes from Brian Trollip, who has been overseeing the day-to-day running of Dishoom’s operations since 2010.  Voted the ‘Coolest UK Restaurant’ in 2016 by Cool Brands, and a new entry on this year’s ‘The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies’ list, the Indian restaurant group now has six sites and employs over 700 people.  Trollip will be talking about their journey so far – focusing on their continued commitment to building a first-class business that operates in a ‘big-hearted’ and generous way.
From exclusive Keynotes and interviews, to research updates and panel discussions – each session at Casual Dining has been tailored specifically to address key business opportunities (and challenges) for casual dining operators.  The initial Keynote programme will be available on the show’s website later this month.  Speakers confirmed to date (in running order) include:
Wednesday 21 February
- Peter Backman, Peter Backman Foodservice: Preparing for the future – challenges facing the casual dining sector
- James Spragg, chief operating officer, Casual Dining Group: Brand evolution
- Simon Stenning, MCA: Casual dining and the levers of sales growth
- Mark Smith, MD, Pho: The delivery challenge
- Chris Hill, CEO, New World Trading Company: interviewed by Peter Martin, VP, CGA
- Jon Knight, CEO, Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group: Food for thought
- Susan Chappell, divisional director, Exec co, Mitchells & Butlers: Operating a range of brands and formats – the challenge to stay ahead 

Thursday 22 February
- Graeme Loudon, CGA: The impact of rising food price inflation on casual dining operators
- Zoe Bowley, MD, PizzaExpress: Keeping PizzaExpress relevant after 53 years
- Jamie Campbell, CGA: Segment & conquer – looking beyond demographics to understand your consumer
- Brian Trollip, operations director, Dishoom: Building a big hearted and first-class business
-Nick Collins, CEO, Loungers: Loungers – no jackets required
- Luisa Fernandez, marketing director, Yo!: How well do you know your customers – what we can learn from other industries? 

Informative, inspiring, innovative, and collaborative are just some of the words these speakers have used to describe the show.  For them, like the thousands of visitors that regularly attend, it’s where the industry meets to do business.
“Casual Dining show is an opportunity to mix with all sorts of brilliant people from across our sector, discuss real issues that impact our industry, as well as sharing stories that inspire and energise us to do something differently!” says Mitchells & Butlers’ Susan Chappell.
“It is important to connect with competitors and trade alike to ensure we share best practice and continue to focus on making this sector an attractive place to work and deliver memorable experiences.  Casual Dining is a chance to share thinking and discuss the big topics facing the market, as well as to meet both new supplier opportunities and network with industry contacts,” says PizzaExpress’ Zoe Bowley.
Casual Dining returns to the Business Design Centre in London on 21-22 February 2018.  Entry to the show’s Keynote Theatre (sponsored by Yumpingo) is free with advance visitor registration.  The show’s initial exhibitor list is available to view at
For more information, and to register for a free trade ticket, please visit and quote priority code CD5

Casual Dining show expands its drinks menu #

Pub, bar and restaurant buyers looking to refresh their drinks menus are set to enjoy a tastings extravaganza at Casual Dining show, which returns to the Business Design Centre, in London, on 21-22 February.
Thanks to a 41% increase in exhibitors offering alcoholic beverages for 2018, visitors will be able to see and sample the show’s biggest choice of beer, ciders, wines, spirits and mixers yet.
Some of the world’s best-selling beer and cider brands are now confirmed, including Heineken UK – Blade, KBE Drinks (Kingfisher Beer Europe), Duvel Moortgat UK, Budweiser Budvar UK, Carlsberg UK, World Beers, and Molson Coors (whose portfolio includes Carling, Coors Light, Staropramen, Cobra, Grolsch, Doom Bar, Worthington's, Caffrey's, Singha, Rekorderlig and Aspall).
Amathus Drinks, Ethnic Brand Marketing, independent spirits agency Mangrove Global, Crooked Beverages (natural alcoholic sodas), Marussia Beverages – importers and distributors of premium brandy, whisky, vodka, gin, liqueur, sherry, tequila, mezcal, wine and sake, Longflint Drinks and Wobblegate Cider Co are also set to exhibit.
“Drinks menus often dictate where many consumers choose to eat, so we’re thrilled to be able to offer such a vast and diverse range of alcohol, and, of course, non-alcoholic beverages, to this year’s visitors,” says Casual Dining’s event manager Eva Ellis.  “Our exhibitors will be promoting the best choice of quality, innovation and differentiation within the market – everything casual dining restaurant and pub operators need to stay ahead of their competitors.”
King of craft & artisanal spirits
As in previous years, the show’s Craft Beer & Cider Pavilion and Artisan Spirits Lounge will feature some of the country’s leading, and newest, microbreweries and distilleries.  With their variety of styles, quality ingredients, innovative flavours, alternative blends, and distinctive branding, craft and speciality drinks can offer operators great scope for menu customisation.
Craft Beer & Cider Pavilion exhibitors include Cranes Drinks, Kraft Beer UK, Black Storm Brewery, Sxollie Cider, Celtic Marches, and Cotswold Cider Company, plus Freedom Brewery and Thistly Cross Cider – joint winners of the show’s annual King of Craft competition last year.  The latter will be hoping to take the crown again with its newly launched Cloudy 5.5% Cider.
While Toschi UK, Bathtub Gin, Locksley Distilling, Pococello, Gorilla Spirits (launching a new Maraba Coffee Liqueur), The Handmade Cocktail Co, World of Zing, Bluecoat Gin, and Kalosa Spritz will be making their debut in the show’s expanded Artisan Spirits Lounge.  Returning exhibitors include Pinkster Gin, 10 Degrees C, Masons Yorkshire Gin, Tails Cocktails, Wild Drinks, and Whittaker's Gin.
Drinks for every occasion
Thanks to an increase in daytime food-led occasions, soft drinks – particularly premium adult offerings – are an increasingly lucrative category for casual dining operators.  Catering to that demand are Coca-Cola Freestyle, Schweppes, Britvic Soft Drinks, Vimto Out of Home, Fever-Tree, Lucozade Ribena Suntory, Franklin & Sons, Radnor Hills, Fentimans, MONIN UK, Frobishers Juices, Ugly Drinks, Think Drinks, Cawston Press, Coldpress, Rebel Kitchen, Dalston Cola, Pip Organic, Double Dutch Drinks, Sejuiced, Karma Cola, Jax Coco, and Food & Drink Wales.  They’re just some of the exhibitors sampling everything from fruit juices, cordials, pressés, syrups, mixers, tonics, waters, and more at the show.
Specialist teas, coffee and hot drinks – another big revenue stream – can be sourced from Nestlé Professional, UCC Coffee UK & Ireland, JJ Foodservice & Lavazza, Caffè di Artisan, Birchall Tea, Lincoln & York, Brewtea, Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Co, and more.
Over 200 exhibitors
The show’s full exhibitor list – available to view at – features over 200 leading industry suppliers offering everything from new food and drink products, catering equipment and tech, workwear, tableware, payment solutions and business services.
Among them are AAK Foodservice, Adande Refrigeration, Beacon Foods, Blanco Nino, Capreolus Fine Foods, Comtrex Systems, Dr. Oetker Professional (UK), Eden Furniture, Finsbury Food Group, Gamble Foodservice Solutions, Harfield Tableware, Jenpak, Kavli Food Solutions, Kettle Foods, Kraft Heinz Foodservice, L'Aquila, Marshfield Farm Ice Cream, Maws Fine Foods, McCain Foodservice, Moy Park Foodservice, Nelson Catering Equipment, Nigel Fredericks, OrderZing, Pidy, Quorn Foods, Reynolds, Seafood from Norway, Southover Food Company, Tevalis, The American BBQ Company, The Billington Group, The Tasty Meat Company, Westlers, Whitby Seafoods, Yumpingo, and Zapp Canopy Umbrellas.
Free Keynotes
Casual Dining’s high-profile seminar line-up includes Keynote interviews with Chris Hill, CEO of New World Trading Company, and Paul Merrett, acclaimed chef director and owner at Jolly Fine Pub Group.  Plus exclusive panel sessions featuring big names from Yummy Pub Co, Glendola Leisure Group, Whiting & Hammond, Nando’s, Young’s & Geronimo Pubs, Flat Iron, Hubbox, All Star Lanes, and Picturehouse Cinemas.
Other speaker highlights – there are 18 sessions to choose from – include Jon Knight, CEO of Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group; James Spragg, COO at Casual Dining Group; Susan Chappell, divisional director, Exec co, Mitchells & Butlers; Zoe Bowley, MD, PizzaExpress; and Nick Collins, CEO of Loungers.
“I’ve always loved the show,” says repeat visitor (and speaker) Tim Foster, owner & head of being awesome at the Yummy Pub Co.  “Getting up close and personal to existing suppliers for a natter, and finding new ones, is what has always excited me – and Casual Dining is the market leader.”
“Casual Dining is a fantastic event for anyone in our industry.  It’s great to be able to meet so many suppliers in one place,” says Max Wright, head of food & drink procurement at Casual Dining Group
Casual Dining returns to the Business Design Centre in London on 21-22 February 2018.  Entry to the show’s Keynote Theatre (sponsored by Yumpingo) is free with advance visitor registration.
For more information, and to register for a free trade ticket, please visit and quote priority code CD5

Sodexo hosts event on the evolution of offshore workforce demographics #

Sodexo brought together oil and gas industry leaders to discuss the challenges of a rapidly changing workforce.

More than 50 senior executives from leading oil and gas companies including BP, Chrysaor, Engie and Premier Oil, joined Sodexo senior leaders from around the world, at Aberdeen’s Chester Hotel.

Understanding workforce demographics is a fundamental component of delivering services that positively impact a person’s quality of life when working offshore.  For the past five years, Sodexo has been looking at the profile of their offshore customers through its global consumer survey, which brings to light their needs and expectations in terms of improved wellbeing.

Susan Elston, Sodexo Energy & Resources senior vice president for UK Offshore & Marine business, shared the findings of the company’s 2017 survey, emphasising how UK offshore workers compare with their global counterparts. 

Matt Dawson, Sodexo Ambassador and former England rugby player, then took the stage, drawing parallels between the UK Oil & Gas industry’s Vision 2035 and England’s 2003 Rugby World Cup winning team, highlighting how the offshore community could collectively achieve their goals by employing a similar focus on succession planning. 

Following the insightful presentations from Susan and Matt, guest panellists Robin Watson, Chief Executive of Wood plc, Louise Goetz, Europe Director at Oilfield Equipment, Baker Hughes (a GE Company) and Matthew Brodie, Managing Director at Noble Drilling, discussed changes the industry and their respective companies are facing, acknowledging quality of life as a strong differentiator to attract the next generation of talent towards a career offshore.

Susan Elston said “Offshore workforce demographics are changing at a very fast pace.  As an industry, it is essential we work together to address these changes and create an environment for a sustainable workforce. The Oil & Gas Authority’s Vision 2035 formed the backbone of our discussions.  Through events like this, we can help companies share knowledge and best practice to ensure that the UK remains an exciting place for energy professionals to live and work, despite the new operating conditions.

I want to thank all those that attended and particularly our guest panellists. We enjoyed some interesting views and shared the many challenges we are all are facing in an open and honest forum.  We look forward to on-going work with our clients and the industry to address this issue.”

Sodexo earns highest marks in RebecoSAM’s “Sustainability Yearbook” for eleventh straight year #

Sodexo reinforces its position as one of the most sustainable companies in the world by earning Gold Class distinction in RobecoSAM’s annual “Sustainability Yearbook 2018”. For the eleventh consecutive year, Sodexo was ranked as the top-scoring company in its sector for its excellent sustainability performance, scoring 78% compared to an industry average of 39%.

This recognition reflects Sodexo’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (“SDG’s) which underpins the company’s Corporate Responsibility roadmap, Better Tomorrow 2025. Better Tomorrow 2025 consists of nine robust commitments designed to reinforce the culture of responsible behaviour throughout Sodexo’s business and address the company’s important role in tackling the global issues of acting for a hunger-free world, improving gender equality and preventing food waste. These nine commitments are fully aligned with the SDG’s and each commitment has a measurable objective allowing Sodexo to constantly monitor progress.

Sodexo announces a new signing at St James’ Park… #

Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events, which works in partnership with NUFC to provide match day catering, hospitality and banqueting at the Newcastle United FC ground, has appointed Denise Staples to the position of sales co-ordinator.
Denise, who graduated with a First Class Honours degree in PR and Adventure Tourism from the University of Derby, joins the Sodexo team having spent six years marketing and managing events and providing sales support for businesses within the private and charitable sectors.
She will be tasked with promoting the world-famous stadium to corporate clients and event organisers looking for a unique venue to cater for all types of events from small meetings and large conferences to banqueting dinners and weddings.
Jacqui Page, regional sales manager (north), at Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events, said: “Denise is joining an award-winning team and I know her additional knowledge and experience will be a great asset to it.”

Adande Refrigeration at Casual Dining 2018 #

Adande is delighted to introduce new recruits to its popular sales team at the Casual Dining Show on 21-22 February 2018.
Introducing Richard Clark (formerly at Frima who joins the team as national account manager) and Lloyd Matthews (formerly Roller Grill UK Ltd taking up the role of regional sales manager) and who will be on the Stand M433 at Casual Dining 2018.

Richard Clark: Coming from Frima UK, Richard has over 20 years experience in the catering industry. Working as a chef for 16 years, Richard has an accomplished career delivering high quality food and is now very proud to be working as a national account manager for Adande Refrigeration Ltd.

Lloyd Matthews: As a successful area sales manager for Roller Grill UK, Lloyd built a name for himself working with dealers and end users for over 25 years. In his role as South West regional sales manager, Lloyd brings his excellent industry knowledge to exceed our clients expectations.    

With the launch of the Adande Combi Oven Stand now available for both Rear and Side Engine drawers, there’s an opportunity to see the product demonstrated on the stand:
- The Combi Stand allows the user to load chilled/frozen products from Adande drawer directly on to 1/1 GN cooking pans and place into a 6 Grid combi oven above.
- When cooking is done, simply remove pans and place on to the telescopic pull-out shelf. Ideal for preparation of products such as cookies, pastries, bread, etc.
- Adjustable aluminium feet for uneven floor surfaces.

Another product of interest new to the market are the Adande Fryer Stations.  Available for the both the Compact and Drawer products for frozen food storage situated right next to the deep fryer:
- Allows chilled/frozen products to be loaded direct from Adande drawer into baskets prior to loading into fryers.
- Allows storage of cooked products when they have been taken out of fryer.
- Drip tray collects cooking fat/liquid drips & is easily removable for cleaning.
- Drip tray is removable for cleaning.

Those unfamiliar with Adande Drawer products are invited to attend and find out more about the range of patented ‘Hold the Cold®’ technology Drawers that have made the grade to be listed on the prestigious TopTen.Eu Best Products of Europe portal for their amazing energy-efficiency.
Karl Hodgson, Adande’s sales director, said “It’s great to be back at Casual Dining and to introduce new people and new products to the Adande mix.  We have great products for this market sector and our modular customisation allows for the perfect solution to customer requirements. So allow us to configure the most cost-effective, productive and ergonomic means for your unique operation and benefit more from our ‘Hold the Cold®’ technology with its unique energy saving and remarkable food quality features.”

Principals and Prue Leith take school catering ‘Beyond the Classroom’ #

Prue Leith CBE joined forces with Principals, one of the UK’s longest established school caterers and part of CH&Co Group, to offer school leaders new perspectives on the future of school catering and their role in ensuring children and families understand food and nutrition and enjoy healthy and sustainable eating at school and at home.

The exclusive event, ‘Beyond the Classroom’, brought together parents, nutritionists, head teachers, school business managers and pupils to discuss the importance of developing an early awareness and understanding of food and lifestyle choices to safeguard the future health of the nation. It also launched Principals’ 2018 initiatives that enable schools to give pupils, parents and guardians the knowledge and life skills to embrace a healthy approach to food that will benefit their wellbeing and the environment.

A leading expert and commentator on food and feeding young people, Prue Leith brought attendees up to speed on the current status of school food and spoke candidly about the huge and difficult task ahead to reverse the obesity crisis and create a nation of people that eat well and sustainably. Topics discussed included: the role of the head teacher; the role of parents and guardians; the impact of academies; is ‘choice’ beneficial or detrimental; the future of the packed lunch; the power of the manufacturer; and the value of food and nutrition on the curriculum.

Lord Paul Boateng, chairman of the English Speaking Union, also spoke about the unique education
charity and its work to equip young people with the oracy skills and confidence to change their lives and communities for the better.

Broadening the debate to include input from those directly affected by food in school – the pupils – a group of 20 specially invited primary school children, had the excellent opportunity to ask both speakers questions that are important to them.  These focused on: bringing food trends into schools; meat free and vegan diets; school meals vs packed lunch; school meals in other countries; free school meals; school gardens and family cookery classes.

Principals revealed the ‘Beyond the Classroom’ initiatives that will help schools bring food, nutrition and sustainability to life for teachers, pupils, parents and guardians.  Focusing on the following three core areas throughout the year, the programme can be adapted for individual schools with optional events, pop-ups and activities available.

Waste not – spring term will raise awareness of sustainability and challenge children, parents, guardians and teachers to measure their daily waste and look for ways to reduce, reuse and recycle
- Foraging – an introduction to foraging in the summer term will broaden children’s knowledge of food, giving them a greater understanding of where our food comes from, local and seasonal produce, and nature’s great bounty
- Family cooking – autumn term will champion the joy of cooking at home. Through online videos, shopping tips, cookery classes and recipes, parents and guardians will be equipped to cook healthy, sustainable meals for the family.

Prue Leith said: “For many children their ONLY hope of learning to eat well is at school. Caterers can do that vital job, by getting kids to love good food. I think learning about food— cooking, growing sustainability, food politics — is every bit as important as maths and English.  It’s wonderful to see Principals supporting them with realistic and exciting initiatives that can change mindsets and outcomes in classrooms, dining halls and homes. I welcomed the opportunity to support the Principals event.”

Peter McKenna, Principals’ Sales Manager, said: “Schools are well placed to drive change through direct communication and action with pupils, parents and guardians. By showing them the benefits of healthy eating and giving them the life skills to choose and cook healthy sustainable dishes, behaviours can be changed for the better, regardless of background.

Principals has over 26 years expertise in food, nutrition and school catering and we have a duty to share this knowledge. Our ‘Beyond the Classroom’ campaign has been specifically designed to give schools the resources to encourage healthy and sustainable eating at school and at home, without adding to their already pressured workload. We’re thrilled that Prue Leith spoke at the event.  Her contribution brought our initiatives to life and gave school leaders and pupils an insight into the benefits they can bring to the school and wider community.”

Afternoon Tea of the Year #

Are you serving the UK’s best afternoon tea? Hotel F&B is searching for the best afternoon tea from hotels across the nation. This inaugural competition invites you to showcase your flair and creativity to the industry and take home the £1,000 prize!

16 shortlisted finalists will be required to compete in a series of rounds and prepare their dishes for our judges at the live final in Central London in June 2018.

So if you have got what it takes to be crowned the 2018 winner, enter online today!


ENTRY DEADLINE: Friday 13 April 2018

The Official Hotelympia Party #

The industry’s favourite party is back! This year’s Official Hotelympia Party will see us stepping back into the 80s!

Taking place on Wednesday 7 March at the Tower Hotel in London, the evening will be packed full of entertainment, dancing and more fun and games than ever before! PLUS, the famous Rockaoke will be making their comeback.

The evening is a fabulous way to celebrate with your team, so book your places online today at

Peak St. and Crackle & Hum: Two new coffee brands launched by Compass Group UK & Ireland #

Compass Group UK & Ireland has created two new coffee brands to add to its hot beverage repertoire, continuing its investment in offering great quality coffee experiences to clients and consumers.

Peak St. and Crackle & Hum are two distinctive coffee concepts, targeting value and premium segments within the coffee market. They are currently being rolled-out at Compass client sites, across sectors such as business and industry, healthcare and leisure. The market for hot beverages is in sustained growth, both in size and breadth of range, with the UK coffee shop market generating £8.9b in revenue last year, according to the Allegra World Coffee Portal Project Café 2017 report.

Through the creation of two great quality coffee offers, as well as its high street retail partnerships, Compass will be able to meet the increasing demands of clients and customers for a stronger and more varied hot beverage offer.

Both new brands will include their very own coffee blend. Peak St. will use the Sicilia blend of coffee, a Fairtrade certified Arabica/Robusta blend sourced and roasted exclusively for Compass Group UK & Ireland, offering consumers a great coffee to be enjoyed as an espresso or with milk. Alternatively, the brand’s tea offer comprises of easy to use pyramid tea bags from the Brew Tea Co. and includes a comprehensive menu of black and green teas as well as infusions. 

Crackle & Hum, as a premium offer, will use the Three Sixty blend, a 100% Arabica coffee blend sourced from Brazil and Colombia. The Three Sixty blend has received Rainforest Alliance accreditation, allowing Crackle & Hum outlets to display the Green Frog certification seal confirming environmental, social and economic sustainability. Crackle & Hum will also serve a premium option loose whole leaf tea from Teapigs, served by highly skilled colleagues who have completed mandatory coffee and tea training, in partnership with the Speciality Coffee Association (SCA) and London School of Tea respectively.

Chop Chop, Compass’ newly developed range of hot and chilled food-to-go, will be on offer as part of the new concepts to complement the hot beverage choice.

Louise Pilkington, marketing director – Compass Group UK & Ireland, said: “Introducing Peak St. and Crackle & Hum is a really important step for us, as we continue to perfect and grow the range of offers we provide for our clients and consumers. We’ve based these two distinct, tailored brands on insights and feedback from our customers, to further enhance our position in the ever growing hot beverage market.”

Stephen Lovegrove, head of business excellence – Central Marketing, commented: “I’m particularly pleased that we’re able to provide two coffee offers with great provenance stories behind them, continuing the good work we are doing as a business around sustainable and ethical sourcing.” 

Gentle at the helm of CESA’s food machinery safety standards committee #

Vital European standards work will not be affected by Brexit
Andy Gentle, who is Works Director at Hobart Manufacturing UK, has been appointed Chair of CESA’s BSI/MCE 3/5 committee – which, despite its cryptic name, does vital work in food machinery safety. 
The UK has been helping to write the European safety standards for food processing machines, such BS EN 453 on dough mixers, since 1989.  The work is done through the BSI Standards committee BSI/MCE 3/5, which CESA helps to run.  Following Bryan Whittaker’s retirement earlier this year, Andy has now taken on the important task of leading the committee. 
The committee’s work will be unaffected by Brexit because CEN, the European standards organisation under whose auspices it operates, is not a European Union organisation. 
Glenn Roberts is chair of CESA.  He says, “Andy has worked in catering equipment for some thirty years and has been an active member of the committee for many years; his expertise and commitment make him the ideal choice to be chair.  This is a very significant appointment: the committee’s work directly impacts on the safety of hundreds of thousands of workers in the food industry, at home and overseas.” 
Andy says, “The past two decades have seen the introduction of many machine standards which have made a real impact on safety in the catering industry across Europe.  More recently these standards have undergone review, to reflect changes in the market and to make further safety improvements.
“I look forward to continuing this important work with my fellow committee members.  We need to look for opportunities to increase the reach of global machine safety, through harmonisation with ISO global standards.”   

CESA warns of complex issues as EU reports on product legislation post-Brexit #

Association works to mitigate worst implications; members can hear latest analysis at Technical Forum on February 22
The EU Commission has issued a document detailing the impact of Brexit on manufacturers, suppliers and importers operating in the UK, in terms of product legislation.  “It doesn’t make easy reading,” says CESA director Keith Warren.  The Association is holding a series of meetings with relevant bodies to map out the implications for its members and look for ways to mitigate them.
The document is headlined ‘Withdrawal of the United Kingdom and EU rules in the field of industrial products.’  It lists many of the challenges that UK companies will face after Brexit.  Any manufacturer or importer based in the UK will no longer be considered to operate within the European Union.  This has a whole raft of implications – such as the need for a ‘qualified third party, known as a Notified Body’ to become involved in assessing the conformity of products.  After the withdrawal, the EU will not recognise product testing that has been undertaken by UK Notified Bodies. 
The document also includes a list of product legislation, a large number of which are relevant to the catering equipment industry. They range from general product safety, use of hazardous substances, Ecodesign and Energy Labelling to pressure equipment, construction products and electromagnetic compatibility. 
CESA is discussing the issues with DEXEU (the Department for Exiting the European Union) and BEIS (the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), as well as Test Houses and the BSI Group (the UK standards body). 
The document and its implications will be discussed at the next CESA Technical Forum, on Thursday 22nd February 2018 at CESA’s offices.  “I would urge members to attend the meeting,” says Warren.  “This is a complex issue and we need clarity – members will get the very latest feedback and analysis, and be able to share their concerns and ideas.” 
CESA members should contact, 020 7793 3030, to register to attend.

Michael Staub wins 2018 Gold Service Scholarship #

Michael Staub, floor manager at Rosewood London, was named the winner of the 2018 Gold Service Scholarship at a high profile ceremony held at Claridge’s. 

Receiving his award in front of more than 250 people from across the industry, Michael became the sixth winner of the coveted title.

He joins a growing list of talented front-of-house stars to win the competition and benefit from a year of exclusive career development opportunities.

Michael was among eight strong finalists from across the hospitality industry to compete for this prestigious award at the final held on 29 January 2018 at the Corinthia hotel, where they were tested on a broad range of service skills.

Both Sarah May Coward, from the Royal Household, and Christian Köhle, from Fera at Claridge's, were also highly commended by the judges for their performances.

Commenting on his win, Michael said: “I feel amazing. This is the best thing to ever happen to me in my professional life. I really want to thank my fellow finalists and the Trustees. It’s such an honour and I’m really looking forward to the next year.”

Alastair Storey, chairman of the Gold Service Scholarship, said: “Huge congratulations to Michael. All the judges commented on how this has been another amazing year and the talent we are seeing coming through the ranks has been nothing short of exceptional.

“We are delighted for Michael and proud to see the progress we are all making in promoting front-of-house careers in the U.K.”

The eight finalists were: 
- Sarah May Coward, senior footman of the Glass Pantry, the Royal Household
- Lady Gibba-Smith, head waitress, L'Enclume
- Sebastian Koewius, assistant room service manager, Corinthia hotel
- Christian Köhle, head waiter, Fera at Claridge's
- Beatriz Pinto da Silva, butler, Savoy hotel
- Charlotte Davies, sommelier and assistant restaurant manager, Three Chimneys
- Eugenio Simonelli, junior maître d'hôtel, Le Gavroche
- Michael Staub, floor manager, Rosewood London