Members’ News

October 2022

Sodexo extends both Falklands and Cyprus contracts for further two years #

Sodexo’s Government business has secured its catering and soft FM services contracts with the Ministry of Defence in the Falkland Islands and Cyprus for a further two years. 

Sodexo has supported the Ministry of Defence’s operations in the Falkland Islands and Cyprus since 2001 and 2007 respectively. 

The two-year contract extension for Sodexo’s contract in the Falkland Islands, worth €12m, will see the 175 strong Sodexo team continue to provide administration, catering, tailoring, laundry, dry cleaning, office and domestic cleaning services at a variety of sites where UK troops and their families are located across the islands. 

In Cyprus, the 750 strong Sodexo team will continue to provide catering, retail, cleaning, waste services and logistics support at six bases across the island where troops and their families are deployed. The two year extension in Cyprus is valued at €95m. 

Paul Anstey, CEO Government, Sodexo UK & Ireland said: “We are delighted to have extended these two overseas contracts. We are proud of the service our teams deliver in support of the Armed Forces operations in these two important locations. The extension of these two contracts for a further two years reflects the strength of our partnership with the Ministry of Defence.” 

Sodexo has worked with the British military for more than 30 years, focusing on the wellbeing and quality of life of the Armed Forces and their families. 

Sodexo was an early signatory of the Armed Forces Covenant which was launched in 2013 and was recently re-awarded its gold status in the Ministry of Defence’s Employer Recognition Scheme for its commitment and support to the UK’s Armed Forces community. It first received gold in 2017.

Bestway raises more than USD 2 Million for Pakistan Victims #

The Bestway Group has raised funds to the tune of $2.3 million, which will be deployed urgently on the ground in Pakistan to help the victims of those impacted by the recent flooding.
The monies raised has been pledged to build homes (or shelters) for 5,000 families, provide usable water for more than 100,000 individuals and provide food and medical supplies to over 20,000 people.  
Speaking of the successful fund-raising appeal, Lord Zameer Choudrey thanked everyone who had contributed to this appeal, saying that he had personally been overwhelmed by the response from the local community; supplier partners; its relationship bankers; financial advisors etc.
In addition to appealing for donations, the Group held a fund-raising event (23rd September) at London’s Intercontinental on Park Lane, which was attended by over 650 guests including the Lord Chancellor, the Deputy State Bank of Pakistan, UK Cabinet Ministers, and Members of Parliament in addition to leading City’ figures and business community.
The Lord Chancellor Rt Hon Brandon Lewis MP said that the British Government has committed funds of £16.5 million for Pakistan and we are dealing with wider climate change issues as well and we are committing to that effort.
To complement its fundraising activities; the Group’s CFO the Honourable Haider Choudrey had also announced that one of Bestway Group’s subsidiaries, Well Pharmacy, is also donating US$400,000 worth of medicines to support aid relief on the ground.
Mr Haider Choudrey further elaborated that the Bestway Group is grateful to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and the Pakistan High Commission in London for their help in organising the necessary government approvals and permissions in record time.  He said this was a perfect example of British Government helping the people of the Pakistan in their hour of need.
Donations to the Bestway Fund Raising Appeal to help the Victims of Pakistan can be made on
Dawood Pervez, Managing Director at Bestway Wholesale said:

Every $1 we have raised will go towards this cause and our teams on the ground are already supporting families with housing, clothing and food and water.  It’s not just about the short-term relief – we are also looking at how we can help in the longer term as Pakistan looks to rebuild its infrastructure and livelihoods which have all been destroyed”.

Batchelors fortifies soups to help healthcare and care caterers easily serve up vital vitamins #

Batchelors has fortified its NEW soups for the health care and care sector – easy to make, they’re the first dried soups on the market fortified with vitamins A and D.
Research shows that 38% of men and 37% of women living in care homes have low blood levels of vitamin D, so are at risk of being deficient. In addition, the NHS advises a 10mcg daily supplement of vitamin D for elderly people who are frail, housebound or living in care homes. Recognising the need for caterers in these sectors to serve up key vitamins in an easy and consistent way, Batchelors has fortified four of its most popular dried soups with vitamins A and D.
Comprising Creamy Chicken, Thick Vegetable, Creamy Mushroom and Creamy Tomato, Batchelors’ newly fortified soups are low in sugar and contain no added colours or preservatives. Caterers can easily adapt them to different needs - bolstering them with ingredients to add extra calories or protein - while retaining their much-loved taste and texture.
Juliette Kellow, Independent Registered Dietitian says:
Vitamin D has many vital functions in our bodies. It’s essential for a well-functioning immune system and contributes to normal muscle function. It also helps to maintain our bones and teeth, aiding the absorption and utilisation of calcium and phosphorus.”
Dubbed the sunshine vitamin, we make vitamin D when our skin is exposed to sunlight in spring and summer. However, our ability to do this seems to decrease as we get older. In addition, reduced liver or kidney function can impair our ability to make this nutrient. As a result, residents in care homes who stay indoors most of the time tend to be more reliant on getting vitamin D from food and supplements."
Earlier this year, the UK government launched a consultation on improving the vitamin D status of people living in England, and one of the areas being looked at is increasing vitamin D through diet, including fortified foods and biofortification.This is hardly surprising as only a few foods are naturally rich in vitamin D. These include eggs and oily fish such as sardines, mackerel, pilchards and salmon. We’re seeing more foods being fortified with vitamin D as a result, and Batchelors soups are a good example, providing 1.5mcg of vitamin D in every 170ml serving.”
Vitamin A also has many important functions, including maintaining normal skin, vision and immune function. Ageing affects all these parts of our body so it’s vital elderly people get sufficient amounts of this vitamin as part of a balanced, healthy diet that supports their health and wellbeing.” 
Sarah Robb, MCIM, Foodservice Marketing Manager, Premier Foods says:
"It’s challenging, making sure that the older generation in long-term care get the nutrients they need. Appetites often dwindle, alongside smell and taste, and we’re more likely to get dehydrated as we age. It’s unsurprising, therefore, that around a third of residents in care homes are malnourished.”
Good nutrition is vital, and we want to help by enriching lives through food. One way we can support the healthcare and care sectors is by fortifying our products to assist caterers and chefs.”
By adding nutrients that are particularly difficult for caterers to incorporate in their meals – such as vitamin D and A – our aim is to help caterers serve residents their daily nutrients in an easy, consistent, tasty way.
The new range is available now in 180 and 25 portion tubs and cartons. For free samples and more information on the benefits of fortification, caterers can email

Nestlé launches NESCAFÉ Plan 2030 to help drive regenerative agriculture, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve farmers’ livelihoods #

NESCAFÉ, Nestlé’s largest coffee brand and one of the world’s favorite coffees, outlined today its extensive plan to help make coffee farming more sustainable: the NESCAFÉ Plan 2030. The brand is working with coffee farmers to help them transition to regenerative agriculture while accelerating its decade of work under the NESCAFÉ Plan. 
The brand is investing over one billion Swiss francs by 2030 in the NESCAFÉ Plan 2030. This investment builds on the existing NESCAFÉ Plan as the brand expands its sustainability work. It is supported by Nestlé's regenerative agriculture financing following the Group's commitment to accelerate the transition to a regenerative food system and ambition to achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions.
Climate change is putting coffee-growing areas under pressure,” said David Rennie, Head of Nestlé Coffee Brands. “Building on 10 years’ experience of the NESCAFÉ Plan, we’re accelerating our work to help tackle climate change and address social and economic challenges in the NESCAFÉ value chains.”
Rising temperatures will reduce the area suitable for growing coffee by up to 50% by 2050. At the same time, around 125 million people depend on coffee for their livelihoods and an estimated 80% of coffee-farming families live at or below the poverty line. Action is needed to ensure the long-term sustainability of coffee.
As the world’s leading coffee brand, NESCAFÉ aims to have a real impact on coffee farming globally,” said Philipp Navratil, Head of Nestlé’s Coffee Strategic Business Unit. “We want coffee farmers to thrive as much as we want coffee to have a positive impact on the environment. Our actions can help drive change throughout the coffee industry.”
Supporting farmers’ transition to regenerative coffee farming 
Regenerative agriculture is an approach to farming that aims to improve soil health and fertility – as well as protect water resources and biodiversity. Healthier soils are more resilient to the impacts of climate change and can increase yields, helping improve farmers’ livelihoods.

NESCAFÉ will provide farmers with training, technical assistance and high-yielding coffee plantlets to help them transition to regenerative coffee farming practices. Some examples of regenerative agriculture practices include the following:
·       Planting cover crops helps to protect the soil. It also helps add biomass to the soil, which can increase soil organic matter and thus soil carbon sequestration.
·       Incorporating organic fertilizers contributes to soil fertility, which is essential for good soil health.
·       Increasing the use of agroforestry and intercropping contributes to biodiversity preservation.
·       Pruning existing coffee trees or replacing them with disease and climate-change resistant varieties, will help rejuvenate coffee plots and increase yields for farmers.
Focusing on origins from where NESCAFÉ sources 90% of its coffee  
NESCAFÉ will be working with coffee farmers to test, learn and assess the effectiveness of multiple regenerative agriculture practices. This will be done with a focus on seven key origins, from where the brand sources 90% of its coffee: Brazil, Vietnam, Mexico, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Indonesia and Honduras.
NESCAFÉ aims to achieve:
·       100% responsibly sourced coffee globally by 2025. This has already been achieved in the UK and Ireland and all coffee used in Nescafé products made in the UK is 100% responsibly sourced.
·       20% of coffee sourced from regenerative agricultural methods by 2025 and 50% by 2030 as part of Nestlé’s ambition for its key ingredients.
Piloting a financial support scheme in Mexico, Côte d’Ivoire and Indonesia to accelerate the transition to regenerative agriculture

NESCAFÉ is committed to supporting farmers who take on the risks and costs associated with the move to regenerative agriculture. It will provide programs that aim to help farmers improve their income as a result of that transition. In Mexico, Côte d’Ivoire and Indonesia, NESCAFÉ will pilot a financial support scheme to help farmers accelerate the transition to regenerative agriculture. Through this scheme, NESCAFÉ, together with coffee farmers, will test and learn the best approach in each country. These could include measures such as:

·       conditional cash incentives for adopting regenerative agriculture practices
·       income protection using weather insurance
·       greater access to credit lines for farmers
NESCAFÉ will track the progress and assess the results of its field programs with coffee farmers through its Monitoring and Evaluation partnership with the Rainforest Alliance. Its efforts will be complemented by new and expertise-focused partnerships, like the one with Sustainable Food Lab for topics related to coffee farmers’ income assessment, strategy and progress tracking.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions also by capturing and storing more carbon in the soil
Regenerative agriculture also contributes to drawing down carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. That’s why regenerative agriculture is a key part of Nestlé’s Zero Net roadmap. NESCAFÉ aims to contribute to Nestlé’s Zero Net commitment to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and reach zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. It will work with farmers, suppliers and partners to help protect agricultural lands, enhance biodiversity and help prevent deforestation. The brand intends to help farmers plant more than 20 million trees at or near their coffee farms.
Going forward by building on a strong foundation
Today’s announcement builds on NESCAFÉ’s sustainability efforts in coffee production. Since 2010, the brand has invested in sustainability through the NESCAFÉ Plan and has made significant progress:

·       Responsibly sourced coffee: 82% of NESCAFÉ’s coffee globally was responsibly sourced in 2021  
·       Coffee plantlets: 250 million new coffee plantlets distributed to farmers since 2010
·       Monitoring and evaluation: impact assessment in partnership with the Rainforest Alliance across 14 countries
·       Greenhouse gas emissions: 46% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in our soluble coffee factories (2020 vs. 2010, per tonne of product)
·       Water usage: 53% less water withdrawal in our soluble coffee factories (2020 vs 2010, per tonne of product) 

Bright Futures Educational Trust appoints Sodexo to cater for its 12 schools #

Bright Futures Educational Trust has awarded Sodexo the £5 million school meals contract for all 12 schools in its portfolio. It is the first time the Trust has chosen one provider. Sodexo was the incumbent caterer for the past ten years at Altrincham Grammar School for Girls. 

The new contract which is for three years with the option to extend a further two will see Sodexo deliver its Food & Co school meals offer at its three secondary, two SEN and seven primary schools. The schools are situated in Greater Manchester and Blackpool. 

Steve Hawkins, managing director for schools, Sodexo UK & Ireland said: “We are delighted that the Trust has chosen Sodexo to provide school meals across all twelve of its schools. Our team at Altrincham Grammar School for Girls have done an outstanding job over the last ten years and it is their commitment to delivering service excellence combined with our great fresh food offer that has enabled us to win this sought-after contract. 

“We are already welcoming our new colleagues to our team. There is a staggered roll out with eight schools mobilised since 1 September with the remaining four scheduled to go live at the end of the first half term

The Trust chose Sodexo due to its innovative and flexible Food & Co offer which was taste-tested by more than 20 students from Blackpool and Manchester as part of the tender process. At all schools Sodexo will be transforming the dining halls with input from the students through its Agents for Change programme which is an important element of its Food & Co offer. 

Sodexo understands that every school within the Trust has its own individual profile, its Food & Co offer enables each school and their Agents for Change to use its selector menu to choose the dishes that appeal to its student population. 

Anna Sharpley, Director of Business & Commercial Finance, Bright Futures Educational Trust said: “Sodexo demonstrated throughout the tender process their commitment to provide healthy, nutritious meals that young people enjoy and whilst doing so minimising the impact food services has an on the environment through its actions to tackle food waste and through its approach to social impact.  It is this commitment, and very successful taste tests with our students, that make Sodexo our partner of choice.

We are both committed to the approach that in everything we do, we are accountable to the children, families and communities that we serve. At Bright Futures we are big on mental and physical health and wellbeing. The provision of interesting, nutritious, and tasty meals is so important for our children. We are looking forward to seeing all our dining halls revamped with Sodexo’s colourful Food & Co designs and seeing our students benefit from the healthy, balanced and popular food that the Sodexo teams will deliver.”

An exploration of trends – Bidfood reveals the food and drink trends set to take off in 2023 #

After another difficult year involving inflation, conflict overseas and plenty of new legislation, Bidfood, one of the UK’s leading foodservice providers has released the latest food and drink trends set to shape and inspire the industry for 2023.
Despite a tough few years, Bidfood’s latest research has shown that consumer demand for eating out remains strong. In fact, 7 in 10 say eating and drinking out is the treat they most look forward to.[1] To help support operators navigating the changes in consumer habits, and staying ahead of the curve, Bidfood has released its 2023 trends report along with a raft of support tools including the latest instalment of our trends video series, new and delicious recipe ideas, as well as new podcast episodes.
A discovery of food and drink trends for 2023
Retro love: Fancy a trip down memory lane? The Retro Love trend is all about revamping childhood memories and conjuring a sense of nostalgia, particularly through desserts, cakes and cocktails. It’s a great opportunity to bring novelty and comfort to menus. Take your consumers on a journey back in time with some innovative takes on nostalgic dishes!
Flavours less travelled: As travel restrictions become a thing of the past, emerging world cuisines are still leading the way, with a rise in demand for more unusual dishes.  Over 1 in 3 people say emerging cuisines have replaced the more established ones in their regular meal choices. As well as this, research has shown that the four leading cuisines Bidfood identified this year do not have a strong presence on menus, so now is the best time for operators to adopt them and take consumer’s taste buds on a new and exciting journey:
Cuban – Taking inspiration from Spain and the Caribbean, Cuban cuisine has real potential to take flight, with 46% saying they would like to try the island’s delicacies.
Sri Lankan – An explosion of flavour, Sri Lanka’s key ingredients include, turmeric, garlic, cinnamon and coconut, but the spice levels can easily be adjusted to favour the consumer’s palate.

Pan-African – Cuisines from this vast continent produce a myriad of flavours. Made up of comforting stews, soups and rice based dishes, it’s a very adaptable and accessible trend that shouldn’t be forgotten!

Unusual fusions – More restaurants are combing flavours and formats that normally wouldn’t be paired together especially as 40% of people want to try these unusual fusions. Be experimental and discover a whole world of perfectly paired cuisines, flavour profiles and formats to set your outlet apart from the competition. 

Conscious choices: This trend centres on the fact that consumers are becoming more mindful of where they eat and drink out and what they order. Whilst this isn’t new for 2023, the cost of living crisis, as well as the pandemic, have been contributing factors to how consumers think about food and drink.
Pizza evolution: Because of the format and versatility of pizza, it lends itself well to creative and accessible innovation. Gluten-free bases, plant-based and premium toppings make it sit perfectly within different sectors, times of the day and occasions.
In the spirit: The alcoholic drinks trend for 2023, including the top spirits of the year and styles operators are beginning to adopt.
Nature’s gifts: This trend focuses on the role of plants within a dish and the ways chefs are incorporating the fruits, herbs and spices they have found themselves in the wild.
Catherine Hinchcliff, Head of Corporate Marketing and Insights at Bidfood said:
We’re thrilled to see how the food and drink trends landing in 2023 are embracing sustainability, flavour experimentation and a journey through time, which in turn will allow the chefs to have fun while building their menus. Eating out has become a highly valued luxury for many, so it will be important for chefs to consider how they can evolve their dishes and adhere to the more mindful choices consumers are making now.
“We worked with CGA again this year, by carrying out exclusive research and conducting food influencer interviews. We also visited and interviewed restaurant operators in different cities to deliver the useful tools and resources that our customers can implement in their 2023 menu planning no matter where they’re based in the UK
For full details and insights on the trends, please read our 2023 Food and Drink Trends guide here: and visit our 2023 Food and Drink Trends webpage here:

Bath’s Magu Diner wins Heinz Battle of the Burger competition #

Bath-based Magu Diner has been crowned the champion of the Heinz Battle of the Burger competition – beating off stiff competition from operators nationwide thanks to its ‘Big Truffle in Little China’ burger.

Kraft Heinz began the search for Britain’s best burger in celebration of National Burger Day. The competition encouraged independent burger restaurants to be imaginative in creating the ultimate fast-food favourite. Whether it was a meaty marvel or plant-based beauty, chefs were encouraged to unfurl their flair to produce a unique and delicious burger that used at least one Heinz sauce in its original form, for a chance to be named the country’s best and win a marketing package worth £5,000. 

Entries were judged on their overall appearance, creativity, and quality. Judges were thoroughly impressed with the Magu Diner’s ‘Big Truffle in Little China’ burger. It featured Szechuan-coated buttermilk chicken topped with Heinz [Seriously] Good Truffle Mayonnaise, a honey, ginger, spring onion and coriander Chinese leaf slaw, and Heinz Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce packed into a potato bun.

Charlotte Crane, junior brand manager at Kraft Heinz Foodservice, says: “Huge congratulations to Magu Diner for an excellent interpretation of the brief which delivered on excitement, innovation and most importantly, a knockout variety of flavours showcasing Heinz sauces. The entries received were fantastic, but Magu Diner wowed us with the unexpected.

“As part of the prize, we’re thrilled to be working with the team to get ‘Big Truffle in Little China’ on its menu for diners to sink their teeth into it in the coming months with a big package of marketing support

Magu Diner, which opened in Bath city centre in 2018, prides itself on serving ‘out-of-this-world’ burgers in unconventional flavours - think peanut and pecan butter paired with a popular biscuit spread.

Head chef and owner of Magu Diner, Leon Dunnett, says: “We are so excited and happy to have won! Working closely with Kraft Heinz Foodservice is going to be a gamechanger for us and the team is so thankful to be working with a brand that is much-loved and highly respected by us and our customers too. We look forward bringing ‘Big Truffle in Little China’ to our menu and diners soon.

Over the coming weeks, Magu Diner and Kraft Heinz Foodservice will team up to create a promotional campaign for the winning burger, which will be available at its Moorland Road restaurant for a limited time only following its launch. Heinz will be supporting with a marketing plan worth £5,000 which will go towards merchandise and in-store visibility, PR and social media promotion.

The Big Hospitality Expo and Low2NoBev Show 2022 successfully return to Olympia London #

Incorporating The Restaurant Show and co-located with the Catering Equipment Expo, the three-day exhibition showcased some of the industry’s leading and most-innovative suppliers and service providers to the sector. Alongside this was a packed schedule of inspiring panel discussions and presentations from key industry influencers covering the latest trends, data and insight impacting UK hospitality, across two content theatres (The Stage and The Workshop, sponsored by RPC).
With the latest products and innovation available to the UK hospitality industry from 200+ exhibitors put in the spotlight, visitors from the across the world were able to engage and network with products and brands spanning a broad range of categories – such as, alcohol, drinks, food, technology, delivery, packaging, equipment and furniture.
Visitors, some travelling from as far as Canada, included senior decision makers from Burger King, Pret a Manger, Waitrose, Wagamama, Gail’s, Holiday Inn, Mitchells & Butler, Nando’s, Marks & Spencer, Five Guys, Stonegate Pub Company, Gaucho, Fuller’s, Prezzo, Tortilla, Ynyshir, Loungers, ODEON Cinemas Group, Dishoom, Costa Coffee, Brakes, BrewDog, Chipotle, Harrods, Honest Burger, Bidfood, and many more.
Industry influencing content

Across the three days, content across the three-days was dedicated to the current and upcoming trends, challenges and opportunities facing the industry, alongside innovative workshops, and masterclasses to inspire.
Taking to the stage across the three days were industry influencers from brands such as, Honest Burgers, Burger King, Asahi, Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I, Club Soda, Ynyshir, The Virgin Mary Bar, Lumina Intelligence, Shrewsbury Cup, The Grocer, Mildreds,  Sessions, Uber Eats, Turtle Bay, Tortilla, Net Zero Now, The Morning Advertiser and BigHospitality.
Full details of the sessions covered across the two stages can be found here -->
“The lifeblood of our industry”
To have something like The Big Hospitality Expo is the lifeblood of our industry. To have something like this under one roof that gives you the opportunity of looking at all aspects of the business is crucial for us.” Richard Morris, CEO, Tortilla.
The quality of the visitors has been very high. The Big Hospitality Expo is the best investment, in terms of trade show, that we did this year.” Ariela Cesana, Owner, Il Gelato Di Ariela.
The Low2NoBev show has been incredible. To be able to talk to like-minded people and see this enthusiasm has been fantastic.” Anita Osborne, Brand Ambassador, Lyre’s.
Absolutely come to Low2NoBev show. There are so many different types of people here, drinks to taste and really good talks to. Phenomenal.” Charlotte Smith, Customer Experience Manager, Stonegate Pub Group.
It is very important to come to the show. You can actually taste the product and talk to the experts. It’s a sensory experience and for the hospitality industry this is the most important – to be able to taste, touch and smell.” Dariusz Dziadkiewicz, Executive Chef, Wok To Walk International.
I would recommend The Big Hospitality Expo. It keeps you fresh and keeps you pushing. You could meet suppliers that you never knew existed but provide exactly what you need.” Gareth Ward, Chef/Owner, Ynyshir.
The Big Hospitality Expo and Low2No Bev show returns in 2023 from 02nd-04th October at Olympia London, featuring Catering Equipment Expo.

62% of retailers say their shoppers would still buy price marked packs if suppliers increased the price #

New research from digital and data experts TWC has revealed that 62% of independent retailers feel that their shoppers would still buy price marked packs if suppliers increased the price of them a little. Just 10% of retailers disagreed with this statement.
The research was conducted in August/September 2022 and the headlines were shared for the first time at the recent Unitas 2022 Conference in Tenerife.
The findings indicate that independent retailers – those closest to shoppers – firmly believe that it is the price flash on a price marked pack (PMP) – rather than the specific price point itself – that triggers consumer purchase.  TWC agrees with this view.
Eight in ten of the retailers questioned agree that their shoppers like price marked packs. A similar proportion (78%) agreed that PMPs demonstrate good value for money to shoppers.  This is consistent with the consumer research TWC has conducted.
Tom Fender, Development Director at TWC comments:
There is no doubt that consumers like price marked packs and their role in communicating value is critical at this time with the ongoing impact of the cost-of-living crisis. Independent retailers have their own challenges in managing the rising business costs of running their stores – and product margins need to reflect retailers’ costs in 2022 as well as wholesalers’ margins too.
He continues:
From speaking to retailers, we are hearing that many are wanting to give less space on their shelves to PMPs because their margins are just not big enough to be sustainable.  This seems like a real shame.  Consumers love PMPs.  Retailers want to stock PMPs because they know consumers love PMPs….but the margin has to work for all parties: the consumer, the retailer, the supplier and the wholesaler.  With costs increasing across the board in UK grocery stores, I can totally understand why retailers and wholesalers are asking suppliers to embrace PMPs with higher price points and an improvement in margin to ensure to ensure the independent sector remains viable for everyone all along the supply chain.”

Compass’ Forward with Marcus Wareing cohort celebrate learnings with 7-course dinner #

Founded to nurture and cultivate some of the best senior chefs within Compass Group UK & Ireland, the first Forward with Marcus Wareing cohort wowed guests with a mind-blowing 7-course menu at luxurious 5-star hotel, The Grove in Hertfordshire.
To mark the end of the practical workshops, led by revered chef and mentor to the brigade of Compass chefs, Marcus Wareing, the 14-strong team worked hard to create a menu to showcase the cooking techniques perfected over the last year. Inspiration came from foraging, preserving processes, plant-based influences to support Climate Net Zero ambitions and nose to tail cooking to ensure minimal food waste.
Their stunning menus consisted of mouth-watering dishes including fermented rhubarb; beak to tail duck; salted baked and pine glazed beetroot; and sticky plum and walnut pudding.
Marcus Wareing said: “It has been a pleasure to watch these chefs grow over the last year. The Forward with Marcus Wareing programme is not only about becoming a better chef with culinary learnings and experiences, but it’s about becoming a better ‘you’. This menu tells a story about their journey and I couldn’t be prouder to have been part of it.”
Robin Mills, Managing Director at Compass Group UK & Ireland, said: “When we launched the Forward programme, we set out to help bridge a gap in our industry, embracing and improving the senior chefs in our business along the way. Hearing feedback from our Forward apprentices, it is clear to see just how far everyone has come and their commitment, passion, knowledge, expertise, professionalism, and camaraderie has shone through.”
There are fourteen senior Compass chefs on the enhanced culinary programme, masterminded by Marcus Wareing, alongside the Compass Learning and Development team, its culinary leads and HIT training. ‘Forward with Marcus Wareing’ runs alongside a Level 4 Senior Culinary Chef or Level 5 Operations Departmental Manager apprenticeship standard. The chefs will formally graduate in 2023 with their full qualification, after completing outstanding modules.

Omnichannel sales treat Glasgow dessert bar to expansion #

Glasgow ice cream parlour, Big Licks, has transformed its business through the success of its online ordering platform powered by hungrrr. The long-standing venue now receives half of its orders online, enabling the company to open a second site in the city with a third launching in Manchester soon.
The locally renowned dessert bar has been trading for more than ten years and adopted hungrrr’s white label technology in March 2020. Hungrrr’s ordering technology is designed specifically for the hospitality industry and works both off native apps and QR codes for web-based ordering.
The development to an omnichannel business has grown Big Licks’ customer base as well as boosting efficiencies and profitability. The website and app mean the venue saves on staffing costs and improves customer experience with less queues at the counter.
Online sales have remained buoyant in the last 12 months and account for half of their business. The native app has built brand loyalty in their local area with many customers opting to collect directly from the venue, rather than ordering through third party marketplaces. Marketing tools, such as push notifications and bespoke offers, also keep customers coming back.
Anees Ahmed, founder of Big Licks, said: “Launching our online business through hungrrr has been a game changer, allowing us to scale our business and capitalise on customer demand for online ordering. Our native app and table QR codes mean we can serve our customers more efficiently, improving staff and customer feedback.
Alasdair Lindsay, Head of hospitality sales at hungrrr, added: “We’re proud of the success Big Licks has achieved since bringing their business online through hungrrr’s technology. Over the last two years we have seen how features such as table ordering, click and collect, and push notifications have enabled the business to grow, adding a new site in Glasgow and another opening soon in Manchester.”

Sodexo recognised for innovation at Social Mobility Awards #

Sodexo’s volunteering programme with TutorMate was awarded silver in the innovation category of the sixth annual UK Social Mobility Awards.  21 Sodexo employees participated in an online tutoring programme as part of Sodexo’s charitable foundation, Stop Hunger. 

Sodexo’s progressive volunteering policy enables its employees three paid volunteering days each year.  In October 2021 a new opportunity was opened for employees to sign up to provide valuable reading support to school children aged between 5 and 7 years in the Middlesbrough area. The volunteers spent 30 mins or more each week with their allocated pupil via an online platform allowing the child to practice their reading. 

In the first year Sodexo’s 21 employees volunteered 85 hours helping pupils progress their reading skills.  

For young people to escape poverty and food insecurity, reading is a basic and essential skill. Research shows that the attainment gap is largest for children and young people eligible for free school meals (Education Endowment Foundation). By improving literacy skills for children, the project gives children the foundation for a broader education, which can help improve the life chances and financial independence of individuals. 

Tutormate is the flagship educational programme from Innovation for Learning UK which supports children in disadvantaged areas across the UK. 

Sodexo volunteer, Samantha Scott said,

Not only is being a volunteer enjoyable, convenient and fun, it’s also amazing to watch the student’s reading abilities grow and flourish in such a short space of time.  Knowing and seeing the difference that just half an hour a week can make to somebody’s literacy levels and consequently their future is such a rewarding experience.”​ 

The UK Social Mobility Awards were set up to recognise organisations that are prioritising social mobility, for example through recruitment processes and progression programmes, outreach within the local community, or by developing innovative ways to create change. The 2022 awards received the highest number of entries since they were launched in 2017. This year’s judges included a panel of esteemed leaders chaired by Sir Kenneth Olisa OBE.

Tunde Banjoko OBE, Founder of The UK Social Mobility Awards, added: 

The UK Social Mobility Awards is a vehicle to raise awareness of social mobility and showcases the individuals and organisations who are dedicated to its advancement. The number and quality of entries we received for this year’s awards is an indication of the increasing significance of social mobility to UK business. I would like to congratulate all the inspiring organisations and individuals who took home a trophy this year. All the UK Social Mobility Awards finalists are making a tangible difference to social mobility in this country and this recognition is extremely well-deserved.” 

Claire Atkins Morris, CR Director for Sodexo UK & Ireland said:

At Sodexo we believe everyone should have the same opportunity to get on in life, no matter who you are, where you are from or where you are living. Our volunteers looked forward to the 30 minutes every week and were able to see the improvement in not only their reading ability, but in their confidence and discovering that reading can be fun.” 

Stop Hunger is continuing to deepen and extend its partnership with Innovation for Learning with more employees signed up to support children in Glasgow. 

Stop Hunger’s mission in the UK and Ireland is to tackle the root causes of food insecurity by supporting vulnerable individuals in our local communities find sustainable ways to get out of poverty. 

UK consumers begin to opt for inexpensive dining out occasions as the cost of living crisis hits #

The latest Lumina Intelligence Eating & Drinking Out Panel data has shown a decline in both penetration and spend across the eating out market as the impact of economic uncertainty starts to hit. In the last quarter (w/e 4th September 2022) average spend declined 2% vs the previous quarter despite inflation within the market. This has been driven by consumers opting for more affordable options when they do dine out of the home.

Lower cost channels are growing in popularity across the market
QSR is the most popular channel for consumers increasing +0.9ppts however the retail channel has seen the largest increase growing 1.5 ppts. Within the QSR channel, consumers aged 45+ have grown in share in QSR however younger consumers (34 and under) still make up a large proportion of visits however it must be noted that this age group are starting to trade out of the market across most locations.  All day parts have seen a reduction or no growth in the number of 18-24 year olds eating out in the last quarter. This age group will feel the financial impact of the cost of living crisis the hardest resulting in reduced discretionary spending. Emphasising value for money credentials through promotions and loyalty schemes will entice these consumers. There has been

Drink only occasions losing share
Lumina Intelligence has seen consumers are less likely to be going out on a drink only occasions declining in share by -4.6ppts this quarter. We have seen this impact particular channels more than others, with the pubs & bars channel falling 3.6 ppts for drink only occasions as consumers reduce their alcohol consumption. However, retail has seen a +2.5ppts growth for drink-only, driven by warm weather and more consumers choosing on the go drinks options. Branded coffee retailers Costa Coffee, Starbucks and Caffe Nero have all lost share for drinks only, as consumers turn to more affordable convenience retailers such as Co-op and Sainsburys. Purchasing drinks as part of a meal deal is likely to have contributed to this decline. Offering meal deals in coffee shops can help to encourage purchase and demonstrate value for money.

Beer and cola lose share amongst drink occasions
Cola has seen the largest decline at lunch and dinner, falling 10.2ppts and 9.9ppts respectively whilst energy drinks declined 6.7 ppts for breakfast. Consumers are instead choosing juice drinks and squash as well as fruit fizzy drinks, driven by a reduction in pub visits and an increase in retail drink only occasions. When we look at alcoholic drinks, we have seen a decline across most alcoholic drinks as consumers choose lower ticket drinks in place of premium spirits and cocktails.

Half of consumers not prepared to pay more for sustainable choices #

New research from digital and data experts TWC has revealed that 49% of consumers want to make sustainable choices but are not willing to pay more for this benefit. Meanwhile the majority expect businesses to be focussed on sustainability and their environmental impact.
The TWC Trends research was conducted in June 2022 and indicated that sustainability is increasingly an expectation, with 57% of consumers agreeing that they “expect all companies to be focussed on sustainability and their environmental impact”. Over half of consumers agreed that “food retailers who don’t take environmental issues seriously are likely to lose out in the future”.
Sustainability is influencing where almost one in three consumers shop for groceries, but this represents a fall from 42%, reported in TWC Trends Autumn 2021 edition, undoubtedly as the hunt for value has overtaken as a priority.
Consumers had mixed views on the environmental impact of shopping at convenience stores, with 35% agreeing that it is better for the environment, 20% disagreeing and the remaining 45% unsure. However most agreed that convenience stores could do more to demonstrate their sustainability or environmental credentials.
Sarah Coleman, Communications Director at TWC comments:
Sustainability is increasingly an expectation – rather than a point of difference – and consumers are expecting businesses to take the lead. Whilst 30% say that environmental issues influence where they shop for groceries, a far bigger proportion (57%) expect businesses to be focussed on their impact. The bottom line is that only half of consumers are willing to pay more for sustainability benefits and this is likely to be further squeezed with the cost-of-living crisis, as value is further prioritised.”
For convenience stores, we believe there is an opportunity to talk about the benefits of shopping at smaller stores, for example the fact they are commonly visited on foot; little and often purchasing resulting in less food waste; supporting the local economy and in some cases local suppliers. Consumers agree that convenience stores could do more to demonstrate these benefits and so it would be pushing on an open door.
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 some of the summary slides from this research, please visit:

Taylor Shaw launches the Eativerse – an engaging new educational food concept for primary schools #

School caterer, Taylor Shaw, has developed an original new educational food concept for primary schools called the Eativerse.
The Eativerse has been created to make food exciting and engaging for primary school children and seeks to combine the practicalities of feeding children with the creation of an educational platform to inspire and encourage them to make healthy lifestyle choices now and in the future.
This fun new concept includes two main characters – Jamie and Charlie – whose roles are to guide primary school children through the universe of food and drink. These characters come to life through video animation and the innovative ‘Meet Jamie’ activation – an interactive livestream experience that allows students to speak to Jamie for themselves and ask their questions about the Eativerse and the values it represents.
The Eativerse features three planets - Planet Green, Planet Boost and Planet Focus - and each one communicates a different story about food and its impact on our lives. Each planet has an alien representative that tells its story and the use of animation helps to make the information more dynamic and memorable.
Bud is from Planet Green and on this planet children learn about the impact of food on the environment and are encouraged to make informed meal choices as these decisions will have long term benefits for our planet.
Pip is from Planet Boost which is all about keeping healthy through good nutritional habits and plenty of physical activity. The focus here is looking after the physical and mental wellbeing of children and ensuring they continue to carry out these practices during their years at school but also after they leave.
Klug, from Planet Focus, helps children develop their understanding and appreciation of food, the role it plays in communities around the world and its impact including learning about global cuisines and trying out new recipes.
There is a three-week menu cycle to encourage children to try new food and explore a universe of food, and corporate social responsibility is a core theme.
Lyn Winnard, Managing Director of Taylor Shaw, said: “We were keen to develop an easy to implement concept that was fun but also educational and could be linked to the curriculum. It was essential that it was engaging for children, parents and teachers and we are thrilled by the feedback from the school where it was initially trialled.”
Michal Seal, Marketing and Commercial Director, said: “We wanted to create an innovative new concept which would excite and engage children. This was achieved by carrying out extensive research – from focus groups to input from schools – to ensure that children would witness something different and original in their school dining rooms. We knew it was important to identify trends that resonated with primary school children such as space, gaming and cartoons but our research also highlighted the importance of sustainability, the environment and healthy eating to parents and children and these themes are central to the concept.
Ruth Barber, Business Manager, Ormiston South Parade Academy, said: “The introduction of the Eativerse at our school has been a great success and created a buzz around lunchtimes. The children have responded so positively – engaging with the characters and expressing excitement about going to lunch. As well as being fun and innovative, it is equally important to us and parents that the concept is educational and has a focus on sustainability so that children can develop healthy and responsible eating habits at an early age.”
To maintain children’s on-going engagement, schools have access to theme day communications to encourage children to try new ingredients and menu items. Taylor Shaw also provides a marketing calendar and schools can choose which campaigns they want to be involved in; banners, stickers, bunting and supplementary materials around each planet theme are also available for use in assemblies, the classroom and parent communications.
The Eativerse was successfully trialled at Ormiston South Parade Academy in Grimsby in June and has now been introduced into other schools at the beginning of the Autumn term with a plan to roll out to over 50 schools over the next 12 months.

Nescafé wins at the 2022 Footprint Drinks Sustainability Awards - Stakeholder Engagement Award 2022 #

Nestlé Professional has been announced winner of the Stakeholder Engagement category at the 2022 Footprint Drinks Sustainability Awards, the annual celebration of businesses implementing wide-ranging change to help build a better world.

The award recognises Nescafé’s pioneering work on packaging recyclability in its Out of Home campaign ‘The Change is in Your Hands’. This forms part of the work Nescafé has been doing for over a decade; building global sustainable coffee projects through the Nescafé Plan.

Vassia Katsogianni, Senior Brand Manager for Nescafé Out Of Home, said:
We were delighted to accept the award as recognition for all the hard work that has gone into the Nescafé Plan and our engagement campaign ‘The Change is in Your Hands’. 

With our infinitely recyclable coffee tins of Nescafé at Nestlé Professional, we’re putting change in both our own and our customers’ hands, to make the right, sustainable choices, and to help save up to 400 tonnes of packaging from landfill. 

Moving forward, and as part of our sustainability promise, we’ll keep focusing on the long-term sustainability of coffee. This is vital not only from an agricultural standpoint, but also from a livelihood perspective, so that it can be enjoyed by generations to come

Additionally, Isabelle Tarsh, Assistant Brand Manager for Nescafé Out Of Home who collected the award, said:

We’re incredibly proud of the work we’ve done at Nescafé to make our coffee more sustainable, especially given the impact climate change will have on coffee farmers and their communities. It’s fantastic to be recognised for this. We know there’s still more work to do, but we look forward to stepping up to the challenge; empowering our customers and consumers to make more sustainable coffee choices.

Charles Miers, Co-CEO & Founder Footprint Media Group, says:

We’d like to extend a big congratulations to all of our winners and finalists for their fantastic achievements and the trail-blazing work they’re doing to embed sustainability and responsible business practices right across the drinks industry.  They are carving out a path for others to follow and showcasing the very best of this most vibrant and innovative of sectors”.

Following its Footprint Drinks Sustainability Awards win, Nescafé plans to continue its sustainability journey within the UK drinks industry and beyond. To find out more about the Nestlé Sustainability Plan, read about its goals for the future: from sustainable diets to inspiring the next generation.

Female hospitality leaders show solidarity with Iranian women #

Female hospitality leaders including Clare Smyth, Andi Oliver, Sally Abé, Olia Hercules, and Kate Nicholls have shown solidarity with the women’s movement taking place in Iran following the death in custody of Mahsa Amini.

In a video organised by the Persian Hospitality Network, Michelin-starred chefs, restaurateurs, and influencers including Noda Marvani, Leyli Homayoonfar, Mandana Moghaddam, Mersedeh Prewer, Natalie Jahangiry, and have sought to raise awareness of the anti-government protests taking place in Iran. 

Many of the protests have been led by women following the death of Amini, a 22-year-old woman detained by the ‘morality police’for allegedly wearing ‘improper’ hijab.

The not-for-profit organisation has encouraged people to share the video across social media and ‘be the voice’ of Iranian women, which the authorities have sought to silence by restricting internet access across the country.

The video was inspired by a similar social media post recently shared by actor Nazanin Boniadi (, which saw famous actors show their support by echoing the slogan ‘woman, life, freedom’, which has been adopted by women within Iran.

Women in Iran have been cutting their hair, burning their hijabs, and protesting across the country, with at least 201 people killed in the protests according to Norway-based NGO Iran Human Rights.

In response, women across the world have been cutting their hair in solidarity and thousands of people are taking part in protests in London’s Trafalgar Square earlier this month. The UK has imposed sanctions on Iran’s morality police in response to the violent crackdown on protesters.

The Persian Hospitality Network was launched in 2021 by Piers Zangana, director of PR and communications business Susa Comms, to celebrate and raise awareness of Persian chefs, cooks, food writers, hoteliers, suppliers, restaurants,and brands in the UK.

Zangana said: “What is happening in Iran is heartbreaking and I’m so grateful for so many of the incredible women working in the food and hospitality sector who have come out and shown their support for the people of Iran.

“For more than 43 years, the regime has sought to oppress and silence women and men in Iran.

What is happening has never been seen before. Women are leading what has become a nationwide and global protest against the regime in Iran. The bravery and courage being shown is an inspiration to us all.”

With close to 100,000 Persian people living across the UK, the country is home to the third largest Persian population in the world outside of Iran.

Go to to view the video.

Elior UK launches new Wildgreen concept #

Leading caterer, Elior UK, is driving market-leading food innovation with the launch of its new, predominantly plant-based concept which focuses on fresh, seasonable and sustainable ingredients and the use of technology to improve the speed of service. 

The new concept, designed by dietitians, has been created in response to research carried out by Elior UK that reveals that customers have continued to make increasingly environmentally conscious decisions in relation to their food choices throughout 2021, with plant-based and vegetarian choices increasing by 23% and 12% respectively. This demand has continued to grow in 2022. 

Sustainability and seasonality are at the core of Wildgreen as well as a nourishing, nutritionally balanced and vibrant menu and over 50% of the items on the menu are plant-based.  The menu will be refreshed three times a year in line with seasonal variations to ensure the best and freshest ingredients. 

The all-day menu is available for eat in or take-away and the traditional hot counter style of service has been replaced by a quick-service digital ordering system where food is prepared in a finishing kitchen to ensure that speed of service is improved, and wastage is reduced. This new system reflects the changing face of the high street where customers are encouraged to order via an app or at kiosks, reducing queues when ordering and paying.  

This model allows for most of the preparation to be done in advance with the final assembly at the point of service, ensuring minimal preparation time and maximum freshness.  This new digital service is designed to enable ordering in under 60 seconds and to reduce service time by 20-30% without compromising on taste or quality. 

Michal Seal, Marketing and Corporate Communications Director at Elior UK, said:

We are so excited to launch Wildgreen as it reflects the increasing demand for a fast-food service that is nutritious and uses seasonal and sustainable ingredients. We are delighted by the initial positive feedback from customers and we plan to roll out the concept to at least 15 locations in the next year.” 

The Wildgreen menu will include a static menu of three principal options for three days which are then changed.  Customers can choose from breakfast favourites to impulse snacks and a range of plant-based or meat options including a seasonable rotation of salads, wraps and hot dishes incorporating international flavours and the latest food trends.

Latest MealTrak Results – 12 w/e 5 September 2022 (wave 105) #

Wholesale experts TWC, in partnership with food-to-go and out-of-home tracking programme MealTrak, reports the latest food-to-go market performance to 12 w/e 5 September 2022.

Latest MealTrak results show the number of out-of-home eating occasions were 14% higher than the comparable period in 2021 on a 52 week/MAT basis.
In the latest 12 weeks, the number of out-of-home eating occasions were 2% higher than in 2021.  There were 793 million eating out of home occasions in the 12 w/e 5 September 2022. 

In the last 12 weeks, the ‘eating out’ channel (comprising pubs, restaurants and hotels) was in strong growth, +15% vs the previous year, however the growth rate continues to slow. Growth in ‘eating out’ is driven by pubs +52%, while restaurants have slipped into decline (-6%).

Sandwich shops (-16%), coffee shops/cafes (-7%), fast food & takeaway (-17%), high street (-23%) and transportation (-41%) are all in decline.

The multiples, with their more affordable food-to-go offer are the clear winners, with steady and significant growth (+48% in the latest 12 weeks).
Other retail channels – convenience stores (+10%), discounters (+11%) and forecourts (+13%) are also all outperforming the total market. 

Value sales are up +27% on a 52 week/MAT basis and +14% on a 12-week ending basis versus 2021. ‘Value’ growth remains significantly ahead of ‘occasions’ growth.

Commenting on the results, Tom Fender, Development Director at TWC, said:
Overall, it’s still good news for the food-to-go and eating out market as it continues to grow despite the cost-of-living crisis. However, growth is slowing, and we are seeing value growth continuing to significantly outpace ‘occasions’ growth as inflation continues to rise.”
“The multiples, with their low-price meal deals, are the clear winners with steady and significant growth of +48% in the latest 12 weeks. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the sandwich and speciality shops sector, which is seeing a decline not only in terms of the number of occasions, but also now in value terms too.”
“These outlets are experiencing the perfect storm of increased product costs, staff shortages and rising energy costs, all of which are driving up the cost of sales significantly. In addition to these issues, the now normal hybrid working means that many consumers are eating at home during working hours on several days of the week and therefore more likely to be preparing their own food. It will be interesting to see how this evolves as we move into winter and whether workers will shift towards greater office working to conserve home energy.

For more information on Mealtrak please contact Kim Reddick at TWC (

It’s time to get festive as the Springboard Christmas Carols are back for 2022! #

Join us for an exciting evening of festive fun this year at the Mondrian, Shoreditch on Tuesday 6th December at 6:30pm. Listen and sing along to all your favourite Christmas carols, performed by the talented East London Chorus!

Each ticket is £35, which includes a welcome cocktail. There will be food and drink available throughout the evening, as well as an opportunity to socialise and network, and take part in a variety of fundraising activities.

A great option for a staff night out or a treat for your customers. All proceeds raised from the event will go to The Springboard Charity, supporting young, underprivileged and unemployed people – futureproofing the talent pipeline for hospitality.

Book your tickets now:

Direct Seafoods retains coveted MSC UK Fresh Fish Foodservice Supplier of the Year award #

For the second year running, Direct Seafoods has been awarded the Marine Stewardship Council Award for Fresh Fish Foodservice Supplier of the Year.
Held yesterday evening in Aberdeen for its ninth year, the MSC awards celebrate the outstanding achievements and performances in sustainable fishing and seafood across the entire UK business spectrum.

Attended by a large number of industry members and streamed to many more, the award is considered of the highest regard across fresh fish foodservice and reflects the ultimate recognition to individuals and teams.

Judged by the MSC, the award is given to a supplier who has supported their customers in identifying new MSC products and species for restaurant businesses, whilst demonstrating commitment to driving progress of certified sustainable seafood within the UK foodservice sector.

Laky Zervudachi, who has held the role of Direct Seafoods Director of Sustainability for more than 15 years, said:

We’re delighted to have won this award for a second consecutive year. I’m really proud of our team and their achievements and this award is testament to their hard work and commitment, despite another challenging year for the industry.

“The MSC Award recognises our decision to put sustainability at the heart of our business. We offer one of the largest ranges of MSC certified products, along with extensive customer support including menu planning, recipe inspiration and training.

“Sourcing fish responsibly is paramount to us and we work closely with both our mainstream and specialist fish suppliers, believing passionately in promoting the most sustainable products available to our customers.