Members’ News

February 2020

Feeding the senses #

Bidfood reveals 2020 dining trends

As we enter a new decade, Bidfood, one of the UK’s largest foodservice providers reveals the food, drink and dining trends set to shape the industry in a new report.

An explosion of flavour is set to hit the UK food scene in 2020, driven by advances in experiential dining, a range of global flavours, developments in sustainability and technology, as well as unusual and authentic cooking methods coming to the forefront.

A range of sub-trends and ingredients have been distilled into five mega trends that operators should keep front of mind for the coming year:

Feed the Senses
Following a food revolution in the noughties and the rise of casual dining and pop-up food experiences in the 2010s, the 2020s will be all about interactive dining experiences and feeding the senses. A full spectrum of experiential dining will grow, from immersive experiences using theatre and music, through to subtle use of light, smell and sound to heighten diners’ enjoyment.

Communal dining will continue to grow in popularity as shared meals that encourage interaction pique interest. Tabletop cooking with colourful dishes and sharing plates will bring interactive meals out of market halls and street food spaces, and onto restaurant tables.

Sub trends:
- Sticks, skewers and dipping – We’ll see skewers piled high with added textures, flavours and colours
- Sharing is caring – Sharing is a great way to try lots of different dishes, tastes and flavours
- Eat the rainbow – Colour (or the lack of) is still a key trend. Foods can be black as night or as bright as the milky way

Products to look out for: Coconut Skewered Prawns, Rainbow Layer Cakes and Caramelised Onion Bloomer

Ingredients to try out: Beetroot and hibiscus

Simply Global
Thanks to technology creating a more globally connected world, our eyes have been opened to niche cuisines and ingredients that many have not experienced before. Flavours from countries and regions such as Lebanon, the Pacific Islands and Australasia all look set to make an appearance on menus in 2020.

The Simply Global trend is making global cuisine more accessible using authentic ingredients to create fusion dishes that incorporate more than one cuisine, developing food without borders. Chilli will feature heavily in many dishes – from the fiery fragrance used in many Asian dishes, through to smoky heat from South America.

Sub trends:
- Flavours of the Pacific – Taking inspiration from the diverse range of cuisines from the islands of the Pacific Ocean
- Middle Eastern – The Middle Eastern trend continues with more regional staples gaining popularity, such as Israeli, Yemeni and Jewish
- Authentic Indian – We’re seeing a move to lighter, fresher and more authentic dishes
- Extreme Americana – This is all about creating new American-fusion dishes using the best ingredients
- World Heat and Global Fusion: Featuring dishes filled with fragrance and heat, to regional Asian influences including casual Japanese dishes, or regional Thai and Vietnamese

Products to look out for: Gochujang Paste and Bang Bang Chicken

Ingredients to try out: Tahini, miso, chai, yuzu and chimichurri

Creatively Sustainable
With ‘eco-anxiety’ taking hold of society there will continue to be a heavy focus on the health of the planet. As vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian diets become the norm rather than the exception, we’ll start to see vegetables hogging the spotlight. Creative root-to-stem recipes that utilise the whole plant will drive focus. Meanwhile, ‘dirty vegan’ food will continue to gain popularity as non-meat eaters look for indulgent and delicious plant-based alternatives.

When it comes to consuming meat and fish, ensuring the whole animal is used will be of utmost importance to help minimise food wastage. Expect to see unusual cuts of meat make an appearance on menus along with an increased interest in offal.

Sub trends:
- Dirty vegan – With meat alternatives improving all the time, indulgent vegan dishes are easy to create
- Waste not – As we all try to say farewell to plastic and food waste, chefs are getting creative with leftovers and making the most of root-to-leaf cooking
- Centre plate veg – Vegetables themselves are now being focused on as the centre of plate
- Go nuts – Alternative ‘mylks’ are rapidly transforming the dairy scene, in both drinks and dishes
- Gut health – This year we see a clear shift in mind-sets towards food and drink offering functional health benefits
- On the bone – If we want to eat meat and fish, we need to respect the animal and use everything that it offers from nose-to-tail

Products to look out for: BBQ Pulled Jackfruit, Kombucha and Smoked Tofu

Ingredients to try out: Banana blossom, nut butters and kimchi
Skilful Flavour
The skills of chefs, mixologists and baristas will be tested in 2020, as unusual cooking and preparation techniques make their way from haute cuisine, into mainstream food culture. Expect to see a rise in pickled and cured gut-friendly dish elements, as well as blackened and burnt food from high-temperature cooking over a fire. With this, comes complex flavours and textures which will delight our ever-evolving palate. For example, for Bidfood’s 2020 trends event, Yarde Farm created ice cream desserts personalised to attendee’s tastes, such as Red Mozzarella Crumble Gelato and Rose & White Chocolate Gelato.

Sub trends:
- Raw – This trend is light and fresh, but will need a great level of skill to prepare these delicacies
- Pickled and cured – Beginning with the growing interest in gut health, pickling and curing are now trending as fantastic ways to add colours and flavour explosions to any plate
- Blackened and burnt – Blackened and burnt creates great new levels of flavour profiles
- Fried – It’s all about maximum texture with this trend
- Sweet vs. savoury – As health concerns focus in on sugar, our palates are gradually becoming used to flavours that aren’t so sweet

Products to look out for: Blackened Peppered Beef, Biotiful Kefir and Street Food Pastes

Ingredients to try out: Harissa and sauerkraut

Beyond the Basics
Whilst new and unusual flavours and experiences will be popular in 2020, with uncertain environmental and political times, many diners will be looking for ways to anchor themselves to the familiar. Food and drink that evokes feelings of nostalgia will be popular, with basic well-known dishes such as toast, eggs, salads and sandwiches being given gourmet makeovers using the very best in quality ingredients.

Sub trends:
- Humble toast – There is nothing simpler than a slice of toast, but using the very best ingredients can elevate it to something rather special
- Crazy croissants – Sweet or savoury, these new style croissants are over-filled and brightly coloured
- Egg-cellent – Boiled or fried? Shakshuka or tea-stained? Duck or pheasant? 2020 is the year that all types of eggs and egg dishes will take centre stage
- Back to British – Nostalgia is bigger than ever and foods from by-gone eras are being brought back to the present
- Sando fever – Take the very best bread and then fill it with the best ingredients you can find
- Breakfast grown up – Breakfast and brunch dishes don’t just have to be eaten in the morning, they are now appearing across all eating occasions
- Super salads – Wave goodbye to basic Greek salads or a classic Waldorf, in 2020 salads will be bigger and better, and eaten all year round

Products to look out for: Orange Spiced French Toast and Nordic Bread  

Ingredients to try out: Spirulina powder and coloured croissant doughs

Commenting on their 2020 trend predictions, Lucy Pedrick, head of insights and customer experience at Bidfood, said: “The last 10 years have brought about huge change in the way we eat and what we eat, and we can only expect this to accelerate in the next decade. We’re particularly excited about the Feed the Senses trend that we’ve identified, as dining increasingly becomes about the whole experience. We’re looking forward to assisting our partners with menu ideas, recipes and information about new ingredients to help make 2020 the best year for the UK food scene yet.”
For more information download the Bidfood 2020 Trends guide here: 

The Caterer launches 'Caterer Summits Bundle' #

The Caterer has launched a bundle ticket for hospitality leaders looking to develop their teams at five upcoming Caterer Summits.

Chris Gamm, Editor, The Caterer, said: "The Caterer Summits are a series of masterclass events that bring together hospitality professionals to discuss game-changing ideas, industry best practice and new ways of working."

They include:
- Social Media Summit – Thursday 26 March 2020, the Soho hotel, London. A half-day masterclass giving hospitality marketing professionals insight into the latest growth hacks and content marketing techniques that will move the needle on social media over the next decade.
- People Summit – Wednesday 29 April 2020, the Ham Yard hotel, London. A full day exploring how today’s hospitality operators can deliver an authentic employee experience that sets the business up for sustainable success.
- Allergens Spring Summit – Tuesday 12 May 2020, the Soho hotel, London. An afternoon equipping F&B, operations and marketing professionals with the knowledge and best practice to set a strategy that keeps your customers and staff safe and informed.
- Hotel F&B Summit – Wednesday 9 September 2020, the Soho hotel, London. Exploring the latest trends in hotel F&B concepts and design and explaining how to ensure a hotel F&B operation is a profit centre rather than a cost centre.
- Marketing & PR Summit – Wednesday 7 October 2020, the Soho hotel, London. Equipping hospitality PR and marketing professionals with the skills, knowledge and networks to fine-tune strategies, effectively measure success and demonstrate return on investment from campaigns.These summits were created to give teams practical and relevant information to take back and implement in their strategies.

'The Caterer Summits Bundle' ticket gives operators a place at five Summits for a special price and guests may differ at every event.

Tickets can be booked at 

OLIO joins Arena and appoints Martin Rohleder as Sales Director to drive down food waste in hospitality and foodservice #

OLIO, the food sharing app, has announced the appointment of its first sales director, as it drives waste reduction in industries such as hospitality and foodservice.

Martin Rohleder, who has over 20 years’ experience in food and beverage industries, will be focused on helping more businesses to become zero waste by joining the OLIO food programme, helping them improve their sustainability and support local communities.

As well as connecting over 1.7 million consumers via the OLIO app, the OLIO programme supports over 270 UK businesses today across multiple sectors sharing over 70,000 meals per month – meals that would otherwise have gone to waste.

The OLIO Food Waste Heroes programme is comprised of over 6,000 food safety trained volunteers who safely collect surplus food from businesses involved in hospitality and foodservice  who then redistribute it within local communities via the OLIO sharing app.

To date, over three million portions of food have been shared by OLIO – which in turn has saved 435 million litres of water, or 2,510 tonnes of CO2, or 8.5 million cars being taken off the road.
Co-founder of OLIO, Tessa Clarke, said: “We are at a crucial point where the world is finally waking up to the sustainability crisis. OLIO as a platform has garnered huge support from both consumers and the business community as a result.

“This appointment comes at an important time for the business. Martin has a wealth of international commercial experience and knowledge of building sustainable partnerships in new markets. His skills will enable us to grow the number of businesses joining the OLIO programme using the app and help support greater volumes of food sharing around the world.”

Rohleder said: “Companies like OLIO are at the forefront of the worldwide drive to improve the sustainability of businesses. In the hierarchy of food waste reduction initiatives, OLIO plays a unique and critical role in the recovery and redistribution of surplus food waste, food that is still fit for consumption, to local communities. It’s a fantastic time to be joining the business as it continues to lead in reducing the impact of food waste around the world and ultimately achieving the goal of zero waste to landfill.”
Rohleder adds: “We are equally delighted to join Arena, an organisation at the forefront of bringing professionals from these industries together.  It is only by working together, in a collaborative partnership spirit, that we will successfully tackle the massive challenge of food waste today.”

Délifrance revealed consumers’ top three considerations for buying a pastry for National Croissant Day #

Délifrance offered operators new insights and advice to maximise success for National Croissant Day (30 January).

The new research from Délifrance’s latest report, Prove It: The Great British Bakery Report, reveals consumers’ top three considerations for buying a pastry are taste/flavour (70%), freshness (56%) and price (40%). What's more, a significant 40% of people are more likely to buy a pastry with a hot drink, highlighting a key promotional opportunity for savvy operators on National Croissant Day.

Délifrance’s social listening insight also found that the croissant reigns supreme with consumers as the most talked about viennoiserie product on social media, dominating 74% of the conversation.

Consumers know what they want - Délifrance’s survey revealed 75% prefer freshly baked viennoiserie products, with 32% buying them from artisan bakeries and 23% from independent and chain coffee shops. They are also calling for a wider variety of viennoiserie products, as 42% would buy more croissants if there were healthier options and 28% would if there was more variety.

Stéphanie Brillouet, marketing director for Northern Europe, and North America, Délifrance, said: “Christmas may have passed but there’s still room for a little indulgence on National Croissant Day! Butter croissants continue to be a key bestseller for Délifrance in the UK, and they can be for you too.

"Act upon invaluable consumer insights, tailoring your offers to current demand and engage with more customers. Why not run a special croissant and hot drink promotion, or expand your range of flavours with our bestselling Almond Croissants or Chocolate and Hazelnut Croissants? You could even go one step further - stay on trend with our vegan Oatmeal, Quinoa or Blueberry Filled Croissants. They’re perfect for vegans or plant-curious customers looking for new and interesting options.”

Délifrance launches indulgent new vegan croissant to rival the classic French butter staple #

Délifrance has developed a new vegan croissant to add to its Feel Good vegan croissant range, meeting the growing demand for plant-based viennoiserie.

The new addition cleverly replicates the texture and taste of the classic French butter croissant by using wheat flour and shea butter. It joins the existing range of five spelt-based vegan croissants which include its Vegan Croissant with Oats, Spelt & Quinoa, Blueberry, Citrus, and Lemon & Ginger.

The global vegan market is set to grow by a rate of 9.1%, reaching £18.7bn by 2026 (1). Plus, with 2% of the global population now identifying as vegan (2), there’s a rising expectation for vegan bakery, resulting in 31% annual growth for bakery launches (1). Clean label products are also hitting the mark with conscious consumers who are influenced by how products impact their health and wellbeing.

Délifrance’s new vegan croissant responds to these consumer expectations. With minimal ingredients and no palm oil, it is the cleanest vegan plain croissant offer on the market.

Stéphanie Brillouet, marketing director for Northern Europe and North America at Délifrance, said: “Our new vegan croissant strikes a balance between indulgent tastes and experiences and consumer demand for cleaner, healthier products. With rising vegan and flexitarian populations, launching this new croissant was the next natural step.

“Our insights from consumers also tell us that vegans feel left out of the breakfast experience, with their breakfasts lacking tastiness and indulgence. By using the right blend of vegan-friendly ingredients, we’ve replicated the much-loved staple of the French butter croissant. It’s brilliantly versatile - enjoyed either as an indulgent sweet treat with spreads or fruit, or as a savoury breakfast or snack with vegan cheese and vegetables. We’re delighted to add this product to the range so that more vegans can live every day delicious.”


February 2020 sees the launch of Portion Solutions Ltd. #

From February 1 2020, there is exciting news in the packaging industry with the launch of Portion Solutions Limited. Portion Solutions is the new name for the combined businesses Single Source and CustomPack, both experts in portion packing, for wet and dry products. With complementary manufacturing skills and customer bases, the new Portion Solutions business will be the largest specialist portion packer in the UK.
Manufacturing over 2 billion portions a year, there are few products, wet or dry beyond their capabilities. Many customers use their in house design and printing service to produce their own bespoke branding furthering awareness and impact. In addition Portion Solutions produces products for market leading brands including Canderel, LoSalt, Café Express and Silver Spoon. They also distribute nationally for foodservice brands such as Lotus Biscuits, Daelmans Waffles, Duerrs Jam, Nairn’s, and many more.
Simon Nicholson, commercial director, says: “We’re used to unusual portion packing requests and thrive on helping our customers create new markets and revenues. We say, give us a challenge and we’ll find a way!”
Simon goes on to say: “Since the two companies joined together, we’ve been reviewing our competencies, operations, sourcing and range. This has enabled us to understand the opportunity in the market to drive future growth and deliver exceptional customer value”.
With further developments on the horizon, this is a time for forward planning and investment for the future business based in Telford. To find out more visit

Access Hospitality responds to challenge of staff retention with the launch of Access EarlyPay to provide flexible working benefits within hospitality sector #

Access Hospitality, a division of the Access Group, has brought a new software product to market to help address the challenge of staff retention within the hospitality sector.  Access EarlyPay is a mobile app that changes the way hospitality staff receive their wages, giving them greater flexibility to draw down from pay they’ve accrued on demand, without impacting on normal business payroll processes. 
Access EarlyPay integrates with time and attendance and payroll systems, showing employees what they’ve earned and how much they can draw, taking account of any necessary deductions.  Limits can be set on drawings to help employees manage their own finances responsibly, but more effectively.
“We know that the hospitality sector faces a constant challenge in staff recruitment and retention, with a high turnover rate of three in ten workers leaving their role within a year” explained Henry Seddon, managing director of Access Hospitality. “This is double the UK average, with the situation predicted to worsen once the UK has left the European Union.
“Access Hospitality conducted a survey last year which highlighted that employee churn was a key concern for 26% of hospitality operators and two of the most common tactics they were using to minimise staff turnover were offering above minimum wage salaries (55%) and more shift flexibility (40%).  The primary benefit of Access EarlyPay is that staff know they can get paid when they need it and that, if they take advantage of the flexibility to work additional hours, they’ll be able to take their earnings straight away.”
Access EarlyPay can be fully integrated with Access People for Hospitality, a simple end to end solution that covers all HR requirements through a self-service portal.  It incorporates all HR requirements without the need to use separate systems and can be delivered through Access Workspace for Hospitality, with a single sign-on and intuitive dashboards that can be personalised to individual needs. 
“The need to provide more flexibility in working arrangements continues to grow and the shrewdest operators will recognise that giving staff more autonomy over their experience at work will improve retention rates” added Seddon.  “Providing them with the mobile tools to stay informed and manage their input in the way they want to, when they want to, is more engaging and fulfilling as well as effective.  Access EarlyPay has been developed to empower staff to take more ownership of their own role, but for hospitality operators it can drive motivation and loyalty to help recruitment and retention of the best staff available and consequently improve trading results through a more productive workforce.” 
The employee life-cycle in any business consists of six key stages – recruitment, onboarding, reward and benefits, performance, development and exit and Access People for Hospitality provides modules to manage all aspects of the employee experience simply and effectively.  For recruitment, multi-site operations can stay ahead of needs and skills shortages by building their own talent pool, with a skills assessment optimising staff potential across different sites to fill competency gaps where required.  Once appointed, the HR and Workforce Management solutions, including the new Access EarlyPay, ensure that an employee enjoys a seamless and satisfying work experience, with the tools to manage their work their way.
For more information and a demonstration of Access EarlyPay, please call 0845 345 3300 or visit

Introducing the CH&CO Apprenticeship Academy #

To mark National Apprenticeship Week 2020, CH&CO has launched the CH&CO Grow With Us Apprenticeship Academy, confirming the company’s commitment to the development of new and existing team members.

The inclusive approach to apprenticeships supports employees from apprentice to board level, enabling them to grow within the diverse business across its wide range of sectors and roles.

The CH&CO Apprenticeship Academy includes:
- Chefs Academy – supporting chefs at every stage of their career and attracting and developing new talent to fill the skills gap
- Service Academy – developing confident hospitality professionals with world-class customer service
- Business Academy – championing development opportunities across the business’ support functions from accounting and law to marketing and HR
- Leadership Academy – offering our future leaders development opportunities that will challenge them and help fulfil their career goals

CH&CO is working closely with its apprenticeship delivery partners to design and deliver apprenticeship programme models that match the business’ objectives and uphold its vision and values. Every apprenticeship journey features on- and off-job training, mentoring and a focus on key areas such as, safeguarding, social and ethical awareness, diversity and inclusion, and health and wellbeing, including mental health and nutrition training.

A new online CH&CO Grow With Us Apprenticeship Academy prospectus has been launched across the business, which operates in more than 1,000 sites and employs more than 10,000 people, to inspire team members to join the academy or offer an apprenticeship in their part of the business.

Liam Hatcher, Head of Learning & Development, CH&CO, said: “We’re very excited to launch the CH&CO Grow With Us Apprenticeship Academy to the business. Apprenticeships offer all our people the opportunity to develop personally and professionally and realise their career ambitions. We want to inspire the next generation of chefs, hospitality professionals and industry leaders and the Grow With Us Apprenticeship Academy supports this. Through our inclusive approach and by partnering with some of the industry’s best apprenticeship providers we’re taking our training and development programmes to the next level and giving our teams clear guidance and tools to help them innovate and grow, which is absolutely the right thing to do.”

Terry Waldron, COO, CH&CO, added: “People are at the heart of hospitality and we want our people to feel valued. Our focus on developing and supporting them never stops – they are, after all, our greatest asset; from the chefs and on-site teams serving our customers to our people working in our offices supporting our operations and clients. The CH&CO Grow With Us Apprenticeship Academy gives our teams access to a diverse range of development opportunities that allows them to explore and fulfil their goals.

“Aside from benefitting individuals, we know that apprenticeships are a key contributor to future-proofing our business. Through apprenticeships we can improve the skills and knowledge of our teams, which motivates our people, supports retention and attracts new talent.”

Pan’Artisan hosts ‘Bread Workshop’ for Craft Guild of Chefs #

An enlightening and informative day was had by all at Pan’Artisan’s recent ‘Bread Workshop’ held at the Company’s development kitchen in Midhurst, West Sussex. 

In attendance were Steve Munkley, vice-president of the Craft Guild of Chefs and executive head chef at The Royal Garden Hotel, chefs from his kitchen, as well as chefs from the House of Commons.

The finer nuances of bread making were covered with expert tuition and demonstrations from Pan’Artisan’s, Chris Dickinson, business development director; Tina Glen, product development manager, and Sara Autton, technical manager from Lesaffre, supplier of yeasts, sourdoughs and bread-making solutions.

As well as plenty of opportunity to get hands on, the science behind bread making was studied and other topics covered included various flours and yeast types and their different applications and performance. 

Steve Munkley said; “I had the great pleasure of taking seven chefs with me to experience the delights of dough making at Pan’Artisan’s development kitchen in Midhurst.  Chris and his team had set up a day’s masterclass for us, where we were hands on most of the time.  You may think this Company just makes pizza bases but you’d be wrong; there’s so much more to it than that.  They help develop specific recipes for customers, educate about the use of yeast and its complementary products,  deliver excellent in-house and external training, some of which we enjoyed a taste of. From the moment we arrived, to when we left with some lovely warm loaves of sour dough and focaccia, we were hosted by some true professionals.”

Pan Artisan’s Chris Dickinson said “It has been a great pleasure to give something back to the members of The Craft Guild of Chefs.  As a business partner we wanted to share our knowledge of bread-making with our fellow members. We also included a tour of our facilities which gave the attendees an insight into the breadth of our business in terms of product range, bespoke product development, technical support and further training opportunities such as the hand stretching pizza skills which they learnt when they had to make their own lunch”.

Further sessions are being run through 2020, which are free of charge to Craft Guild of Chef members.  To book your place, contact Chris Dickinson directly -

UCC Coffee UK & Ireland launch COFFEEWORKS video series #

UCC Coffee UK & Ireland has launched a video series bringing to life its unique data-driven approach to coffee excellence, COFFEEWORKS. The new series, comprising of four videos, has been created with a focus on delivering a quality coffee offer.

The approach is led by UCC Coffee’s, head of coffee excellence, Gareth Davies – who has spent over 10 years in the coffee industry – with the view of challenging common misconceptions and offering expert advice with a commercial and quality-based mindset. Making it easy to eliminate bad habits and improve consistency.

Gareth Davies, head of coffee excellence, UCC Coffee UK & Ireland comments: “We experience many businesses consistently making the same mistakes with their coffee, which often has a direct impact on their commercial success. This is often down to bad habits, inconsistent training, lack of ownership or a combination of those things. We created COFFEEWORKS, back in 2017, to make it simple for our customers to serve lots of great coffee, consistently. These new videos are educational, with a focus on real life operational benefits, to help operators achieve coffee excellence.” 

The COFFEEWORKS TV series includes:

- Coffee is about your customers, not the barista - Five top tips to ensure the customer is always at the heart of a business
- Common coffee machine myths dispelled - An overview of coffee machine misconceptions, comparing machines based on speed, consistency, cost and quality
- How to spot a bad coffee - Five easy ways to identify common errors in coffee preparation
- Choosing the right machine for your business - Traditional versus automatic equipment – five areas to consider

COFFEEWORKS is UCC Coffee’s unique and data-driven approach to coffee excellence. Its 8-step approach helps delivers all key aspects of a successful coffee product, ensuring operators have all the tools to serve exceptional and consistent coffee, cup after cup.

For more information visit

The videos are available to watch on UCC Coffee UK & Ireland’s YouTube page.

Belvoir makes a fruity start to 2020 with two new drinks #

Belvoir Fruit Farms is starting 2020 with a splash by launching two new refreshing, fruity beverages to add to their ready-to-drink Pressé range.  From the middle of January, Belvoir’s Pink Lady Sparkling Apple Juice will be available, alongside Belvoir’s new Lime & Soda.
Apple is a well-established and popular flavour within the premium soft drinks’ category.  Apple flavoured ready to drink products are worth £16.4m annually, accounting for 13% of the market and are growing by +13% year on year too.*  This growth is currently being driven by mainstream brands, leading Belvoir to believe there is an opportunity to further grow the category through a premium apple offering. 
Another rapidly growing trend is the popularity of pink drinks, led by the phenomenal rise of pink gins; this has begun to play through into Adult Soft Drinks. 
Combining these two market observations has resulted in Belvoir’s Pink Lady Sparkling Apple Juice.   But the clue’s in the name - they’ve not just used any old apple juice, they’ve used the UK’s Number 1 fresh produce brand, Pink Lady.  They’ve added a dash of elderberry juice to enhance the pinkness of the drink too, placing it right on trend.
Belvoir’s Pink Lady Sparkling Apple Juice is made with 100% fruit juice and no added sugar.  It has deliciously fresh, sweet green aromas and a fabulously refreshing crisp, sweet apple flavour from blending both clear and cloudy apple juices only from Pink Lady apples.  The drink is an attractive warm pink with a slight natural cloud.

Lime is another key flavour trend within the premium soft drinks’ category, growing at +22% year on year and in major multiples at +21%.*  In 2019 Belvoir commissioned extensive and exclusive consumer research into Premium Soft Drinks gauging the views of over 2,000 people about how, when and why they consume the category.  In it, lime was identified as an extremely versatile flavour, consumed across all drinking occasions and considered a key ingredient when preparing the perfect serve both at home and in bars and restaurants.  There are however few, if any, premium lime offerings on the market and Belvoir believes they have filled that gap with their new Lime & Soda, hoping to drive further category growth.
Belvoir’s Lime & Soda is made with 100% natural ingredients including freshly squeezed lime juice and a touch of lemon for a wonderfully refreshing, zingy taste.  Exceptionally light and lively with the invigorating aromas and flavours of naturally sharp, freshly squeezed lime juice it is an indulgent, instant take on the classic lime and soda.  Delicious on its own, over ice or mixed with white rum, fresh mint leaves and ice, it makes the best no fuss Mojito ever. 
As with all Belvoir’s drinks, both Lime & Soda and Pink Lady Sparkling Apple Juice contain no artificial sweeteners, colourings, flavourings or preservatives.
Belvoir’s Lime & Soda and Belvoir’s Pink Lady Sparkling Apple Juice are available in 250ml bottles which are popular for individual serves and in 750ml bottles which are great for sharing.    

Belvoir is Pretty in Pink #

Belvoir Fruit Farms has combined two leading trends in today’s premium soft drinks’ category – the love of apples and a penchant for pink – to create a new refreshingly fruity beverage, Pink Lady Sparkling Apple Juice.
Apple is a well-established and popular flavour; apple flavoured ready to drink products are worth £16.4m annually, accounting for 13% of the market and are growing by +13% year on year too*.  This growth is currently being driven by mainstream brands, leading Belvoir to believe there is an opportunity to grow the category further through a premium apple offering. 
At the same time, another rapidly growing trend is the popularity of pink drinks, led by the phenomenal rise of pink gins; this has begun to play through into Adult Soft Drinks. 
Combining these two market observations, Belvoir has created its new Pink Lady Sparkling Apple Juice.   But the clue’s in the name - they’ve used the UK’s Number 1 fresh produce brand, Pink Lady. They’ve added a dash of elderberry juice to enhance the pinkness of the drink too, placing it right on trend.
In taste terms, Belvoir’s Pink Lady Sparkling Apple Juice is made with 100% fruit juice and no added sugar.  It has deliciously fresh, sweet green aromas and a fabulously refreshing crisp, sweet apple flavour from blending both clear and cloudy apple juices only from Pink Lady apples.  An attractive warm pink in colour with a slight natural cloud, there may be the chance of some sediment at the bottom of the bottle from the natural fruit juices.  As with all Belvoir’s drinks, there’s not an artificial sweetener, colouring, flavouring or preservative in sight.
Belvoir’s Pink Lad® Sparkling Apple Juice is available in 250ml bottles ideal for individual serves and popular in bars, and in sharing bottles of 750ml.

Fleet Street Communications adds premium water brand to portfolio #

Building momentum from a record breaking 2019, specialist hospitality, leisure, food and drink agency Fleet Street Communications (FSC), has won a competitive pitch process to promote premium English natural mineral water brand, Hildon.
Following a rigorous pitch process, FSC was chosen due to the team’s established network, in-depth knowledge of the hospitality industry, and extensive experience in devising and executing successful campaigns across a number of different platforms.
The agreed activity includes a strategic programme across consumer and industry channels comprising creative campaigns, targeted trade outreach, all underpinned by compelling content creation.
Simon Prosser, sales and marketing director, Hildon, said: “We’re well-known in the hospitality industry, but we need to further articulate our story and the quality of our product. The decision to appoint a communications agency was not taken lightly, but we’re confident we’ve found the right partner in Fleet Street Communications. Culture, expertise and passion were clear shared values between our companies; coupled with their industry knowledge and contacts. We can’t wait to get started.”
Mark Stretton, managing director of Fleet Street Communications, said: “We’re really delighted to have been chosen by the team at Hildon, and from the outset it felt like a good fit for us.  To do great work for any client, you have to passionately believe in the product, and it’s why we’re delighted to be working with such an admired and prestigious brand. It’s premium, with fantastic heritage and we can’t wait to start telling their brand story.”

critiQuie announces partnership with Imaginelf #

critiQuie announces that they are working with new partner ImagineIf - where their first project is to bring 5 towns in Exeter together and make them self sufficient in assisting and managing mental wellbeing.
This initial project involves helping 5 towns to be self-sufficient in identifying and managing individuals with possible wellbeing issues. ImagineIf will be running workshops in-conjunction with critiQuie who provide their unique platform to assist members of the community to easily identify areas of their lives that may be of concern and where it may be necessary to 'call-out' for assistance. In addition, their service gives greater insights to these communities via their built-in analysis, tracking and trending functionality.
Louise Newman MD for critiQuie said "We are proud of both the new partnership and the fact that through the use of our software those that are not as confident to speak face-to-face or call someone can initiate a conversation through our software, providing a less intrusive way to raise concerns or ask for assistance."
critiQuie's new initiative can help any organisation with mental wellbeing. Giving the organisations both the analysis to confirm their staff are OK as well as the necessary insight to help address problems before they turn into real issues. Equally the solution helps staff that are less confident in seeking assistance, without having to take that initial step of speaking with someone or as Louise explained "a member of staff can just use it to vent anonymously, which sometimes is all that is needed and can be a huge help both to themselves & the business'. Equally the business can see their staff frustrations, see trends across all departments, and spot problems early to help prevent major issues occurring.
Contact critiQuie to help you tap into your team & organisations full potential and use it to improve prospects, wellbeing, relationships, staff retention and productivity. 
If you'd like to know about the critiQuie wellbeing tool, or any of their other Feedback & Insight services please email

Nisbets partners with Hospitality Action #

Nisbets is delighted to announce its partnership with the charity Hospitality Action, which offers vital support to workers within the hospitality industry facing difficulty.
Utilising Nisbets’ extensive reach within the hospitality sector, Nisbets and Hospitality Action aim to cooperatively raise vital funds, allowing more people than ever before access to the charity’s many services.
In addition to fundraising initiatives across the year, Nisbets will use its products and platforms to drive awareness of the help available from Hospitality Action, from assisting with financial difficulties, providing support and guidance for those suffering from physical and mental health problems, to offering access to services which can aid with addiction and personal strain.
Nisbets will also be headline sponsor of Social Sunday – an annual celebration of all that’s great in the UK hospitality. Now in its 6th year, Social Sunday is the brainchild of Hospitality Action’s principal patron, chef Jason Atherton. The event which takes place in early July unites the industry with a simple mission – to raise as much money as possible for this fantastic cause. In 2020, the initiative aims to recruit more operators than ever before – from restaurants to hotels – contract caterers to cafes and all inbetween, to showcase the relentless energy and dedication the industry shows to supporting its own in times of need. From donating a percentage of profit from food and drink made on the day, to hosting dedicated foodie events, the ways in which funds can be raised are endless.
Klaus Goeldenbot, Nisbets group CEO comments; “We are extremely proud to announce our parthership with Hospitality Action. Its tireless hard work and the support it gives to those facing crisis across the hospitality and foodservice industry is frankly, immeasurable. Our loyal customers have supported and helped grow the Nisbets business, and in return we’d like to offer them support in both good, and more challenging times. We’re delighted to be able to aid the charity in its efforts.”
Mark Lewis, chief executive Hospitality Action adds; “We’re delighted to welcome Nisbets onboard as a partner and we’re particularly excited to have them as our headline sponsor for Social Sunday 2020. Their huge reach, boundless enthusiasm and brand profile will help us take Social Sunday 2020 to new heights by engaging more operators than ever before to fundraise for their fellow hospitality people in need.”
Across 2020, both Nisbets and Hospitality Action will share inspiration and advice to operators wishing to get involved with Social Sunday and wider Hospitality Action initiatives, as well as case studies outlining the poignant stories from the people that the charity supports.

Outstanding employees celebrated at Spirit of Sodexo Awards #

Sodexo has recognised the commitment and dedication of its employees at its Spirit of Sodexo Awards.

The awards evening, attended by 600 Sodexo employees, saw 21 individuals and teams win accolades.

More than 1,200 nominations were received for the event at ACC Liverpool, hosted by celebrated satirical impressionist, Rory Bremner, on 12 December.

Employee of the Year was won by operations manager Nicola Newman, from Sodexo’s Northumbria University contract, as the judging panel were particularly impressed by her genuine care for students there, throughout her 20 year career.

The Army Basing Programme mobilisation team won Team of the Year for their hard work ensuring military families returning from overseas were welcomed back to the UK with job opportunities and top class facilities.

Sean Haley, regional chairman, Sodexo UK & Ireland said: “I am extremely proud of each and every one of our winners, and very thankful for what they bring to this great company.

“The Spirit of Sodexo Awards recognise and reward colleagues who best embody the values and behaviours of our company, and our winners truly do this.

“The varied and impressive achievements showcased by all the finalists are an inspiration - these are colleagues who are living and modelling our values in all that they do, each and every day.

“It is important that we recognise the great contribution our employees have made to the success of our business.”

Sodexo bans unrecyclable polystyrene and single use plastic bags #

Sodexo has announced that from 1 February 2020 it is removing products containing unrecyclable polystyrene and single use plastic bags from its supply chain.

Environmental protection is one of the focus areas for Sodexo as part of its Better Tomorrow 2025 commitments, and over the past couple of years it has stepped up its efforts to minimise the impact of its operations on the environment. In May 2018, plastic stirrers and straws were the first items to be banned. 

Since that time the collective efforts of its teams has already resulted in an 84% reduction in the use of polystyrene items, but from 1 February 2020 all foodservice items such as takeaway boxes and cups made from unrecyclable polystyrene will no longer be available to purchase. 

Ana Svab, corporate responsibility manager, Sodexo UK & Ireland said: “We have already made positive steps towards reducing the amount of unrecyclable plastic products used in our business and we are thrilled with the efforts made by our teams to phase out their use of these products and the response received from our clients and customers.

 “Removing plastic stirrers and straws back in 2018 resulted in a reduction of 1.8 million of each being used and thrown away. As with straws and stirrers, we are asking our teams to run down their existing stocks of these items to avoid creating any further unnecessary waste.”

Sodexo’s retail operations will also stop providing single use plastic bags and will offer customers paper or reusable bags to purchase as an alternative. Over the last few years for every carrier bag it sold, Sodexo donated to the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) to aid in the organisation’s efforts to turn the tide on plastic pollution on beaches and in the ocean. 

In addition to this, last autumn Sodexo included MCS beach clean days to its volunteering opportunities for its employees. Over 40 employees joined the MCS at four beaches across the UK collecting over 12kg of rubbish which included 3,808 small plastic pieces and 300 cotton sticks during the monitored cleans.

Waste has been an area of focus for Sodexo for a number of years and in October 2019 was awarded the best waste prevention project (non-food) at the annual waste2zero Awards.

In 2012 Sodexo launched its annual company-wide WasteLESS Week campaign to encourage its site teams to look at how much waste their site generates and what they could do to reduce this.

Each year one team is recognised for their campaign. In 2019 it was Sodexo’s Microsoft team who, working with their client, created a campaign across the client’s Europe, Middle East and Africa locations. In conjunction with the client, the team created a Sustainability Best Practice Guide structured as a calendar with each month focusing on numerous initiatives from both Sodexo and Microsoft. Each month is themed around either health and wellbeing, social responsibility, waste, water, energy or travel.

The team also devised a programme of activity to encourage people to be more aware of the impact of waste and single use plastics which included a reusable cup giveaway, a clothing swap shop, and displays illustrating reusable alternatives to common single use items. 

A competition was held for each site to create an ocean-themed display using waste generated from that site to highlight the amount and type of waste and educating people on the impact it has on the environment.  

Ana concludes: “Every year we are amazed and thrilled by the engagement from our teams for the WasteLESS Week campaign. Like the Microsoft team have done, many involve their clients in the activity, which helps to embed this positive action across the clients’ organisations, and we often see activity extending beyond the week-long campaign. Seeing initiatives born out of WasteLESS Week go on to become how we do business every day means we really are making a difference.

“As a responsible business we acknowledge that action is critical to ensure that we do as much as we can to improve the quality of life of future generations and reduce the impact our business operations have on the environment.”

Double win for Sodexo at 2020 Health & Vitality Honours #

Sodexo is celebrating two wins at the 2020 Health & Vitality Honours. Wan Mak, head of nutrition and dietetics received the Special Achievement award for her contribution to the driving the public health agenda and Sodexo’s Five Foodie Days menu for primary schools won the Public Sector category.

The Health & Vitality Honours is the platform for businesses to showcase best practice and help create a greater transparency on the social issues of health and nutrition throughout the foodservice supply chain.

Wan Mak received the Special Achievement award for her dedication and unwavering commitment to driving all aspects of nutrition, health and wellbeing for Sodexo’s clients, consumers and employees. 

Wan is a registered dietitian with over 30 years’ experience, she works closely with various government and NGOs to support the public health agenda and advises Sodexo’s leadership team and senior management on topical issues around nutrition and allergens including UK and EU adopted regulations.
Sodexo’s government schools’ team were also recognised, receiving the Public Sector honour for its Five Foodie Days menu for primary schools. Specifically designed using research among pupils in key stage 2-4 across the UK and the latest market insights, the Five Foodie Days menu offers a modern, fresh approach to school food.

Launched in October 2018 the offer was designed with each day following a different theme: planet earth, street food, world food, originals and Friday favourites. Informed by research outcomes, dishes on the new menu reflect high street trends and food favourites which link to the five foodie themes. 

Sean Haley, regional chairman, Sodexo UK & Ireland said: “What a great way to start 2020, these awards really demonstrate our commitment to ensuring our services have a positive impact on the communities we serve. I am thrilled that Wan’s hard work and dedication has been recognised, she is an important member of our team and provides us with valuable support in all areas of health and wellbeing.

“I am equally proud of our government schools’ team who have worked hard to create an offer which truly inspires school children to adopt a healthy attitude to ensuring they have a balanced diet, they have done this with Five Foodie Days which is part of our Food & Co offer for schools. 

“Congratulations to all involved.”

Quilter awards five-year IFM contract to Sodexo #

Sodexo has announced that it has been awarded a five-year IFM contract with Quilter, a leading provider of advice, investments and wealth management in the UK and internationally.

The contract which starts in March 2020 will see Sodexo deliver a range of services including food including hospitality, technical services, reception, concierge & security, cleaning, grounds maintenance, helpdesk and real estate advisory.

The contract initially covers 26 Quilter sites in the UK and Ireland and includes its London head office as well as Quilter’s hubs in Southampton and the Isle of Man. Quilter employs around 4,500 people, the majority of whom provide wealth and financial advice services to private and institutional clients.

Previously Quilter had contracts with a number of different providers. Sodexo was chosen based on its cultural alignment with Quilter which, like Sodexo, recognises that employee experience and a healthy workplace culture is essential for an organisation to thrive. 

Sodexo believes the solution to the employee experience challenge is rooted in meeting people’s needs through intelligent workplace design and offered an IFM solution which brought together all workplace services.

David Bailey, CEO corporate services, Sodexo UK & Ireland said: “We are delighted that Quilter has chosen Sodexo to be its partner to deliver a people-centred, integrated workplace experience. Our services are designed to help Quilter concentrate on its core business whilst we focus on creating an exceptional workplace experience and culture, that can support productivity and attraction and retention of top talent.”

Maxine Hulme, group director of security and property services at Quilter added: “We are continually looking to improve the way our teams work together and by bringing all the FM services under the management of one provider, this will enable us to create a workplace where our people can flourish. Sodexo demonstrated that its culture aligned with ours and we look forward to working together to help make Quilter a vibrant and exciting place to work.”

School Baking is Back: McDougalls Young Baking Team of the Year returns #

Premier Foods’ McDougalls Young Baking Team of the Year competition returns and in its sixth successful year the competition will continue its focus on building children’s confidence through cookery, working with Birmingham Mind.

Schools looking to bake their way to the top spot should recruit a team of up to three enthusiastic 7-11 year olds and register online from Monday, 6th January. The winning team will take home £1,000 worth of equipment for their school kitchen, whilst each of the four runners up will win £250 worth of equipment. The competition theme will focus on local produce, encouraging schools to source an ingredient within a 30 mile radius of their school for their McDougalls recipes – helping children learn more about where their food comes from.

Mark Taylor, customer controller at Premier Foods, comments: “The competition is the highlight of our calendar and proves such an important cause. It encourages schools and its pupils to brush up on their cookery skills and knowledge as well as highlighting the importance of sourcing local produce and learning where food comes from and how it is produced.

“Following the massive success of the inaugural session last year, Birmingham Mind, the local branch of the mental health charity, will also be hosting a mindfulness workshop ahead of the live cook off for all of the finalists, helping pupils to relax and boosting their confidence before the showdown. It’s the perfect extension of our employee-selected corporate charity partnership with Mind. Most importantly, the competition is a brilliant and fun experience for all those involved and we encourage schools to come forward to enter and take part in what is a really great day.”

Holly Charnock, School Chef at Woodlands Primary School, 2019 winner, comments: “We loved being a part of the competition and we felt so lucky to have won. The dishes the other schools created were incredible. Our team of children had so much fun making the edible Woodlands Garden and each child was responsible for a specific area of our baked masterpiece and showed off the skills they had learnt. I really saw a difference in their confidence from the beginning of the competition until the end, both in the cooking techniques used and their personalities. The Birmingham Mind workshop beforehand was a great distraction for the pupils ahead of the cook-off and taught them some amazing calming techniques which I feel really helped.

“We’ve used the winning prize money to set up a weekly cookery club and the whole school can get involved in making a weekly recipe. The cookery club has allowed us to carry on teaching our pupils where food comes from and how to put different ingredients together to create a delicious dish.”

Schools up for the baking challenge can register their interest at and will receive a McDougalls toolkit within seven days which will include product samples, an application form and recipe inspiration. Teams will be asked to create either a sweet or savoury recipe, which includes one local ingredient[1] and one McDougalls Flour Based Mix for submission.

Key Dates to remember
- Registration opens: Monday 6 January 2020 at 9am
- Registration closes: Friday 3 April 2020 at 5pm
- Recipes to be submitted by: Friday 15 May 2020 at 5pm
- Live final at LACA – The Main Event: 9 July 2020

[1] Ingredients must be sourced from within a 30 mile radius of the school’s address and can include fruit and vegetables grown, or locally made produce such as cheese or eggs

Ambrosia Light helps chefs tackle sugar consumption #

Ambrosia is introducing a first to market, 30% lower sugar and fat version[1] of its much-loved Devonshire custard in a bid to help remove over 28kg sugar per year from menus[2]. The launch will join the Ambrosia range as a PHE sugar compliant, gluten-free option for menus containing only 74g of sugar per litre.
[1] 30% less fat and sugar based on calculations versus F14669
2 Based on 1 case of 12x1kg Ambrosia light over 52 weeks of the year versus category average

[1] 30% less fat and sugar based on calculations versus F14669
[2] Based on 1 case of 12x1kg Ambrosia light over 52 weeks of the year versus category average

Marvel introduces new 2kg to aid healthcare caterers #

Premier Foodservice has developed its Marvel offering to provide healthcare caterers with a new, larger 2kg bag. The skimmed milk powder market in foodservice is worth £10m value and growing, with healthcare the biggest sector for the product due to fortification needs, so this is the perfect time for the business to create a larger pack for caterers. Marvel has the highest level of protein and Vitamin A in the market when it comes to skimmed milk powder, the perfect product for any healthcare caterer who needs to fortify food for their residents and patients.

ANGEL DELIGHT brings excitement to school menus with mousse #

Premier Foodservice is expanding its much-loved Angel Delight brand with the launch of Angel Delight Mousse. Adopting a light and fluffy recipe, the product is available in the brand’s four well-known popular flavours – Banana, Chocolate, Strawberry and Butterscotch. The launch will be joining the whip product and brings a great gluten-free addition to the school menu, allowing caterers to make up to a huge 42 portions per pack.
Angel Delight is the leading brand within foodservice with a 60% market share[1], is trusted by caterers and loved by pupils.  
Holly Marrero Easson, innovation manager, at Premier Foods, comments: “The Mousse category has grown +44% in the last year, outperforming whip at +9% over the last two years[2] and we believe Angel Delight is the brand to drive further strong growth within the education channel for mousse because of its immense popularity.  
“We’ve had great initial feedback around the delicious taste and perfect texture[3]. People also love the fact that it’s gluten-free as caterers face increasing pressure to develop menus which cater for all dietary requirements and allergens. This product provides an all-in-one solution - great taste, quick preparation which saves time and is good value for money.”
Angel Delight Mousse meets government guidelines on sugar and calories, helping school caterers to ensure they are compliant. It’s important these guidelines are met, not only for the government but also to meet the expectations of parents in the menu that their child is being offered.
The launch will be supported by a recipe book, providing inspiration to caterers alongside demonstration videos. Wholesalers will also be provided with social media kits and the product will be showcased at a number of trade shows. The product is available for purchase now, subject to availability.

[1] 52 week sales out data 2019
[2] 52 week sales out data 2019
[3] Feedback taken from focus group at LACA – The Main Event 2019

Biotiful Dairy secures new listing with Bidfood #

Biotiful Dairy, the UK’s No.1 in gut-friendly kefir drinks and snacks, announces a brand new listing with leading food service wholesaler Bidfood. From this month, Bidfood will stock two core range products; Biotiful Original Kefir and Biotiful Strawberry Kefir (250ml).

Originating from the Caucasus mountains, Kefir has been a trusted staple for over 2000 years and is famed for being rich in gut-friendly bacteria. To create their cultured milk drinks and snacks, Biotiful Dairy ferment British milk with authentic live kefir cultures. The result is a product range that is pure, refreshing and silky smooth in texture, high in protein and containing no added sugar.

Positioned as a healthy upgrade for breakfast or snack time, the kefir liquids offer a convenient and great tasting option for time poor, health conscious consumers. The drinks can be enjoyed straight from the bottle, or used as an ingredient, for example in smoothies or overnight oats.

Founder and Biotiful Dairy entrepreneur Natasha Bowes, says : “We are absolutely delighted to have secured a listing with Bidfood for two of our core range products. We’ve been sampling the products in B&I Sites and Universities across the country and have seen real appetite for the range. As a brand, we’re on a mission to upgrade dairy, making it healthier, tastier and better quality. Recent research shows that 70% of the UK population are interested in gut health*. We know that Bidfood has identified
gut health as a key trend for 2020 and are delighted to bring credible, great tasting kefir to this new audience”.

The nation’s number one Kefir brand, Biotiful Dairy was the brainchild of figure-skater turned entrepreneur, Natasha Bowes, who launched the brand in 2012 to fulfil her dream of introducing kefir to the UK. Knowing first hand all the great benefits cultured milk can bring, Natasha set up the brand to upgrade dairy with better taste and nutrition for everyone, every day.

* Global Date Q3 report

Compass Group UK & Ireland announced as lead partner of Hospitality Action’s workplace mental wellness programme #

Compass Group UK & Ireland has joined forces with Hospitality Action (HA) to support the industry charity’s major new mental health awareness programme.
Blue Monday is widely recognised as the saddest day of the year, when post-festive season finances are at their worst and many new year’s resolutions have fallen by the wayside. Hospitality Action and Compass are working together to make sure that from Blue Monday onwards the rest of 2020 looks brighter by calling upon the whole industry to have a year-long focus on protecting the mental health of its workers.
Their programme which launched on Blue Monday, aims to dispel the stigma attached to mental health problems around the hospitality industry and to provide support to those who need it by equipping operators with the knowledge, resources and tools they need to safeguard against situations that could result in a mental health crisis.
The campaign page can be found at:
Hospitality can be a challenging industry in which to work, with many factors such as long hours and the adrenaline of service contributing to increased stress levels. HA research in 2018 found that:
- Four out of five hospitality workers find their job stressful some or most of time.
- Half describe their job as stressful most or all of time.
- Four out of five believe stress levels have increased in the past three years.
- Over half (56%) do not make employers aware of mental health problems.
- Meanwhile, suicide - already the single biggest killer of men under 45 in UK – has a disproportionate prevalence in the hospitality sector. 

Hospitality Action’s CEO Mark Lewis said: “In the last two years, HA has seen a marked increase in cases involving a mental health problem, and sadly we have seen the aftermath of far too many suicides – particularly those of young men. Mental health problems and self-harm are currently a major problem in businesses across the UK. We want to act quickly to provide practical, simple information and tools that are easy to implement and can help break the taboos that surround talking about our mental health. By having Compass, Pladis & The Savoy Educational Trust onboard, we are able to raise the bar further and we hope to reach many more people with our message.”
Robin Mills, managing director, Compass Group UK & Ireland added: “We work in a brilliant industry which provides fantastic opportunities, but we mustn’t shy away from the fact that it can also be challenging. That’s why programmes like the one HA are launching today are so vitally important and I’m thrilled that Compass is joining forces with Hospitality Action to help drive it forward.
“As a large employer I believe we can make a positive difference in helping our people as well as our colleagues across the industry in managing their mental health. By raising awareness of this issue and providing access to information, I hope it will encourage people to seek help when they need it - the more that can be done to enable people to speak up and get support, the better.”
HA’s mental health programme will offer practical solutions in print, online and in person to help employees, colleagues and managers to identify and respond to mental health issues, including:
- Industry awareness campaign to normalise conversations mental health.
- Helpsheets and courses to equip managers with the skills to engage in conversations about mental health problems and suicidal thoughts.
- Instructional videos.
- Educational posters.
- Best practice exemplars and case studies. 
- On-site mental health and suicide-risk awareness training.
- On-site ‘Mental Health Champion’ training.
- Specific awareness programme aimed at reducing male suicides. 

Thanks to the generous support of Compass, Pladis parent company of McVitie’s and Jacob’s and existing partner, The Savoy Educational Trust, HA plans to provide more resources to operators and to widen the reach of the campaign via advertising & campaigning.  Compass will also be able to provide insight and experience into the ongoing development of the campaign.
Compass will also be championing the campaign amongst its own workforce. The business will create a network of Mental Health Ambassadors to ensure it’s embedded at every level of the organisation.  Compass will also be raising awareness for its employees and line managers about how HA can support. Line managers will be encouraged to include mental health into regular team talks, undertake training sessions and understand how to signpost the support too.
On January 21st the first steering group meeting took place when senior figures from across the industry and experts from Hospitality Action met to discuss the issues and develop tools that will help the industry tackle the issues causing workers’ mental health to suffer.

Drench refreshes pack designs and unveils fruity new names for core flavours #

Drench is highlighting its great taste and flavours more prominently as part of a refreshed pack design. The updated look also includes new, simplified flavour names – Mandarin and Lemon is now called Citrus, Peach and Mango becomes Tropical and Pear and Blueberry is grouped as Berry. Taste is the number one reason for choosing a soft drink[1] and the updated packs have simple and clear descriptions and vibrant designs that make it easy for people to identify their favourite on-shelf.   
The refreshed packs will also highlight that Drench - currently worth over £9m in Foodservice[2] - is free of artificial preservatives, flavours and colours.
The juice drinks segment represents 8.3% of total soft drink sales, with a market value of £606.2m[2].

The Drench range is available now in a 500ml bottle format.

[1] Kantar Worldpanel, GB Usage, Juice Drinks MAT to Aug 19
[2] CGA, Total Foodservice, Value Sales MAT TY to 30.09.19

Britvic joins consortium to tackle plastic waste #

Building on Britvic’s existing work to protect the environment, the company has joined forces with other global businesses to promote a ground-breaking recycling technology that will help bring about a circular economy for plastics.

The new technology is called BP Infinia and means opaque and difficult to recycle PET plastic waste can be made into new plastic again and again, with no loss in quality. The new cross-industry consortium announced today will work together to make BP Infinia mainstream.

BP Infinia has the potential to revolutionise the plastic packaging industry and prevent millions of tonnes of plastic from entering landfill. BP is already investing $25 million in the technology and, as part of the consortium pushing for the technology’s adoption, Britvic will contribute to the creation of a practical business model to ensure its successful adoption.

Trystan Farnworth, director of sustainability at Britvic, said, “To truly reinvent Britvic’s packaging, we must innovate with new low-impact packaging. This consortium is a cornerstone to delivering that pledge.

“A challenge in creating a truly circular economy for PET is the fact that, as it stands, it is not infinitely recyclable. We have to solve this to become truly circular – it is not an option.

“That’s why we are excited to announce our active role in the consortium, collaborating to achieve a circularity breakthrough for the benefit of all our stakeholders.”

Britvic will be teaming up with companies operating across the polyester packaging value chain to address the problem of plastic waste head on and is delighted to be joining forces with packaging and recycling specialist ALPLA; consumer goods producers Danone and Unilever; waste management and recycling specialist REMONDIS; and energy and petrochemicals producer BP.

As a leading soft drinks supplier, Britvic wants to help find solutions to ensure that no plastic packaging becomes waste and has already taken a number of steps to reduce the impact of its own packaging.

Since 2017, it has removed more than 1,500 tonnes of plastic from its supply chain; 100% of its plastic bottles, glass bottles and cans are recyclable; and the company is a founding signatory of The UK Plastics Pact.

Last month Britvic entered into a long-term agreement with Esterform, one of the UK’s leading producers of recycled PET (rPET), investing £5m into the construction of new recycled plastic facilities in the UK. This deal with Esterform secures Britvic’s access to locally sourced rPET long into the future. 
Britvic is committed to working collaboratively to reduce its impact and, earlier this year, signed up to science-based targets, joining more than 310 companies worldwide that are committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a large scale. Britvic now has independently verified company-wide emissions targets in line with climate science to help prevent global temperatures from rising more than 1.5°C and is the first UK soft drinks company to do so.
Britvic’s active involvement in the Infinia consortium is just part of its efforts to ensure that it is a responsible and sustainable business and it looks forward to sharing its knowledge and expertise to help further protect the environment that it relies on as a business.

Nestlé creates market for food-grade recycled plastics, launches fund to boost packaging innovation #

Nestlé announced that it will invest up to CHF 2 billion to lead the shift from virgin plastics to food-grade recycled plastics and to accelerate the development of innovative sustainable packaging solutions.

Building on its 2018 commitment to make 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025, Nestlé will reduce its use of virgin plastics by one third in the same period whilst working with others to advance the circular economy and endeavor to clean up plastic waste from oceans, lakes and rivers.

Food quality and safety are paramount, and packaging plays a major role in assuring this. Most plastics are difficult to recycle for food packaging, leading to a limited supply of food-grade recycled plastics. To create a market, Nestlé is therefore committed to sourcing up to 2 million metric tons of food-grade recycled plastics and allocating more than CHF 1.5 billion to pay a premium for these materials between now and 2025. Nestlé will seek operational efficiencies to keep this initiative earnings neutral.

Packaging innovation, including new materials, refill systems and recycling solutions, is another key challenge on the path towards a waste-free future. In addition to its significant inhouse research through the Nestlé Institute of Packaging Sciences, the company will launch a CHF 250 million sustainable packaging venture fund to invest in start-up companies that focus on these areas.

These two initiatives come in addition to Nestlé’s major ongoing efforts in research, sourcing and manufacturing to make its packaging recyclable or reusable and contribute to its goal to achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. As part of the company’s packaging commitment and to increase transparency, Nestlé will continue to outline further initiatives and provide regular progress updates.

“No plastic should end up in landfill or as litter,” said Mark Schneider, CEO of Nestlé. “Making recycled plastics safe for food is an enormous challenge for our industry. That is why in addition to minimizing plastics use and collecting waste, we want to close the loop and make more plastics infinitely recyclable. We are taking bold steps to create a wider market for food-grade recycled plastics and boost innovation in the packaging industry. We welcome others to join us on this journey.”

"We are pleased to see Nestlé commit a CHF 2 billion investment toward creating a circular economy for plastics, alongside a reduction of its use of virgin plastic in packaging by one third by 2025. By eliminating the plastics we don’t need, innovating in areas like reuse models and new materials, and circulating the plastics we do need – also in more challenging food grade applications – we can create an economy where plastic never becomes waste. Achieving the commitments announced today will significantly contribute towards realizing this vision,” said Andrew Morlet, CEO, Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Registration is now open for Hotel, Restaurant & Catering (HRC) 2020 #

Registration is now open for Hotel, Restaurant & Catering (HRC), the UK’s largest and most prestigious event for the hospitality and foodservice industry, taking place at ExCeL London from 3-5 March 2020.
With four shows in one, HRC (formerly Hotelympia) is the definitive event for all sectors of the hospitality and foodservice industry. Plan your visit now, taking in The Foodservice Show, The Professional Kitchen Show, the Interiors and Tabletop Show plus the Hospitality Tech Show for three days of unrivalled sourcing and networking opportunities. HRC (formerly Hotelympia) will welcome 600 suppliers, showcasing ground-breaking products from big brands to innovative start-ups in catering equipment, food, drink, technology, interior design and tabletop solutions.
To cater to the industries thirst for knowledge, HRC will tackle key topics including sustainability, staff retention, health & wellbeing, alternative revenue streams, restaurant design, branding and the great British drinks movement. This will be delivered through 80+ free-to-attend talks and workshops, live cooking demonstrations, food & drink tastings and trend trails. And once again, HRC will host the UK’s most prestigious chef competition – International Salon Culinaire, comprising of 1000 chefs competing across four categories – Live Theatre, Skills Theatre, Sugar Craft and Salon Display.      
Ronda Annesley, event manager for HRC states “Our purpose is to deliver an outstanding event that educates and showcases the latest innovations for foodservice and hospitality professionals. We have worked tirelessly to understand the solutions to the industry’s challenges, and HRC is determined to provide the answers to help businesses make better decisions for the year ahead.”
HRC will welcome 21,000 hospitality and foodservice professionals across three days. Ensure it’s in your diary now by registering your attendance at

Shining a light on the future of the hospitality industry: Speaker programme announced for Hotel, Restaurant & Catering (HRC) 2020 #

Hotel, Restaurant & Catering (HRC) 2020 has launched its full programme of inspirational seminars and sessions, now available to book.
Guests are encouraged to join the broad ranging schedule of talks, presentations, panel discussions and chef demonstrations, covering everything from sustainability, food and drink trends, health and wellbeing to technology, branding and design, all brought to life in topical debates from some of the industries leading restaurateurs, hoteliers, caterers, designers and leading figures in their sector.  
Aptly named, the Vision Stage is where you can learn all about the latest trends and pressing issues affecting the food, drink and hospitality industries. Leading industry speakers and influencers will be leading the conversations with lively discussions and interviews. These dedicated sessions will tackle topics from the perspective of hoteliers, restaurateurs and catering professionals, all with a common theme covering foodservice and hospitality throughout. Visitors will leave the sessions feeling inspired to implement new changes to drive their businesses forward for 2020 and beyond.
Sessions on the Vision Stage include:
- What a Waste: The Secrets of the UK’s Zero Waste Pioneers - Adam Handling, Adam Handling Restaurant Group; Douglas McMaster, Silo; Andrew Stephen, The Sustainable Restaurant Association
- Stars in their Eyes - Let’s Talk Michelin - Tom Kerridge, The Hand and Flowers; Claude Bosi, Claude Bosi at Bibendum; Mark Froydenlund and Shauna Froydenlund, Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley; Paul Foster, Salt; Cara Houchen, The Staff Canteen
- “Future Food” – Bringing Trends to the Table. A collaboration by The Food People & Good Sense Research – Charles Bank, The Food People; Kelly Dowson, Good Sense Research
- Branding & Marketing Masterclass 2020 – James Hacon, Think Hospitality
- Leadershop Panel – A Discussion with the UK’s Leading Caterers - Bill Toner, CH&CO; Wendy Bartlett, Bartlett Mitchell; Kevin Watson, Amadeus Food; Greg Lawson, Smart Group; Mark Laurie, NCASS 

Also, with the results in, don’t miss the discussion around what can we learn from the UK's Largest Hospitality Salary Survey with Brett Smith, Planday; Jill Whittaker FCA, HIT Training; Jon Dawson, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park London and One Hyde Park Residence and Dawn Redman, Hospitality Jobs UK. 
Moving to Sustainable Hospitality 2020: Food Made Good with the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) will take place on Wednesday 4 March and will include a mix of talks and workshops in the 7-9 South Gallery Rooms. You will be welcomed by Raymond Blanc, Chef Patron at Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons, The SRA and WRAP UK with educational sessions including, how to increase local sourcing, improved plant based menu offerings, how to tackle food waste, improve your recycling and how to reduce unnecessary plastics - they will give a clear picture on 10 key areas of sustainability for your business, along with helpful tools & tips on implementing this.
Taking centre stage on The Staff Canteen Live will be an impressive line up of personalities, from kitchens the length and breadth of the UK. Take your pick from up and coming talent to household names including, Tom Kerridge of The Hand and Flowers, Tom De Keyser of The Coach, Jason Atherton of The Social Company, Simon Hulstone of The Elephant, Angela Hartnett of Murano, Phil Howard and Toby Burrowes of Elystan Street, Sandia Chang of Bubbledogs and James Knappett of Kitchen Table, Sally Abé of Harwood Arms and one of Britain’s most loved chefs, Michel Roux Jr.
Experts and innovators take to the TechX stage for impactful TED-style talks to showcase the new digital products and trailblazing technologies available to improve your hospitality business. From AI and automation, to biometrics and virtual concierges, this A-Z of opportunity is sure to leave you inspired.
Sessions on the TechX Stage include:
- Personalisation is Key - Nick Popovici, Vita Mojo
- Central Connectivity – Carl Jacobs, Apicbase
- An Instagram Stories Masterclass – Sarah Clay, Sarah Clay Social
- Tech for Good: Pathways to Sustainability – Ali Miller, KoolZone Ltd 

Keterina Albanese, HRC content director commented, “We will welcome a variety of industry leaders to contribute at this year’s show. This gathering of inspirational speakers will share their insights and advice on a range of topics: F&B Trends, Sustainability, Marketing & Branding, Staff and most importantly the future of the hospitality industry. All will be discussed, whilst provoking and questioning the part we all play in protecting, nurturing and thriving in this exciting industry”.
To view the full programme and book your sessions please visit

Now is the time to make your business sustainable #

For the first time, HRC will host Sustainable Hospitality 2020: Food Made Good with the Sustainable Restaurant Association which takes place on Wednesday 4 March 2020 in the South Gallery Rooms 7 - 9 of ExCeL London.

Sustainability is one of the most important issues facing not just the hospitality industry, but the world. With its heavy impact on the environment and consumers’ desire for climate solutions, there’s never been a greater sense of urgency for action. However, the practical aspects of achieving sustainability in hospitality can be complex, hence the very real need for this new aspect of the show.

The Sustainable Restaurant Association have partnered with WRAP - key associations and resource efficiency experts - to offer a series of practical masterclasses and workshops filled with quick and easy suggestions, aimed at inspiring and informing operators, so they can take the essential practical steps to minimise their impact on the planet and maximise their sustainability. 

Raymond Blanc OBE, President of the Sustainable Restaurant Association, said: "2020 presents hospitality with a unique chance to really grasp the opportunities offered by a shift towards a more sustainable model. Embrace positive change and customers will reward you. Stand still and you risk the health the planet, your business and potentially your customers. Sustainable Hospitality 2020 is a wonderful place for those involved in foodservice to come and be inspired to join the movement to make our great industry environmentally restorative and socially progressive, guaranteeing a better food future for all.” 

Guests will be treated to practical, solutions-focused sessions covering topics including:
- How to tackle food waste 
- Increasing local sourcing
- Taking the carbon out of your menus without removing the flavour
- How sustainability and staff retention go hand in hand
- Improving your recycling and reducing unnecessary plastics 

To find out more and to register to attend please visit Places are limited and come on a first come, first served basis.

‘Childhood obesity: a plan for action’ #

EMW's Daisy Divoka discusses reduced sugar labelling:

In August 2016, government set out its approach to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity in ‘Childhood obesity: a plan for action’.

All sectors of the food and drinks industry have been challenged to reduce overall sugar across a range of products that contribute most to children’s sugar intakes by at least 20% by 2020, with Public Health England leading a sugar reduction and wider reformulation programme.

In the wake of this, food manufacturers have been looking to reformulate many of their products to reduce their sugar content and are keen to communicate this to consumers with the use of “reduced sugar” labelling.

Claims on food packaging are regulated by Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006, also known as the EU Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation (NHCR), which sets out strict rules on claims of “low sugar”, “sugar-free” and “no added sugar”.

The rules around sugar labelling

The following rules apply to the following labels (including any claim likely to have the same meaning to the consumer):

Low sugar - Product contains no more than 5g of sugars per 100g for solids or 2.5g of sugars per 100ml for liquids.

Sugar free - Product contains no more than 0.5g of sugars per 100g or 100ml.

With no added sugar - Product does not contain any added mono- or disaccharides or any other food used for its sweetening properties. If sugars are naturally present in the food, the following indication should also appear on the label: 'CONTAINS NATURALLY OCCURRING SUGARS'.

Reduced sugar - Reduction in content is at least 30% compared to a similar product.

Light/lite - Same conditions as those set for the term ‘reduced’; the claim shall also be accompanied by an indication of the characteristics which make the food 'light' or 'lite'. It is worth noting the claim 'extra light', or claims likely to have the same meaning to the consumer, can no longer be used. 

The UK’s interpretation on reduced sugar labelling

The Department of Health has stated that the comparison in reduced sugar claims must be between the product bearing the claim and a range of other products from the same category i.e. foods belonging to a group of foods that are similar in terms of nutritional content and which take into account the occasion of consumption, the purpose of consumption and the consumption alternatives.

In some cases it may be possible to compare with only one product, provided that that one product is representative of other products on the market. For example to make a reduced sugar claim on lemonade, the comparison could be with the full sugar version of the product range, provided the full sugar version has similar sugar levels to comparable lemonades on the market.

The reduced sugar claim must state the difference in the quantity of the nutrient and/or energy (calorific value) between the same quantities of the two foods. This difference can be expressed as an average and as either a percentage or an absolute value.

The difficulties

Two notable difficulties are that:

1. The food manufacturer must prove that the product in question has 30% less sugar than a comparable product, which can be technically very challenging for certain types of food; and

2. Public Health England’s reformulation is an industry-wide initiative, so it is likely that a competitor’s products are also being reformulated. This can make it difficult to find a product on the market which contains sufficient sugar to enable the use of a “reduced” or “light” claim.

Food and Drink Sector - 2019 Summary #

EMW reviews what 2019 held for the team

The food and drink sector is an important part of what we do here at EMW.  All of our teams worked hard over the past year to ensure our clients’ needs were met.

Whilst many of the matters we deal with are confidential, take a look at a few of the matters that kept our teams occupied over the last year in the food and drink sector.

Our commercial contracts team have significant involvement in this sector with many longstanding clients who return to us time and time again for help in their industry. For example, over the last year the team have helped our clients with the following:

- assisting one of the largest food and drink sector wholesalers in the UK with their terms and conditions and drafted a supply of services agreement to assist as a template for the client to use going forward;

- assisting a merchandising company with its contract negotiations with a multi-national coffee producer;

- assisting a frozen foods business by negotiating an agreement for the supply of food products and stock management services with a major discount chain;

-  providing advice to a regional brewery on contractual issues it had with a national drinks wholesaler;

- providing one of the largest food wholesalers in the UK with contract advice, public and private sector tender reviews and competition law advice; and

- producing standard template supply agreements for a major poultry business.

Our corporate team have a wealth of experience in this sector and are known for their efficient and commercial approach. Over the last year we have assisted our clients with some of the following:

- acting for both franchisors and franchisees, some of which own portfolios of franchise businesses. The services we provided ranged from preparation of franchise agreements, review of franchise agreements, exit planning and advising on the sale or purchase of existing franchise businesses or portfolios;

- providing food regulatory advice to an international luxury fashion brand in anticipation of a food initiative launch from one of their London stores; and

- acting for an artisan food producer in a share sale worth approximately £10million. This complex transaction involved the provision of security for deferred payments as well as inter-creditor deeds.

Our real estate team acted for the tenant of a new lease of a retail unit in London which sells artisan teas, provides ITEI Master Tea Sommelier courses and which has both an international presence and within various hotel, spa and department store locations in the UK.

Our dispute resolution team acted for one of our clients in connection with responding to investigations being undertaken by the Food Standards Agency.

As you can see from the snapshot above, 2019 has been a busy year for our teams.  We believe 2020 will provide even greater opportunities for businesses operating in the food and drink sector and we are looking forward to working alongside our clients to help and to support them to realise their ambitions.

Elior relaunches The Big Idea forum scoping out new supplier innovations #

Elior UK has relaunched The Big Idea, a Dragons’ Den-style forum event supporting food and drink suppliers of any size. An innovative sourcing strategy, it allows Elior to scout out suppliers who may have otherwise been under its radar. Applicants chosen by the panel of judges will then work with Elior to bring leading ideas into its sites across B&I, education, sports and stadia and care.

At the end of last year, suppliers submitted their ideas at, complete with relevant nutritional, safety, implementation and market data information. Successful applicants then presented their ideas at the forum to a judging panel of key Elior stakeholders from across the business. This process enables them to see their options firsthand, choosing the suppliers that suit their clients’ needs.

Drinkable breakfast snack C'go®, high-end chocolate start-up Conscious Chocolate, alcohol-free beer Free Star and school compliant energy drink ipro particularly impressed stakeholders.

Peter Joyner, food development director at Elior UK, said: “At Elior, we’re big supporters of new innovations and growing businesses. We created The Big Idea to make it easier for these suppliers to approach our business – especially those unknown to us - and give them the opportunity to present their ideas to a group of our most experienced operators.

“At Elior, we value the opportunity to work with creative suppliers on market leading ideas and products that will enhance our business. Thanks to The Big Idea, our sites are always stocked with new, innovative products which really hit the spot with customers.”

The Big Idea has been well received across Elior sites and continues to provide various business benefits. To learn more about the initiative, visit

Elior UK picks up Gold award for Best Customer Experience Programme in the Training Journal Awards #

Elior UK’s care subsidiary, Caterplus, has been awarded Gold for the Best Customer Experience Programme in the Training Journal Awards, for its Dining with Dignity programme.

More than 1 in 5 over 55s suffer from dysphagia (swallowing difficulties), and in April 2018, the International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative targeted the majority of UK care homes to change their texture modified food standards to meet set descriptors.

As a leading catering provider in the care sector, Elior designed the Dining with Dignity programme in partnership with Premier Foods, offering a fresh approach to texture modified food. The innovative menu makes texture modified food appetising, helping people enjoy their food with dignity, eat it safely and live a better quality of life.

To achieve this, Elior’s care catering staff across their sites need the right knowledge and training. A champion for employee support, Elior equipped Caterplus staff with classroom learning such as practical workshops introducing IDDSI requirements to chefs, eLearning resources, two-day ‘train the trainer’ workshops for more senior chefs, as well as support from Elior’s Safety and Wellbeing Team. A team from Premier Foods led by Mark Taylor played an integral part in the technical training, contributing expertise and knowledge in assisting with the development of content and materials for training initiatives. As a result, 100% of Caterplus employees have completed IDDSI training.

Matt Jennings, learning & development business partner at Elior UK said: “We’re thrilled to have picked up Gold for the Best Customer Experience Programme – a lot of dedication and innovation has gone into Dining with Dignity. With care sites across the UK, our comprehensive programme ensures all care employees have the knowledge to meet best practice standards.
“At Elior, the customer experience is at the heart of what we do, and we’re proud that Dining with Dignity is improving the lives of residents in their twilight years.”

To learn more about Caterplus and its approach to texture modified food, visit

Elior partners with Dynamify mobile application to deliver a better customer experience #

Elior UK has partnered with mobile ordering platform Dynamify to help improve its catering operations for the digital age – eliminating queues and accepting cashless payments.

The application enables busy consumers to purchase food more conveniently through mobile order-ahead and self-scan functionality. It will be deployed across different Elior sites throughout 2020 — from offices and universities to hospitals.

Payment is handled automatically through the app, along with paperless receipts, loyalty cards, and promotions. Users can view menu information, including allergens and nutritional content, and its machine learning technology makes personalised food recommendations and offers bespoke Elior promotions. The app also supports Elior’s mission to minimise food waste. After lunch, users can order surplus-food boxes at discount prices for collection at the end of the day.

Catherine Roe, CEO of Elior UK, said: “At Elior, customer experience is at the heart of everything we do, and the Dynamify app is the next step to create an even better customer journey. It’s instrumental to Elior’s digital transformation, allowing us to offer convenience and personalisation to our tech-savvy customers. We chose Dynamify because it has  some of the most sophisticated and comprehensive technology on the market and is easy for consumers and our employees to use.”

Maxwell Harding, founder & CEO of Dynamify, said: “We’re excited to collaborate with one of the UK’s leading contract caterers. Users of apps powered by Dynamify typically reduce their wait at the checkout by 95% and spend more given the ease of ordering, paying, and earning rewards in the tap of a button – which will revolutionise the buying experience at Elior-managed sites. We look forward to providing more catering clients with an easy, quick, and affordable route into the booming digital ordering market, while continuing to delight users with the ultimate in convenience and personalisation.”

Dynamify’s technology will provide Elior employees with useful insight into customer behaviour, such as each customer’s lifetime value, which can be leveraged for targeted marketing. The platform, which is fully integrated with Elior’s systems, also features back-office management tools including data entry, inventory management, and customer support.

Keith Warren becomes Chief Executive of CESA #

Standout appointment is part of restructure in run up to switch to FEA
Keith Warren has been appointed chief executive of CESA, the Catering Equipment Suppliers Association. He has been director of the Association for 18 years and the change is part of the restructuring as CESA prepares to transform into the Foodservice Equipment Association, the FEA, on 1 March 2020. 
“With the Association’s new structure, such as the product group forums and the enlarged secretariat, the board felt that we needed to ensure that the terminology accurately reflected our roles,” says Warren. “The structure gives us better access to the wealth of knowledge and expertise we have as an Association, and increased bandwidth in terms of how we communicate with and influence our members and our wider audience – including government and the foodservice industry as a whole.” 
Working alongside Warren in the Association’s secretariat are Jocelyn Carr, membership and events manager, and Adam Lawrence, marketing manager. Their work is underpinned and supported by Sarah-Jane Campbell whose is the administration executive. 
CESA is based in London’s Docklands, sharing offices with BEAMA, representing the UK electrical technical industry, BESA, the Building Engineering Services Association, GAMBICA, representing instrumentation, controls and automation suppliers, the ECA, Electrical Contractors Association, and EDA, the Electrical Distributors Association. “There are significant synergies between this influential group of associations, so working in the same building has clear benefits to all,” says Warren.   

HRC Trend Trails: find the solution to YOUR problem #

PLUS: big changes as CESA becomes FEA - the Foodservice Equipment Association

Stand P621, HRC Show, ExCeL London, 3-5 March 2020
What’s the biggest pain in a foodservice operator’s business? Sustainability? Staff retention? Food safety? Cost control? Whatever it is, the CESA Trend Trails at HRC 2020 offer an answer. The trails have been constructed to show how specific equipment can provide solutions for these pains. For example, technologically advanced dishwashers can reduce water, energy and chemical consumption, reducing costs and enhancing sustainability credentials. 
Visitors can pick up their Trend Trails map from the CESA stand, P621. Each trail will lead the visitor to a variety of companies whose equipment can help with a specific pain. The trials cover six broad areas, sustainability, cost management, operational, staff, customer focus and food. Each area is subdivided – for example, ‘Food’ has two trails, one covering food safety and the other food and flavour trends. 
A focus on the CESA stand itself will be the major changes that are occurring as the industry’s leading trade association changes its name. From March 2020 CESA becomes the Foodservice Equipment Association, or FEA. Members of the FEA secretariat will be on the stand to explain the new structure of the Association. This includes sector-dedicated committees, which are tasked, amongst other things, with driving their area and informing the market about new developments. There are 14 committees covering areas such as refrigeration, beverage systems and service and spares.
“The new name more accurately reflects our membership,” says John Whitehouse, chair of FEA. “While our core members are manufacturers, we also represent service companies, distributors, designers and consultants. The name underlines our position as the authoritative voice of the foodservice equipment industry.” 
“FEA will continue CESA’s wide ranging work, from bringing together people and issues to influencing policy regulators.”  

Conquering Kinder Scout for the hospitality industry #

FEA urges industry to walk together to raise money for Hospitality Action – and promises chocolate
The Commercial Catering Equipment Charity Walking Group are re-uniting to walk up Kinder Scout, in the Peak District. This is the follow up to their previous challenge, which saw them conquer Blencathra in the Lake District in September 2019.

The team is led by James Connolly of Celltherm Coldrooms and Nick Archer of Archer Catering Services. Once again they will be raising funds for Hospitality Action, which supports members of the hospitality Industry who have fallen on hard times. The team will head up Kinder Scout in the Peak District on Friday the 21st February 2020, leaving Edale Village at 9:30am after a bacon sandwich and a hot drink.

The last walk in the Lake District was a great success and Keith Warren, the chief executive of FEA, the Foodservice Equipment Association (formerly CESA), has given the latest event his organisation’s full support. "I am delighted with this initiative that is focussing on our industry's mental health and wellbeing. FEA will be actively encouraging our members to get involved. In fact I'll be popping along myself in February, having enjoyed last year’s walk - I’ll also bring supplies of chocolate!"

The Kinder Scout walk will re-enact the Mass Trespass back in 1932. This walk was the initial act of defiance against aristocratic landowners which helped to open up swathes of wild land to walkers, ramblers and the general public without fear of prosecution.

“The walk is about 8 ½ miles and will be over 2,200 feet high. It should take us about 4-5 hours, but there is no time limit and the team welcome walkers of all ages and abilities,” says Nick Archer. “We wait for everyone and there’s no rush, but please come prepared!”

Nick points out that holding the walk on a Friday, and staying overnight in Glossop afterwards, lets bosses give their staff a day off to attend the walk, or even organise their own team building day within this event.

Previous walks have drawn wide ranging attendance from not just manufacturers but also kitchen houses, distributors and foodservice consultants. Offers of support have been pledged from Celltherm Coldrooms, Falcon Foodservice, Archers Catering Systems, Blue Seal, FEA and Essential Supplies to name but a few.

“These walks are about improving the health and wellbeing of our industry,” says James Connolly. There’s no mandatory fee and no commitment to raise funds, but the team are asking for donations via their fundraising page here:

Anyone wanting to join the group are asked to email James or Nick on or for further information. The group have also started a LinkedIn page for those wishing to keep in touch with future challenges and events. Click on this link to visit he page and request to join:

FEA sets out to clarify water regulation confusion #

Providing regulations are met, appliances do NOT have to be WRAS-certified
FEA (formerly CESA) has warned about confusion in the foodservice equipment industry concerning the regulations covering connecting appliances to the mains water supply.  While it’s true that they have to meet certain regulations, it’s not true that appliances have to be WRAS-certified before they can be connected to the mains. 
“It’s not uncommon for water inspectors to say, ‘if it’s not WRAS approved it cannot be connected’ – and that simply is not the case,” says Nick Oryino, chair of FEA’s technical liaison forum.  “Providing the operator or supplier can show that the appliance and its connections meet the relevant regulations, then the system is legal, whether or not it is WRAS-approved.”  
The various Water Fittings regulations that have to be met are The Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999; The Water Supply (Water Fittings) (Scotland) Byelaws 2014; and The Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2009.  “Compliance with the regulations is absolutely vital,” says Oryino.  “If there is a danger to public health from the installation, or a product does not meet the requirements of the Water Fittings regulations, then the responsibility lies with the site owner of the premises where the equipment is in use.”
Obviously getting third party accreditation, such as WRAS approval or NSF Reg 4 scheme certification, is a good thing in terms of demonstrating compliance.  “However, sometimes the issue of WRAS approval can be exacerbated by the time the process of getting certification takes,” says Oryino.  “That’s another reason why FEA has decided it’s time to clarify the facts, so that foodservice operators and equipment suppliers aren’t wasting time and effort unnecessarily.” 

North West Young Chef calling on the passionate cooks of tomorrow #

As the new year dawns, 2020’s hunt for North West Young Chef of the Year has begun in earnest – with the prestigious competition, now in its 20th year, searching out passionate and talented kitchen stars.
Held in association with Essential Cuisine, Sous Vide Tools, CHR Equipment and new sponsor hospitality training provider CPL Online, the competition has, for the first time, moved its age limit up to 25, helping attract an even more diverse pool of chefs from across Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside, Cheshire, Cumbria and Shropshire.
The format challenges chefs to produce a three-course meal for two featuring local and seasonal produce, on a budget of £25, against the clock. 
Comprising two semi-finals, held at Blackpool and the Fylde College (Wednesday 25 March) and Warrington College (Wednesday 1 April). Two skilled chefs – one winner, one runner-up and two wildcards chosen at judges’ discretion – from each semi will then be sent through to compete in a nail-biting finale, held on Wednesday 13 May at Cheshire College South & West – Ellesmere Port Campus.
From there, one outright winner will receive the coveted title, plus a tantalising seed into the semi-finals of the Young National Chef of the Year, £500 in cash and an Essential Cuisine product bundle worth £150.
Competition founder, Brian Mellor, who also chairs the judging panel, is keen that it continues to uncover hidden gems just waiting for their moment to shine.
“North west England is a hotbed of talent and we have been privileged to witness some of the very brightest young stars come through this competition, only to see them catapulted onto great things in its wake. With every passing year the levels of skill and innovation on show have been something to behold. We can’t wait to see what 2020 has to offer.”
Young chefs can enter today by visiting:

Essential Cuisine proud to lend its name to pioneering brigade as they gear up for greatest challenge #

This February (14-19), a pioneering chef team comprised solely of people with disabilities will vie for medals at the 2020 IKA Culinary Olympics in Germany – the first team of its type to ever compete at the showcase.

The brigade will do so wearing whites emblazoned with the Essential Cuisine logo; the company is lead sponsor of The Culinary Ability Awards – the not-for-profit organisation that has brought the team together to compete – with the Cheshire based stocks and sauces supplier now calling on the industry to cheer the brigade on as it cooks for coveted silverware. 

Comprising participants from Ireland, Scotland, Italy, and Germany the team – cooking a menu reflective of their various cultures – will be competing against able bodied participants in the ‘community kitchen’ category, preparing 120 portions of a 3-course-menu against the clock.
Culinary Ability Awards founder and chef, Chris Sandford, says: “We’re massively grateful to the guys and girls at Essential Cuisine for helping us get to this historic point. The Culinary Ability Awards don’t receive any public funding and we have had to bankroll the large part of this venture, save for donations from benevolent industry friends and the overwhelming support of Essential Cuisine. It’s massively appreciated and allows us to get down to doing what we love and what we’ve trained for – competitive cooking.”

In the past decade, Essential Cuisine has donated consistently to the Culinary Ability Awards, Senior Business Development Chef at Essential Cuisine, Jonathan Harvey-Barnes, comments: “The Culinary Ability Awards are an incredible, inspirational setup – an organisation that we’ve supported for a decade or more.

“We’re extremely proud that this team will be wearing whites adorned with the Essential Cuisine logo as they do battle for the very first time at the Culinary Olympics. I urge chefs, suppliers, manufacturers, operators – anyone with a vested interest in the food industry – to get behind them, cheer them on and donate as much as they can so they can keep training people with disabilities to make a difference in professional kitchens. We’re with them every step of the way.”

Companies wishing to get involved and support can donate direct to the Culinary Ability Awards here:

Essential Cuisine to debut new range of street-food inspired seasoning at HRC 2020 #

Essential Cuisine, the chef-led stocks and sauces company, is set to launch six new street-food inspired seasonings on Stand F730 at the forthcoming Hotel, Restaurant and Catering show (HRC), under a bold new sub-brand ‘Street Food Chef’.
In a distinct departure from its classically-inspired range, the new seasonings take inspiration from global street-food trends, allowing chefs to unleash their creativity and offer diners a taste of the most popular flavours from around the world. 
Chefs can choose from Dark Mexican, Zesty Chermoula, South Indian, American BBQ, Spicy Persian and even a Peanut-Free Satay.
The seasonings, which are all vegan-friendly and free-from declarable allergens can be added at any stage of the cooking process, giving chefs unlimited scope to add flavour, meet ever-increasing dietary requirements and most importantly, create fantastic-tasting dishes. 
Chris Dickinson, innovation development chef, Essential Cuisine comments: “Developing a new range of street-food seasonings was the natural step for us as a company always looking for ways to help brigades bring the latest trends into their kitchens. Whether it’s transporting diners to the bustling souks of North Africa, the fragrant kitchens of southern India or the smoky air of the American deep south, these seasonings allow chefs to get creative and add a point of difference to their menus.
“We’ve drawn on standout flavours from international cuisine to shape the range and we’ll be showcasing all six seasonings at HRC and the Casual Dining Show. Come and find our street-food van for samples, recipe suggestions and more - our peanut-free satay has to be tried to be believed.”
Essential Cuisine’s new Street Food Chef seasonings range will be available to sample on Stand F730 at HRC and Stand D38 at The Casual Dining Show. 

Casual Dining previews new exhibitors & new launches for 2020 #

With visitor pre-registrations tracking well ahead and over 200 companies preparing to exhibit, it promises to be another big year for Casual Dining – the industry’s favourite restaurant, pub and bar event, returning to ExCeL London on 25-26 March.
No stranger to breaking records – since its launch in 2014 it’s reported significant year-on-year growth in attendance and floor space – it’s just enjoyed its best January stand sales ever, with over 30 exhibitors (its highest in one month) coming on board.  That’s great news for its visitors (who annually include some of the most influential leaders and buyers in the business), as they’ll have even more new innovations to discover next month.
Many of the latest signings were new companies (to the show): Nespresso Professional, Mission Foods, Vita Mojo, MOJU Drinks, SASSY Cidre, Freddie’s Flowers, Ruby Food Products, and Lumea.  They’ll be making their debut alongside returning exhibitors like Arla Pro, Eurilait, Destiny Foods, Frobisher’s, TouchBistro, and Slingsby Gin (all recently confirmed).
There’s also just one stand remaining in the newly launched wine pavilion – ‘The Vineyard’; which is conveniently located next to the new Pub & Bar Keynote Theatre.  New names there include Broadland Wineries and Unity Wines.
Notably, yet perhaps unsurprisingly, there’s been a big uptake by vegan/plant-based brands for Casual Dining 2020.  To quote Mark Wogan, co-founder and creative director of Homeslice[1]: “Anyone ignoring the plant-based revolution that is going on is mad!”
Exhibitors to look out for include Joe Delucci's, Food Heaven, Mademoiselle Desserts, and Aulds Delicious Desserts – sampling their latest free-from and vegan sweets; Rude Health – showcasing its dairy-free and organic Barista Almond and Barista Oat drinks; and AAK Foodservice – it’s launching a Whirl Vegan Sweetened Whipping Cream that can be used hot, cold or frozen.
For meat alternatives, there’s: vegan fast food brand Biff’s Kitchen, with its jackfruit-based ‘junk’ food; LoveSeitan – launching a new vegan pepperoni that’s supplied frozen or chilled in sausage or sliced format; Loughnane’s of Galway sampling its new vegan VEEF range of burgers and mince; Moving Mountains Foods showcasing its plant-based Sausage Burger made from oyster mushrooms, and pea and wheat protein; and The Vegetarian Butcher – launching its NoChicken Chunks into foodservice.
To date, there’s also more low-and-no alcohol companies (another growing trend[2]) booked in than in previous years.  To search the exhibitor list, please visit:
New product preview
2020 is already shaping up to be a bumper year for new product launches.  Scores of exhibitors have been busy sharing details of what’s new from them (with many launching at the show).  Here’s some of the food and drink highlights:
- Wild Beer Co is adding Kalamansification – a tropical sour beer made using Hibiscus and Kalamansi, to its diverse canned range of beers.
- GCL Food Ingredients is introducing Prawn and Lemon Grass Dumplings – a new Italian/Asian mash up that provides consumers with an innovative pasta alternative.
- Kepak’s new ‘Burgers with a Blend’ – the Beefroot Burger and Moo-shroom Burger – are made with grass-fed quality beef and vegetables, such as beetroot, quinoa and mushroom.
- The Sausage Man is introducing the Volkswagen Currywurst – a sausage being dubbed the most iconic in the world and, most recently, featured in Richard Hammond’s new Discovery Channel show Big.
- Sea Products International’s latest innovation – the Blazing Shrimp, features hand-prepared King Prawns enrobed in a light, hot and spicy, Southern fried style batter.
- Karimix UK’s new Korean Bulgogi Sauce can be used for dipping or grilling, as a stir fry/marinade, or a glaze just before serving.
- Glebe Farm Foods’ new PureOaty oat drink is made using only four natural ingredients: British gluten free oats, water, sunflower oil and salt.
- Climpson & Sons recently launched its After Hours range, including espresso martini (ready to serve from the tap or shaken) and small-batch Midnight Oil coffee liqueur.
- Consistent Shred™ – available as a premium Soft Melt Mozzarella & Cheddar blend, is the latest addition to the Spinneyfields pizza topper range from Ornua Ingredients Europe.
- Sustainable water provider EauVation is launching the Table Top Acqua 20, providing pure, chilled and sparkling drinking water instantly on demand.
- Tails Cocktails is launching its Garden Cocktail.  Made with a mix of gin and elderflower, with notes of cucumber and basil, it can be served on ice and topped with soda water.
- FrieslandCampina is launching Yazoo No Added Sugar Strawberry Flavoured Milk with the category’s first bendable paper straw. 

And that’s just from a dozen of the show’s 200+ exhibiting companies (offering everything from ingredients to food and drink, from smart kitchen kit and front of house, to payment solutions and catering tech).  Over 100 are also expected to enter this year’s much-sought-after Casual Dining Innovation Challenge awards (more details, including the stellar line-up of judges, will be released next month).
It is this continued focus on new innovations and promoting the best choice of suppliers from across the sector, that has won Casual Dining a legion of repeat visitors - from multi-site restaurant, pub and bar groups, to hotels, contract caterers and the nation’s best independents.
“Casual Dining 2019 provided a great opportunity to engage with innovative new suppliers and network with existing contacts.  It’s a great event and one I look forward to returning to in 2020,” says Mark Carter, head of drinks category management at Marston’s Pubs & Bars.
“Casual Dining is the ‘must attend’ event for our sector.  With all suppliers under one roof, it’s an efficient way of seeing new product innovations from businesses you know well, plus some great supply alternatives from businesses you know less about,” says Tracey Brown, food & beverage director at Jupiter Hotels.
“Casual Dining is a great show that brings hospitality leaders, new talent, tech and exciting new trends under one roof,” says Sameer Shetty, operations director at Hubbox.
Free trade registration
Over 5,000 attendees will attend Casual Dining 2020 at ExCeL London over 25-26 March.  For further information and to register for a free trade ticket, please visit and use priority code CD10.

[1] Source:

[2] Source: