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ONLIN E MA NOW AGAZINE VAILAB LE!

JULY / AUGUST 2017

W W W. F O O D A N D D R I N K N E W S . C O . U K


{ July / August 2017 }

Contents ONLINE E MAGAZINABLE! AIL NOW AV

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INDUSTRY NEWS

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SNACKS, NUTS & CRISPS FOCUS

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RESTAURANT FOCUS

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DIAPER POULTRY

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DAVISON CANNERS

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PUNJAB KITCHEN

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INDO-EUROPEAN FOODS

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TOWERS THOMPSON

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AB PRODUCE

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LEEWAYS PACKAGING SERVICES LTD

TO VIEW THE 2017 FEATURES LIST PLEASE VISIT WWW.FOODANDDRINKNEWS.CO.UK OR CONTACT US ON +44(0)1484 321000 TO EMAIL A COPY TO YOU

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July/August 2017 Food & Drink News


{ Editor’s Foreword }

Rising Prices, Falling Deals

PUBLISHER Planet Media & Design Ltd Brooke’s Mills, Huddersfield HD4 7NR

MANAGING DIRECTOR Jillian Evans

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Paul Roper

NATIONAL SALES MANAGER Emily Holroyd

CHIEF EDITOR Michelle Hodgson

SUB-EDITOR Rachael Whiteley

SOCIAL MEDIA Benjamin Wainman

C

ommercial law firm EMW has reported a 25% fall in merger & acquisition deals targeting UK food manufacturers, apparently because of pressure from the fall in sterling. Acquisitions are down from 36 to 27 in the past 12 months, and the value of the deals has dropped sharply from £4,458m to £460m.

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Meanwhile, the 2017 Food and Drink Consumer Trends Report from market research company Attest shows that one in five consumers have switched from their favourite brands as food prices continue to rise. While 27% of those surveyed never eat out, this month’s focus on restaurants shows that those who do are starting to demand mobile ordering in increasing numbers, while the interest in ‘hipster’ food fads is waning. As usual, we have plenty of other features on successful food and drink businesses, along with the latest industry news.

Michelle Hodgson CHIEF EDITOR

Food & Drink News is published by Planet Media & Design Ltd. Company registered in England & Wales, number 09365661. All material is the copyright of Planet Media & Design Ltd. All rights reserved. Food & Drink News is the property of Planet Media & Design Ltd. This publication may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form, whole or part, without the written permission of a Director of Planet Media & Design Ltd. Liability: while every care is taken in the preparation of this magazine, the publishers can not be held responsible for the accuracy of information herein, or any consequence arising from it. In the case of company or product reviews or comments, these have been based upon the true and honest opinion of the Editor at the time of going to press.

July/August 2017 Food & Drink News

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{ Industry News }

INTERFOOD A WINNER AT UK MEAT INDUSTRY AWARDS Interfood Technology has made it a hat-trick of wins with the announcement that the company is the ‘Best Equipment/Machinery Supplier’ for 2017 following the presentation of the Meat Management Industry Awards in June. This is the third time since the prestigious awards were first presented that Interfood has won, with the 2017 black-tie ceremony taking place at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel where some 400 guests celebrated the best in the UK meat industry. Receiving the award from stand-up comedian and performer Miles Jupp, Andre Clareboets and Richard Nethercot, representing the Leadership Team at Interfood, said: “It is very pleasing to receive recognition from an industry of which we are very proud to be a part and we would like to heartily congratulate all the 2017 award winners. “It is ‘striving to be the best that you can be’, that ensures that we continue to move

forward as an industry and respond to the challenges that we all face.” Interfood Technology is now in its 18th year of supplying food manufacturing, processing and production machinery from many of the leading manufacturers from around the world. The equipment supplied

through each of these divisions offers specific capabilities, with regional-based teams of engineers, backed by support personnel, to ensure a swift and efficient service.

www.interfoodtechnology.com

IML-T SPREADS ITS WINGS The quality and value benefits of RPC Bebo’s In-Mould Label Thermoforming (IML-T) have seen the technology being extended into the butter and margarine spreads sector with the introduction of a 500g tub for longstanding customer Kerry Foods. Key to Kerry Foods’ decision to adopt IMLT was its high-quality decoration appeal in combination with low lot size per design options, while allowing for highly competitive unit costings and an increased environmental profile. RPC Bebo’s design and engineering capabilities delivered a high-quality finished pack while ensuring that the customer’s production lines required no changes. IML-T applies pre-printed labels to a container or lid during the thermoforming process. This enables high-quality intricate designs in up to eight colours to be incorporated to achieve a better level of finish and greater coverage of the container than direct printing. The process is fully flexible both in terms

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of the type of container to be decorated and the application of the labels. Labels can be applied to even the most complex designs, from round or rectangular containers to multi-compartment versions. The same system can handle different containers at

different weights, as well as barrier and nonbarrier and bi-colour packs, including those that require autoclaving.

www.rpc-beboplastik.de


{ Industry News }

LEIBINGER GMBH FORMS UK PARTNERSHIP WITH PMC ENGINEERING SOLUTIONS Leibinger GmbH – a leading European manufacturer of filling machines for all kinds of beverages, announces the recently agreed partnership with PMC Engineering Solutions (PMCES) to provide full UK sales, technical and engineering support. Leibinger specialises in the design, engineering and manufacturing of filling equipment and has supplied automated machines worldwide to fill beer, wine, champagne, spirits and soft drinks in any bottle or can. Combining advanced technologies with mechanical main functions, ensures high dependency and reliability, easy maintenance and a long service life (www.leibinger.eu). PMCES’s management team are well established and experienced within the food, beverage (bottling/canning) and packaging industries. The company is excited about the partnership with Leibinger as it provides a platform for PMCES to establish itself and expand its current activities. With an established machinery range, PMC Engineering Solutions are confident that there is an existing UK market for the versatile and proven MULTIMA product line

from Leibinger, which is particularly suitable for filling carbonated products like beer, soft drinks and mineral water. The newest Leibinger ‘family member’ is the MULTIMA2in1 counterpressure filler which can handle both bottles and cans. That offers huge efficiencies and advantages. Not only is it interesting for customers from the cost perspective, it also saves a lot of space, as it supersedes other machines in the line. After months of research and development to improve the quality and

packaging presentation, Moor Beer recently installed a Leibinger can filling machine. The requirement was to complement and support quality control on the beer and for the can to shake off the cheap tinned lager image. This is one of the main reasons they moved away from buying a cheap canning line or using mobile canning equipment and selected a Leibinger can filling machine. In addition to supporting Leibinger in the UK, PMC Engineering Solutions offer a wide range of support services including line design and layouts, feasibility studies, front end designs, equipment selection and turnkey solutions through to installation and commissioning.

For further information contact PMC Engineering Solutions or visit the website www.pmces.uk

FIRST PHASE OF COMPLEX LOGISTICS CENTRE SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED FOR SWISS FOOD COMPANY COOP Automated materials handling solutions specialist TGW Logistics has completed a major milestone in the development of a

huge logistics centre being built for Swiss food company Coop on a 110,000 sq km site in Schafisheim – one of the largest construction sites in Switzerland. Started in June 2013, the first stage of the development, the General Products warehouse, is now fully operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Around 13,000 roller containers and 2,000 Euro pallets of flowers, plants, fruit, vegetables, dairy, confectionery, bakery and general products are picked and shipped each day. A TGW conveyor system for pallets and roller containers

connects various goods receiving areas, the high-bay warehouse with around 4,000 Euro pallet storage locations, and the picking and shipping areas. The operation sits over six floors that are connected by 32 lifts. A 160m bridge connects the two buildings that make up the facility – the modified existing warehouse and an extension. Live supply chain operations continued throughout the first stage, which was made more complex by the scale of the development, the high degree of automation and the relevance of the General Products warehouse to the interdependent phases, which have yet to be completed.

www.tgw-group.com

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{ Industry News }

API’S HOLONIQUE™ BOUTIQUE DELIVERS BRANDS AN EXTRA DIMENSION API is leading the way in the creative development of holographic and other highly visual optical packaging solutions with the launch of its custom decorative holography service, Holonique™ Boutique. This service provides brands with API’s specialised knowledge in the use of holography and 3D designs that, as an

integral part of the product pack design, can add the extra dimension to brands across the food, drinks, personal care and beauty sectors. Holonique™ Boutique is a key element in API’s expansion of holographic foil and film manufacturing capabilities after its completion of a recent £0.5m investment in its facility in Livingston, Scotland. The Holonique™ Boutique custom design team is led by David Peters, Creative Development Manager, whose two decades of experience in luxury products and packaging are helping to spark innovation and aid brand evolution to a larger audience, including designers, printers and brand owners. By working to identify the underlying need in each customer’s brief and ensure that the creative solutions presented answer this need, API’s expertise in holography will deliver the best results for

each customer’s package.

For more information on API’s new HoloniqueTM Boutique and manufacturing facilities, visit apigroup.com

SAFE TOLL PROCESSING SERVICE FOR FOOD ALLERGENS Food processors now have safe processing options for a number of foods containing allergens thanks to Hosokawa Micron’s specialist toll processing service which features segregated hygienic processing suites and a rigorously controlled food safety and quality programme in conjunction with a robust allergen control plan. Kathryn Hipkins, Technical Centre Manager, Hosokawa Micron Ltd, explains: “We always know what products are arriving at our site. The materials that are processed in our food processing suites are sourced from accredited sites that are free from or control allergens. We regularly retrieve information from our clients regarding allergen policies and assess the accreditation and grade of the raw material supplier. “We have two food processing areas that are fully segregated and have dedicated PPE and colour-coded clothing. One is for the production of allergens and the other is for the production of allergen and gluten free materials. This has been positively received by those companies who do not have the capability or required accreditation for

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segregation and allergen management which we can provide through a rigorous HACCP programme which involves third party laboratory swab testing and validation of our toll processing suite and its equipment. Successful milling of products containing allergens, specifically for use in food supplements containing allergens such as milk, calcium, lactose and fish gelatin are

testament to our fastidious procedures and validated cleaning regimes, product and process isolation and thorough understanding of procedures in which all our personnel undertake training to prevent cross contamination occurring on our site.”

Tel: 01928 755100 www.hosokawa.co.uk


{ Industry News }

GREAT NEW LOOK FOR PREWETT’S FAMILY FAVOURITES RANGE Prewett’s great ‘family favourites’ range of ‘gorgeously gluten free’ biscuits is now even better with new eye-catching packaging that highlights their superb taste and quality. As well as the new design, the packaging also features key information in eight different languages as the Prewett’s range moves into the European market for the first time. The biscuits in the Prewett’s ‘family favourites’ range are Milk Chocolate Digestives, Digestives and Jammy Wheels. David Wood, Business Improvement Director for Northumbrian Fine Foods, who own the Prewett’s brand, said: “We are delighted with our new packaging design, which offers a bright and eye-catching new look. The ‘family favourites’ range also features a new improved recipe for our

milk chocolate digestives. “We are now looking to expand the brand into European retail outlets and the different language information on the packs will aid that process.”

More information on Northumbrian Fine Foods at www.northumbrianfinefoods.c om More information on Prewett’s at www.prewettsbiscuits.com

THE EMCO GAS LOGGER EMCO Packaging has developed an advanced and highly sensitive data logger that collects environmental data actually from the inside a food pack. It measures oxygen content, temperature, relative humidity & pressure and operates from the time the food is packed on the production line right through storage, transport and even whilst it is on display in a frozen, chilled or normal cabinet. The data logger can communicate wirelessly as well as storing up to 300,000 records in memory for later USB download. By accurately monitoring the

THE WORLD’S STRONGEST MAN TAKES THE STRAIN

environmental conditions from inside the pack, the system provides the data necessary to analyse any changes, trends or conditions and optimise each part of the process - from the packaging materials themselves, through to storage, transport and display conditions. As a result produce can be delivered to the consumer in peak freshness and quality conditions. Not only does the gas logger produce more accurate and realistic results throughout the supply chain than can be gained by ripping packs open at every stage of the process to take measurements – but it is far less destructive as well! The data logger is just 65mm x 50mm x 37mm and is manufactured to a particularly high and rugged engineering standard. Oxygen and humidity are both measured to a resolution of 0.05% and 0.04% respectively, temperature to an accuracy resolution of 0.01% and pressure to a 16 bit resolution over a range of 10 – 1200mbar.

Email info@emcouk.com

The ‘2017 World’s Strongest Man’ Eddie Hall was invited to open the new £1.35m production facility at the High Carr factory. In true ‘Eddie’ style he took the strain as he pulled the first production load from the premises, signalling yet further investment of Blakeman’s expansion within the cooked product market. The conversion of one cold store unit by McVeigh Projects, taking only 40% of its floor space, creating a manufacturing facility from raw ingredients to cooked product all contained in one auditable area. Blakeman’s have increased their cooked volume by up to 35% (42,000kg) with less handling of its products whilst still maintaining full traceability. Tote bins of meat are accurately measured by in-floor weighing scales, minced mixed using a KG Wetter and transferred to a Handtmann filling system. Sausages are then portioned and transported by an Arnott conveyor directly to the GEA inline frying facility. The process from raw material to finished cooked product in less than 50 minutes reduces the lead time for customers in the ever fast-paced food industry.

“That is as impressive as Eddie”

July/August 2017 Food & Drink News

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{ Industry News }

HERALD PLASTIC REBRANDS AS ‘HERALD’

British manufacturer and importer of high-quality disposables, Herald Plastic, has dropped the word ‘Plastic’ and rebranded as ‘Herald’ in a bid to reflect the broader range of products that the company now supplies to its UK-wide customer base. Besides a full range of plastic catering and janitorial items, Herald also supplies a complete selection of wood and paper products, priding itself on the unrivalled breadth of choice it can offer across multiple markets. Managing Director of Herald, Yogesh Patel, believes that the company has now outgrown its initial name and branding: “We’ve considered changing the name for some time as the company has evolved and moved forward. We don’t want new customers to perceive us as a supplier of plastic products only; however, we’ve created a successful brand that has earned some recognition in the market and we don’t want to lose that in its entirety either. Rebranding as ‘Herald’ is the obvious solution.” Herald has come a long way in the three decades since its inception, making significant progress in recent years to establish itself as a viable manufacturing concern as well as an importer and supplier of a varied catalogue of goods.

For further information on Herald and its products, log on to www.heraldplastic.com or call 0208 507 7900

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TITBITS! SOMETHING DIFFERENT FROM YORKSHIRE CRISPS! The Yorkshire Crisp Company, well-known for its unique, re-sealable drums of Yorkshire Crisps and Yorkshire Popcorn, has introduced an exciting new addition to its range of gourmet snacks. Titbits Gourmet Bites – described as ‘little pieces of perfection’ – are delicious, lightly-baked bite-size biscuits made from mature Cheddar cheese and finest oats. They are perfect for sharing over a glass of wine or great for popping in a picnic hamper. Suitable for vegetarians and containing no artificial colours, MSG or GM ingredients, Titbits come in Yorkshire Crisps’ famous stay-fresh, re-sealable drums (100g) and have a long shelf life of 12 months. They are available in two tasty flavours – Mature Cheddar & Finest Oats, or tangy Tomato, Basil, Cheddar & Oats. Said Tim Wheatley from The Yorkshire

Crisp Company: “We are very excited about this new line which we hope will prove popular with our hamper market as well as with theatres, cinemas and farm shops.”

For further information please call The Yorkshire Crisp Company on 01909 774411 or visit www.yorkshirecrisps.co.uk

API GROUP ANNOUNCES OPENING OF ITS NEW CREATIVE HEADQUARTERS AT MANCHESTER AIRPORT As part of its continued growth plans and focus on providing creative brand enhancement solutions, API has announced that it will open its new Customer Design Centre and Group Headquarters at the prestigious Voyager office building at Manchester Airport this June. Voyager is located directly next to Manchester Airport’s transport interchange and within minutes of the passenger terminals, meaning international visitors will be able to walk from their plane to the new premises. Being adjacent to the motorway network also makes API’s Group HQ ideal for all UK road, rail, Metrolink and bus journeys, connecting to Manchester city centre in just 17 minutes. The new API Group HQ will cover 3,500 sq ft, with its conference area and innovations room forming an integral part of the development. It will also provide the base for the API executive team who will move from the API Laminates

manufacturing site at Poynton. API President and CEO, Dino Kiriakopoulos, said: “Our new location is the ideal creative and design location for growing our business and will ensure that API remains a global leader in the provision of brand enhancement solutions for consumer goods and printed media worldwide.”

www.apigroup.com


{ Industry News }

HERALD STRENGTHENS ITS BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT TEAM British manufacturer and importer of highquality disposables, Herald is reinforcing its commitment to the company’s ongoing plans for future growth by bringing on board an experienced Business Development Manager. John Havercroft is joining the company with the aim of driving new business and forging new links across all sectors, while supporting the efforts of the current sales team.

John’s appointment follows on from the appointment of David Martin to the role of National Sales Manager by Herald last year. John will work with David with a remit that reflects Herald’s progression, covering the sourcing and creation of new business opportunities, as well as promoting the growth of existing business accounts across all sectors. Managing Director of Herald, Yogesh Patel, comments: “We’ve got lots of new lines to drive through and we’re keen to reach out to new and existing customers to make them aware of both the quality and the range of our products. I’m confident that John can help us to achieve our goals and that, with his support, we will be able to surpass the targets that we’ve set for ourselves.”

For further information on Herald and its products, log on to www.heraldplastic.com

STUDENTS KNEAD BAKING AND BUSINESS SKILLS FOR CAREER IN FOOD The Star Bakers of the future are being urged to make sure they have both the baking AND business skills they’ll need for a future in the food industry by The School of Artisan Food, which is launching the UK’s only FDQ-accredited Advanced Diploma in Baking in September 2017. Developed specifically for the food industry the Advanced Diploma in Baking takes a hands-on approach to practical skills in bread baking, long fermentation, patisserie and viennoiserie, all supported by the Association of Food Science. The 10-month, full-time course also focuses on how to establish a food business such as a traditional artisan bakery, a micro bakery, a pop-up, a cooperative and online services. Equivalent to Foundation Degree Level, applications are open to people of all ages and backgrounds and entry requirements are flexible if candidates show

a commitment to succeed or have relevant skills and experience. Based on the Welbeck estate in Nottinghamshire it is the UK’s only school dedicated to artisan food and drink production of which HRH The Prince of Wales said: “What is going on here at the School is of enormous importance.”

Visit www.schoolofartisanfood.org or call 01909 532171

ISHIDA HELPS DRIED FRUIT PACKER WITH RETAILERS’ FOOD SAFETY REQUIREMENTS

An Ishida IX-GA-4075 X-ray inspection system is providing Turkish dried fruit packer Anatolia AS with a final comprehensive quality inspection for its bulk packing operation. When one of Anatolia’s biggest customers requested improved sensitivity levels and more reliable inspection capabilities, in particular to detect 2mm stones in raisins and sultanas supplied in bulk to Japan, the company was advised to look at Ishida X-ray inspection equipment. Importantly, Anatolia already had firsthand experience of the capabilities of Ishida equipment, having installed five Ishida multihead weighers and nine checkweighers since 1998. The availability of a stock machine allowed Anatolia to assess the Ishida IXGA-4075 in its own factory. Initial test results demonstrated the system’s reliability in particular in detecting 3mm glass, 2mm stones and 1mm metal pieces. “The Ishida X-ray system is well designed and materials used on the equipment are durable, while product changeover can be carried out in a matter of minutes,” comments Anatolia’s Project manager Koray Oz. “The software is both user-friendly and stable, allowing operators to navigate with ease through product settings and enabling line engineers to quickly carry out fine adjustments.”

www.ishidaeurope.com

July/August 2017 Food & Drink News

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{ Industry News }

MANUFACTURERS URGED TO CHIP IN TO FOOD WASTE ‘SOUP’

Food manufacturers are being offered the chance to transform the renewable energy landscape, by contributing to the first anaerobic digestion feedstock specifically designed to give a guaranteed production of biomethane. Amur’s blended ‘soup’ – which is blended to a fixed specification from food waste, and sold to anaerobic digester (AD) operators under the Ch4rger brand – is an industry first. Nigel Lee, General Manager at Amur, says the development is helping the company to advise customers on the most cost-effective route for by-products while also guaranteeing the best possible environmental performance. “Most producers prefer the AD route for residual food waste, but productivity varies hugely between plants. Feeding a plant consistently really helps the bacterial population and health, which, in turn, helps to optimise the volumes and consistency of gas which is produced.” Amur’s parent company, AB Agri, has been routing food manufacturing byproducts into animal feeds for 36 years. Through Ch4rger, it has applied its extensive biological expertise to offer a sustainable solution for those wastes that may not be suitable for animal feeds. It also works with an experienced waste management partner to ensure that suppliers benefit from excellent levels of packaging recycling.

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API COLD FOIL MAKES SNOWFOX VODKA ICY COOL A cold foil from brand enhancement specialist API is creating a stunning visual identity for the award-winning SnowFox vodka. Perfectly integrated with the brand essence of the drink from Port Royal Distillers, the API 1000 TA foil depicts the piercing gaze of the iconic Canadian snow fox on its shrink label. SnowFox Vodka is a premium vodka drink with a hint of sweetness for the upscale market, inspired by the purity of the Canadian Arctic and its native snow fox. Applied to the front graphic panel of the shrink label by Spectrol, the over-printable TA cold foil produces a striking glow-in-the-dark effect, causing

the electric-blue eyes of the snow fox on the label to illuminate in low-lit areas such as nightclubs, drawing the attention of consumers. “We wanted to create an effect that wasn’t already available on the shelf, and the result, with the amazing blue eyes of the snow fox, certainly achieves this. It’s one of the most visually arresting labels we have ever produced,” explains Vishal Sahadeo, Account Manager at Spectrol. The foil is printed using a Gallus EM5 10S 20-inch flexographic printing press with 10 colours and a full servo drive (inline).

www.apigroup.com

ISHIDA HELPS ITALIAN BREADS REACH A GLOBAL MARKET The speed and accuracy of an Ishida multihead weigher has helped a leading Italian bakery reach a global market. The Ishida 14-head model with five-litre hoppers has enabled Oropan S.p.A., based in Altamura, Puglia, to triple production of its range of small breads and rolls, packed into bags and thermoformed trays (for partbaked items). This increases efficiency rates on the packing line by 5% and reducing rejects due to under- or overweight packs by 20%. The Ishida weigher incorporates a diverting timing hopper that is able to feed both the bagmaker and the thermoformer. For gentle handling of the product, which avoids any damage to the rolls or excessive crumbing, the weigher features bancollan inserts in the hoppers and a bancollan lining in the discharge chute. Currently, the Ishida system is handling around 2,200 packs every hour but this is well within its capabilities and therefore provides Oropan with the capacity for further growth in the future.

The flexibility of the weigher has also enabled Oropan to widen its range of packs to include 300g, 400g and 500g sizes. “And what is particularly important is that we are getting consistency across all these pack weights,” says Commercial Director, Francesco Forte. .

www.ishidaeurope.com


{ Industry News }

ULMA PACKAGING WRAPS UP MINI CHEESE SENSATIONS An award-winning UK food company has launched a new range of mini portions of its delicious selection of cheeses with the help of customised, high-speed wrapping technology developed by ULMA Packaging Ltd, one of the country’s leading suppliers of packaging machinery and complete automated lines. Bradburys Cheese, renowned for sourcing and providing customers with speciality and convenience cheese from some of the best cheese makers in the UK and Europe, chose ULMA over a competitor to supply the highspeed flowrapping technology at its Buxton facility to help the company break into new markets with mini portions of the products it supplies. ULMA, which prides itself on being part of a co-operative committed to the global packaging machinery marketplace, recommended the Artic flow wrapper with complete modified atmosphere (MAP) to provide enhanced presentation and

extended shelf life – ideal for cheese products. Working closely with Bradburys’ technical team, ULMA then adapted the Artic flow wrapper and integrated it with other suppliers’ cutting equipment, to provide a flexible production line operating at the high speeds demanded by the customer, as well

as accommodate retail packs with the minimum of fuss and downtime. ULMA Business Manager, Paul McMahon, said: “More food companies are looking to combine ULMA’s expertise and knowledge with the latest in packaging technology.”

www.ulmapackaging.co.uk

AGRO MERCHANTS GROUP COMPLETES PHASE 1 OF REBRANDING AGRO Merchants Group, a global leader in cold storage and logistics solutions, has successfully completed the first phase of rebranding of their portfolio companies to one common brand name. Rebranding of the businesses better reflects AGRO’s position in the marketplace, its true geographical reach and supports further integration and extension of the Group’s capabilities. The first phase of rebranding included all sites of the Sawyers Group and Castlecool on the island of Ireland, located in Lurgan, Portadown, Ballygawley, Dublin, Lough Egish and Castleblayney. Other companies rebranded in the first phase were Harthoorn Logistics and Coldstore Urk, both in the Netherlands, and Nordic in the United States. AGRO currently consists of 22 portfolio companies and 61 facilities in Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia Pacific. The rebranding process will roll out in several phases, with the first two phases to be

finalised in 2017. Sawyers Transport, now AGRO Merchants Lurgan, a leading transport provider in the UK, Ireland and Europe, joined AGRO Merchants Group in 2015. The company operates a fleet of 250 trucks and more than 600 refrigerated and curtain-side trailers. AGRO Merchants Castleblayney and

Lough Egish, previously Castlecool, was the largest third party cold storage company in Ireland. They were acquired by AGRO Merchants in 2014 and have since expanded their service offering by installing the first third party food packing line in Lough Egish. The two companies are now part of an integrated network of cold storage and logistics facilities. Their transition to the new name will not affect the company’s operations, but it will underscore the Group’s status of a reliable international partner. Derek Sawyers, Managing Director of UK & Ireland operations, shared: “We are proud to be taking on the AGRO Merchants Group name. It is a natural next stage in the development of the company, we are moving forward as one company, one international brand. We will continue to integrate all of our businesses to offer unrivalled solutions to our clients.”

www.agromerchants.com

July/August 2017 Food & Drink News

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{ Industry News }

WAVEGRIP DEMONSTRATES INNOVATIVE MULTIPACKING CANNING AT DRINKTEC Manufacturer of a new generation of beverage multipacking solutions, WaveGrip is making its debut at this year’s Drinktec, where its stand will demonstrate the many advantages that its hi-tech system offers over more traditional can multipacking options. WaveGrip is the most efficient carrier available and also the most environmentallysustainable, and it has the versatility to be adapted for all types of drinks businesses, from smaller artisanal producers to high volume operations. The WaveGrip stand will showcase the choice of applicators available as well as previewing the carrier’s latest development with the availability of colour options. Both the G1 and G2 applicators will be at

the show to demonstrate the significant operational efficiencies available to both larger and smaller volume beverage producers. In particular the G1 manual

machine is ideal for craft producers seeking to offer multipacks of product for the first time. Working closely with OEM partners across the globe, WaveGrip applicator technology is easily integrated into the latest packaging equipment. The applicators offer greater flexibility and control to provide a seamless multipacking solution, designed to give users complete peace of mind. In addition, WaveGrip will be previewing its latest branding innovation with the availability of its carriers in a choice of different colours, helping beverage producers to create further on-shelf impact and brand differentiation.

www.wave-grip.com

LORIEN RECOGNISED WITH INAUGURAL ROSPA SAFETY ACCOLADE Lorien Engineering Solutions is one of only six companies in the world to be recognised with the inaugural Patron’s Award by The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA). RoSPA has marked its centenary by introducing the Patron’s Award, which it has presented to an exclusive group of businesses that have achieved consecutive Gold Awards for 25 years or more. The award was presented to the Lorien’s Health & Safety Manager, Elliot Follows and Operations Director, Bill Treddenick (pictured) at a ceremony in Birmingham. Only five other companies internationally were recognised with the Patron’s Award. They include Costain Oil & Gas, Hanson Contracting and Esso Petroleum. Burton-based Lorien was also presented with a silver medal for its work in the Management of Road Risk (MoRR). Elliot Follows said: “To be one of a very select group of organisations to be recognised with RoSPA’s first Patron’s Award is a fantastic honour for our business. It is proof of our long-standing commitment to continually improving all aspects of health and safety in the workplace.”

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Through the RoSPA Awards scheme, which is open to businesses and organisations of all types and sizes from across the UK and overseas, judges consider entrants’ overarching occupational health and safety management systems, including

practices such as leadership and workforce involvement. The awards scheme is now in its 61st year.

www.lorienengineering.com


{ Industry News }

BELT SYSTEM BRINGS MORE EFFICIENT FREEZING WITH ‘ALCO ASK’ FROM INTERFOOD Available in the UK and Ireland from Interfood’s Cooking & Cooling/Pasteurisation Division is the Alco ASK, a quick-freeze spiral freezer ideal for the continuous cooling and freezing of a wide range of products, including meat, seafood, vegetables and fruits. Spiral freezers currently used in the food processing industry conventionally employ a friction drive between the drum and belt, with the result that products are often displaced or rotated within the spiral system. The Alco ASK spiral freezer has specifically addressed this problem, adopting a patented DirectDrive-System™ which connects the belt edge directly with the drum to prevent

overdrive and belt slip. This technology ensures that product displacement is reduced to almost zero, minimising the risk of product jams. Downtime required for maintenance is also significantly reduced,

with an improved belt tension and lower labour and cleaning costs. Available in a range of belt widths from 400 – 1000mm and working lengths from 100 – 500 metres, the modular format allows Interfood to work directly with the customer to ensure the specifications meet the requirements of a given application. The freezer also offers a compact footprint – with the new DirectDrive-System™ reducing the diameter whilst maintaining the number of belt tiers – to ensure it can be easily accommodated into an existing processing line.

www.interfoodtechnology.com

NEW NATIONAL DISTRIBUTION MANAGER FOR HI-LINE INDUSTRIES Hi-line Industries, UK manufacturer of highquality, energy efficient, compressed air purification equipment, have appointed Damien Oxlee as their new National Distribution Manager. Damien joins the company at a time of strength as the company continues to grow year on year with record turnover for their previous

financial year. Damien has a wealth of experience within the engineering industry, having been Group Sales Manager at Western Business Publishing since 2010, working on titles such as Air User and Industrial Plant & Equipment. Prior to that, he worked as Publication Manager at Datateam Publishing for six years

and has known and worked alongside Hiline for many years in his previous publishing roles. A member of the British Compressed Air Society and carrying ISO 9001:2008 certification, Hi-line’s UK headquarters are situated in Burton-upon-Trent where they manufacture some of the most energyefficient compressed air dryers in the world as well as bespoke and ‘off the shelf’ heat regeneration zero loss absorption dryers. Their products are used throughout industry and general manufacturing including areas such as medical, dairy, textile, breathing air, packaging and the automotive sector. The company’s Nitrogen and Oxygen O2 generators are recognised as the best value for money in the UK food and beverage industry. Hi-line are proud to be part of the ‘Made in Britain’ campaign promoting the best of British manufacturing, and have built up an enviable reputation for the innovative design, manufacture and supply of their compressed air purification equipment.

Tel: 01283 533377 E: enquiries@hilineindustries.com www.hilineindustries.com

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{ Industry News }

ICE & EASY ADD SOME FROZEN FANCINESS TO THEIR RANGE OF COCKTAILS Frozen Fizz and Frozen Rosé have launched as a limited edition to the Ice & Easy range. These ready-to-drink cocktails have been developed with flavours that are very much huge trends in the food and drink market in 2017. Frozen Rosé (aka Frozé), a rosé winebased cocktail made with hints of lemon and berry, is a sophisticated twist on a modern drink. Whereas Frozen Fizz enjoys refreshing hints of elderflower, mint and cucumber and a touch of the ever-popular Prosecco to add a bit of fizz! First to market with drinks of this kind, the fresh, distinctive flavours are dressed to impress with elegant packaging that offers

Like other products in the range of Ice & Easy Frozen Alcoholic Slushies (which also includes Strawberry Daiquiri, Pina Colada, Margarita and Mojito), the cocktails come in 250ml pouches with a 5% abv. They can be sold ambient or frozen in either a three-unit box or as individual pouches. The product can also be supplied in containers for use in slushy machines.

standout on shelf and a premium appeal. Consumers simply freeze the pouch, then squeeze the cocktail into a glass once ready for adult slushy refreshment. It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3… just freeze, squeeze and enjoy!

For more information or to arrange for samples please visit www.iceandeasy.co.uk, email hello@iceandeasy.co.uk or call 01977 655800

GAST GROUP EXHIBITING AT DRINKTEC 2017 Gast Group will be using its stand at drinktec 2017 to promote its products and services for beverage dispense applications. Traditionally CO2 has been used to operate beer and soft drinks syrup pumps but, due to environmental and health and safety concerns, many venues are introducing compressors for larger installations, which has led to a significant increase in demand for compressed air to replace CO2 to dispense draught beer, wine and syrup and operate bag-in-box and blend-in-cup installations for the dispensing of other drinks. Gast Group will be showcasing its JUN-AIR 86/87R Series Systems, which are designed to suit virtually any beverage or liquid food application and be even quieter and more durable in operation. They provide best-in-class reliability, quality and performance and their compact footprint makes them easy to install and ready to use at point-of-installation, making them easily integrated into most applications.

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Also on the stand – and ideal for beverage and liquid food applications – are Gast Group’s new LubeFree options, which utilise a proprietary vane material to provide versatility and allow users the options to oil or not oil the motor. Also being promoted

are other GAST and JUN-AIR oil-less and oillubricated ranges of clean and quiet compressed air solutions.

www.gastmfg.com / www.jun-air.com


{ Industry News }

THE ICE CO HEATS UP THE ICE CATEGORY The Ice Co, Europe’s largest manufacturer of ice, has heated up its ice offering by redefining the range and injecting a dose of warmth into new packaging designs to give standout on shelf and make it easier for consumers to shop. Research conducted by the brand, along with trends in the market, clearly define that

consumers use ice for several distinct occasions, all of which demand a different ice product to add to the experience. From parties to the most premium drinking occasions, The Ice Co’s innovative range of ice products satisfies this demand. Party Ice is trusted as the ‘go to’ product for parties, after all it’s not a party without it!

However the 183% uplift in Super Cubes sales, the most premium product in the range made from spring water, demonstrates that consumers are also choosing other ice products based on the experience they want. “Consumers are at a stage where they feel embarrassed if they don’t have ice in the freezer when they have guests, and like a consumer chooses their drinks to suit the occasion, they are now also choosing their ice in the same way,” Ginny Durdy, Marketing Manager at The Ice Co says. The Ice Co’s range includes ice cubes, crushed ice and large spring water ice cubes with brands including Party Ice and Super Cubes. The new designs will be rolling out across the major multiples this August.

OLYMPUS SPEEDS TO SILVER AND GOLD WITH API FOIL A TA cold foil from brand enhancement specialist API is behind a spectacular increase in production speed and quality at a leading label print company. Olympus Print Group chose the foil from API after a long search for the perfect foil provider and type, and has been highly impressed by the results it has delivered. “The TA foil from API has enabled us to increase our output by over 50%, which is fantastic,” explains Steve Makin, Business Improvement Manager at the Olympus Group. “Not only has it helped our efficiencies, it has also significantly improved the quality of our final product.” The cold foil, which is being applied to gold and silver PP and PE substrates on the Olympus digital converting line, has enabled

application speeds to rocket from the 8–10 metres per minute of its predecessor to a phenomenal 25–30 metres per minute. “When we talked to Steve about the machine speed he was getting with his previous cold foil, we were confident that, with the technical support we offer, we could help him achieve vastly superior results,” comments Phil Clarkson, Account Manager at API, who worked closely with Steve to pinpoint the ideal foil for Olympus’s needs.

July/August 2017 Food & Drink News

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{ Industry News }

API TAKES LATEST RESEARCHFINDINGS TO PACKAGING INNOVATIONS API will take its full range of brand enhancement products to Packaging Innovations in London this September as the company continues its focus on products and services that take luxury brands to the next level – a fact underlined by a recent study by Package InSight that shows the decisive effect of its foils and laminates on consumer purchasing decisions. David Peters, API’s Creative Development Manager, will be on stand A34. His recommendations will take inspiration from the latest trend boards, which are reflected in the latest API Trends Folio, also available at the stand. API’s work with Package InSight at

Clemson University found that consumers fixate on foiled and laminated luxury chocolate packs more often, and for longer, than on packs without those embellishments. It found that this leads to more purchases. “Packaging Innovations is always the perfect place for us to showcase our full range of brand enhancement products, and this year it is great to have the Package Insight study to back up what those of us in the industry already knew: that the products we offer truly add value to brands and lead to more sales by attracting consumers,” says Richard Burhouse, Commercial Director at API.

LIZI’S GRANOLA LAUNCHES LONG AWAITED KIDS GRANOLA, ‘LIZI’S ADVENTURERS’ After much anticipation, Lizi’s Granola is launching a new granola for children aged five to thirteen years old. The product, called Lizi’s Adventurers, is packed full of goodness and will encourage kids across the country to make sure they are choosing the right kind of breakfast so they can conquer their days adventure – whatever that may be. With over 10g of fibre per 100g, and 3.5g of sugar per 30g serving, this product aims to appeal to parents who are looking to give their children a lower sugar breakfast option that doesn’t compromise on taste. Not only will this help to keep kids on the go for longer, but could lead to them cutting out sugary mid-morning snacks. Lizi’s Adventurers will launch with two variants, Banana and Strawberry, both coming in striking packaging that shows characters Emma and Tom on an epic adventure – whether it be camping or on a

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boat in the high seas. Nick Smallwood, Sales Director at Lizi’s Granola comments “We’ve been working on a kids product for some time and now we believe we have something very special. Getting kids to eat a healthy breakfast is no

mean feat and we understand that. It has to taste good too – and it does!”

Lizi’s Adventurers will be available in stores from October, RRP £3.69 per 400g pouch.


{ PPMA Preview }

ACROVISION CAPTURING THE FUTURE Acrovision, on Stand C91 at PPMA Show 2017, is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of industrial barcode reading, camera vision inspection and end of line packaging verification systems. Acrovision has a unique offering, able to supply everything from handheld barcode readers to full turn–key vision systems. We use industry-leading hardware to produce Automatic Identification solutions for a breadth of different industries. We carry out everything from consultancy, site trials, installation and commissioning to support services and training. Within the food and drink industry, retailers are becoming increasingly stringent about their suppliers meeting correct packaging specification criteria. The result of

Withdrawals (EPW). To meet retailers’ strict packaging specification criteria, Acrovision has created a suite of in-line package and label inspection systems, Validator, to monitor and control production lines, to ensure 100% correct product in the correct packaging with the correct data. This includes correct and readable barcode, batch code, serial number, label presence and position. Acrovision’s Validator family has been created so that we can offer a cost-effective solution more or less ‘off-the-shelf’ and depending on the level of validation needed, we have a range of systems to suit. incorrect labelling can result in poor customer satisfaction at best and, at worst, hefty fines or Emergency Product

www.acrovision.co.uk Tel: 0845 337 0250

REVOLUTIONARY CHECKMATE PRINT HEAD MEETS SUPERMARKET DEMAND FOR RELIABLE CODE LEGIBILITY Heightened food safety standards – driven by retailers – dictate the need for effective batch control in food production. However, the inability to properly identify batches of suspect or faulty products due to illegible lot codes can lead to global recalls rather than controlled batch recalls. To address this, ClearView Imaging has developed the CheckMate Print Head – an affordable online batch verification print and vision solution – which it will launch at PPMA 2017, Stand G44. ClearView Imaging Managing Director, Allan Anderson, explains the problem food manufacturers face: “Global recalls have devastating cost and brand image implications for manufacturers and retailers alike. Yet the food manufacturing market faces continuous pressure on margins and, as a result, has difficulty financially justifying costly in-line batch-verification systems.” The CheckMate Print Head unit is based on industrial grade, IP67 smart camera technology and proven, patented algorithms built around dot matrix printing, and is able to verify legibility rather than simple comparison of continuous ink-jet (CIJ) codes. The patented system does not use image pre-processing, a procedure that is extremely intolerant of minor deviations in

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character and string separation; and even more intolerant of incomplete character prints. Pre-processing also introduces its own issues due to the way it dilates the printed dots in order to create complete strokes and strings for recognition purposes. ClearView Imaging’s revolutionary technique offers greater readability of the codes – even if they vary from the target norm – which makes for a robust manufacturing operation by reducing spurious rejects. As important, the system boasts to be the only in-line print and verification solution (comprising the CheckMate Print Head and a Linx 10 CIJ printer) for £10,000, including installation and commissioning – making it affordable to food manufacturers with already tight margins. The CheckMate Print Head will also work with any CIJ printer, making it an attractive retrofit option. Value engineered to focus on this application and designed to mimic the set-

up of the CIJ printing system, this simple-touse system satisfies the growing pressure throughout the industry for reliable but costeffective solutions to more effectively verify batch information printed online.


{ PPMA Preview }

RIGGS AUTOPACK VOLUMETRIC DEPOSITORS & FILLING MACHINES ON SHOW AT PPMA TOTAL 2017 Riggs Autopack Ltd will be exhibiting a selection of their high-quality volumetric depositors and filling machines, transfer pumps and conveyor filling lines at this year’s PPMA Total Show. Visitors to the Lancashire company stand on A21 will see a twin head automatic filling machine with conveyor, and a selection of semi-automatic filling machines with foot pedal control designed for small to medium scale production requirements. Riggs Autopack’s depositors and filling machines are available as a semi-automatic stand-alone unit for small-scale producers, or as an automatic conveyor filling system for medium to large-scale manufacturers. They provide damage-free depositing of hot or cold liquid, semi-liquid and suspended solid products, and accurately fill most container types or size. If you’re investing in a high-quality semi

or fully automatic depositing system to accurately fill jars, bottles, pots, tubs, ready meal trays, cartons, buckets, jerry cans, pouches or bags, then Riggs Autopack could have the solution.

Stand A21 Riggs Autopack Ltd Premier Mill Brunswick Street Nelson Lancashire United Kingdom BB9 0HU Tel: 01282 440040 E: info@riggsautopack.co.uk www.riggsautopack.co.uk

FARLEYGREENE COLLABORATES WITH NATIONAL BAKERY SCHOOL TO EDUCATE ON THE BENEFITS OF SIFTING Farleygreene and The National Bakery School at London South Bank University announce a new collaboration following donation of Farleygreene’s Artisan SM200-S Sieving machine. The two parties, based in Hampshire and London, will work together to support and assist future developments in order to build a better understanding about how sifting ingredients can improve the quality of the end product. “From the moment we were donated the sieve from Farleygreene I could visualise the benefits for the students at the Bakery School,” explains Baking Technology Lecturer, Devon Petrie. “The time saving element is impeccable within the industry and any machine that can assist, reduce costs and minimise waste is immediately beneficial. Students are able to sieve large production quantities of flour or icing sugar without the physical exertion or the health and safety element of breathing flour dust. This is definitely an essential piece of machinery in any bakery production company and our collaboration with

Farleygreene epitomises the influence of technology and support for our future bakers.” “Farleygreene is proud to share its knowledge with young baker apprentices,” states Matthieu Philippault, Business Development Manager at Farleygreene. “After having the chance myself to complete a degree at LSBU a few years ago I understand the importance of making

contacts within the industry early on. I felt the need to get our company involved in order to give some of this experience back.” Regular visits to the Bakery School mean that Farleygreene can incorporate any feedback they receive from students who regularly use the product into research and development of future machines. The Sievmaster 200-S Artisan vibratory sieving machine is designed to sit directly on top of a container, small bucket or large wheeled tote bin. Ingredients can be tipped into the top and check sieved straight through into the container below. A special bench mount kit is available for filling tubs up to 300mm high. All of Farleygreene’s machines are designed to suit their customers’ exact requirements and are available for a free demo at their factory in Hampshire. Visit farleygreene.com for more information.

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{ Snacks, Nuts & Crisps Focus }

FESTIVAL FUN WITH YORKSHIRE CRISPS! Heading out to one of the many summer festivals held throughout the UK at this time of year? Whether you’re a live music fan or prefer comedy, food, art or literature, there are festivals nowadays for anyone of any age to revel at. Don’t forget to pack some Yorkshire Crisps to enjoy with your entertainment. Our unique drums will ensure your crisps stay fresh, crunchy, dry and uncrushed! They’re great for sharing with your mates alongside a beer or two, or to accompany a family picnic.

With 10 great flavours (and a new one in the pipeline), you’ll be spoilt for choice. We have vegetarian and gluten free options too! Check out our range at www.yorkshirecrisps.co.uk where you can also purchase trays of 12 drums – ideal for festivals and summer parties. Single drums and bags in selected flavours are also available from online grocery retailer, Ocado.

For further information please call The Yorkshire Crisp Company on 01909 774411

GREGORY’S TREE LAUNCH TWISTED FRUIT SNACKS Gregory’s Tree, a new organic fruit snack bar, has launched in the UK to challenge the snack market. The Blueberry & Raspberry Double Fruit Twists are organic, gluten free and with no added sugar. Each bar is just 60 calories made from pure fruit, which is gently heated, pulped and twisted to form nutritious snacks designed for people who want to ‘beat the dip’. Additional flavours will be launched later this year. Gregory’s Tree fruit snack bars are now stocked in over 100 gyms, convenience, wholefood and independent coffee shops as well as delicatessens including Partridges of Chelsea and The Larder. Their national distributors are Peros Bewley’s, Hallmark Vending, Tree of Life and The Health Store and online retail is handled through Shopify via www.gregorystree.com Through Compass Group, Gregory’s Tree snacks were also on sale to competitors at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships held at the All England Club, SW19. Richard Moore, co-founder of Gregory’s Tree, said: “I love snacks but couldn’t find one that was healthy, great tasting and gave me a long-term energy boost. Everything I tried was either aimed at kids, fig-based or cereal and nut-based and I wanted something more. I wanted something that had all the flavour and goodness of fruit with the ease of snacking. I wanted a snack that gave me a lasting pick-me-up, or to ‘beat the dip’ as we call it.”

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Frank Neary, co-founder, said: “We have spent nine months developing our launch product and are delighted with the taste and product benefits of the Gregory’s Tree Blueberry & Raspberry Double Fruit Twists. Each bar is 18g of fruit goodness and only 60 calories. They look great and taste great. And because Gregory’s Tree snack bars are all fruit, the natural fructose gives you a sustained

energy release, unlike the quick burning empty calories found in biscuits, cakes and chocolate. Also, each bar is one of your five-a-day.” Gregory’s Tree Blueberry & Raspberry Double Fruit Twists retail as single bars with an RRP of 69p and boxed in 24s. They will be placed on countertops at till points to maximise impulse sales.


{ Snacks, Nuts & Crisps Focus }

NATURELLY PARTNERS WITH ENTERTAINMENT ONE’S BEN & HOLLY’S LITTLE KINGDOM TO MAKE ‘MAGIC JELLY’ Naturelly is partnering with Entertainment One (eOne) to create a new line of jelly featuring its popular preschool cartoon Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom. The partnership will mark the character’s entrance into the food aisles when it launches to retail in September 2017. Naturelly have created a special ‘Magic Jelly’ for kids aged 12 months+ in two new flavours: Strawberry and Blackberry. The flavours are inspired by ‘The Fruit Harvest’ episode in the animated series when Mr Gnome can’t resist eating all the strawberries and blackberries that he is helping to pick on harvest day. As with all Naturelly juicy jelly snacks they have no added sugar or sweeteners, only 36 kcal per 100g pouch, 100% RDI of vitamin C and are Vegetarian Society and school approved. Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom is a BAFTA and Emmy award-winning animated series that airs daily on Channel 5 Milkshake and

Nick Jr. Jelly is a recurring theme in the show and one of the main characters, Nanny Plum, often creates a ‘Jelly Flood’ with one of her magic spells. The Magic Jelly will be available from August 2017, just in time for summer picnics during the school holidays and back to school lunchboxes. The new range also includes an exclusive on-pack promotion; fans of the show will have the chance to win a Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom bicycle or 1 of 100s of Ben & Holly goodies including toys, back-packs and DVDs. Naturelly is free from gluten, wheat, dairy, nuts and gelatine and is suitable for vegetarians, vegans and coeliac disease

sufferers. It has been approved by the Vegetarian Society, Coeliac Society and is school compliant. Naturelly recently won a platinum award for Best Children’s Dessert at the Loved by Parents Awards 2017. They also won gold for Best Child Snack in Britain voted on by children of all ages in the Loved by Children Awards 2017.

NEW YORKSHIRE WAGYU BILTONG IS HIGHLY COMMENDED AT PRESTIGIOUS MEAT AWARDS The team at Tibthorpe-based Yorkshire Wagyu Company is celebrating after its new biltong was highly commended in the Meat Management Awards recently. The Yorkshire Wagyu Company’s Paleo Original Sliced Biltong was commended in

the Best Beef Product category of the awards that is the largest event of its kind in the UK meat industry. Over 400 guests attended the prestigious black-tie Awards Dinner at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole that brought some of the top names of the UK meat industry together to celebrate excellence and reward the best, as voted for by the readers of Meat Management magazine and judged by industry experts. Co-founder of The Yorkshire Wagyu Company, farmer Jonathan Shepherd, is delighted with the

achievement: “The launch of Biltong marks our first foray into the charcuterie marketplace and is in response to the growing market for healthy, high protein snacks. “We’re delighted that it should be rewarded in such a prestigious competition alongside other highly commended products including those from HRH The Prince of Wales and leading supermarkets.” The Yorkshire Wagyu Company’s Bavette Steak was also shortlisted in the Best Beef Product category that was won by Asda’s Extra Special Slow Cooked West Country Beef Rib. The Yorkshire Wagyu Company Biltong is available nationwide through Whole Foods Market and online at www.theyorkshirewagyucompany.co.uk Each 35g pouch costs £4.95, including free delivery.

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{ Restaurant Focus }

Bringing Technology To The Table Online booking, mobile ordering and eProcurement are just some of the new technologies available to restaurants looking to reduce operating costs and attract millennials.

T

he latest figures from consumer research company Attest show that more than half of us (51.6%) dine out for our evening meal once a week (1,000 UK consumers aged 18–70, surveyed in June 2017). Of those, only 2% spend over £50 per head, with the largest majority (41.8%) spending between £11 and £20 per head. Booking a table has never been easier, with most forward-thinking restaurants and chains today offering online booking and apps. At the same time, fast food and other companies have cottoned on to the benefits of promoting mobile ordering, particularly popular among the younger generation. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, technology offers a myriad of ways to reduce costs, including outsourcing activities to specialist companies, such as those with eProcurement services.

Booking made easy Online booking – whether through a restaurant website or by downloading an

app on a phone – is a fast and convenient alternative to booking by phone, especially if you are calling out of hours or during busy service time. Companies offering online booking for multiple restaurants include OpenTable, Quandoo, ResDiary and Bookatable by Michelin, many of which are free to the consumer. Some focus on high end restaurants or particular countries; Quandoo has a counter on its home page showing how many people it has helped seat to date. Bookatable by Michelin (www.bookatable.co.uk) offers access to thousands of restaurants across Europe, from local eateries to the top Michelinstarred spots. It even offers a useful Quarterly Dining Trends Report; the latest (June 2017) reporting that: “Head chefs at some of the UK’s top restaurants have now revealed that the ‘hipster’ food trend is short-lived with food sustainability, local sourcing and food waste now topping the UK’s priority list.”

July/August 2017 Food & Drink News

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{ Restaurant Focus }

The benefits to restaurants are clear: getting the word out to potential diners when they have tables available, with everything managed online through cloud technology. Mobile ordering Meanwhile, new research by The Caterer and mobile ordering provider Wi-Q Technologies (www.wi-q.com) has found that 20% of hospitality businesses are now providing mobile ordering solutions. This figure is expected to grow as businesses become aware of the advantages of this new technology – and the fact that younger consumers in particular are keen to use it. “Clearly, customer awareness for mobile ordering solutions has a long way to go, with customer education being driven largely by the efforts of corporates such as McDonald’s and Starbucks,” says the co-founder of Wi-Q, Graham Cornhill. “It is my belief that while these big players are delivering inferior appbased solutions, they are creating new service expectations, which is a critical long-term driver to changes in our ordering culture.” As well as reducing ordering time, the technology takes away the need for diners to wait to catch the eye of waiting staff to order the bill at the end of their meal. Some restaurateurs are currently wary of adopting this kind of technology, in part because of the perception that costs will be high and also a reluctance to dip their toes in the water before it becomes more widespread. However, as customer demand increases,

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late adopters risk being left behind by competitors who are more in tune with the preferences of the younger generation, who are used to pre-booking and paying for goods and services in their own time.

Behind the scenes Changes are also taking place in the back offices of successful businesses, as they seek out ways to streamline processes and maximise profits. Companies like Caternet (www.caternet.co.uk), specialists in eProcurement technology for the pub, restaurant and hospitality sector, are offering live price control intelligence and accurate reporting to help businesses manage their live accurate costs, especially useful during times of rapid growth. In June, Caternet announced it will be working with Grind & Co (www.grind.co.uk), a group of six cafe-bars and three restaurants in sites across London. The partnership is expected to save the finance team at Grind at least 40 hours per month by reducing the time they spend on paperwork. “Our business is growing rapidly and we needed an automated system that could reduce the level of human intervention and capture and analyse accurate data, which then flows directly into finance reporting to


{ Restaurant Focus }

support our forecasting and growth,” explains Grind’s Finance Director, Dan Sherfield. “Controlling live costs is also vital in line with our growth strategy.” As well as helping Grind to keep tighter control on inventory and wastage, Caternet also offers “clean invoicing”, which removes the need for credit notes, streamlining the invoicing process. It also has solutions relating to catering, such as recipes, allergens and nutritional analysis, with purpose-built, flexible technology that fully integrates Electronic Point of Sale (EPoS), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and finance management systems.

The latest trends Keeping up with the ever-changing options that technology offers may seem too much like hard work, especially for small business owners running a busy restaurant. However, as with every business, staying ahead of the competition is vital – not only by understanding

the market and keeping up to date with the latest consumer trends when it comes to the food served, but also by making the most of the technology available today to reduce the time spent on back office functions. In short, taking the time to ensure that consumers receive the service as well as the food that they expect today.

Keeping up with the ever-changing options that technology offers may seem too much like hard work, especially for small business owners running a busy restaurant.

July/August 2017 Food & Drink News

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{ Diaper Poultry }

Quality Over Quantity One of the few remaining UK chicken companies with its own farms, factory and distribution, Diaper Poultry provides full traceability for its high-quality poultry.

S

upplying butchers, farm shops, independents and wholesalers with premium quality chicken and associated products, Diaper Poultry is a family business dating back to 1911. Established by egg and poultry merchant Jimmy Diaper, the company grew under his son, Jack, who built the first factory and whose sons are now directors. “The general public are becoming much more aware about where food comes from and we provide full traceability for our products,” says the company’s Sales and Marketing Manager, Sarah Brown. “We’ve always prided ourselves on the traditional values of supporting smaller independent companies and customer service is key for us. In the chicken industry, we are a small company and our motto is quality not quantity.” While the company is rightly proud of its heritage, it has recently modernised its logo and is working on updating its marketing material. “It’s important to move

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with the times,” says Sarah Brown. “We’ve always concentrated on word of mouth and our reputation, but we’re trying to reach the end user more, so we’re now on Twitter.” Factory Manager, David Peart, agrees: “There’s a niche in the market for a better quality chicken for more discerning customers. We hold open days for our butchers so when they talk to their customers they can say they have seen the factory and the farm. We’re proud of what we’ve got; people say our chicken tastes how chicken used to taste.” Based near Stowmarket, Suffolk, the business owns three poultry farms close to its production unit; it also has a partnership with Sutton Hoo, processing the freerange slow-grown chickens for the company and purchasing a number for its own customers. Using its own fleet of vehicles, the company delivers to around 15 counties, from Coventry, down to Kent


{ Diaper Poultry }

and Brighton. It also has an unrestricted operating licence to transport goods for other businesses, with the aim of filling the vehicles to maximum capacity and expanding its own delivery area. Another area of diversification is the supply of associated food products such as turkey, ducks, geese, bacon and condiments. There has also been investment back into the company with a new factory extension comprising dispatch department and warehouse, and plans for a new water-treatment plant. In-house and external training is provided for staff and turnover has remained steady. “Our management team and directors work hard collectively to balance being profit-driven with providing a quality product and service. In the future we’d like to build on our relationship with our customers and the end user to achieve more brand loyalty, for example with tasting sessions in our customers’ shops.” With the updated facilities on the site and, most importantly, a quality product, Diaper Poultry hope to be around for another hundred years.

Tel: 01359 240217 www.diaperpoultry.co.uk

Curers and distributors of quality hand salted, dry cured bacon, butchers style sausages, hams and gammons. Tel: 01603 412 125 Email: sales@broadlandhams.co.uk www.broadlandhams.co.uk

Proud to be associated with Diaper Poultry and wish them continued success for the future.

Make every meal special with Atkins & Potts. Tel: 01635 254 249 Email: info@atkinsandpotts.co.uk www.atkinsandpotts.co.uk

Congratulations to Diaper Poultry on 100 years of trading. The Business Machines Company wishes you continued success for the future. We are proud to be your chosen supplier of office equipment including photocopiers, printers and MFP’s.

Tel: 01638 665240 www.tbmuk.com July/August 2017 Food & Drink News

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{ Davison Canners }

The Art of the Artisan Well-established producer of fruit compotes, fillings and sauces, Davison Canners has now branched out into hot-eat nursery-style puddings and artisan hand-finished desserts.

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ervicing major retailers, bakeries, manufacturing and food service providers within the UK and the Republic of Ireland, Davison Canners sources premium ingredients to create high-quality chilled desserts. Based in Co Armagh, Northern Ireland, the familyrun business operates in three sectors – food manufacturing, fruit growing and warehousing – and is proud of its ‘farm to fork’ approach. All of Davison Canners’ jams, sauces and fruit fillings are made on site from scratch, using their own homegrown fruits as far as possible. These are then used to manufacture their desserts, which are made in small batches and cooked in small ovens for a home-baked taste.

New product lines On the food manufacturing side of the business, the product range includes fruit compotes, jams and fillings, curds and sauces. In November 2016, the business won a contract to

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supply 12 various dessert lines into a major UK retailer and spent three months revamping its production facilities with a substantial investment in new processing equipment and infrastructure. The launch in January 2017 was followed by a listing with another major retailer based both in the UK and Ireland, with five new product launches planned for September 2017 and two further lines for Christmas. The new suite of products now includes a wide range of shelf-ready, hot-eat, nursery-style puddings and artisan hand-finished desserts for retail and food service, from sticky toffee puddings to fruit-based crumble desserts. “This project represents a number of great opportunities for Davisons to add further value to our range and gives us complete control of our products, from primary processing through to marketing and point-of-sale retailing,” explains Claire Johnston, Head of Innovation & Marketing. “We have the capability and capacity to meet our customers’ needs; we are small enough to care yet big enough to deliver.”


{ Davison Canners }

First in class Established in 1974 by TWR Davison, who wanted to add value to the family business by processing fruit and vegetables grown on its farm, the company has many ‘firsts’ in its history. These include: setting up the first frost protection orchard installation in Ireland; being the first to invest in controlled atmosphere storage in Ireland to eliminate the use of chemicals during post-harvest storage; and being the first to hot-fill a Bramley apple slice-and-dice line in the UK, thereby extending shelf life and removing the need for preservatives in products.

Quality assurance After opening new facilities in 2014 for the production of its jams, compotes and curds, Davison Canners made a further investment in 2016 to allow for pudding manufacturing. The 11-acre AA BRC-accredited manufacturing site now comprises 42,000 sq ft of processing and cold storage, including controlled atmosphere storage for 2,000 tonnes of fruit. A 14-acre warehousing site has 300,000 sq ft of high bay ambient storage and hosts major companies from various industries, while fruit destined for use in its products is grown on a 120-acre orchard. “From growing the fruit to picking, processing and preparing into the finished dessert, it’s safe to say that

our quality assurance ability is second to none within the industry,” says Claire Johnston. “We’re the only large dessert manufacturer in the UK to have the ability to control the dessert right from the orchard to the finished product.”

Future growth The new dessert lines have led to a substantial increase in year one turnover, with staffing levels growing from 10 to 40, and the company will continue to seek out new business and reinvest the necessary resources into new product development and its production facilities, in order to sustain and keep up with future growth. “Our experience over the past 40 years in food manufacturing, product development, innovation and growing gives us the ability to offer a premium range of hand-made delicious desserts,” says Claire Johnston. “We believe that today’s food scene is innovative and exciting and that we should embrace and drive the constant reinvention of concepts and flavours. Our unique range and innovative approach give us that point of difference.”

Tel: 02838 851661 www.davisoncanners.com

THE UK’S LEADING APPLE PROCESSOR

DAVISONS The Apple People

Davison Quality Foods wishes Davison Canners continuing success and all the best for the future. Davisons Quality Foods Tel: 02838 851891 Email: info@davisonsqualityfoods.com www.davisonsqualityfoods.com

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{ Punjab Kitchen }

A Question of Taste By offering a wide range of appealing choices, including dietary specific food and innovative pureed dishes, Punjab Kitchen has revolutionised hospital meals.

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hen frozen meal manufacturer Mohammed Ishaq found a lack of choice during a hospital stay, he decided to change the market he was selling to. Within six months, the company was supplying local hospital trusts in Tyne and Wear, followed by Middlesbrough, Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham. As the business grew, so did the product lines. Today it supplies a wide range of dietary specific food and texture modified meals under the SimplyPuree brand for those with dysphagia along with European, Asian and other dishes. As well as hospitals and care homes, it offers home delivery.

Plated meal range Convenient, cost effective and catering to all diets, plated meals range from traditional European dishes to Chinese meals or curries, and from Kosher food to vegetarian and vegan options. There are also meals for those with specialist needs: from gluten free and lowsalt to calorie-dense or restricted diets.

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“We’re proud to be able to offer a full spectrum of special diets,” says Company Director, Yaqoob Ishaq, the second generation in the family business. “It takes the onus from the hospital and care home kitchens to produce these time-consuming meals.”

Texture modified meals The SimplyPuree brand grew out of the lack of appealing food for people with dysphagia, who are unable to chew or swallow easily. This can result from facial surgery, stroke, dementia or other conditions. “My father was visiting a hospital and noticed that patients were being served whatever was on the menu as a blended, grey, unappetising blob of food,” explains Yaqoob Ishaq. “The patients didn’t look forward to mealtimes.” After experimentation, the company created a pureed meal in a complete form, where food with a mousse-like texture is reshaped to look like its original constituents. “It helps people get back some normality,” says


{ Punjab Kitchen }

Yaqoob Ishaq. “Their medication can often affect their taste buds. We want people to eat with their senses and we spend time looking at ways to stimulate the appetite with colours and smell. When you open our fish and chips, you get the smell of salt and vinegar; the roast lamb gives you a hit of mint.” The company also offers nutritionally balanced meals, including pureed food, for home delivery, for patients returning from hospital or anyone who finds it difficult to cook for themselves.

New product development Recent innovation has seen the development of pureed snacks, such as beans, scrambled egg or cheese on toast, and biscuits with a tea sauce. “A British Dietetic Association report showed that offering snacks throughout the day greatly benefited patients,” says Yaqoob Ishaq. “Our pureed snacks allow patients to eat like everyone else, but with the right texture and consistency for their diet.” Research and development is key. “In terms of innovation, we’re a good couple of years ahead of the competition. If a hospital comes up with an idea, within a short time frame we can have it ready because we know what ingredients to use and how to get the texture and flavour.”

65 YEARS OF PACKAGING COMPETENCE

Proud to be the preferred supplier of CPET meal trays to The Punjab Kitchen Ltd

Etimex Primary Packaging GmbH AMP House, Dingwall Road, Croydon Surrey CR0 2LX Tel: 0208 688 7770 Fax: 0208 681 7512 Email: UK@etimex-pp.com www.etimex-pp.com

BRC accredited site Meals are manufactured at a BRC Double AA graded site in South Shields, with a new 16,000 sq ft freezer and distribution centre in a converted building opposite the main plant. Turnover is increasing by 10–15% a year and staff numbers of around 100 have more than doubled in the past five years. “We invest in the company to make our processes better,” says Yaqoob Ishaq. “We’re revamping our kitchens with a £500,000 spend and increasing our output with a new steam system that will allow us to cook more, using fewer pans.”

Looking ahead While the focus remains on the UK, the company has received several enquiries from the US. “There are not many countries with a solution like ours in place, with our range and quality,” says Yaqoob Ishaq. “We offer bespoke solutions and we’re never too big to adapt quickly to whatever the client needs, which is why we’ve kept our existing clients and attracted new ones. For now, we’re keeping our eyes on the horizon and staying on top of our game.”

Tel: 0191 456 0456 www.punjabkitchen.co.uk

Our products are processed and packed inhouse in the UK for unrivalled quality and purity. East End would like to take this opportunity to wish The Punjab Kitchen Ltd continued success for the future.

Tel: 0121 553 1999 Email: info@eastendfoods.co.uk www.eastendfoods.co.uk

H.A.DAVIE LIMITED

REFRIGERATION & AIR CONDITIONING – SALES & SERVICE

REFRIGERATION & COLD STORAGE CONTRACTORS TO THE PUNJAB KITCHEN LTD

UNIT 13 MARKET PLACE INDUSTRIAL ESTATE HOUGHTON-LE-SPRING TYNE & WEAR DH5 8AN www.hadavierefrigeration.co.uk Email: mail@hadavie.co.uk TEL. (0191) 5842752 July/August 2017 Food & Drink News

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{ Indo-European Foods }

Bringing the Taste of India to the UK Championing authentic Indian food in the UK, Indo-European Foods offers a complete meal solution with basmati rice, Indian cooking sauces, sides, naan bread and savoury snacks.

Replicating familiar authentic flavours across top restaurants in India and the UK and aimed at the premium market, all of the recipes for the company’s cooking sauces and ready meals are created using fresh ingredients, packed at source in India. To satisfy consumer demand for new products, the company’s in-house Executive Development Chef, Navin Bhatia, makes regular trips to India to investigate the latest ingredients and trends. Widely available across a range of top retailers and wholesalers, Kohinoor also supplies to the convenience sector, making the brand even more accessible. Meal solutions of rice, cooking sauce, Indian side dishes, naan bread and snacks can now be found in forecourts, with colourful display units designed to fit into stores where space is at a premium. Kohinoor rice and 2.2kg cooking sauces are also available for retailers to purchase wholesale through Booker and Makro. A new Meals in Minutes range that will extend the offer to the core fixture will launch in autumn 2017,

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and will accompany and complement existing Kohinoor basmati rice, sauces and savoury products. The aim is to continue to bring new shoppers into the category. To this end, the Meals in Minutes range will offer authentic restaurant-quality flavours in an innovative pouch format, designed for consumer convenience. The launch will be supported by a multimillion, multichannel creative campaign, including digital media and traditional media – TV, radio and print – along with PR campaigns, events and in-store promotions. With BRC Grade A, state-of-the-art rice milling and food manufacturing, IndoEuropean foods is a 100% subsidiary of Kohinoor Foods headquartered in New Delhi, with offices in the UK, US and UAE. Over the years Kohinoor has become a global supplier of branded and own label products to more than 60 countries over six continents. Kohinoor’s digital portal, www.kohinoorjoy.com, captures the pure pleasure of its offer, with articles on food, lifestyle and travel for consumers to enjoy.


{ Towers Thompson }

Global Standard Bearers Specialising in the import, export and distribution of chilled, frozen and cooked meats and poultry, as well as frozen seafood, Towers Thompson has built up an enviable international reputation.

S

ourcing high-quality products from around the world, the company supplies customers across a wide variety of sectors, from manufacturers, ships stores, smokehouses and food service to wholesalers, retail butchers and cash and carry operations. Established in 1898 by butcher Alfred Towers, the business is known for integrity, quality and reliability, with competitive pricing and sector-leading customer service. Since the 1998 management buyout, Towers Thompson has grown into a more diversified business with lean, specialised operations, combining the ethos of a family company with the disciplines of a PLC and a management structure designed for flexibility. The trading operation has recently achieved the BRC Agents and Brokers standard. Once verification has been received, it will prove to be an important landmark in the company’s development. “Towers Thompson’s directors recognise the importance of formalising the high standards of its food safety policies and procedures, which the company has always maintained, into a globally recognised standard,” says

Managing Director, Terry Goddard. “ The comprehensive BRC audit evaluated the critically important processes that we undertake to ensure the safety of all our food products.” The statistics are impressive: over 40,000 metric tonnes of product distributed annually to customers in more than 50 countries, with a turnover of £100m rising annually. Investment back into the business has included IT and infrastructure spend at its recently acquired Head Office in Hoddesdon and its four UK wholesale distribution depots. All of Towers Thompson’s depots, which are located in Avonmouth, Mexborough, Northfleet and Portsmouth have their own processing facilities. The most recent infrastructure expenditure in their depots has been an investment in specialised cutting machines and poultry production facilities at their Mexborough depot, which has proved to be very successful. For more than 10 years they have been flying the export banner for the UK, selling both UK and EU product to many Asian markets via their EU-based

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{ Towers Thompson }

“We encourage key personnel to undergo personal development and to attend food fairs around the world.�

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{ Towers Thompson }

export offices. Their diversification into the seafood market over 10 years ago, when they acquired Rassau Seafood in Hamburg, has also proved to be very successful. Rassau Seafood has proved to be a very exciting and profitable investment for the business and it has continued to go from strength to strength under Towers Thompson due to the hard work and dedication of its highly experienced staff. Rassau Seafood specialise in sourcing and supplying a wide range of high-quality frozen seafood products to smokehouses, manufacturers and other customers throughout Germany. To complement their German seafood business, the company decided to invest further resources into the seafood sector and set up a UK seafood operation, Towers Thompson Seafood Ltd, which is based near Hull, and specialises in supplying wholesalers and food service with high-quality, single frozen cod and haddock. “We believe in investing in our staff and improving their skill levels,” says Terry Goddard. “We encourage key personnel to undergo personal development and to attend food fairs around the world. We have an excellent retention rate, some members of staff have worked with us for nearly 50 years, many staff have been here over 25 years and the majority have been with the company for over 10 years.”

So what does the future hold for Towers Thompson? Market factors likely to impact future trading include Brexit, a shrinking global supply chain, demands for food safety and avoidance of food fraud, as well as the influence of emerging markets on price and availability. Working from the premise that reputation is everything, Towers Thompson relies on innovation, quality, reliability and efficiency to stay ahead of the competition. Knowledge of products, systems and quotas are also key, as are the depot cutting operations, which allow the company to tailor specifications to customers’ requirements. “As a diversified, international trade and distribution group, our business is in a really good position to expand and we would like to strengthen our UK activities, possibly by acquisition in the future, whilst continuing to deliver overseas into new and fastmoving markets,” says Terry Goddard. “We expect the business to grow steadily; we don’t envisage any major changes but we see plenty of opportunities to develop trading activities in the future.”

Tel: 01992 456456 E: enquiry@towers-thompson.co.uk www.towers-thompson.co.uk

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{ AB Produce }

Prepared For Growth It started as a small market garden business supplying local schools and businesses; but today AB Produce is a thriving national supplier with a comprehensive customer base.

S

upplying food service companies and progressive retail customers, AB Produce operates from a 70,000 sq ft purpose-built facility in the heart of the Midlands. While the company’s core product is still potatoes, requests for prepared vegetable lines have led to diversification, and today it offers around 850 produce lines with a range of cuts, mixes and sizes, from 0.5kg to 25kg bags; selling over 1,000 tonnes a week. The business prides itself on forging strong relationships with its customers and seeking out solutions that will help both parties grow together.

A one-stop solution The company offers a wide spectrum of produce, from baking potatoes, salad potatoes and all root vegetables through to customer bespoke Mediterranean mixes; available in whole, sliced or diced formats. Most items are sourced from within the UK or mainland Europe,

including its own potato crops, grown locally. With fresh produce prepared on site and loaded on to its own fleet for delivery across the country, customers can benefit from a one-stop solution to their produce needs, as well as coping with short notice flexibility that the fresh produce industry demands.

Customer base Although the company supplies retail, wholesale and food processing, most of its customers are supplying the food service sector. “We have customers who have national contracts, supplying schools, hospitals, pub chains – the whole spectrum,” says Site General Manager, Steve Rochelle. “We also supply some single units in local markets. One thing the business is very good at is recognising that it doesn’t end when we send produce out of here; it’s about the end user. We’ve seen complaints reduce dramatically in two years, as rather

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{ AB Produce }

In 2003, the original site was sold and after working round the clock production moved to a new purpose-built factory three miles away in Measham, so retaining the skilled workforce. than simply reacting to straight rejections, we’ve spent more time listening to feedback and adapting processes to evolve and improve. This has been an important view, as it has meant we’ve been able to reapproach and trade with previous customers who have noticed this step change, as well as showing long-term customers we don’t take their orders for granted. A lean management structure facilitates a direct relationship. “We talk to our customers, we confirm what’s being requested and we talk to the factory – that’s it. The more layers you have the greater risk any message is misinterpreted.”

customer to this day. In 2003, the original site was sold and after working round the clock production moved to a new purposebuilt factory three miles away in Measham, so retaining the skilled workforce. The current Managing Director is Paul Bridgen and the family involvement continues with the third generation also now working in the business. Paul and the board have invested heavily in the site; ensuring they remain competitive and have a stable business for the long-term future.

A return to farming Early days Founded in the 70s as AW Bridgen & Sons, this market gardening company started supplying local facilities, earning a solid reputation for listening to and reacting to customer needs. In 1988 the business became AB Produce PLC with the sons taking on the day-to-day running of the business; whilst the site had invested in additional units it was becoming clear more space should be considered. This was made more evident when in 1996 they won their first major retail contract; who remain a valued

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In 2015, AB Produce returned to its roots with the purchase of a farm, commencing its initial potato plantings and seeing a three-fold uplift in plantings for 2017. Paul explains: “We now have contracts with some of our customers to grow potatoes for them to meet their demand, we’re currently growing a significant amount of our annual volume but we have big plans to keep expanding to meet an evolving marketplace. There was a large financial investment in setting up the farm – tractors and equipment are not cheap – but the business has shown it has a long-term view on


{ AB Produce }

investments, and because we are privately owned, the speed we can react and make decisions sets us apart.” Another major recent project is the investment in an anaerobic digestive plant, built over the past 18 months and up and running since January 2017. “We’re proud of the fact that we are running on potato power!” says Steve. “We are generating our own electricity, fuelled from our by-products, including produce that isn’t of a standard to sell and off-cuts from the vegetable preparation. We now have a full circle: growing the potatoes, running the factory, selling the potatoes and putting the by-products into the anaerobic digestive plant, which powers the factory. When the digestate comes out, it gets pasteurised and fed back onto the land as fertiliser. We remain focused on ensuring as much arable land as possible is providing UK food and maximising every aspect of the crop.” While this allows full control of operational costs, the decision was as much based on environmental reasons. “Our key message to our customers is long-term

sustainability and supply. Doing the right thing ethically is very important to us and it’s right for the product; it’s something unique for our customers”.

Another major recent project is the investment in an anaerobic digestive plant, built over the past 18 months and up and running since January 2017.

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{ AB Produce }

Collaborative relationships

Moving forward

Working hard to sustain collaborative relationships is a key part of the AB Produce approach, including moving to a new agency provider ensuring people want to understand the business and add value to it. The core staff of around 135 AB employees includes Andy Haywood, who was AB’s first employee in 1988 and is still with the company today; he has plenty of long-serving colleagues as the average length of service is around 14 years. Working closely with the HR department and training provider, Steve has set up a tailor-made training programme for management skills: the ‘Learning for Growth Development Programme’. The first seven managers start the course this year, learning everything from troubleshooting skills to change management and people management skills. “We wanted this to show our investment in people, however, it has to be teaching practical and shop floor relevant skills, for example they won’t be building a raft in the middle of nowhere.”

Whilst turnover this year is expected to be in line with previous years, the business has set a target for growth of 20% in the next two years; through working with the existing customer base and investigating new supply opportunities with like-minded businesses. “The long-term relationships we have with our customers are a measure of our success,” says Steve. “By spending the time to understand customers’ needs, we want to work out how to help them grow their business and how in turn we can expand.” This can include taking on some of their customers’ existing processes, agreeing joined up plans delivering genuine and mutual benefits. “It’s about personal relationships. Every company is different – you can’t have one business model or only one solution for every customer. When I joined, one of the director’s key statements that drew me in was: ‘AB always tries to act with integrity’. Not every company does this – but with AB I’ve found it to be true.”

Tel: 01530 514639 www.abproduce.co.uk

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{ Leeways Packaging Services Ltd }

Great Service – Signed, Sealed & Delivered Business shows no sign of slowing down for packaging company Leeways, a firm at the top of its game, with over 40 years’ experience.

L

eeways Packaging has been providing highquality packaging and processing services since 1971, and today the family-owned company is one of the leading suppliers of thermoformed plastic packaging and processing solutions in the UK. Recent years have seen substantial innovation and investment, including the expansion of the company’s in-house development studio, with additional high-speed CNC machines and the ability to manufacture production tooling on site, reducing development and tooling lead times. The design team has also doubled, offering even more conceptual, innovative packaging solutions. Based in Gloucestershire, Leeways occupies a site totalling over 145,000 sq ft. “We have invested massively in manufacturing equipment, design and development, tooling production and in warehousing,”

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says Sales Director, Elliot Wren. All manufacturing takes place in the Leeways High Care Manufacturing Plant, which provides validation and ensures full compliance of all critical systems, facilities and environments, with 100% inline metal detection for all products prior to packing. Five new large bed machines have helped production capacity exceed one billion trays per year and investment in systems and warehousing, with space for up to 10,000 pallets, has allowed the company to accurately monitor customer stocks. The process is smooth and swift, from receipt of goods to palletisation, order receipt, pack and order assembly, right through to delivery to end user, and all stages are now completely traceable through the stockmanagement systems. The company is constantly innovating to originate


{ Leeways Packaging Services Ltd }

new designs and ensure high levels of productivity and efficiency. With an extensive Product Development and Design Studio, Leeways can provide in-house tooling and high-quality samples, creating a range of packaging designs for a wide variety of products and market sectors. There are bespoke solutions, for branded and private label companies, and a Made to Order range. Using 3D modelling software, the design team work closely with the sales staff and toolmakers, providing integrated customer service and innovative design solutions, including reducing packaging weight. Customer care is paramount at Leeways, and the firm has retained a solid, loyal customer base. “We also

continue to welcome new customers on board,” says Elliot Wren. “These range from large, high-profile names to family-owned independent start-up companies.” Leeways is proud to be a 100% British-owned company, with all packaging being produced entirely in the UK. Alongside the company’s technical and product innovations, Leeways has recruited and invested in key positions to help the company maintain a high level of service and quality. The attention to detail and impeccable standards of customer care are clearly paying off. Leeways has consistently achieved BRC A Grade standard, and the company continues to grow year-on-year. With plans for a second manufacturing facility under way, capacity and efficiency gains are also expected to grow. “We have no desire to be the biggest,” says Elliot Wren. “We just want to continue being regarded as the best!”

Leeways Packaging Services Ltd Lobstock, Churcham Gloucester GL2 8AN Tel: 01452 750487 E: info@leeways.co.uk www.leeways.co.uk

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ComingSoon... FOOD&DRINK NEWS

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SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER

CHRISTMAS DESSERTS/PUDDINGS FROZEN FOODS CONFECTIONERY LABELLING & PACKAGING

BANANAS APPLES & PEARS EXOTICS ONIONS & GARLIC PREPARED FRUIT & VEGETABLES

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Food & Drink News July/August 2017  

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