Members’ News

August 2022

IGD: UK food-to-go market recovers faster than anticipated but challenges lie ahead #

The UK food-to-go market is predicted to be worth £23.4bn by 2027, 26% more than pre-pandemic levels, according to the new forecast from insight provider IGD. While inflation is set to be the main driver of growth, operators and retailers have an opportunity to support consumers through the cost-of-living crisis as they look to save money.
By 2027 the market will be worth £23.4bn, 26% more than 2019.
This year (2022) the UK food-to-go channel will be worth £18.9bn, 3% more than its pre-Covid value in 2019. The market has performed better than predicted since the pandemic, but this will slow by the end of the year and throughout 2023 as consumers battle rising energy, fuel and food costs.

Nicola Knight, Senior Analyst for Food-to-Go and author of the forecasts, explains: “Foodservice businesses were the biggest beneficiaries of pent-up demand for food on-the-go last year because of all the innovation they put into working around lockdowns, such as flexible delivery solutions and click and collect offers. But as the cost-of living-crisis comes in these operators will be under pressure as they become more of a premium option compared with lower priced food-to-go alternatives from a retailer, or preparing food at home.”

Inflation will be the main driver of growth over the next 18 months.
Inflation is already affecting many consumers but until now food-to-go has continued to perform strongly.  This will change as the true impact of rising prices really kicks in in the last quarter and takes hold next year. So, while inflation will boost the overall value of the market, volume will, at best, stay the same in 2023.

“The next 18 months will be a challenging period for the sector, mainly for coffee and food-to-go specialists, as operators attempt to balance rising costs with helping consumers to save money.

“Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs) that focus on communicating their value, particularly around deals and family offers, will do well with consumers that are still looking for the occasional treat without breaking the bank.

The cost-of-living crisis will bring challenges for foodservice food-to-go operators but opportunities for retailers
With the focus back on value for at least the next 18 months, retailers are in a strong position. The price point, range and execution of meal deals will become fiercely competitive, as they aim to capitalise on the opportunity.

During the pandemic, retailers deprioritised food-to-go space in favour of in-demand categories, leaving them on the competitive back foot as footfall returned and consumers sought a change from homemade meals. However, if they can get their price, offer and format right, by 2027 retail could more than regain the share lost to foodservice operators during the pandemic to claim 23.7% of the food-to-go market, compared with 22.9% in 2019 and 20% in 2020/21.

“Key opportunities for retailers over the next 18 months will include strengthening their meal deal offers as consumers become more value-led, and utilising customer data to create tailored offers that are relevant and savings-focused. There’s also an opportunity for them to increase food-to-go ranges to meet consumer needs across a wider variety of meal occasions

The annual Food-to-Go forecast report from IGD examines in detail the outlook by sector for: QSR, coffee shops, food-to-go specialists, supermarkets/hypermarkets, and convenience, forecourts & other retailers.

Bidcorp UK acquires Nicol Hughes Foodservice #

Bidcorp UK is delighted to announce the acquisition of Nicol Hughes Foodservice. The Northwest-based wholesaler becomes the latest addition to Caterfood Buying Group’s successful network of independent businesses, trading alongside Elite Fine Foods, Caterfood, South Lincs Foodservice and Cimandis, reflecting their strategy of retaining each businesses’ independent ethos, character and approach.

Nicol Hughes Foodservice prides itself on its high level of service, delivering frozen, ambient, chilled and non-food products from its Chester-based multi-temperature site, strategically placed to service the Northwest of England and North Wales.
Andrew Selley, CEO of Bidcorp UK commented:

We’re thrilled to welcome the team and customers from Nicol Hughes Foodservice into our Bidcorp family. Since being transformed to its current format in the 1960’s, the company has developed an excellent reputation within foodservice and has a proud service record which fits with our own service excellence ambitions.

“Nicol Hughes Foodservice will become an integral part of Caterfood Buying Group, adding extra buying power, regional coverage, and expertise to share and learn from. I look forward to a successful integration and flourishing success within the group

The company, which will move away from Sterling Buying Group at the end of July, will keep its name, branding and independence. Mark Moss, Managing Director of Nicol Hughes Foodservice commented:

"We are extremely excited to become part of the Bidcorp family. The acquisition will only strengthen the business and we look forward to the fantastic opportunities that will arise as a result of this new venture in the future.”

Sodexo Live! unveils £1 million makeover of DW Stadium in Wigan #

Home to Wigan Athletic and Wigan Warriors, the DW Stadium now boasts modern hospitality, conference and events spaces thanks to a £1m investment from venue partner Sodexo Live!

The upgrades reflect Sodexo Live!’s commitment to the DW Stadium and the wider Wigan community, which was cemented in an 11-year catering and hospitality agreement with the stadium in September 2021. 

A notable highlight of the venue upgrades is a new sports bar renamed in honour of Wigan Athletic’s former owner, Dave Whelan. Whelan's Bar offers hot and cold snacks, plus alcoholic favourites and a traditional English brew. On 27 July, Dave Whelan christened his namesake bar at an exclusive launch event. 

The popular DW Sports fitness lounge has also been transformed into an exclusive venue equipped with state-of-the-art AV, advanced projectors, and a sophisticated sound system. Hosting up to 500 people, it benefits from its own private entrance on the ground floor. 

The Chairman’s Lounge which boasts a birds-eye view of all the action, has been renovated and now offers a premium experience for up to 100 people on matchdays and beyond. Guests looking for pitch-side views will also love the transformed Phoenix Lounge.  

Along with the extensive upgrades, Sodexo Live! Executive Head Chef, Roger Varley, has created tantalising new premium menus and is available to create bespoke offers too. 

Rebecca Kane Burton, CEO Sodexo Live! UK and Ireland, said: 

With Wigan Athletic back where they deserve to be in the Championship, it’s only fitting that Latics fans will have more reason to cheer when they return to the DW Stadium this season. 

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with the DW Stadium and believe that together we can offer unrivalled service for Latics and Warriors fans and help drive the use of the venue on non-matchdays, creating a true destination venue for conferences, events and celebrations whilst nurturing local food and hospitality talent in the Wigan area

Commenting on the opening of Whelan’s Sports Bar and the investment into facilities at the DW Stadium, Wigan Athletic chief executive Malachy Brannigan said:

Firstly, it was fantastic to welcome Mr. Whelan to the opening of Whelan’s Sports Bar to formally open the facility.

“It is important that the continued respect for what Mr. Whelan did here at Wigan Athletic is prominent. Clearly through the statue and Whelan’s Sports Bar, the high esteem in which Mr. Whelan is held here will be evident to all visitors to the Stadium.

“We are aware that Rigaletto’s was named after Mr. Whelan's father, whose stage name was Tony Rigaletto when he performed as a singer and entertainer, so again we wanted the name to remain with the Whelan family.

“Working with our partners at Sodexo Live!, there has been significant investment into the facilities at the Stadium as we continually look to improve the matchday and non-matchday experience. We think Whelan’s Sports Bar will be a really popular offering for supporters, so we encourage our fans to come down, have a look at the bar and try the food and drink in the next few weeks and at our upcoming fixtures

From football stadiums to basketball arenas to racecourses, Sodexo Live! is a global stadium and hospitality expert. Click here to find out more about the range of services Sodexo Live offers.

Gather & Gather scores contract extension with Charlton Athletic #

Gather & Gather, part of catering and hospitality company CH&CO, has extended its partnership with Charlton Athletic Football club as the exclusive caterer for The Valley stadium and Sparrows Lane training ground with a new a five-year deal.

Gather & Gather’s specialist stadia team will continue to provide all hospitality and retail concourse catering at The Valley on matchdays, as well as selling conferences and events on non-matchdays, including meetings, exhibitions, private events, weddings and parties.

The team will also continue to cater for the men’s and women’s first teams, the club’s U23s and U18s at Charlton’s refurbished Sparrows Lane training ground.
Further to this, as part of the agreement, Gather & Gather will invest a significant amount of money into supporting the club in continuing to improve the matchday catering experience at The Valley.

Visitors and fans to The Valley can expect to see new menus across the stadium featuring more plant-based options, as well as a new VIP restaurant experience. Investment in technology, including new EPOS tills and digital dynamic pricing signage, will also provide greater efficiencies in service.

Customers to the popular Upbeats Kitchen in the West Stand, which is part of the Upbeats programme run by the Charlton Athletic Community Trust for young people and adults with Down’s syndrome, will enjoy the introduction of a bespoke Upbeats pie.

Upholding CH&CO’s top-level sustainability rating from the Sustainable Restaurant Association, Gather & Gather will focus on packaging and the elimination of single use plastic and maximising use of the local supply chain through the business’s South London Larder.

Managing Director for CH&CO Leisure, Rob Fredrickson, said: “We’re thrilled to extend our relationship with Charlton Athletic and have the opportunity to build on our shared successes to date. The new deal includes us investing money into new and exciting fan experiences in hospitality and in the concourses via physical and digital infrastructure as well as creating new and exciting food and drink menus for all the fans and visitors to The Valley.”

Charlton Athletic owner and CEO, Thomas Sandgaard, said: “Since I have taken over, one of the important bits of feedback from supporters has been around improving the quality of food and drink on a matchday. We have taken that feedback and worked with Gather & Gather to make improvements – which have included the innovative, and very popular Upbeats Kitchen in the Covered End. We know there is still more to be done and we’re really pleased that Gather & Gather has committed to investing in improvements to support our vision for an improved matchday experience.”

As part of the partnership, season-ticket holders get increased benefits, including an exclusive pre-game discount of 20% on food and beverages sold at The Valley’s concourse kiosks for a period of time before kick-off, and up to 10% off a match-by-match hospitality package at The Valley

Nutritics launches new Website #

Nutritics have launched their newly designed website to reflect the organisation’s focus and enhance the customer experience.

Nutritics, the leading supplier in food data management software has today announced the launch of their newly redesigned website The website was renewed in order to enhance the online customer experience, modernise our online presence in line with our cutting-edge technology and to better reflect the organisation's business focus.

The site features an enhanced support centre to better service our potential customers and clients, a restructured navigation system that now reflects the solution focused approach of nutritics and a new content centre hosting nutritics blog, thought leadership space and press room.

Head of Marketing, Lena Engel, who led the web project said: “ As Nutritics grows, we are continuously looking for ways to improve and progress as a company. Our new website is a representation of this progression as well as demonstrating our focus on providing the best experience for our current and prospective clients.
The fresh, more dynamic look now clearly reflects who Nutritics truly are as a company, and the easier navigation and richer content make for a smooth, more engaging online experience. It’s a great testament to the team’s months of hard work and dedication. We are delighted to now have an industry-leading website that reflects our position as leading suppliers of food data management software across the UK and Ireland

Nutritics invites industry personnel, clients and stakeholders to visit and explore the new website. As food data management leaders, nutritics believe it is important to share our knowledge and expertise through our blog and resource space. We encourage visitors to utilise our insightful information, e-books and research published online and also browse our solution focused navigation menu where you will receive a streamlined view of the products nutritics has to offer your business.
Nutritics develops and supplies food data management software which helps businesses unlock the hidden value of food data, to manage recipes, create labels, plan meals, take orders, publish menus and calculate the carbon footprint. Their business is focused on making food data more reliable, more accessible and more valuable for food businesses and their customers.

How to elevate your menu this Christmas #

Bidfood shares its festive food insights as part of its product launch to help operators navigate Christmas.  

One of the UK’s leading foodservice providers, Bidfood, has today launched its 2022 festive range, along with a variety of insights and trends to help operators supply exactly what consumers want this Christmas.

This year we expect to see, for the first time since 2019, a much more ‘normal’ festive period. This will include consumers once again having the opportunity to go out for festive foods, Christmas drinks and work parties without the stress and worry of Covid.

But as always, it isn’t entirely smooth sailing for the hospitality industry. The cost of living crisis isn’t showing signs of abating, so its important operators remain savvy with their offerings this year.

The good news is that a third of consumers (32%) intend to socialise as much as they can, making up for lost occasions during lockdown, and only 1 in 10 are cautious about making bookings this year.

To cater to this rise in out of home celebrations, whilst remaining savvy with your offering, Bidfood’s new range takes inspiration not only from festive food, but from autumnal influences too. For example: a chicken, chestnut mushroom and pancetta pie that can be enjoyed alongside baby hassleback potatoes and slow-cooked red cabbage. And, for those with a sweet tooth, a caramel & gingerbread truffle puddle cake to finish.

Value for money is also a top priority for consumers with 2 in 5 people saying that due to the cost of living crisis, getting value for money will be more important than ever when they go out this Christmas time. To support operators with this, Bidfood has developed menu options that elevate a classic dish to make them feel special, whilst not breaking the bank! For example, a slow-cooked beef shin in Chianti sauce with baby pearl onions and duck fat roasted potatoes.

As well as value for money, consumers want their meals and drinks out to feel like more of an occasion. With this in mind, operators would benefit from having an offering appropriate for special occasions with set menus, premium offers and environments that feel that bit more special, unique or luxurious, to set themselves apart from competitors.

As part of the new range, Bidfood has also explored the ‘Wow Factor’ trend launching a number of dessert and on the go items, such as the Phat vegan festive bake comprising pea protein in a rich creamy sauce with cranberry & herb, as well as a chocolate orange tiffin, mince pie brownie traybake and a festive raspberry millionaire slice. All of which can be bought to take away and eat on-the-go in a number of different sustainable packaging options offered within the wholesaler’s extensive packaging range.

Vicky Tripp, Campaign & Brand Manager at Bidfood commented: “It’s easy over the festive period to become focused on traditional Christmas foods and our own personal favourites, to avoid this we have focused our innovation this year to give more to our customers so no one is left out.

“We’ve worked hard over the past 12 months to ensure we have something for everyone, ranging from seafood & fish, on the go items, luxury and nostalgia and of course, free from and meat free.

“With a variety of traditional favourites and exiting new products the Bidfood 2022 range includes a combination of great value foods for consumers to enjoy as well as being easy to prepare, making Christmas that little less hectic for operators

Sodexo proudly salutes its eight finalists in the 2022 Ex-Forces in Business Awards #

A team of eight Sodexo employees have reached the final stages of the prestigious British Ex-Forces in Business Awards, the world’s largest celebration of former military personnel who have transitioned into civilian employment and are excelling in their second careers as part of the wider UK workforce. 

Sodexo is committed to supporting the armed forces community and was an early signatory of the Armed Forces Covenant and recently retained its gold status in the Defence Relationship Management’s Employer Recognition Scheme.  

As a partner to the military for over 30 years Sodexo continually looks to support and provide employment opportunities at every level to those leaving the military and it delighted that the following have been recognised at these awards: 

Advocate of the Year finalist:

Rachel Evans, HR Director, Sodexo Government 

Reservist of the Year Award finalist:

Ross Gurney, Material Account Storekeeper at Merville Barracks 

Business Leader of the Year finalist:

Gary Hird, Catering Manager at Tidworth (PAC) 

Outstanding Achiever of the Year Award finalist:

Greg Joliffe, Service Manager, at Salisbury

Team leader of the Year finalist:

Matthew Kenyon, Kitchen Manager at Larkhill 

Military Values in Business Award finalists:

Colin Maskelyne, Catering, Retail and Leisure Manager, at Larkhill
Lindsey Partington, Head of Healthcare at HMP Forest Bank 

New Service Leaver of the Year Award finalist:

Zoe Savage, Regional Security Manager, Ministry of Justice (MOJ) 

The winners will be announced at a gala dinner taking place at the Grosvenor House, London on 8 September 2022. 

Paul Anstey, CEO, Government, Sodexo UK & Ireland said: “We are extremely proud and delighted for each of our eight finalists at this year’s British Ex-Forces in Business Awards and we wish them the best of luck for the 8 September.  

Supporting the Armed Forces plays a key part of Sodexo's Social Impact Pledge. We recognise military-gained skills and qualities translate well into our business and this is showcased brilliantly by the finalists and the many other ex-forces leaders who are part of the Sodexo family. 

“It’s a fantastic achievement and a testament that people with military careers can truly thrive in a civilian life, while demonstrating the value people with an Armed Forces background can bring to business

Earlier this month Sodexo retained its Gold Employer Recognition Award by the Ministry of Defence in recognition of the company’s commitment and efforts to support the entire Armed Forces community through its strong policies.  Sodexo was one of the first organisations to be awarded gold in 2017.  Its policies and initiatives include: 

* the positive recruitment of ex-military personnel
* the provision of employment opportunities for the spouses of service personnel posted into areas where Sodexo holds a contract
* a flexible approach to granting leave for employees which are members of the Reserves
* an employee Reservist and Military network gives a voice to those in Sodexo’s workforce that are reserves, veterans, families of serving personnel as well as those with a connection or interest in the military. This network provides representation from this unique group to ensure Sodexo’s policies and ways of working are inclusive to their needs.
* a partnership approach to supporting service charities such as SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity. Sodexo has been a partner to SSAFA for 15 years and provides valuable support through sponsorship, volunteering and fundraising activities
financial support for the charity’s homelessness fund through the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation.

A number of Sodexo employees also participate in SSAFA’s mentoring scheme to help individuals transitioning from the military into civilian life.

Since 2019 Sodexo has supported the charity’s Friendly to Forces campaign, aimed at encouraging more UK companies to challenge their perceptions of hiring service leavers.

jellybean Earns its Wings for the Second Year Running #

Leading food and drink agency jellybean is celebrating once again after winning Best B2B Campaign for the second consecutive year at the Independent Agency Awards.
You Don’t Know Philly for Philadelphia Professional, took the top spot in the category which celebrates outstanding campaigns in the B2B sector. The judges were impressed with the strategy and thoroughness of the campaign, which was grounded in strong insight. Not to mention it’s stand-out creative execution; including an attention-grabbing exploding cheesecake video; and crucially, highly compelling results.
MD of jellybean, Susan Wickes, says of the win: “It’s fantastic to see our You Don’t Know Philly campaign recognised at the Independent Agency Awards. At jellybean, we never do things by halves and this award is testament to the hard work the team has put in to execute and deliver such an exciting campaign. Thanks also to the team at Mondelez, Philadelphia brand owners, who put their faith in jellybean and this brave campaign and worked with us to drive real cut-through for the brand in the foodservice market.”
The fact that this is the second year in a row that jellybean has scooped Best B2B Campaign only reinforces that our integrated approach, strategic thinking, and deep-rooted industry knowledge continues to be the best in the business.”
Find out more about the campaign here.

Sodexo retains Clifton College for further five years #

Independents by Sodexo has successfully retained the catering and hospitality contract with Clifton College in Bristol for a further five years. The contract starts on 1 September and is valued at £2.5 million. 

Clifton College, established in 1862, is one of the biggest and most prestigious co-ed schools in the country and has 1,255 students aged from 0 through to 18 years and has 389 boarders. 

Independents by Sodexo will continue to provide the fresh, nutritious meals that Clifton College pupils love as part of a new menu which will be introduced when they return in September for the start of the academic year. The new menu has been developed to further encourage the adoption of a healthy, balanced, sustainable diet and has been designed to spark a genuine interest in the food they are eating. 

Upper school pupils dine in the College’s main catering building called Big School Kitchen which is also used by the boarders for breakfast and supper. Pre and Prep pupils, nursery for babies from 3 months old – 3 years old have their own dining hall in the Bretton Memorial Hall and sixth formers have the Language café and Crypt for their use only. 

Sodexo was first awarded the contract in 2017 and will also continue to provide catering at the College’s events and hospitality packages for various external functions held at the College. The demand for hospitality has increased at the College and Sodexo now has a dedicated hospitality manager with a team of three to deliver five-star menus for the wide-range of events held at the College.  

A new hospitality booking system has been installed at the College and there are plans to introduce mobile solutions for use at the College’s many events which range from catering for music concerts, open days, parents’ evenings, house suppers, Headmasters’ VIP lunches, dinners, weddings and memorial services. 

The catering and hospitality services continue throughout the summer holiday for the kids club, language school and corporate events which are held at the College.

Steve Hawkins, managing director, schools for Sodexo UK & Ireland said: “The retention of this contract is testament to the strong relationship our team has developed with the College. We have placed an emphasis on continuous improvement and innovation within the contract particularly in the area of the hospitality offer which will help the College realise its commercial objectives in generating revenue from external events and functions which the College can reinvest for the benefit of its students.”

Gemma Rudrum, finance director, Clifton College added: “Independents by Sodexo has proven to be a trusted partner to the College, enabling us to realise the commercial potential our wonderful Grade II listed buildings and exquisite grounds. We look forward to strengthening our partnership with Sodexo and boosting the opportunities to host some wonderful events.”

Amazon appears to be powering ahead with its bold ambitions for UK Grocery says TWC #

New research from digital and data experts, TWC, has revealed high awareness for Amazon Fresh at 55% nationally, rising to 68% in London. Just over 1 in 10 shoppers has shopped at an Amazon Fresh store, renowned for its lack of checkouts and payment via the Amazon app.
Amazon now operates 19 stores, mostly in and around London, with its latest opening in commuter town, Sevenoaks, in Kent. The retailer has previously expressed an intention to open 260 physical stores by the end of 2025.
Latest TWC Trends figures suggest that total online grocery penetration is plateauing following rapid growth through the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. The research was conducted in June 2022 and showed that whilst 14% of shoppers claim to have used the online channel more in the last 6 months, a higher proportion (16%) have used it less – and the majority are using it the same amount.
The research also suggests there is little loyalty in online grocery, with only 18% of consumers saying they always use the same retailer and 13% saying they use an online delivery subscription such as Tesco Delivery Saver or Ocado Smart Pass. These schemes offer unlimited delivery slots for a fixed monthly or annual fee, along with additional benefits such as access to coveted Christmas delivery slots and in some cases discounts on certain items or free gifts.
Sarah Coleman, Communications Director at TWC comments:
Amazon appears to be powering ahead with its bold ambitions for the UK grocery sector. Two recent initiatives come to mind – offering 25% discount to Prime members shopping in its Fresh stores on the run up to Prime Day and price matching Tesco (including Clubcard deals) on online grocery orders, presumably both with the intention of driving trial of its services.
The low level of loyalty in the online grocery channel means it’s all to play for and given the current cost-of-living crisis, any play on price is likely to be well received by consumers and may just encourage them to switch their shopping habits.
The research did however also highlight a not insignificant group of Amazon ‘rejectors’, who actively avoid the retailer. Accounting for 1 in 5 consumers nationally, these ‘rejectors’ are similar in demographic profile to Amazon’s core shoppers – they are younger, more likely to have children in the household and over-index in London. This suggests Amazon has something of ‘marmite’ appeal amongst this core group.
The TWC Trends Summer Edition 2022 series is based on the views and sentiments of over 1,000 consumers across the UK. The research was conducted 14-18 June 2022.
For a free download of the research findings, please visit:

UK’s biggest food-to-go showcase previews new product innovations #

On 14-15 September, hundreds of exciting new innovations from across the café, coffee shop and food-to-go sector will be on display at lunch!.  Taking place at ExCeL London, the unmissable trade show has garnered a loyal following of buyers and senior professionals from Tesco, Pret, Waitrose, Selfridges, Sainsbury’s, M&S Food, Boots, Co-op, Debenhams, Caffé Nero, Costa, Whole Foods, WH Smith, Waitrose, and many more.    

Will Stratton-Morris, CEO of Caffè Nero says “Having attended dozens of trade shows over the years, this is unquestionably one of the best. Vibrant, quality players and very engaging.”        

Due to increased demand, the show has facilitated even more stand space for 2022 – meaning more brands than ever will be showcasing their latest innovations to the industry. Featuring a bustling central exhibition with over 300 exhibitors, here’s just a handful of new products helping to shape the future of the food-to-go sector over the next twelve months (with many launching exclusively at the show):   

William Jackson Food Group is introducing Ve-Du-Ya® (Vegan 'Nduja). By using Calabrian chillies which are traditionally used in ‘nduja, the Vegan ‘Nduja paste pays close attention to the classic ‘nduja flavours and melting qualities (stand L831).   

Barebells is showcasing its Salty Peanuts Protein Bars.  Made from golden salty peanuts dipped in caramel sauce, protein fluff and covered in a blanket of white creamy chocolate. It contains 20g of protein per bar and no added sugar (stand L961).   

Herbal Infusion is exhibiting its new Co Crunchy pumpkin seeds, toasted, and coated in a vegan sour cream & chives seasoning.  Each 35g bag offers 12g Plant-Protein, 2g Carbs, 2g Fibre and 50% Less Salt (stand L1271).   

Ninju is introducing the Ninju Kids Super Shot. A chilled blend of water, fresh fruit juices, natural vegetables, with added vitamins and minerals A, C, D, Calcium, Magnesium & Zinc (stand L1079).   

Donut worry be happy is introducing new filled mini doughnuts in six varieties; The Apricotty Bite, filled with apricot marmalade; The Caramba Bite, featuring a caramel toffee filling; The Crazelnut Bite, offering a chocolate hazelnut centre; The Speculicious Bite; The Very Berry Bite, encased with red summer berries and The White Chocolate Bite, offering a chocolate centre. The 25g bites are made of light dough and contains 100% natural colours and flavours (stand L379).   

LoveRaw is promoting its new Nutty Choc Balls, a crunchy hazelnut coated in hazelnut cream and covered in a crisp wafer shell with LoveRaw’s iconic milk choc and hazelnut pieces.  Each pack contains two individually wrapped plant-based chocolate balls, free from palm oil and anything artificial (stand L940).   

Wunderfish GmbH is promoting BettaF!sh TU-NAH that tastes like tuna but made with seaweed and legumes. BettaF!sh TU-NAH is the most authentic vegan alternative to tinned tuna on the market – 100% plant-based and high in protein – the range comes in sandwiches, pizzas, spreads or available for foodservice (stand L433).    

Waterbomb is exhibiting What A Juice LIGHT – Tropical. Each 150ml serving gives 45% of the daily vitamin C, D and Zinc, recommended to support the immune system and metabolism (stand L438).   

BOL Foods is promoting its new BOL Power Shakes: a nutritionally complete meal in a bottle packed with 100% plant-based whole foods and 26 essential vitamins and minerals. Powered by 20g high protein and with no added sugar, and available in four flavours: Chocolate Peanut Butter; Chocolate Orange; Vanilla, Oats & Almond; Mango & Coconuts (stand L341).   

Agua De Madre is showcasing Blood Orange Bitters 25clm– a single serve, award winning water Kefir with a Blood Orange Bitter flavour. This functional drink has 55 billion live cultures which is an ideal invigorator for the gut. Small batch made in Hackney (stand L1249).      

Delicious Ideas Food Group is exhibiting its plastic-free ‘Grab 'n' Go’ range of snacks. They feature a mix of vegan, low sugar, and high protein options – including salted pretzel pearls, fruit and nut, gourmet jellybeans, hot and spicy nut & corn mix, and more. Packaging is certified as compostable (stand L371).   

Love Corn is showcasing its new flavour, Chocolate Crunchy Corn. It features classic crunchy corn made with the smoothest milk chocolate with a hint of sea salt (stand L130).   

INTUNE is promoting its range of award-winning CBD sparkling soft drinks. Created to bring CBD out of the health space and into the everyday (stand L761)  

Epic Oats have created a range of flavoured instant oat pots with an innovative healthy granola topper to add texture and flavour. Available (stand SU-16).  

Sharpak, part of Groupe Guillin, has unveiled a new innovative hybrid packaging for sushi, bakery, and deli designed with multiple benefits for food-to-go, retailers, consumers and importantly, the environment (stand L431).   

Organix Brands is exhibiting its ‘7 Veggies’ meals pot, from a new range of baby meals.  Made with veggies and pulses, they are wrapped in packaging that is 100% recyclable and 100% reusable.  A deliciously tasty stage 2 meal, convenient for parents on-the-go, and suitable for 7 months old and up (stand L249).   

Vitamin Well (Barebells Functional Foods) is introducing NOCCO Mango Del Sol – the new caffeinated drink. Made with sun-ripened mangos, it contains 180 mg of caffeine, BCAA and is sugar free (stand L971).   

Vita Mojo International Limited is promoting its Delivery Integrations. Vita Mojo provides one centralised hub, offering integrations with Deliveroo, Uber Eats and Just Eat. Our integrations mean you can take, manage and fulfil orders from delivery aggregators - and your Vita Mojo ordering channels - all in one place (stand L1061).   

Fatso Brands Limited is showcasing its range of 150g FATSO bars in 3 interesting flavour combos. Made with the highest quality ingredients, including true Single Origin Colombian Dark Chocolate that is 100% ethical with Fino de Aroma creds. Flavours include Cornflake, Toast & Marmalade; Peanut, Toffee & Digestive Biscuit; and Salted Pretzel, Whole Almond & Honeycomb (stand SU1).   

Remedy Drinks Pty is promoting its Kombucha in Wild Berry flavour.  An all-natural blend of strawberry, blackberry and blueberry. Handcrafted in small batches, it contains no sugar thanks to their long age brew. The result is the tastiest kombucha full of live cultures, organic acids and antioxidants (stand L432).  

OH MY GUM! is showcasing its award-winning plant-based chewing gum made without the plastic, sugar or artificial ingredients. Winners of the Sustainable Food Awards and the Great Taste Awards, OH MY GUM! is available in an all-natural fresh mint and a spicy cinnamon and will be launching its third fruity flavour at lunch! (stand L876).   

Love Struck (F&B) is exhibiting its frozen fruit vegan cocktail mixers. Just mix a sachet of one of our four flavours with a shot of spirits and juice for a delicious, bar quality cocktail (stand L331).   

The Kyoot Company is promoting Premium Range of Plant-Based Belgian Chocolate. Made with three simple ingredients: organic cacao, organic cacao butter, and organic unrefined coconut sugar. Each dreamy, creamy bar is vegan, organic, and gluten-free with no refined sugars, no fake sweeteners, no emulsifiers, no GMOs, and is wrapped in 100% recyclable paper (stand L443).   

Weetabix is showcasing its Crispy Minis, crunchy bites made with golden wholegrain wheat. High in fibre and crammed with real Chocolate chips (stand L1078).  

MOMA Foods is exhibiting its new MOMA Oat Semi and Whole oat drinks.  Made in the UK with British wholegrain oats, both the MOMA Oat Semi and MOMA Oat Whole are fully foamable and non-splitting and are fortified with vitamins D3, B2, B12 iodine and calcium to make them a suitable everyday alternative to dairy (stand L437).   

Euro Food Partners is showcasing its Hazelnut Spread with Cocoa.  Made with a classic recipe combining velvet smooth chocolate with a nutty flavour. Also showcasing Caramelised Biscuit Spread – the spiced cookie is made into a spread with a distinct caramel taste (stand L542).   

Fearne and Rosie is promoting its Strawberry Jam that contains 40% less sugar than standard jams. Fearne & Rosie use all natural ingredients, absolutely no concentrates, are vegan friendly and palm oil free (stand L1036).  

Oddlygood Global is exhibiting Oddlygood Dreamy Berries – an oat-based dessert with Scandinavian raspberry and blueberry. Also showcasing:  Oddlygood Barista Orange Brownie flavoured oat drink and Dreamy Lemon an oat-based dessert.  Enriched with vitamins and minerals, plant-based and gluten-free (stand L672).   

Flower and White is exhibiting its Fruity Mallow Bars in two ‘smoothie’ inspired flavours: Strawberry and banana, and Mango and Passionfruit bars, with less than 60 calories each (stand L1141).   

Multiple Marketing is sampling Daymer Bay, a new range of juices and still lemonades. They're premium, single serve drinks which are bottled in Britain using sustainable glass bottles and paper labels and can be enjoyed alone or as a mixer (stand L1146).   

Bibo Brands BV is showcasing Etna Floral Patchwork reusable coffee cup.  The design has a Parisian allure, and the cup keeps coffee hot for 9 hours (stand L845).  

The Coconut Collaborative is promoting its new Double Cre&m. Vegan, gluten free, palm oil free and heat-stable, the cream can be whipped and can be used in a crumble, in a pasta sauce or as a whipped cake topping (stand L171).   

Glebe Farm Foods is showcasing its oat drink made from gluten-free oats grown on an eco-friendly British farm. Designed for barista quality coffee, but also great for cereals or smoothies. Only 4 natural ingredients – oats, water, sunflower oil, and salt (stand L410).  

Free trade registration     

lunch! will return to ExCeL London on 14-15 September 2022. The show will again co-locate with Casual Dining – the definitive trade event for the restaurant, pub and bar sector and Commercial Kitchen – the essential event for executive chefs and leading decision makers from all types of professional kitchens.  To register for a free trade ticket, visit Quote xxx to save the £20 door fee. 

Latest MealTrak Results – 12 w/e 13 June 2022 (wave 102) #

•           Latest MealTrak results show the number of out-of-home eating occasions were 12% higher than the comparable period in 2021 on a 52 week/MAT basis.
•           In the latest 12-week, the number of out-of-home eating occasions were 8% higher than in 2021.  There were 786 million eating out of home occasions in the 12 w/e 13 June 2022. 
•           However, there were almost 40 million more eating out of home occasions in the 12 w/e 16 May 2022 (828 million vs 786 million). 
•           In the last 12 weeks, the ‘eating out’ channel (comprising pubs, restaurants and hotels) was in strong growth, +97% vs previous year.  The growth has slowed since last month (when 12 w/e growth was +188%).   
•           Growth in ‘eating out’ is driven by restaurants +120% and pubs +84% (again, growth for both has slowed vs. last month). 
•           Sandwich shops and coffee shops/cafes have gone into decline over the latest 12 weeks (they were in growth last month) and so they join fast food and high street as the channels in decline. 
•           Forecourts are rebounding well – with a 32% increase in occasions in the previous 12 weeks compared to 2021. Convenience stores continue to struggle vs other channels.
•           Value sales are up 23% both on a 52 week/MAT basis and in the previous 12 weeks versus 2021.
•           Sub-sectors driving growth (last 12 weeks vs 2021) are predominantly ‘eating out’ venues: restaurants (+148%), pubs (+99%) and hotels (+96%).
•           At product category level, it is ‘staples’ and ‘treats’ that are driving the recovery in food-to-go, with cakes & pastries, crisps & nuts, sandwiches, savoury pastries, breakfast foods and hot & cold drinks all showing growth of 20%+ YOY (value).
•           This is reflected in consumer missions, which are becoming more ‘compartmentalised'. Treats (+52% latest 52w/e), have performed strongly through the pandemic. Health, which was an increasing focus through Covid, is increasingly reflected in FTG missions (+19%). Meanwhile, current economic pressures have seen year-on-year rises in ‘something quick & easy to eat’ (+15%) and ‘something not too expensive’ (+4%).
Commenting on the results, Tom Fender, Development Director at TWC, said:
The latest MealTrak data reflects the continued recovery of the eating out sector (restaurants, hotels and pubs), supported by a modest increase in food-to-go, most notably in the multiple grocers over the last 12 weeks. We are seeing fast food and particularly takeaways – which significantly benefitted from the lockdowns - beginning to fall back.”
With increasing pressure on household budgets due to rising bills and food inflation, we anticipate that channel performance could change quickly. Whilst the eating out sector is currently seeing the strongest growth, its performance is based on poorer comparatives from last year. Meanwhile, food-to-go may well see growth in the coming months as an affordable treat.”  
For more information on Mealtrak please contact Kim Reddick at TWC (

Industry leaders agree hospitality careers must be recognised as skilled and flexible if employers want to attract young talent #

Hospitality representatives from education, charity and industry came together last week to discuss the sector staffing crisis at Footprint Sustainability Symposium: The Future of Talent in association with Nestlé Professional.
Sharing personal experiences, attendees agreed hospitality is currently misrepresented as unskilled or a ‘back-up career’ for young people, and that the industry should rethink its approach and messaging to appeal to these. They also talked about what is and isn’t working, highlighting solutions for attracting talent. Released today as a podcast, the discussion provides a powerful overview of the key issues, with fresh market insight, diverse viewpoints, and ideas for the industry moving forwards.
The hospitality industry is in the midst of a staffing crisis, which has worsened over the last few years as a result of Brexit and Covid. One in 8 food sector roles is vacant, representing half a million out of 4.1 million workers. This is leading to foodservice businesses cutting operating hours, reducing menu options and in some cases, closing down outlets.
To discuss the challenges and highlight how employers, government, charities and education should be addressing them, Footprint’s Sustainability Symposium, brought together stakeholders from across the industry: Amanda McDade, National Head of Careers Education at Springboard, John Holden, Chair and Founder of Bridging the Skills Gap, Julia Jones, Head of B2B Marketing at Nestlé Professional, and Sophie Taylor, Chef de Partie, Gleneagles Townhouse and 2021 Toque d’Or winner FOH student.
Sharing exclusive findings from new Nestlé Professional research on attracting industry talent, symposium members discussed how the industry should be promoting itself, and how jobs need to adapt in order to attract young talent. All agreed that competitions like Toque d’Or and Future Chef are making a big impact on both employee skills and confidence. Attendees also discussed the importance of having a sustainability mindset – both for businesses attracting new recruits, and fresh talent trying to break into the industry.
Julia Jones, Head of B2B Marketing at Nestlé Professional says,
Our research highlighted the top barriers to a career in hospitality and revealed that awareness of the opportunities is low – not just among young people, but also key influencers like parents, teachers and careers advisors. Food and beverage have been neglected on the curriculum for a long time, so the understanding is also not there. If we’re not inspiring people from a young age, how are we going to get passion and drive from our new recruits?

We also discovered that just over 60% of young people in hospitality love it, nearly 35% say it's okay, and 4% are not enjoying it, so there's clearly room for improvement. If we want those to convince their peers and parents, we need to address these barriers and talk about the positive things about the industry, while at the same time being realistic about where things need to change.”
Amanda McDade, National Heads of Careers Education at Springboard says,
There seems to be a real disconnect between a young person's perception of hospitality and the exciting reality of a career within hospitality. Young people don't understand the real breadth of the exciting career options they can have, as well as the kind of fast progression that they can make within the industry. We need to be getting that information across – getting people in the industry who are excited about their career.”
There's definitely a need to get support behind the hospitality industry in general, but also the education system that sits behind it. Cutting out things like the A-level qualification, school's not receiving enough support, and home economics departments closing down within schools is just adding to the problem. We really need something to change in the government's thinking about hospitality; the importance it has to the UK economy, and how we make it sustainable in the future.”
John Holden, Chair and Founder of Bridging the Skills Gap says,

Linking with the teachers in the schools is essential. I set up a whole portfolio when I was at Tameside, along with the Food Teachers Association, and linked with so many schoolteachers that we had schools coming into the restaurant and people saying, I didn't realise it was going to be like this - isn't this great? Again, I think this is a miscommunication with the school and also the parents.”
Toque d’Or 2021 FOH student winner, Sophie Taylor, says,
A lot of people in my age group at high school still didn't know what they wanted to do. And it was very much, ‘you must go to university’, ‘you must do a job’, and if you brought anything that was like performing arts or in hospitality or being a chef or waiting, they're like, ‘oh, well, that's not a real job’.
You don't necessarily have to be cooking in a kitchen or serving the food or shaking a cocktail. There's media now, there's social platforms, there's so much to do with a career in hospitality. Breaking that boundary will make sure that this industry becomes more successful
Summarising the value of a career in the sector, she adds,
Hospitality is not a backup career: it can be a first-time choice. There are so many options, you just have to go for it. Just jump and trust your heart and you will not be disappointed.”
The podcast will be released online today, and can be downloaded or streamed online:

Sodexo Live! appointed venue partner for Fulham Football Club’s Fulham Pier development #

Sodexo Live! has won an eleven-year contract as venue partner for Fulham Football Club (FFC) on its new Fulham Pier development, starting in July 2022.

Fulham Pier will become one of London’s leading leisure destinations on the banks of the Thames which will include restaurants, a Riverside Market, meetings and events spaces, bars and lounges, a basement entertainment venue, a boutique hotel and a spa experience.

Sodexo Live! will work with the FFC leadership team over the coming period to support the physical delivery of the venue and will act as commercial lead to bring together the best of London’s restaurant and entertainment scene via a selection of premium branded retail partners.  The matchday capacity of the venue after the development will be 28,000.

The contract will see Sodexo Live! delivering hospitality, retail and non-event day sales and catering, as well as supporting the club as a strategic commercial partner as it transforms the iconic Craven Cottage.

David Trotter, Divisional Managing Director of Sodexo Live! UK & Ireland said:  

This is an incredible project that will put Fulham Pier at the heart of its community, as a leader in cutting edge hospitality and leisure. We are delighted to be the venue partner for Fulham FC and look forward to bringing the breadth of our knowledge in hospitality, retail, guest experience and venue management to this amazing project.”

Alistair Mackintosh, Chief Executive Officer of Fulham Football Club, said: 

Fulham Pier is a game-changing development for the local community.  It will not only bring a wide range of high-quality amenities to the area; it will also attract visitors from far and wide.  We are glad to be working with Sodexo Live! on the project and we look forward to making Fulham Pier a remarkable destination.”

e-foods explain how the CC system helps chefs in their role #

We all know the pressures chefs are under daily, which is why our menu management system, CaterCloud, was specifically developed by chefs, for chefs. The system boats numerous features, including allergen management and recipe costing, to help ensure that consumer safety and profitability work hand in hand and not to the detriment of each other.

CaterCloud not only manages your ingredient data from source, but cascades throughout your recipe and menu portfolio. Should you need to change an ingredient due to supply issues, you can use our ingredient substitution feature, which will automatically and instantly update any recipes that include your out-of-stock item with a new item of your choosing. Once the item is back in stock you can simply revert the substitution and the recipe will update back to its previous state.

Any published menus you have printed with QR codes attached are also automatically updated, so if your new substitute item has a different allergen and nutrition profile, this is reflected in the update. Automatic QR code updates keep your consumers safe and your catering operation compliant, whilst saving hours spent endlessly updating your recipes; it’s also a great cost saving exercise due to the money saved on menu reprint costs. That’s why chefs all over the country rely on our sleek, operating platform that gives them more time to concentrate on cooking.

Ensuring your operation runs within budget and turns a profit is a challenging feat, however CaterCloud can help make sure your dishes meet your gross profit. The system allows you to set an overarching gross profit percentage that can be changed, which can help you manage your costings. Our built-in alert system has visual on-screen alerts letting you know if your dish meets your set gross profit, whilst the on-screen view shows which dishes do and which don’t meet your requirements.

You will also see your gross profit percentage highlighted in red within your menus where dishes don’t meet your targets. Within the menu, an easy way to boost your gross profit percentage is to amend the dish price.

CaterCloud also helps chefs with Natasha’s Law and stock rotation labels. Our free internal label templates can be used alongside any home printer kit and includes customisable information to display to suit a range of needs. Chefs can print full ingredient listings and allergens for Natasha’s Law, as well as costings, nutritional info and use by dates, for use of front or back of house.