Members’ News

August 2022

Yarde Farm releases new iced treat for dogs, Barke Farm #

Bidfood, one of the UK’s leading foodservice providers have revealed their latest product, Barke Farm. From the makers of award winning ice cream and sorbet, Yarde Farme have created a special ‘tail waggingly good’ iced treat.
With summer in full swing the team at Yarde Farm have been working hard to not only provide award winning ice cream for people in 2022, but also a refreshing treat for their canine companion too.
How it’s made
After extensive research with veterinary experts, a sweet goody that is not only tasty and refreshing, but also kind on a dog’s digestive system is ready cool down the UK’s pooches this summer.
Barke Farm includes real fruit puree and juice and uses only plant-based ingredients. Made with real banana, apple, and carrot, the recipe is specifically developed for adult dogs.
With reduced sugar levels and using only vegetable fats, Barke Farm ingredients are gentle on a dog’s stomach and easy to digest, making it perfect whatever the size of your four legged friend.
Why not give it a go yourself? Although made for dogs, being a sorbet-style product it is also perfectly palatable for humans to enjoy too.
Barke farm ice cream is available in a wide, low, 130ml tub, packaged in a shallow, wax-lined paper cup with a totally recyclable tear off lid. Ideal for dogs to easily get their noses in and enjoy the mouth-watering iced treat.
Also included for customers, Barke Farm comes with a range of point of sale including freezers, wall flags, wall and window posters, as well as pavement signs.
Mike Gilson, Managing Director, Yarde Farm
I’m really pleased to share the news of Barke Farm, our fantastic new iced treat for dogs ready for the summer of 2022.
“At Yarde Farm our quest is to create deliciously indulgent ice creams and sorbets using the finest ingredients and I’m proud to say that that has now been extended to the canine community.
“We’ve worked closely and incredibly hard with veterinary professionals to create a product that your dogs will love!

Scottish Consumers cutting back as cost-of-living squeeze starts to bite #

New research from digital and data experts TWC in collaboration with the Scottish Wholesale Association (SWA) has revealed that two-thirds of Scottish consumers are having to reduce their spending to pay their bills. Consequently, cutbacks are being made including reduced treats, trading down on groceries and reducing the frequency of meals out of the home.
The TWC Trends research was conducted in June 2022 and showed that 66% of Scottish consumers agreed that they were having to reduce their spending to pay their bills, with consumers aged 35-54 and households with children most likely to be feeling the pinch. Scottish consumers were also more likely to agree with this statement than those living in other regions of the UK, with the nationally representative UK sample coming in at 53% agreement.
Consumers reported that they are making cutbacks across both grocery and discretionary spending. The top tactic (with 63% of Scottish consumers agreeing they are doing this), was the reduction in treats. Trading down by buying cheaper groceries was next, with 57% agreement. Overall, 81% of Scottish consumers were using one or more tactics to reduce their grocery spending.
Similarly, when questioned about eating out behaviour, consumers were also making changes – predominantly reducing the frequency of eating out occasions (58% said they were eating out less often). Meanwhile a quarter said they were spending less when eating out, for example by choosing cheaper establishments, having fewer courses, or not drinking alcohol when out of the home. In addition, almost half of consumers were having fewer takeaways.
Colin Smith, Chief Executive, SWA, said:
Scotland has always had different consumer purchasing habits and trading patterns to the rest of the UK. It’s important that SWA, as the industry trade body for wholesale, continues to help our members and the sector understand what’s happening in the trade and with wider consumer behaviour.
“Working with TWC this research will help wholesalers look at where they should be focusing their efforts, looking at stock ranges and price points and how they assist the end-users adapt to the evident change in consumer purchasing habits
A full update of the Scottish research findings will be presented at a SWA ‘Scottish Cost of Living Breakfast Briefing’ webinar on Thursday 18th August, 9am-9.30am. Registration can be made on the website.
The TWC Trends Summer Edition 2022 series is based on the views and sentiments of over 1,000 consumers across the UK, plus a boosted sample for Scotland of 400 consumers. The research was conducted 14-18 June 2022.

Elior wins contract with Tennent Caledonian Breweries #

Leading contract caterer Elior has secured a deal with Tennent Caledonian Breweries (Tennent’s) to provide staff catering at its Wellpark brewery in Glasgow.
The three-year contract will see Elior provide an all-day service in the brewery’s canteen, for up to 375 staff, comprising breakfast and a lunch offer which includes a deli bar and grab and go service. The offer will be complimented by a range of hospitality services.
Elior will introduce its Breaz pre order app that allows customers to pre-order, pay, and click & collect. It only takes a minute to access the menu via a QR code and greatly reduces queuing and also cuts out paper transactions. As the app is linked to the recipe and menu management system, users can filter menu options by the 14 allergen groups – a factor which is important to Tennent’s. Hospitality services via the Breaz app will be introduced in the coming weeks, tailored specifically to Tennent’s’ requirements.
A quality coffee offer was a key priority and Elior will introduce a premium bean to cup coffee machine which uses fresh milk and is easy to use and maintain.   In line with Tennent’s CSR credentials, the coffee served will be Elior’s Grand Café triple certified coffee which has conservation at its core, helping to preserve rainforests and help farmers get a fairer price.
Elior considered and planned every critical element of the operation from a local perspective, including menu design using locally sourced seasonal produce and operational management with a local presence.
Kenny Finlayson, Managing Director at Elior said: “We are excited to be partnering with Tennent Caledonian Breweries – a brand with such a rich cultural heritage in Scotland - and this partnership exemplifies our growth strategy in Scotland.  We look forward to providing employees with nutritious meals and quality coffee during their working day.”
Eddie Gorrell, General Manager at Tennent Caledonian Breweries commented: “We recognised that Elior was a likeminded business who care about their people and the environment. From the first interaction, Elior engaged fully to understand what was important to us which led to an especially bespoke proposal which was right for our business and our employees.
“Providing healthy and accessible food options for our staff is extremely important for their wellbeing and productivity and so we are really pleased to be working with Elior to help us deliver on this priority
Tennent’s brews an industry-leading portfolio of beers led by the brand’s iconic Tennent’s Lager and Caledonia Best for home and export markets across the world. The brewery employs more than 300 people and became part of the C&C Group in 2009.

Independents by Sodexo pass the test at Leicester Grammar School Trust #

Independents by Sodexo has successfully extended its partnership with the Leicester Grammar School Trust for a further ten years.

Commencing in September 2022, Sodexo will continue to deliver catering and hospitality to the Leicester Grammar School (LGS) Trust’s three independent co-educational day schools based in Great Glen, Leicestershire.

Sodexo has been the Leicester Grammar School (LGS) Trust’s catering partner since 2013, providing breakfast, breaktime snacks, lunch and refreshments for after-school care. Menus at LGS focus on fresh, nutritious seasonal food and using the best of British fruit and vegetables when available.

Fresh bread is baked daily and there is a varied salad bar available at lunch. To help students adopt a healthier diet Sodexo uses only lean cuts of meat, trimming all excess fat before cooking and only using rapeseed oil for cooking and olive oil for dressings. To reduce levels of salt in our meals we use herbs as an alternative to salt.

It also operates the Café@LGS which is open to sixth form students, staff, parents, external clubs and visitors. The café is open Monday to Friday and Saturday mornings and offers a range of hot and cold drinks, pastries, panini, baguettes, hot sandwiches, freshly made soup, pasta and sweet treats.

Steve Hawkins, managing director (schools), Sodexo UK & Ireland said: “We are delighted to continue our partnership with LGS and look forward to supporting in the planned improvements LGS has in place for the catering facilities. Our team at LGS developed strong ties with the school and embraces LGS’ ethos and values every day and truly feel and act as part of the LGS family.

 All LGS senior school students benefit from Sodexo's Powering Performance programme for independent schools, which was enhanced earlier this year by The Healthy Futures Partnership, a collaboration between Sodexo and the British Nutrition Foundation. Powering Performance is an evidence based programme providing an exciting way to bring nutrition to life for children of all ages across a menu developed with guidance on healthy, sustainable recipes based on the principles of the NHS Eatwell Guide.

Stephen Jefferies, director of finance and operations at LGS added: “Sodexo’s team have been an incredible support over the last few years when we were all navigating the unusual circumstances the Covid-19 pandemic put us all in. We are delighted to extend the partnership; they continue to serve popular and delicious meals for our students and we welcome their approach to striving to do more whether educating and encouraging the take up of more plant-based dishes or bringing to life the importance a healthy lifestyle and diet can have on their performance in the classroom or on the sports field.”

The junior school has 395 students on its register; the senior school, 875 and LGS Stoneygate, which joined the LGS family in 2016, has 205 students ranging from 4 to 16 years.

Glebe Farm appoint big hitters to drive British Oak Milk Agenda #

Famous for beating Oatly in court last year, the family run farm has set its sights on building the British oat milk category with the appointments of Tony Holmes, Malcolm Plows and Jonathan McGowan.

Champions of British oat milk and cereals, Glebe Farm has made a hattrick of new appointments to capitalise on its cult status post Oatly-gate. The independent farm has plans to redefine the category and move it away from being dominated by imported milk alternatives with higher food miles.
Run by brother and sister duo, Philip and Rebecca Rayner, Glebe Farm is fast becoming a major player within the oat milk category. Since 2021 it has seen its sales increase significantly with listings, in Morrison’s and Holland and Barrett, of its PureOaty.
The new appointments are just the beginning of the company’s challenge to “big food” conglomerates, and sees Tony Holmes and Jonathan McGowan take up vital roles within the sales division, developing branded business for PureOaty, while Malcolm Plows joins as Non-Executive Director.
Holmes has had a revered career with many years of sales and marketing experience, working in senior roles at Bestway, Appletiser, Coca-Cola Enterprises. In addition, he played a key role in the launching ‘The Health Lottery’, a start-up which succeeded in challenging the ‘National Lottery’ establishment.
Tony Holmes commented, “There is something special about Glebe Farm, having come from some big conglomerates it’s great to be working for an independent business owned and run by local farmers, that has innovation at its heart. The brand has great British provenance, with a unique and real story to tell. If you look at the category there is a significant shortfall for consumers when it comes to buying British – I’m relishing the opportunity to change that working alongside Phil and Rebecca, who are so hands-on and a part of everything we do.”  
Both Malcolm Plows and Jonathan McGowan bring huge experience having worked at The Coca Cola Company. Malcolm in numerous roles including Trading Director and Commercial Director and Jonathan, who worked his way through the ranks from Sales Representative to National Account Manager, as well as Senior Customer Manager, leading the team who managed the business with McDonald’s.
Glebe Farm Co-Owner Philip Rayner said, “Tony, Malcolm and Jonathan believe in what we are doing, and are joining a pivotal time for the company. The court case was a turning point for us as a family business and for British farming. It’s time for local produce and British farmers to challenge big food, especially when most of it is unnecessarily imported.”
Glebe Farm’s PureOaty is made with 100% British oats, gluten-free, and not from concentrate. Its PureOaty Creamy & Enriched is available now and PureOaty Organic Barista will be available from August 2022. 

Springboard Charity aims to raise £100,000 for the hospitality industry with launch of virtual race to Qatar and back #

The Springboard Charity is calling for walkers, runners, cyclists and swimmers to join its race to Qatar and back this October – and raise vital funds to futureproof the talent pipeline for hospitality.

For the second year running, Springboard will be taking its trek virtual. Supported by headline sponsors Nestle Professional and CH&Co, the aim is to raise £100,000, beating last year’s £90,000 fundraising.  Other sponsors include Bidfood, Kraft Heinz, Kellogg’s, Unilever, Vestey and AAK.

Amy-Jane Cahalane, marketing & events partner, Springboard UK, said: “Gather your work mates, form a team, and join us throughout October as we cycle, walk, run, or push the 6,462 miles from the UK to Qatar and back again.

“Last year’s event not only raised vital funds for the industry, but it was great fun too. Thanks to our sponsors, everyone who takes part will receive a goody bag and a t-shirt, and there will be spot prizes given out along the way. There’s something for everyone

Previous racer, Catherine Hinchcliff, head of corporate marketing, marketing & insight, at Bidfood, said: “I was a bit hesitant to participate, but was so pleased to have joined up. It was such fun and really motivated me to get back on my exercise bike and really go for it!

“The team spirit and competitiveness between our teams pushed me to do way more exercise than I’d done in years, and I really surprised myself. Lovely to be raising money for such a great cause too

The race will use My Virtual Mission to track the miles and move each team along in the race. 

Teams can be a maximum of 30 people, each making a pledge to raise £100 for the charity, making it a rewarding and achievable challenge. Businesses can make up a full team, or individuals can join a team to get involved.

Registration is £15 per person and teams must pledge to raise £3,000 for Springboard. Participants can register at:

Sodexo awarded £264m HMP Lowdham Grange contract #

Sodexo’s government business has been awarded a contract by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to manage HMP Lowdham Grange in Nottinghamshire following a competitive tender process.

The new contract has an estimated value of £264 million over a ten-year term, and MoJ has the option to extend for a further two one-year terms.

The contract commences on 16 February 2023 and will see Sodexo take responsibility for nearly 900 male prisoners and 500 staff at the category B prison.

Sodexo will be responsible for the management, operation, and maintenance of HMP Lowdham Grange. The organisation will focus on reducing reoffending by helping prisoners to develop new skills.

Since 1993, Sodexo’s government business has worked with UK governments – helping to protect the public and rehabilitating offenders through its justice services and full operation of prisons.

Sodexo currently delivers the total operation of five prisons in England and Scotland, including HMP Addiewell, HMP Forest Bank and HMP Northumberland, which house male prisoners, as well as HMP & YOI Bronzefield, which holds female prisoners, and HMP Peterborough, the only dual purpose-built prison in the UK holding male and female prisoners.

Paul Anstey, CEO, Government, Sodexo UK & Ireland, said:

We are delighted to have won the HMP Lowdham Grange contract. Sodexo has a significant track record of managing prisons in the UK, and we will transfer this expertise and experience to this new contract.

“We look forward to working with our new colleagues at the prison to build on what has already been achieved, while introducing new initiatives and innovations. Our vision is to provide a secure and safe environment which reduces re-offending through education, builds new skills and offers respect, equality and inclusion

Heinz Professional Mayonnaise awarded Grade A endorsement and ‘rarely seen’ score by Craft Guild of Chefs #

Kraft Heinz Foodservice’s Professional Mayonnaise has been awarded the highest of accolades from the Craft Guild of Chefs (CGOC) – the leading chefs’ association in the UK – achieving Grade A status, and the highest score in its category in recent years.

The multi-purpose product, which launched into the foodservice market last summer as a ‘Made by chefs, for chefs’ solution to culinary needs in professional kitchens, was put through rigorous testing by highly experienced chefs via the CGOC’s Chefs Product Endorsement Programme.

With the ability to blend, fry, carry flavour and hold through high heat, Heinz Professional Mayonnaise scored 169 out of 180, a result rarely seen in the industry.
Andrew Green, Chief Executive of the Craft Guild of Chefs, said: “Heinz Professional Mayonnaise received a stunning approval score when sampled by our panel of chefs which is a fantastic achievement and something we don’t often see. Its overall success in its performance clearly came through in the judging, so it really deserves its rating. 

“It is a superior product that meets the criteria any chef would want and expect when using a condiment such as this. This will go a long way in providing the culinary world with a go-to which helps make ingredients shine, elevates menus, and excites diners. Well done Kraft Heinz Foodservice

The CGOC-selected chefs who formed the testing panel – Mark Reynolds, Executive Chef at Tottenham Football Club, Matt Owens, Development Chef for Alliance Group and Andrew Green, Chief Executive of Craft Guild of Chefs – gave Heinz Professional Mayonnaise particular praise for its ‘consistency and versatility’, as well as its ‘indulgent, tasty and stable’ qualities as a key kitchen ingredient.

Comments included: “It held well and there were no signs of any splitting or separating – even with excess beating and blending. It also took well to other items being added to it, without losing too much from the consistency.”  

And, “It works very well when [adding] various ingredients –Sri Lankan, sriracha, herb oils etc. and with the slight acidic notes, it really did help to bring out the flavours added.” 

Culinary Sales Manager at The Kraft Heinz Company, Lawrence Ager, said: “This is an incredible triumph for Heinz Professional Mayonnaise. This is a product that is made by chefs, for chefs, and promises to assist them in producing exciting dishes to entice their customers.

“We took a lot of time and care to develop this as an innovative solution to suit so many culinary requirements within the pub, restaurant, and casual dining arena. CGOC’s feedback certainly reflects the hard work we have put in to creating such a high-quality product and now with the CGOC ‘Approved Product’ distinction, it is confirmation of our promise that our mayonnaise is ‘the one quality ingredient to meet all chefs’ culinary needs

Registration Now Open for The Big Hospitality Expo 2022 #

The Big Hospitality Expo, sponsored by Uber Eats, opens its doors for the first time this September (Olympia London, 26th – 28th), and is set to establish itself as a mecca for restaurateurs and chefs, casual dining operators as well as pub, bar and street food operators.
Inheriting a 30-year legacy from The Restaurant Show – which is set to remain a key sector of the revised event – the expo will champion the outstanding products, people, insight and innovation of the food and drink industry.
With a hotbed of movers and shakers including Uber Eats, OrderPay, me&u, Fentimans, Open Table, Deliverect, Mr Yum and Reputation already signed up to exhibit and hundreds of new product launches expected, the show will offer visitors an exclusive insight into the future of the hospitality industry.
Kate Nicholls, CEO, UK Hospitality, says: “It’s really important for operators to take time out of their business to come to the show, you get to see all the new products and a lot of innovation going on.
Julie Adlington, Exhibitions Marketing Director adds, “Between staffing issues, inflation and the cost of the living crisis, our sector continues to face challenges. But by building on the fantastic heritage of The Restaurant Show and combining the expertise of Big Hospitality, The Morning Advertiser, MCA, Lumina Intelligence and the World’s 50 Best, The Big Hospitality Expo is in a unique position to help the industry tackle these communal problems, share expertise and look to a prosperous future.”
To register for your free badge, visit:
The Big Hospitality Expo runs from 26th -28th September at Olympia London, alongside Low2NoBev and featuring Catering Equipment Expo.

Consistency, innovation and consumer alignment drive brand recognition amongst industry professionals #

Trading expectations remain downbeat across grocery & eating out
Over half of leaders across eating out and grocery retail are anticipating deteriorating trading conditions over the next 12 months with the cost of living crisis highlighted as the number one reason across both markets. This compares to 2021 figures of 34% for grocery retail and 15% from eating out who thought the market would deteriorate this year.

Inflation, labour shortages, rising costs as well as availability and supply chain challenges were also cited as reasons for a deterioration in market conditions across the next 12 months.

83% of eating out leaders said they have had to increase their prices as a direct impact of increasing living costs on your business compounded by 33% of leaders saying there has been a decrease in consumer footfall.

Two thirds highlight staff challenges showing the necessity for action
Attracting and recruiting staff is a challenge for 68% of grocery businesses, increasing to 80% for eating out businesses. When asked why these challenges are being experienced, over a third of responses noted the fallout of European workers from Brexit, 31% noted the nature of pay across the sectors and 27% of responses highlighted the impact of the coronavirus pandemic causing workers to re-evaluate job priorities and move to different sectors.

Companies are responded to this for example Young’s launching a new internal platform to enable staff to choose their own hours and attract new employees and Rick Stein Restaurants launching a flexible careers scheme.

Squeeze on household budgets and value consciousness are two of the most important long-term trends to impact the markets
50% named squeeze on household budgets and 41% said value consciousness as the most important long-term consumer trends up from 15% and 12% in 2021.
When broken down, between eating out and retail the top 3 trends for grocery retail were more financial-focused trends including squeeze on household budgets, value consciousness and changing behaviour of younger consumers. Conversely for eating out, ethical consumerism was the number 1 factor, followed by value consciousness and then healthier eating.

Companies that are aligned with consumers and drive innovation are most admired across the industry
Established suppliers and retailers are admired for their innovation and pricing strategy. Aldi, Coca-Cola and Tesco were all highlighted as brands that industry leaders admitted in retail alongside Warburtons, Arla and Lindt.
Within eating out, leading operators that were most admired were those that delivered consistency to consumers whilst innovating for example Wagamama, Nandos and McDonalds. There was also a recognition for smaller brands for their clear proposition and employee wellbeing with companies such as Peach Pubs, Megan’s and Oakman Inns.

Premier Foods appoints William Murray as retained PR & marketing agency for foodservice business #

Premier Foods has appointed William Murray PR & Marketing as its retained agency for the foodservice side of the business following a four-way pitch.
The specialist food and drink agency will work with Premier Foods to further build its brands out of home, and support the sales and marketing team with foodservice strategy and brand campaigns.
Sarah Robb, foodservice marketing manager at Premier Foods, said: “William Murray stood out because of the team’s passion and in-depth knowledge of the foodservice market and wholesale channel. We wanted a partner who would work with us, but also challenge our thinking. Our first project which brings nutrition insights to the education sector is well under way, and together we’re already making great progress on the launch of our new Homepride and Sharwood’s sauces.”
Anita Murray, CEO, William Murray PR & Marketing, said: “We’re thrilled to be working with Sarah and the team at Premier Foods to support the continued growth of their business out of home. Our specialist team is well placed to support on dedicated channel campaigns, and help activate these in wholesale.”
Premier Foods joins William Murray PR & Marketing’s heavy hitting roster of food clients including Nestlé Professional, Kraft Heinz and Norwegian Seafood Council.