C J Lang renews data partnership with TWC for a further 3 years #
SPAR Scotland wholesaler, C J Lang & Son, has renewed its partnership with data consultancy TWC for a further three years.
C J Lang announced its partnership with TWC at the end of 2020 and SPAR Scotland SalesTrack was launched in 2021, giving suppliers access to the company’s wholesale shipments and company owned stores retail data.
SPAR Scotland SalesTrack has evolved significantly over the past two years, with a platform upgrade and unique reporting functionality exclusive to C J Lang added earlier this year and the recent launch of “IndyTrack”, which gives independent SPAR retailers who share their EPOS data the opportunity to benchmark their performance against others in the group.
Uniquely, suppliers who have a joint business plan in place have complimentary access to the SalesTrack portal, including IndyTrack, as part of their terms.
Richard Collins, Trading Director at C J Lang & Son Ltd said:
“Data sits at the heart of our organisation, driving decision making. We’ve seen increased supplier engagement and a greater focus on identifying data-led opportunities for mutual gain. Equally, armed with more data – and able to benchmark themselves against others – encourages our retailers to focus on driving their business performance.”
“We have worked closely with TWC to evolve the SPAR Scotland SalesTrack service over the last couple of years and TWC shares our vision for a sector that is data-led, making them the perfect partner for our evolving data needs.”
Tom Fender, Development Director, TWC said:
“Our data partnership with C J Lang continues to evolve each year and Richard and the team are an absolute pleasure to work with. I am personally very excited to bring data-led conversations to the independent SPAR Scotland retailers, which will help grow their store sales, as well as drive performance for the C J Lang business.”
For further information on TWC’s platform please visit https://twcgroup.net/smartview/
Creed Foodservice appoints new Managing Director, Miles Roberts #
Creed Foodservice, one of the UK’s leading foodservice partners to the HoReCa, Education and Care sectors, has announced Miles Roberts as its new Managing Director. Roberts, 40, who has held the role of Sales and Marketing Director at Creed for the past six years will be taking the reins from Philip de Ternant who will assume the role of Chairman within the Board of Directors. Roberts brings a wealth of experience to his new position at the national wholesaler and catering provider, garnered from senior roles at Brakes, Pepsi Co, and Sainsbury’s.
Involved in Creed’s business growth strategy over previous years, Roberts has already played a strong part in steering the direction of the business, whilst keeping Creed’s family ethos and culture at the heart of all operations. In Roberts’ time at Creed, the business has grown its turnover from £67million to £120+million, despite facing the ongoing challenges from the pandemic, Brexit and other world events which have blighted supply chains.
Two other senior appointments have been made in parallel, as part of a central strategy to bring talent up through the business. Richard Shephard, 37, becomes Director of Sales, having also cut his teeth at Pepsi Co and Brakes, followed by six years at Creed. His achievements include generating ambitious and successful growth for the groups side of the business. In addition, Tom Workman, 31, has been promoted to Director of Trading, having taken a leading role in steering Creed’s purchasing during some of the toughest times in the industry during the recent pandemic, whilst working collaboratively and proactively with important supply partners across the business.
Chris Creed, Creed Foodservice CEO, commented: “We’re delighted to share Miles’ appointment to Managing Director externally, along with news of our other senior promotions and Philip’s appointment as Chairman on the Board of Directors. Home grown talent is an incredibly important part of what we do at Creed, particularly given our roots as a family business. Nurturing and developing aptitude, through substantial investment in training is at the heart of this all. Fresh, new ways of thinking are being coupled with the steadfast and resolute experience that we have in the team from some of the longer-established senior team members.”
Miles Roberts, newly appointed Managing Director at Creed, added: “I’m thrilled to step into this role given the last six years with Creed have been hugely rewarding already. It’s the culture ingrained in the entire business that separates us from other foodservice partners and is what makes us special. It’s incredible to have been a part of the growth we’ve already achieved, but as we continue to evolve we look forward to bringing more value and experience to our customers than ever before.”
Established in 1972, Creed’s values centre around delivering a quality experience to its national customer base, with industry leading service levels of 99.3%. Integral to its operations are its workforce of around 450 people who operate from three key hubs in the UK: Staverton, Ilkeston and High Wycombe. In 2023 Creed was named the number one ‘Best Food and Drink Company’ to work for in the UK, the ninth ‘Best Company to Work for in the South West’, and featured in the top ‘100 Best Large Companies’ to work for in the UK.
In the past year Creed has invested significantly in its Leadership Development Programme and is now looking to roll out the programme across the business to all of its people managers. The company is investing heavily in developing great talent, in order to bring even greater service to its customers, staying true to its central objective ‘Believe In More’.
For more information about Creed visit: www.creedfoodservice.co.uk
Compass Group UK & Ireland appoints new Chief People Officer #
Compass Group UK & Ireland has appointed Carol Sommerville as its new Chief People Officer (CPO), with immediate effect.
Carol joins from Watchfinder, a luxury pre-owned watch specialist business, part of Richemont Group, where she was Global HR Director. Prior to this she held senior HR roles at Net-a-Porter and began her career at BT, where she worked as HR Director for the Openreach Service Centres, Director of Meritocracy BT Group and Vice President of HR EMEA within BT Global Services. In these positions she has gained a wealth of HR experience across various industries and has a commitment to developing and investing in people, as well as creating an inclusive culture.
Carol will be responsible for delivering the company’s ‘Our Social Promise’ – a commitment to support a million people with opportunities and change their lives through job creation, education, training, community and charitable engagement by 2030.
Robin Mills, Chief Executive Officer, Compass Group UK & Ireland:
“I am delighted to welcome Carol to the Compass family. We are a people business – so this role is critical for the continued success of our organisation. We know as a large employer we have the ability to improve lives and make a difference. Carol is going to be integral to continuing to develop our people-centred culture as we continue to grow and evolve in the coming years.”
Carol Sommerville, Chief People Officer, Compass Group UK & Ireland added:
“Compass has a clear and ambitious people agenda, having taken market leading positions in areas including apprenticeships, career pathways and the ED&I agenda. I am excited to have joined the business and have received such a warm welcome. I have had the pleasure of meeting many of our frontline teams as part of my induction and have been really impressed by people’s passion for their jobs and clients, and the caring culture that is in place. I am looking forward to supporting the company’s ongoing commitment to its people and creating a welcoming environment where everyone can thrive.”
Sodexo colleagues receive prestigious military recognition #
Sodexo UK & Ireland is proud to announce that colleagues from its Government business, which has worked alongside and supported the UK Armed Forces both in the UK and overseas for many years, have been recognised by the award of his personal commendation by the Vice Chief of Defence Staff (VCDS), General Gwyn Jenkins CB OBE ADC.
Christina Williams, Deputy Contract Manager for Sodexo in the Falkland Islands, has been awarded a VCDS Commendation for her exceptional service to the MoD. Her 27-year commitment, working in the Falkland Islands for Sodexo and supporting UK Armed Forces on the islands, is marked by outstanding leadership and selfless dedication, positively impacting thousands of lives. Christina’s impact has extended beyond her professional role, exemplified by her significant charitable contribution and her proactive approach during a number of crisis response events, the Covid-19 pandemic as well as working with the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) on sustainable solutions for waste generated on the islands.
The DIO team at headquarters British Forces Cyprus and Sodexo’s contract team in Cyprus were collectively honoured with a VCDS Commendation for their collaboration and support in Operation Polar Bear. The team played a crucial role during the summer of 2023 in the largest UK non-combatant evacuation operation during a crisis, providing essential welfare services and sustenance to over 2,400 British nationals evacuated from war-torn Sudan as well as supporting the additional 2,000 service personnel stationed on the island to support the evacuation.
VCDS Commendations are awarded twice a year, alongside the state honours and awards, to individuals and teams who have performed outstanding service to the MoD.
Mark Baker, Chief Operating Officer Defence, Sodexo UK & Ireland said: “I would like to congratulate Christina, the team in Cyprus and the in-flight catering team at RAF Brize Norton. These commendations reflect not only the individual excellence of our team members but also the collective spirit, collaborative ethos and commitment of Sodexo in support of the UK’s Armed Forces.
“Our involvement in such critical operations, which has spanned four decades of support to the British military, showcases our agility, adaptability and resilience, especially in challenging times. This recognition underlines the positive impact our people have within the communities they live, work and serve and the outstanding delivery of services, even under the most demanding circumstances.”
Both Christina and the Cyprus team were also among the winners at Sodexo’s annual Spirit of Sodexo awards dinner, held at ACC Liverpool in December, which celebrated a year of outstanding achievements and excellence across its business. Christina was awarded the lifetime achievement accolade and the Cyprus team was recognised with the CEO award.
Meanwhile, the In-flight Catering Team at RAF Brize Norton, Hestia South, has been awarded an Air Officer Commanding 2 Group commendation by Air Vice-Marshal Suraya Marshall for their collective work. The team worked selflessly in partnership with station military personnel to sustain operational tempo whilst supporting a myriad of global operations, including Operation Polar Bear.
Premier Foods launches McDougalls Vegan Jelly to help operators provide inclusive menus #
Premier Foods has just launched McDougalls Vegan Jelly into the foodservice sector, which has been officially certified by the Vegan Society. With research showing that around 1.4 million people in the UK are following a vegan diet*, this addition to the McDougalls range offers an inclusive dessert product for chefs to work with.
McDougalls Vegan Jelly comes in three flavours—orange, strawberry and raspberry – and has a two-hour setting time. Unlike traditional jellies that require a combination of boiling and cold water, McDougalls Vegan Jelly simplifies the process by utilising 100% boiling water, making it a convenient choice for busy kitchens.
Sarah Robb, foodservice marketing manager, Premier Foods Foodservice said:
“In response to the growing demand for increased vegan offerings in out-of-home dining, McDougalls vegan jelly provides operators with an inclusive dessert option, reducing the need for multiple products.
“Vegan jelly, being such a versatile ingredient can be enjoyed on its own, topped or set with fruit, or incorporated into other desserts with other ingredients, such as Angel Delight.”
Food-to-go icon Rollover delivers innovative Signature range to foodservice customers #
Rollover, renowned for its popular hot food-to-go offerings, has debuted its new Signature range. The elevated menu of premium sausages are now available to those operating in the foodservice sector.
With live events in demand now more than ever, and consumers returning to entertainment venues and sports stadiums, the foodservice sector is booming. However, direct feedback from chefs and foodservice experts revealed that current menu options in the category aren’t hitting the mark. Key stakeholder needs included a desire for bold new flavours in protein and toppings, as well as a desire for ‘freshness’ in taste, texture and experience.
The brand was influenced by food trends in the wider UK market and applied these to the foodservice landscape to create an elevated range of street food-inspired dishes with an artisanal and handcrafted touch.
The exclusive new range of sausages are made with the highest quality of ingredients, with an emphasis on prime cuts of pork and high meat content. Adding depth of flavour, some of the new range sausages have been smoked over beechwood, delivering a classic street food taste. The new range is IQF frozen for freshness and boasts a crafted, artisanal touch thanks to the collaboration with key industry chefs and experts.
Available now, the Signature range includes:
The Krakauer Sausage - made from prime cuts of seasoned pork
The Krakauer and Cheese Sausage - combined with tangy Emmental cheese
The Meister Sausage - smoked over beechwood and seasoned with spices
The XXL Meister Sausage – a 160g ultimate hotdog experience
The Bratwurst - a worldwide favourite made with herbs and spices
The Currywurst - cooked to perfection and coated in curry sauce
Accompanying these mouthwatering new sausage options are a range of elevated and delicious breads and toppings including:
Pretzel rolls, brioche rolls and semolina rolls
Jalapeños, cheese sauce, diced gherkins, crispy onions and chilli con carne
Curry Sauce, ketchup and German mustard
The new Signature range also comes available with everything customers need to deliver a premium experience including greaseproof paper and a fully recyclable, biodegradable and compostable tray. Customers also have the opportunity for dual branding, helping to bolster awareness.
“We listened to both our key customers within the foodservice sector as well as consumers and developed a range of sausages in line with the evolving market,” says Ashley Fletcher, Commercial Director, Rollover. “Our Signature range takes the classic hotdog and elevates it to a whole new level, transforming it into creative and mouth-watering products, exclusively available for foodservice customers.”
A proud part of Pilgrim’s Food Masters, Rollover's new offerings are available directly from its team with the full range available to view on the website here.
Bisto launches a new guide to help pubs create an unforgettable Easter and Mother's Day #
Bisto has launched a new guide to help publicans and pub chefs maximise the 2024 Mother’s Day and Easter opportunities. With research showing that UK consumers are spending around £960 million* over the Easter period, the guide gives practical advice, inspiration and ideas to help pub operators profit from the holiday.
With marketing ideas including set-course packages and spin-the-wheel discounts, activity inspiration such as bingo nights and scavenger hunts as well as a series of menu ideas and upselling tips, this guide is set to be a valuable tool for pub operators.
Chef owner of The Cricketer’s Arms, Harry Kodagoda, who is a contributor to the guide comments: “With Mother’s Day and Easter weekends in close succession, it’s important to make the menus you offer for each occasion distinctive to help attract regulars.
“Look to maximise sales across the whole of the Mother’s Day and Easter weekends with enticing food and drink specials which make the most from seasonal and gross profit boosting ingredients.
“Easter is the ideal time to include playful, fun dishes on the menu, so don’t be afraid to get creative with delicious and Insta-worthy meals, that customers will be intrigued to try.”
Pub chefs can also draw inspiration from Harry's seasonal recipes within the guide, including a herby Spring chicken pie with lemon and tarragon gravy, sausage and spring onion mash with seasonal greens and white wine gravy and three dessert options, including a grenadine poached rhubarb trifle and shortbread made with McDougalls new vegan jelly.
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're here to lend a helping hand to pub operators. The guide is filled to the brim with ideas and inspiration, to give operators the tools they need to create an unforgettable season of experiences and celebrations for their customers.”
To download a copy of the Easter Guide, click here: Premier Foods - See how we support chefs with recipes and advice (premierfoodservice.co.uk)
Vacherin announces special partnership with chef and author, Sabrina Gidda #
Vacherin, London’s specialist contract caterer, is thrilled to announce an exciting partnership with chef and author Sabrina Gidda.
Starting in January, the dynamic three-year collaboration sees Sabrina join Vacherin as Culinary Consultant, working alongside Vacherin's Head of Food Alex Rowe and his team on menu and talent development.
More importantly, the partnership goes beyond that of a typical collaboration with a mutual commitment to making a meaningful impact on the sector by attracting and developing young chefs to enjoy successful, rewarding careers in contract catering, with a focus on women in food and championing racial equity within the sector.
Sabrina Gidda is a chef, author and renowned Hospitality Consultant whose influence extends far beyond the kitchen. With a celebrated background that includes The Roux Scholarship, Great British Menu and multiple television appearances, as well as her debut book Modern South Asian Kitchen, Sabrina brings her exciting, global approach to food and cooking and extensive experience to Vacherin.
The partnership focuses on the following key initiatives:
The launch of a 'Next-Gen Talent Apprenticeship', tailored to Vacherin, aimed at nurturing young commis chefs and providing them with opportunities in the workplace catering industry.
The promotion of Women in Food initiatives, creating clear career pathways and a support network for women across the Vacherin business.
Ongoing concept creation – to establish an evolving range of dynamic, authentic menus across both workplace dining and hospitality.
The ongoing development of the Vacherin food team – enhancing cookery skills through culinary masterclasses, beginning with a focus on South Asian and Italian cuisine.
The establishment of a mentorship programme, to provide holistic support as well as specific mentorship around culinary competitions.
Sabrina comments: "I am thrilled to be joining the Vacherin team as Culinary Consultant. Vacherin is a business I have long admired, and I feel we have a natural synergy with our approach to hospitality and people development. Vacherin is a leader in its field, and this is an exciting time to be on board and a part of building not just the food offer, but how we encourage interaction and investment in the future of hospitality with our clients.
"I am passionate about encouraging the next generation of talent into hospitality, seeing more women in senior roles in food and creating spaces that are inclusive to celebrate our cultures. Innovation, collaboration and creativity are an essential part of the partnership, and I am looking forward to sharing the knowledge and expertise of my consultancy, brand work and personal experiences with the business.”
Phil Roker, Vacherin’s Managing Director, adds: “Sabrina is a fantastic addition to the Vacherin team. Not only is she an amazing culinary talent that will enhance our client offer, her expertise and vision to futureproof the sector by attracting and developing young, diverse talent echoes our ambitions for our current and future teams. This partnership is so much more than a consultancy, it’s a true collaboration of likeminded people committed to doing the right thing by our people, clients and customers.”
Aston Manor signs up to TWC independent convenience market read #
Data consultancy TWC Group has signed up another client to its new independent convenience market read, SmartView Convenience. Aston Manor, the cider-led beverage company, has joined the growing number of subscribers to the service which TWC claims is the most representative EPOS market read for the independent convenience sector.
The source data for SmartView Convenience is the largest sample of independent convenience retail EPOS data available in the industry, from In-Touch Group. From this pool of data from around 12,000 stores, TWC has “cherry-picked” a sample of around 5,500 stores which are representative of the sector, which have then been extrapolated back to the total universe using TWC’s vast industry experience and data science capabilities.
Mark Dawson, Customer Category Controller at Aston Manor, said:
“Aston Manor are looking forward to working with TWC, drawing on their specialist knowledge of the Wholesale and Convenience sector. Many national data agencies have glaring data and insight gaps when it comes to understanding this channel resulting in some manufacturers simply pushing Multiple Grocer cider ranges into local stores without deep understanding of the needs, occasions and missions of the convenience cider shopper. TWC insight will help us develop bespoke category growth plans for our customers that maintain their point of difference and provide them with a truly competitive edge “
Tom Fender, Development Director at TWC comments:
“We are delighted to welcome Aston Manor as a new client. We are now working closely with Mark to ensure that our product coding mirrors Aston Manor’s own internal reporting structures as part of our onboarding process.”
“We’ve been really pleased with the level of interest there has been for SmartView Convenience – which highlights the gap there has been for a reliable, truly representative market read for this part of the market. Furthermore, our early adopters have unanimously told us that the data from SmartView Convenience is telling them things they knew were happening in this part of the market but had previously been unable to see in other data sets due to the way those samples were built and their size.”
To find out more about SmartView Convenience and to book a demo, please head to: https://twcgroup.net/smartview-convenience/
Sales of vegan and vegetarian meals continue to grow says Sodexo #
Marking Veganuary 2024, Sodexo has today announced another year-on-year increase in the consumption of meat-free meals.
Analysis of over 2.7 million meals sold across 285 of its UK and Ireland client sites in 2023* reveals that 11% were vegan or vegetarian. This represents an incremental increase on the 10% reported in the previous year.
Sodexo’s diverse range of delicious meat-free meal options – including Southern Indian Chickpea Curry, Potato and Cauliflower Masala and Japanese Teriyaki Tofu, among many others – have been instrumental in driving this growth.
This aligns with Sodexo’s social impact pledge and its commitment to increase the take-up of sustainable meals by offering more plant-based meal options, and is a key action lever as part of its decarbonisation journey to net zero.
The research shows that consumers in the East Midlands chose meat-free dishes more frequently than in any other region, accounting for 19% of all meals sold compared to 18% in the North West, 16% in Ireland, 15% in London, 13% in Wales and 11% in Scotland.
Claire Atkins Morris, Director of Sustainability at Sodexo UK and Ireland, says: “The increasing preference for meat-free options among our customers is a testament to both the shift in consumer awareness and to the work done by our talented chefs to reformulate menus and create new delicious plant-forward and plant-based recipes.
“With a wide array of tasty and nutritious options available across our client sites, it is important that our consumers are able to make well-informed decisions about the food they eat.
“We have committed to featuring 33% plant-based meals on our menus by 2025, as we respond to evolving preferences and navigate towards Net Zero 2040.”
Toni Vernelli, Head of Communication & Marketing at Veganuary, adds: “We are delighted to see an upward trend in Sodexo’s meat-free meal sales again. Offering tasty and accessible options is crucial in encouraging more individuals to consider plant-based choices.”
Sodexo’s commitment to providing plant-based and plant-forward meal choices extends beyond its own menus. Sodexo’s Stop Hunger Foundation has also played a pivotal role in supporting Made In Hackney’s mission to provide free and nutritious vegan meals to over 300 beneficiaries weekly since the inception of the partnership in 2021.
Sarah Bentley, Made In Hackney founder, says: “The Stop Hunger Foundation has provided critical support to our community meal service and cookery classes helping us tackle food insecurity for hundreds of households with nutritious, diverse, planet friendly meals.
"Evolving the nation's eating habits to more plant-centred eating is a crucial tool in the fight against the climate crisis and spiraling lifestyle related health diseases. It is inspiring to work with TSHF and Sodexo as they see the interconnectedness of all these issues and how plant-based food can play a central role in tackling them all."
In 2023, a three-year core costs grant of £50,000 was awarded, empowering the charity to enhance food security, offer life skills training, and reduce social isolation through volunteer engagement.
*Research is based on Electronic Point of Sales systems (EPOS) data gathered from 285 sites in the UK and Ireland covering the period January to November (inclusive) 2023. As such, the data only pertains to meals sold by Sodexo and not to other meals provided by Sodexo.
Learning to help the foodservice sector reduce its carbon footprint #
The FEA launches new industry accreditation to help businesses develop a deeper understanding of carbon reduction, sustainability, and cost-saving methods
The hospitality and foodservice industries make up a significant percentage of the UK’s energy consumption. It’s an issue the industries have to tackle, and tackle fast. Now the Foodservice Equipment Association (FEA) has launched a new learning and development accreditation that will give participants the information they need to understand the issues surrounding climate change and how it affects the hospitality and foodservice equipment industries.
The Foodservice Carbon Professional (FCP) course has been developed by FEA in association with Hospitality Energy Saving. FCP aims to provide the entire foodservice industry, from operators to suppliers and manufacturers, with the skills, knowledge and expertise required to address the current energy challenges and demands for improved sustainability.
Over 54 terawatt hours are consumed by the hospitality industry each year, which is 14% of the UK’s service sector energy use. This is equivalent to 14 million houses and is more than the amount that the agricultural and food retail sectors use combined.
The FCP course gives participants a grounding in carbon reduction methods, the science of climate change, what the government is trying to do about it through legislation, and how this applies to the foodservice sector and how equipment can play a significant role in improving sustainability. It is built around a core module, as well as additional modules tailored to specific categories like refrigeration, cooking equipment and warewashing with more modules being developed.
“Improving environmental sustainability has become a priority for the foodservice sector,” says Paul Anderson, chair of FEA. “It is a complex subject and many people are unsure of the basic facts, and the best ways to act to mitigate our environmental impact. FEA has designed the Foodservice Carbon Professional course to provide people across all levels of our industry with the knowledge and confidence they need to apply the theory practically.”
This is important, as many larger operators are increasingly factoring in issues of sustainability when making purchasing decisions to support their long term aims of reaching Net Zero, and will often have questions about the sustainability credentials of equipment and their supply chains. FCP will enable equipment suppliers, dealers, operators and end users to answer these questions from a position of expertise with delegates gaining knowledge of the overarching implications of climate change in relation to the foodservice industry.
The course is delivered via the FEA Academy, the Association’s learning management system. Over 70 applicants have already signed up for the course. The individual core module costs £750 per person, with individual sector specific modules costing £650. FEA members can sign up for a combined core module and category specific module deal for £1300 per person, a saving of £100.
More information on the course and booking information can be found under the learning and development tab at fea.org.uk. [fea.org.uk/learning-and-development/foodservice-carbon-professional/ or tinyurl.com/45ptx7xd]
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 fea.org.uk
Elior UK appoints Amanda Brown as Director of Sales and Marketing at Scottish Gas Murrayfield #
Leading contract caterer, Elior UK, has appointed Amanda Brown as director of sales and marketing at Scottish Gas Murrayfield, effective from 8th January 2024.
Amanda has over 20 years of experience within the hospitality industry, including strategic sales leadership roles in destination marketing, 5-star hotels and premium venues across the UK. Amanda’s most recent role was Director of Business Development for Sodexo’s Sports & Leisure business, and she is highly skilled in sales and marketing, stakeholder engagement and client relations to successfully support sales goals.
In her new role at Murrayfield, Amanda will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of sales and marketing for both match day and non-match day activities.
Craig Stewart, regional managing director at Elior UK said: "We are excited to extend a warm welcome to Amanda as she joins our team. Her wealth of experience will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in expanding and enhancing our hospitality business at Scottish Gas Murrayfield. We take pride in delivering exceptional hospitality services not only on match days but also for various events, including concerts."
Commenting on her appointment, Amanda said: “I am thrilled to be joining Scottish Gas Murrayfield to build further on the excellent reputation of the venue and look forward to working with the talented team here to drive forward innovation and continued success.”
Scottish Gas Murrayfield is Scottish Rugby’s main stadium with a seating capacity of almost 70,000 making it the largest stadium in Scotland.
73% believe adopting a more sustainable way of eating is now urgent #
Sodexo’s first annual Sustainable Food Barometer reveals
Sodexo UK and Ireland has today unveiled the UK results of its first annual Sustainable Food Barometer, with data taken from international research conducted with Harris Interactive.
The study, which surveyed more than a thousand UK consumers, identifies the change levers and barriers to accelerate change towards more sustainable diets. The three key takeaways of the barometer are:
First takeaway: The awareness of the urgent need to change eating habits is not only well-established, but positively perceived.
Almost three-quarters (73%) believe that adopting a more sustainable way of eating is urgent.
36% look first at price, while 16% said that taste is their primary concern.
4% ranked environmental impact as the factor to which they pay most attention when shopping for groceries.
Second takeaway: There is a gap between aspirations and actual behaviours.
79% said they could, or already do, buy local products wherever possible, but just 35% said they currently consume sustainably produced products whenever possible.
Four in five respondents (80%) said they could, or already do, avoid plastic packaging, but just 52% said they do this currently.
Third takeaway: The benefits of sustainable food are more motivating when perceived as individual, rather than collective.
Convincing people to adopt more sustainable eating habits means demonstrating the individual benefits regarding health, taste, and savings.
Lower numbers said they could or already have stopped eating animal proteins in favour of plant proteins (58%), although 68% said they are currently regular consumers of meat and 82% said they are regular consumers of dairy products.
When asked what reason might make them more inclined to adopt a sustainable diet, the most popular response related to it having a beneficial effect on their health (37%). This was closely followed by financial reasons (36%). While, it is clear that these individual benefits are the most motivating, 28% referenced a fear of worsening climate change and 23% of respondents cited their reason as being a role model for their children and future generations so that they naturally adopt the right behaviours.
The Sustainable Food Barometer also examined attitudes to eating when out of home. UK respondents indicated that they would like to eat more sustainably when they are at school or university (65%); at a restaurant (54%); at a work restaurant (50%); or at a sporting or cultural event (47%), than they do at home.
This data in particular demonstrates the critical role that foodservice providers such as Sodexo will play in helping to reduce the carbon footprint of UK consumers’ diets.
In recognition of this, Sodexo – which serves around one million meals per day across diverse environments from offices and schools to military bases and hospitals – has pledged that by 2030, 70% of all main meals it produces in the UK will be low-carbon and that it will cut its food waste by 50% by 2025.
External studies indicate that an average meal today accounts for between 2 and 2.5kg CO2e which is in contrast to Sodexo’s targeted low-carbon meals that have a footprint of just 0.9kg CO2e, a definition determined in collaboration with WWF.
Charles Abraham, Food Director at Sodexo UK & Ireland, says: "Food systems have an enormous impact on climate change, accounting for a third of global GHG emissions. At Sodexo, we understand the crucial role we play in reshaping the nation’s eating habits to help reduce this.
“This is, however, more complex than simply cutting the carbon in some of our menu items. As the research shows, price and taste are still the primary drivers of choice when it comes to food. Producing a ‘sustainable meal option’ that is perceived as less appealing or more expensive for the consumer will have the unintended consequence of creating food waste when few people choose it.
“With this in mind, we are working towards 70% of our main meals being classified as low-carbon by 2030 – with a <0.9kg/CO2e science-based definition of low-carbon – but crucially, ensuring these are among the most tasty and affordable options we serve. Our ambition is to set the entire ecosystem in motion to accelerate real change.”
Earlier this month, Sodexo UK & Ireland announced another year-on-year increase in the consumption of meat-free meals across its clients' sites. Sodexo’s diverse range of tasty meat-free meal options have been instrumental in driving this growth, aligning with Sodexo's commitment to sustainability.
To learn more about Sodexo's commitment to sustainable food in the UK & Ireland, click here.
Lexington launches The Mindful Kitchen #
Corporate contract caterer, Lexington, has launched The Mindful Kitchen, a social value led initiative bringing together health, nutrition and wellbeing. The initiative will feature sustainable, wellness-focused food, collaborations with forward-thinking and environmentally conscious supply partners, and health and nutrition advice for clients and their employees.
The Mindful Kitchen is designed to offer its clients a portfolio of concepts led by Lexington or its socially conscious partners, to mindfully nourish people and the planet with clean, nutritional, and sustainable food choices. It gives clients a holistic view of all the concepts on offer and their benefits, meaning clients can choose what they’d like to introduce at their sites.
The Mindful Kitchen partners with brands such as Symplicity, a delicious, vegetable-based alternative and a pioneer in the plant-based industry; Vitalicious in collaboration with Unrooted, a range of smoothies and juices packed with seasonal vegetables, fruits and essential vitamins focused on mind and body; Wildfarmed, an end-to-end supply chain that offers a route to market for crops grown in systems that prioritise soil health.
The initiative also provides seasonal campaigns to support overall employee wellbeing such as dry January, vitamin deficiencies, how to improve beating the winter blues, and seasonal sleeping. Each campaign includes an in-depth guide to achieving optimum health each season, led by Lexington’s dieticians.
Jon Lilley, group development chef at Lexington said: “Wellness, CSR and ESG underpin everything we do at Lexington so it made sense to create The Mindful Kitchen to enrich our customers’ experience. The Mindful Kitchen goes far beyond the plate. It is a holistic approach to inspiring a mindful approach to eating. We want our clients and their employees to eat better and live better.”
The Mindful Kitchen is being rolled out across Lexington throughout the month of January.
Red Sea impact: FEA responds to government’s 24 hour request for feedback #
Members fear foodservice equipment prices could rise significantly, warns FEA
FEA has just been asked to provide urgent information to the Prime Minister’s Office about the impact that the Red Sea disruptions are having to trade. The association immediately contacted its members to find out about their experiences and expectations, since the government could only allow 24 hours for a response. In that time, FEA managed to gather data from a significant number of members and feed it back to the UK Government.
FEA chair Paul Anderson says that many of its members have already been affected by the disruptions, with increased costs to shipping, delays and container shortages. “Some companies have the capacity to absorb the additional costs in the short term, however prolonged exposure will inevitably lead to price increases,” he says. The problem is exacerbated because some foodservice equipment companies had started to reduce their UK stock levels in line with more stable supply chains. “These new disruptions may lead to supply shortages, which would severely damage businesses relying on shipping,” says Anderson.
The key problems and fears expressed by FEA members, as outlined in the response to government, are:
· The impact on profitability of absorbing extra short-term costs
· The need to increase prices if the effects of the disruptions are long term
· Increased shipping times – at least two weeks extra
· Fluctuating shipping costs (some container prices have tripled from the average 2023 cost)
· Delays leading to key products going out of stock, leading to lost revenue and potential loss of
· Delays to projects
· Increased use of air freight for critical items, leading to increased transport costs
The knock-on impact of the Red Sea attacks has led to additional problems. For example, one FEA member says that a shipment from the USA had been diverted from Felixstowe to Rotterdam at the last minute, due to a shortage of containers at the Dutch port.
”It’s encouraging that the government has reached out to manufacturing industries to get a ‘real world’ insight into these issues,” says Anderson. “Let’s hope that the impact of the disruptions is short-lived. If not, there may be a significant effect on equipment availability and prices.”
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 www.fea.org.uk