Members’ News

March 2024

Sodexo extends partnership with Royal Stoke and Haywood hospitals for a further 10 years #

Sodexo Health & Care has reinforced its long-standing relationship with the Royal Stoke University Hospital (RSUH), part of the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM) and Haywood Hospital, part of the wider Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (MPFT).

Valued at £38 million per year, the new 10-year contract, which is part of a PFI (Private Finance Initiative) covering both Royal Stoke University Hospital and Haywood Hospital, will see Sodexo continue to deliver catering, retail and soft FM services throughout the PFI and the retained estate at both hospitals. 

Caring for more than two million people a year, UHNM is highly regarded for its facilities, teaching and research. Sodexo’s 1,000-strong on-site team delivers domestic, portering, patient catering, retail, security, helpdesk, waste, pest control, and distribution services at both hospitals. At RSUH it also delivers reception services and at Haywood Hospital it manages car parking. 

As part of the new contract Sodexo installed a ground-breaking automated retail solution, the 24/7 Deli, within the restaurant in spring 2023. The new 24/7 Deli provides frontline healthcare workers and visitors access to fresh, nutritious hot and cold food options throughout the day and night. 

Philip Leigh, CEO Health & Care, Sodexo UK & Ireland said: “This is a significant milestone in our partnership with Royal Stoke University Hospital and Haywood Hospital.  As a purpose-led business, we continue to support the Trusts with their social value commitments, aligning our ambition to their Sustainable Development Management Plan through initiatives such as an energy saving plan for both hospitals. We will continue to seek ways in which we can support both organisations in providing the highest standard of care for the people we jointly serve every year.” 

Tracy Bullock, CEO of the University Hospital of North Midlands NHS Trust adds: “We are very proud of the partnership we have built with Sodexo.  Our focus on joint working has enabled us together to continue to improve standards. Our 2023 PLACE scores are testament to this and our achievement of above national average scores across all areas assessed are a direct result of our collaborative approach.”    

Sodexo has been a partner to both hospitals since 2007 and also delivers hard FM services at both hospitals under separate contract as part of the PFI agreement.

Insights at breakfast with FEA at HRC 2024 #

Busy schedule offers range of events including a power breakfast with Cyrus Todiwala OBE

FEA has announced its full schedule for this year’s HRC show, including a range of masterclasses and discussions on the big issues surrounding foodservice equipment, and a chance to meet and chat over breakfast with FEA’s chief executive and renowned celebrity chef Cyrus Todiwala OBE.

The show kicks off on Monday morning with a chance to attend a meeting of FEA’s Technical Liaison Forum. The afternoon will see the first masterclass, on balancing form and function when choosing light equipment and tableware, before ending out the day with a drinks reception for FEA members sponsored by Gamble FS. The light equipment masterclass supports another HRC first, with FEA’s light equipment pavilion making its debut this year. The pavilion is housing companies like Contacto, Denby, Dualit and Signature FSA who will be showcasing the latest innovations and trends in light equipment and tableware.

Tuesday starts with what will doubtless be one of the highlights of the show, a power breakfast where Cyrus Todiwala will kindly be joining John Cunningham to share stories of his esteemed career, the experiences that shaped him during his journey from chef to entrepreneur as well as his reflections on the sector and advice to professionals looking to join the hospitality industry.

The day continues with two masterclasses, the first on choosing sustainable equipment followed up with a session looking at options for servicing and maintaining equipment. Tuesday’s events also include the World Catering Technology Awards, celebrating companies bringing innovative new technology to the market, before rounding off with the now traditional FEA HRC event, presenting the latest group of CFSP delegates with certificates.

The show ends on Wednesday, which FEA will be using as a networking day. If you have any questions or want to discuss any issues or questions you may have about anything, then this is the best day to do it – although expert staff will be available throughout the show.

“There will be 32 FEA Member businesses exhibiting at HRC 2024 and many more will be attending in some form. So HRC presents a great opportunity for us to reconnect and support our members and companies throughout the industry, and we are delighted with our packed programme of events this year,” says Paul Anderson, chair of FEA. “We are always focused on ways of providing the best advice, information and support to our members, and our events at HRC 2024 will be interesting, inspiring, thought provoking and accessible to all.”

Tickets for the power breakfast with Cyrus Todiwala are strictly limited. Register your interest in attending here.

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 

Bestway announces Retail Showcase 2024 #

Bestway Retail, part of Bestway Wholesale, the UK’s largest independent food and drink wholesaler, has announced details of this year’s Retail Showcase 2024 - which will take place at the Coventry Building Society (CBS) Arena on Wednesday 15 May 2024, from 10.30am – 4.30pm.

The Retail Showcase 2024 will stage the biggest gathering of its retail customers and supply partners alongside its specialist retail team to collectively support and help drive further growth and margin for its retailers.

The Showcase, which is in its second year after a highly successful event in 2023, saw more than 600 retailers join together with the Bestway Team and supply partners, to learn, share and grow. Over 800 retailers are expected to attend this year’s Showcase from Costcutter, best-one, Bargain Booze and Extra Local symbols and fascias, as well as interested parties and prospective retailers who are considering joining the Bestway Retail family.

There will be 140 valued partner suppliers exhibiting and highlighting NPD opportunities, including Diageo, Budweiser Brewing Group, CCEP, Britvic, Red Bull, Suntory, AG Barr, Mars, JTI and Philip Morris Ltd – to name but a few.

As the only symbol retailer in the industry with a store format for all retailer types and customer personas, the Retail Showcase 2024 will be arguably the largest of its kind.

Retailers can enjoy interactive events, experiential zones, and food tastings, incorporating ‘perfect serve’ masterclasses, cocktail-making and pairing sessions to help them drive customer engagement. 

There will be live demos, presentations on best practice and the opportunity for retailers to participate in workshops, as well as engaging in networking events with other independent retailers, alongside suppliers and Bestway colleagues.

There will be exclusive Show deals for retailers to take advantage of, and the chance to win £1,000 store credit, with two runner ups winning £500 each.

2024 welcomes a brand-new Innovation Zone, introduced to help retailers increase profit, improve sales and reduce costs. Here, retailers will be able to access the latest category insights from 150+ leading convenience and off-licence suppliers, experience a VR walk round its ‘Best in Class’ Bargain Booze in a Convenience Store, plus see the latest innovations and sales and margin driving opportunities. 

As digital platforms grow in importance, the latest equipment and technology to help retailers reduce costs (e.g. labour, energy and environmental), will be on view, as well as the latest security technology.   The Pop-Up Shop designed to minimize closure periods during refits (which is available for hire for public/corporate events) will be on display for retailers to view.  

Bestway Wholesale’s managing director, Dawood Pervez says:
“We’re delighted to be hosting our second Bestway Retail Showcase in 2024. The Showcase is a major investment into our retailer estate but is one which we know our retailers value as it supports their future growth and profit.

“We’re there to share ideas, learn from each other and build new relationships in a friendly, community and convivial atmosphere.  It’s just one example of the value-add that Bestway Retail offers as the champion of the independent retailer.

“It’s often hard for independent retailers to find time to discover the latest trends and insights to support their business but here’s a real opportunity for them to look ahead and identify great new products and services from suppliers, whilst sharing ideas with like-minded independent business owners, who inevitably face the same challenges.

“Undoubtedly, this will be one of the most exciting events in the industry calendar.”

After the Retail Showcase will be a themed after-party where retailers will enjoy food, drinks, and entertainment as well as a retailer raffle with some great prizes to be won.

Toque d’Or finalists revealed with the winners set to embark on trip of a lifetime #

Nestlé Professional has announced this year’s Toque d’Or competition finalists, following an action-packed Heats round which saw 48 students go head-to-head in a series of intense challenges across two days, at The Grand Cookery School in York.  

 The 12 BOH and FOH students advancing into the Grand Finals are: 

 Back of House 

·                  Daisy Glasper, Newcastle 

·                  Geraldine Sierra Torres, Westminster Kingsway 

·                  Amy Phillips, Cheshire 

·                  Lauren Laird, Perth 

·                  Ryan Isidro, Westminster Kingsway 

·                  Rohan Bragg, University College Birmingham 

 Front of House 

·                  Emma Bancroft, Coleg Cambria 

·                  Jasmine Ferdinando, York 

·                  Ashton Eaton-Preece, Loughborough 

·                  Maja Mazurkiewicz, Loughborough 

·                  Dylan Alexander, Ayirshire 

·                  Ryan James, Coleg Cambria 

Katya Simmons, managing director Nestlé Professional UK&I said: “We were delighted this year to host the Heats at The Grand Cookery School, a perfect venue for any budding chef or restaurateur to learn and develop their skills. Guided by our team of expert judges, the competitors set an incredible standard across both days and the high-level of talent on display was truly impressive. Our 12 finalists are in for an incredible experience during Finals Week, so I wish them the very best of luck and most importantly, to enjoy and make the most of their experience.” 

The 48 students who competed at the Heats enjoyed an unforgettable learning experience and expert mentoring from the competition judges. BOH competitors were tasked with replicating a nutritious and sustainable plant-based main course created by executive chef Tom Booton who, in 2019, became the youngest chef to head up the kitchen at The Grill at The Dorchester. GARDEN GOURMET’s Sensational Pulled Fillet was used as the hero ingredient in his dish.  

Tom Booton said: “I was so impressed with the competitors; their passion, hard work and determination really shone through in all the tasks we set them. They carry many of the key qualities needed to be successful in our industry and so it was difficult to separate them. It came down to the smallest of margins which just shows how competitive this year’s cohort has been.  

 “A huge congratulations to each of the competitors advancing into the Finals where they’ll continue on this incredible learning experience. And a huge well done to all the students who took part. Personally, it’s extremely positive to see just how much young talent we have to look forward to as an industry.” 

Furthermore, BOH competitors created a gastro pub style dessert using Nestlé Professional’s range of Branded Dessert Ingredients, after watching a masterclass from Nestlé’s senior confectioner, John Costello, and Cherrytree Bakery’s New Product Development Manager, Martin Hargreaves.  

Nestlé Professional’s Business Development Chef, Paul Hawkins, oversaw the BOH competition during the Heats, offering his expertise on plant-based diets. And 2023 BOH Toque d’Or finalist now guest judge, Emily Simkins, supported the students throughout the challenges. 

FOH competitors served these dishes to 48 guests during lunch service across the two-day challenge together with wine and coffee. Supporting the students with a masterclass in wine and customer service were former FOH Toque d’Or winners, Antonia MacFarlane and Sophie Taylor. Competitors also learned about the complexity of coffee including how the growing region, grind size and brewing methods can impact the overall taste profile, in a masterclass delivered by Nestlé Professional coffee training specialists, Aaron Dunn and Jo Walsh. 2023 FOH Toque d’Or winner and now guest judge, Joshua Kerr, supported students during the series of challenges. 

Joining the judging panel for the Finals will be award-winning chef and restaurateur, Tommy Banks, and winner of the 2023 Gold Service Scholarship and footman at The Royal Household, Jupiter Humphrey-Bishop. Looking ahead to Finals Week, Tommy Banks said: “With just over one month to go, the countdown to Toque d’Or 2024 Finals Week is well and truly on. After leaving the 2023 competition feeling inspired by the hard work, dedication and passion of the competitors, I’m really excited to be returning as judge in 2024. 

 “This is an action-packed stage of the competition that offers each student a learning experience of a lifetime on so many levels. Personally, I’m really looking forward to meeting this year’s cohort and getting the opportunity to mentor them on crucial topics such as sustainability and provenance, before the week culminates with the ultimate Fine Dining challenge.” 

Ingredient sponsor for the Heats, Woods Foodservice, supplied fresh produce for both BOH and FOH challenges. 

Sodexo launches Starting Fresh toolkit to help employers recruit ex-offenders #

Sodexo UK & Ireland has today marked the first anniversary of Starting Fresh with the release of an employer toolkit. The toolkit builds on resources the organisation launched last March to help bridge the gap between businesses struggling with skills shortages and the under-utilised talent pool of people with criminal convictions.  

One year ago, research commissioned by Sodexo found that while 62% of UK private sector businesses were facing recruitment challenges, a third had not considered hiring ex-offenders.   

These findings informed the launch of Starting Fresh, which leverages Sodexo’s extensive experience in managing prisons and as an inclusive employer, to advocate for and provide employment opportunities for this often overlooked group.  

In its first year, Starting Fresh has facilitated over 300 job opportunities through many new partnerships with companies like Marriott Hotels, Burger King and Iceland. These collaborations have included employer days in prisons, allowing businesses to meet potential employees and learn about their skills and qualifications first hand.    

Through Starting Fresh, Sodexo has also built new relationships and created employment pathways between the prisons it manages and its business, resulting in candidates from across the prison estate being referred for roles at Sodexo.   

Sodexo, a Ban the Box employer, continues to expand Starting Fresh beyond its own organisation by collaborating with prison teams and agencies, providing valued expert advice and support. Working with New Futures Network, it has streamlined the pathway between prisons (including those not operated by Sodexo) and its business. Additionally, it has created a toolkit for Members of Parliament to use within their constituencies to encourage businesses to consider hiring ex-offenders and to offer valuable information about finding employment to their constituents with a criminal background.  

In addition to New Futures Network, Sodexo continues to work with over 20 external partners who all have the common goal of supporting those from prison into employment. These include The Oswin Project, Clean Sheet and Novus Works, who help remove the perceived barriers associated with the employment of ex-offenders, which hold back the reintegration of people into communities. 

Building on this extensive work over the past year, Sodexo has now launched an employer toolkit to extend the support and reach of Starting Fresh to more employers, helping them to discover the talent available from this under-utilised community of people.  

Tony Simpson, Justice Operations Director, Sodexo UK & Ireland, said: "We believe in the transformative power of gainful employment for people with criminal convictions, and are keen to drive recognition of the immense value they can bring to both businesses and the communities they serve.   

“Nearly 50,000 people leave prison every year, many emerging with formal qualifications they didn’t have before in construction, cleaning, catering, hospitality, hairdressing and many other areas. They are skilled and job-ready, equipped with the skills, qualifications and experience to transition into the workforce.   

“Our employer toolkit has been built to help organisations proactively engage with our prisons and partners to start the hiring process with prison-leavers."  

To learn more about hiring ex-offenders or to get some help with the next steps, visit Starting Fresh.   

Délifrance unveils rebrand, featuring innovative offerings under their authentic Italian bread range 'PanItaly’ #

Leading baked goods supplier, Délifrance, has revealed its newest bread range, ‘PanItaly’ following a strong increase in demand for speciality Italian food and drink products.   

According to the latest consumer research from Délifrance, 40% of consumers prefer breads of the world when at home, and over half seek them1. With consumer’s looking for bread experiences beyond the familiar, and Italian cuisine a firm favourite with Brits, Délifrance has tapped into its Italian bread expertise to meet this demand.   

The 'PanItaly' range, made in Italy using traditional baking techniques such as Biga, offers superior-quality Italian bread. This allows retailers and operators to easily access this growing market. Featuring speciality products including firm favourites Ciabatta, Focaccia and Panini, the Délifrance range not only offers an authentic taste experience to entice consumers, but its versatility makes it suitable for several occasions throughout the day. 

Stéphanie Brillouet, marketing director at Délifrance, says: “Much-loved, staple foods have a special role to play at times of upheaval and, with consumer budgets under intense pressure, bread offers affordable comfort. With demand rising for speciality loaves, breads from outside the UK give operators the chance to bring further excitement to the bakery fixture and innovation to a menu. This gives suppliers and retailers an opportunity to add further value to the market by meeting demand for more exciting, premium breads.” 

For more information visit: 

Volunteering charity and Compass One unite to improve community connections #

Compass One, which brings together the specialist expertise of Compass Group UK & Ireland’s ESS, Healthcare and One Retail sectors, announces its first long-term charity partnership, with leading national volunteering charity Royal Voluntary Service.
In line with the charity’s work across Britain, the partnership aims to support people’s health, social interaction and connections within their communities. The partnership will include rewarding employee volunteering programmes and fundraising activities.
Compass One has pledged to give at least 5,000 hours of staff volunteer time annually to support the work Royal Voluntary Service does to help the NHS and to improve the health, wellbeing and resilience of vulnerable people within wider communities. Compass One colleagues will be encouraged to use the company’s “Volunteer Day” allowance and help out when they can. People and teams can take on tasks such as Hospital Trolley services, the Calls with Care telephone companionship service, offering help in times of emergency and supporting social clubs, where people can meet and take on activities such as cooking, playing games and playing musical instruments.
The company has also committed to raising funds to support Royal Voluntary Service to continue mobilising volunteers to provide their vital services.
The partnership comes at a time when Royal Voluntary Service is exploring in depth, the future of corporate volunteering, and several members of the Compass One senior leadership team attended a recent thought leadership forum led by the charity, to discuss the challenges and value of corporate volunteering strategies.
To commence the partnership and raise awareness of Royal Voluntary Service’s work amongst staff, Compass One will be hosting internal fundraising events at its Birmingham and Chertsey headquarters in the coming months. Compass One will be utilising its platforms to help the charity raise awareness of the importance of volunteering.
Catherine Johnstone CBE, Chief Executive of Royal Voluntary Service said: “I’m excited that we’ll be partnering with Compass One to support the communities we both operate in. Funds raised will help enable our incredible volunteers to impact the lives of even more people, and we look forward to seeing Compass colleagues reap the many benefits of volunteering for themselves too. I’m confident that together we will create positive social value.”
Mark Webster, Managing Director – Compass One said: “Across Compass One, we have thousands of amazing people working for us and I am excited about how we can work together, to help many more people have a brighter future. We are looking forward to contributing time, resources and funds – creating true value to the communities we operate in and support.”
Russell Blake, Managing Director – Healthcare – Compass Group UK & Ireland said: “Royal Voluntary Service and Compass are well aligned in values and both organisations started their foundations in World War II. Fast forward to today and the values of keeping people safe and well remain, creating a common purpose that joins both organisations and making this a great partnership. I look forward to supporting Royal Voluntary Service in the valuable work that they do.”
Jess Payne, Director of Social Value - Compass One added: “We are really excited to join forces with Royal Voluntary Service, which mobilises volunteers to support people in need and the NHS. Delivering social value is important to us and this partnership will support our strategy, which is aligned to Compass’ wider Social Promise.”
In 2022, Compass Group UK & Ireland launched its “Our Social Promise” commitment, which aims to positively impact the lives of one million people from both within and outside the organisation, by 2030. The company is working to enhance people's opportunities and change lives through initiatives such as community and charitable engagement.
To find out more about the work of Royal Voluntary Service, visit

Vacherin steps up its commitment to reducing food waste in partnership with Silo #

Vacherin has launched a chef-focused sustainability initiative in partnership with renowned chef and restaurateur Doug McMaster and his team at the no-waste restaurant Silo. The Silo Stages project is designed to accelerate the specialist London caterer’s commitment to reducing food waste across its portfolio.

Led by Vacherin’s Executive Development Chef Steve Humphries, Silo Stages will inform, inspire and empower chefs to ‘be the change’ when it comes to food waste reduction and further embed Vacherin’s sustainability culture across the business.

Starting this month (March) and continuing throughout the year, 21 chefs will take part in experiential stages at Silo, the world’s first zero-waste restaurant. At the end of their stage, each chef will be challenged to take back one positive food waste reducing action to their site – known as the ‘Rule of Doug’ – with the goal of rolling out all effective changes across Vacherin’s 100+ sites.

Each stage will see the chefs fully immersed into the Silo team. They will learn about all aspects of Silo’s sustainability ethos and how that underpins its day-to-day operation. They will experience all sections of the kitchen, including the fermentation lab which is fundamental to the restaurant’s no waste cycle, and support in the evening service delivery.

As well as supporting Vacherin’s sustainability commitments, the stages also uphold the core value of creating opportunities for the continued learning and development of its chefs. In addition to the fermentation lab experience, they will learn lots of techniques to use the parts of ingredients that more commonly end up in the food waste bin, in creative and delicious ways. It’s these learnings that chefs will take back to their sites to generate further food waste reduction. 

Steve Humphries said: “I am super excited to see this project coming to life. It’s an amazing opportunity for our chefs to work with and learn from a global sustainability innovator, Doug McMaster. I’m very proud to be part of this movement to inventively drive our chefs and company forward with the planet firmly at the fore front. With the potential to create 21 tangible sustainability changes across our sites, the positive impact will be huge.”

Doug McMaster said: “It’s an honour to have the chefs from Vacherin commit to ‘The Silo Blueprint’. The Zero Waste approach deserves mass adaption, and this is a significant moment in that journey.”

Phil Roker, Vacherin’s Managing Director, adds: “Doug is an inspiration to all chefs who care about the environment, and it is a real privilege for our team to experience his dedication and innovative approach in person. The lasting effects of these stages will be hugely beneficial for our teams, clients and our business.”

Warwick Hospital expands in partnership with One Retail and Noviniti #

*First hybrid M&S and Costa Coffee launched*

South Warwickshire University NHS Foundation Trust has partnered with One Retail, Compass Group UK & Ireland’s retail sector and Noviniti, to transform the Warwick Hospital estate. The project is a huge investment, which will help create sustainable and accessible services alongside transforming the hospital’s main entrance look, feel and flow of people.
As part of the development, the Trust is building a dedicated facility, known as an elective hub. This will enable the organisation to increase the number of surgical procedures they can carry out – helping to meet future service demand and reduce wait times for patients.
The new entrance, which is due to open early next year, will see new retail offers launched. In a first of its kind, One Retail will combine two high street favourites at Warwick Hospital. One of the retail units will offer a hybrid Marks and Spencer and Costa Coffee, bringing innovative digital screen self-ordering tech. The offer will mean people can purchase a range of goods including Costa Coffee and food such as pastries and sandwiches, as well as quality M&S products.
To ensure that the NHS’ mandated 24/7 offer is also available, One Retail will introduce smart fridges, which will mean people can access grab and go food at any time of the day.
Sophie Gilkes, Chief Strategy Officer at South Warwickshire University NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our Trust is transforming the Warwick Hospital estate to create sustainable and accessible services, while enhancing the environment and overall experience for our patients, staff and visitors. We are very excited to partner with One Retail and Noviniti to strengthen our food and retail offering and create a modern and welcoming main entrance, which will meet the needs of our local community for years to come.”
Andrew Jones, One Retail, Managing Director said: “This is another first for One Retail -  a great and innovative retail solution, which makes the most of the space available by creating a hybrid retail concept which will guarantee greater choice and quality for staff, visitors and patients. It’s really exciting to be involved in South Warwickshire University NHS Foundation Trust’s project, which will truly transform Warwick Hospital for everyone visiting it.”
Marc Hastings, CEO of Noviniti said: “We are delighted to be working with South Warwickshire University NHS Foundation Trust to support their transformation strategy at Warwick Hospital. Together, with One Retail, the new Main Entrance development will greatly improve the staff, patient and visitor experience and provide an improved pathway into the hospital. We are looking forward to the doors early next year.”

Bidfresh reveals The Juice Fresh Trends expected to dominate the out of home market in 2024 #

Hoping to support and inspire their wide-ranging customer base, Campbell Brothers (catering butchers), Direct Seafoods (nationwide fishmongers) and Oliver Kay (fresh ingredient suppliers) has this week released its latest Fresh Trends Report.

Despite the multiple challenges presented by the current trading environment, operators and chefs have continued to overcome them by utilising fresh produce to create inspired dishes for their menus. The Juice Fresh Trends Report 2024 showcases how the sector can use top quality fresh ingredients that are reasonably priced and tie in with consumers' dining expectations. 

Research shows that despite the UK slipping into recession, consumers still want to treat themselves - and have high expectations when eating out. Menus that offer a variety of options, packed full of quality at an affordable price, will be those that catch the eye of consumers.

Chefs will know that when it comes to menu planning, having the best and freshest ingredients, bursting with quality is what truly elevates a dish. Combining the expertise of greengrocers, fishmongers and butchers, as well as working alongside chefs, managers and menu planners, The Juice Fresh Trends Report 2024 helps operators identify opportunities for growth, whilst keeping consumers engaged and excited.

The key trends identified across Bidfresh are:

Authenticity: The knock-on effect from the pandemic has left consumers with a taste for more adventurous and varied culinary options when dining out. Diverse global cuisines are on the rise with the desire of genuine representation of a dish’s origin ranking high on consumer demands, with 56% agreeing that they would be willing to pay more for a dish they perceive as more authentic.  

The team at Oliver Kay can source the best herbs, spices, marinades and vegetables to enhance the authenticity of any dish, while Campbell Brothers and Direct Seafoods have chefs covered, whether a dish is centered on the land or sea.

Provenance on a plate: As we all aim to do our bit for the planet, it’s no surprise that 76% of UK consumers currently find dishes and ingredients that have provenance within the UK appealing. Food provenance focuses on providing transparency and traceability, allowing consumers to make informed choices about the origin and quality of the food they consume.      

Mind, mood & body: Despite the pressures on budgets, consumers are increasingly interested in ingredients and nutrients that support their health and wellbeing, even if it means paying a little more. Mood, gut health, digestion and reducing sugar intake are all front of mind when it comes to consumer decisions. Seafood contains a variety of important vitamins and minerals, providing a perfect way for chefs to tap into this trend.

Value for money: Although the industry is faced with rising costs, consumers still expect quality dining experiences at affordable prices. To help deliver these expectations chefs are using their knowledge and skillsets to make smart swaps on meat, seafood and fresh ingredients that keep costs low and quality high.

Jodie Gamson, Senior Marketing Manager for Bidfresh commented:
“I’m pleased to see that despite unfavourable financial circumstances, consumers still see eating out as an integral part of their life, along with supporting British farmers by favouring local produce, and remaining mindful about the impact the foods they eat have on their physical and mental wellbeing.

“It has been a challenging few years for our British farmers and growers, so to see consumers take a top interest in supporting them is reassuring as we continue through 2024. The trends will challenge chefs to showcase their culinary knowledge and skillset whilst also considering how to adapt to consumers who are making more mindful eating decisions.”

The Juice Fresh Trends Report has been created to support chefs and operators plan and manage the year ahead. Using exclusive data from Bidfresh’s three specialist businesses, who supply to tens of thousands of hospitality businesses across the full breadth of the industry. The report includes information on star products, recipe inspiration and insight into current consumer behaviours and menu trends within the world of fresh.

Readers can find out more about the fresh trends by visiting

Sodexo Live! ACC Liverpool team take home the Sports, Leisure & Event Catering title at industry awards #

The Sodexo Live! team at ACC Liverpool, led by Michael (Mitch) Mitchell, were announced winners of the Sports, Leisure & Event Catering Award at the Contract Catering 2024 Awards, held last night at the Leonardo Royal Hotel in London. 

Hosted by Mark Durden-Smith the awards celebrate the cream of the crop of the foodservice industry. The awards are judged by a top team of industry peers and professionals. 

Sodexo Live! is the catering partner for The ACC Liverpool Group, providing retail catering and hospitality services for the venue all-year round. The ACC Liverpool Group consists of the M&S Bank Arena, an award-winning Convention Centre, and the Exhibition Centre Liverpool. 

The Sodexo Live! team at The ACC Liverpool Group operates in multiple areas across the complex including 13 retail outlets - with seven units providing food offerings - 22 hospitality boxes, a 120-seater Sodexo Live! Lounge, 24 conference and dinner spaces, two coffee shops and an 8,100m2 exhibition hall with four purpose-built in-hall cafes. 

In a typical year, it serves around 425,000 people at the M&S Bank Arena, with 290,000 people attending the conference and exhibition centre. Sodexo Live! provides dinners for up to 2,000 people per event - with a capacity to serve up to 5,000 - and 15,000 exhibition covers. 

Over the past 12 months, the Sodexo Live! team has hosted 190 events across the complex, including Eurovision 2023 and the annual Labour Party conference. 

Claire Morris, CEO Sodexo Live! UK & Ireland said: "We are so proud of Mitch and the team at ACC Liverpool, they have had a fantastic year delivering memorable experiences at high profile events such as Eurovision 2023 and the Labour Party Conference. As partners, we have worked closely with the ACC Liverpool Group to deliver some fantastic events, executing a multi-faceted strategy marked by innovation, best in class food and hospitality, as well as a commitment to social responsibility. Huge congratulations to the team.” 

Mitch and the team have also received internal recognition, taking home the title of Team of the Year at the 2023 Spirit of Sodexo awards, which were held in December at the ACC Liverpool. 

Read about Sodexo Live! and Eurovision 2023 here:

Cotswold Fayre and TWC Group collaborate to introduce cutting-edge data service for enhanced business insights #

Cotswold Fayre is delighted to announce the imminent launch of its new sales reporting service – “CoFI” (Cotswold Fayre Insights). This represents the first intelligent data system for the speciality food retail sector, which is a small part of the food and drink landscape but growing rapidly and Cotswold Fayre are pleased to be leading the way for independent retailers and artisan producers.
Our suppliers will soon have the opportunity to access their brands’ sales performance by different customer type over several time periods to help them build category plans for future sales growth.  The initiative is being launched in partnership with leading wholesale data consultancy, TWC Group.
It is increasingly common for wholesalers to grant access to total category sales data to key suppliers – and Cotswold Fayre is no different.  We want suppliers to see how they are performing within the categories they compete in so that we can collectively identify means and opportunities to grow sales further.
Our data partner, TWC Group, already provides this data reporting solution to many of the biggest wholesalers and wholesale buying groups in the channel.
Suppliers will be able to track their category and brand sales over multiple time periods (4 weeks/13 weeks/year to date/moving annual total) as well as by region and outlet type.  There are 2 years of back data in the service, so suppliers will be able to spot growing trends.
The data will be accessed via TWC’s market leading digital reporting solution – which works on any type of mobile/digital device.  The data is reported in a highly visual manner – key data facts are easily identifiable.
Paul Hargreaves, CEO of Cotswold Fayre commented:
“We are delighted to be working in close partnership with TWC.  They are the leaders in data services for wholesalers across the UK and by working with them we will be able to give insights on category and product sales within the artisan food retail sector that I don’t believe has ever been available previously.
This will benefit our suppliers, who will be able to measure and improve their performance in different retail sectors. Our category and sales team will also be able to provide customers with far more insight than ever before, ensuring we are helping drive their sales harder.  It’s a win-win for everyone!”

Tom Fender, Development Director of TWC Group added:
"We are excited to collaborate with Cotswold Fayre in bringing innovative data solutions to the food and beverage industry. By combining our expertise in data analytics with Cotswold Fayre's deep industry knowledge, we are poised to deliver significant value to partner suppliers seeking to harness the power of data to drive growth and innovation."
The new data service will soon be available to Cotswold Fayre’s suppliers. For more information or to schedule a demonstration, suppliers should speak to their trading representative at Cotswold Fayre.

Sustainable growth tops the agenda at Sodexo's Partners with Purpose conference #

Today, Sodexo UK & Ireland welcomed 43 supply partners to Brighton & Hove Albion’s Amex Stadium for its second ‘Partners with Purpose’ supply partner conference, the agenda for which focused on themes around sustainable growth and collaboration.    

Attended by over 110 representatives from its supply chain, including SMEs and VCSEs, Sodexo’s ‘Partners with Purpose’ conference facilitated insightful discussions and sessions with senior leaders from across Sodexo. They shared the latest developments, priorities, and plans in areas such as encouraging sustainable diets, supply chain diversification, achieving net zero 2040, and working together to drive greater positive social impact.  

A key focus of the day was Sodexo informing its supply partners about its new pledge to add further diversity to its supply chains as part of a wider social impact initiative across the organisation. Each supply partner created their own personalised pledge on this topic, aiming to create positive action across the industry.  

Julie Ennis, CEO of Corporate Services and Energy & Resources, provided valuable insight on how clients are focusing on food and employee experience as talent attraction enablers. She also discussed Sodexo’s ambition to grow significantly in food services and experience-led services, therefore relying on partners and suppliers to support sustainability, agility and differentiation.  

Claire Morris, CEO of Sodexo Live! also shared insight on the segment’s ambitions for the business and how embracing digital innovation is driving customer satisfaction in its hospitality offer at over 45 sites, including the AMEX Stadium, Brighton, where the conference was hosted.  

At last year’s Partners with Purpose conference, held in March 2023, Sodexo announced the launch of a roadmap for its supply partners to support not only Sodexo’s net zero journey but also their own. This year, Sodexo also took the opportunity to expand the conversation beyond net zero by introducing the Green Line vision, which supports the group's ambition to be a market marker in sustainability, and discussing how the wider social impact supply chain agenda will evolve over the coming years.  

Sean Haley, CEO of Sodexo UK & Ireland said: “A collaborative approach is key to sustainability strategies. At Sodexo, just 1% of emissions are under our direct control in scopes 1 and 2, the majority - 99% - lie within scope 3, with 34% stemming from our supply chain. This is why our supply partners play an invaluable role in enabling us to realise our goals, and this annual conference is a chance for us to share our plans our successes and the challenges that lie ahead so we can work together to make a difference.    

“At our Partners with Purpose conference last year, we introduced our net zero supplier engagement strategy, a vital component of our overall net zero approach.   

“Tremendous progress has been made and in our January 2024 net zero report, we highlighted a notable 30% cut in supply chain emissions from our 2017 levels, cutting 100,903 tonnes of CO2—the equivalent of flying around the world 8,581 times. This achievement is testament to the collaboration between Sodexo and our suppliers.” 

During the conference, guests at the event sampled an innovative lunch menu curated by the Sodexo Live! culinary team, with dishes taken from Enactus’s ‘Chance for Change’ global recipe book. The cookbook was the brainchild of Enactus Team Aston who participated in the Action4Impact incubator project, part of Sodexo’s Stop Hunger Foundation's partnership with Enactus. The cookbook supports female refugees in the UK by featuring their global recipes such as Chicken Galinha Cafreal and Goan style Bebinca.   

Sodexo’s Stop Hunger Foundation hits fundraising high with £286,000 raised at annual dinner #

Sodexo’s Stop Hunger Foundation welcomed distinguished supply partners, clients, charity partners and friends to its annual event celebrating the impact of the Foundation and raising £286,000. 

Held at the Amex Stadium in Brighton on Thursday evening (21 March), the evening was hosted by Sean Haley, CEO of Sodexo UK & Ireland, and a Trustee of the Stop Hunger Foundation, alongside Gareth John, Sodexo’s European Director Legal Affairs and Chair of the Foundation, and Matt Dawson, Sodexo ambassador, broadcaster, and Rugby World Cup winner. 

Nearly 400 guests enjoyed a dining experience curated by Sodexo Live! which showcased sustainable and locally sourced ingredients, in collaboration with local 2013 MasterChef winner, Steven Edwards. Dishes also included a plant-based kofta canape, thai curry and petit fours from the Enactus Chance to Change project. 

As well as raising funds for the Foundation through a charity auction, guests also had the opportunity to buy a copy of the ‘Chance for Change’ cookbook and hear first-hand from Amina Missi who has benefitted from the initiative, which is part of the Foundation’s partnership with Enactus to support female refugees in the UK. 

Sodexo launched the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation in 2005 as a UK-registered charity and has supported more than 70 national and local charities. 

During the last financial year alone, the Foundation donated more than £400,000 to 26 charities positively impacting just under 2 million people. Over 1,800 Sodexo employees also spent 7,967 hours volunteering - of which 4,332 hours were skills-based - for good causes, including Stop Hunger’s charity partners. 

Last year its partnership with FareShare surpassed £1.5 million in donations, further amplifying the Foundation’s dedication to combating food insecurity. 

Charity partners receiving a Stop Hunger grant in 2023 included national organisations such as FareShare, The Trussell Trust, SSAFA, Chapter One and Enactus UK, as well as regional and local charity partners including Made in Hackney and The Bread and Butter Thing.  

Gareth John, European Director of Sodexo Legal Affairs and Chair of the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation said: “Sodexo’s Stop Hunger Foundation brings together people, resources and innovation to create sustainable solutions to help those grappling with food insecurity. 

“The Foundation aims to empower communities, particularly focusing on women who represent the biggest opportunity in eliminating hunger. Initiatives like the ‘Chance for Change’ cookbook, are not only providing immediate support but also fostering long-term resilience and independence. 

“This event is a celebration of what we can achieve together and a reminder of the work that still lies ahead.  We are heartened by the incredible generosity of everyone at the event who helped raise these much-needed funds for our communities.” 

Sean Haley, CEO Sodexo UK & Ireland and Stop Hunger Foundation trustee added: “Sodexo’s Stop Hunger Foundation epitomises our unwavering dedication to supporting the communities where we live, work, and serve. Social impact is the driving force behind everything we do, and our colleagues across the UK and Ireland have exemplified this spirit once again through their exceptional volunteering and fundraising efforts. 

“The strategic goals of the Stop Hunger Foundation, which encompass fundraising and volunteering, are integral to Sodexo's regional social value strategy. They underscore our ethical manifesto for leading the way in improving the quality of life for society and our planet." 

Stop Hunger is an employee-led Sodexo initiative active in over 73 countries around the world. Thanks to the financial support of Sodexo, donations made to Stop Hunger go directly to financing activities and sustainable solutions for disadvantaged communities to exit food insecurity.

For more information about the Stop Hunger Foundation and its impactful initiatives, please visit Stop Hunger Foundation.

Compass’ Chief People Officer joins Social Mobility Commission’s Employer Advisory Group #

Compass Group UK & Ireland’s Chief People Officer, Carol Sommerville, has joined the Social Mobility Commission’s Employer Advisory Group (EAG), which works to support organisations to create better socio-economic inclusion in their workforce.

The Social Mobility Commission is an independent statutory body that exists to help create a country where the circumstances of someone’s birth does not determine their outcome in life. The EAG discusses the challenges around social mobility across the workforce, and considers how the group can influence change at employer and industry level. Together they address issues such as career guidance in schools, or ensuring data to monitor progress within organisations and recruitment is collected and monitored.

Carol is passionate about improving social mobility and is responsible for delivering Compass’ ‘Our Social Promise’ – a commitment to support a million people with opportunities such as job creation, education, training, community and charitable engagement, by 2030.

Carol Sommerville, Chief People Officer, Compass Group UK & Ireland said: “It’s great to join this industry-leading group, which is driving the agenda for businesses on social mobility. Working for the largest food and support services provider in the country – I believe there is so much we can do to improve social mobility and provide opportunities for everyone. I am looking forward to sharing ideas and best practice, as well as discussing how we can act together to address the challenges people are facing across the country and what more businesses can do to unlock them.”

Social Mobility Commissioner Parminder Kohli, Senior Vice President Europe, Middle East & Africa for Shell Lubricants, leads the EAG. He said: “This is an engaged group of employers from across the UK. I have been heartened to hear the activities they are already doing, both within their organisation but also across their industries. It’s clear that they are dedicated to leveraging strategic influence, fostering collaborative learning, and utilising their collective networks to address social mobility challenges innovatively and effectively. It is great to have Carol on board.”

Carol joined Compass Group UK & Ireland 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.

New Zealand’s pure south beef scoops hat trick and 'Best in Class' at British Pie Awards #

Alliance Group has secured three awards at this year’s British Pie Awards, taking home the crown for best beef pie with a Best in Class and Gold for its Pure South Beef and Peppercorn Pie and Silver for its quintessential New Zealand filling - Pure South Minced Beef and Cheddar Pie. Like the UK, pies are a firm favourite on menus in New Zealand, so it’s fitting for a New Zealand producer to excel in the British pie awards in a celebration of a culinary tradition cherished across both nations.

The annual awards ceremony, which took place this month in Melton Mowbray, showcased the craft of bakers, butchers and other producers in the pie industry in a nationwide celebration of the diverse varieties of British pies. With stringent criteria across 24 categories, roughly 1,000 pies are judged every year.  

Helen Scott, Regional General Manager at the Alliance Group, says: “We're thrilled to receive recognition for our Pure South pies, which can be tailored to operators’ preferences, from the fillings to the pastry, to the pie top. Made for chefs, by chefs, a diverse range featuring diced, pulled, or minced meat fillings infused with premium spices, stocks, and sauces, and encased in puff, shortcrust, or filo pastry, our pies provide caterers with a best-in-class product for their menus.”

The Pure South brand is the best-tasting New Zealand grass-fed beef, lamb and venison that meets the requirements of the world’s most discerning customers.  Farmed by a co-operative of farmers, not a corporate, it’s all free range and naturally reared on family farms, with no antibiotics, hormones or GMOs to produce red meat that is lean, tender and delicious. Both Pure South beef and lamb are halal.

These awards follow some major wins at the renowned World Steak Challenge Awards at the end of 2023 where the Pure South Handpicked 55 Day Aged Beef received the title for world's best grass-fed steak and the world's best ribeye steak. Adding to the accolades, Alliance Group also received a gold medal for its ribeye and a silver for its fillet.

Matt Owens, Chairman of the Craft Guild of Chefs and Head of Culinary for Alliance says:  "We've created a range of fit for purpose pies that help chefs combat the labour and skills shortages we're all facing in our kitchens. They're guaranteed to be the highest quality, consistent every time and they're made by hand so still give a homemade, rustic feel on menus - to receive the highest award for the beef class for our pie was truly an honour!

“These awards are also a testament to our farmers, who work tirelessly to raise the absolute best New Zealand beef, lamb and venison on our family farms."

Helen continues: “Here at Alliance, we’re delighted to supply award-winning, high quality New Zealand beef to the UK.  Following the Free Trade Agreement implemented in May of last year, foodservice operators can offer a point of difference on their menus and feature acclaimed products, while taking advantage of tariff-free imports.” 

Contact Alliance to find out how you can list their award winning Pure South pies on your menus, operators should contact: Wayne Thompson, Head of Commercial -

Yes Chef! CH&CO crowns its Chef of the Year 2024 #

Ciaran McGill, a Head Chef for Gather & Gather Ireland has been crowned CH&CO Chef of the Year 2024.

Ciaran triumphed against strong competition at the grand finals, held at the University of West London.

The cohort of talented finalists comprised of the winners of Chef of the Year competitions held within CH&CO’s specialist brands, including Blue Apple, Company of Cooks, Gather & Gather, CH&CO Independent, Pabulum and Vacherin.

For the final, the chefs were challenged to produce two portions each of a starter and main course within two hours, meeting the competition’s sustainability-focused brief. The starter had to be plant based and the chefs were to use a whole herb fed free range chicken for their main. Upholding CH&CO’s top-level three-star Food Made Good rating from the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA), the overall menu had to also meet, wherever possible, the SRA’s One Planet Plate criteria of celebrate local, waste no food, more veg, source fish sustainably and low carbon footprint. Chefs were also required to produce menus with allergen data.

The chefs showcased their exceptional skills and creative, sustainable dishes under the watchful eyes and well-trained palates of a panel of esteemed judges, including Anthony Demetre, Chef Patron of the Michelin-starred restaurant Wild Honey; Deepak Mallya, Executive Sous Chef at The Ritz London; Sabrina Gidda, Chef Consultant and author of Modern South Asian Kitchen and Michael Coaker, Ambassador for the University of West London. Each menu was judged on flavour, presentation, overall menu balance and interpretation of the brief.

Ciaran wowed the judges and took the title thanks to his menu of Spring Pea & Hazelnut Tart, Iona Farm White Turnip, Radish, Velvet Cloud Sheep Yoghurt followed by Herb Fed Free Range Yorkshire Chicken, Green Asparagus, Buttermilk Thigh, Truffle Mousseline Stuffed Wing, Wild Garlic & Celeriac. They praised him for his excellent technical skill and bold flavours.

Jeremy Ford, CH&CO’s Food Director and competition organiser, said: “What a final! Huge congratulations to Ciaran, a worthy winner against very stiff competition. The standards shown by all the finalists was phenomenal and I congratulate them all. They are testament to the culinary passion and expertise in the food teams across CH&CO’s specialist brands, as well as the genuine commitment to creating delicious, exciting dishes that are also sustainable.”

As well as the kudos of the title of CH&CO Chef of the Year 2024, Ciaran has won a three-day culinary experience in San Sebastian.

The competition was generously sponsored by CH&CO’s supplier partners Blue Arrow, Britvic, Essential Cuisine, Churchill China, Oliver Harvey, Chefswear, WearerTech and HG Walter.

UCL becomes first university in the world to pilot a food carbon tracking app for students #

University College London (UCL) and its catering partner CH&CO have rolled out a trial of the Reewild app, which helps their community to track and reduce their dietary carbon footprint and incentivises more sustainable choices.

UCL, CH&CO and climate tech company Reewild have teamed up to introduce a new food carbon tracking app across UCL food outlets on a trial basis, helping students to manage their carbon impact.
In line with the university’s Sustainable Food Policy, over half of the food on offer at UCL through caterers CH&CO is vegetarian or vegan. Furthermore, all food made in-house has been carbon accounted and carbon labelled, providing staff and students with the information needed to make informed decisions.
The Reewild app now adds an extra gear to this positive work, nudging students towards more sustainable options via a loyalty scheme that rewards them with free meals and coffees if they opt for plant-based options.
Through the app, students can also discover the climate impact of millions of products, enabling them to log the items they consume in their personal carbon footprint tracker, similar to successful calorie counting apps such as MyFitness Pal.
The aim is to remain below a pre-set Carbon Calorie Goal - a daily carbon budget calculated in line with international climate targets. To do so, users receive recommendations for switches to greener products and are rewarded for improving their footprint, unlocking exclusive discounts and promotions from sustainable brand partners, and freebies in UCL cafés and refectories. 

UCL prioritises sustainability throughout its research, teaching, and operations. In 2023, they were awarded the Times ‘University of the Year,’ attributed to their innovative and sustainable UCL East Campus and retained First-Class Honours in the University People and Planet League. 
Helping the environment and benefiting society is also fundamental to CH&CO’s purpose, including commitments to be a Net Zero company by 2040.
According to a recent YouGov survey, 59% of people are making conscious decisions to live a low carbon lifestyle, with diet changes considered the single most effective lever to reduce individual footprints. However, a majority of shoppers (61%) feel they need more information to better inform their sustainable choices (EY).

The partnership between UCL, CH&CO and Reewild helps to address this problem, by bringing full transparency on the climate impact of everyday food and drink products and encouraging planet-positive decisions.
Kit Nicholl, Co-Founder & COO at Reewild, said: “We’re delighted to be working hand in glove with UCL and CH&CO to help drive greener behaviours and support their net zero carbon targets. This new partnership will give students unprecedented control over the climate footprint of the food they eat, whilst rewarding them for greener behaviours. Through collective action, we’re confident that the Reewild app can instigate the change we need to reduce our impact on the planet, one meal at a time.”

Jason Clarke, Assistant Sustainability Director at UCL said: “Whilst we are making significant operational progress in sustainability at UCL, we recognise the importance of empowering our community to make more sustainable choices, and our partnership with Reewild and CH&CO reflects this commitment. Through initiatives like this, we're fostering a culture of sustainability within our university.”

Clare Clark, Head of Sustainability at CH&CO said: 'We are excited to trial Reewild at our outlets on UCL's campus. We work hard to offer sustainable, healthy and balanced choices that are also delicious. Our ultimate goal is to have the customers' first choice also be the most sustainable one on the menu and increasing engagement between our customers and the environmental impact of the food they eat is integral to that.'

Nestlé Professional launches KITKAT® Sauce to bring iconic flavour onto out of home dessert menus #

Nestlé Professional has launched a KITKAT® Sauce with wafer pieces to help foodservice operators bring the iconic flavour onto desserts menus.   

The new 1kg bottle has a squeezable design, making it easy for operators to create a range of desserts featuring the taste of one of the nation’s favourite chocolate bars.    

Danielle Cartney, Desserts Category Lead, Nestlé Professional UK&I, says:   

"With over 1 billion KITKAT® products consumed every year in the UK, this sauce is a must-have for chefs. Research shows that almost 90% of Brits enjoy adding sauces and toppings to their ice cream, with nearly half choosing flavoured sauces as their go-to topping choice*. Our new KITKAT® Sauce provides an easy solution for operators who want to whip up delicious desserts, saving time and boosting creativity.  

“The sauce is versatile and ready to go straight from the bottle. It's perfect for filling doughnuts, croissants, and muffins, or for drizzling over fruit, waffles, cakes, crêpes, and ice cream. You can even use it as a dip for churros or shared desserts.”   

Each bottle has a shelf life of 12 months and provides 66 servings.   

Find more information for the KITKAT® Sauce and the range of Nestlé Professional products here 

Sodexo to publish carbon labelling on menus at more than 300 sites across the UK and Ireland by Christmas. #

New research from Sodexo shows there is a growing expectation among consumers to see low-carbon options and carbon labelling on menus.  
As part of its commitment to ensuring 70% of its main dishes will be low carbon by 2030, Sodexo UK & Ireland is working in partnership with Eaternity to calculate the carbon footprint of its dishes and is set to add carbon labels to menus at more than 300 of its UK and Ireland sites by the end of 2024.
To better understand UK consumers’ current familiarity with carbon labelling, and attitudes towards low-carbon meals, Sodexo commissioned consumer research, which revealed that:
60% of UK respondents said they do not recall ever having seen carbon labelling on food products or menus.

One in five people (20%) said they actively seek out food products and places to eat that include carbon labelling as this makes it easier for them to manage their carbon footprint. This almost doubled to 39% among those aged 18-24.

28% agreed they would pay a higher price, within reason, for a food product or restaurant that was low-carbon or offered low-carbon options. This increased to almost half (47%) of 18-24-year-olds.

More than a third (36%) said they expect restaurants and food-to-go outlets to offer low-carbon options and provide carbon labelling. While 40% said they expect food products to feature carbon labelling.   
Sodexo’s chefs continue to work hard to reformulate recipes and develop new ones to create low carbon dishes and meet its target of 70% of its main dishes to be low carbon by 2030, a key lever in its SBTI-validated net zero targets.
Charles Abraham, Food Director at Sodexo UK & Ireland said: “We are committed to helping our consumers make informed and sustainable meal choices, without compromising on taste or affordability. Our chefs relish the opportunity to use the Eaternity data to rework our traditional favourite dishes as well as adding new, exciting low-carbon options that everyone will enjoy.”
Manuel Klarmann, CEO at Eaternity, added: “Eaternity is delighted to be working with Sodexo on a shared ambition to help society move towards a more sustainable food future. Trustworthy and transparent information is key to helping diners make more sustainable choices and understand the difference they can make every mealtime.”
According to WWF, global food systems account for around 30% of all greenhouse gases emitted around the world. The organisation also stated that bringing the current UK diet down to 3.12kg CO2e per person per day would deliver over half of the food emissions reductions needed by 2030.
A universally recognised definition for a low-carbon meal doesn’t currently exist, so Sodexo has conducted a review of existing research and with guidance from its technical partner, WWF, has set its own definition as one for which the production generates 0.9 kgCO2e or less.
Sodexo estimates that by 2030, its carbon savings in food services will be 100,800 tCO2e, which is the equivalent of flying around the world 8,579 times, representing a 38.24% reduction compared to its baseline figure published in 2017.
Lisa Huggins, Food Service Sustainable Diets Manager at WWF UK, added: “We are facing a triple challenge: continuing to produce the food we need while addressing the twin threats of climate change and nature loss. There is a huge opportunity for food businesses like Sodexo to help address this challenge by enabling people to make healthier, sustainable food choices. Alongside staff training and customer education, environmental impact labelling, such as carbon footprint labelling, has the potential to raise awareness of the impacts that the meals we enjoy can have. We look forward to continuing to work in partnership with Sodexo as they seek to deliver this work.”
Sustainable food plays a key role in Sodexo’s journey to net zero 2040 and according to its first Sustainable Food Barometer, published earlier this year, 73% of consumers believe adopting a more sustainable way of eating is now urgent.
Sodexo UK and Ireland commenced its net zero journey in 2010, calculating its scope 1 and 2 emissions, in partnership with WWF. In January this year, Sodexo reported that it has achieved a 37% reduction in absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across scopes 1, 2 and 3, compared to its baseline year of 2017 – putting the organisation ahead of schedule on its net zero 2040 roadmap.

New customer split functionality for Sugro Insight Service #

As the Sugro Insight Service (in partnership with TWC), introduced in Autumn 2023, continues to progress, Sugro is deepening its investment into data insights, as a key component of the group's strategic focus on delivering exceptional services to its suppliers and members.
Sugro recognises the importance of suppliers being able to track the journey their products take on their route to market, and understands that providing wholesale sales data alone may not fully meet the needs of data-focused suppliers. As such Sugro’s members have collaborated with Central Office to categorise core customer types within its cost sector, hospitality, and retail, offering detailed insights. By identifying 9 distinct customer types including retail outlets, forecourts, On Trade establishments, and Café/QSR businesses, Sugro Insight Service enables suppliers to delve into category and product performance specific to each customer segment.
Suppliers will now have the ability to gain in-depth insights into the performance of their categories and products at a granular level, allowing them to customise their marketing strategies and campaigns to cater to the specific needs and preferences of each customer segment.
Yulia Petitt, Head of Commercial & Marketing at Sugro UK, said:
“We are thrilled to share this news of the enhancements we have made to the Sugro Insight Service since its introduction back in October last year. As the platform progresses, we are confident that the value of the data provided to our members and suppliers will only grow stronger.”
Tanya Pepin, Managing Director, TWC adds:
“Sugro shares our vision for a sector that is data-led and it is a pleasure to collaborate with them. We're thrilled to see the progress Sugro Insight Service is making, and as it continues to evolve we're excited to welcome more members on board."
Sugro is continuing to work closely with TWC to implement further enhancements to their platform, guaranteeing that it remains at the forefront of the market. More news on upcoming developments that will further elevate the Sugro Insight Service will be released soon.