Members’ News

June 2021


Nestlé Professional has revealed its top tips to support operators as hospitality moves back indoors. Stephen Norris, sales director, Nestlé Professional UK &  Ireland says: “After months of uncertainty, initial data is showing promising signs as the industry re-opens with 46% more bookings made for the week commencing 17 May compared to the first week of outdoor opening in April 1.

"These last few weeks have shown us that consumers are keen to get back out there, which is very encouraging but uncertainty still lies ahead. As an industry, it’s important that we work together today in order to build a better tomorrow. So, following weeks talking to customers, we’ve compiled a list of top tips to help navigate these unprecedented times.

Nestlé Professional’s top tips:

1) Order little and often to prevent waste and maximise profits
Unpredictable consumer demand will continue to make forecasting stock levels a
challenge. We know wholesales, caterers and chefs are looking to keep stock levels
to a minimum – both to avoid waste and increase profitability. To help, we’re working
with customers to simplify menus and encourage stocking more versatile ingredients
that can be used in a number of different dishes. We are also having conversations
across the supply chain to ensure that we have the stock available

2) Harness the trust of brands
Harness the trust of brands by being vocal about which ones you use on your menu.
With more than two-thirds of #1 brands seeing higher than average share in April
2020, it’s apparent that consumers look for brands they can trust in times of

3) Pull on the power of plant-based
We know that 44% of consumers would like more restaurants to offer plant-based
meat alternatives. The plant-based category presents a large growth opportunity
across all channels. Pull on the power of plant-based by making sure there are
veggie and vegan options available on your menu to cater to this growing demand
and encourage repeat visits / purchase.

4) Get the basics right
Almost 87% hospitality employers have said that they were finding it difficult to recruit for kitchen and back of house roles and this has meant that they have to invest more time and money into retraining to ensure current employees are prepared after several months of furlough. From specialist barista trainers to development chefs, food technologists to nutrition and sustainability experts, our solutions ensure we can give your business the know-how where you need it most. We have been running successful virtual samplings to ensure that staff are knowledgeable about our products.

5) Boost productivity with your food and drink offering in the workplace
We are likely to see a hybrid workplace model emerge in which employees divide
their time between working from home and going into the office for collaborative
sessions. Research shows that face to face meetings can boost team performance
by 35% and the food and drink offering will be key in helping to facilitate this. From
seasonal promotions to meal deals, there are lots of ways to drive your potential and
satisfy your customers and using our extensive research and industry-specific
experience, we can help find the most effective strategies to achieve this.

6) Continue to embrace delivery to increase revenue streams
Delivery has been a lifeline for many establishments during lockdown. In fact, 27%
of British adults ordered more deliveries than usual (or for the first time) during
lockdown, with signs indicating they will continue their high frequency including from
pubs and bars.  Planning for the future with a mix of take-away and delivery-friendly
dishes will help cater to changing consumer demands as well as generating
additional revenue streams. By partnering with us you can access some of the best
development chefs in the industry. As well as benefiting from a constant stream of
innovations, you can also use their knowledge to develop your own cutting-edge food and drink products.

For more information or support with the reopening, please visit

Coming Up in the HRC Connects webinar series #

HRC Connects the digital platform for Hotel, Restaurant & Catering, has a range of insightful online content coming up in the next two weeks examining everything from securing seasonal suppliers to conquering the export market.  
15 June will see the latest in a series by The Sustainable Restaurant Association, looking at the different categories which make up the organisations ‘wheel of sustainability’. In this session, the panel will look at local and UK sourcing and building productive relationships with suppliers.  
On 16 June, a three-part event will examine different aspects of the export market. Hosted by the Food & Drink Exporters Association, the webinar will first take a look at beginning the export journey, before a session exploring the exporter perspective, then concluding with a deep dive into exporting to the Middle East & ASEAN region.  
Also on 16 June, The Food People, along with Good Sense Research, will be talking viewers through the food trends of 2021 so far, including consumer behaviours which might carry over from lockdown into the ‘reset era’ of the post-Covid marketplace. 
Finally, on 17 June, FMCG Gurus will be taking a closer look at some of the key drivers of consumer behaviour in a session entitled ‘rebounding opportunities in the foodservice sector in a post-pandemic environment’.  
To access all these sessions, plus a range of additional content and the event’s ever-growing supplier database here.  

'At-home hospitality' enters exciting new phase #

The predicted ‘summer of socialising’ is set to drive the rising ‘at-home hospitality’ trend into a brand-new phase, according to new research from KAM Media. Consumer demand is significant with 9-in-10 wanting the brands which they’ve had in their homes during lockdowns to continue offering these ‘at-home’ solutions even when restrictions lift. 62% want their favourite restaurant brands to start selling ‘cook at home’ meal boxes nationwide.

The research, carried out in partnership with eCommerce platform Slerp, found that UK adults are so excited to finally meet up with friends and family that a larger than normal amount of socialising ‘at home’ is predicted; 36% said they will have friends/family over more often vs pre-pandemic.

41% of UK adults said they are planning on having picnics with friends and family, 31% are planning garden parties and 39% will invite friends and family for BBQs. And it’s not all happening in the garden, when restrictions allow 28% are planning a dinner party inside.

KAM say that demand for ‘at-home’ solutions from pubs, restaurants and hotels remain very high. The research found that 11.5 million UK adults (22%) have ordered a ‘cook at home’ meal box in the last 12 months, with an even larger proportion (40%) intending to purchase in the future.

But KAM suggests in order to capitalise on this growing demand, operators must not sit still and need to continue to evolve.

Katie Jenkins, Marketing Director, KAM Media: “’At-home’ solutions will soon hit the mainstream as we move towards a future of multi-channel hospitality. That means that where consumers may have been forgiving of the kinks in new delivery services during initial lockdowns, brands now really need to up their game. Competition is already pretty fierce and now is the time for operators to cement their brand as a ‘go to’ for their target customers and/or target ‘dine at home’ occasions.”

The research suggests that the next phase of ‘at-home hospitality’ solutions will need to move from a purely functional transaction to an experiential one, with operators thinking beyond the food they offer and considering the total experience as well as offering solutions for different occasions.

There is a clear demand from consumers for ‘at-home hospitality’ experiences for a range of special celebrations for example, with 43% saying they would buy an ‘cook at home meal box’ when celebrating an adults birthday party at home. 23% say the same for Valentine’s Day and 22% for children’s birthday celebrations.

Forward thinking operators are not only providing quality food to eat at home but offer the entire experience including branded packaging, drink pairings and even tableware and playlists! Operators really need to think of each ‘dine at home’ delivery as a gift arriving on their customer’s doorstep. It is an extension of their brand and everything about the delivery, packaging, and yes of course the food and drink impacts how they experience the brand.” comments Jenkins.

Another key opportunity is ‘staycations’ with the research identifying that 16.2 million UK adults intend to stay in a self-catering holiday home in the next 12 months. 58% of them are open to purchasing a ‘cook at home meal box’, 27% an ‘ingredient box’ and 20% a ‘picnic hamper.’

JP Then, Founder, Crosstown and Slerp: “The benefits of selling a ‘dine at home’ solution direct online is clear. Not only can it help operators navigate reopening by combatting no shows and encouraging business during off peak hours, but it creates an additional revenue from assets you already have. In hospitality, experience is everything. Now more than ever, you need your online offering to mirror your offline experience. As we navigate the rest of 2021, listen to want your customers want. As challenging as this time has been, it’s also an exciting time for the sector. If you embrace positive innovation this research shows, there’s huge opportunities to be had.”

KAM Media and Slerp have partnered to create a free whitepaper for operators highlighting the key findings from the research and opportunities to grow their ‘at-home’ sales. Download it here.

EMW announces support for food and drink businesses #

The Food and Drink Forum has successfully secured grant funding under the European Regional Development Fund (“ERDF”) to provide specialist support for food and drink manufactures who meet the eligibility criteria under this scheme. This scheme has been secured until September 2021.

What range of services would be offered to manufactures?

Grant Funding – Any eligible food and drink manufacturer will be offered up to 25% of grant funding in the event they are seeking to acquire new production equipment to aid growth, productivity and the creation of new jobs. There are minimum/maximum spend limits placed on this funding and so any new equipment must be at least £4,000 and no more than £200,000 in order to benefit from the funding.

Technical Support – Up to 12 hours of fully funded technical or mentoring support on issues like product lab testing or recipe nutritional analysis.

Business Mentoring – Access to information on market intelligence.

Industry Events – Access to industry-related events which will be organised by the Food & Drinks Forum along with its industry partners.

In order to be deemed an eligible food and drink manufacture for the purposes of benefiting from the FEAST2 funding, the food and drink business must: 

- be located in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire or South East Midlands – this grant is exclusive to these areas;
- employ less than 250 employees;
- have an annual turnover of less than €50 million and the annual balance sheet - must also be less than €43 million; and
- be operating predominately Business-to-Business.

For more information on this update, or any other Food & Drink sector matters, please contact Daisy Divoka.

Sodexo publishes its first ethnicity pay gap report #

Sodexo UK has voluntarily published its ethnicity pay gap data for 2020, making it the first company in the hospitality and FM industry to do so.

Sodexo has a long-standing commitment to fairness and equity and is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace, and in 2019 publicly pledged, through Business in the Community’s Race to Work charter and through the INvolve/EMpower ethnicity pay gap mandate framework, to publish its ethnicity pay gap. 

In July 2020 Sodexo joined a number of business leaders in signing an open letter spearheaded by Audeliss & INvolve and pledging to take action and report on its progress annually. 

Sodexo’s recently published 2020 pay gap report and for the first time has included its ethnicity pay gap data1 which shows Sodexo’s mean ethnicity pay gap is 5% 

In the report Sodexo has gone further and included pay gap data for three different ethnic groups: Black, Asian and Mixed Ethnic backgrounds, as it recognises that publishing the combined pay data for these groups may hide disparities between the different groups. 

The events of 2020 have encouraged Sodexo to do more and over the last year it has created a strategic taskforce made up of senior leaders from Black and other ethnic backgrounds to lead on company-wide change programmes, one of which has been the launch of its Be Heard series of listening groups. Developed specifically for Black colleagues to share their lived experiences of working at Sodexo, the first series has resulted in action plans developed for each of its business segments. 

With regards to gender, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Sodexo’s business and requirement from government to exclude furloughed colleagues receiving less than their regular full pay from the data has resulted in a slight increase in Sodexo’s 2020 mean gender pay gap from 14.12% in 2019 to 14.36% in 2020. 

Sodexo has an established gender balance strategy and throughout the pandemic maintained its strong focus on gender balance. It was one of the first organisations to publish its gender pay gap data in 2016, ahead of government legislation introduced the following year requiring companies with over 250 employees to do just this. 

Sodexo will use its latest gender and ethnicity pay data to focus its strategy on where and how these gaps need to be reduced. The annual publication of its gender and ethnicity pay gap findings will become standard practice for Sodexo. 

Sean Haley, region chair, Sodexo UK & Ireland said: “We feel strongly that the first steps towards achieving our diversity and inclusion goals are transparency and holding ourselves publicly accountable. 

“There is a lot of work to do to improve parity in both gender and ethnicity, but only with this level of clarity and the impetus to have more open conversations, can we put measures in place to move our organisation in the right direction and to do better by our colleagues and the communities in which we operate

Its action plan for the UK & Ireland includes:

- Establish targets to increase ethnicity representation in senior leadership positions
- Achieve 43% (currently 37%) representation of women in senior leadership by 2025
- Reduce mean gender pay gap across all legal entities combined to 10% or less by 2025
- Continue to monitor pay practices
- Create more sponsorship and development programmes for females and unrepresented ethnic groups
- Undertake a diagnostic review into attraction and progression strategies
- Conduct an employee census to increase our ethnicity data, and improve the quality of the data we hold 

Suki Sandhu OBE, Founder and CEO, INvolve – The Inclusion People adds:

It’s hugely encouraging to see Sodexo publishing their ethnicity pay gap figures. Businesses need to function as agents of change by paving the way for inclusivity, and policies and practices which entrench inclusion must be implemented across all levels of an organisation. Examining and reporting on the ethnicity pay gap is an essential step in this process and allows businesses who choose to report to better understand the challenges, cement sustainable long-term goals and take responsibility for driving change.” 

Tea Colaianni, WiHTL Founder and Chair concludes:

More companies than ever before are collecting data on ethnicity and calculating their ethnicity pay gap across the hospitality, travel and leisure industry. Disclosing the data is an important sign of leaders being committed to transparency and accountability. Even more crucial is taking action on what the data tells you. Sodexo needs to be congratulated on being one of the first companies to disclose their ethnicity pay gap and drive change in the ethnic diversity of their workforce.” 

Are you ready for Natasha’s Law? Visit Access Hospitality's information hub for everything you need to know to get prepared! #

Many people are aware of the introduction of Natasha's Law on 1st October but there are still many questions in the hospitality sector as operators try to work out whether this key piece of legislation applies to their business. The Access Hospitality information hub is packed full of facts and helpful guidance to educate and prepare hospitality operators over the coming months. You will find:
- An eBook exploring the coming changes and next steps
- Factsheet - the new legislation broken down
- Allergen compliance technology overview
- On-demand webinar with FSA, Bidfood and CGA
- Summary report of CGA consumer survey on new legislation and impact on eating out
- Allergen & Natasha's Law training course

Visit the hub now for all your questions answered and ensure you are ready come 1st October.


In its latest report “Food-to-go: What’s next for Shoppers”, ShopperVista from IGD – provider of trusted daily shopper insights – examines shopper behaviour across the food-to-go sector and reveals the three trends currently shaping the market.
The quarterly report provides insight into the behaviour, missions, operator usage and preferences of food-to-go shoppers* to help operators, retailers and suppliers shape their strategies based on shopper needs.
Rhian Thomas, Head of Insight at ShopperVista and FTG, explains the key findings from the latest report: “The third national lockdown resulted in a decrease in food-to-go missions, but not to the extent of the first, and interestingly, evening food-to-go missions became more common than lunch. There was a 3% increase in dedicated ‘food-to-go’ missions between February and March 2021 which is a reassuring indicator for the industry. But shopper behaviours have shifted significantly during the pandemic and as a result, we are seeing key trends emerge that operators, retailers and suppliers should consider.”  
The three key trends are:
1/ Evening food-to-go is on the rise
In the most recent lockdown, evening food-to-go missions reached their highest recorded level, becoming more common than lunch missions. This could be a result of the growth of delivery services, which have made a wider range of products more accessible. It also raises the question of whether shoppers will continue to choose food-to-go in the evenings, as restrictions ease and the out of home sector reopens.
2/ Demand for hot food-to-go options is increasing
Hot food-to-go options are becoming more popular. Demand for a range of food-to-go choices which are less portable could increase as levels of working from home are expected to be elevated compared to pre-pandemic times.
3/ Convenience is influencing purchasing choices 
Demand for convenience and new service expectations have been set, particularly amongst younger shoppers. 40% of 18-24 year-olds state that having the ability to pre-order is an important consideration in deciding where to purchase food-to-go.
The report also reveals that food-to-go purchases continue to be driven by a typical 9-5 weekday working pattern, despite more people working from home. This behaviour could continue to be supported by a ‘suburban shift’ as food-to-go businesses shift away from city centres into suburban areas to follow the consumer. A lower density footfall compared to city centres and transport hubs, combined with different peak times and shopper profiles, will mean new operating models will evolve to meet consumer needs.

Sodexo forms Modern Slavery Strategic Supplier Forum ​ #

Sodexo UK and Ireland, together with its four largest strategic suppliers – Brakes, Bunzl Catering & Hospitality Division, Blue Arrow and Mi Hub Ltd trading as Alexandra - has formed a Modern Slavery Strategic Supplier Forum which will meet bi-annually to highlight risks, share best practice and agree common commitments to tackle modern slavery within their respective organisations.

Modern slavery can take many different forms including forced labour and servitude. It is estimated that at any given time over 40 million people worldwide are in modern slavery and the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the problem.

In the UK and Ireland, Sodexo is responsible for procuring over £600m worth of goods and services across food, consumables and disposables, uniform and specialist clothing as well as temporary agency staff.  At a global level, this sum exceeds £18bn from a supply chain that connects Sodexo to over 150,000 businesses. 

With such a diverse mix of suppliers, it is imperative that Sodexo works with its procurement partners to take positive action to manage, mitigate and eliminate the risk of modern slavery and labour exploitation across the whole supply chain.

In the UK and Ireland, by working with its four largest suppliers, each with an established corporate responsibility policy in relation to modern slavery, Sodexo aims to draw together their common experiences and identify ways of working together to tackle some of the underlying issues of modern slavery within both local and global supply chains.

The first Forum meeting was held virtually on Tuesday, 27 April where each participating organisation presented their current activity to combat modern slavery and the principles and standards that their suppliers of goods and services are expected to adhere to. Over the next six months, the Forum members have agreed to work together on joint communications initiatives to highlight existing whistleblowing policies and procedures to ensure all employees are comfortable to report in confidence any issue that is unethical, illegal or unsafe.

The Forum will also investigate opportunities to work with the Ethical Trading Initiative, an independent organisation on sustainable procurement, to create joint projects to tackle modern slavery along the supply chain.

And it will collaborate with the Slave Free Alliance - a social enterprise and membership initiative launched by anti-slavery charity Hope for Justice.

Patrick Forbes, Sodexo’s Head of Supply Management, UK & Ireland said: “Sodexo is a global business with a significant supply chain that connects us with more than 4,800 businesses in the UK and Ireland alone. Over the past 18 months we have worked to better understand modern slavery in our global and domestic markets so we can equip our teams to identify risks within our supply chains and to question their suppliers more rigorously on this subject.   

“This Strategic Supplier Forum offers an opportunity for the wider supply chain to work together to address this abhorrent crime and we look forward to collaborating with our partners

Justin Turquet, Bunzl Catering & Hospitality Division’s Head of Sustainability, said: “Modern slavery is a global issue and requires global action. As an international business, Bunzl Catering & Hospitality Division is wholly committed to eliminating modern slavery practices and respecting human rights across both our own operations and the supply chain. We are delighted to be working with Sodexo and their partners as part of the Modern Slavery Supplier Forum to ensure we are sharing best practice and established programmes that mitigate the risks of modern slavery in the supply chain.

Stuart Smith, Brakes’ Director of Merchandising, said: “Our CSR goal is very clear – we expect fair treatment for all and we will not stand for modern slavery.  Our duty is to ensure that our products are not only sourced responsibly, but also ethically. We have put measures in place to ensure strict standards across our supply chain. We are delighted to be joining this coalition of like-minded businesses to stand up for the rights of workers across the globe.  In forming the Modern Slavery Supplier Forum, the companies involved have clearly signalled that they will not stand for these practices and we passionately hope that others will join us in condemning them as completely unacceptable.”

Rebecca Jones, Global Sales Director at Alexandra, said: “We are delighted to be working with Sodexo on this strategic supplier initiative to tackle modern slavery. We are very proud of what Alexandra, part of the Mi Hub Group, have achieved over many years as members of the Ethical Trading Initiative.

“We are committed to supporting our local and global supply chains to create a fair and safe working environment for all employees. We constantly strive, through our work on the ground and through membership of key organisations like the Slave Free Alliance, to further improve working conditions and uphold human rights for all.

Sodexo is a signatory to the UN Global Compact and respects human rights, including the right of people to be free from involuntary or forced labour as set forth in the International Bill of Human Rights and the International Labour Organisation Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.

As part of its Social Impact Pledge for 2021, Sodexo UK and Ireland re-affirmed its commitment to end modern slavery through comprehensive policies, better working practices and improved contracts.

Elior UK launches innovative ‘green’ loyalty scheme #

Elior UK is launching a new Eco Points Loyalty Scheme that will reward customers and the planet via its digital ordering app, Breaz, in a bid to support its sustainability agenda.
The Loyalty Scheme has been created to help educate, inform and influence customers to make more environmentally conscious purchasing choices. Initially the Scheme will encourage lower carbon food choices by targeting vegetarian and vegan offers. The Loyalty Scheme will then expand to include other green choices such as plant-based milk and reusable items.
How it works
The new Loyalty Scheme operates in a similar way to other reward schemes. In this case, when green items are purchased, Eco Points are awarded. When a customer has collected ten Eco Points they are notified that their conscious purchasing decisions have enabled a tree to be planted, helping to remove CO2 from the atmosphere and reverse biodiversity loss as part of global reforestation.
Charlotte Wright, Head of Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability, Elior UK says: “We are delighted to have teamed up with JUST ONE Tree, a non-profit initiative, to launch this exciting Loyalty Scheme. Customers who make ‘green’ choices when placing orders via our Breaz App will not only be making their business more environmentally sustainable, but on a global scale, they will also be positively giving back to the planet.
“Reducing environmental impact is hugely important to us as a business and with consumers now more aware than ever of the ethical and environmental impact of goods and services this is a timely introduction.

Elior UK want to help people understand how changing their behaviour can help make our world a better place. Charlotte says, “Our goal is to help people understand how their purchasing decisions impact our world. We want to help customers make decisions that enhance the quality of their lives, their family’s lives and their communities.” 
Amanda Bronkhorst, Founder of JUST ONE Tree, says: “I am thrilled that Elior UK is taking this proactive route to help save our planet.
“At JUST ONE Tree we focus on planting trees in areas severely affected by deforestation to maximise the effect on reducing global warming. In the process we help to provide agricultural education and sustainable incomes to the local community members.
“Trees are carbon sinks, absorbing the pollutants we humans put into the atmosphere. They clean the air we breathe, filter the water we drink, prevent soil erosion and flooding, give life to the world's wildlife, form complex ecosystems, supply us with medicine and provide jobs to over 1.6 billion people. Trees really are the superheroes of the planet and we need them in order to survive.
“We’re delighted that by joining our JUST ONE Tree Collective, Elior UK will be helping us have an even bigger impact on the future of our planet.

Catherine Roe, Chief Executive at Elior UK, says, “The new Scheme builds on our desire to become a truly sustainable business and ensure we have a positive impact in our communities and on the world around us.”
This is being introduced as part of a number of other CSR initiatives, including Elior UK’s bold move last year to transition its vehicles to 100% electric in a bid to reduce vehicle CO2 emissions.
Catherine says, “Whilst we are proud of the work we are doing we know there is much more work to be done. We continue to work hard as a business to identify new CSR initiatives to drive change and identify the steps we can take to help inform people and promote how we can all make change to reduce our impact on the environment.

Rapport Announced as Runner Up in ‘Best Companies’ UK’s 100 Best Large Companies to Work For 2021 List #

Recording a Hat Trick of Best Companies Accolades

Having been placed 45th in last year’s Sunday Times UK’s Best Companies to Work For List, Rapport Guest Services jumped 43 places to come an amazing second in 2021. The specialist company which provides corporate organisations with fully managed front and back of house guest services also topped the Business Services’ Sector Best Companies to Work For List, as well as coming third in London’s 75 Best Companies to Work For List.

Best Companies to Work For Lists and Accreditations are recognised as the gold standard in workplace engagement, and Rapport coming in the top three of three notable Best Companies’ Lists shows what an outstanding year the company has had.

Greg Mace, Founder & Managing Director of Rapport Guest Services said of the achievement: “Everyone at Rapport is incredibly humbled to have achieved such high positions in the Best Companies Lists. After the year we have had, I cannot think of a better way to acknowledge the exceptional work of our fantastic Rapport team since the start of the pandemic.

As these three awards suggest, we have worked tirelessly to ensure our Rapport family feel supported, connected and positive about the future. Our people are at the heart of our business, and the culture at Rapport is second to none, and accolades like this serve to drive us on to continue to be one of the best companies to work for

Donna Catley, Chief People Officer, Compass Group UK & Ireland commented: “This is an outstanding achievement for Rapport. I am absolutely delighted that the Rapport team have achieved this accolade. It’s fantastic that the team has been recognised for their people focused approach. Despite the challenges the last year has presented, Rapport ensured all their teams were fully supported and have really excelled in their health and wellbeing provision. We are so proud to have Rapport as part of our wider company.”

Rapport stepped up its training and development during lockdown, delivering over 12,500 person-hours of training between March and December 2020. The award-winning company also renewed its focus on employee health and wellbeing, introducing a number of innovative initiatives including a dedicated nutrition advisor to support the team and growing its company choir, who collaborated on numerous remote projects and produced a unique original song called The Rainbow After the Storm – the song symbolising positivity.

This is the fourth Best Companies honour in the last year for the boutique guest services provider. In December 2020, Rapport was awarded the much sought-after Best Companies 3-star status, signifying a world class company and most recently, it has been recognised on The Caterer magazine’s ‘Top 30 Best Places to Work in Hospitality’ list.

Kerrymaid celebrates launch of Vegan Slices with top tips on how the foodservice industry can make the most from vegan #

Kerrymaid's virtual launch event, ”Up Your Vegan Game”, on Thursday 27th May revealed key insights into the trend towards plant-based lifestyles and the opportunities this presents to the foodservice industry.
David Cullen, CEO at Opinions Market Research, revealed the plant-based market will be worth €8bn by 2027, a rise of 5.9% from 2019, according to ReportLinker. 
The event was held to celebrate the launch of Perfect Melt Vegan Slices, a plant-based alternative to cheese aimed solely at professional kitchens.
With more consumers demanding vegan options, this new product from Kerrymaid allows the pub & leisure, catering, hospitality and foodservice industries to offer a tasty dairy alternative.
Cullen provided the following consumer insights about the growing vegan category:

- More than a fifth (22%) of consumers consume non-dairy cheese weekly or more often 
- 43% of plant-based cheese buyers believe there are not currently enough options to choose from 
- 27% plant-based cheese buyers believe the current options are a compromise over the dairy-based alternatives. 
In terms of what consumers want; better taste, texture and a wider range were the top three reasons, and they were also the main reasons why consumers are not using vegan cheese currently.
Kerrymaid’s Vegan Slices is the first vegan slice on slice product for the foodservice industry that tastes, looks and melts like the original. 
Therese O’Rourke, Chief Technology Officer, RD&A, Kerry Taste & Nutrition, Europe & Russia revealed Kerrymaid Vegan Slices beat its competitors in taste tests and mouth feel. The product is made from a roll like original cheese slices which means it’s more malleable than existing vegan cheeses which tend to be made from a block and can be quite brittle.
Sam Platt, Head of the Vegetarian Society cookery school, provided advice on creating a vegan menu and making it work within professional kitchens. She covered storage, preparation and cooking. She also included tips on how to sell plant-based dishes, such as using positive descriptive language and including visual signs on menus.
Then Biff Burrows, chef & founder of Biff’s, talked about the challenges of being a plant-based consumer and provided his top tips for success, such as including vegan starters and looking at ‘veganising’ the best-selling dishes. 
The event finished off with a live cooking demo with Kerrymaid Vegan Slices, courtesy of Richard Troman, Senior Innovation & Application Chef, Kerrymaid. 

The product is specifically for use on hot applications such as burgers, subs, wraps and sandwiches and Troman showed how easy the slices are to peel and use in cafes, restaurants and QSRs. He demonstrated on a range of products including burgers and vegan chicken from Kerry-owned Naked Glory products.
Karl Buiks, VP Foodservice, Marketing & Strategic Planning, Kerry Taste & Nutrition, Europe & Russia summed up the event: "We're always listening to our customers as well as researching and predicting trends amongst consumers. The rising trend in plant-based eating habits has created a massive consumer demand within the food market and Kerrymaid's Vegan Slices is the perfect solution for foodservice operators to step up their vegan game."
If you would like to watch the event in full, please visit
The product will soon be available across the UK and Europe in pack sizes of 56 easy-peel slices. 
Made from sustainable coconut oil, the Vegan Slices are gluten free, palm oil free and Vegan approved by the Vegetarian Society. 
Learn more at 

All Hands on Deck says Umbrella Insight #

Umbrella Insight are focusing on staff shortages and how we can bring employees back to hospitality and they’d like to hear from you … 

Click here to complete the 60 second survey

Hospitality is reopening and it's busy, which is great, but we know teams are smaller than they have been, with staff shortages.

So, how can we bring more people into Hospitality?  
We all need pubs, restaurants and other hospitality venues to thrive - to continue the fun, have great experiences and share fabulous memories.  Umbrella Insight, partnering with The Burnt Chef Project and Peopleful, are gaining insight on reasons why people have not returned. Please give your views, via the short survey, whether you’re working in, or have worked in, hospitality. (Please share it with all your colleagues to fill in too).

We'll publish results soon. Thanks for supporting this hospitality recruitment initiative.

If you'd like to gain further insights for your business and improve customer and employee engagement, please email, and find out more at