Members’ News

July 2023

Royal Academy of Culinary Arts announces finalists for Annual Awards of Excellence 40th Anniversary Year #

Following another record year of entries, the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts is proud to announce the names of the Annual Awards of Excellence (AAE) 2023 finalists (see editors’ notes for the full list).
The AAE is not a competition, but rather an examination; all or none of the candidates could achieve the Award, depending on their ability to attain the standard of excellence set by the judges. All those who successfully reach this standard will win the AAE. In addition, the candidate who scores the most marks in their section will be named the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Young Chef, Young Pastry Chef or Young Waiter 2023 at the Annual Awards of Excellence gala dinner at Claridge’s on 31st July.
The Annual Awards of Excellence is the most prestigious award available to young professionals in the hospitality industry today, recognising and encouraging the most talented ambitious chefs, pastry chefs and waiters. Since it began 40 years ago in 1983, over 650 young professionals have achieved the Award, setting them off on highly successful career paths.
The purpose of the Awards is to inspire and encourage young professionals to achieve the highest possible standards in their chosen profession – Kitchen, Pastry or Service – and to offer them clear guidelines for success in their careers.
Participating in the AAE is a great learning experience. As it is not a competition there is no first, second and third place, but instead, any number of candidates can achieve the standard of excellence set by leading figures within the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts and the hospitality industry.
Good basic skills are the essential cement with which young, ambitious members of the catering industry can build a rewarding career. While more taxing tasks help to identify the best cooks and waiters of today, who will become the leaders of tomorrow.

Chefs can be tested on a variety of food preparation and cookery tasks from making a salad to butchery skills and must demonstrate that they can prepare a variety of dishes including soups and desserts and a piece of their own free interpretation.

Pastry chefs are expected to demonstrate the ability to work with many kinds of materials, including detailed chocolate and sugar work, and a creative presentation piece, while having an excellent grounding in baking and plated desserts.

Waiters are tested on their knowledge and skills in a wide range of food and beverage service aspects, including product knowledge, technical service skills, interpersonal skills and teamwork.
Selection is based on written entries. Successful candidates went onto regional quarter finals in February Semi-finals in March/April and finals in June 2023 where they were tested on a wide range of classical skills.
* The three highest-scoring candidates are awarded the accolade of Young Chef, Young Waiter, Young Pastry Chef of The Year
*£2000 bursary thanks to the Savoy Educational Trust
*The bursary from the Savoy Educational Trust will take the form of an educational trip to Moet and Chandon and Veuve Clicquot where they will learn more about the wine-making process and take part in an incredible Champagne and food pairing meal.Past trips include visits to New Orleans; Dubai; Mexico; Champagne; Tuscany; Barbados; St Lucia; Los Angeles; Hong Kong and Shanghai; Quebec and Los Angeles.
*Work experience at Pollen Street Social with thanks to Jason Atherton
*Work experience at The Fat Duck with thanks to Heston Blumenthal
* Invited to exclusive hospitality experiences and exclusive Royal Academy of Culinary Arts events and trips
* A specially commissioned engraved Silver Trophy thanks to Gordon Hogg and Finclass
* All Service Semi-Finalists and Finalists are invited to the Gold Service Scholarship
* The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Young Chef of The Year will gain automatic entry to the Final of Craft Guild of Chefs, National Young Chef of The Year
* Chefs and Pastry Chefs are invited to enter the William Heptinstall Award 
All Annual Awards of Excellence Achievers receive the following:

Jeroboam of Champagne
AAE Lapel Pin
Chefs Jacket courtesy of Bragard
Membership of the RACA Alumni
The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts is immensely grateful to the sponsors of the AAE 2023. Berkmann Wine Cellars (product); Evolve Hospitality Recruitment; Maldon Crystal Salt Company; L’Unico Caffe Musetti; Savoy Educational Trust (Scholarship); William Edwards; Woods Foodservice; The Caterer (Media Partner) The Staff Canteen (Media Partner).
Friday 6th January                         Entries Open
Friday 3rd February                       Hard Close
Monday 20th March                      Gleneagles
Monday 3th April                          The Connaught
Wednesday 12th April                   University of West London
University College Birmingham
Westminster Kingsway College
Bournemouth & Poole College    
Monday 15th May                         The Savoy
Wednesday 7th June                      University of West London
Monday 19th June                         Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester
Monday 31st July                           Claridge’s

Garden Gourmet to expand chicken-style offering with new product launch #

A Nestlé Professional brand, GARDEN GOURMET has today announced the upcoming launch of two new products as part of its chicken-style range, following a sustained period of growth in the out-of-home meat-free market.
Demand for plant-based food out-of-home has soared with 59% growth being recorded over the last two years¹. In line with this trend, GARDEN GOURMET is set to expand its offering in the UK with the launch of GARDEN GOURMET Sensational™ Vegan Pulled Fillet and GARDEN GOURMET®Sensational Vegan Crispy Tenders.
Kate Edley, Senior Brand Manager, Garden Gourmet, Nestlé Professional UK&I said: “People continue to seek out plant-based alternatives, suggesting that a more meat-free diet is the future. As a result, one of our strategic priorities is to expand our vegetarian and flexitarian offering to ensure we’re able to meet the changing needs of consumers.

“Garden Gourmet is a well-established out-of-home brand both here in the UK and overseas. The upcoming expansion of its chicken-style range in the UK showcases our commitment to expanding its portfolio in the domestic market. We look forward to bringing these two new innovative products to market later this year
Both GARDEN GOURMET Sensational™ Vegan Pulled Fillet and GARDEN GOURMET Sensational™ Vegan Crispy Tenders will be available from August 2023. They will both be sold in 3 x 2kg cases at a wholesale price of £57.00.

Bidfood celebrates the 12 months of Christmas with the launch of its festive range #

To launch this year’s festive range, Bidfood, one of the UK’s leading foodservice providers, is shining a light not only on consumer demands shaping 2023, but on the year long process to bring us all a Christmas to remember.

The festive season doesn’t just start and stop on the 12 day lead up to Christmas. In fact, for the foodservice industry, the preparations begin almost immediately after the celebrations end, making it a year long process. From fresh suppliers to growers and producers, Christmas truly is a 12-month-long team effort.

To support Bidfood in developing this year’s festive range, the wholesaler commissioned research to find out how consumer behaviours would be driving decision making when eating and drinking out of home this Christmas.
Cost of living
Despite another challenging year due to the cost of living crisis, the good news is that 44% of consumers plan to go out for food and drink at least once a week this year. In fact, with 1 in 3 stating that food and drink is typically their main way of socialising and catching up with loved ones this season, tapping into this will be essential.

Unsurprisingly, value for money is once again going to be a top priority for consumers when deciding where to eat out this year, with 57% of people labelling cost as the biggest factor. However there can’t be a compromise on quality, as almost half (47%), say this is also high on their priority list when decision making. To help operators balance the two, Bidfood has developed dishes that provide a sense of luxury without breaking the bank. A slow-cooked short rib of beef with rich French onion gravy lends itself perfectly to this. Or for a sweet treat, a twist on the cult classic, sticky toffee Christmas pudding drizzled with toffee sauce.

Festive offerings
As well as value for money, consumers want to see choice on the menu. With this in mind, operators would benefit from having a range of non-festive options to accompany the more traditional dishes. Bidfood’s range has incorporated a variety of ‘winter warmers’, such as a hearty slow cooked lamb and root vegetable stew.

Operators should be cautious to not discard meat-free options this Christmas. Although many associate this time of year with turkey, pigs in blanket and ham, a quarter of people would find a non-meat dish appealing. And this stretches far further than just vegetarians and vegans, sustainability and health conscious consumers have contributed to the meat reduction trend making it important for operators to provide a strong meat-free offering across their menus. Bidfood’s range taps into this trend with a number of vegan and vegetarian options, such as the wild mushroom & confit onion tartlet, butternut squash, lentil, spinach & almond wellington and the sweet and creamy lemon berry delice.

Vicky Tripp, Campaign & Brand Manager at Bidfood commented:

It’s great to be able to raise awareness of, and showcase, the hard work that goes into Christmas every year to make it the success that it is. Making sure everything is ready for December truly is a team effort industry wide.

With over 70 new products across a number of categories ranging from meat-free and seafood, luxury and indulgence to on the go items, there really is something for everyone in our range. And once again we’re partnering with FareShare via Work for Good.

“With a variety of products, both old and new, the Bidfood 2023 range aims to assist operators with their Christmas menu development plans as well as offering great food to consumers as we head into the winter months.

The FEA calls for industry input to help guide government F-gas policy #

The Foodservice Equipment Association (FEA) is calling on its members to provide evidence to the government about the potential effects of proposed changes to regulations regarding the use of F-Gases in commercial refrigeration and other types of equipment. “If not implemented correctly, these regulations could seriously affect the foodservice sector,” says Andy Threlfall, technical and policy director at the FEA. “It’s vital that we provide the government with data to help guide them correctly.”

FEA is particularly concerned about the potential impact on specialist refrigeration equipment, such as some icemaker applications, blast chillers and thawing cabinets, and appliances such as heat pumps. “In some instances the greener alternatives to the current gasses are not viable either for safety reasons or where cooling efficiency can be affected,” says Threlfall.  “The science needs to be given time to catch up with the carbon objectives.”  There are two pieces or legislation which are worrying manufacturers, the new limits on F-gas, and the possible ban of credible alternative refrigerants included in the proposed PFAS restrictions under REACH.

A multinational effort is seeing FEA working with the European Federation of Catering Equipment Manufacturers (EFCEM). This is to influence the proposed regulatory changes that will be required in response to new restrictions the European Commission is planning to introduce in 2024. These new regulations will tighten controls on the use of fluorinated refrigerants in the drive to reduce the use of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS. This would see refrigerants like HFOs and HFCs banned from manufacture and sale where suitable alternatives exist, as part of the aim to meet Carbon Net Zero targets by 2030.

The UK Government will be rewriting the current legislation relating to these issues as well, in response to the new European laws. These will be in line with its wider aims relating to meeting Carbon Net Zero commitments, and remaining complaint with EU and international regulations. 

The government intends to issue a consultation in either late 2023 or early 2024, and will implement the new F-Gas regulations in 2025.

Before that, DEFRA will shortly be sending out an industry survey to help them plan a phasedown schedule. The phasedown of F-gas equipment needs to be tailored to the UK market, be both technically and economically feasible, and allow for adequate plans for important users of F-gas, like heat pumps. Any decision reached will be evidence based.

The FEA will be putting in a response to the DEFRA survey and is calling for any of its members who will be affected by the changes to submit information. Furthermore, if any manufacturer affected by the proposed restrictions to F-gas wishes to submit data directly, the FEA will be able to request DEFRA to send individual links to the survey.

The FEA has already submitted comments to the European Commission through its EFCEM links in relation to both F-Gas and the PFAS changes. It has requested that specialist refrigeration and heat pumps be placed outside the scope of PFAS restrictions.

If you would like to participate in the Defra survey please use this link to register an interest in participating.

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

A strong first half of the year for Company of Cooks #

Company of Cooks has enjoyed a strong first half of 2023, securing over £120million in retained business.

The five-year deals extend successful partnerships with six prestigious clients and venues across London: The Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, the Southbank Centre, Old Royal Naval College, Chelsea Physic Garden, and most recently, the Royal Academy of Engineering and BMA House.

Retaining these key clients has been a priority for Company of Cooks since it merged with sister brand Venues by CH&CO in March, and is testament to the strength of the combined businesses, its commitment to its core values of Craft, Creativity and Community and the newly formed leadership team. 

Clients cited Company of Cooks’ commitment to brilliant food, drink and service as core reasons for extending their partnerships, also referencing the team’s creative and innovate approach to design, technology and marketing.

Similarly, the consistency, flair and confidence provided by the existing onsite teams, coupled with the exciting aspirations, aligned values and collaborative approach of the new leadership team and brand direction proved important to each client.

Company of Cooks’ approach to sustainability through its Community value was also a key factor in these decisions. The commitment to the removal of all MCS rated 4 and 5 fish, nil by airfreight for all fresh produce and British only cheese and fresh meat were all noted, as were compelling social enterprise partnerships with the likes of Well Grounded and Luminary Bakery.

Rob Fredrickson, Company of Cooks’ Managing Director, said:

Extending our partnerships with such an incredible range of venues is an important part of our plans for the next five years, providing an amazing platform from which we can continue to build our position as the leading restaurant, bar, café and event caterer in the UK. These partnerships, some of which are now entering their third terms, highlight how a range of clients are really starting to connect with our belief that brilliant food, drink and service can not only drive revenues and help broaden audiences, they can also provide a platform for doing good for the people and businesses we work with and for – all the while safeguarding the planet for future generations.”

Sodexo retains strategic business in Scotland #

Sodexo’s Corporate Services division has secured two three-year contract extensions with Scottish-based businesses Devro and Edrington. 

As part of the new contracts Sodexo will introduce its Kitchen Works Co. food offering. Taking inspiration from modern, quick-service restaurants with a home-from-home feel, Sodexo’s Kitchen Works Co. provides a range of meal options to cater to a wide range of dietary and culinary needs. It also enables colleagues to refuel and recharge in a welcoming environment focused on flexibility and wellbeing. 

Sodexo has partnered with spirits company Edrington for more than 25 years, and in addition to food services it will continue to deliver cleaning and hospitality services at Edrington’s manufacturing facility and Head Office in Glasgow. 

Sodexo has also extended its contract with food manufacturer Devro for a further three years, with the option to extend for a further two years. A partner for more than ten years, Sodexo will provide the Moodiesburn site in Glasgow with services including hospitality, cleaning, security, vending, and janitorial services. To support Devro in its journey to Net Zero, Sodexo will also be introducing its WasteWatch food waste programme and aqueous ozone cleaning technology. 

Julie Ennis, CEO Corporate Services, Sodexo UK & Ireland said:

We have fostered strong partnerships with both Edrington and Devro over the many years we’ve worked together and are delighted of the confidence and trust they have in our services. Our goal is to continue providing them with flexible solutions that improve the quality of life of their people, using food to fuel productivity, while supporting them with their individual sustainability goals.” 

Sodexo’s Corporate Services business delivers facilities management and food services to more than 800 sites across the UK & Ireland, working with some of the world’s most recognisable brands. Its teams have expertise operating across a range of different environments in the corporate sector, including headquarters, regional offices, data centres, manufacturing centres and research and development hubs, in sectors as diverse as professional services, financial services, pharmaceuticals, media and technology.

Medirest and Moorfields see partnership for the future #

Medirest, part of the healthcare sector of Compass Group UK & Ireland, has signed a three year contract with Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, to deliver catering and FM services. From July 2023, they have started working to deliver innovative solutions around services including cleaning and catering.
Based in London, Moorfields is one of the leading providers of eye health services in the UK and a world-class centre of excellence for ophthalmic research and education. With over 2,400 staff, their main focus is the treatment and care of NHS patients with a wide range of eye problems, from common complaints to rare conditions that require treatment not available elsewhere in the UK.
The new partnership will see over 100 staff transfer to Medirest, to deliver services including retail; patient catering; private patient catering; cleaning; vending; and security. The retail offer will include a Wellspring Restaurant with a fresh and contemporary menu and a new wellbeing area will be created for staff use when they need to take a break. A Change Please outlet will be introduced, which is a social enterprise aiming to help homeless people through the sales of their award-winning coffee.
For patient catering Steamplicity is being introduced. The unique cooking system steam cooks fresh and raw ingredients in under five minutes, meaning that nutritional value is maximised, alongside offering flexibility and consistency. Created by chefs and nutritionists, the menu provides over 30 dishes across lunch and dinner. It also improves food waste levels, as patients order what they want and at a suitable time. Compass’ Esteem system will be used for private patients.
Cleaning enhancements will mean the introduction of the National Standards of Healthcare Cleanliness 2021 throughout the hospital estate and innovative technology, equipment and training will be instrumental to delivering this. Medirest will also create an Academy at Moorfields to trial new innovations and technology throughout the contract.
The agreement will see the implementation of new security technology, which improves patient and staff safety. Medirest will also be establishing a support services portal, to assist staff and hospital colleagues in reporting both job related tasks and service requests that need completing.
Pivotal to the partnership is generating social value, creating a bespoke plan that includes commitments to the local community and a focus on employment opportunities for those with disabilities, including people who are visually impaired. This comes with a commitment to deliver training and progression, through Compass’ Social Promise. In addition, each staff member will receive a free meal every day at work.
The Positive Impressions programme, which underpins Compass Healthcare’s purpose of “Performance with Heart”, focussing on patient satisfaction will also be rolled out, with colleagues receiving the relevant training and sessions. Positive Impressions is designed to measure the patient experience and enhance patient-centred training, to help deliver care based on communication, awareness, respect and empathy.
Peter Foster, Head of Facilities Management at Moorfields, said:

We are pleased to welcome Medirest as our new provider of cleaning, catering and security services. Our thorough procurement process required bidders to increase pay for all staff to the London Living Wage as a minimum, implement the National Standards of Cleanliness 2021 in full, provide a patient and retail catering service in line with the new national standards for healthcare food and drink and to make measurable social value commitments. We welcome their commitment to all of these initiatives and to innovate to ensure we achieve the best possible service for all our patients, visitors and staff, and I look very much forward to working with the Medirest team to deliver the new contract.” 
Russell Blake, MD - Healthcare, Compass Group UK & Ireland, commented: “I am so proud to be working with this iconic hospital, to help support those visiting and working there. Our teams will be working to deliver the very best standards across services such as catering, cleaning and security. We will be investing in our people and bringing innovations, to further progress and enhance services for the future. We are truly thrilled by this opportunity and look forward to working side by side with the Moorfields team.

Bisto launches its Love British Food Fortnight Guide to Inspire Chefs and Spotlight UK Suppliers #

Bisto has launched a Love British Food Guide to help publicans and pub chefs celebrate UK suppliers and drive profits from the national celebration, which takes place from 16th September to 1st October.  

One of a series of guides, it includes consumer insight, tips and expert-led advice from award winning chef and patron of The Cricketer’s Arms, Harry Kodagoda. The digital booklet also features six flavour-packed recipes created by Harry, which pub chefs can incorporate into their seasonal menus, such as a Guinness and Bisto braised beef cheek with Maris Piper mash and glazed vegetables and a twist on the Sunday nut roast, accompanied by Bisto.   

The Love British Food Fortnight Guide gives insight into consumer dining habits, with research reporting 65% of consumers are more likely to visit a venue which highlights its ingredients are sourced from British farmers*. Plus, 56% of consumers say they are likely to pay extra for a dish where the main food item has been sourced from a British farmer*. The research demonstrates the value in publicans communicating their commitment to local food sourcing to customers. Highlighting the opportunity for pubs, Harry Kodagoda, comments: 

 “With the right menu offer and events, British Food Fortnight can be a real business booster, both during the fortnight and beyond. Use it to remind customers of the amazing British suppliers your pub partners with.”  

Sarah Robb, foodservice marketing manager, Premier Foods Foodservice  

As one of the UK’s largest food manufacturers and home to some of the nation’s much-loved brands, we understand what drives customer loyalty. This Love British Food Guide is full of tips and menu inspiration to help pub operators maximise the big opportunity brought by this national celebration of the diverse and delicious food the UK produces.”  

Alexia Robinson, Founder of Love British Food explains the benefits for businesses in participating in this event.    

So many pubs take part in British Food Fortnight and every year they report huge benefits to the pub as a result; great customer feedback, good local PR and, for many, increased footfall and takings. People love a British food menu promotion! Our advice to pubs is to use British Food Fortnight to shout about and showcase the British producers you support, local and further afield; or use the event as an opportunity to introduce a new supplier or a themed seasonal menu.”   

To download a copy of The Love British Food Fortnight Guide, click here: Premier Foods - See how we support chefs with recipes and advice ( 

RSPCA Assured launches sizzling summer barbecue campaign #

RSPCA Assured has launched its sizzling summer campaign which encourages consumers to buy higher welfare chicken and pork for their barbecues.

As we enter the Great British barbecue season, RSPCA Assured, the RSPCA’s ethical food label and farm assurance scheme, has launched a new advertising campaign to highlight the importance of buying higher welfare products.

The 30-second advert follows a group of people at a barbecue cooking chicken burgers, sausages, kebabs and corn on the cob. The advert will appear across the Channel 4 network from 20th July - 31st July with a kick-off spot on Sunday Brunch, as well as appearing alongside programmes such as Bake Off: The Professionals, Supermarkets Unwrapped, Jamie’s £1 Wonders and Come Dine With Me.

Xenia Kingsley, senior marketing manager at RSPCA Assured, said: ”We’re all fired up about our new summer barbecue campaign. It focuses on encouraging those who already eat meat to consider farm animal welfare this barbecue season and opt for higher welfare chicken and pork. 

“We are a nation of animal lovers and we all love a good barbecue as soon as we get even a little bit of sunshine so we wanted to show the public that by buying RSPCA Assured labelled products they can be reassured that the animals have been cared for to the RSPCA’s strict higher welfare standards, and have been treated with compassion and respect

The advert will also appear on Meta (Facebook, Instagram), TikTok, YouTube and there will be 350 out of home digital display ads on high streets and retail parks across the country. RSPCA Assured labelled products can be found in all major supermarkets including Aldi, Asda, Co-op, Lidl, Marks and Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco.

Find out more about chicken and pig welfare on the RSPCA Assured scheme.

To watch the advert, visit: 

Reynolds welcomes Isuzu executives to Waltham Cross Head Office #

Norihiro Yoshimoto (Chairman, Isuzu Truck (UK) Ltd.), Masumi Hayakawa (Director, Isuzu Motors Europe), and Lee Tansley (National Fleet Sales Manager, Isuzu Truck (UK) Ltd) were welcomed by Tony Reynolds (Founder & Managing Director, Reynolds), along with his son Nick Reynolds (Head of Sustainability), and Steve White (Head of Fleet) to Reynolds’ Head Office at Waltham Cross today.

The executives from Isuzu were visiting Reynolds due to their long-standing relationship and stated Reynolds to be “one of our longest historical fleet customers”. The affiliation between the two companies began back in 2004 and has grown to its current position, with 110 Isuzu vehicles in Reynolds’ total fleet of 211.  These 110 are made up of 92 x 7.5T and 20 x 13.5T trucks, with the majority owned outright.

The relationship is set to grow from strength to strength with a further 10 7.5T and 6 13.5T on order for 2024 delivery. The Reynolds family, as part of a wider business trip, hope to make a reciprocal visit later this year to the Isuzu assembly and manufacturing plants in Fujisawa, Japan.

Building on the collaborative sustainability agenda of both organisations, Reynolds have also added a converted electric version of the 7.5T Isuzu chassis into the fleet in February 2022, with an upgraded version from the same retrofitter currently on order to deliver even better performance.

Underlining this approach, Reynolds plans to continue investing in electric vehicles, and the strategic partnership will continue, with Reynolds helping to launch the first Isuzu in-house built electric vehicle in the UK commercial market in the near future.

The collaboration continues with the involvement of DT Trucks, a family owned business, who are one of Isuzu Truck (UK) Ltd’s authorised Dealerships, that support the Reynolds parts supply with a large and impressive amount of genuine Isuzu parts. Why has the relationship between Reynolds, Isuzu and DT Trucks been so successful?

Steve White from Reynolds said, “The support from DT Trucks on aftersales technically and parts supply is excellent, our key account manager for Isuzu Truck (UK) Ltd goes the extra mile and is a great support which gives us confidence in the product and processes”.

The visitors to Reynolds were shown around the impressive 250,000 square foot site, colloquially described as a ‘Food Town’ due to the breadth of categories covered. Reynolds employs specialists in fruit and vegetables, added value produce, meat, and fish, and distributes all around the country to customers including restaurants and pub groups, food-to-go outlets, hotels, and hospital/care/education foodservice clients. Reynolds’ focus on fresh food means customers receive high quality food at a consistent service level.

Impulse categories drive growth in independent convenience #

Wholesale and convenience data experts TWC Group, reports the latest sales performance for 13 weeks to 9 July 2023, from its SmartView Convenience market read for independent convenience retail and wholesaler-supplied symbol stores in GB.
The latest data reports a strong value performance for impulse categories, including soft drinks (+15.7%), confectionery (+19.8%) and crisps, snacks & nuts (+21.0%). Total sales through the channel grew +5.0% in value terms for the 13 w/e 09 July 2023.

Commenting on the results, Tom Fender, Development Director at TWC, said:
Despite very tough trading conditions, value sales through the independent convenience channel increased by +5% in the last 13 weeks, driven by strong growth across impulse categories, with a particularly stellar performance in the last 4 weeks due to the warm weather.”
Tobacco sales declined -3% but the category remains a huge footfall driver and sales of vape continue to expand rapidly. We’ve also seen modest growth coming through beers & lagers despite continued promotional activity in the supermarkets.
We will be releasing data each month and suppliers, wholesalers and retailers who are interested in benchmarking their performance with the market should contact or look at  for more information and to book a demo. 
SmartView Convenience from TWC, in conjunction with InTouch Group, is the most representative EPOS market read covering independent convenience retail and wholesaler-supplied symbol stores in GB. The read comprises a cherry-picked representative sample of ca. 6,000 standalone convenience stores, from a pool of more than 12k stores.

Délifrance unveils exquisite Salted Caramel & Pecan Open Croissant to captivate taste buds #

Leading baked goods manufacturer, Délifrance, has announced the launch of its Salted Caramel & Pecan Open Croissant to further enhance its selection of premium baked goods. 

Délifrance’s new creation is poised to captivate taste buds and fulfil the increasing consumer demand for indulgent baked goods. Epitomising the art of indulgence, the new buttery pastry is filled with salted caramel and topped with toasted pecan nuts, offering a symphony of rich and decadent flavours and premium quality.  

The product has been developed as part of Délifrance’s commitment to cater to evolving consumer trends, leveraging the businesses’ rich know-how and expertise in producing market-leading viennoiserie.   

Stéphanie Brillouet, marketing director at Délifrance says: “It’s been a busy and exciting period at Délifrance as we continue to innovate and enhance our viennoiserie offering. Through our own research into the breakfast market, we’ve identified indulgence as a growing consumer trend particularly when it comes to breakfast and snacking. Not to mention, our research also revealed that 1 in 3 consumers would buy more pastries if there was a greater offering of flavours such as caramel.

Therefore, we’re pleased to introduce the ever so decadent Salted Caramel & Pecan Open Croissant to meet this need and enable operators to capitalise on this lucrative eating occasion. This is part of our ongoing commitment to take our viennoiserie range beyond the much-loved classics and enable our customers to delight their consumers in new and interesting ways

The product is now available via Délifrance from wholesalers. Sold frozen in boxes of 68, the ready to bake Salted Caramel & Pecan Pastry is a versatile addition to foodservice operator.  

For more information visit:  

Deliveroo and Bestway announce new partnership to save restaurants thousands of pounds #

Deliveroo has today announced a new partnership with Bestway, the largest trade-only wholesaler in the UK, providing restaurant partners with access to cheaper everyday essentials.
With food inflation continuing to impact restaurants across the UK, the partnership will help restaurants cut costs and on average an independent restaurant could save £5,000. The considerable savings come on restaurant essentials, including soft drinks, flour, rice, sugar and dairy products.
Restaurant partners are also eligible for a discount scheme through a quarterly paid cashback deal based on spend and special pricing tiers through the partnership. Restaurants who spend more than £13,000 a quarter are eligible for up to 8% cash back - a rebate of more than £1,000 cash to spend as they wish.
The partnership between Deliveroo and Bestway comes at a crucial time for the restaurant industry in the face of rising food inflation. By providing restaurant partners with access to cheaper pricing on their everyday essentials, this collaboration offers a lifeline to independent partners striving to cut costs and maintain profitability.
The offer will be available to 1,700 partner sites in Scotland from Bestway’s Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee depot and 6,800 partner sites in Central London both with a delivery service option. Deliveroo restaurant partners have already signed up in London, Dundee, Glasgow and Edinburgh, with the remainder of the partnership expected to be rolled out across the UK as early as 2024.
Carlo Mocci, Chief Business Officer UK&I at Deliveroo said:

We’re seeing more restaurants than ever before operate on delivery platforms and, in such a competitive environment, the restaurants that are seeing the greatest successes are those that offer a quality experience and great value for money. This new partnership with Bestway will provide our restaurant partners with access to great savings on their everyday essentials, helping them offer great value for money to their customers.” 
Dawood Pervez, Managing Director at Bestway Wholesale said: “We’re enormously excited to announce our growing partnership with Deliveroo and as we enter our new fiscal year, we have ambitious targets to grow our partnership and our market share with Deliveroo customers. Our collaboration is based on synergistic values – we want to help our customers grow and make more profit – that way, we all benefit and grow together. For Deliveroo customers who are not already buying at Bestway, it couldn’t be easier to register through a few simple steps, enabling them to be able to enjoy superb savings and the best deals in the market. This is a further example of how here at Bestway, we are investing in our customers and driving the best value and opportunity into their businesses.”
Malik Ali Khan, Director of Walm Lane Cafeteria, a Deliveroo restaurant partner said: “For us, there is no question that this is a ground-breaking partnership that Deliveroo and Bestway are offering. It has made a big difference to our business. We are currently spending £500 a week on supplies with Bestway which means we will receive over £1,300 every year in rebates that we can reinvest into more supplies and that's on top of the savings, so it will make a significant difference to our profitability.

Bidfood launches brand new feature on award-winning site, Bidfood Direct #

With the rapid deployment of new and improved ecommerce platforms across nearly every industry, Bidfood has taken strides to enhance its customers’ user experience. The wholesaler has recently introduced a new companion products feature on their online shop, Bidfood Direct, presenting customers with products that are complementary to the ones they're already browsing for.
There are over five billion internet users worldwide and as a result, the number of people making online purchases is reaching an all-time high. Coupled with the pandemic, the last few years have seen ecommerce take a fundamental role in a customer’s shopping experience and wholesale has played a part in this.
Developed by their team of ecommerce experts, Bidfood Direct’s latest feature places the customer journey at the forefront, heightening their overall user experience while increasing efficiency online.
The companion feature gets to work as soon as the customer starts searching, informing them with a, ‘You may also need…’ message alongside products. Once clicked, they will see up to four products that complement their chosen item. For example, if shopping for a coffee cup, they would see the lid and sleeve that fits that coffee cup as well as the cup carrier.
Bidfood’s telesales teams will also be able to view the companion products via their ordering platform allowing them to suggest and cross-sell complementary products with ease while taking orders over the phone.
Bidfood Direct has been paving the way in the ecommerce space recently, winning the B2B Ecommerce Website of the Year award at the UK Digital Growth Awards and being shortlisted for a number of other industry awards.
The award win recognised Bidfood’s strong implementation of tech and innovation through its MyRecipes and Menu Planning support tools, helping customers navigate through complicated legislation, such as Natasha’s Law and Calorie Labelling.
Ian Moore, Strategy & Digital Director at Bidfood said, “We place the customer at the heart of everything we do at Bidfood. This new and exciting companion feature is not only a testament to how much we care about improving the customer journey, but to how much our dedicated ecommerce team are constantly developing and innovating our online platform.
“Online ordering is a key purchasing method for our customers and this feature is even accessible through the Bidfood Direct app. We’re constantly seeking to equip our customers with the right tools to keep their journey as streamlined as possible and make our customers’ lives easier
To find out more about Bidfood Direct visit:

Insights Lab by Egg Soldiers: Asian-inspired BBQ thought-starters for 2024 food product development #

Insights Lab by Egg Soldiers, the pioneering food trends service from one of the UK’s top foodservice development agencies, has been cooking up BBQ ideation this month, delivering three Asian-inspired thought-starters for UK food teams to chew over when considering 2024 product development.

In a dedicated article, which can be accessed here for free; Insights Lab’s trend specialists first discuss the impact of the cost-of-living crisis – specifically food inflation – in terms of how consumers are approaching BBQ eating occasions this year, with the prices of burgers and sausages skyrocketing.

Kateline Porritt, Head of Trends at Egg Soldiers, said:

"Traditionally, the likes of burgers and sausages act as the affordable bedrock of a classic British BBQ.

“However, eye-watering price hikes may dissuade some consumers from buying both meat options for one BBQ occasion, instead fashioning simpler BBQ 'menus' with fewer mains to save money.

“This, in turn, may lead to a greater emphasis on the flavour and quality of the chosen option, with consumers willing to pay slightly more for a premium protein to take full lead of their respective BBQs.

Meanwhile, in hospitality, there has been a notable flurry of Asian BBQ restaurants launching in London, which got us to thinking about potential innovation areas for 2024 and the Asian-inspired flavours, techniques and/or formats that might be harnessed by UK food businesses to pique the interest of BBQ lovers.”

Insights Lab spotlights Filipino-inspired ube burger buns, Korean BBQ sausages and Zibo-style BBQ - the latter a traditional Chinese BBQ style which closely resembles a gyro or shawarma, featuring charcoal-grilled meat in a flour wrap.

The likes of char siu pork or roast duck might come up in an everyday discussion on Chinese BBQ in the UK,” explains Porritt. 
This would just be scratching the surface, however, with Chinese BBQ encompassing a diverse range of culinary techniques that vary across different regions of China.

“For example, you have Sichuan BBQ, which is driven by mouth-numbing Sichuan peppercorns; Fujian BBQ, which focuses on seafood and uses a unique cooking method called "lu wei"; and Zibo-style, which recently went viral in China.

“Traditional Zibo-style BBQ sees diners cook various meats themselves on small charcoal grills before wrapping them in tortilla-style wraps with additions such as chilli-garlic sauce, crushed peanuts, chilli powder and spring onion.

“Simple, accessible, cheap to make, and altogether flavourful; Zibo-style BBQ has no real presence in the UK and could be worth exploring as an affordable street food-style option or as an at-home kit for summer BBQ occasions in 2024.

Insights Lab by Egg Soldiers produces a bi-monthly food trends newsletter, regularly posts free deep dives on its website, and provides detailed reports and immersive workshops to inspire NPD teams and drive innovation for UK foodservice businesses.

Aviserv Celebrates a Remarkable Milestone: 5 Million working Hours in West London #

Aviserv, a leading human resources company based in Hayes, is elated to announce the celebration of a momentous achievement - they have successfully completed over 5 million working hours in the West London region. This significant milestone marks 20 years of dedication and commitment to providing exceptional cleaning solutions to various industries. Aviserv takes immense pride in its specialization of offering non-skilled workers to the airport and businesses in the Park Royal area, making them a cornerstone of the community they serve.

Founded two decades ago in Hayes, Aviserv has played a pivotal role in the local job market and the broader West London community. The company has thrived on its principle of providing employment opportunities for workers of all skill levels, championing diversity, and creating deep-rooted connections with the South Asian community. They have been instrumental in facilitating essential checks and support for their workers, especially those who are new to the UK.

Aviserv's unwavering commitment to their staff and partners has been the driving force behind their remarkable journey. The organization firmly believes that the human touch sets them apart from their competitors. Ahamed Wadood, the Managing Director of Aviserv, reflected on their incredible achievement, stating, "When we set up this business, it was impossible to imagine that we'd be providing our staff over 5 million hours of work. It's an incredible milestone, and we owe a debt of gratitude to our hundreds of hardworking staff and loyal partners for helping us reach this momentous occasion."

The company's success can be attributed to its robust network of partners across West London. Aviserv has forged strong alliances with prominent names in the region, including Bidvest Noon, Mitie, and Baxter Storey. These partnerships have enabled Aviserv to extend its reach and provide their exceptional services to a broader clientele, cementing their reputation as a trusted HR company in the area.

Aviserv's core values of integrity, diversity, and a personalized approach to their services have earned them a distinguished position in the HR industry. The company's specialization in supplying non-skilled workers to the airport and businesses in the Park Royal area has significantly contributed to the region's growth and development.

With a clear focus on supporting their staff and fostering an inclusive work environment, Aviserv has become a beacon of opportunity for individuals from various backgrounds, particularly those new to the UK. By offering comprehensive support and guidance, the company has enabled countless workers to thrive in their roles and contribute positively to the local community.

As Aviserv celebrates this remarkable milestone of 5 million hours of cleaning, kitchen, warehouse & packing services, they express their heartfelt gratitude to all their dedicated staff, partners, and the community for their unwavering support over the past two decades. The company looks forward to continuing their mission of empowering workers, uplifting communities, and providing exceptional services to businesses across West London.

Tower Hamlets school children benefit from financial literacy programme funded by Sodexo Stop Hunger ​ #

The Switch charity received a £10,000 grant from the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation in April to provide financial literacy education to vulnerable children aged 9-10 years from Manorfield Primary School in Tower Hamlets, London. 

The Switch has been providing educational experiences to raise aspirations and boost the career chances of young people for more than 30 years. As part of its Beyond Food Aid agenda*, the project was selected to receive the grant by the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation trustees as the charity’s work helps build financial literacy and confidence from an early age, key skills which will give young people skills to mitigate food insecurity. 

The grant enabled The Switch to deliver a Business, Enterprise, Employability (BEE) programme in collaboration with the school and 24 volunteers from Sodexo.  The online and face-to-face 90-minute sessions supported by Sodexo’s volunteers included topics such as making money choices, sustainability, advertising and branding. 

To celebrate the end of the seven-week programme, 90 children from the school visited Sodexo’s London head office for the final session and were treated to lunch. The children presented their very own business ideas which included tote bags, birthday cards, frames and mugs which had all been hand decorated and sold at school. 

The Switch was nominated by Sharon O’Brien - Head of Tax and a Sodexo Stop Hunger Charity Champion, she said: "It has been a fantastic programme to be part of and to see the impact it has had on the students was amazing. The understanding, maturity and ambition from students of such a young age was a pleasure to see."

All of the teachers involved in the project said they felt that by participating the children had increased their understanding of different jobs and the world of work. 94% of the students said they understand more about money and 90% of them said they would recommend programme to a friend.

A Manorfield Primary School teacher commented: “It is a great opportunity for pupils to learn about financial literacy. It is learning that keeps pupils engaged, motivated and making links to the world outside classroom settings.” 

Sodexo Stop Hunger has donated grants to a number of beneficiaries since April this year. Others include:

A Lust for Life in Ireland, a mental health charity, received a €30,000 grant for its nationwide schools programme. Within Ireland there is high incidence of individuals suffering from poor mental health which is one of many root causes of falling out of paid employment and into food insecurity.

The Black Heart Foundation, which aims to remove barriers to educational access, learning, aspiration and achievement for underprivileged children. £10,000 will support one young woman to go to university with a Sodexo Stop Hunger scholarship.

SSAFA a long-standing beneficiary of funding from the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation received £50,000 which supports SSAFA’s homelessness fund and enables the rapid delivery of financial assistance to support with food costs to those most in need from the Armed Forces community. 

CoFarm, the first community farm created with and for the local community in Cambridge with the majority of the food grown donated to local food hubs. £105,000 three year funding will enable CoFarm to expand and replicate its model outside of Cambridge. 

Enactus UK, a youth action and social enterprise charity building a national network of socially minded entrepreneurs. Sodexo has worked with Enactus since early 2019 supporting the charity’s incubator project to help develop the most innovative solutions to tackle food insecurity and women empowerment issues faced in the UK.  Enactus is benefitting from a three year grant of £75,000. 

Chapter One, a national charity helping vulnerable children to read to the expected standard thanks to their online tutoring programme. Since the beginning of its partnership, 45 children have been matched with 45 Sodexo volunteers through the Sodexo Stop Hunger volunteering programme. 

Edinburgh Food Social, a social enterprise aiming at improving life chances of people facing the challenges of poverty by providing access, education and skills to young people and communities in Edinburgh about food. £10,000 will support the charity with their community meals project. 

Gareth John, European Director of Sodexo Legal Affairs and Chair of the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation said: “The work of charities such as The Switch is so important.  Their programmes are aimed at helping break the cycle of young people falling into food insecurity through building financial literacy and confidence from an early age. Manorfield Primary School is situated in the London area of Tower Hamlets, which sees double the UK average rate of children eligible for free school meals and extremely high rates of child poverty. 

“Supporting projects like this are key to delivering Stop Hunger's mission which is not limited to a food related project or a day at a food bank.  Projects supported include those that are aimed at helping to prevent individuals needing to rely on emergency food packages and addressing the root causes of food insecurity, like mentoring, job-skills, cookery classes, skills-based volunteering and much more

Sodexo is the founding partner of the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation. In the UK & Ireland, the Foundation (a UK registered charity) works with national and local charity partners to donate time, skills and money to tackle food insecurity and its root causes and help empower women – who represent the biggest opportunity in eliminating hunger. 

Stop Hunger is an employee-led Sodexo initiative active in over 40 countries around the world. Thanks to the financial support of Sodexo, 100% of the donations made to Stop Hunger go directly to financing activities and sustainable solutions for disadvantaged communities to exit food insecurity. 

Stop Hunger’s mission, including fundraising and volunteering efforts, form part of Sodexo's Social Impact strategy, its ethical manifesto for leading the way to improve quality of life for society and our planet. The Foundation's work contributes to Sodexo’s global corporate responsibility commitment, Better Tomorrow 2025 which aligns to the Sustainable Development Goals designed by the UN to make the world a fairer and more equal place.

Compass Group UK and Ireland reports significant progress in delivery of healthier meals #

The UK’s largest food and support services company, Compass Group UK and Ireland, has reported on its nutrition and wellbeing progress, as it works to support the lives, health and productivity of its customers and employees. The food business which produces over 180.9m meals a year, has carried out an initial reformulation programme of 36,000 recipes, across the business, with its team of Registered Nutritionists and Culinary Directors.  The focus was on reducing the levels of fat, sugar, and salt using the traffic light labelling criteria*.  This programme has been hugely successful resulting in >90% of its recipes now containing low to medium amounts of sugar and salt. 
The company that feeds people from children through to adults and the elderly has enhanced many of its healthy eating programmes to meet the varying nutritional needs of its customers. For example, in school meals over the past few years it has worked hard to reduce sugar, which has seen a 30% reduction in sugar across their menu cycles to date, exceeding the Government’s target of 20%. This has been achieved through careful recipe reformulation and recipe creation. For example, its “fruity picnic bar” contains 66% fruit including apple, bananas and raisins and its “secret brownies” that contain beetroot, carrot, and sweet potato.
In its Business and Industry sector, which feeds thousands of the country’s workers every day, it has switched 80% of its starchy carbohydrates into wholemeal varieties (up from 11% in 2020).  In addition, 62% of its recipes now contain one of your five a day (an increase from 41% in 2020).
The company has also been working with its culinary leads and suppliers to improve the nutritional profile of menus.  Changes include: - full fat mayonnaise switched to light mayonnaise in January 2023, removing over 30,000 grams of fat (equivalent of 60 blocks of butter); as well changing chocolate spread provider, which has removed >700kg of sugar.
As the UK’s largest food and support services provider, the company takes its responsibility to provide healthy choices to customers and clients very seriously. This commitment will see the continued rollout of its reformulation programme.
The company’s health and wellbeing strategy is focused on reducing salt, fat and sugar, while also increasing positive nutrients, embedding behavioural science, and educating customers, clients, and its own employees. The business has now set itself further targets which will see less than 10% of its dishes being high in saturated fat, and less than 5% of its dishes being high in salt by 2030. This is alongside its wider programme to reduce sugar ahead of Government reduction targets.
Whilst looking at nutrient reductions Compass is also focused on increasing wholegrains, fibre and vegetables. This is being done through working with culinary development teams, additional recipe reformulation, and working with our suppliers to source alternative products.
Nicky Martin, Director of Nutrition and Wellbeing, Compass Group UK & Ireland said: “As the UK’s largest food and support services provider, serving over 180.9m meals a year, it is our responsibility to ensure that all our customers – from children through to the elderly, as well as our own people, have access to healthy and nutritious meals. I am delighted by our progress to date. We have achieved a huge amount through menu reformulation, but it’s also important to continue providing our customers, clients, and employees with information on the food that they eat and provide access to nutritional information and wellness. I am looking forward to expanding our health and wellbeing strategy, which will see us take our menus above and beyond our existing healthy meal options.
Compass has also committed to providing its employees access to a Registered Nutritionist. Compass Group’s Nourished Life platform provides accurate nutrition and health information on a range of relevant topics.  There are also seasonal, healthy, sustainable recipes that are quick and easy to make at home. Nourished Life is accessed for free by thousands of people both in and outside the organisation every month and is continually updated.

Registration opens for Independent Hotel Show 2023 #

Visitor registration has opened for the Independent Hotel Show, in partnership with James Hallam, which returns to Olympia London on 16-17 October. 
The UK’s only trade event dedicated to the boutique an independent hotel sector, the Independent Hotel Show welcomes a diverse range of hoteliers for two days of networking, learning and product sourcing. 
A carefully curated selection of over 200 innovative businesses – including transformational hospitality tech, high-end design & décor suppliers and unique in-room F&B solutions – will be on hand to discuss their latest products and services.  
Glenn Wallace, Event Manager for the Independent Hotel Show, comments: “This year’s show is packed with fascinating discussions, quality suppliers and countless opportunities to celebrate what makes this community unique.”  
A jam-packed seminar programme 
This year the Independent Hotel Show will be hosting a range of insightful presentations, discussions and debates across the Innovation Stage, in partnership with eviivo and designed by New Heritage, and the Hotel Business Stage, in partnership with HotelPartner and designed by Design Command. 
From marketing your hotel and working effectively with influencers to the psychology of design and putting the 'S' back into ESG, each stage will platform leading hoteliers and hospitality experts from across the UK.    
An exciting addition to this year’s event is a partnership with LEVEN Hotels for an interactive showcase of the LEVENverse, a fun virtual immersive hotel environment built in the Metaverse. 
Timothy Griffin, Co-Founder of LEVEN Hotels, comments: “We’re delighted to be partnering with the Independent Hotel Show this year and showcasing the possibilities of the metaverse for the hotel sector.” 
Guests at the show will once again have the opportunity to meet with peers and discuss industry trends and best practice in the Social Business Space, designed by New Heritage, with hosted roundtables covering the latest opportunities and challenges in the hotel sector. 
Independent Hotel Show 2023 has also partnered with sustainability consultant Sarah Duncan to provide real value for hoteliers looking to learn more about how to improve their sustainability initiatives.   
Duncan comments: “The ESG Hub at this year's Independent Hotel Show is designed to educate and engage - not to preach or intimidate. We hope that everyone visiting the hub will walk away with a nugget or two of knowledge or inspiration to help on their ESG journey, plus find some helpful solutions to common challenges.” 
Carefully curated suppliers to the independent hotel sector   
Visitors to the Independent Hotel Show this year can expect to meet with quality suppliers including fresh quality flower supplier Fredericks of London, digital marketing agency Umi Digital and sustainability focussed bed brand Hypnos. 
The event will also feature leading hotel cosmetics supplier ADA Cosmetics. Delaine Walker, Vice President of Sales - UK & Ireland, comments: “Dispenser innovation and hygiene is at the forefront of trends in the hotel sector this year. We will be showcasing an interactive wall of dispenser options for hotels to test and try out at this year’s show.”  
To learn more about everything on offer at Independent Hotel Show 2023, and to register for your complimentary trade ticket, head to   

Sodexo's WasteWatch programme reduces food waste by 43% at Oasis academies #

Since 1 September 2022 Sodexo’s food waste reduction programme, WasteWatch, has reduced food waste by 43%, preventing 115 metric tonnes of CO2 and the equivalent of 30,249 meals. 

Sodexo first partnered with Oasis Community Learning over 12 years ago, and today Sodexo’s Food & Co offer provides breakfast, morning break and lunch to 28,000 Oasis pupils, as well as hospitality services. 

Sodexo began the rollout of its WasteWatch programme at Oasis academies in May 2021 and this academic year has made significant progress on reducing food waste in the school meals service.

Steve Hawkins, managing director, schools, Sodexo UK & Ireland said: “This is a fantastic achievement and I’d like to thank the schools and our catering teams for their commitment to reducing food waste.  We are committed to working together to ensure Oasis academy students enjoy tasty, nutritious school meals every day, and to help raise awareness of not only the importance of a well-balanced diet but how small changes can make a big difference.” 

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has always been a key focus for Sodexo and Oasis. In June 2022 Sodexo appointed Elizabeth Axon as social responsibility and engagement manager specifically to help maximise Sodexo’s initiatives across Oasis academies. This not only includes the WasteWatch programme but also carbon labelling at its secondary schools, and the new partnership with Rethink Food’s Futures programme to provide Oasis academy students with exciting learning opportunities with tower gardens, soil-free tower gardens enable the children to grow fresh produce from seed to salad in 60 days. 

Sodexo and Oasis were highly commended for the Sustainability in Education category at the Footprint Awards in recognition for their approach to embed sustainability across the contract. 

John Barneby, chief operating officer of Oasis Community Learning added, “We are working on becoming the most sustainable family of schools in the sector and food is a key part of this strategy. Partnering with Sodexo has enabled us to create real change within our academy catering and inform our young people on sustainable food-choices. We look forward to continuing to see the improvements over the coming years as together we educate the next generation about the changes they can make to have a positive impact on the planet.” 

Sodexo, which provides a diverse range of services – including catering and facilities management to large business and public sector clients - has pledged to roll out the food waste management technology to all its relevant sites by 2025. While this was one of the commitments featured in its Social Impact Pledge 2021, the organisation has long been committed to food waste reduction as part of its Better Tomorrow 2025 global strategy. In 2019, Sodexo unveiled an ambition to cut food waste and loss by 50% across all its sites, putting it ahead of the United Nation’s call to halve food waste globally by 2030. The programme also forms part of the organisation’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint by 34% by 2025.

Latest MealTrak Results – 12 w/e 15 May 2023 (wave 114) #

Wholesale experts TWC Group, 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 15 May 2023.
Latest results are as follows:

Latest MealTrak results show the number of out-of-home eating occasions were in line with the comparable period in 2022, on a 52 week/MAT basis.

In the latest 12 weeks, the number of out-of-home eating occasions grew by +4% vs. the equivalent period in 2022.
In the last 12 weeks, occasions in the ‘eating out’ channel (comprising pubs, restaurants and hotels) grew by +7% vs. the previous year. Pubs continue to outperform the other sub-channels (+25%), ahead of hotels (+14%) and restaurants (-8%).
Total food to go occasions grew by +4% in the latest 12 weeks. This was driven by the discounters (+27%), the multiples (+10%), independent convenience stores (+10%), high street (+7%) and fast food & takeaways (+6%).
Meanwhile, forecourts (-13%), transportation sites (-8%), sandwich shops and specialists (-4%) and coffee shops and cafés (-1%) were all in decline, and workplace was static.

Value sales increased +7% on a 52 week/MAT basis; and +9% on a 12-week ending basis versus 2022.

Commenting on the results, Tom Fender, Development Director at TWC, said:
“It is really encouraging to see out of home eating occasions back in growth this period, not just in value but also in terms of the number of occasions, which were up +4% in the latest 12 weeks (vs. year ago). Encouragingly, independent convenience stores are one of the star performers in the latest data, with 12 week ending growth of +10%, which is in line with the multiples, who have been outperforming the market for some time.”
The winning missions continue to be ‘something quick and easy’ and ‘regular favourite’, suggesting consumers want ease and are not willing to take risks (‘something different’ remains in strong decline). Meanwhile, ‘something inexpensive’ remains in year-on-year growth but is not driving the market to the extent it was a few months ago. A shift away from the sector being entirely value driven can only be a good thing for suppliers and operators and aligns with the gradual improvement in consumer confidence (as reported by GFK).” 
Mealtrak is a vast data source so if you would like to know more of the detail behind these headlines, please contact Tom Fender at TWC ( for more information.