FFD June 2024

Page 1

Exploring the potential of premium frozen food in independent retail


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June 2024 Volume 25 Issue 5 gff.co.uk
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Editor: Michael Lane

Deputy editor:

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Art director: Mark Windsor

Contributors: Nick Baines, Patrick McGuigan, Greg Pitcher, Isabelle Plasschaert, Lynda Searby

Cover illustration: Mark Windsor


Sales director: Sally Coley

Senior sales account managers: Becky Haskett, Jenny Homeshaw

Don’t get me wrong, I am not endorsing one party over another. What I am looking forward to is change – both in policies and focus.

“It’s not fair”. This phrase comes up a lot when talking to my kids, for a variety of reasons. Because they didn’t win a prize that week in their class, because someone else did, because of a playground incident, because we have to go to the garden centre on a Sunday, because they don’t want to go to bed yet.

We all go through the same cycle. I’m pretty sure I used the same strategy with my parents and they probably did with theirs (please note, success may vary depending on generation).

This interpretation of the concept of fairness is hard-wired into us from an early age. And we don’t give it up. Grown men and women shout all manner of variations of it at football grounds up and down the country (please note, results may vary depending on team). Your neighbour wins the lottery? That’s not fair. Something awful happens to innocent people

Accounts assistant: Julie Coates

Financial controller: Stephen Guppy

Finance director: Ashley Warden


Managing director: John Farrand

Special projects director: Tortie Farrand

on the news? That’s not fair.

In my more cynical moments, I say to my kids that maybe “fair” doesn’t exist. And that’s partly because we’re abusing the term. Often we claim to be flagging up an injustice when really it’s just because we’re not getting what we want.

But there are a few things going on in our market that do have a genuine claim.

“Fair” would be making it less arduous and costly for smaller operators to export their foods to the UK (see page 6), because the current post-Brexit system definitely favours bigger business and mass production.

“Fair” would be assisting the dairy sheep industry’s productivity, when ewes’ milk is in demand from UK cheesemakers (see page 13) –presumably because of my earlier point.

“Fair” would be listening to and creating policies at a local level to


Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox, deputy editor

Brickell’s Roasted Strawberries ice cream

Operations & marketing director: Christabel Cairns

Chairman: Bob Farrand

help high street and rural retailers all to thrive (see page 4).

Well, at least one of these could happen given the large shift in recent local elections to the Labour party. It’s clearly a foreshadowing of what will happen when the General Election eventually happens later this year.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not endorsing one party over another. In fact, party politics have played havoc with our country for the last decade; Brexit is a prime example. So, what I am looking forward to is change – both in policies and focus. And change can happen. You only need to look at the producers tackling plastic (see page 23) or the growth of frozen food in our market (see page 41) to see that’s true.

Yes, a switch to the (nominally) red side of politics might bring a new set of foibles to government, but it also offers a little bit of hope that we can change the narrative from “It’s not fair” to “fair enough”.

I’m lucky enough to never have had to learn what good, proper, artisan cheese tastes like, compared with the industrial stuff. But the truth about retail ice cream is that most of it is full of UPF, and doesn’t taste of much. A far cry from the family-owned ice cream shops of Rome. Well, Brickell’s of Somerset aren’t having that. Their ice cream is made with real ingredients – milk, cream, eggs, sugar. Homemade ripple, crumble, and quality chocolate. I’m not sure I can ever go back to locust bean gum, or monoand diglycerides. More on p.49

Marketing & PR officer: Jenna Morice

PR & partnerships officer: Claire Fry

Data strategy & insight manager: Lindsay Farrar

Engagement & sales support

assistant: Nick Rose

Operations manager: Claire Powell

Operations coordinators: Chris Farrand, Sepi Rowshanaei

Operations & events coordinator: Zara Williams

Customer services assistant: Chloë Warren-Wood

Published by The Guild of Fine Food Ltd Fine Food Digest is published 11 times a year and is available on subscription for £50 p.a. inc P&P. © The Guild of Fine Food Ltd 2024. Reproduction of whole or part of this magazine without the publisher’s prior permission is prohibited. The opinions expressed in

Vol.25 Issue 5 | June 2024 3 WELCOME
gff.co.uk +44
825200 Guild House, 23b Kingsmead Business Park Gillingham, Dorset SP8 5FB United Kingdom
articles and advertisements are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher. Printed by Blackmore, Dorset
4 NEWS Local elections, Booths revamp, Brexit border controls 9 VIEWPOINTS
London’s Fridge of Plenty, Clarkson’s positive impact, staff retention 13 CHEESEWIRE Sheep’s milk struggle, pairing with Snowdrop, Monkland Cheese 21 CHARCUTERIE Tempus merges with Rare & Pasture 23 SUSTAINABILITY How producers are moving on from plastic 28 DRINKS SPECIAL Beer, cider, wine and spirits, plus soft drinks too 39 FROZEN Meet the key suppliers in a category enjoying a resurgence 47 FOODSERVICE 49 MEET THE PRODUCER Brickell’s Ice Cream 50 PRODUCTS & MERCHANDISING 56 DELI OF THE MONTH Greens Grocers in Leeds 63 ADVICE

Retailers hope for change after Labour dominates local elections

Fine food retailers have urged newly elected regional and local politicians to recognise the importance of small businesses and healthy supply chains.

Labour candidates won 10 of England’s 11 mayoral roles and have more councillors than the other main parties combined, after a hugely successful polling day in May.

Ahead of a looming general election, industry figures called for politicians to back independent shops to boost the economy and food security.

Sangita Tryner, owner of Nottingham-based Delilah Fine Foods, said she had noticed an apathy in the city ahead of the vote that saw Labour’s Claire Ward became the first mayor of the East Midlands.

“People are losing faith in politics, they don’t see anyone who does what they say they will,” she said.


Hampshire producer Hill Farm Juice has ceased production, citing rising costs – including glass, packaging, electricity and labour. Owner Will Dobson said these could no longer be reasonably covered by price increases.

Revered London butcher David Lidgate has died at the age of 83. He ran the family shop C.Lidgate in London’s Holland Park for six decades, gaining many famed chefs as customers and plenty of accolades – including the Guild of Fine Food’s Lifetime Achievement Award – for his approach to sourcing and butchery.

“But if nothing else this is a change. We hope something gets shaken up.”

Ward promised in her manifesto to “revitalise high streets and towns through a community development fund” and to buying products and services within the region “where possible”.

Tryner urged the mayor to work with the city’s Business Improvement District on her plans.

“If she doesn’t act in isolation it could come to something, and any extra resource to shout about the region is good.”

Emma Mosey, owner of Yolk Farm near Minskip, said the election of York and North Yorkshire’s first mayor – Labour’s David Skaith – was cause for optimsim.

“If you look at farmers markets and food security they happen on a local or regional level.”

Skaith owns a clothes shop in the Swinegate

district of York and Mosey backed him to champion small business.

She called for the Labour party to act in the best interest of electorate wellbeing at national, regional and local level.

“I would like to see further work on UK food security and consideration of ultra-processed food, seriously looking at what it does to our public health,” she said.


Cumbrian bakery wins top prize at Farm Shop & Deli Awards 2024

Welbeck Farm Shop, Cheese Etc., and The Norfolk Deli were among the big winners as the Farm Shop & Deli Awards 2024 results were unveiled – with Lovingly Artisan Bakery in Kendal, taking the overall Re tailer of the Year title.

The Cumbrian bakery also won the Baker of the Year and North England

regional trophies at the Awards ceremony on Monday 29th April at the annual Farm Shop & Deli Show, at Birmingham’s NEC . The event saw 11 category winners, seven regional winners, Newcomer of the Year and Retailer of the Year revealed in front of a trade audience



called for all politicians to understand the importance of small businesses.

“We need mayors and local councillors who truly believe in the importance of high streets and the vital role played by indie retailers,” he said.

“We need these decision makers to be businessfriendly and recognise that without targeted support, many smaller retailers will continue to close.”

“Our main problem is the suburbs have free parking; people tell me it’s too hard and expensive to pop into the city centre. If they sort that out it would be massive for the city. Everywhere that’s closing is turning into night-time venues. If you want diversity and people with funds in the daytime, you need to encourage them in.”

– following a judging process that spanned several months.

The Cheesy Living Co. in Leeds scooped the 2024 Newcomer of the Year award, while Cheese Etc. in Reading won the Cheesemonger and South England trophies.

The Norfolk Delicatessen was named Best Deli and Anglia regional winner, while Macknade Food Hall topped the Food Hall Category.

Welbeck Farm Shop and Sky Park Farm, in West Harting, were named Large and Small Farm Shop of the year respectively, with the Nottinghamshire business also winning the Midlands regional prize.

.farmshopanddelishow. co.uk/awards.

“There are farmers’ markets near urban centres and also some farm shops compete with the high streets, as they have easy parking. But we all need to support each other – craft butchers, farmers’ markets and others. We have the same visions and need to campaign together, not compete.”


“We want the new local councillors and elected mayors to support high streets with investments to make places more attractive, safe and accessible. Investment in skills to develop the retail entrepreneurs of the future. Finally, clear and decisive action to deliver economic growth, which in return will improve consumer confidence spending.”

CYBER CRIME 4 NEWS June 2024 | Vol.25 Issue 5
The Labour Party, led by Sir Keir Starmer, is now in control of most mayoral roles across England and has more local councillors than any other party Goodacre
flickr.com/photos/uk_parliament/53694207065 ]
SANGITA TRYNER, DELILAH FINE FOODS EMMA MOSEY, YOLK FARM Baker Aiden Monks of Lovingly Artisan won Retailer of the Year

More counter staff and new café concept part of Booths revamp

Booths is rolling out two initiatives – a new café concept and boosting the number of counter staff – designed to improve customer experience at its upmarket food stores.

The independent chain grocer – often dubbed the Waitrose of the North –will open a third new-look café in August and put counter staff at all outlets through a Cheese Academy from September.

Booths has already launched its Café 1847 concept at its Hesketh Bank and Clitheroe stores and plans to unveil one in Knutsford later this summer.

Referencing the year the company was founded, the new dining areas are designed to “completely revamp” eat-in spaces with “elegant” and “tranquil” formats.

Booths said it had

introduced quality flooring, crockery and tables that harked back to its teahouse past and added “charm and authority” to the cafés.

Counters have become central and visible to add “theatre” and showcase the grocer’s produce.

Booths undertook extensive training and recruitment ahead of launching the cafés, with a focus on staff being “friendly and efficient but never stuffy or overbearing”.

Meanwhile the company is also revamping the way it educates counter staff.

Labour floats nationwide ‘junk food’ advert ban

The junk food advert ban across London’s transport net work could be launched nationally under a Labour Government.

Last month, shadow health minister Preet Gill told The Food, Diet & Obesity Committee that there was a nationwide case for adopting the policy introduced by Mayor Sadiq Khan prohibiting adverts for food & drink high in fat, salt & sugar from being displayed across London’s rail and bus network.

Gill added that measures would benefit local councils, who could instead use the screens to spread healthy eating messages. “Banning it nationally is on the

agenda”, she said. “We have got to be mindful of how can we lessen the impact of advertising, especially near schools.” Since its introduction in 2019, the ban has prohibited an advert for Workspace featuring ar tisan cheese, and another for a play, because it had a wedding cake on it Meanwhile, comedian Ed Gamble replaced a hot dog on the poster for his upcoming show with a cucumber.

In 2022, a study claimed that 100,000 obesity cases had been prevented as a result of the ban, which the Institute of Economic Af fairs think tank said was “one of the worst pieces of junk science” ever seen.

Simon Hetherington said: “At Booths, we’re dedicated to delivering great experiences on our counters. We are at the start of creating a Cheese Academy that’s designed to provide our colleagues with the knowledge and skills to delight our customers.

“This builds on the successful work we’ve done in our butchery and fish academy training programmes to ensure our colleagues at Booths are good grocers, knowledgeable, skilled and full of enthusiasm for great food.”


Waitrose is set to introduce a new café space run by Gail’s Bakery in its Canary Whar f supermarket in London. The 280sq ft in-store café is the retailer’s latest collaboration with Gail’s, which already supplies 64 stores with full bakery aisles.  The café will alos of fer home and office deliveries.

The Booths Cheese Academy will cover topics from commercial acumen to display principles as well as tasting, product knowledge and how to provide a great customer experience.

The three-month training programme will include visits to cheesemakers and tasting sessions led by suppliers and buyers.

Six stores are piloting the initiative, which is set for rollout across all outlets in the autumn.

Learning and development specialist

Booths hospitality trading manager Sunil Chapanery added: “Café 1847 is a complete revamp of how we run our cafés, the new space is elegant and welcoming, and we want customers to feel special the moment they arrive.”

The grocer made a pre-tax loss of £4m in the 12 months to 1 April 2023, having posted a £3m profit the prior year. Directors blamed “trading conditions” for the plunge into the red, noting living wage and energy costs.

A new farm shop is soon to open in Brotton, North Yorkshire. Having bought Gripps Farm in 2022, the McAuley family have been working hard to get planning permission, and have finally had the green light to start building a farm shop, café, nursery, petting farm and holiday lets. The first phase will launch in the summer. grippsfarm.co.uk

Cumbrian retailer A Day’s Walk has opened its third farm shop in the region. Specialising in local goods, the new outlet is located in the Spinning Jennies development on Finkle Street in Kendal. It also operates sites in Ambleside and Holker. adayswalk.co.uk

Johnson’s of Old Hurst Farm Shop is hosting a Circus Spectacular from 15th to 25th August. The shop, as well as selling

Fortnum & Mason, Paxton & Whitfield and Waitrose have all received new Royal Warrants from King Charles and Queen Camilla, after the monarchs conducted a review of all the companies with warrants following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Cheesemakers Caws Cenarth and Charles Martell also received new warrants.

fresh farm produce, lets customers visit the farm animals and their own zoo – which is home to crocodiles and lions, among other animals. The August event will include 25 shows. Tickets can be bought online. johnsonsofoldhurst. co.uk

5 June 2024 | Vol.25 Issue 5
The retailer’s Café 1847 format, as seen in its Clitheroe outlet, will soon be in a third store – in Knutsford, Cheshire.
In association with Fabulous Farm Shops fabulousfarmshops.co.uk
The latest from farm shops across the country

New border controls already having a negative impact

Independent delis have spoken of product shortages and supplier losses after the latest wave of Brexit border controls kicked in.

The UK Government on 30th April introduced documentary, physical and identity checks for so-called ‘medium risk’ animal products, plants and plant products imported from the EU.

This represented the latest wave of implementation of the controversial Border Target Operating Model, brought in after the EU exit to promote biosecurity.

Antonio Picciuto, owner of Buongiorno Italia in Hertfordshire, described the checks as “a nightmare scenario”.

“Nearly all of our products are from Italy,” he explained.

“Before Brexit life was easy. Now we constantly get emails from our

suppliers regarding product shortages due to border checks and the wrong documentation being produced.”

The cost of the new measures was being passed on, he added, making it more difficult to keep products competitively priced on the shelves.

Ian Kavanagh, co-owner of Black Forest Deli, said the Welsh business had given up importing charcuterie from Germany and would look to make meat products itself.

“I use small businesses in the Black Forest and they don’t want to do vet checks,” he said. “Suppliers told me it was too much hassle.

“I will take it on myself to prepare the meat in the German style. My background is in that area and I have a smokehouse big enough to go commercial, so I’ll give it a go.”

Kate Shirley-Quirk, director at Delicioso UK, said the Spanish-food

importer had been forced to end relationships with some producers since the checks were introduced.

“We have had to stop using a couple of our more artisan suppliers unfortunately, because they have not been able to provide all the required levels of certification,” she said.

“All our suppliers, particularly of charcuterie, are scratching their heads trying to work out what they need to do and whether each particular product falls into the low, medium or high risk category. They export all over the world and have never come across this arbitrary way of dividing cured meats.”

Shirley-Quirk described a “lack of information” from ministers over the detail of the border checks as “shocking”.

“The Spanish Government has been much more helpful in advising our customs agent than our own Government have been in advising us,” she claimed. “So we, and our suppliers in Spain, are relying on them to a large extent to get the paperwork sorted out.”

Explained: The Border Target Operating Model

Under post-Brexit import rules, animals, germinal products, produce of animal origin and animal by-products are categorised as high, medium or low risk.

From 30th April 2024 the model has meant:

• Health certificates and routine checks at the border are no longer required for most lowrisk animal products imported from non-EU countries.

• Medium-risk animal products are subject to identity and physical checks.

• Common Health Entry Documents are required for all live animal, high-risk food and feed of non-animal

origin and animal product imports from the EU.

Earlier this year, a Government said: “We remain committed to delivering the most advanced border in the world. The Border Target Operating Model is key to this and introduces an innovative approach to importing that will be introduced progressively.

“We will use technology and data to make it simple

for businesses to trade, while maintaining the flow and security of goods.

“The changes we’re bringing in will help keep the UK safe, while



“These extra border costs are going to hit smaller importers with mixed consignments really severely compared to container-loads of one product, which will be charged just once. Even though they are not actually checking anything very much to start with, we will still be charged as though a check had taken place.”

“I had good relationships with small suppliers but only big factories would go through these checks and that’s not the quality I want. Also prices would be affected. I have stopped importing sausages and hams. Customers are disappointed and I have lost out on online sales as people constantly see we are out of stock.”

protecting our food supply chains and our agricultural sector from disease outbreaks that would cause significant economic harm.”

“Before Brexit, I knew when everything was arriving practically to the hour, and was able to inform clients when things would be arriving if a stock item was not available. I have always prided myself on having a fully stocked deli but that is becoming increasingly difficult.”

6 CYBER CRIME NEWS June 2024 | Vol.25 Issue 5


We forge direct relationships with all our selected producers, to ensure only the make the cut. ST

First in fine for 30 years: fine cheese, fine charcuterie, fine crackers, fine condiments, fine chocolates...

June 2024 | Vol.25 Issue 5 2
June 2024 | Vol.25 Issue 22


I popped into Fridge of Plenty in 2022 while looking at residential properties in Crouch End and immediately thought it was somewhere I would like to shop. A week later, the business was up for sale and I put in an offer. I wasn’t looking to leave my job – I was working for an investment bank in the HR team and was quite happy – so it was a bit of a spontaneous decision, but it felt like the right one.

There were a couple of other interested buyers but I guess the owner chose me because we shared a similar ethos. I liked her approach to sourcing seasonally and locally. Everything she sold had a reason for being there.

When I first took over the business, I knew I had to cut costs or increase revenue to make the books balance going forward. I didn’t make any immediate changes, though; for the first three months I just observed what lines were selling, how staff were interacting with customers and reviewed operations.

I quickly discerned that the shop was overstaffed. There were three staff at the time, but fortunately I didn’t have to lay anyone off. I ended up running the business with one person part time. I was in the shop six days a week and then on Sundays I did the ordering and finances. It was actually quite a useful experience as I got into the granular detail and gained useful insight into customer buying habits and seasonal trends.

The business was originally modelled on a farm shop, where people could do their weekly shop and buy fresh produce from local farms. I tried to push that in the first few months but we couldn’t turn the produce over quickly enough, so the wastage was outweighing any benefit. Now we only do fruit & veg boxes to order, which means there is zero wastage.

Another learning was around margins. Under the previous owner, margins were 35-40%. I thought I could reduce the margins and sell more and that would attract more customers. It didn’t work at all. People weren’t coming here to make savings, they were coming to treat themselves. We have since shifted our focus towards offering a curated selection of treats so customers might do their weekly shop at the supermarket and come to us for the ‘extras’, whether that is a nice bottle of wine or locally made chocolates.

It has taken a couple of years, but I have reached a point where I am happy with the model; it is profitable and I have just recruited a shop manager. That will allow me to think about the next phase, which could potentially involve opening a second location – I knew from the start that one shop wasn’t going to be enough for me.

9 June 2024 | Vol.25 Issue 5 VIEWPOINTS
Photography Isabelle Plasschaert

LET’S PLAY ‘Good Week, Bad Week’.

It’s been a ‘Good Week’ for pork sales. Whether it’s chipolatas or rare-breed sausages, retailers have seen north of 100% increases in sales. It’s also been good for “gourmet” cheese (Not sure what that word truly means, but we’ll run with it for the sake of the column inches). It was reported across most media that UK consumers are buying more artisan cheese. And, finally, it’s been a good week for the weather – and there are early signs that punters are spending in our shops again.

Conversely, it’s been a ‘Bad Week’, or possibly a ‘Bad Month’,


Entry to the World Cheese Awards 2024 opens this month on Thursday 13th June.

This year’s event will take place in Viseu, Portugal from 14th to 17th November.

Entry will close on Monday 16th September, or earlier if the maximum number is reached before the deadline. Early entry is recommended to avoid missing out on a spot.

Cheesemakers wishing to compete can find out more about the competition and make their entries here:


View from HQ

FFD’s publisher and Guild of Fine Food managing director John Farrand has his say

for the Government.

And if I’m allowed a ‘Mixed Week’ category, I’d nominate farming. Sure, good news on the seasonal labour front but there are still very public cases of sewage spills killing fish in our rivers (admittedly not just the fault of farmers but also our big-bonus buddies at the utility companies) and there’s still concern over swine flu, avian flu and bluetongue. The news is better for those farmers, estates or just those with a shop in a field, as it’s a good week for our farm shops.

The ups and downs of rural retailing have become prime time viewing. Firstly, there’s the slightly irritatingly named Britain’s Poshest Farm Shops I’m chuffed that independent retail is entering the consciousness of TV execs, but it is not conducive to the long-held belief here at the Guild, that decent food and drink is for all.

The slightly more highbrow A Cotswold Farmshop, which focuses on the work of the folk at Westmorland’s Gloucester Services,

does a better job by delving into their approach to sourcing.

And then there are the stagemanaged travails of a certain motoring journalist on his Oxfordshire farm – fighting planners, food safety legislation and, I assume, the constant presence of a hefty production crew.

Funnily enough I think TV and the wider media is waking up to crisis in our six inches of soil (watch the documentary of the same name), and the plight of growing, making and selling food. It’s been a busy week for our own PR team (of one) with the news on specialist cheese and the endless

There was once a Delia Effect. But now we have the Clarkson Clout.

border concerns.

But it is the aforementioned Clarkson’s Farm that is justifiably attracting the plaudits. There was once a Delia Effect, a mantle taken up more recently by North London luminaries like Nigella and Ottolenghi. But now we have the Clarkson Clout.

That ‘good week’ for pork sales has been solely attributed to the fact that his current series is pig focused. And that spike in sales is even more surprising when you consider the honesty of the narrative.

It’s often tough viewing, even for us semi-agricultural types. But that explanation of seasonality, care for animals, and the wonder and disaster of terroir, has led my farming mates to suggest that Clarkson has done more to educate the populus on farming and food production than Countryfile has done in 30 years.

That, in turn, should apply pressure to policymakers and (maybe) illicit a shift from Bad Week to Good, for those in charge.

The Word on Westminster

THE LOCAL ELECTION results were very difficult for the Conservative Party, the loss of key figures like Andy Street and multiple local councils are an indication that the public wants change.

The Conservatives also lost votes from all sides of their voting base; the right of party lost votes to Reform and the centre of the party lost votes to Labour or the Liberal Democrats. At this point, with an imminent election, clawing back their economic and governing credibility will be tough.

To that end, Labour have started creeping out more details on their approach to governing.

Keir Starmer has begun to set out his “first steps for change” in government.

Of course, these are closely linked to their existing ‘five

missions’, but it suggests a growing confidence that the Labour Party can start to position themselves as a ‘Government in waiting’. More clarity for business about the future regulatory and economic outlook for the country would certainly be welcome. But whoever leads the next Government has a huge number of challenges to face.

There is no doubt that 2025 will be a test of established relations with industry. The cost-of-living crisis is still biting, dragging back the pace of consumer confidence and spending, but businesses will also be facing increases in operating and compliance costs too.

We will see a wide range of new regulatory restrictions, including smart recycling requirements, extended producer responsibilities, restrictions on the promotion and advertising of less healthy products and bans on plastic products.

It is true that most businesses

support these measures, but their timing and implementation makes them challenging.

How a new Government chooses to navigate these issues will be a key test. They need to thread the needle of being pragmatic and responsive to the needs of business community, while being true their values and delivering change.

There are a few tests that a future Government should follow before signing off on new policies. Firstly, can they achieve their policy objectives by enforcing existing laws better instead of needing to add new regulations? Secondly, can they offset the introduction of new policies by increasing support for business?

These two tests seem essential to building the foundations of longstanding working relations.

Edward Woodall is government relations director at the ACS edward.woodall@acs.org.uk

10 June 2024 | Vol.25 Issue 5



I WAS JUDGING for Great Taste the other week. Someone asked me how long I’ve been doing it for and it dawned on me I’ve been at it for 20 years. That is a long time but I’ve loved every minute – and not just because it’s run by the same organisation that publishes this.

Those 60 or so days in the judging room have expanded my horizons in food & drink more than I could possibly have imagined. It has led me into the path of professionals that I could not have hoped to meet in any other way. Apart from the farm shop and delicatessen teams to compare notes with, I’ve met food celebs, recipe book ghost-writers, olive oil experts, honey sommeliers, specialist caterers and even buyers for Lidl.

And you get to spend a few hours with them, nerding out on foods you otherwise know very little about. Effectively, it’s a distilled version of all I love most about being a deli owner. It’s about food,

Retail eye


and people, and sharing food with people. To have a career like this is a luxury most people don’t have. My wife tries to save the world one piece of Government policy at a time, but my customers are much happier.

Excuse my reflective mood but this is my last missive as FFD’s resident anonymous retailer, and it’s

Excuse my reflective mood but this is my last missive as the resident anonymous retailer,

When we first bought our farm shop back in 2017, we had two staff members. I was obsessed with retaining them and making sure they were happy at work. I felt responsible for their wellbeing.

Fast forward seven years, and one of those staff members is still with us and the other is not. We now have 35 employees and I have much more experience in the management of people.

According to data from the CIPD, food businesses have the highest turnover of all sectors with 35.4% of employees leaving their jobs each year. We also have the lowest length of tenure for employees, with 36.7% of people leaving jobs within a year. So, why is this? And should we be worried about it?

If turnover is high for the wrong reasons – like poor culture, working environment or management – the business loses talent and gains a recruitment headache. Of course, our industry employs many part-time workers, who often move jobs more frequently. We also employ a large number of students and younger people.

got me thinking.

Is running a deli a cop out, a hobby business, with zero contribution to the greater good? Does it cater for foodies who fret they haven’t got enough blue cheese and red wine in their lives? Is it a tiny sector kept on life support by an aging demographic and aspirational Sunday supplements? Is it ‘out of touch’ and only for the affluent, ignoring the very real problems of the cost-of-living crisis?

No, it’s not. It’s an ever-verdant garden of passion, skills and knowledge. Of recipes, obscure varietals and social rituals. When the proverbial hits the fan, people gather and have something to eat. And when there is something worth celebrating, they pile their tables high and get on it. Twenty years in the industry as a messenger for food has given me a window into all the meaningful social events in my town, from festivals and weddings to credit crunches and funerals. You can’t live – I mean really live, party, share, have a family, gather friends – without decent food, however you define it. I’m lucky to be part of that. In my last “confession”, I would like to send my best wishes to all you fellow preachers and advocates. Keep spreading the word.

Small businesses are often flexing and growing rapidly. For this reason, I don’t always think turnover is a bad thing. We’ve certainly found in our business that, as we grow, some embrace change and some don’t – and move on without any hard feelings. We also find that as we innovate, we attract more experienced and bettersuited people. Working for a small business often inspires our employees to go on to follow their dreams, so many leave our business to pursue those. These are always bittersweet moments.

Recruitment and training are onerous and expensive processes, and ones all employers would prefer to avoid. They are also one of the most important skills for a busines owner to hone. Once you have robust systems in place for onboarding and the hard work is done, you often end up with a better culture, fresh ideas and new people to drive your business forward. farmretail.co.uk

We’ve certainly found in our business that, as we grow, some embrace change and some don’t.
Of all the fruit eaten in the UK just 17% is grown in this country. That is according to Defra, which is establishing a new resilience body to tackle the threat of food security posed by climate change.
Source: Defra


Whether it’s staff training, business advice, event space, making industry connections or opportunities to meet trade buyers and food lovers, the Guild of Fine Food does far more than publish FFD. The Guild has been championing independent food & drink for over 30 years. Join us today and find out what we can do for your business.

Support & ideas: support@gff.co.uk

Training & venue hire: bookings@gff.co.uk

Exhibition stands: opportunities@gff.co.uk

MyGuild assistance: myguild@gff.co.uk


11 VIEWPOINTS June 2024 | Vol.25 Issue 5
June 2024 | Vol.25 Issue 5 12

Lack of ewes’ milk means UK cheesemakers can’t meet demand

British cheesemakers are struggling to source enough milk to meet rising demand for sheep’s cheeses due to a lack of sheep dairy farms in the UK.

The perceived health benefits of sheep’s milk, viral recipes on social media and growing interest in Continental cheeses generally have helped drive sales of sheep’s milk cheeses in the UK in recent years. But there are estimated to be only 35-50 farms milking sheep in the country, many of them cottage industries, meaning milk is in short supply and prices are rocketing.

“It’s a massive challenge,” said Mario Olianas, owner of Yorkshire Pecorino, who has

seen milk costs rise by 50% in 18 months to £1.50 per litre.

“A lot of farmers stopped production because of Covid and when feed and energy prices went through the roof.

“There are also more cheesemakers in the UK who want to use sheep’s milk.”

New producers include Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses, which is one of the largest sheep’s cheesemakers in the country after it acquired the Parlick hard cheese brand from Singletons in 2022. Last year, the range was expanded with Parlick Brie and the flavoured Parlick Olive cheese, which were listed by Waitrose and Morrisons, respectively.

Roger Longman, owner of White Lake in Somerset,


The raw milk, Alpine-style cheese Templegall, made by Hegarty’s Cheese in County Cork, has been named Supreme Champion at the Cais Irish Cheese Awards for the second time in a row.

Paxton & Whitfield has moved its Bath shop to new premises on Green Street. The shop has a more modern design, expanded cheese counter and larger storage facilities.

Yorkshire Dama Cheese has won a deal to supply its Hello Mi Rolls into 1,000 Aldi stores, after appearing on the Channel 4 show Aldi’s Next Big Thing . The rolls are made by wrapping the company’s halloumi-style cheese in pastry.

which makes English Pecorino and Sheep Rustler, said there weren’t enough incentives for farmers to switch to sheep milk production.

“There is a lack of sheep milk being produced, particularly in the south, and whilst interest rates are high it’s hard for farmers to diversify,” he said. “Traditionally it was hard to sell sheep’s milk, with lots being frozen in the spring, which is difficult with energy costs so high.”

Europe’s sheep’s milk cheese producers are facing their own challenges, particularly in Spain where soaring milk prices caused by increased feed costs and an outbreak of sheep pox, and increased demand from the US, have affected the price and availability of mature Manchego in the UK.

“They don’t want to risk holding cheeses for up to a year and prefer to release them when they are younger for faster cash flow and less risk,” one importer told FFD.

Back at Yorkshire Pecorino, Olianas said that recipes on Instagram and TikTok, such as carbonara and cacio e pepe, had also added to demand: “Pecorino has become a sexy ingredient. We need more support and subsidies for farms to encourage them to move into milking sheep.”

The Academy of Cheese welcomed its first Fellow last month, after Hero Hirsh became the first person to pass the organisation’s Level 3 accreditation. Hirsh, who worked for Paxton & Whitfield for 15 years and has recently been appointed general manager for Pick & Cheese restaurant, has long taught Level 1 and 2, and has been an expert contributor and reviewer for each of the courses. The final step in the accreditation scheme is Level 4, Master of Cheese.



This small soft cows’ milk cheese, recently named Supreme Champion at the British Cheese Awards, is made by Cote Hill Dairy in Lincolnshire. The raw milk cheese has a very thin rind, while the texture beneath is light, fluffy and mousse-like. The flavour is lactic and fruity.

Lemon curd

There’s a fresh acidity to a young Snowdrop that is reminiscent of Greek yoghurt or crème fraîche. A dollop of lemon curd picks up on the tanginess, while the buttery texture of the preserve contrasts nicely with the lightness of the cheese. The pastel yellow curd and snowy white cheese looks pretty on the plate, too.


Continuing the fruit theme, a glass of raspberry-infused fruit beer is just the ticket. Framboise is a lambic beer from Belgium, which has a refreshing tartness and sweetness that makes for a suitably summery match for Snowdrop. The raspberry flavour combines with the lactic notes in the cheese a little like raspberry yoghurt.

Roasted cherries

Snowdrop is not too dissimilar to a young SaintMarcellin cheese, and can be used in a similar way in the kitchen. Slice into salads, melt into risotto or bake in the oven until gooey and scatter with fruits and nuts. Try roasting some fresh cherries with a splash of brandy and a sprinkle of salt and then scatter them over a Snowdrop that has been warmed and softened in the oven for five minutes.

13 CHEESE June 2024 | Vol.25 Issue 5
Less ewes’ milk is being produced in the UK despite consumers wanting to buy more British-made sheep’s cheese


Fledgling sheep’s cheese Pyghtle gains

major wholesale listings

A new lactic sheep’s milk cheese from Suffolk is already being stocked by some of the country’s best wholesalers, less than a year after it was launched.

Pyghtle (pronounced ‘pie-tul’) is made by Emily Tydeman, owner of Broughton Hall Dairy, near Stowmarket, who was previously the head cheesemaker at Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses, which makes Suffolk Gold. She has set up her own dairy as a way of diversifying her family’s arable farm.

Made with raw milk from two nearby sheep farms, Pyghtle was launched last year and is named after a Suffolk word for a small, enclosed plot of land.

It is currently made three times a week in batches of 8090 cheeses and is stocked by Neal’s Yard Dairy. Broughton has also recently secured listings with Rennet & Rind and Hamish Johnston.

“I knew there was no sheep’s milk cheese being


Stoney Cross

What’s the story?

Lyburn Farm, which lies on the northern edge of the New Forest straddling the small river Blackwater, has been farmed by the Smales family for the last 50 years.

The name Lyburn is derived from the Scottish, lye ‘born’, and burn ‘river’, or ‘borne by the river’. Originally a dairy and organic vegetable farm, it was only in 1999 that Mike and Judy Smales’ decided to venture into cheesemaking to add value to their

made in the area and I like the flavour of these kinds of cheeses,” said Tydeman, who sought the advice of Jonny Crickmore at Fen Farm Dairy and Neal’s Yard before making the cheese.

“I wouldn’t be here without their support. Neal’s Yard have been really helpful on the technical side and committed to buying our cheeses from the

milk. They now have a team of 20, including their son Jonathan who looks after the farm, head cheesemaker James, and three people looking after the maturation of the cheeses, which can number 10,000 at any one time. With a closed heritage herd of around 180 Holstein Friesians, milked twice a day, they produce about 1.3 million litres of milk a year; half of which is collected and taken away to be bottled and sold as liquid milk. Among their range of cheeses, most are aged, hard cheeses of gouda and cheddar style. Their most recent creation, Stoney Cross, is a young, Tomme de Savoie style of cheese named after a local World War II airfield.

This hard, mould-ripened cheese has won regular awards, most recently a Silver at the World Cheese


Pyghtle is made in 180g logs with vegetarian rennet and is aged by Broughton Hall for around two weeks until it has a wrinkly rind. It is fresh and yoghurty with a light texture when young, but becomes softer with a silky breakdown beneath the rind and a savoury, roast lamb flavour as it matures.


Sarah Steadman, Merchant’s Delicatessen, Inverness

A serve-over counter is the first choice of many cheesemongers, but there’s more than one way to successfully display cheese, as Merchant’s Deli goes to show.

Owner Sarah Steadman opted for two standup display chillers along one wall when she opened last year. These are filled with pre-cut wedges, plus whole cheeses that can be cut to order on a work bench.

“Having a wall of cheese looks really impressive and it means customers can easily see the cheeses – they don’t have to wait in a queue to get to the counter,” she says. “I always tell customers they are welcome to try any of the cheeses on the shelves and I often come out into the shop to answer questions. Standing side by side with customers, rather than face to face, feels a more sociable way of doing things.”

The only downside is that the open display fridges, which were bought second hand, use a lot of electricity and produce heat.

“We don’t want to change the concept, but we plan to replace them with newer fridges with doors which will be more efficient,” says Steadman.


Awards, Best Artisan Hard Cheese at the Virtual Cheese Awards as well as a Great Taste 3-star.

How is it made?

Once the freshlydrawn milk is pasteurised, starter cultures and vegetarian rennet are added, the curds are cut and washed, drained and hand-ladled into their moulds. The next day, the cheeses are brined

and matured in a highmoisture environment for eight weeks.

Appearance & texture:

The brine washing helps to create a velvety, gunmetal-grey rind, dominated by Mucor and Scopulariopsis

moulds. Inside, the paste is golden yellow and smooth, offering delicate, lactic notes that develop into butter and mushroom earthiness.


Available in either a 1kg truckle or 2.8kg wheel.

Cheesemonger tip:

While a mediumbodied, fruity red would complement the earthy notes, this would work just as well with a cider or hoppy ale.

Chef’s recommendation:

More of a cheeseboard cheese, pair it with an apricot or quince jelly to bring out the sweetness.

june 2024 | Vol.25 Issue 5
Pyghtle takes its name from a local Suffolk term for a small plot of land
Stoney Cross is one of the 200 cheeses studied as part of the Academy of Cheese Level Three Certification. For more information on this and all of their courses, head to: academyofcheese.org
June 2024 | Vol.25 Issue 5 12
June 2024 | Vol.25 Issue 5 16 Alpine style cheese made outside of Cork City. Delighted to share the news that our Templegall Cheese is Double Supreme Champion 2024 at the irish cheese awards and the Artisan Cheese Awards in Melton Mowbray. Templegall is made in summer only from raw milk and matured for at least one year. +353894715020 info@hegartycheese.ie Follow us on @hegartycheese 01740 629 529 | info@craggsandco.co.uk | www.craggsandco.co.uk Sustainably farmed Competitive & stable pricing High in protein & fibre BRC certified products Our award-winning flour is produced from the finest ancient grains which are sustainably grown in the beautiful British countryside. Our entire range carry the highly sought after Great Taste 2 and 3 star awards, in recognition of outstanding quality and flavour. Available in 1kg and 20kg bags. Minimum order 2 boxes of 10 × 1 kg bags. No delivery charges. Call or email today for a trade price list

The original recipe was from a book called Practical Cheese Making, written in 1917

A slice of Hereford history

Monkland Cheese’s range includes a unique territorial with a curious backstory

EVERY GOOD CHEESEMONGER knows a Cheshire from a Caerphilly, but there’s another British territorial that is far less familiar outside its West Midlands homeland. Little Hereford, which sits somewhere between a Caerphilly and a cheddar, is based on a 100-year-old recipe and was made by Monkland Cheese Dairy in Herefordshire for nearly 30 years. It built a loyal following among locals along the way.

One of those locals is Dean Storey, who often featured Little Hereford on menus in his previous life as a chef. He liked it so much that he and business partner Richard Hastings bought the Leominster business from founders Mark and Karen Hindle last year when they decided to retire.

After changing the name to Monkland Cheesemakers, Storey has had his hands full with curd, but he has managed to find time to dig into Little Hereford’s history.

“The original recipe was from a book called Practical Cheese Making, written in 1917 by the chief dairy instructress in the area, a woman called Ellen Yeld,” explains Storey. “We recently contacted the publisher, which is still trading, and they still had a copy. Looking at the original recipe, it really isn’t that far from what we are doing today.”

Some wonderful photos of Ellen Yeld were also discovered, including one of her surrounded by serious colleagues in starched white pinafores sporting elaborate hairstyles. “She was awarded an MBE for her work,” says Storey. “It’s a really interesting story that we’ll definitely be telling our customers about.”

After learning how to make cheese with

the Hindles, Storey made the first batches by himself in September – a slightly daunting experience, he admits, but one that he has embraced with a chef’s enthusiasm for food. Thankfully, the previous owners are not too far away, with the couple continuing to run the café and shop next to the dairy.

Support has also come from the wider industry, with Chiswick Cheese Market awarding him a £1,000 grant for Academy of Cheese courses, while the Academy recently ran an online tasting of Monkland’s cheeses, including Hereford Sage, Monkland, Blue Monk and the Camembert-style Other Monk, sold by local retailers such as Mousetrap Cheese, plus wholesalers Cheltenham Cheese Company and Total Produce.

“There is still so much to learn,” says Storey, who also recently won a bursary from the Virtual Cheese Awards to attend the Science of Artisan Cheese Conference, along with up-and coming cheesemaker Jake Goldstein, who works part-time at Monkland and has been involved in researching Little Hereford’s history.

“I’m learning new things daily around subtle differences in the milk that we have to adjust to. We get milk from two farms and we’ve found the fat content from one tends to be higher, so we’ve worked out that it is better for making soft cheeses.” Changes in the milk are even more pronounced because the cheeses are unpasteurised, an approach that Storey is keen to continue.

“They’ve been made safely for over 25 years with raw milk and it definitely adds to the flavour,” he says. “I want to take the best of the old business and give it our own personality. I don’t want to throw away that tradition and goodwill. It’s exciting to be a custodian of the recipe for Little Hereford and make sure that it doesn’t die out.” monklandcheesemakers.co.uk

Little Hereford


Made in 4kg wheels with raw milk and vegetarian rennet, Little Hereford is aged for around five months and has a natural rind. Milk is sourced from Broadfield Court Farm, Bodenham, and Grove Farm, Brimfield.

The cheese sits somewhere between a crumbly territorial and cheddar. The curd is scalded at around 37°C (cooler than many cheddars, but hotter than most crumblies) and is cheddared in the vat, before being pressed for two days.

The texture of Little Hereford is firm but flakey, with a complex flavour that balances acidity and savoury notes. It’s buttery and brothy with an interesting fruity character.

17 CHEESE June 2024 | Vol.25 Issue 5
June 2024 | Vol.25 Issue 5 18 This has taken 6 years to produce a smooth, distilled tea gin. Where the teas used, are Black Currant & Oolong Green Tea. Well worth the wait at 40%. Available Now morgansbrew@hotmail.co.uk
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The Farm Retail Association (FRA) supports and inspires the people and businesses growing and selling Great British produce. We have a supportive network of farm shops, farmers’ markets and Pick Your Own farms throughout the UK.

June 2024 | Vol.25 Issue 5 2
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Enquire today about our membership categories.
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June 2024 | Vol.25 Issue 5 20 Tel: 01282 440040 info@riggsautopack.co.uk www.riggsautopack.co.uk Manufacturers of depositors & filling machines for the food production industry

Rare & Pasture and Tempus Foods merge to combine sales and production capacity

Devon-based Rare & Pasture and Tempus Foods in Surrey have announced a merger, as the two producers aim to expand production and boost sales of their ranges.

The two companies said that by consolidating their expertise and facilities, they will be creating production capabilities and be operating at a scale that will be unique in the British charcuterie space.

Following the merger, the businesses will continue to trade under both the Rare & Pasture and Tempus Foods brands, with sales and distribution being led from the Tempus site and production and packing shared between the two sites.

Dhruv Baker, who founded Tempus with fellow MasterChef UK finalist Tom Whitaker, is now the commercial director of the new operation.

“The growth of Tempus has been constrained in the past by the size of our production facilities and our access to working capital,”

The Real Cure is now offering its British Black Truffle Salami in 55g presliced packs.

The Dorsetbased business said this format is popular across the other salamis and chorizos in its range, because it is ready to eat and packaged in recyclable retail packs.

he said. “By combining with Rare & Pasture, we remove these bottlenecks and position ourselves to better serve the fast-growing UK charcuterie market.”

Baker added that the new business would continue to produce the ranges that both brands were known for, as well as expanding further into other cooked meat products.

“Each side of this transaction has been hugely impressed by what the other has to offer, and we very much look forward to working together.”

Andrew Owens, chairman of Rare & Pasture, said: “The British charcuterie and artisan meat product market is highly fragmented, leading to an unnecessarily high cost base, often combined with supply reliability issues. Through this transaction we are creating greater supply capacity as well as product and customer service synergies that can accelerate the development of this evolving British food sector.

“Our mission is not restricted to either our existing geographic situation or our existing product

“We have tried and tested the market for demand for our Black Truffle Salami throughout 2023, previously available in a 150g whole salami format” said founder James Smart.“Initially launched as a ‘limited edition’ product, the flavour attracted unprecedented demand from customers, so now in 2024, we are excited to launch it as a core product in our rangeavailable in a new 55g sliced pack.” therealcure.co.uk

range, and so it is hoped that this merger will also stimulate other like-minded artisan producers and farmers to offer their skills and products into our growing portfolio.”

Tempus Foods was set up in Weybridge, Surrey, in 2017 by Tom Whitaker and Dhruv Baker, both MasterChef UK finalists. Its range includes salamis and whole muscle products such as King Peter Ham, Smoked Coppa and Bresaola.

Rare & Pasture is based at Fowlescombe Farm, a regenerative farm in South Devon. It produces a range of products often using high-welfare meat from its own farm. In addition to its charcuterie, it produces a range of cooked meat products, some of them organic, including naturally smoked frankfurters. tempusfoods.com rareandpasture.com

Cureights introduces subscription service with a ‘ballot box’ item

Midlands-based charcuterie producer Cureights is now offering subscription service allowing online customers and retailers to buy limited edition products every month.

The plans include a ‘Nibble’ box for £17 a month, ‘Graze’ for £22 and an ‘Indulge’ box for £37, which will include a selection of repeat items – a salami and a coppa – as well as surprise items in the two largest boxes, and members discounts.

Importantly, subscribers receive a monthly email asking to vote for their two favourite products from a selection of five, which, founder Michael Price told FFD, consist of “different things that aren’t regularly produced, that people don’t

necessarily know”, such as a chorizo with potatoes in it.

“If farm shops and delis want to get involved, they can also make a pre-order once the poll has finished”, he said, on receipt of email updates at the conclusion of every vote.

The producer says he hopes the service will help British charcuterie break away from highly traditional products, like Milano salami and coppa.

“I think if people are offered something different, they will actually try it,” he said. “If they have chosen British charcuterie

rather than imported, you know they already want something a bit different, so I think they’re likely to enjoy a bespoke product.”

Price said polls could include proposals like Loukaniko, a Greek-style cured sausage made with citrus peel, Argentinianstyle chorizo, or Sobrassada. They will complement Cureight’s range of British charcuterie, which includes Midlanduja, three types of Coppa (fennel, gin and chipotle flavoured), Stratford Saucisson made with local wine, Tuscan and Genoa salamis, Guanciale, Pancetta, Lonza, Bresaola and Pepperoni.

The producer is hoping the limited-edition products will attract more foodservice and festival-goer trade, too. cureights.com/cureightsmembers-club

CHARCUTERIE 21 June 2024 | Vol.25 Issue 5
Tempus founders Tom Whitaker and Dhruv Baker have joined forces with Rare & Pasture’s Andrew Owens (pictured centre)

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Life in plastic, not fantastic

No matter where you stand on environmental issues, it’s more plausible than ever to imagine a future where single use plastic plays no part in food and drink packaging. But how soon that comes to pass is another matter, so what should we do in the meantime?

IN A RECENT study, a company called Aquapak pooled data from 100 UK packaging companies supplying FMCG brands, identifying that nine out of ten of them intend on cutting out plastics entirely from their consumer packaging in a near future.

Slowing them down, they claimed, was the cost of using alternative packaging, the availability of other materials, and concerns around functionality and product protection.

But these aren’t issues limited to big brands: they’re all hurdles Gavin Fox and his team at farm to bar chocolate producer, Cox & Co, had to overcome in developing new paper flow wrap packaging, replacing a recyclable plastic wrapper and paper sleeve on top. Made with food-grade virgin pulp paper (as recycled paper isn’t allowed in food), it can be recycled up to 40 times.

It came at a cost of several thousand pounds, and Cox spent months seeking out the right paper processor, and a food-grade adhesive that wouldn’t affect the chocolate.

But it now saves the producer on materials –the weight of packaging is down from 7g to 1g, and the cost of it is reduced by 35-40%. It has also attracted attention from significant buyers, including facilitating a deal with Virgin Atlantic.

“And now we’re happily flying on every flight and getting really good feedback, so it was a real case of not taking no for an answer, pushing the boundaries of what big business says they want

Vol.25 Issue 5 | June 2024 23 SUSTAINABILITY


to do and what they can actually do.”

As for whether it can withstand as much handling as plastic, well, the answer is obviously that it can’t, but for Cox, it doesn’t– and, he argues, for retailers, shouldn’t matter.

“One of the things we’ve got to accept is that paper, the more it’s handled, the more it crumples. A retail buyer might look at it and say, oh well, you know, it crumples’, but how often does it get handled? It gets put into a box in the factory, it gets to the retailer’s shelf, gets picked up by a consumer, gets eaten. That’s three touch points.”

The shelf life doesn’t suffer, and the chocolate fats don’t leach into the paper. “If it melts, it melts. Just don’t store your chocolate above 26 degrees.”

After the success of the paper flow wrap on its 15g and 25g bars, Cox says the plan is to roll it out to the 70g bars later this year – once they’ve run out of their current packaging.

Of course, paper isn’t right for everyone, and ultimately, the solutions that will be advanced enough to deliver on convenience at scale will, for the most part, be driven by Big Food, according to Ethan Porter-Blake, head of marketing at bespoke packaging provider, Swiftpak.

“The technology comes from those that can afford to implement it, test it, dabble with it, those companies who have R&D teams who can have a phased approach and then a large rollout across all of their locations,” he tells FFD.

Every part of Cottage Delight’s new jars are recyclable: the metal lids; the glass can be reused infinitely with no loss in strength or quality; and the labels are made from recycled plastics, and recyclable. The producer says the change has removed 22 tonnes of paper and packaging from its annual packaging, decreased its virgin plastic usage by 30% and avoided the use of 4.8 tonnes of rubber bands which would have gone to


He estimates that we might eliminate plastics from food and drink packaging entirely in ten to 15 years.

“It’s difficult to put a timeframe on it,” he says, pointing at supermarkets, who he says have made big changes already. “But they’re still ironing out issues of what’s protecting products, and what is to the like of people.”

Once the cutting edge hits the shelves, things will look very different in every corner of the food & drink industry. Recent innovations are quite staggering: things like paper-based pallet wrap, biodegradable cling film and thermal liners that dissolve in water.

But bespoke solutions and cutting-edge materials are pricey, and this is largely driven by those with bigger budgets.

For retailers and producers convinced, as consumers are, that packaging should be sustainable, but can’t afford to take the leap and invest in the cutting edge quite yet, “they should champion their use of carton board versus plastic, and their desire to make sure that when they do use plastic, there’s an educational piece – if they have something that comes as a whole package, telling people to strip it apart and ensure that it’s recycled correctly and the things are going in the correct places”.

“Doing the basics well is where they can really be the leaders.”

For Paul Castle, managing director at Flourish Food Hall, being on the right track – and making

Sustainable packaging supplier

Bartec is now selling a range of Ovtene Recyclable Food Packaging Film and Wrap to retailers’ bespoke requirements. The 100% recyclable material is primarily composed of calcium carbonate and other trace mineral ingredients, and 40% polyethylene. It is grease and moisture proof and comes in sheets, bags and deli rolls. bartecpackaging.co.uk

changes for the right reasons, as opposed to greenwashing – is crucial. “Just do something,” he says.

“You’ve got to start somewhere and it is often baby steps.”

The business is a B-Corp, and is held to high standards by the scheme and its customers, but that doesn’t mean plastics aren’t part of its offering. Though almost all of it is recyclable plastic, its plastic free range of 1,000 items makes up between 35-40% of stock.

“But we’re conscious of it and we’re measuring it. And it is a decision within our buying process. And if it’s a few pence more to do the right thing, then we’re happy to do that.”

“It’s about being brave. I think you have to work on the basis that yes, it’s probably going to cost you 10, 15, 20% more,” he adds, because just like Cox & Co, the cost for producers to switch to sustainable packaging has to be passed down.

“But prices are coming down now, and the more people jump on board, the more we demand as customers from our wholesale supplier that their packaging is sustainable, then the more they’ll do it, and the cheaper it becomes.”

It was a case of not taking no for an answer, pushing the boundaries of what big business says they want to do and what they can do.

B Corp accredited packaging supplier, Swiftpak, offers a range of products that minimize material usage, making use of recycled content, while protecting products. These include Honeycomb Paper Trap for bottles, Paper Void Fill Products, Gummed Paper Tape, Vegan Thermal Liner, Supatak Kraft Paper Tape and partially recycled, recyclable wrapping film, MWrap. swiftpak.co.uk

June 2024 | Vol.25 Issue 5 24


Viseu, Portugal from 14 - 17 November


Entry opens: 13 June | Entry closes: 16 September

Cheese staged: 14 November | Judging: 15 November

Results available: 16 November


Medium business (Turnover £1-5m) £67 per cheese

Large business (Turnover more than £5m) £88 per cheese

June 2024 | Vol.25 Issue 5 22
COST OF ENTRY (all +VAT) Small business
less than £1m) £56 per cheese
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Vol.25 Issue 5 | June 2024 27 shop online at theoliveoilco.com


Ready for a refill?

Buyers looking to add to their drinks offer need look no further. This month’s roundup features a host of beers, ciders, spirits and ready-todrink products, as well as soft drinks and alcohol-free alternatives.

Rum made from scratch in Sussex

While many boutique rum labels will buy in Caribbean rum, add their own spices and call it ‘British rum’, Goldstone Rum is one of a new generation of distillers that makes the spirit from scratch. Owned by husband and wife duo Georgina and John Bowell, the Henfield distillery first started producing white rum in 2022, and has since released three further expressions: Dark, Spiced and Ginger & Lime. All have an RRP of £40 for 70cl; trade price £28.40. goldstonerum.com

Hugo Spritz is the latest serve to join Black Lines’ bottled cocktail line-up. This sibling of the Italian spritzes first appeared on cocktail menus in 2005. Black Line’s version promises notes of elderflower and lemon zest, rounded by sparkling wine and sapling gin. RRP £18. blacklinesdrinks.com

Whitebox Cocktails has noticed that drinkers are seeking out bolder, more complex profiles, a trend that has influenced its latest round of innovation.

Spicy Margarita is a “punchy party starter”, Straight-Up Daiquiri is a Caribbean rum-based classic, and XO Vieux Carré is a 30% ABV sipping drink with a herbaceous twist. RRPs £5.50-6.80 per 100ml can. whiteboxcocktails.com

Potato vodka with provenance is a hot trend in craft spirits, and one of the latest entrants on this scene is Collaboration Spirits, with a Yorkshire potato vodka. Nine Tines Vodka is a 40% ABV grainand gluten-free spirit made from Lady Claire potatoes that are distilled 30 times over copper plates before being filtered through charcoal. RRP £42 for 70cl. ninetines.co.uk

Devon’s Powderkeg Brewery has made its Harmony helles lager, originally released as a seasonal special, part of its core range. The gluten-free 4.2% ABV session lager is made in Devon with UK malt and Saaz hops. RRP for a 330ml can is £2.25. powderkegbeer.co.uk

The London Vermouth Company has teamed up with Carmen O’Neal, of East London distillery 58 and Co., to create a dark chocolate negroni. No.58 Carmen’s Negroni blends 58 and Co’s London Dry infused with discarded cocoa nibs and husks, with No. 2 Camille’s Red Vermouth and Italian bitters. RRP £29.50; wholesale from £19.50. londonvermouthcompany. com

Following its acquisition of Tomos Watkin last August, Drop Bear has treated the the “great ales of Wales” to a revamped look and line-up. The hope is that favourites such as Cwrw Haf, Blodwen and Magic Lagyr will retain loyal customers, whilst new additions such as Dragon’s Keep IPA and Miner’s Pride will attract a new generation of ale drinkers. tomoswatkin.com

Brighton newcomer Wicker Basket has created what it claims is the UK’s first and only tea spritz brand. There are two 4.8% ABV variants: Vodka, Darjeeling Tea, Pear & Cardamon and Gin, Jasmine Tea, Lychee & Rose. RRP £3.40; wholesale price £23.28 per case of 12 cans. wickerbasketdrinks.com

28 June 2024 | Vol.25 Issue 5

Jiddler’s Tipple brews specials every couple of months and heading into summer, was keen to develop a gluten-free and vegan Hazy IPA. This has resulted in the launch of Nimbus Hazy IPA, a 5.2% beer that combines New Zealand and American hops, tied together with wheat and oats to give a smooth mouthfeel and keep bitterness to a minimum. Nectaron, Nelson Sauvin, Mosaic and Idaho 7 hops are said to yield a feast of fruity flavour sensations - mango, peach, passionfruit, pineapple, orange, lemon and grapefruit. Like all of the London brewery’s beers, Nimbus Hazy IPA features a can design inspired by founder Jacob Liddle’s vintage shirt collection. RRP £4.99 per 440ml can; trade price £2.50. jiddlerstipple.com

Bottled cocktail producer Doxi has rolled our new labels and bottles, and introduced six new recipes this summer. The brand, whose mantra is “bring the bar home”, was born out of Amy Hargreaves and Steven Cole’s mobile bar business. Since launching in 2022, Doxi has built up a following for its “bar strength” cocktails around Norfolk, where it is listed with Jarrolds and Bakers & Larners.

The new cocktails are Limoncello Margarita, Hot Honey Margarita, Orange Blossom Whisky Sour, Summer Negroni, Brown Butter Old Fashioned and Rhubarb Gimlet. RRP is £13 for 200ml; trade price £8.50. doxibars.co.uk

Peel, a 4.9% ABV Belgian Wit, is the latest addition to Orbit Beers’ range, as the South London brewery sharpens its focus on designing beers for pairing with food. A soft mouthfeel and light body are said to make this hazy wheat beer the perfect partner for spicy foods, cheese, fried fish and Thai and Vietnamese cuisine. RRP from £2.95 for 330ml. orbitbeers.com

Old Tree Brewery has launched Witchcraft, a 4% ABV kombucha beer, after spotting a gap in the market for gut friendly, low to mid alcohol beverages. Live kombucha cultures lend a tangy sourness to this botanical brew, while simcoe hops give passion fruit on the nose, and mugwort and wormwood foraged from the Sussex countryside provide grapefruit-like bitterness and aroma. RRP £6; trade price £3.85. oldtreebrewery.co.uk

In Runnymede, Surrey, birthplace of the Magna Carta, Eamonn and Kirsty Leacy have created a traditional dry gin that honours the area’s rich history. Magna Carta Gin is made in a traditional copper alembic still heated over an open flame. RRP £40 for 70cl. magnacartagin.com

A celebration of Kentish terroir, Hoppy Cox is a lightly sparkling semi-dry cider made from Cox apples, dry hopped with an Ernest variety which are grown at Hukins Hops, only three miles away from the Nightingale Cider’s orchards. The 2023 vintage has a 5.5% ABV and is packaged in a limited edition can designed by local artist Anthony Burrill. RRP £25.50 (6 x 440ml cans). nightingalecider.com

Inchcolm Distillery is producing a 4.5% ABV eau de vie (distilled from fruit not grain) spirit from surplus apples collected in and around Edinburgh. Branded Pochle Geal, and with an RRP of £37.30 for 50cl, the distilled apple spirit is billed as Scotland’s most sustainable spirit. The microbrewery is currently in the process of developing its second product - a vodka-sake style spirit from waste bread. pochle.co.uk

Herefordshire crisp brand Two Farmers is making its foray into beverages, with the launch of 4.5% ABV Medium Dry Cider and 3.4% Pixley Berries Fruit Cider. The move is a logical one for a business that resides in the heart of cider apple country. RRP £2.99 per 440ml can. twofarmerscider.co.uk

MYXD Scottish Cocktails, a producer of ready-to-drink “bar quality” cocktails, has just celebrated its first year in business. The startup mixes its drinks using Scottish spirits from Dunnet Bay Distillery in Caithness, including Rock Rose Gin, Holy Grass Vodka and Mapmaker’s Rum, and markets them in waste-reducing pouches. RRPs are between £5.50£6.50; trade price £3.10. myxd.co.uk

Something Blue, originally created by Colin and Jessica McLean of McLean’s Gin in 2018, has joined the Jackton Distillery portfolio. A marriage of tonka beans and buchu leaves against a backdrop of five other botanicals, the spirit has a blue hue that transforms to a blush pink with the addition of tonic water. RRP £42 for 70cl; trade price £26.25. raer.co.uk

The Peak District distillery behind Chatsworth Gin has launched two new London Dry Gins. No 1. Bilberry is said to be fresh with citrus and juniper, while No 2. Pink Grapefruit with Hibiscus fires a zingy hit that gives way to floral softness. RRP £38 for 70cl. peakales.co.uk

29 June 2024 | Vol.25 Issue 5

Luxury chocolate liqueurs

Joris is a new boutique chocolate liqueur brand, inspired by the Italian digestivo tradition. Founded in 2022 in Nottingham by Rocco Iorio and Vanya Seth, the venture uses Italian recipes and artisan techniques to craft a range of small-batch liqueurs from chocolate and cream. Besides its flagship Chocolate Cream Liqueur, the startup produces variants such as Chocolate & Coffee, Chocolate & Orange and Salted Caramel. RRP £30 for 500ml; trade price £22.50. jorisliqueurs.com

Tayport Distillery and Aimers in Dundee have joined forces to create a coffee liqueur that boasts “delectable notes of chocolate and caramel”, says the Fife distillery. The liqueur, which can be sipped straight or added to an espresso martini, has an RRP of £24.50 for 50cl; trade price £16.95. tayportdistillery.com

With bitters enjoying a revival, Malvern Bitters has developed a second product to complement its flagship Inky Blue Bitters. 40% ABV Inky Pink (Chilli) Bitters are said to add a spicy, slow flavoursome burn to spirits, cocktails and other drinks. Bird’s Eye chillies, hibiscus, cloves, cardamom, red clover, camomile, turmeric and black pepper all contribute to its aromatic complexity. RRP £11.95 for 50ml. malvernbitters.ink

McColl’s Brewery has collaborated with six other British breweries to develop a range of beers that is helping raise awareness around men’s mental health. A Problem Shared (a 5.8% West Coast IPA), and Life Raft (a 3.8% session pale) are two of the beers that feature in the MAYDAY 6 Pack. RRP £30 for 6 x 440ml cans; trade price £17. mccollsbrewery.co.uk

Hardaker’s Fine Spirits says this 44% ABV summer gin blends its Signature London Dry Gin with sweet, lush raspberry and aromatic lemongrass, creating a sophisticated flavour profile that is as refreshing as it is refined. Pink Raspberry & Lemongrass Gin has an RRP of £38. hardakersfinespirits.com

Grounds for Good says its gin is “arguably the world’s most sustainable spirit” after relaunching it in Frugalpac’s paper bottle, which is said to have a carbon footprint that is up to six times lower than a glass bottle. The brand partnered with Hensol Castle Distillery to craft the gin, which uses spent coffee grounds. RRP £41.99; trade price £24.49. groundsforgood.co.uk

Cottage Delight has brought all of its beers and ciders together under a new umbrella brand, The Bottle Shop, and given them a new look. The range spans comedy beers and traditional ales – all brewed in the Staffordshire Moorlands – as well as ciders made from Herefordshire apples. Gift packs include Old Farts Club, The Thirsty Gardener, The Cocktail Lounge and Orchard Apple Cider. cottagedelight.co.uk

Billed as the perfect brew for session drinking in sunny weather, the New Zealand Pilsner ’24 from Pillars Brewery launches on 10th June. Brewed in East London, it is described as “light, easy drinking and filled with tropical fruit flavours”. RRP £3.50. pillarsbrewery.com

Devon-based Bar Buoy has moved into the canned cocktail space with a range of four cocktails with a coastal twist. Coastal Paloma, Long Isles Iced Tea, Island Daiquiri and Wood Fired Margarita feature local crafted spirits, including Salcombe Gin, Tors Vodka and Two Drifter Rum. The ready-to-serve cocktails have an ABV of 10% and an RRP of £4.95 for 200ml. barbuoy.co.uk

Hive Mind has launched a mead made with Zambian honey in collaboration with the charity Bees for Development. The new mead is brewed to the same recipe as the company’s Traditional Mead, which won the Golden Fork for Wales in 2023, but has a darker amber colour and a flavour profile with complex herbal and spiced notes. RRP £30 for 70cl. hivemindmead.com

Dunnet Bay Distillers has introduced its first craft rum, Mapmaker’s Coastal Spiced Rum. Dunnet’s house rum is blended with Caribbean rum, Loch Calder water and local botanicals lemon verbena, scurvy grass, sea kelp and Scottish sea salt. RRP £35 for 700ml. dunnetbaydistillers.co.uk

The Green Room Distillery says Smoke & Mirrors Gin is the world’s first and only peated London Dry Gin. The London distillery says it reproduced the flavours of Islay whisky by gathering peat from the Scottish Hebridean island. Dried clementines, Douglas fir, pine cones and heather add depth and sweetness, creating a full, well-balanced palate with fragrances redolent of winter. RRP £42 for 700ml. greenroomdistillery.com

Made from white grapes, orange wines can be bolder than whites due to the juice spending extra time on the skins and pips. This makes them excellent food friendly wines, says Vintage Roots, which is seeking to revive the tradition by promoting two certified organic Sicilian wines from this category: Domaines Paul Mas Rosorange (RRP £14-16) and Santa Tresa’s Insieme (RRP £15-17). vintageroots.co.uk

The Flamboyant Wine Company only use English wines in its canned range. White Wine English Fizz uses the same grape blend as a Champagne, but the chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier grapes are grown in Buckinghamshire.  theflamboyant.co.uk

30 June 2024 | Vol.25 Issue 5
>> alcoholic drinks
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Raising spirits at your table.

Over 100 years ago Northern Ireland introduced whiskey to the world and now our distillers and craft brewers are in the midst of a vibrant renaissance. Northern Ireland. Altogether more BuyNIfood.com

Over the last decade, our drinks sector has become one of the region’s most dynamic, innovative and export-driven industries. Northern Ireland is now home to over 20 distilleries and breweries producing single malt, pot still and blended Irish whiskeys, gin, poitin, vodka, rum, craft beer, cider and hard seltzers. From Old Bushmills Distillery, the world’s oldest licensed distillery, to innovative newcomers including Hinch, Echlinville, McConnells, Rademon, Titanic, Two Stacks, Killowen, Copeland and Boatyard you can be sure of Pure, Natural, Quality drinks and a warm welcome. Slainte! For more information on Northern Ireland’s wide range of quality and innovative food and drink products, contact Michelle Charrington T: +44 (0)78 1717 3514 E: michelle.charrington@investni.com

Brought to you by Invest Northern Ireland. Photograph courtesy of Titanic Distillers, Belfast.

What sets VIDAS apart is its uniqueness. Our beverages are crafted with all-natural ingredients, meticulously selected to ensure the highest quality. We don’t believe in cutting corners or compromising on the values we hold dear. No added sugars, no artificial sweeteners, no preservatives. Just pure goodness in every sip. But don’t take my word for it; experience it for yourself. Our range of flavours is extensive, offering something to suit every palate. Discover your favourite and join the VIDAS

June 2024 | Vol.25 Issue 5 34
Find out more on our website: www.vidasdrinks.co.uk Or email the founder:

Continuing its mission to “redefine the non-alcoholic wine landscape”, Wednesday’s Domaine has extended its offer to include a still rosé for summer sipping.

Created in collaboration with an English winemaker, Elan (0.0%) starts with a blend of de-alcoholised Airen and Tempranillo grapes from the La Mancha region of Spain. These are combined with a handful of natural ingredients to produce rosé that is said to balance crisp acidity and light, herbaceous notes.

In contrast with some non-alcoholic wine offers, Elan is not loaded with sugar, providing under 20 calories per glass.

“Once the preserve of a few sparse summer days, people are drinking rosé more and more frequently” says founder Luke Hemsley. “We want to make sure we have something for those occasions, whatever time of year”. RRP £14.99 per bottle. wednesdaysdomaine.com

Building on its success in performance teas, Mission, a brand built around delivering “100% natural, science-led energy”, has launched a range of RTD all-natural energy drinks. Mission Natural Energy drinks are said to offer an alternative to the sugar- and caffeine-loaded options that dominate this category.

There are two variants: Lemon & Ginseng and Lime & Yuzu. Designed to fuel busy days, Lemon & Ginseng contains vitamins and minerals chosen specifically for their role in supporting energy levels, along with ginseng and 20mg of caffeine in the form of green tea and L-theanine. Lime & Yuzu is intended to be taken before or during performance. It features natural electrolytes in the form of magnesium and sodium, and BCAAs for their role in supporting muscle growth and reducing muscle fatigue. Both retail online at £25 for 12 cans. drink-mission.com

This month, sees a return of Momo Kombucha’s limited edition watermelon flavour. This brew uses Oscar Zerbinati’s Sentinel watermelon, sourced from Natoora, who only buys produce seasonally from small scale growers. This limited edition follows Tomlinson’s Forced Rhubarb Kombucha collaboration with Natoora which has been available since the end of January. RRP £4.50. momo-kombucha.com

Cacto Drinks Company has canned the power of the prickly pear cactus fruit, which has a history of use by in Native American culture for its medicinal properties. By blending fruits such as pineapple, strawberry and watermelon with pureed prickly pear juice, it has created a range of no-added-sugar drinks that are packed with electrolytes, vitamins and fibre. RRP £2.60; trade price £1.20. cactodrinks.com

Claire Martinsen has taken inspiration from her gran with Breckland Orchard’s latest release: Zero Sugar Apple & Pear Posh Pop. This flavour launched in May as the fifth sugar-free option in the producer’s line-up, and provides just eight calories per 275ml serve. RRP £1.95. brecklandorchard.co.uk

Juist, a collaboration between Nationwide Produce and McAlister Apples, is a new name on the apple juice scene. Launching this autumn, the venture will provide a route to market for farmpressed juices made by the McAlister family, fourth generation farmers from County Armagh. There are two canned varieties - Still Apple Juice and Sparkling Apple Juice - and two 750ml bottled drinks.  mcalistersapples.com

Mixologist’s Garden’s fruit garnishes are designed to help people effortlessly simulate the cocktail bar experience at home, without the hassle associated with fresh fruit. The freeze-dried fruit –which include orange, lemon and strawberry slices as well as whole raspberries are said to enhance the appearance and flavour of sparkling wine, spirits and soft drinks. RRP £2.50 for a 10g pouch. mixologistsgarden.com

New to The Dorset Ginger Company’s range of gingerbased sippers is Mellow Ginger, a mild version of the producer’s flagship Original Ginger, for those who prefer their ginger a little less powerful. The lightly spiced drink can be sipped neat or mixed with water or lemonade. RRP £5.50 for 75cl. dorsetginger.ltd

With a growing number of consumers eschewing sugary drinks, French syrup brand Monin has launched a range of no-addedsugar concentrates to help hospitality venues add flavour to drinks without adding sugar, sweeteners or calories. Peach Apricot, Mango Passion and Lemon Lime are the first three concentrates in the Pure range, which is available via Bennett Opie. RRP £12.99 for 70cl. bennettopie.com

Refined non-alcoholic sparkler producer Saicho’s Champagnelike teas were created by husband and wife team Charlie Winkworth-Smith and Natalie Chiu to shine a light on the nuanced and complex flavours of tea. The three expressions in the range - Darjeeling, Jasmine and Hojicha - each exhibit distinct flavour characteristics, unique to their respective origins in India, China and Japan. saichodrinks.com

With tequila cocktails seeing a surge in popularity, Danish non-alcoholic drinks producer ISH has created a mindful alternative to the Paloma. Available in the UK via DrinksOne, the RTD has pink grapefruit, lime and a hint of salt with ISH’s own alcoholfree tequila, Mexican Agave. ishspirits.com

35 June 2024 | Vol.25 Issue 5
soft drinks >>


that doesn’t conform Bristol-based Counter Culture is hoping to create a point of difference in the kombucha space by decorating its brews with artwork that explores societal trends. The latest addition to the line-up is AI of the Storm // Mango + Ginger + Lime, which features a design that the producer says captures the chaos that AI is bringing to life. The fermentary also says the drinks, which are brewed with organic green tea and raw cane sugar, are lighter in acidity than a typical booch. RRP £2.39. counterculturedrinks. com

Vidas Drinks says its beverages are the antidote to life’s highs and lows. The Boost and Zen drinks are joined by Elderflower & Lemon; Fig; and Pomegranate & Black Seed sparklers. Case price £11.40 for 12 x 250ml. RRP £2.24 vidasdrinks.co.uk

Botivo is reinventing itself as a “big sipping botanical aperitivo” toconvey values of abundance, pleasure and playfulness. The 0.0% ABV drink is said to offer intense refreshment with a bittersweet backbone, herbal notes and a citrus tang. It is made at Lannock Farm, Hertfordshire, by hand-blending five raw ingredients, a process that takes over a year from start to finish. botivodrinks.com

Kaytea has undergone a refresh, reinforcing its brand proposition as an organic and fairtrade ice tea with fusion flavours. The refreshed deck takes in six RTD flavours - Rose Guava, Mango Yuzu, Jasmine Grapefruit, Pineapple Passionfruit, Lemon Zest and White Peach - all of which are low in sugar and contain a natural electrolyte boost. kaytea.co.uk

Wild Cherry, the latest addition to Vievé’s protein water range, packs 20g of collagen. It joins Strawberry & Rhubarb, Watermelon, Peach & Raspberry, Orange & Mango, Pineapple & Coconut and Citrus & Apple. RRP £2.29. drink-vieve.co.uk

TRIP is branching out beyond its core CBDbased offering to harness the popularity of functional mushrooms and adaptogens with a new range that has been “crafted for calm”. Mindful Blend launched with four SKUs formulated with Lion’s Mane, magnesium and ashwagandha: Cucumber Mint, Blood Orange Rosemary, Elderflower Mint and Raspberry Orange Blossom. RRP £2. drink-trip.com

Retailers looking to dip a toe in the kombucha trend should check out Bath Culture House, which produces a range of naturally fermented kombucha in the Mendips, near Bath and Bristol. Its flavours include Jasmine, Tart Cherry and Turmeric & Ginger, and its stockists so far include Selfridges, Newton Farm Shop and Trading Post Farm Shop. RRP is £2.99 for 240ml; trade price £1.85. bathculturehouse.co.uk

Raspberry & Elderflower is the latest release from Holos, the kombucha producer that provides work and opportunities to survivors of slavery. Holos describes this brew as “juicy, floral and full bodied”. RRP £3.50 for 330ml. holoskombucha.com

How the sector is shaking up in 2024

Speciality & Fine Food Fair Event Manager

Nicola Woods takes a look at some of the drinks trends set to define 2024 and beyond

Each year at Speciality & Fine Food Fair, we have the privilege to witness first-hand the dynamic shifts and exciting innovations within the speciality drinks sector.

As part of this year’s event, we’ll be celebrating our 25th anniversary with an exciting shake-up of our drinks offering (watch this space!).

This year is already proving to be another fascinating one for the market, with innovative new launches and trends emerging weekly.

There seems to be no slowdown in the bubble tea explosion. The Taiwanese treat is gaining mainstream popularity with consumers, and new brands are launching into the UK with a diverse range of products

There seems to be no slowdown in the bubble tea explosion. The Taiwanese treat is gaining mainstream popularity.

including ready-to-drink (RTD) canned boba drinks. Another trend continuing its upward trajectory is health-focused drinks and functional ingredients –designed not just to quench thirst, but also to provide consumers with more benefits such as increased energy, sleep aid, or a vitamin boost. We’ve seen an increase in drinks that integrate adaptogens, collagen, and antioxidants, reflecting a consumer base that’s increasingly mindful of what they consume and its impact on their well-being.

This trend will be evident at the Fair this year, with brands like Hello Good Sip offering products containing mushrooms, beetroot, turmeric and dragon fruit, and The Matcha Yaad showcasing an RTD canned matcha drink packed with ginger, lime and spice.

Amidst a challenging economic climate, there has also been a notable trend in retailers like Aldi launching cost-effective alternatives to popular drinks.

Products like El Toro Strawberry Cream Tequila and Chassaux Et Fils Atlantique Rosé mimic pricier brands such as Tequila Rose and Whispering Angel, becoming viral sensations on social media and offering consumers budget-friendly indulgences that don’t compromise on taste.

Speciality & Fine Food Fair returns to Olympia London on 10-11th September. Find out more at specialityandfinefoodfairs. co.uk

36 June 2024 | Vol.25 Issue 5
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Beginning to burgeon

With new brands entering the market and existing suppliers seeing growth in sales and customer bases, there’s clearly an appetite in the independent market for premium frozen food. FFD speaks to some of the major players in the market and checks out the latest NPD.


IT’S QUITE APT that the premium frozen category has been dormant for some time in the independent sector. Excluding ice cream as a separate category and aside from the activity of a couple of stalwart suppliers not much changed for a decade or so – until the last couple of years. Suddenly, there are a number of new brands – primarily ready meals – appearing in chest freezers and one of the UK’s top speciality distributors has added a sizeable range of frozen goods to its catalogue.

Given all this activity, there must surely be growth in volume and value in the category, not to mention innovation on the NPD front.

As the biggest supplier of frozen meals to the independent market, COOK can certainly

quantify the former. In addition to its nearly 100 shops, the company has a substantial estate of concessions that spans farm shops, garden centres and independent convenience stores.

In most recent trading year, the concessions division (which accounts for a hefty 37% of COOK’s overall turnover) filled some 400 new freezers across 125 new retailer customers, and the year before that saw 115 new stores added to its list.

Targeting 150 new customers this year, concessions director Angela Dearlove tells FFD that sales grew 16% in the last year, with the majority driven by new business. She adds that the cost-of-living crisis and tough

Chapman’s latest launch into independent retailers is a Fish & King Prawn Curry, building on the producer’s Oven Ready Range. Billed as “mild and flavoursome”, the curry (400g, trade £4.40, RRP £6.55) recently won in the Farm Shop & Deli 2024 Product Awards. chapmans-seafoods.co.uk

Expanding people’s choice of singleportion frozen options was the motivation behind Fieldfare’s latest product launch – with three sweet and three savoury lines joining its range. For dessert, it now offer lightly battered Golden Apple Fritters (RRP 55p), 160g portions of Fruits of the Forest Strudel (RRP £2.49) and 14-cm wide puff pastry French Apple Tart (£3.99). The savoury additions are Crispy Calamari Rings (RRP £2.20 per 100g), Chicken Schnitzel (3.49 each) and Herby Parmentier Potatoes (RRP 58p per 100g). field-fare.com

Just Desserts Yorkshire has expanded its own brand range with the launch of a new luxury cheesecake range housed in retail packaging. Supplied frozen, the range features 12 flavours – including Ferrero Rocher, Oreo, Salted Caramel and White Chocolate Orange – and allows independents to offer individual desserts for consumers to enjoy at home. Cases of 9 portions are available direct for £24.48 (£2.72 per portion).


Vol.25 Issue 5 | June 2024 39 FROZEN
June 2024 | Vol.25 Issue 5 40 • High quality mains and desserts • High protein content • No additives • No preservatives • No Fuss We create restaurant quality food for your freezer www.bredamurphy.co.uk Tel. 01254 823446 The Leader in Bake at Home Innovation Great Taste award-winning breads •Individually packaged for hygienic frozen retail sale in easily recyclable packaging •Additive free breads and a ‘gluten free’ range available •Full suport with a complete POS package •Ensure no wastage in store - guaranteed margins www.hedonistbakery.co.uk | 01989 741010
There’s a huge opportunity in cities and urban delis – to stock things in an upright freezer. Products are more difficult to merchandise but there is potential.”

trading conditions held back growth in existing customers last year to just 1%.

“Our channel has changed from 2018, to ramp up into the convenience sector. Previously it was garden centres, farm shops and food halls. But really the market was changing in terms of how people wanted to shop that the convenience sector became interested in our range.”

Although independent convenience stores (both individual Co-ops and those that operate under NISA, Budgens and Spar fascias) now make up the lion’s share of COOK concessions, Dearlove says that the supplier has added 150 “incremental” freezers across 76 existing customers – many of whom are farm shops.

She adds that there could be a change coming with its traditional customer base re-energising. That is, if her experience at the recent Farm Shop & Deli Show is anything to go by.

“We brought back more farm shop and garden centre leads than we have previously there –versus those from convenience.”

You could have baked croissants at the till for people who want to eat one now and then also stock our croissants to take and have at home. Those are two complementary occasions.

Matt Whelan, MD, Fieldfare

“I do think there’s a little shift going on. It’s been a really tough trading time and more about looking at what you’re selling and getting the most out of what you’ve got.

“But I think now everyone in that space is starting to look at bringing in new things and new suppliers.”

Another supplier that had a busy Farm Shop & Deli show was Fieldfare, which has supplied the independent retail market with loose frozen goods – from fruit and vegetables to bake-athome goods – for more than 40 years.

MD Matt Whelan travels to lots of his customers across the UK and says he is seeing a good deal of expansion to existing line-ups.

“Plenty of farm shops are getting planning permission and growing physically, so their frozen offer is growing and it’s not even at the expense of any other categories.

“And there’s more of that to come, as retailers see that these products are resonating more and more with shoppers.”

As with COOK, Fieldfare tends to supply farm shops with large enough footprints to accommodate chest freezers (in fact, the two often appear on the same shop floors).

While Fieldfare’s proposition in particular is tricky for smaller retailers (loose food can’t go in upright freezers), some zero waste stores have found space in high street locations to stock it.

Whelan adds that different types of farm shops with smaller footprints have joined his stockist lists, citing a recent addition of a shop on the Welsh coast that has found the proposition appeals to its tourist customer base.

“There’s opportunity in plenty of shops but ultimately footprint can be an issue,” he says. “There’s very few barriers to stocking frozen but you do need a chest freezer.”

One of the newer entrants into the independent frozen market is actually a distributor, Cotswold Fayre. CEO Paul Hargreaves wouldn’t have gone to the trouble of launching into this category last year and growing his subcatalogue to 16 different brands if he didn’t think it was a growth area for delis and farm shops.

He has tangible evidence from his experiences at sister business, Somerset’s Flourish Food Hall, which has been increasing its freezer space due to the demand from customers for everything from frozen pizzas and meals through to bake-at-home lines. But he also feels that smaller retailers could get in on the action.

“There’s a huge opportunity in cities and urban delis – to stock things in an upright freezer. Products are more difficult to merchandise and to give brand presence in those types of freezer – but there is potential.”

At Fieldfare, Matt Whelan has taken steps to quantify the potential, specifically of premium frozen food across the independent market –doing some research with YouGov.

With a diverse sample size of 2,000 people from all walks of life, found that 35% of those surveyed has bought “premium frozen” food in the last 12 months. Whelan emphasises that this definition was established by naming brands that appear frequently in the independent sector.

Having stated it as his mission to premiumize the frozen category, Whelan feels that


Japanese food specialist Yutaka has added a number of new frozen lines to its offer. The savoury additions are Frozen Wakame Seaweed Salad (125g), Vegan Tofu Gyoza (440g), Yakitori Japanese style chicken skewers (160g). On the sweeter side, it has added Daifuku Mochi Rice Cakes (200g) and Matcha & Hojicha Dango Green Tea Rice Cakes (160g) yutaka.london

Cotswold Fayre added the “final piece of the jigsaw” to its range last year with the launch of a frozen catalogue – including ready-to-bake lines, ready meals and pizzas – to join its chilled and ambient ranges. Among the ready meal brands listed are Crosta & Mollica, Bini, Supper Club and FieldGoods. The distributor also offers seafood from The Fresh Fish Shop and bake-at-home lines from The Original Baker and Hedonist Bakery. cotswold-fayre.co.uk

By Ruby is launching two of its bestselling recipes – Fish Pie and Lasagne – in a larger size that serves four people. The producer, which supplies the independent trade via Fieldfare, said this opens up a new family and occasion market. It is also adding a Thai Green Chicken Curry to its range this month. byruby.co.uk

A drivers’ favourite at truck stops in the northern Himalayan region, Dhaba Goat Curry is the newest line from Indian food specialist Bini Fine Food’s Featuring diced goat meat, cooked in a rich caramelised onion and tomato spices sauce with double cream and pomegranate molasses, this dish has already won a Great Taste 1-star. Available in cases of 6 x 375g (trade £8.05 per portion).


Vol.25 Issue 5 | June 2024 41


The majority of our customers at the moment are over-45s. They are maybe retired, have high disposable income and live in affluent areas.
Angela Dearlove, concessions manager, COOK

Fieldfare has “moved the needle” in the last 12 months.

He adds: “It’s an area that’s developing, not just emerging, anymore.”

From COOK’s perspective, it is equally encouraging – with quite a set demographic that engages with the premium end of the category that it operates in.

“Usually what we find is customers come on board with us as a new parent,” says Angela Dearlove. “So 40% of our gift card sales go to new parents. Once they’re on board, they stay with us for life.

“But the majority of our customers at the moment are over-45s. They are maybe retired, have high disposable income and live in affluent areas.”

She adds that, when it comes to tastes in product, the classic dishes – like lasagnes, cottage pies and beef bourguignons – are what still sell the best. But even COOK has branched out with a range of sauces [see new launches box] that aid convenient-but-high-quality dining at home.

Matt Whelan concurs that “taste” is still a big driver of purchases in the market for Fieldfare’s products, citing that 69% of those respondents from the company’s YouGov research claim to buy based on taste. The survey research also showed that 49% have households where different family members want to have something different from the main meal.

“It is essentially about getting what you want, not more than you need,” he says, adding that this works well as a selling proposition for retailers considering frozen – given the nature of portioning afforded by Fieldfare’s loose offer but also the portion-size options available from those who supply ready meals.

Another sub-category that Whelan sees as a major growth area is bake-at-home goods. Fieldfare’s croissants and pain au chocolat lines are a top seller and something he sees as a good option for even those smaller footprint retailers who can’t have more than a couple of chest freezers on site.

“You could have baked croissants at the till for people who want to eat one now and then also stock our croissants to take and have at home.

Those are two complementary occasions.”

Paul Hargreaves agrees that bake-from-frozen lines are also an opportunity both for retailers’ catering operations and for their retail freezers.

The Cotswold Fayre frozen catalogue features several brands, including Hedonist Bakery and The Original Baker, that could meet this dual need – while also reducing wastage in both areas.

As is evident from the NPD featured in this article, desserts are another area that can work well for retailers looking to tick boxes both in retail and foodservice.

While these sub-categories are on the up, the dominant driver of new entrants into the market remains the ready meal arena.

Hargreaves tells FFD: “In independent retail, historically it’s been the two companies [COOK and Fieldfare] that have supplied frozen products – and they’re very good at it – but there’s an appetite for a bit more variety in the offering.”

Curries from Bini Fine Foods, classic homecooked dishes from FieldGoods and pizzas from Crosta & Mollica are just some of the options listed in Costwold Fayre’s catalogue.

Meanwhile, By Ruby has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the space of a few years, having been acquired by chilled ready meal specialist Charlie Bigham’s and also securing independent distribution through Fieldfare.

Everyone in the sector agrees that the emergence of new brands will only make the category stronger.

“There are some great emerging brands coming through,” says Angela Dearlove. “It’s really hard to do what we do and to scale up frozen meals, so it’s lovely to see others doing that.”

She adds that many of these brands will help to occupy physically smaller retail spaces that COOK’s concession requirements (1,000-plus sq ft, minimum of two chest freezers) preclude it from entering.

“It also pushes everyone forward and keeps everyone on their toes.”

Matt Whelan agrees that the increase in variety and brands will not be a case of suppliers battling for the same freezer spaces.

“We’re all trying to present the concept of premium frozen,” he says. “There are some great brands out there that Fieldfare can sit with in a complementary way.”

While the future directions of the category, in terms of NPD, is hard to predict, Whelan says it will be exciting both from his own perspective and from the wider supply base.

“Three or four years ago the concept of frozen pizza dough wasn’t there,” he points out, citing the unexpected boom in home pizza ovens driven by the Covid pandemic.

There are also still obstacles for some retailers to overcome, according to Paul Hargreaves.

“The challenge for most retailers is they don’t have much back room storage for frozen, which means that they want smaller deliveries.”

But Cotswold Fayre’s downward revision of its minimum frozen orders to £500 has seen more customers making the move into it.

Whatever the future holds for premium frozen food in the independent sector, it’s clear that there is potential for more stockists and different retail occasions in the coming years.


COOK has launched a range of versatile sauces aimed at midweek dining for busy families. Its Roasted Mediterranean Vegetable variety is a chunky tomato sauce with balsamicroasted courgettes, pepper, and aubergines while Pesto, Broccoli & Spinach is a creamier take on traditional pesto. Beef & Red Wine Bolognese and Tomato, Mascarpone & Basil complete the line-up. The sauces retail at three for £13 or one for £5. cookfood.net

With the warmer weather and lighter lunches in mind, FieldGoods has three new dishes on its menu of ready meals. Chalkstream Trout & Asian Greens with a Soy & Ginger Glaze (RRP £13.95) could be served both as a salad dish or with rice for an evening meal. Meanwhile Meatballs with a Slow Cooked Italian Tomato Sauce (RRP £12.95) could also be served for lunch with bread and dinner with pasta. Tarte Tatin (RRP £5.95) completes the new trio. fieldgoods.co.uk

Berry’s has taken its range of cateringsized desserts into a smaller two- and four-portion packs to offer something new to independent retailers, after receiving feedback that customers wanted to stock more but the larger format didn’t work as a retail item. The new format has also proved popular with a number of farm shop vending machines as well as any customers serving the catering size on site that wanted to offer their customers a ‘take home’ version. berrysicecream.co.uk

Breda Murphy has relocated to a new premises to meet the demands of its growing operations. As well as D2C and hospitality sales, the producer has expanded its reach by supplying ready meals – which include Fish Pie, Beef Bourguignon and Chickpea Curry – to 10 retailers across Lancashire, Yorkshire and Cumbria, with a view to further growth in 2024. bredamurphy.co.uk

June 2024 | Vol.25 Issue 5 42
Vol.25 Issue 5 | June 2024 43 “ ”

The UK’s leading showcase of artisanal food & drink is returning on the 10-11 September 2024 at Olympia London for a sensational celebration of the last 25 years in the fine food & drink community! Scan the

your business!

Vol.25 Issue 5 | June 2024 43
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June 2024 | Vol.25 Issue 5 46 ‘Finally you can have your cake and eat it.’ www.acvdrink.com Lightly sparkling Apple Cider Vinegar drink to help minimise glucose spikes. The glucose revolution is upon us. Influencers and alternative health gurus are endorsing one of our most prescient revelations — the glucose hack. How the body breaks down glucose is apparently a concern for us all, not just diabetics and those with insulin resistance. With a regulated diet, we can all benefit from monitoring our glucose levels. Put simply, taking acetic acid (ACV) before starchy or carb heavy meals can prevent spikes and crashes we all feel but fail to understand. Those mid-afternoon fogs that send you into the spirit world, barely able to return to earth before the day is over. Now Apeal Wörld ACV has hit the market and nailed a great tasting and affordable way to take your daily dose on the go. This drink has all the glucose benefits to take before your meals and maintain energy throughout the day. Incredible tasting Artisan Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts, NATURALLY. Award-winning liqueurs as featured on James Martin Scan here for special offer tayportdistillery.com





For the cake

300g dark chocolate, and a little extra to garnish

265g caster sugar

105ml water

150g unsalted butter

4 large eggs

For the whipped cream

150g whipping cream

150g double cream

25g icing sugar

Pinch of salt

For the ganache

190g double cream

20g glucose

Pinch of salt

1 tbsp sugar

2 egg yolks

170g 35% chocolate, chopped


• To make the cake, line a 20 x 30cm baking dish with parchment. Heat 200g of the sugar, the water and the butter in a pan, to boiling

point. Pour onto the chocolate in thirds, whisking the hot liquid into the chocolate. Place the eggs into an electric mixer and whisk on slow for 3 minutes. Turn up to high speed, gradually adding the remaining sugar. Whisk until light and fluffy. Slowly fold the eggs into the chocolate, being careful to knock as little air out as possible. Pour into the baking dish. Fill a larger tray with boiling water, set the baking dish inside and bake at 160°C for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Once cooled, carefully lift out of the baking dish, turn onto a board and peel off the parchment paper. Chill until ready to cut and serve.

• To make the cream, place all the ingredients into a bowl and whip by hand with a large whisk until the cream

just drops off the whisk. It is critical not to over whip it or it will become thick set, dense and miserable to eat.

• Bring the cream, glucose and salt to the boil. Whisk the sugar into the egg yolks until creamy. Pour the boiling cream onto the yolks, whisk briefly to combine and then return to the heat. Cook gently, while stirring constantly, until the mix reaches 82°C - or until it has become thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Pour over the chocolate and stir until melted. Transfer to a small container and chill.

• To serve, cut the chocolate cake into portions and carefully “dollop” a large spoonful of ganache, then cream onto the cake and finish with a little grated chocolate.

Sysco subsidiary Fresh Direct has partnered with specialist Irish mushroom grower Umi Foods and launched a meat alternative which it says provides a healthy centre of plate alternative to meat. The ‘mushroom meat’, made from mushroom stalks which would otherwise have been discarded, is said to have a satisfying texture which makes it well-suited as a filling for sandwiches, burgers and wraps. freshdirect.co.uk

ePOS system provider Lightspeed Commerce is now integrated with reservation management platform TheFork Manager. This will allow patrons to view and manage reservations via the ePOS interface, which they say will reduce the risk of overbooking and minimise wait times. Data synchronisation, they add, will also aid reporting and insights.

Yarra Valley Caviar is seeking distribution in UK foodservice outlets. The producer from Rubicon River in Victoria, Australia, sustainably breeds Atlantic Salmon and Rainbow Trout for roe, rather than treat it as a by-product, and humanely harvests the caviar once a year. It is selling Salmon Roe, Smoked Salmon Roe and Trout Roe to commercial kitchens, which will be available to retailers at the end of an exclusive deal with Harrods in 2025. yarravalleycaviar.com.au

47 FOODSERVICE June 2024 | Vol.25 Issue 5
Recipe by Phil Howard elystanstreet.com
June 2024 | Vol.25 Issue 5 48 PURISTS. MIXERS. REBELS. CHEFS. THIS ONE’S FOR YOU. FIVE WAYS LIQUEUR. MADE IN JOHN O’GROATS WITH SCOTCH WHISKY, ORANGE, GINGER, HONEY & SPICE. 8DOORSDISTILLERY.COM/FIVEWAYS SALES@8DOORSDISTILLERY.COM 15% off orders of our 25g bars for shop-wired customers (minimum order £100) Discount Code: GUILD15 Cox & Co First in UK To Launch Paper Flow Wrapped Chocolate Bars In a UK first, single origin chocolate brand, Cox & Co, has created paper flow wrapped chocolate bars, allowing it to phase out all plastics and give consumers a curbside recyclable wrapping. For more information on Cox & Co visit coxandcocacao.com We are a family run award-winning distillery based in Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland Producing Gin, Rum, Vodka & Liqueurs and from April 2024 Whisky, a new very exciting new project, for future bottlings in years to come We also create unique, bespoke products, in small batches. We can personalise any bottle using supplied designs or creating in-house 01461 758 388 | info@solwayspirits.co.uk www.solwayspirits.co.uk THE ECCENTRIC ARTISANS
Ginsignia Classic Gin Mediterranean Gin Treacle Toffee Vodka Cumberland Saucy Gin Tirril Elderflower and Lakeland Honey gin

Somerset scoops

As a member of the Westcombe Dairy family, Iona and Rob Gore want Brickell’s Ice Cream to stand out for having just a handful of ingredients, and being made - ripples and all - from scratch.

What’s the story behind Brickell’s?

RG: Westcombe Dairy is my mum’s business, which she inherited. My great-grandparents [Florence and Albert Brickell], made Westcombe dairy cheese in the summer when there was a surplus of milk, then my grandfather made big block cheddar, but that market got a bit tricky. Richard Calver and his son Tom started making traditional, cloth bound, unpasteurised cheddar about 30 years ago.

I always wanted to do something with the family business, but felt like the cheese was pretty well covered, so I thought, other diversifications of milk, really, what can you do?

We’d always discussed ice cream, so I started looking into craft ice cream and found this booming market in the US, with a really cool approach I hadn’t seen anywhere in Europe, focusing on pure ingredients.

Traditional custard-based ice cream, no stabilisers or emulsifiers, just milk, cream, egg yolk, sugar. And it’s true across everything that goes into the ice cream, not just the base: taking fresh strawberries and roasting them down, or making the crumbles from scratch.

Like classic gelato shops run by a family in Italy, but scaled up. And that’s the impressive part of it: you’re not just doing X amount of litres through your shop. You’re doing national distribution in retail, and you’ve got the scoop shop side of it as well. It just makes it so much more interesting.

IG: So then Rob went on an ice cream making course in Penn State, the same one where Ben and Jerry met. And we’ve been making ice cream for six years now.

Where did you start selling it, and how has that come along?

RG: We have a refrigerated van so at first we were just doing local shops around a 50-mile radius. I’d be driving up to Bristol, which is an hour away, with an order of four tubs. You just had to do it.

IG: We did markets in Bristol and Froome. We would build the stall for two hours and take it down for about an hour and a half afterwards. Now, thankfully, we’ve got an ice cream van.

Like a classic gelato shop run by a family in Italy, but scaled up

too expensive. We try and work with good suppliers. We get our forced rhubarb from Robert Tomlinson in Yorkshire. We use Pump Street and Land chocolate. We get gooseberries from a really good supplier in Scotland.

IG: We use the ricotta stracciatella from the farm, and this summer, we’re going to do a homegrown mint choc chip. We want to see if we can grow more ourselves and start incorporating that into the ice cream.

RG: It’d be tricky to do fruit, because for example we’re using about 70 kilos of strawberries a week, but I think we’ll grow an amount of fruit and use it like a test kitchen, to try out new flavours. But something like lemon verbena would be amazing, which we’d be able to do with our own supply.

What does the near future look like?

IG: We’re trying to do more collaboration flavours and work with brands we like. Our main focus this year is to grow the retail side of it. Last week we went into Bayley and Sage, for example, and we have other exciting listings coming up. So now it’s just about holding tight, onboarding all the customers, and making sure Rob can keep up with the demand.

We distribute to about 200 shops ourselves, We also have a retail wholesaler now, CLF. And a local restaurant service wholesaler, La Chasse.

What sort of scale are you operating at the moment?

Luckily, last year we got a rural England prosperity fund grant, because the equipment is expensive. It allowed us to move from batch production to continuous. We’re still limited by the pasteurisation tanks and the ageing tanks, but we can do about 260 litres a day.

Aside from milk, where do you source your ingredients?

RG: It’s a mix. We get our strawberries frozen from Boiron; we tried it at first with premium, strawberries from the UK, but it was way

The next step is that we need a new pasteuriser to be able to hold more litres of mix and continue doing sales. So we need to work out how to finance it.

RG: We’re not sure about getting outside investment where we give away part of the company. I feel like we know where we want to take it, and if we’re wrong, we’re wrong, but we’d like to be able to make that decision.

IG: Next year we’d love to open a pop-up scoop shop, from March to October, ideally in Bristol, and see how it goes. If that goes well, then we’ve got a bit of a case. We’d want to be like Salt & Straw in the US.

RG: I really like that model. They’re doing four seasonal flavours a month, on top of a core range. For us, having a shop is how we grow trade without having to get into supermarkets, and then having to compete on price. brickellsicecream.co.uk

MEET THE PRODUCER 49 Vol.25 Issue 5 | June 2024


The Saucerer rebrands and introduces mushroom flavour

Convenience is possible without compromising on quality, according to pasta sauce producer, The Saucerer. The company was founded by the ex-head of exports at Beavertown Brewery, Tim Hillgarth, in the summer of 2022.

All three sauces – the original, ‘Red One’, rebranded as Plant-Based Chorizo & Smokey Red Peppers – made with soy rather than pork; Roasted Aubergine & Spicy Harissa, formerly known as ‘The Purple One’ and a new Wild Mushroom & Truffle Oil Pesto, which is made with chanterelles, porcini, trumpet, shiitake and chestnut mushrooms as well as black truffle oil – are vegan and have no added sugar.

Each 190g jar is enough for two portions of pasta, and retails at £4.95.

“I call it luxury convenience,” Hillgarth told FFD. “A couple can have – if you add a bit of pasta water and cheese, a glass of wine, a restaurant-quality meal for £10, for both of them.”

Importantly, he added, “they’re ambient, and not because they have any nasties in them – it’s just to do with PH levels.”

Hillgarth said that having grown up eating meals cooked from scratch – his mum being French and his father Italian, these meals were often pasta – his lifestyle didn’t allow for

him to spend as long cooking everyday. But uninspired by the variety, quality and dilute nature of the pasta sauces on offer, he decided to create his own.

“People don’t have to eat the same sauces they’ve had for 30 years,” he said, contending that most consumers are inclined to broaden what they eat rather than limit it.

“If you’re been exposed to harissa, why not put it on your pasta? It’s about diversity, innovation and convenience”, he added.

Available via Mahalo and Faire, the producer has listings in a number of organic convenience stores, but is looking to focus sales on delis, with the likes of Patridges, Superette, Gourmet Hound and The Passage Pantry on board.

Seasonal specials could follow – including a possible tapenade-style sauce, or an extra spicy one – as well as guest collaborations like beer producers commonly do. “We’d run them as limited editions, but if they do well, we’d keep them on,” Hillgarth said. thesaucerer.co.uk

Wiltshire condiment producer Tracklements has teamed up with well-known chef and restaurateur Mark Hix to create a Special Edition Zingy Burger Sauce. Introduced in time for barbecue season, it is said to be a good match for burgers, sausages and grilled meats. The ingredients are vegan, gluten-free and natural, and include tomatoes, mustard, turmeric, lemon, chillies, and spice. Available in cases of 6 x 290g for £15.50. RRP, £4.10. trade.tracklements.co.uk


Coffee bean, pod and instant coffee company Little’s has added a Toffee Nut Instant Coffee and Toffee Nut Coffee Pods to its range. Made to be drunk with or without milk, hot or in an iced coffee, the producer says it has notes of toasted almonds and sweet caramel. RRP, £3.50 per 50g jar/£4 per pack of 10 Nespresso® compatible capsules. wearelittles.com

Dairy-free producer Booja-Booja is now selling four of its top-selling ice cream flavours in flavours in single portion ‘mini pots’. The cashewbased ice creams will be available in Deeply Chocolate, Vanilla, Caramel Pecan Praline and Mango & Raspberry flavours. The 110ml size is said to be perfect for impulse buys and foodservice. Available in cases of 22 for £27.50. Unit cost £1.25, RRP £1.99. boojabooja.com

Prebiotic granola brand Bio&Me now has a range of ‘Good for Your Gut’ Flapjack Bars. None of the Toffee Apple, Super Berry or Cocoa & Hazelnut contain any artificial flavours, or added sugar – predominantly made from oats, nuts, seeds and fruit. RRP £2.95 per pack of 3 x 38g bars and £1.20 per 38g bar. bioandme.co.uk


1 Seitan

There’s a push for less processed vegan ‘meat’ products of late, and paired with the increasingly unpopular production of soy bean, people are turning their attention to seitan. Tofoo have just launched two

seitan products; Original, and Pepperoni in a collaboration with London’s vegan fried chicken chain, Temple of Seitan. The product has been masqueraded by a number of brand names, but with ingredient knowledge widening - and associations with dusty health food shops forgotten - seitan no longer has to hide in the shadows.

2 Tiramisù

This kitsch 70s stalwart has risen to the fore of our revamped approach to the dinner party - a trend that’s also been on the rise in 2024. Sainsbury’s and Waitrose have included tiramisù ice cream in their summer range, and likes of Dalston’s Little Duck are turning out coffee and mascarpone mille-

feuille to East Londoners. Meanwhile, Sheffield’s pub and music venue Church continues to knock out its vegan tiramisù to wide acclaim.

3 Smash burgers

The term smash burger may sound like a kitchen calamity, but is actually a style of burger that’s picking up some speed across the US and UK. It’s a roughly prepared burger that starts off as a ball of ground meat, placed on a griddle and smashed flat with the back of a spatula. The result is a thin burger that cooks quickly, with crispy edges. Stand out examples can be found at LA’s The Win-Dow, and Burger’s Never Say Die, as well as in the UK at Smashburger, Bun & Sum and London’s most hyped burger spot, Supernova.

June 2024 | Vol.25 Issue 5 1
3 2


Place your Christmas order today! Our winter collection delivers an exciting range of hand-selected products from moreish treats to gifting suitable for all ages and preferences. There really is something for everyone Download our Christmas brochure to see our full range www.hsfrenchflint.co.uk 0207 237 1750 Our multi-award-winning small-batch is exquisitely simple www.kyngsdrinks.co.uk @kyngsdrinks 25% of donated endangered around To find out

Made using 100% organic milk and cream, the Torpenhow farmhouse dairy is nestled between the Cumbrian fells and the Solway firth.

Three Hills Gelato is now available in a range of flavours and sizes


Colorado House of Sauce

Crafted with passion and perfected over time, our BBQ sauces and rubs are the secret ingredients to elevate your grilling experience. Whether you crave a smoky, tangy, or sweet flavour profile, our artisanal blends promise to tantalize your taste buds and leave a lasting impression on every dish. Made with the finest ingredients, each bottle is a testament to our commitment to quality and flavour. From classic favourites to unique creations, explore our collection and discover the perfect complement to your next BBQ masterpiece.

Locally owned and operated thundersnoutbbq.co.uk

June 2024 | Vol.25 Issue 5 52


Organic food supplier Biona is now selling two types of French mustards, a traditional Wholegrain variant and a hotter French Dijon. Neither contain any artificial additives, preservatives or colourings, containing only mustard seeds, spirit vinegar and seasoning. Both come in 200g jars, with RRPs of £3.49 and £3.29 respectively. biona.co.uk

Preserved vegetable producer Mrs Elswood has entered the fermented foods game with the addition of a Kimchi range. Available in Classic, Beetroot and Turmeric flavours, the ferments are listed by Ocado with an RRP of £3.80 a 300 gjar. mrselswood.com

Popcorn Kitchen’s latest ‘pop at home’ kit features fellow producer Foodio’s Peanut Butter Buttons, themselves made with peanuts, coconut blossom sugar, single origin cocoa butter and salt. The cups are to be melted on top of the popcorn, for a decadent, yet protein-rich snack. RRP £13.99 per 440g kit. popcornkitchen.co.uk

My magic ingredient Germano’s Chilli

Garlic Sauce


Olive Oil

This is one of the most indispensable products in our shop.

The olive oil, as opposed to the sesame oil often found in similar products provides a slow release for the chillies into the meal and traps a long umami aftertaste. The chilli crunch lends an oriental influence, and the strong garlic hit makes it adaptable to Western dishes.

Our customers are not just fans: they find this product so irresistible that several have called it ‘The best taste in the world.’ It was the National Chilli Awards 2023 Gold Winner.

We’ve had instances where we ran out of stock briefly, and customers were going out of their way to track it down. When it returned, it was welcomed back like a true hero.

Germanos Chilli Sauce with Garlic In Olive Oil is a true culinary chameleon. It’s at home in gravies, pasta sauces and mixed with butter and spread onto sourdough bread, to create the most delicious garlic bread ever. I guarantee that once you try this, it will become an essential kitchen cupboard item.

New owner sets out plans for Northern Ireland’s Abernethy Butter

Abernethy Butter’s new owner, Peter Hannan, has promised that the much-loved hand-churned product will not be diluted under his stewardship. The founder of premium meat supplier, Hannan Meats, acquired the business in March, after founders Will and Allison Abernethy put in on the market last summer.

Hannan, who was awarded an MBE by the Queen in 2021 for his contribution to Economic Development in Northern Ireland, said he received a phone call saying the deal the Abernethys had struck which had fallen through, but that the couple was set on retiring.

“I said to myself, ‘Abernethy Butter can’t disappear.’ Will and Alison are very, very entitled to retire, but it was like losing the star player off the team, Northern Ireland without Abernethy Butter. I just couldn’t see it.”

patted rolls of butter have built up something of a cult following, with listings in Michelin-starred restaurants, Harrods and Fortnum & Mason, and a number of awards including Great Taste and Northern Ireland’s Blas na hÉireann.

Production will be moved to Hannan’s new premises in the Moira area, a 10,000 square foot site and former pub, and ramped up to meet high demand for the butter. Ateam of four will be responsible for production.

The Abernethys started selling their hand churned Irish butter in 2005, using milk from a dairy in the couple’s hometown of Dromara, County Down. Over the years, the distinctive

Hannan told FFD that as well as SALSA approval, and some “exciting” plans further down the line, an increase in production was on the cards, but only so as to sell more of it to restaurants, fine food retailers and bakeries.

“We certainly don’t intend to flood the market, but we’d like to make it more widely available to more people because historically there was only a certain amount of it,” he said.

“This was never a commercial decision. It never will be commercial. It’s always been about the product. We love sharing food. We love making food for people to enjoy, and that’s what we want to do with Abernethy.

This is one of the most indispensable products in our shop

With the stated aim of offering consumers a range of healthy breakfast options, Forest Feast and Acti Snack owner Kestrel Foods has launched a new gluten-free granola brand called Just Live a Little. Made with wholegrain gluten-free oats, fruit, nuts, seeds and nut butter – which the producer said adds a creamy taste – it comes in four flavours: Maple & Toasted Pecan ; Raspberry, Coconut & Cashew; Cocoa & Hazelnut; Peanut Butter & Apple. RRP £4 per 360g. justlivealittle.com

53 PRODUCTS & MERCHANDISING June 2024 | Vol.25 Issue 5
GEORGE MILLER, Chilli Shop, Leeds


Our one-day course for anyone sourcing or selling cheese, delivered by industry and retail experts. Understand how cheese is made, how it should be stored and sold, gain skills to help communicate with customers and sell more cheese from a position of knowledge.

LONDON: 1 July & 24 September | YORKSHIRE: 8 July | DORSET: 14 October

To find out more and book a place on our 2024 courses, visit www.gff.co.uk/training

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Biskut Bar is a premium Indian biscuit company with planet-forward values. We provide an assortment of boldly aromatic treats rooted in heritage, Ayurveda and sustainability.

As a plastic-free business focusing on reusability, Biskut Bar intentionally sources single-variety spices and nuts to help promote biodiversity and regenerative farming.

Here is their best-selling Indian Afternoon Biscuit Tin, where you will journey into the founder’s Punjabi heritage with four dynamic flavours: Cardamom & Homemade Ghee, Cumin & Orange, Coconut & Cashew and an Ayurvedic Herbal Mix Biscuit.

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At BMAC International Trade Ltd, we are passionate about educating people on the benefits of authentic honey and how to carefully select and distinguish it from counterfeit honey. Honey is not only a sweet and delicious treat, but it also provides numerous health benefits. It contains antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, and antiseptic properties that can help to boost the immune system, lower blood pressure, and reduce inflammation within the body.

Drivers: family picklers since 1906

Our award winning range of premium quality Pickles, Relishes and Chutneys is available in retail, catering and gift options.

Introducing our new versatile 4 jar box.


Delicious, flavourful speciality coffee roast in the North East of England by Alex Forsyth, an Aussie transplant who learnt to roast and brew coffee from his dad in Sydney. Bought from fairly-paid smallholder coffee farmers, expertly roast to unlock a kaleidoscope of flavour.

• 250g retail bags available for wholesale.

• Cafe supply including barista training available

Vol.25 Issue 5 | June 2024 55
07947312843 | eballa@bmacinternaional.com or eballa@beehurohoney.com
| 07908007726 www.baristocracycoffee.com
Coffee Roasters
Drivers Pickles driverspickles Driver’s Pickles
C M Y CM MY CY CMY K Drivers GFF Best Brands 23|24.pdf 1 04/12/2023 14:55
Drawing on the concept store model popular in Nordic countries, Leeds’ retail outlet Greens Grocers is just one facet of a specialist organic food business. Here’s how it works...

Going Green

AT FIRST GLANCE, Leeds’ centre seems to be a lot like those of other UK cities. The big brands are everywhere on the high street; sometimes they have two locations within a few strides of each other. You could be fooled into thinking there aren’t any independent businesses here at all.

But wander off the main shopping strip, and you will find them – the indie bakeries, the bijou restaurants and the retailers specialising in vinyl, second-hand books and even just hot sauce.

When Daniel Palmer opened Eat Your Greens, he had also identified a niche. He was part of the duo behind Grub and Grog, a successful organic café in the city’s now closed multi-events space, Sheaf Street.

“That’s where we started selling organic produce,” he tells FFD, “because it’s notoriously hard to find in Leeds, especially in the city centre.”

At Grub & Grog, the fruit and veg stand consisted of three crates, but the seed of an


Location: 42 New York St, Leeds LS2 7DY

Floor space: 25 sq m (retail) 100 sq m (total)

Average basket spend (retail): £20

Average margin (retail): 35%

Number of staff (across the business): 10

Annual turnover: £50,000 (retail) / £500,000 total

Number of lines: 250

idea was there: Palmer had spent time in Copenhagen, where food outlets commonly blur the line between restaurant and shop, and he wanted to emulate that.

“They had all of the ingredients they were using, packaged up and for sale on the shelf - over there they are all about sustainability and organic, and they have been well ahead of us with that sort of stuff.”

So, in January 2018, the Eat Your Greens café, restaurant, shop and bar opened on York Street, selling organic, local food and drink.

While the restaurant took off straight away, the retail offer started off small: some fruit and vegetables, natural wines, and a handful of other items. But the tables turned in 2020, when lockdown left them with a glut of fresh produce from the kitchen.

“We were working with a local charity,” Palmer explains. “People started buying our veg boxes, and we did a suspended veg box scheme, where people could spend 5, 10, 20

or 50 pounds and donate the veg to charity. We were getting £400 orders in, and the charity would come down and pick up this massive delivery of organic veg to give out to people who were struggling.”

“We then continued to build the shop off the back of that.”

Palmer used this time and momentum to find more lines, with many of them also a byproduct of Covid restrictions, like chef Harry Colley’s brand Harry’s Nut Butter, Kold hot sauces created by advertising professional Drew Wolf, and Northern Pasta, set up by interior designer Imogen Royall and builder Matt Kenyon.

When things returned to normal, people came back to eat in the restaurant, and online orders tapered off. But there was no going back: the business was a different entity now.

“It got to a point where the website got a bit confusing, because the restaurant was back open and then we had this whole shop,

56 June 2024 | Vol.25 Issue 5

so we decided to separate the two.”

The shop’s product selection is much bigger now, and so is the retail space. As well as a wider range of fresh fruit and vegetables and a bigger selection of drinks, there’s more of the classic deli offering: cheese and dairy products, fresh bread, charcuterie, tinned goods, pasta, noodles, sauces, jams and preserves, chocolate.

And the plan is to keep diversifying the offer, relying on a mix of suppliers, including those they buy from for the restaurant, explains Hannah Raison, director of Greens Grocers, who joined the business in lockdown, helping to pack veg boxes and manage the website after being made redundant in her previous job.

“We use ‘pasture for life’ beef and all high-welfare meat, we use Kernow Fish down in Cornwall, so we’re going to make that available in the shop as well,” she says. “It’s definitely something that Leeds is missing – you can’t really buy organic meat and [sustainable] fish here.”

As well as buying from a handful of speciality food wholesalers, the Greens team has one-to-one relationships with individual producers, which “being within the food scene, you see them at pop-ups and different events”, says Palmer. They regularly go to markets too, not just to sell products and promote the shop, but to find new lines. “You meet up with producers there and end up stocking their products.”

“Speciality food has just blown up so much since lockdown, and there’s just so much good stuff out there now. Every few

weeks we’ll be stocking something new. We like to get stuff in and see if it works. There’s so much out there, it’s hard not to get carried away sometimes.”

Succeed as they may to make both entities work in their own right, having the restaurant, Eat Your Greens, and the shop, Greens Grocers, under the same roof gives Palmer and Raison the ability to be many things to many people.

Their customer base is very broad, of all ages, and represents a breadth of socioeconomic backgrounds.

“It reflects Leeds, as a city, I feel,” says Raison. “We try and be as accessible as we possibly can be, as an organic business.

“We price things as fairly as possible, and across the range we have some premium lines, but we also try and find stuff that’s more affordable.”

Part of this flexibility is that, across the businesses, they can pool their resources – not just sharing the rent and bills, but ingredients, too.

“That’s the beauty of having the kitchen,” says Palmer. “In the restaurant we have quite a big menu which changes a lot so we don’t have to worry too much about having lots of stock in the shop, because it’ll always get used.”

And the reverse holds true, too. For example, one of the restaurant’s chefs lived and worked in Japan for a year, so the Thursday after our visit, they were due to have an evening celebrating Japanese culture,


Kold Sauce Hot Sauce

Happy Endings Ice Cream Sandwiches

Ramon Pena Sardines

Hardlines Coffee House Party

Shedletsky’s Red Kimchi

Northern Pasta Casarecce

Mickles Pickles

Lamiri Harrisa

Oniric Pet’ Nat

These Days Spritz

Sippers Bottled Cocktails

DELI OF THE MONTH 57 Vol.25 Issue 5 | June 2024 CONTINUED ON PAGE 59

a ‘ramen and sake’ night, using Fresh Flour Co.’s ramen, with soy sauce and wasabi from The Wasabi Company.

“So when we’re doing that order for the kitchen, we’ll get what we need for the shop as well,” says Palmer.

The bar serves natural wine, beer and cider (mostly from Leeds-based wholesaler, Wayward Wines, and Fine Cider Co.) also showcased at tastings in the shop – and in both cases, customers can take a bottle home with them.

The sharing of resources also applies to the team, and the space: while the kitchen team use the shop as a pantry, the front-ofhouse staff also work in the shop.

“They know all about the wine, and everything we stock, so it works well,” says Palmer.

Several nights a week, the venue has guest DJs in – so while diners sit with a digestif, the booth on the corner of the bar comes to life. “It gets really busy, lots of


people dancing while we’re trying to cash up,” says Raison.

There are exhibition launches, and one of the space’s most popular events is chess night, which (weather allowing) sees the outside pavement turned into an alfresco terrace.

The past six years have shown that the space works as a diversified business, but the ideal would be for the shop to represent a bigger share – as it currently stands at about 10%. “But you can definitely see the uptake is a lot more now. Having more lines in brings people down”, says Raison.

“It’s a nice complement – I know it’s only 10% but it’s a healthy challenge for you,” she says, nodding at Dan, who nods back in agreement, and adds: “we’re going to go to more markets with the shop as well now. The Leeds Farmer’s Market is great, they just do it on the main shopping street every last Sunday. We’re just starting to get our shop out there a little bit, trying to get a

few more customers in.”

In a distant future, they would like a business that is supported by foodservice, and not the opposite.

“At the moment it’s a passion project, and just an idea, there’s no business plan, but we’ll see,” says Raison.

Pointing out that while they are lucky to be in a growing ‘independent quarter’ as the city centre expands outwards, lots of others are closing, Palmer says. “It’s still a struggle. I think it is for any hospitality or small business at the minute. Times are pretty difficult. The amount of places it blows down, some of the places you look at and think, wow, they’re doing really well, and the next minute, they’re gone.”

But if the vinyl enthusiasts, and the chilli heads, and the bookworms are loyal, so are customers here – may they be chess players, wine drinkers, or just people looking for somewhere they know there’s only one of. greensgrocersleeds.co.uk

Speciality food has just blown up so much since lockdown. Every few weeks we’ll be stocking something new.
59 Vol.25 Issue 5 | June 2024

Northern Ireland.

Bringing our world-class food and drink to your table.

Northern Ireland.

Fine Food and Speciality trade buyers are no stranger to the broad range and high quality of food and drink from Northern Ireland.

From exceptional everyday staples to specialist artisan treats, Northern Ireland producers have products to boost your sales and inspire your customers.

Bringing our world-class food and drink to your table.

Fine Food and Speciality trade buyers are no stranger to the broad range and high quality of food and drink from Northern Ireland.

Flexibility, innovation, and strong customer relationships are at the heart of our industry. Northern Ireland’s long-established and largely family-owned companies are well positioned for continued growth. Committed to using quality, often locally produced ingredients, provenance, and outstanding flavour are guaranteed.

Visit us at Farm Shop and Deli in NEC Birmingham 24-26 April, stand S330.

From exceptional everyday staples to specialist artisan treats, Northern Ireland producers have products to boost your sales and inspire your customers. Flexibility, innovation, and strong customer relationships are at the heart of our industry. Northern Ireland’s long-established and largely family-owned companies are well positioned for continued growth. Committed to using quality, often locally produced ingredients, provenance, and outstanding flavour are guaranteed.

For more information contact Michelle Charrington E: michelle.charrington@investni.com

Northern Ireland. Altogether more.

Visit us at Farm Shop and Deli in NEC Birmingham 24-26 April, stand S330.

For more information contact Michelle Charrington E: michelle.charrington@investni.com

Northern Ireland. Altogether more.

Vol.25 Issue 5 | June 2024 55
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Vol.25 Issue 5 | June 2024 55


June 2024 | Vol.25 Issue 5 62 JOY ON A PLATE For generations now, our family has been making a real commitment to taste and excellence, hoping to help you add a bit of magic to every mealtime.
| info@jameswhelanbutchers.com

Expert View



It’s just “window dressing”. We use the phras e in everyday speech to be slightly dismissive of techniques that seems to be putting a gloss on something less savoury. But, in retail, window dressing is vital, not just a hackneyed phrase.

It can make the difference, turning potential customers into actual customers. So, let’s spend a moment considering the outside of your shop.

The weather’s improving (finally!) and suddenly there are more people about. Make the most of every one of those potential customers by grabbing their attention to what you have on offer.

Perhaps by car in a more rural setting, thos e first impressions really do count. What message will they get about your retail space?

Take a moment to assess your curb appeal and smarten up your look, so you have a genuine chance to get their attention.

My absolute top tip is: Keep the front clean and tidy. Sweep the pavement, clear the rubbish, update the signage, replace that missing letter or failed light bulb, and clean the glass.

All this will ensure you are giving your window display a fighting chance of being noticed.


Next, bring the inside out. There is no point expecting people to be able to see through plate glass as they pass by. Check it for yourself.

What can you really see without cons ciously looking? How can you help people understand your offer and give them a reason to stop by?

Maybe a colourful painted frame design around the glass will set off your interior

Take a moment to assess your curb appeal and smarten up your look.

perfectly and get your message across. Maybe a table and a couple of chairs will act as an invitation to stay a while. Or install a shelf below the window so you can bring some stock outside each day, creating an eyecatching snapshot of your offer.

Last but not least, make sure your signage is easy to read from the distance your customers are likely to see it.

Don’t make assumptions – take a look yourself and check passers-by can pick up what’s on offer and how you operate immediately.

Remember, you only have 7 seconds to make that vital first impression so make sure it is a positive one.


This new wine range is exactly what we need to boost profits and footfall.

Could you recommend a natural wine to go with fish?

Madam, please rest assured all our wines are made from ‘natural’ ingredients. Oh, and I would say definitely a red wine.

Setting up shop for good hygiene

Visitors to nonpublic areas

All visitors to non-public, food-handling areas should be made aware of your business’s hygiene rules.

A visitor includes any contractor or individual other than those employed by the business.

Visitors should be required to wear protective clothing in the food handling areas and adhere to strict personal hygiene standards in line with company procedures. It is good practice to ask visitors to complete a medical questionnaire prior to allowing them to enter food handling areas.

Where any visitor admits to suffering from any symptoms or being a carrier of a disease which can be transferred through food, they should be prohibited from entering food handling areas.

Visitors should be required to wear protective clothing in food handling areas


Food’s Assured Code of Practice for Deli Retailing

The guide is available in PDF format (free for Guild Members, £250+VAT for non-members). To request a copy of the Code,

This advice is an excerpt from the Guild of Fine Food’s Assured Code of Practice for Deli Retailing. The guide is available in PDF format (free for Guild Members, £250+VAT for nonmembers). To request a copy of the Code, email support@gff.co.uk

Well, what do you reckon? Good, eh?

Actually, I prefer the 2017 vintage – less tannins. And, also, this exact bottle is £3 cheaper in the supermarkets.

FFD says: Most delis and farm shops could quite rightly call themselves food specialists but that won’t make it easy to move into wine. You’ll have to work hard to get your range and pricing right. What’s more, gaps in your knowledge could leave customers confused, disappointed or unimpressed. Think carefully before you pop your first cork.

63 June 2024 | Vol.25 Issue 5 ADVICE
With kind permission of Geobra Brandstätter Stiftung & Co. KG, Germany. PLAYMOBIL is a registered trademark of Geobra Brandstätter Stiftung & Co. KG, for which also the displayed PLAYMOBIL toy figures are protected. SOLVING EVERYDAY SHOPKEEPING DILEMMAS. IN MINIATURE.
We’ll see…
Scan this QR code to discover the steps we have, and are taking, to reduce our impact on the environment. Or visit www.folkingtons.com Introducing our new range of 330ml sparkling drinks Email: info@folkingtons.com for your FREE samples today RANGE! NEW

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