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Caterer, Licensee & Hotelier

March 2017

Free From/Functional Food Expo 2017 - We've Grown! FREE FROM Food/Functional Food Expo returns to Barcelona, Spain, for 2017 on June 8 - 9, 2017 - opening the doors on a stunning marketplace of free from products and ingredients from around the globe, all under one roof. Free From/Functional Food Expo is Europe's annual tradeonly event on free from, and functional food and ingredients - driven by the explosion in the health, free from and functional category. More than 3,000 buyers and professionals from retail, food service and the major multiples are expected to attend. They will be able to source the latest products from more than 250 exhibitors; as well as the latest trends and innovations offered by an extensive conference programme - with more than 50 specialist key speakers scheduled over two full days. The number of suppliers and manufacturers showcasing their products at the Free From/Functional Food Expo and in the co-joined Ingredients zone, continues to grow year on year. The diverse and unique range of free from products and ingredients includes those which are lactose free, dairy free, sugar free, vegan, kosher, and much more. The trend for gluten free continues to dominate, with more producers than ever before offering food, drinks and ingredients which are free of gluten, certified by the national bodies managed by AOECS, the Association of European Coeliac Societies. Veganism, lactose free and functional foods are in demand - as consumers choosing a healthier lifestyle make the switch to plant-based food and drink products, and those with extra health benefits. More people than ever before

are going vegan in combination with protein, and this year the Vegan Society is the event partner, reflecting this trend. Functional foods - vitamins, probiotics, nutritional and food supplements, protein and sports nutrition - will also be featured, as part of the specialist Functional Food Expo zone. There will be a full conference programme in two dedicated theatres during the two day event. Experts will reveal all the latest insight into the market - and what the future holds. This year there will be even more to debate - with topics covering functional food and veganism. Last year, the show welcomed Hamish Renton from Renton Associates; David Jago from Mintel; and David Hedin from Euromonitor International, among the speakers. For 2017, show organiser Expo Business Communications, has introduced a new dedicated free from Buyer Programme. Key pre-selected buyers will be invited to the show, from major supermarkets across Europe. Ronald Holman, Exhibition Director, said: "The free from and functional markets continue to make huge strides right across Europe and beyond - and this growth shows no sign of slowing down, which is great news for producers and suppliers. This is an exciting year to be part of this growing and much-needed trade show. It is already bigger than last year and with so much more on offer with our new country and specialist pavilions - and the conference schedule, there is simply no better time to exhibit or visit." Free From/Functional Food Expo 2017 takes place on June 8th and 9th 2017 at Fira de Barcelona, Gran Via, Barcelona, Spain. Visit: www.freefromfoodexpo.com and www.functionalfoodexpo.com Twitter: @FreeFromFood17

Farm Frites’ Ultimate Chip Scoops Chefs Choice Award JUST FOUR months on from its launch to market, Farm Frites’ Ultimate Chip has been awarded a coveted Chefs Choice Award. Farm Frites won the Best Meal Accompaniment category after judges declared that its Ultimate Chip was ‘a good crisp chip with a well-balanced flavour and texture.’ The product was also praised for its texture and taste with judges stating they ‘are both of high standard.’ Launched as the company celebrates 25 years in the UK, Farm Frites’ Ultimate Chip offers an authentic, high quality meal accompaniment for premium casual dining operators. It offers a truly rustic feel by being ‘perfectly imperfect’ in design; popular among consumers and for operators who offer a premium ‘gastro’ menu. It is based on a 10-step process and is designed to take the strain off busy chefs and offer time savings with the end result to match with the chips they make themselves. The Chefs Choice Awards are run by William Reed Publishing to showcase the work of foodservice suppliers from wholesalers through to manufacturers. They are judged by

chefs for chefs and reward quality, innovation value and great taste delivery. “It’s a massive coup for us to have won this award, particularly against such high quality competition, explains Nic Townsend, marketing manager UK & Ireland, Farm Frites. “This was a UK-first launch and was developed with valuable input from a team of chefs who work in the premium burger and casual dining sectors. We took our time to get this product right and this award is well deserved for everyone who has been involved in the manufacture of our Ultimate Chip.” Manufactured at the peak of freshness before being professionally prepared and frozen, the Ultimate Chip contrasts a perfect fluffy inner for a melt in the mouth feel with a crispy outer for the perfect crunch. Farm Frites’ Ultimate Chip is stored frozen and can be deep fried in small quantities for just 4-5 minutes. It is fully allergen free and reaches the Governments Salt Pledge target. For further information about the Ultimate Chip contact Farm Frites on 01452 415845 email supportuk@farmfrites.com or visit www.farmfrites.com or see ad page 16.

Make Hay While the Sun Shines THE BRITISH hotel industry could be a net beneficiary of Brexit if it focuses on performance and process improvement now, says Ian Smith, General Manager at Invu. The recent fall in the value of the pound must be good news for the hotel industry, enticing more overseas travellers to visit the UK, where they can make their own currencies go further. At the same time it seems likely more Britons will restrict their travel to British shore. This bonus may not only be restricted to the tourist trade. Businesses can make their budgets go further in Britain too, meaning the UK could become an attractive destination for international business meetings and conferences over the coming months. While there is a cloud on the horizon in the form of the implications of Brexit, the full ramifications of it are unlikely to be felt for a good two years. George Osbourne, former Chancellor of the Exchequer, used to bang on about fixing the roof while the sun shines. For the hotel industry that moment is now. It would be easy to miss this opportunity and look straight past it, waiting nervously to see what the true impact of Brexit will be. It is understandable that industry leaders will place their bargaining chips on the pre-Brexit negotiating table. British Hospitality Association CEO Ufi Ibrahim has been vocal on the subject, noting that the sector here employs some 4.5 million people – many of whom are now concerned about their ongoing right to stay and work in the UK. She is also campaigning for a cut to tourism VAT, to ease some of the pressure and enable the industry to remain competitive. It is easy to be negative and focus on the ability to keep accessing competitive labour from Eastern Europe or imagine a world where the impact of tighter border controls impacts tourism. Threats Digital transformation can be regarded merely as a threat by the industry. Pressure from alternative accommodation is growing, for instance, via new models which harness social platforms and mobile apps like Airbnb. However, the recent judgement against UBER has perhaps dented the outlook for the Gig economy. The industry has already gone through one transformation, with the marketing model already significantly impacted by the likes of Booking.com who have taken

over a large proportion of the bookings activity, enabling them to negotiate from a strong position on fees. Hotels need to be aware of the power of social networks, keep their propositions both fresh and enticing and their customer experiences strong, ensuring customers keep coming back. In today’s world of online reviews and viral feedback, no customer-facing business can afford to put a foot wrong. All property-based businesses could soon see a hike in business rates, following a recent nationwide Government revaluation exercise. However the penny falls with Brexit, the likelihood is that costs will rise – from the price of labour, to the cost of items imported from other markets (ingredients, wines, fixtures, and fittings). All of this needs to be absorbed as painlessly as possible, without detriment to the customer experience (e.g. through higher prices, or poorer service). Mitigation of these threats will be reliant on strong cost management. Opportunities As well as the likely increase in demand caused by a weaker pound, digital transformation can be regarded as an opportunity for the industry. Digital transformation offers opportunities to optimise business processes. For example, financial processes can be digitised and automated reducing time staff spend in the back office, handling routine administration such as purchasing management and supplier invoice processing. These processes tie up valuable resources – people whose time and skills could be more usefully allocated to being visible and available front-of-house, where they can make a difference for customers - contributing to a good experience (and a favourable review). Traditional manual accounting processes and an overreliance on paper to record and keep track of spending makes visibility of expenditure difficult. Replacing manual systems such as accounts payable with automated processes will result in better control of the business. Unstructured data, for example the detail of costs contained on invoices, can be captured and analysed. Taking advantage of these opportunities will provide management with the tools for stronger cost management. Timing is everything Hotels have an opportunity to act now and be prepared for the impact of Brexit. If Brexit does ultimately lead to pressure on staffing levels by driving up wage rates, an early move to control costs and bolster productivity could mitigate the risk – as long as businesses make the improvements before the pain is felt. Hotels should not wait. Two years will soon fly by, and the sooner they start to get their financial processes in order, the more robust a position they’ll be in when Britain breaks away.

CLH News #198 March 2017  

Issue #198 of CLH News - the leading monthly trade publication for the independent hotel, pub and restaurant sector of the hospitality indus...

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