Members’ News

July 2021

Zest Food Partners is announced as a finalist for Best New Business in the UK Business Awards 2021 #

Zest Food Partners is delighted to announce that it has been shortlisted as finalists for Best New Business in the UK Business Awards 2021.  
The UK Business Awards, now in its seventh year, recognises and celebrates excellence and brings together the best of the best of innovation champions all over the country. This year the focus was on ‘Accelerating UK recovery’ giving recognition to businesses that have coped in the Covid-era with unprecedented change and growth.
The Best New Business award is for businesses and start-ups that are less than three years old and celebrates the very best organisations that are already inspiring others and enjoying the rewards of their hard work in getting established.
All entrants were required to complete a written award entry against set criteria, including an overview of the business strategy, goals and objectives, implementation and stakeholder engagement, innovation and creativity, and concluding with impacts and benefits.
Out of hundreds of applicants, the team at Zest are extremely proud to be selected as a finalist and are looking forward to the awards ceremony where the winners will be announced on 8th July. Zest Food Partners would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all finalists and wish everyone the best of luck!

To see the full list of finalists, click here.

Nick Redford, Strategy Director, Zest Food Partners has also just been announced as a finalist for Start-Up Entrepreneur of the Year for the North-West and Yorkshire & Humber region at the 2021 Great British Entrepreneur Awards. The awards received a record 4,800 entries this year across the eight regions, so it has never been tougher to make it to the shortlist and the team at Zest are delighted that Nick is a finalist for such a prestigious award.

New report from Délifrance reveals key UK bakery trends for 2021 and beyond. #

Prove It: A Bread Focus, a new report from Délifrance, reveals that while the popularity of white, brown and wholemeal loaves remains strong, other trends such as health, sustainability, indulgence and Covid-related hygiene concerns are impacting the bread arena for operators and retailers alike.
Taste, quality, freshness and convenience are top of the agenda when it comes to purchasing bread, however the report also reveals that the perception of bread is evolving as consumers increasingly search for functional foods both in terms of health and indulgence. To help retailers and operators benefit from these changes, in-depth insight is provided into what consumers want (such as inclusions and alternative flours), when they want it and what will encourage them to buy.
Stéphanie Brillouet, marketing director for Délifrance, says: “The UK bread market is currently worth £7.5bn[1]. As some 41% of consumers eat bread every day or almost every day, there are plenty of opportunities to reach staple bread fans and new consumption occasions, particularly when we take into account that we expect to see increased indulgence and health-based snacking in the category. Indeed, our research reveals that healthier options could encourage 21% of consumers to eat more bread.
“With the new hybrid working model set to continue, the report also includes invaluable advice and tips on how retailers and operators can maximise on this way of life, from highlighting ‘added value’ ingredients and sustainable packaging to making a limited menu more versatile through bread choices
Other key findings include:
•       Consumers eat the most bread at lunch (57%), followed by breakfast (29%) then dinner (24%)
•       13% of consumers will probably choose something different at the weekend when sourdough loaves, rye breads, Italian-style breads, breads with inclusions and baguettes are more likely to be eaten
•       17% buy seeded loaves at least once a week. These consumers are more likely to be interested in ingredients than the average bread consumer and less concerned about price, indicating there is a link between health benefits and a willingness to spend
•       44% would like to see more breads with added ingredients such as nuts and seeds for health, cheese and olives for indulgence.
The report’s findings are drawn from interviews with UK adults who regularly eat bread as well as research conducted in France, Germany and Italy. In addition, Délifrance partnered with leading trends consultants, Harris & Hayes and commissioned Nielsen to run a UK-wide retail study that includes insights from households. Data was also obtained from social listening tool Delve Insights that monitors thousands of online conversations to identify consumer trends.
Click here to download your free copy of Prove It: A Bread Focus containing the very latest insight from Délifrance into bread and how best to harness current and future trends.

Sodexo and Nestlé sign up to the Buy Social Corporate Challenge #

The Buy Social Corporate Challenge is run by Social Enterprise UK and brings together corporate partners from a range of industries with a collective ambition to spend £1 billion on social enterprises. 

The Challenge helps social enterprises grow their revenues and impact by tapping into corporate supply chains. Social enterprises reinvest profit or donate them to their local communities to create positive social change. This allows them to tackle social problems, improve people’s life chances and provide training and employment opportunities for marginalised communities. 

Sodexo and Nestlé have worked together for seven years, with Sodexo providing catering and integrated facilities management services at 14 Nestlé sites in the UK and Ireland. 

Sodexo has a history of partnering with social enterprises, with nearly 130 currently used in its supply chain, and an ongoing commitment to supporting social enterprises through its supply chain inclusion programme. 

Nestlé also works with a number of social enterprises and joining the Buy Social Corporate Challenge is the next step in its ‘Procurement for Good’ approach, which aims to focus on helping more communities and increasing the diversity of Nestlé’s supplier base. 

Sean Haley, Regional Chair, Sodexo UK & Ireland, said: “We are delighted to be making this commitment to the Buy Social Corporate Challenge alongside our partner, Nestlé, as it demonstrates that we are aligned in our determination to ensure that our purchasing power is used in a way that has a positive impact on society. 

“We are proud of the work we do to support social enterprises through our supply chain. At Sodexo we have our own commitments, through our social impact pledge, around supporting marginalised communities into employment, and ensuring we are sourcing responsibly, so it’s vitally important to us that we partner with other organisations who share these values

Robin Sundaram, Responsible Sourcing Manager at Nestlé UK & Ireland, commented: “When making procurement decisions, we incorporate the environmental, social and economic impacts of our decisions. We’re excited to join with Sodexo in the Buy Social Corporate Challenge so we can help even more communities by supporting more social enterprises.  We also want to increase the diversity of our supplier base, as we know that social enterprises are intrinsically more diverse than small, medium enterprises and larger organisations.” 

One social enterprise that Sodexo and Nestlé already work with is WildHearts Office, which provides office supplies and is a fundamental supplier to the Buy Social Corporate Challenge signatories. WildHearts creates social change globally and locally, supporting initiatives that include addressing social mobility in the UK, such as its Micro Tyco entrepreneurial training programme for schools, colleges and universities, and addressing gender inequality in the developing world. 

Social Enterprise UK will publish its fifth Buy Social Corporate Challenge impact report next month, showing progress made on this ground-breaking initiative over the last 12 months. 27 high-profile companies are currently signed up, representing a wide range of industries. 

Charlie Wigglesworth – Deputy Chief Executive at Social Enterprise UK, added: “Social enterprises help corporate clients to build innovation, diversity, sustainability and social value into their supply chains, and we are delighted to see Nestlé and Sodexo join 25 other forward-thinking businesses in taking advantage of this opportunity. We look forward to working with both partners to unlock the power of their day-to-day spend to positively transform lives.”


Leading digital and data experts, TWC is pleased to announce some key strategic changes to its Board, set to further amplify and accelerate the company’s growth and development.

Co-founder, Mike McGee, well known for his role in the industry and leadership of Landmark through the 90’s, is now the company’s Chairman. 

Development Director, Tom Fender has become an investor and shareholder, and experienced FMCG executive, Andy Donnelly, has also joined as an investor and shareholder.  Donnelly will be working closely with Fender, as well as managing director Tanya Pepin and the TWC team to continue to build the company’s market-leading service and product offer within the wholesale, foodservice and convenience sectors. 

Fender who has been with TWC since 2019 said he’s delighted to make this further commitment to TWC:

I joined TWC because I am passionate about data and the channel TWC operates in and so it was a natural fit for me. It’s a business that’s going places and is right at the leading edge of harnessing data and technology to drive growth and upsell.  The team’s knowledge and commitment to its customers and market channels is extraordinary”.

Adding further weight to the TWC Board, and former Strategy Director with Philip Morris International (PMI) for over 30 years, Andy Donnelly has a wealth of international experience, having worked for PMI in market specific roles in Russia, South Africa and Nigeria, and also in regional roles in Africa, Middle East, Asia, Australasia and Mainland Europe.

Commenting on joining TWC as an investor and shareholder, Andy explains:

“‘I know how important it is for businesses to have access to the most accurate and relevant data there is – the link between business performance and data is stunningly clear. Those that follow the data, unequivocally get ahead.

“What has impressed me the most about TWC is the team’s true and deep knowledge of the sectors they operate in together with their digital skill-set.  This digital skill-set can be seen in the way they have designed dashboards for their clients….but also their huge knowledge of wider tech trends and applications.  The organisation is also extremely solutions focused and that was a huge tick for me.

Often your competitors have the same, or very similar data, but it’s how you use that data that makes the difference.  This is where TWC’s channel expertise comes to the fore … helping organisations interpret the data to agree strategies to improve business performance.”

Mike McGee, Chairman of TWC, said,

It’s great news for TWC and for our clients too. We have two highly-talented, successful individuals who bring further dynamic thinking, and proven business acumen to the make-up of our Board.

When such experienced and well-regarded senior industry executives decide to join your company, and invest in it too, it’s very exciting.  

Tanya Pepin, Managing Director of TWC concludes:

“Tom is well known to many within the industry and is a powerful innovator and marketeer.  

“Andy brings a fresh perspective from a leading brand in international markets and we know his expertise will help TWC deliver the right data and digital solutions to FMCG suppliers, retailers and wholesalers going forward.

“We are clearly honoured that Mike has taken over as Chairman. Having such ‘a steady hand at the tiller’ means we know we will be cleverly steered through the next phase of our journey.

Compass Wins Innovation Prize at Peas Please Prizes for Plantilicious #

Eurest, part of Compass Group UK & Ireland has won the Innovation Prize at the Peas Please Prizes, held by the Food Foundation, for their plant-based food range, Plantilicious. The prize aims to recognise inspiring and innovative activities to support organisational Peas Please pledges and the overall mission of boosting vegetable consumption.
The Plantilicious range from the workplace caterers includes healthy, meat-free meals and as well as snacks. The meals are sustainable, made from responsibly sourced ingredients with minimal waste.

The Food Foundation’s mission is to change food policy and business practice to ensure everyone, across our nations, can afford and access a healthy diet. Their Peas Please initiative brings together farmers, retailers, restaurant chains, caterers, processors and government departments with a goal of making it easier for everyone to eat more vegetables.
Liz Forte, Director of Health and Wellbeing, Business and Industry, Compass Group UK & I said: “We are delighted to have won the Innovation Prize. We are really proud of our Plantilicious range, which puts plant forward food at the heart of our dishes. We have continued to evolve and develop the offer, listening to our consumer feedback. Sales of plant forward dishes are in strong growth and continue to build, currently representing 40% of our food offer. As well as encouraging healthier eating, plant forward is also more sustainable too, as our dishes increase use of seasonal and locally sourced food.
“Following the announcement of our commitment to reach Climate Net Zero by 2030, new innovations such as the Plantilicious range, contribute towards achieving our targets.
Rebecca Tobi, Peas Please project manager said: “It’s fantastic to see so many organisations making such great progress when it comes to promoting, serving, and selling more veg. Particularly during what has undoubtedly been one of the toughest years on record for the UK’s food sector. However, we’ve some way to go before we meet our goal and get everyone in the UK eating more veg, and continued support from pledging organisations will be crucial in helping us to go further faster.”

It’s coming home: foodservice equipment sales are heading back towards pre-Covid levels #

EFCEM survey of European and UK suppliers shows positive attitude to the future

Foodservice equipment companies across the UK and Europe are broadly positive about their future prospects, according to the latest business survey from EFCEM (the European Federation of Catering Equipment Manufacturers).  The UK’s FEA (Foodservice Equipment Association) is a member of EFCEM. 

The survey, conducted in June 2021, had respondents from France, Germany, Spain, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland as well as the UK.  73% were manufacturers, 30% dealers and distributors, and 8% were service companies, with the remainder including trade associations and design consultants. 

More than two thirds said that current sales were over 60% of pre-Covid levels, with a quarter saying they were at 90% or above.  Looking to the future, 46% expect to be at 100% of pre-Covid levels by the June 2022, and 63% expect to be at 100% by December 2022. 

Getting payment from customers had been an issue in previous surveys, but the figure in June was relatively low at 19%. 

These are very positive figures, especially given the grim market conditions of the past 18 months,” says Phil Williams, EFCEM president.  “More customers are paying on time, too.  The picture is probably just about as good as it could be.”

Respondents were also positive in terms of support from their governments, with 48% saying they had received grants or loans.  In fact, 100% of those who had applied for grants or loans had been successful.  On the down side, 100% of those making a Covid-related claim from an insurance company had been unsuccessful. 
Nearly all those replying said that at least some staff had received government support for their salaries.  As support ends, just over 20% said they were likely to make redundancies, but that leaves nearly 80% looking to retain staffing levels. 
Governments across Europe have announced a variety of recovery plans with specific support for the foodservice equipment industry, or for hospitality, or both. 

We welcome the 30% higher subsidy on energy-optimised kitchen appliances across Europe,” says Williams.  “It ties in very clearly with our net zero carbon plan for the industry.”   
Copies of the survey summary are available on request from FEA. 

The Foodservice Equipment Association (FEA) is the independent, authoritative voice of the foodservice equipment industry, representing nearly 200 companies who supply, service and maintain all types of commercial catering equipment - from utensils to full kitchen schemes.  For more information on FEA visit 

lunch! announces big name Keynote speakers for comeback show #

Line-up includes CEOs of Greggs, itsu, Burger King, Gail’s Bakery and Pure

The organisers of lunch!, the definitive event for the café, coffee shop and food to go sector, have revealed the first batch of industry leaders joining the Keynote speaker line-up at the show, which is taking place live 23-24 September at ExCeL London. 

Taking place throughout the two days over three stages, lunch!’s Keynote speaker programme is free to attend for all trade visitors and offers remarkable access to some of the biggest names and operators in the industry. 

The organisers have confirmed exclusive interviews with first-time lunch! speakers Alasdair Murdoch, CEO of Burger King; Spencer Craig, CEO & Co-founder of Pure; and Neil Lake, MD of Costa Coffee. 

The show is welcoming back Marta Pogroszewska, MD of GAIL’s Bakery, who recently described the show as “inspiring, impactful, ingenious…I’ve attended lunch! for years and it just gets better and more unmissable every time.” 

Following Julian Metcalfe’s appearance in 2018, lunch! is excited to welcome itsu’s newly appointed UK CEO, Ganan Kanagathurai, who will be exclusively revealing the story behind the company’s digital transformation and reimagining of the ‘store of the future’. 

The organisers have also announced the return of Greggs CEO Roger Whiteside, an icon of the industry who, since he last graced the lunch! stage, has been awarded an OBE for his services to women and equality. Roger described the show as “the one place our entire sector comes together – you need to be there to see what they are up to.” 

lunch!’s Event Director, Chris Brazier, said “We have always prided ourselves on offering trade visitors a free, world-class speaker programme alongside hundreds of innovative new products. We’re especially excited to be returning with such an incredible line-up. Though the last year has been challenging, it’s also prompted a huge amount of innovation and this year’s Keynote programme echoes that eagerness to regroup, reconnect and inspire each other. We’d like to say a special thank you to all the industry leaders and exhibitors for their support.” 

Other speakers announced this week include Hannah Munns, Head of Market Street Strategy, Innovation and Concept Development at Morrisons; Richard Franks, MD of Chilango; Neil Sebba, MD of Tossed; Amy James, Category Manager of Greggs; Russell Simpson, Operations Director of LEON; as well as Ole & Steen’s MD Lee Nixon and Marketing Director Katie Lister. 

The line-up also features input from industry associations including Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of UKHospitality, and two sessions with Jim Winship, Director of The British Sandwich & Food to Go Association, who is the main show partner on lunch!. 

This year also sees the return of the hugely popular Coffee Shop Keynotes Theatre to an even bigger stage, reflecting the continued importance of this vibrant sector. After a successful launch in 2019, this dedicated Keynote programme will feature talks and panels from industry innovators and experts, including sessions with The Coffee Queen herself, Anya Marco; Neil Lake, MD of Costa Coffee; The Gentlemen Baristas; and Hannah Mackay, Head of Food & Beverages at Caffè Nero. A regular visitor, Hannah expressed her delight at the introduction of the Coffee Shop Keynotes Theatre at the last event: “I love coming to lunch! and it is great to see that coffee shops are being showcased more than ever, it’s a good place to seek out new innovation!” 

The organisers have also confirmed several industry experts and commentators that will be sharing insights at the show, including Simon Stenning, Founder of; Gavin Rothwell, Director of Food Futures Insights; and Peter Backman, Industry Analyst and Commentator.  

As Sainsbury's Buyer Rosie Bambaji commented, “the show always attracts the best brands and industry experts, which is a testament to how good it is.” 

lunch! 2021 takes place on 23-24 September at ExCeL London and is co-located with Commercial Kitchen and Casual Dining. Registration is free and strictly for members of the trade only. 

More big-name speakers from across the café, coffee shop and food to go sector will be announced in the coming months. 

For more information and to register for your free trade pass, please visit and use priority code VLU1 

Royal Mail Gives Eurest First Class Stamp of Approval #

Eurest, the workplace division of foodservice giant Compass Group UK and Ireland, has been awarded a contract by Royal Mail to deliver services, including catering, across nearly two thirds of its sites until 2025.

The leading B&I company has worked with Royal Mail, feeding its army of key workers, for 22 years and its existing strong relationship was a big decider in winning the contract. Eurest showed a deep understanding of Royal Mail’s needs and demonstrated an ability to develop flexible solutions to the challenges brought on by the pandemic, whilst still delivering a consistent and strong service.

Eurest has created a new menu, which has been driven by a food philosophy that responds to the COVID-19 crisis by offering scalable, sustainable and nutrition-led options to boost employee health and wellbeing. The menu boasts over 280 healthier and more flavoursome dishes, seven new hot counter concepts, a promise of 80 per cent British produce and 25 per cent reduction in calories per 100g of food.

Each recipe has also been fully assessed by Eurest’s team of nutritionists.
Plant proteins are used where possible, food waste has been reduced and sustainable ingredients given preference. Grains like white rice have been substituted for higher fibre wholegrains such as bulgur wheat and brown rice. The new menu will support key workers by giving them access to a first-rate food offer.

Technology will also play a key role with cashless payments and app pre-ordering systems integral to COVID secure environments, enabling employees to reserve their meal and seat or click and collect if preferred. This will allow employees to avoid crowds and the high street, as well as feel confident to eat in their workplace.

Morag Freathy, Managing Director, B&I – Compass Group UK & Ireland said: “We are delighted to be working with a company with such strong heritage and we are committed to delivering an equally strong service to Royal Mail. Over the past year we’ve seen huge innovation and have developed new concepts to bring to the table. COVID-19 has forced us to rethink our workplace dining offer and we look forward to bringing this to life at Royal Mail.”  

Win a Night at The Dorchester for Two with Breakfast in Springboard’s Summer Raffle! #

June 21st is still a day to celebrate and not even Downing Street can put a dampener on it; it’s the official start of the Summer AND you can now get your hands on The Springboard Charity’s Summer Raffle tickets!

From exhilarating experiences through to exquisite dinners and overnight stays in some of the UK’s top hotels as prizes, the Summer Raffle is not to be missed.
Tickets are just £10 each and, as well as being a great treat for yourself, can make brilliant gifts for colleagues, friends and family (you could be gifting them a night at The Dorchester with breakfast for £10!).

To see a full list of the incredible prizes available in the Summer Raffle and to buy your tickets, visit: The profits made are being used to support young and unemployed people in the UK into sustainable work in hospitality and futureproof the talent pipeline for hospitality and tourism.

Springboard’s raffle will run through until 31st July and winners will be drawn at random on Monday 2nd August 2021.

FEA unveils new vice chair #

Paul Anderson and Glenn Roberts take up new responsibilities as Simon Lohse departs

FEA has announced several changes to its board.  Paul Anderson, managing director of Meiko UK, is to become vice chair of FEA and chair of the revenue and marketing committee.  Paul was previously chair of FEA’s warewashing group, a role that will now be taken by Glenn Roberts, who is sales director at Winterhalter. 

The moves come as a result of the imminent departure of FEA’s current vice chair, Simon Lohse, to pastures new.  Simon is managing director of Rational UK and is leaving to take up a new position as head of Rational’s operations in the Americas. 

It’s been a pleasure to work with Simon and I’m sorry to see him go,” says Steve Hobbs, chair of FEA.  “His commitment and energy have been invaluable.  Of course, this is a really exciting opportunity for him and everyone at FEA wishes him the very best for the future. 

Meanwhile I’m delighted that Paul has agreed to take over Simon’s roles at FEA.  He’s one of the most experienced foodservice equipment professionals in the industry and I know he’ll do a brilliant job.  Similarly, Glenn’s expertise and know-how make him the perfect replacement as chair of the warewashing group.” 

The changes will take place over summer 2021. 

The Foodservice Equipment Association (FEA) is the independent, authoritative voice of the foodservice equipment industry, representing nearly 200 companies who supply, service and maintain all types of commercial catering equipment - from utensils to full kitchen schemes.  For more information on FEA visit 

Register now for Natasha's Law Business Conference with Nutritics #

Counting down the days until Natasha's Law Business Conference, ⏱ 6th, 7th & 8th July 2021. This FREE virtual event brings together experts from across the UK to help your business prepare.

Find out more here

Register now:

Everything Your Business Needs to Prepare, including:
✅ Panel Discussions
✅ Expert Advice
✅ Live Workshops
✅ Training from Leading Experts

The latest in-demand content available on HRC Connects #

HRC Connects, the digital platform for Hotel, Restaurant & Catering, has a host of content available on-demand from articles and research to webinars from some of the industry’s leading figures.  

Tackling diversity & inclusion  

Lorraine Copes, Founder of Be Inclusive Hospitality, discusses the on-going diversity challenge in the hospitality and foodservice industry, particularly when it comes to senior industry roles and implementing substantial, long-term change. 

Rebounding opportunities in a post-pandemic environment 

Mike Hughes, Head of Research & Insight at FMCG Gurus, takes a look at some of the key drivers of consumer behaviour and some of the small changes that can make a big difference to a businesses’ bottom line. 

Future Food Trends – 2021, The Story So Far 

As we hit the halfway point of 2021, Charles Banks, Co-Founder of global trends agency thefoodpeople, and Kelly Dowson, managing Director of Good Sense Research, examine how some of the predicted trends and outcomes from the start of the year have played out and look ahead to the coming months as lockdown continues to ease and hospitality fully reopens.  

Whitepaper: A step-by-step guide to providing an aspirational drinks range for 

HRC partner On-Trade Consultancy share their latest whitepaper on navigating the all-important steps for pub and bar operators and owners to choose an aspirational drinks range that will fulfil customers’ needs, expectations, and result in larger percentage of regulars. The insightful whitepaper includes three key sections including steps for matching the drinks to your outlet, redefining your offering for future growth and tips for keeping up with the latest drinks trends.  

Learn more on the HRC Connects platform at