Pizza, Pasta & Italian Food Magazine - March 2024 - Issue 220

Page 1 & Italian food magazine Issue 220 March 2024


NEWS 4-17


18-19 A man for all seasons – Gennaro’s Verdure


Pizza toppings take centre stage in our rst issue of 2024, with a comprehensive 15-page special. Danish Crown’s sustainability drive, Estom’s Properoni and key trade relationships for Dawn Farms are just a few of the many topics covered. While heroes in the cheese & dairy sector also go under the microscope. There’s a Food, Drink & Hospitality Week preview, with thousands of industry professionals preparing to descend on ExCel London from 25-27 March – plus all the usual regulars, including a bumper 17-page news section.

A sense of optimism does appear to be prevalent in hospitality, as we all try and bounce back from recent challenges. Long may that continue!

Editor Alex Bell

telephone 01291 636349


Advertising Andrew Emery telephone 01291 636334


Production Gareth Symonds telephone 01291 636339



telephone 01291 636338


J & M Group

Engine Rooms, Station Road, Chepstow NP16 5PB


20-22 Food, Drink & Hospitality Week.


24-25 PAPA Awards 2023.


26-40 Danish Crown / Estom Properoni / Dawn Farms / Qualitops / Meadow Vale / Casa Firelli / Cooks&Co pizza recipes


42-47 Trentin / Grana Padano / Ornua / Applewood.


48 Making waves – Mamalu.


50 A zero-waste restaurant in ve easy steps.


53 Index of suppliers.

55 Classi eds.

of J&M Group, Pizza, Pasta & Italian Food Magazine or The Pizza & Pasta Association. No responsibility is accepted for the opinions of contributors. Pizza, Pasta & Italian Food is published by J&M Group Ltd. and supports The Pizza, Pasta & Italian Food Association. It is circulated to managers, executives, buyers, retailers and traders in the pizza and pasta business. © J&M Group Ltd. 2024
expressed in Pizza, Pasta & Italian Food Magazine are those of the contributors
not necessarily those
ALPHIN PANS ap Serving the Pizza Professional Since 1989 Telephone: 01457 872486 Email: Fax: 01457 820868 Alphin Pans Ltd Oakdale Mill, Delph New Road Delph, Oldham, OL3 5BY Alphin Pans is the UK’s largest manufacturer of pizza pans and pizza related equipment, we hold large stocks of all the most popular sizes of pans and can manufacture to your specific need if required. Please contact us on 01457 872486 or visit our website: to see what we can do for you. Making the pizza professional happy since 1989


An ultralight pizza box enjoys awards success, The European Pizza Show is launched and there’s a grant opportunity for innovative operators.

Hospitality numbers up, but challenges remain

New data shows that despite strong sales growth over Christmas, the high cost of doing business has forced hospitality businesses to take additional measures to maintain profitability.

The latest data from Fourth, the leader in workforce and inventory management technology for the hospitality and retail industries, has revealed there was a much-needed improvement in festive trading across the sector in Q4 2023, with net sales revenue growth of +6.1% compared to the same period in 2022.

The data, which is pulled from a database of more than 700 companies across the restaurant, pub and hotel sectors, reveals that:

● December sales were particularly strong across the industry, with an overall increase of +10.5% versus Dec 2022.

● Sales revenue in pubs declined by -8.7% in Nov 2023 compared to the previous year, before rising in Dec to reach an increase of +6.7% above 2022 figures.

● In restaurants, sales rose by +2.9% in Nov 2023 compared to Nov 2022, and sales were up +6.4% in 2023.

● Weekday trading levels increased across the sector in Q4 2023, with Monday to Thursday sales revenue growing by +4.5% compared to Q4 2022.

● Weekend sales also saw an increase, with +1.5% sales growth on Fridays and Saturdays in Q4 2023.

Despite these positive sales figures, food price inflation hit 9.1% in Q4 2023,

leaving operators little choice than to raise prices by an average of 7.1% to offset costs. This move has still resulted in many businesses struggling to stay afloat, with a large number of closures reported at the very start of this year.

Meanwhile, staff headcount continues to trend down across hospitality, having fallen -2% in Q4 2023 compared to Q4 2022. Headcount in pubs decreased -6.0% in December 2023 compared to December 2022, while the number of restaurant workers fell by -2.5%. In contrast, hotels showed modest growth with a rise of +0.8% year-on-year.

The proportion of new starters has fallen significantly, dropping -30% in Nov 2023 versus the previous year. While the festive period typically represents a busy time for recruitment, these figures are likely a reflection of the increased costs of doing business, as operators are reluctant to hire more staff for fear of further eating into bottom lines.

The average number of hours worked has also dropped, with restaurants the hardest hit, with monthly hours worked down by -3.7% year-on-year in December. Hours in pubs also

declined, down -0.8% in December 2023 compared to 2022. Hotels were the only sector where hours worked grew in December 2023 compared to the year before, up +0.8%.

Sebastien Sepierre, managing director – EMEA, Fourth, said: “With the festive trading period being a crucial time for hospitality, it’s fantastic to see such a significant growth in sales compared to 2022. These figures can hopefully provide operators with a sense of cautious optimism as we head into 2024.

“However, the high cost of doing business continues to be a major concern for operators, who are looking to control costs in an effort to remain profitable during this turbulent economic period. In order to maintain margins, it’s essential that businesses find solutions to help drive efficiencies with labour costs and maximise productivity using leaner teams. Workforce management technology is a crucial tool to help manage costs, forecast demand and boost productivity, which in turn gives operators the ability to focus on ensuring first class customer experiences.”


Chimney fan for pizza ovens removes smoke and bad odours

In many restaurants, the wood-fired catering equipment is situated near a high-capacity extraction canopy for the stoves. This can interfere with the natural draught in the chimney of the wood-fired oven or open barbecue fire and cause smoke to be drawn out into the kitchen. The result? A kitchen full of smoke and unsanitary particles.

The Exodraft chimney fan ensures an optimal draught in the chimney, resulting in a kitchen and restaurant without smoke and bad odours.

At the same time, the fan ensures that you always have a consistent draught which helps create consistent cooking results.

Find out more and watch our case video at:

Often due to the positioning of the pizza oven, long horizontal complicated flue runs will be required to take away the smoke. The Exodraft chimney fan will allow complete flexibility in the positioning of the oven.

Your energy. Optimized.

IGD rallies food industry for summer campaign

This National Apprenticeship Week [5-11 Feb 2024], IGD celebrated the milestone of more than 100,000 young people trained through its programmes to date, as it gears up to spearhead an exciting sector-wide campaign, raising the appeal of working in UK food, this summer.

IGD, the essential partner to a thriving food and consumer goods industry, is calling on companies to continue pledging support for its employability programmes, which aim to showcase the breadth and depth of careers available to the next generation.

This activity will form part of IGD’s role in leading the workforce response to The Independent Labour Review of Shortages in the Food Supply Chain, as spearheaded by IGD CEO Sarah Bradbury and IGD chair Ash Amirahmadi.

IGD is uniquely placed to convene all partners necessary to influence this change, with a heritage of over 100 years in training and education, and a vast sphere of stakeholders from industry, government, academia and third sector. This was no more reflected than in the landmark ‘Feeding Britain’s Future’ scheme, which IGD initiated in 2012, paving the way for the milestone of over 100,000 young people trained.

Fiona Miller, people programmes director at IGD, said: “We are excited to work closely with the Food and

Drink Sector Council and IGD’s sphere of stakeholders to attract talent to our crucial industry, which is also Britain’s largest private-sector employer.

“We would encourage all food and consumer goods companies to sign up to our employability programmes, inspiring young people to explore opportunities through this summer’s campaign. We are particularly interested in introducing them to stimulating careers within technical, digital and engineering roles, in an industry that powers local economies.”

Of the 100,000 already trained

through IGD initiatives – such as work experience weeks, employability sessions and virtual schools workshops –93% of students surveyed have a better understanding of real-world workplaces.

This National Apprenticeship Week, participants from companies ranging from PepsiCo to Premier Foods and Saputo Dairy UK will partner with IGD to share knowledge gained across engineering, continuous professional development and product management, among other specialisms, with an estimated 1500 young people across England, Scotland and Wales.

Former programme participant, Amelia Kay said: “I gained experience transforming theoretical knowledge into practical prowess, fuelling my confidence and skills. These foundations propelled me into the marketing world, and I am now loving my career as planner at SMG, collaborating with leading FMCG brands.”

As 2024 progresses, students will also gain the benefit of connections with the best and brightest engineering, digital and technical experts working for food manufacturers and retailers today.

If you work for a food and consumer goods business and would like your experts to participate in raising awareness of sector attractiveness, contact IGD: sarah.

NEWS 6 7 TOPPINGS PERFECT every time! Visit us at Chilled & Frozen Food Section at stand 4311 Exhibiting at IFE 2024

Nice to meat you, Fratelli Beretta!

Fratelli Beretta is launching a new website to raise awareness of the brand and highlight its range of authentic Italian meats to UK and Irish consumers. The family-run business set up its first factory in Barzanò, near Milan, back in 1812. Today, it supplies a wide range of Italian meats to customers in the UK and Ireland.

The site goes live in November, telling the story of its heritage and tradition, while outlining the product range and offering recipe and usage ideas. It aims to encourage shoppers to try the authentic flavour of Italian meats at home,

Lancashire loves La Locanda

Italian restaurant, La Locanda, was among the star businesses that gathered at Blackburn’s iconic King George’s Hall for the 2023 Lancashire Tourism Awards ceremony, winning its category for the Taste Lancashire Award.

La Locanda will now enter the national competition, Visit England Awards for Excellence 2024. The multi-awardwinning restaurant also took home Best Independent Italian Restaurant at our very own 2023 PAPA Industry Awards.

La Locanda’s cosy restaurant resides in Lancashire’s Ribble Valley. Full of original rustic charm, the husband-andwife team – Maurizio and Cinzia Bocchi – take their customers on a journey to the heart of Italian cuisine, serving authentic, seasonal recipes that go back generations.

The award marked an extra special night for La Locanda, celebrating its 20th anniversary year. Chef Maurizio Bocchi said: “For 20 years, my promise has been to create and serve a menu of dishes passed down through generations,

in dishes ranging from spaghettis and pizzas to sandwiches and charcuterie boards. It wants to educate consumers on the peculiarities of Italian charcuterie, raising awareness of Protected Destination of Origin (PDO)/Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) and Italian roots.

Fratelli Beretta’s product mix ranges from bresaola – a type of cured meat made from air-dried, salted beef – to prosciutto cotto, mortadella, nduja, pancetta, salami and Tuscan ham, among many others. The company has continually developed PDO and PGI meats, underlining its credentials as a producer of authentic, quality-assured fare. Fratelli Beretta has the highest number of protected products in the Italian charcuterie sector.

As one of Italy’s most active food exporters, Fratelli Beretta is present in more than 70 countries in Europe and beyond, with 25 production plants in Italy, four in the US and one in China.

The brand is also carrying out a social media campaign, including a competition to win a hamper of Fratelli Beretta meats, an apron and a chopping board.

Food stylist, Costas Millas, has been recruited to create and photograph six recipes – three summer and three winter – to be distributed to consumer media. Valeria Beretta, export area manager, said: “The success of the Fratelli Beretta brand is a result of eight generations of committed family members who have held the expertise and professionalism to continually refine quality and safety standards. We see the UK and Ireland as an important and growing market and we are excited to tell our story to consumers with our new website and awareness campaign and encourage them to taste our delicious range of high-quality products.”

allowing customers to immerse themselves into a truly Italian experience. We are proud to receive such recognition in Lancashire – a home to award-winning chefs and some of the best UK restaurants. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

Bocchi also represents the Lancashire region as ‘Taste Ambassador’ for Marketing Lancashire, joining a stellar line-up of the county’s most celebrated chefs.


Brakes, the UK’s leading wholesaler, has announced that more than 10,000 customers have now signed up to the innovative mybrakes rewards, as it celebrates its first anniversary.

As well as benefitting from personalised promotions, myBrakes rewards has seen customers earn more than £2.5m in cashback. For each cashback redemption, Brakes funds tree planting via a certified reforestation programme, with more than 23,000 in the year.

The scheme was introduced in response to customer feedback that they wanted more bespoke options, with a wider choice of rewards, and to earn cashback rather than points. As well as redeeming cashback on their Brakes spend, customers can save on merchandise including new electronics, kitchen items, days out, holidays and gift cards at the myBrakes rewards store. Alternatively, they can donate their cashback to selected local charities.

Giveaway of £2.5m as mybrakes rewards hits 10,000

“And we’ve seen some really fantastic stories about how customers are redeeming their cashback, from the pub owner who provided staff with a Christmas voucher to the care home which bought a TV for its residents’ lounge.”

Leon French, Brakes marketing director, said: “myBrakes rewards has revolutionised the way that loyalty programmes work in the foodservice sector. We’ve seen customers sign up in record numbers, and we’ve been able to give them personalised rewards that fit their business.

Producing the finest quality pizzas for over 30 years website: email: Proud supporter and member of the Pizza & Pasta Association for more than 30 years A world leader in pizza production & development

Martin brings Cirio’s ‘Heart of Italy’ to the screen

Celebrity chef James Martin is back on TV to promote Cirio tomatoes, as part of the company’s new campaign to highlight the unique ownership by its cooperative of farmers.

Martin has been a partner of Cirio as part of a massive multimedia campaign for two years and is now, ‘Bringing the Heart of Italy to British Tables’.

Customers can also access six new recipes from the celebrity chef, including Beef Cannelloni, Chicken Chorizo and Bean Stew, Lamb Shank Tagine, Halloumi with Ratatouille, Jambalaya and Deep-Fried Aubergines with tomato sauce and honey.

The new £1 million campaign includes POS in store and online banners with

the strapline ‘Farmer Owned – Loved at every stage from plant to plate’.

TV advertising is on ITV1, ITV3, C4, C4 Digital and Sky, together with BVOD services on ITVX, C4 Streaming, Sky Co and My5. It will have 50 million impacts with over 20 million digital impressions. Approximately 8.4 million ABC1 people will see the advert at least once and, on average, it will be seen 5.6 times.

As a chef from a farming family, Martin developed the recipes as a tribute to the 14,000 associated farming companies behind Cirio.

The company can now claim zero impact on climate change, thanks to the neutralisation of any CO2 emission residuals and all other kind of harmful emissions responsible for the greenhouse effect.

Cirio cares about its lands, products and the people involved in creating the seeds they plant. Becoming climate neutral is part of a groundbreaking project with a commitment pledge: ‘Our hearts and souls are totally committed to SUSTAINABLE production of the HIGHEST QUALITY Italian tomatoes.’

Kane standing up for Burnt Chef Project

Returning for 2024, The Burnt Chef Project’s gala dinner – Love Hospitality – has announced its host: multi-award-winning comedian, writer and actor, Russell Kane.

A TV regular, with an established status on the international comedy scene, Kane has regularly campaigned for more open conversations on mental health challenges, becoming an ambassador for the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) and Rethink Mental Illness. Understanding the importance of encouraging conversation and reducing stigma, not just in hospitality, but in all aspects of modern life, Kane will bring his wit and topical rants – known as Kaneings – to the Love Hospitality audience at ExCel London.

Taking place on 25 March, the first night of HRC 2024, Love Hospitality, in association with Unox, is set to be bigger and bolder than the project’s first gala in 2022. Bringing together hundreds of prominent operators, businesses, suppliers and partners, the evening will feature the inaugural Hospitality’s Mental Health Hero Awards, sponsored by Talent Hive.

As one of the biggest fundraising events of the year for The Burnt Chef Project, the evening will also see a host of activities,

including charity auctions, updates from key individuals and further awareness of how to get involved and support the work of the not-forprofit organisation.

Kris Hall, founder and CEO of The Burnt Chef Project, said: “Russell Kane is the perfect host. Not just because he’s an internationally renowned comedian, actor and author, but he understands the importance of conversation when it comes to mental health support. Kane has openly spoken about his own depression and how the power of both talking and humour can have a place in that process.”

Tickets for Love Hospitality 2024 are limited.





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The European Pizza Show is launched

Cibus Parma and TuttoFood Milano are pleased to announce the launch of The European Pizza Show, scheduled for 26-27 November 2024 at Olympia London.

The European Pizza Show will welcome over 10,000 professionals from across Europe, and more than 300 exhibitors, spanning five thematic areas: Ingredients & Topping for Pizza, Innovative Products for Pizzeria and Restaurant Menus, Professional Equipment, Beverages for Pizzerias and Restaurants, and Technological Solutions for Catering.

The event originates from the legacy of both Bellavita Expo – the premier trade show in the high-quality food & beverage sector in the UK – and the European Pizza & Pasta Show – the leading event in the European pizza industry – both celebrating 10 years of activity in 2024.

The European Pizza Show will feature the inaugural World Pizza Summit, comprising two conference days with over 100 speakers from the pizza industry in Europe, along with the awards ceremony for the 50 Top World Artisan Pizza Chains, in collaboration with 50 Top Pizza.

The highly anticipated European Pizza Championship will also take place, where emerging pizza makers compete under the judgement of the most authoritative experts.

The show offers a comprehensive education experience, with a particular focus on the latest trends, technologies

and sustainable practices in the food and casual dining restaurant sector.

“The European Pizza Show arises from the need to create an international meeting point for the European pizza and catering sector,” said Antonio Cellie, CEO, Fiere di Parma (Cibus – TuttoFood).

“We aim to support the exponential growth that the pizza supply chain is experiencing. We believe this is a great opportunity for all companies operating in this sector.”

“We are excited to launch the new format of The European Pizza Show, a unique platform for meeting, training, and doing business for all European catering professionals. An event not to be missed for anyone featuring pizza on their menu,” said Aldo Mazzocco, director of The European Pizza Show.

“This will mark a crucial moment for our industry, launching new trends and innovations for European casual dining. It will be a driving force for sustainability awareness but always promoting the quality of ingredients first and foremost.”

To participate, visit For further information, email

Food to Go Conference 2024

An exciting addition to the pizza, pasta and Italian food industry calendar is scheduled for an early summer debut.

Organised with the support of the Pizza, Pasta & Italian Food Association, the inaugural Food to Go Conference will take place on Thursday, 27 June 2024 at London’s One Birdcage Walk.

Delegates can enjoy presentations from leading industry heavyweights covering hot-button topics affecting the sector. Specific details of speakers and subjects are still in development but we know there will be a broad focus on three key areas:


Featuring the latest data from leading market researchers. Analysis of emerging trends and insight on keeping your product ranges fresh and exciting for the adventurous tastes of the modern consumer.


It is clear that the impact we have on our environment has become a key driver of consumer choices; manufacturing processes; packaging developments and so much more.

In this section of the conference, we will hear about success stories and new initiatives. Plus, the ways the industry can work together for the collective benefit of a healthy, sustainable future.


With an ongoing health crisis, what can the food to go sector do to educate consumers and inform government to contribute to a healthier society?


Each themed session will conclude with a discussion forum, where speakers will be able to explore some of the points they have raised.


If you are interested in supporting the Food to Go Conference 2024 as a sponsor, please get in touch with Sandra Bennett on 01291 636348 or by email to


We will preview the conference in more detail in forthcoming magazine issues.

In the meantime, keep an eye on the events page of the PAPA website at

NEWS 12 13

Ultralight pizza box concept is WorldStar winner

Metsä Board, part of Metsä Group, has been selected as one of the winners of 2024 WorldStar awards for its ultralight pizza box concept, developed with Adara Pakkaus and other industry experts. A total of 435 entries from 41 countries were included in this year’s competition.

An expert panel of international judges compared the entries to similar solutions from around the world and awarded the ones that were superior in their category and market and better in execution or innovation.

The ultralight pizza box solution, made of MetsäBoard Natural WKL Bright, uses considerably less material than traditional solutions without compromising rigidity, function or print quality. It was about 38% lighter and, according to lifecycle analysis, the carbon footprint was up to 50% lower than traditional solutions made of recycled fibre.

Packaging manufacturer, Adara Pakkaus, produced the corrugated material and printed the box, with Marvaco supplying the flexo printing plates.

The visual outlook was designed by Futupack. Researcher and expert on ECG Expanded Gamut printing, Dr Kai Lankinen, provided invaluable input on the graphic design, prepress and flexographic printing requirements.

The World Packaging Organisation (WPO) has been organising the WorldStar awards since 1970 to recognise the best global packaging innovations. The objective is to bring forth advancements in packaging design and technology in response to new challenges and global trends such as sustainability.

Only packaging solutions that have been previously awarded in a recognised national or regional competition are eligible to participate. Metsä Board’s pizza box concept received a ScanStar in a competition organised by the Nordic packaging industry associations in late 2023.

Get up close with a Dragon

NESCAFÉ® B2B by Nestlé Professional is giving small and medium hospitality and food & drink businesses a unique opportunity to win bespoke insight and advice from serial entrepreneur and guru, Deborah Meaden.

Open to SMEs* across all industries, the business programme, Let’s Partner up for Good, will see six businesses win a seat at the table to discuss challenges relating to their sustainability journey,

workplace wellbeing and growth, with Deborah Meaden and NESCAFÉ® B2B business experts.

Nadia Roberts, brand manager at NESCAFÉ B2B, said: “We’re delighted to partner with Deborah Meaden to help and support six small businesses, and to share insight and tips with the wider small business community.

“Whether it’s understanding what sustainability means for individual SMEs, improving employee wellbeing or boosting growth in the current climate, our aim with this partnership is not only to provide bespoke insight for the six selected businesses, but to create a platform with longevity for learning and sharing for the small business community.”

Meaden added: “As people know, I’m passionate about running ‘good’ businesses and good will mean different things to different people. There’s no one size fits all. Running a business is a constant stream of challenges to navigate and it can be difficult to know where to turn for support and advice. I’m delighted to work with NESCAFÉ® B2B to share my knowledge and experiences with SMEs across the UK.”

The live discussion with Meaden will take place spring/summer 2024. SMEs also have the chance to win a place in the audience.

Visit for more information. Entries close 31 March. Terms and conditions apply.

So mushroom for innovative ideas in the South East

Growing Kent & Medway is offering a share of £600,000 to businesses with innovative ideas to sustainably improve operations within the fresh produce, food & drink supply chain.

The Business Sustainability Challenge will award up to £50,000 for processes or technologies that support sustainable production, products and packaging solutions. Funders are particularly interested in projects that create circular economies in the horticulture and plantbased supply chain.

This is the second round of the challenge. The seven previous winners were awarded a share of over £262,000 in 2023 – from repurposing fruit and veg waste, to improving water efficiency and reducing carbon emissions with nextgen technology. The variety of projects focused on ways to reduce the impact of production systems on the environment, while adding value for the business and customers at the same time.

Dr Nikki Harrison, director for Growing Kent & Medway, said: “The South East is fast becoming the leading region for food innovation in the UK. This is testament to the remarkable achievements and ambitions of our horticultural growers and food & drink businesses. Our previous winners have demonstrated that innovation not only drives growth, but also creates markets and revenue streams in the region.”

Canterbury Brewers & Distillers Ltd received over £13,000 to develop a new system that uses their waste grains, energy, water and carbon dioxide

from their brewing process to produce speciality mushrooms.

Director, Jon Mills, said: “After building a heat recovery system that heats our restaurant and bar from waste heat during the distillation process, I realised we could potentially use all our waste from our production of whiskey, beer and gin making. The grant has allowed us to prove that we can be growing more than 100kg of speciality mushrooms from our brewing waste. We are excited to see what further success our own circular economy can have!”

This grant scheme is for high-impact, short-term innovative projects, with collaborations encouraged. Successful applicants will need to match-fund 50% of the total project cost.

Check out

Fresh advertising direction at Sacla’

Sacla’, the nation’s favourite pesto, has launched a new advertising campaign designed to attract consumers to the brand via a range of above and belowthe-line advertising. The aim is to drive Sacla’ Pesto penetration and awareness and inspire consumers to transform their midweek meals.

The family-owned Italian company is spending more than £2 million as part of a massive growth programme for its core range in 2024.

It will launch across TV-on-demand, outdoor posters and social media, being seen over 109 million times during 2024. The tone is fun, with OOH posters featuring ‘Taglia-in front of the-telle’ and ‘Spaghetti you won’t forgetti’ – and a reminder that ‘All you need is Sacla’’.

The campaign runs until the end of September, with media mainly being shown on weekdays to highlight midweek meals as the top priority meal occasion. In-store point of sale and promotions will amplify the advertising alongside exciting experiential activity.

Clare Blampied, MD Sacla’ UK, said: “We’re the nation’s favourite Pesto, and responsible for bringing pesto to these shores over 30 years ago. So, it’s true that when it comes to pasta, all you need is Sacla’. We’re hoping that our new and exciting campaign will help transform many a meal.”

Established in 1939, Sacla’ is still family owned and run in Piedmont, north-west Italy. Other products include pasta sauces and antipasti.

Available from Asda, Co-op, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose, independents and online at


Savour Sicily on wheels with celebrity chefs

Tourissimo has announced a new culinary cycling tour of Sicily, led by two celebrity chefs. Mary Sue Milliken – a James Beard and Julia Child Awardwinning chef, author, activist and media personality best known for her modern Mexican concept – is back for her seventh tour with Tourissimo.

She will be accompanied by her friend, Bob Blumer – Food Network TV host, author, artist and eight-time Guinness World Record holder. Guests

will spend seven days cycling their way through the heart of Southeast Sicily. The tour is scheduled for May 26-Jun 1 2024, and starts at $5495 per person double. That rate includes bicycles, meals, accommodation and activities. Non-cyclists are welcome, and e-bikes (pedal-assisted system) are available.

“As you explore the eastern provinces of Siracusa and Ragusa, let the aromas and tastes of Sicily’s distinct cuisine be your muse and our guest chefs be your expert eye,” said Beppe Salerno, co-founder of Tourissimo.

Sicilian cuisine is a delightful blend of influences from Phoenicians, Greeks, Moors, Arabs and Normans. Citrus, wild fennel, resins and pine nuts make any dish distinctively Sicilian.

“Picture yourself dining under the Sicilian sun, indulging in dishes that showcase the island’s bounty – ripe tomatoes, succulent eggplants and

artichokes bursting with flavour,” said Tourissimo co-founder, Heather Dowd. “Seafood takes centre stage, reflecting the island’s proximity to pristine waters. And, of course, no Sicilian feast is complete without an abundance of pasta and the finest olive oil.”

Guests will also cycle through landscapes adorned with rolling hills and vineyards, coastlines kissed by aquamarine waters and ancient sites steeped in history. The guest chefs will play a vital role in understanding the local productions and the preparations that better tell the story of the territory.

Highlights include:

● Explore Scicli, Ragusa, Modica, and Noto (UNESCO World Heritage Sites)

● Savour breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea

● An authentic Sicilian cooking class

● Tour of Ragusa.

First candidates for Clink in-prison apprenticeships

The Clink Charity has identified the first students to take part in its new apprenticeship programme, run in partnership with HIT Training. This will be the first time that apprenticeships have been delivered to serving prisoners.

While many of these students have already been working in Clink training schemes and studying towards industry standard hospitality qualifications, the apprenticeship programme provides an additional pathway to employment which is linked to vocational training. On release, candidates work towards full completion of the course and their apprenticeship. Part of the study also includes a minimum level of English and maths.

Students also receive support and mentoring from The Clink’s regional support team. This includes assisting with benefits, housing, reintegration and relocation, as well as many other aspects such as food, accommodation and childcare.

Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education, Robert Halfon, said: “Apprenticeships are crucial to giving people from all backgrounds, no matter their circumstance, the chance to climb the ladder of opportunity while addressing skills gaps and helping to grow our economy.

“It is brilliant news that The Clink Charity is beginning to embrace apprenticeships, transforming lives and creating second chances for inmates. Providing opportunities to all will

help us build a skills nation. I hope more follow their lead.”

Yvonne Thomas, chief executive of The Clink Charity, said: “We are so excited to be working alongside HIT Training on this fantastic scheme that has the potential to transform lives.

“People in prison are looking for ways to embrace change and start again – and this programme allows them to do that, by securing employment with a national employer on release.”

Jill Whittaker, executive chair at HIT Training, said: “HIT Training is delighted to be working in partnership with our friends at The Clink to support prisoners into apprenticeships.

“Careers change lives and those people undertaking these special programmes will leave prison with one to look forward to. We have been working toward our first prisoner apprenticeships with The Clink, and can’t wait to get started!”



Sysco GB launches Foodprint to support carbon labelling

Leading UK foodservice wholesaler, Sysco GB, has partnered with Nutritics, a market leader in technology, to introduce its Foodprint solution for Brakes customers, bringing carbon labelling within the reach of thousands of businesses.

Foodprint – the fully automated Environmental Impact scoring system for the hospitality and foodservice sector – allows customers to track, manage and publish the water and carbon impact of their menus and will become part of Brakes’ Virtual Chef concept. It puts sustainability at the heart of recipe development, by bringing carbon and water data together with nutritional, allergen and margin information.

With food contributing almost a third of all global carbon emissions, the new tool allows Brakes to support customers by delivering product level carbon data. This can be used to develop more sustainable menus, and shared with an increasingly engaged consumer audience, empowering them to make choices based on the impact of a particular dish.

Foodprint works by taking the most reliable data available across agriculture, processing, packaging and transportation, linked back to peer-reviewed academic research. It delivers this in an understandable format that can easily be translated into a consumer-friendly label.

Pete Statham, head of sustainability and government

Manufacturer, The Compleat Food Group, has acquired SK Foods and Zorba Foods from The Entrepreneurial Food Group for an undisclosed figure.

The two businesses are category leaders in private label chilled party foods and dips and deli fillings, with a combined turnover of over £160m and over 1150 employees.

Backed by European private equity firm PAI Partners, The Compleat Food Group was formed in 2021 and employs over 3800 people across 10 sites, with an annual turnover in excess of £0.75bn. It is home to leading brands Pork Farms, Wall’s Pastry, unearthed, Vadasz, Squeaky Bean, Wrights, and its most recent addition, Palace Culture.

With significant existing market share within the branded and private label chilled Mediterranean-deli and olives and antipasti categories, The Compleat

relations at Sysco GB, said: “Over 90% of our carbon footprint is the food that we sell, so educating our team and supporting customers on the design and development of menus and the products they are sourcing is vital to us playing our part in tackling climate change.

“We are excited about the opportunity to build on Sysco’s global science-based targets and be at the forefront of what ends up on the menus of tomorrow.”

Sysco GB recently worked with Knowledge Labs from Nutritics, a specialist sustainability consultancy service, to create and deliver a programme to educate all its 8000 colleagues in sustainability. This included bringing together the development chef team to test the new Nutritics system.

Stephen Nolan, CEO of Nutritics, said: “Fresh from helping the organisers of COP28 deliver climate-friendly menus across the conference, this is another opportunity for us to provide food sustainability experience that helps businesses.”

Compleat Food Group makes major acquisitions

Food Group is adding SK Foods and Zorba Delicacies’ complementary products to its growing portfolio.

Formed in 1987, Teesside-based SK Foods employs over 770 people and specialises in high-quality, globally inspired party foods, including Indian, Oriental, Tex Mex, Mediterranean and traditional British favourites. It holds around 40% of the market share for private label party foods outside of the Christmas period and became part of The Entrepreneurial Food Group in 1999.

South Wales-based Zorba Foods was formed in 1976. Now employing nearly 380 at its Gwent site, it started out creating authentic houmous, before expanding to cover a range of Greek, Traditional, Tex Mex and Asianinspired dips and sauces, alongside soups, for retail and foodservice. It holds around 25% share of the private label

dips market and became part of the Entrepreneurial Food Group in 2003.

Nick Field, CEO at The Compleat Food Group, said: “We’re incredibly excited, with both companies having strong heritage in their categories for creating great food that people love.”

To find out more, visit

QUALITY NUTRITION SUSTAINABILITY MARGIN how foodprint works in the kitchen... menu design & management food labelling informed buying sustainability on the menu lower impact dishes At the table... product data from brakes into nutritics  Support from Brakes product and sustainability specialists  nutritics expertise & datasets drives the foodprint NEWS 17

Man for all seasons

Gennaro Contaldo is an authority on Italian vegetables. So, with a sumptuous recipe book about to be released, we delved into the life and times of this beloved chef.



It’s a well-known culinary fact that no one knows food better than Italians. And when it comes to vegetables, you will rarely find a bland offering served on the side. In his new cookbook, Gennaro’s Verdure (Pavilion, £26), chef Gennaro Contaldo celebrates the many ways that a few basic ingredients can turn into something inspirational.

Contaldo’s career path was destined for the kitchen, having grown up in a small village along the Amalfi Coast where the sea was a paddling pool and the mountains a backyard. Sitting around his grandfather’s house on a Sunday, the topic of conversation was often food – where it came from to how it was cooked and prepared.

“From an early age, I would watch my mother, sisters and aunts make their specialities like fresh pasta, homemade bread, ragus and soups. I loved events like the annual slaughter of the pig and our big family gathering at the end of summer to preserve tomatoes and all the other seasonal vegetables, so we could enjoy them later in the year. I didn’t know at the time, but everyday life was preparation for my future as a chef.”

Leaving home at 18, he headed for the bright lights of London. However, 1970s Britain didn’t always appreciate Contaldo’s efforts, and he was often told to make carbonara or bolognese in a certain way, totally against his instincts.

“But over time, as the food scene developed and the city became one of the gastronomic capitals of the world,

I was proud to see Italian food being taken seriously and I still campaign each day to show how wonderfully simple and delicious our ingredients are.”


This is perfectly illustrated in Gennaro’s Verdure, published in March 2024. A broccoli head can easily be turned into a baked pasta dish for four or blended into a soup, and aubergines stuffed or made into the classic Parmigiana. All that’s required are a few basic ingredients from the cupboard and fridge, allowing you to make effortless and nutritious meals in no time – and there’s a selection of over 80 to choose from.

“My new book is taking humble vegetables and transforming them into meals for everyone to enjoy,” continued Contaldo. “They are so versatile –whether that’s filled, baked, added to pies, made into pasta sauces or added to soups and risotto dishes.

“With a head of broccoli or cauliflower, for instance, I see endless possibilities for nourishing main meals. All the book’s recipes are easy to recreate, appealing to meat eaters and vegetarians alike. Some include a little meat, but they can be swapped out.”

But why are Italian vegetables so unique? “I tend to find they have more flavour because they are usually only eaten in season. Huge piles will be on display in markets and greengrocers. You will recognise the season by the produce sold, while the vast aromas are a feast for the senses. If you’ve ever wandered around an Italian market, you will know what I mean, with the freshest local produce. There are vegetables in Italy which cannot be easily found in the UK, like the different types of chicory, puntarelle, cime di rapa, trevisano, artichokes and more.”


As we come into spring, it’s the perfect time for Italian food operators to take advantage. “This season is a joy, with all the huge varieties of new produce –

asparagus, fresh peas and broad beans, young spinach leaves, baby carrots and courgettes, rocket, puntarella, watercress and an abundance of salad.

“If you stick to seasonal fare, you will not only eat better and be more sustainable, but costs will be lower. Chefs must work with suppliers and ask for best prices. With increasing costs, I just hope landlords are kinder to tenants! We need restaurants to thrive. But it’s never been easier to promote Italian recipes, with myriad YouTube videos and social media at your fingertips.”

It’s a long way from 50 years ago! “UK Italian menus have certainly changed since I arrived here – thankfully for the better. Foreign travel, cookbooks and TV programmes have helped people appreciate what proper Italian food is.

“Ultimately, you don’t require lots of ingredients and you must not overcomplicate dishes. Keep them simple and authentic, while using fresh, seasonal produce. Italian cuisine seems a popular choice whether going out or cooking at home. It’s wholesome food which you never tire of.” 19

The future of food & drink

It’s been billed as the UK’s biggest celebration of industry innovation. Food, Drink & Hospitality Week lands at ExCel London on 25-27 March, for three packed days of networking, learning and streamlined product discovery.

A newly launched umbrella brand for 2024, Food, Drink & Hospitality Week encompasses IFE Manufacturing, IFE, The Pub Show, HRC and International Salon Culinaire, welcoming 27,000 food & drink professionals and over 1500 suppliers.

Portfolio director, Philippa Christer, said: “The launch of Food, Drink & Hospitality Week is an important step in an exhilarating period of growth for our March portfolio of events, expanding our partnerships with key organisations and diversifying our offering to the industry.

“Our vision is a citywide celebration of everything that makes this sector unique: showcasing product innovation, connecting visitors with the industry leaders that can transform their business

and providing a platform for discussions vital to the industry’s future.”


IFE is an opportunity to discover thousands of food & drink products, alongside invaluable insights into future industry trends.

For over 40 years, IFE has been an event for retailers, wholesalers and hospitality professionals across UK and international sectors.

With 14 exciting zones to explore, including new additions in the form of the Cheese Pavilion, the Hot Beverage Pavilion and the

Fresh Produce Section – in partnership with the Fresh Produce Consortium – all bases are covered.

IFE has representation from over 50 countries, including pavilions from Turkey, Thailand, France, Sri Lanka, China, Ecuador, Hungary and Cyprus.

Italian suppliers are in abundance, including Acetaia Terra del Tuono S.R.L, Pasta Alica, Brontedolci SRL, Caffè Quaranta, Consorzio Piacenza Alimentare and Frigovicenza S.R.L.

The Startup Market is home to up-and-coming businesses and inspiring entrepreneurs. Once again it will be a bustling hub of innovation – and a must-attend for anyone eager to meet with startups and younger brands.

Attendees can look forward to the return of the New Products Tasting


Theatre, with live pitches from startups, tastings, and companies including Bidfood and Sysco talking about their business journeys and experiences, as part of the Distributor Discovery Hours.

On the Future Food Stage, industry figures from retailers like Co-Op and Ocado will enlighten, as well as sustainability pioneers such as Abel & Cole and Rubies in the Rubble. Also, insight partners including Tried & Supplied, IGD, European Food and Farming Partnerships and Avocado Social are welcome guests.

Day two sees IGD curate fascinating content, with sessions covering everything from economic forecasts, sustainability, health, learnings from international retail and an exclusive case study with a key client.

Sarah Baldock, marketing and communications director at IGD, said: “Our combined team of retail, shopper, health, sustainability and economics experts look forward to helping

delegates get closer to the UK market within an international context, and our exhibition stand on the show floor will offer a space for those vital one-on-one conversations. We’re delighted to be partnering with IFE this year to help delegates get the most out of their visit.”


HRC brings together owners and operators to network, discover products and hear from inspiring leaders.

With four distinct sections covering hospitality tech, foodservice, design, decor & tableware and professional kitchen equipment, HRC is perfectly poised to elevate customer experience.

Visitors will have the opportunity to meet with suppliers including fresh pizza base experts PizzaSi, Passione Pizza import and consulting, La Tua Pasta, Valentine, Virtue Sourdough Pizza & Pinsa, Forni Dorigo - Universe Pizza Ltd, and Falcon Products Ltd – a family-


owned company offering outstanding cookware, kitchenware and Italian-made pasta and pizza making tools.

HRC has sessions including ‘Putting the S in ESG’. Moderated by Juliane Caillouette-Noble, MD of the Sustainable Restaurant Association, the featured panellists are Lorraine Copes of Be Inclusive Hospitality, Chet Sharma of BiBi and Matt Wood of Lexington Catering.

This will be followed by KAM, HospitalityJobsUK and Otolo unveiling the results of The UK’s Largest Hospitality Salary Survey and discussing how businesses can recruit and retain staff to remain competitive.

A highlight is a session with HRC’s 2024 Chef Ambassador, Lisa GoodwinAllen, interviewed by Si Alexander of FoodFM, as she discusses her role as executive chef at Northcote, her work with young chefs and industry charities, plus appearances on programmes including Great British Menu and James Martin’s Saturday Morning

Goodwin-Allen commented: “I’m excited to be joining HRC as Chef Ambassador for 2024 and look forward to networking with the chef community and discussing the latest trends and challenges in the world of hospitality.”

The 2024 event will also see the return of stage and demo kitchen Chef HQ, curated by Chef Publishing, where visitors can enjoy presentations by the likes of Glynn Purnell, Simon Hulstone, Kerth Gumbs, Tom Shepherd and Pierre Koffmann.

Register for a complimentary trade ticket at 21

Ones to watch


Improved Margins, Happier People, Great Guest Experiences: How Labour Productivity Tools Can Transform Your Multi-Site Operation – 25 March, 10.45-11.15, TechX

Tight margins and multiple headwinds in the form of people, costs and meeting consumer demand for great experiences every visit means there has never been a better time to embrace the power of next-gen productivity tools. This panel knows exactly how those tools must be coupled

with leadership and well-connected teams to optimise the guest experience.


Karina Cohen, sector labour productivity specialist.


● Graham Fenwick, productivity & change director, PizzaExpress

● Edyta Stec, operations director, Gail’s

● Travis Fish, MD, Ballie Ballerson, co-founder BabaBoom

● Chantal Wilson, interim people director, NQ64 Arcade Bars

Using Customer Feedback to Supercharge (Almost) Anything! – 26 March, 15:45-16:15, TechX

This panel will demonstrate the wide range of projects to make huge wins on when you involve your customers. From menu optimisation and voice and brand messaging to drinks development, hear how Rosa’s Thai, Tonkotsu and Pizza Pilgrims did it with a little help from their customers.


Annica Wainwright, co-founder, 2Forks


● Ruth Carpenter, head of marketing, Pizza Pilgrims

● Joe McCanta, global head of brand experience, Grey Goose

● Emma Reynolds, co-founder, Tonkotsu

Ruth Carpenter, head of marketing, Pizza Pilgrims





Become a sponsor

For more details on how sponsorship can help you make new connections, contact Sandra Bennett on 01291

636348 or email

The PAPA Awards are a veritable who’s who of key names from across the industry, with senior figures from major retailers such as Aldi, Co-op and Tesco, and high-street chains such as Zizzi, Prezzo, Domino’s and Pizza Pilgrims, as well as leading suppliers and manufacturers.

Combined with offering fantastic exposure for your brand, being front and centre as a sponsor provides you with a head start in making connections during the judging process and at the Awards Dinner.

David Staiano from GCL presenting to Zizzi Freibergers’ Matt Whitwood with Co-op Kevin Peacock from Danish Crown presenting to Aldi Stateside Foods’ Phil Goodall with Tom Fitzgibbon Casual Dining’s Steve Herring with Domino’s
italianfood assoc i a t i o n
Convenis’ Noel Reidy with Prezzo
The PAPA Industry Awards are the highlight of the Pizza, Pasta & Italian Food industry calendar.

7 November 2024 at the Royal Lancaster, London

pizza, pasta & italianfood assoc i a t i o n

Pioneering sustainability in production

Pepperoni supplier, Danish

embarks on a new mission: setting the highest of standards in climate action.


In the bustling kitchens of the finest pizzerias, a key ingredient often steals the spotlight: pepperoni. This beloved topping has long been synonymous with flavour and tradition. However, in recent times, Europe’s largest supplier – Danish Crown –has also embarked on a journey beyond taste and heritage, aspiring to become one of the world’s most sustainable and successful meat producers by 2030.

“Danish Crown believes that the most important source of legitimacy in food production is sustainable production. It works on several levels – addressing climate and environment, animal welfare, good jobs for all, innovation and new products,” said Morten Pedersen, head of sustainability.

By 2030, Danish Crown must have reduced the climate impact of its meat production by 50% relative to 2005 – but that is not the end of the journey. The vision is a future in which meat is climate-neutral (net zero) by 2050. The key to fulfilling the ambition is to create more value from the resources available by producing high-quality sustainable meat. Through these efforts, the business aims to distinguish itself by being transparent, dedicated and committed.

“We acknowledge that meat production puts pressure on natural resources and that it has a substantial carbon footprint, which we must reduce to ensure a sustainable food production. This challenge positions us not just as contributors, but also key players in devising solutions,” said Pedersen.


Danish Crown is an international food company standing on the shoulders of over 130 years of history. It is owned by 5700 Danish farmers who supply pigs and cattle, all following the ‘Climate Track’ sustainability programme. This covers different parameters and helps them develop individual goals that support them and Danish Crown to achieve the goal of climate neutrality in 2050.

Danish Crown is the owner of several premium brands and one of the most popular is SuperTops. The includes over 20 products, such as Pepperoni, Bacon, Meatballs, Ham used in QSR, B2B and wholesale.

Farmers share production data and various sustainability information and, in return, get individual feedback on their performance compared to a Danish Crown national average, as well as an input on key activity areas that can lower emissions.

“Operating as a cooperative owned by our suppliers provides us with a distinctive advantage in controlling the climate impact of pigs and cattle we source,” continued Pedersen. “Animal production accounts for most of the environmental impact and our cooperative owners strive to act as front-runners in resource-efficient and sustainable livestock production, focusing on welfare and environmental considerations for the surrounding ecosystems,” said Pedersen.


However, it is not just intended to secure a more sustainable future for Danish Crown. We are among the first global meat producers in the world to present such a detailed and dataintensive LCA model and hope that others will follow.”

Very Pizzable meat toppings

To effectively minimise impact, it is crucial to adopt an approach that is scientifically grounded and data-driven, with an awareness of emissions at every stage of the value chain. Therefore, Danish Crown has developed a unique Life Cycle Assessment model (LCA) to calculate the carbon footprint of a product that covers each stage of its life. Not only does it give Danish Crown the carbon footprint per kg of meat, but also specific selected products using data from suppliers, abattoirs, processing plants and transport companies.

“It is a uniquely detailed level of precision, only possible because Danish Crown is a cooperative company, thus giving us full control over the entire value chain from farm to fork. We also receive data from farmers in other countries where we have meat production. It is based on this data that we believe it’s possible to talk about meat production that is becoming more and more sustainable,” said Pedersen.

“Our LCA model is an important tool in our green transition.

Very Pizzable meat toppings

Danish Crown Foods, Phone 0044 01926 293 900

Smoky goodness

Traditional and authentic processes are helping Properoni® make serious headway in the toppings sector.


Estom has been importing, distributing and forming strategic partnerships with leading foodservice, retail and manufacturing companies in the UK and Europe since the 1930s. Dating back to the 1960s, it has supplied our leading restaurant chains with pepperoni, salami and cured meats. As its website proclaims, ‘Estom has been quietly transforming eating experiences for decades.’

“It is remarkable to reflect on the longevity and continuous nature of the business,” said Tom Horvath Neumann, Estom’s managing director.

“Our 10 longest-standing current accounts total over 300 years of continuous supply, meaning an average of 30 years of service with each. The past decade alone has seen Brexit, African swine fever (the largest ever animal health crisis) followed by Covid, inflation and war, impacting all players across the supply chain. There have always been cycles, with periods of boom and bust in the wider market. But to retain our position and continue to grow in this context is a testament to having very good products, coupled with strong partnerships and a healthy element of good fortune.

The Estom ethos is a simple one: always forming strategic relationships where it can be more than just a supplier.

“A recent example is successfully launching a restaurant partner into the retail channel, pivoting from a supplier and cost base into a revenue generator, profit centre and strategic partner,” continued Horvath Neumann. “There is no secret to this. It stems from a will and skill to add value along every part of the supply chain, finding innovative offerings and solutions with the products and opportunities at our disposal.”


The ultimate challenge, for all operators, is to ride the wave of higher costs – whether it’s ingredients, operational or staffing.

“My predecessors sowed the seeds of our success, and fundamentally it is integrity and doing the right thing that has allowed us to be where we are. Business is about relationships – and the centrepiece to that is trust and confidence.”



“Pricing is always a delicate and sensitive issue – nobody wishes to see upward movements. The macroeconomic events of recent years have meant that no part of the supply chain has escaped spiralling costs, while some aspects have been disproportionally impacted and it has been gruelling for everyone concerned. One tries to offset and mitigate but, ultimately, a long-term and pragmatic view must be taken. At a time of crisis, wise heads, objectivity and rationality are needed.”

A sure-fire way of navigating tricky times is to deliver innovative and healthier products. “We created Properoni®, ‘Pepperoni made properly’, in 2020 to fill a gap in the market for a clean label and nitrite free, restaurant-quality pepperoni people can enjoy in their own homes. And the brand has gone from strength to strength. In 2023, Properoni® became the UK’s first dedicated pepperoni brand to launch in Tesco.

“Our aim was to drive premiumisation in a category dominated by own label and really disrupt with our nitrite free and clean label offering. Properoni® has already accumulated a loyal fanbase, many of which use our pepperoni and chorizo professionally. The beating heart of our brand is our mission: to rid the world of mediocre pepperoni! And 2024 is set to be

another exciting year, with innovation on the horizon which we will be able to share in the upcoming months.”

Estom’s signature brand is made using traditional production processes. It is authentically smoked over beechwood and air dried in a carefully controlled manner.

“It is this natural fermentation, without the use of starter culture and additives, that results in the inimitable taste and rich flavour profile,” continued Horvath Neumann. “Furthermore, we have stripped all additives and preservatives from Properoni®. There are no sodium nitrites or any e-numbers. We believe the high meat content sets it apart from the competition and inspires consumer confidence.”

With only five ingredients in the Classic pepperoni and six in the Hot Paprika variety, less is undoubtedly more. “Our key ambition is to be category champions. To spread this quality profile to a wider array of consumers, while contributing to the ongoing shift to premium, clean label and best in class.”

To find out more, visit


Future focus

Innovation, a safe supply chain and consumer requirements are key watchwords for Dawn Farms.


Stronger flavours, ingredient transparency and continued success for the pizza category appear to be dead-set trends to look out for. That’s according to the experts at Dawn Farms, who were one of the ‘first to market’ in the emerging toppings sector in the 1990s.

“We have always maintained a B2B focus on our trade customers,” said Bryan Murphy, Dawn Farms’ UK sales director. “This allowed us to proactively develop processes and products, and build what we would consider to be an unmatched expertise and level of trust in what we do and how we do it.

“Thankfully, the pizza category continues to grow, and we work with customers who recognise the added value qualities that we offer, including

“we work with customers who recognise the added value qualities that we offer.”

a secure and transparent supply chain, a fully ready-to-eat, safe product and a pizza specific insight-led approach to product development and innovation.” Those relationships include leading retail brands and global QSR/delivery high-street chains. Dawn Farms also supply the UK independent sector with its signature Batch 85 toppings selection

( via Silbury, its distributor partner into the independent channel in the UK for over 30 years. “We invest in people and always put the customer first,” continued Murphy. “A good example of this is Food Plus+, our unique food safety and quality programme. The goal is simple: to protect the brand reputation of our customers. In a period where we are experiencing increased strain on supply chains, this is highly valued.”


With the economy having moved into a technical recession and continued transportation upheaval due to global conflicts, it’s not easy to stay positive. But there has always been a resilience about the foodservice and hospitality sectors.


“The world is in a different place and, while slower than expected, at least inflation has eased. Brexit, the pandemic and geopolitical turmoil all contributed to what we are experiencing today.

“The priority for customers is a safe, secure supply chain. Our facilities are located across Ireland, UK and Germany, so we are ideally positioned to deliver on that. More recently, sustainability and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) are increasingly prevalent. The question we ask is how consumer behaviours have changed in the years of navigating these crises – and how we should respond as a food company. There is a sense that market sentiment is slowly moving in the right direction, and it is important we are ready to supply consumers with attractive options, as we move into a more optimistic period.”

Dawn Farms went on a pizza ‘safari’ in London, to help discern exactly what taste sensations were making an impact.

“The creativity and variety on offer were impressive. Key trends that resonated with us were a willingness to experiment with bold, spicy flavours; permission to indulge in the form of new and plentiful meat cuts; healthier touchpoints, such as high in protein; and next-generation plant-based products that deliver on texture and cleaner ingredients,” said Murphy.

“I recommend readers visit our halfyearly Trend Catcher report by scanning

the QR code alongside this article. Newer products include Fennel Sausage (value and flavour), Louisiana Chicken (health & cleaner label, global flavours) and Salted Beef (value, indulgence). In our pipeline, I’m excited by Slow Cooked Salted Beef, Bourbon BBQ Burnt Ends Beef, Habanero Chilli Salami and rustic Tuscan Chicken.”


But all meals are coming under scrutiny – even the beloved pizza.

“It is indulgent, a treat. We need to think about health and nutrition in that context. Our products are meat and


plant-based proteins, and our focus is on providing customers with ‘better for you’ options. Consumers are becoming vigilant over what they are eating, questioning unfamiliar ingredients and leaning towards more natural options. Our NPD policy has always been to go natural where possible. We have a range of clean label, E-number-free and reduced salt/saturated fat options available for toppings.

“There is also a growing consciousness around sustainability, with consumers diversifying sources of protein to achieve their goals. A focus for us has been using plants to enhance nutritional profile and reduce the carbon impact of meat. An interesting development from our R&D team is the launch of a more Sustainable Pepperoni. This is made with the highest quality beef, spiced with notes of paprika and garlic, blended with locally sourced Irish mushrooms. It delivers the same great product attributes, with a reduction in carbon emissions and fibre boost.”

But pepperoni is still the undisputed toppings champion – and Dawn Farms do not see that picture changing. With its Habibi premium Halal range, it is also a top seller.

“We see growing demand for bolder, hotter pepperoni flavours and more indulgent versions too, such as our recently launched Truffle Salami –alongside new formats. For example, the classic New York-style ‘cup n crisp’ pepperoni and pepperoni crumb. Today, there are toppings that the ‘founding fathers’ would never have envisioned, chicken being one. Safaris in London and Berlin suggest that nothing is out of bounds, particularly for Gen Z. There is an influx of fusion on menus, such as butter chicken and kebab pizzas, so expect to see a lot more in this space.

“Insight drives growth, so we will maintain our finger on the pulse of our customer’s consumer. Finally, we look forward to a positive upswing in confidence. For us, everything starts and ends with the customer,” said Murphy.

Trend Catcher is Dawn Farms’ bi-annual report, tracking the prominence of insights and trends, allowing QSRs, retailers and foodservice providers to stay ahead of the curve, and catch the waves of future growth.

Scan the QR code to read the latest Trend Catcher report.

TOPPINGS 32 33 SIMPLE | AUTHENTIC | RESPONSIBLY SOURCED For UK supply Tel: 01926 410022 GREAT PIZZA STARTS WITH GREAT PIZZA TOPPINGS Batch85 is our range of signature products that you can trust, made from simple, authentic, responsibly sourced ingredients. Fully Cooked and Ready to Eat

the customer first

Providing a full range of pizza toppings, Qualitops is at the forefront of product development and innovation.


Established in 2003, Qualitops® is a market-leading brand, offering a wide range of ready-to-eat chilled or frozen pizza toppings and meat components. It aims to supply customers with the highest-quality products at the best possible prices while, most importantly, delivering on time.

Qualitops manufactures and sources products from companies around Europe and the UK. It has achieved BRC Food AA+ in its own factory and also BRC Agents & Brokers BRC AA.

“We truly believe our success has been focusing on customer needs and priorities,” said Claus Nielsen, Qualitops managing director. “We’ve achieved this by sourcing and delivering consistent toppings for two decades now. The priority is always to service our customers with value for money.”

The best cooked and continental

meats are imperative for any pizza operation, so Qualitops offers flavoured diced chicken, sliced and diced pepperoni, salami and chorizo among other favourites. Recommendations

“Consumers generally stay traditional. any change is led by large franchise chains.”

include Diced Tandoori Chicken, Chicken Tikka, Turkey Julienne, Honey Roast Ham Julienne and Spicy Pizza Meatballs. Its halal range is produced and approval achieved at source and can be packed in bulk for manufacturing

and B2B. Many customers also choose to promote their brands, so Qualitops delivers full colour or black & white own label, dual branding and private label.


Like any business, Qualitops thrives on the strength of its connections.

“Our absolute key partners are customers. On the back of their incredible support and loyalty, over the years we build great relationships with suppliers – and continue to do so.

“We work with an array of businesses, ranging from regional pizza chains with national coverage and fast-food wholesalers and party consolidators, where you will find our products on pub menus and in bakery chains. We are proud of all our products and always try to improve the levels of quality and value, which are driven by the customer,” continued Nielsen.


It’s a simple method, but hospitality has been put under immense pressure in recent years. “Price is relative as it is always linked to quality, but yes, we have seen foodservice struggling to recover, especially with high inflation. I believe this will continue for some time to come, unfortunately. The good thing is the sector is innovative and I’m sure it will recover once inflation is under control.”

In terms of the market, Qualitops has exciting new products on show at the IFE 2024 Exhibition at London ExCel from 25-27 March (see pg 20 for our exclusive three-page preview).

But when it comes to taste, Nielsen thinks the conventional pizza isn’t doing much wrong. “Consumers generally stay with traditional toppings. They do like a change now and again but will return to traditional pizza. Any change will happen over time and be led by large franchise chains because they have marketing to influence younger consumers.”

possible products, at the best possible prices and on time. We will also be expanding our factory and product range – we have exciting news in the spring. And we would like to thank our customers for their continued loyalty. They are the reason we look forward to coming into work every day.”

And while that may be the case, Qualitops is determined to stand by its established principles. “Just to keep giving our great customers the best


All set to sizzle

Meadow Vale’s chicken offering delivers practicality and authentic flavour. Digital marketing manager, Mark Gent, tells us more.

You’ve been in the sector for more than 30 years. What’s key to this longevity?

This amount of industry experience has allowed us to hone our craft and become the go-to brand when it comes to choosing market-leading lines of high-quality, added value poultry.

Chicken has long been a favourite for pizza toppings. We offer a wide range of options – from the traditional sliced & diced to our on-trend, award-winning Homestyle Shredded Chicken, which cooks in the pizza oven from frozen in minutes. Our products are perfect for chefs looking to add exciting flavours to their menu without the need for extra preparation. Simply take what is required from the freezer and create the perfect pizza without wasting a thing!

Can you elaborate on key business partnerships?

We work closely with a wide range of pizzerias – from the small independent takeaways to the large chain restaurants – with a key focus on finding the perfect products to suit diversifying menu requirements.

Helping to maintain positive working relationships, our friendly team are always on hand to assist with anything from cooking information and menu ideas to stocking details and free samples, giving our brand a highly trusted reputation that we hold in high regard.

What are the most exciting products?

With over 70 to choose from, this depends on the menu and what the customer is looking for. However, a close favourite may be our brand-new Sizzling Chicken range, featuring six lines of fully cooked and chargrilled, hand-cut, deboned and flattened breast fillets, thighs and skewers. Each line is marinaded for up to 20 hours and cooked over mangrove and coconut shell charcoals for that authentic, smoky, grilled chicken flavour. Fully cooked then individually quick frozen into foil bags to lock in that great taste, Sizzling Chicken can be served in a matter of minutes!

Feedback on the new range has been fantastic, filling a chargrilled chicken-shaped hole in the market with a highly


versatile, convenient and great-tasting uncoated range, providing the ultimate fresh appeal.

Obviously, prices/costs are high and foodservice is under huge pressure. Has it been difficult to stay competitive?

Here at Meadow Vale, our focus has always been on quality.

Offering the best IQF chicken allows us to navigate the everchanging economic climate, safe in the knowledge that prices remain competitive for the produce received. By using Meadow Vale, our customers deliver great-tasting dishes, faster, more efficiently and with reduced waste, with improved margin for the customer.

There is increasing scrutiny on ingredients and health. What’s your response?

Our approach to consumer queries surrounding health and wellbeing has always been to offer a varied choice. By having traditional coated chicken favourites, alongside new lines of healthier chargrilled chicken and sliced & diced chicken breasts, allows us to cater to a broader market and deliver on the best value for money out there.

Most people have their favourite toppings. Do you anticipate change – or will people stay traditional?

Consumer trends are always changing. That’s the beauty of the foodservice industry! While you can’t beat a classic pizza, there is room for adventurous flavours and this is a trend we are seeing with younger generations. Thanks to the rise of social media, people are eating with their eyes more than ever. Any pizzeria with a strong online presence and a keen eye for ‘Instagrammable’ dishes should see a rise in revenue. Including world flavours on the menu will cater for more people, allowing larger groups to dine out together, safe in the knowledge that

everyone will be satisfied by the end of the evening.

Key ambitions for the rest of 2024?

To continue to grow our brand and keep delivering the very best added value poultry to the market!

TOPPINGS 37 Discover more on UK customers

Mi Casa, su Casa

Fiery sauces lend themselves to pizza toppings – and they’re perfect for flavour sharing.


Pizza nights in the home or garden are a brilliant concept for dinners and informal gatherings. It’s a sociable activity for groups to do together, with the freedom to customise pizzas with ingredients to suit each person’s taste preferences or dietary requirements.

Finishing touches really make or break a pizza – and hot sauces can turn up the heat for those who enjoy fiery flavours, while truffle sauce brings an aromatic taste of Italy.

Casa Firelli is a range of Italian condiments available in Hot, Extra Hot and Truffle. It’s handcrafted in Parma from authentic ingredients including Calabrian chillies, roasted red peppers, balsamic vinegar, porcini mushrooms, herbs, spices and sea salt. All three sauces are gluten-free, zero calorie and use all natural ingredients. They’re suitable for keto, paleo and low/no carb diets, and are vegan and vegetarian.

Working with distributor Petty Wood, Casa Firelli supplies to buyers in the hospitality and foodservice sectors, as well as multiple retailers and stores. It’s had success across the board, from securing listings with contemporary high-street restaurants and Italian chains to speciality and independent delis, along with supermarkets, since launching in 2021.

“Our ambition is to continue to raise awareness for the Casa Firelli brand and position it as a tasty, fiery and unusual accompaniment to pizza and Italian food,” said Tim Dunlop,


European commercial director, Casa Firelli from Biggar and Leith. “We’re keen to work with restaurants and operators around the UK, as well as mobile food trucks, festivals and caterers. We’d love our hot sauces to appear on tables as a condiment of choice to go with Italian foods.

“While diners and shoppers are familiar with the go-to hot sauces from the US and Asia, foods from Italy certainly entice consumers. Casa Firelli stands out from the crowd because of its heritage and artisanal nature. The three-strong range is made with years of know-how by the Agrimonti family at their casa just outside of Parma and is still handcrafted in small batches to ensure that same beautiful taste oozes from every bottle. We’ve taken care to include quality Italian ingredients to ensure authentic flavours and the Hot Truffle variant, with its distinctive earthy flavour profile, is a real game-changer.”


The popularity and buzz around Italian food and drink in the UK is certainly tangible. “It is an incredibly exciting time,” continued Dunlop. “Today’s consumers want quality above all and will seek out products from nations that they know

deliver great taste. Brands with a real sense of heritage that demonstrate craftmanship have the opportunity to fly.”

Of course, simplicity is often best with Italian cuisine – but variety is the spice of life.

“Sauces with pizza can divide opinion. Traditionalists like it as it comes; some go for a classic dip in ketchup or mayo; there are garlic and herb fans; and those that want to add a kick and more depth and flavour with hot sauces.

“Casa Firelli pairs perfectly with pizzas, especially in the UK where diners are keen to experiment. Pizzas offer freedom to customise and those finishing touches make a meal shine. Truffle sauce brings an aromatic taste to toppings such as mushroom, ham, chicken or roasted vegetables.

“We have a bank of branded imagery that focuses on pairing the sauces with pizza, as well as gift packs. The original Hot Sauce adds a tangy flavour and a fiery kick. Extra Hot Sauce brings the heat with only a small dash needed, while the Truffle Hot Sauce is made with chillies for a punchy flavour.”

Casa Firelli Hot, Extra Hot and Truffle are available to retailers now via UK distributor, Petty Wood & Co. Ltd. Visit 39


Cooks&Co 2024 Pizza Recipes

Trusted by home cooks and professional chefs alike, Cooks&Co is an award-winning range of store cupboard ingredients, simply sourced and full of flavour. It brings exciting ingredients – such as Sweet Red Drop Peppers, Lotus Root and Tri-Colour Jalapeños to the table – alongside trusted staples like beans and pulses.

Anchovy & Kalamata Olives Sourdough Pizza


● Long & Rustic Jus-Rol Sourdough Pizza Base – suggested size to be 16”x10”

● Tomato sauce

● Buffalo mozzarella

● Cooks&Co anchovies

● Cooks&Co kalamata olives

● Capers

● Oregano (dried)

● Grana Padano cheese

● Basil (fresh)

● Drizzle of olive oil


1. Preheat the oven to Fan 180°C.

2. Using a ready-made long and rustic pizza base, spread an even layer of tomato sauce on top of the base, then tear some mozzarella and scatter evenly over the sauce. Slice some Kalamata olives before placing on the pizza along with anchovies and capers. Sprinkle with oregano, then bake for eight minutes or until the mozzarella is melted and golden.

Jackfruit & Sweet Red Drop Pepper Vegetarian Pizza


● Jus-Rol Sourdough Pizza Base (6” to 8”)

● BBQ sauce

● Grated mozzarella

● Cooks&Co Pulled Jackfruit

● Cooks& Co Sweet Red Drop Peppers

● Red onion

● Coriander (fresh)

3. Add basil leaves, shards of Grana Padano cheese and a drizzle of olive oil to finish.

● Drizzled with vegetarian ranch dressing


1. Preheat the oven to Fan 180°C.

2. Using ready-made mini pizza bases, spread an even layer of BBQ sauce on top. Add BBQ jackfruit, Sweet Red Drop Peppers and sliced red onions. Bake for five minutes or until cooked to your liking.

3. Add coriander leaves and a drizzle of vegetarian ranch dressing to finish.

Vegan Love Pizza with Hearts of Palm


● Jus Rol Sourdough Pizza Base –(12” to 14”)

● Vegan green pesto

● Vegan mozarella/feta cheese

● Cooks&Co Hearts of Palm

● Cooks&Co Sun-dried tomatoes

● Cooks&Co Kalamata olives

● Basil (fresh)


1. Preheat the oven to Fan 180°C.

2. Using a ready-made heart-shaped pizza base, spread an even layer of vegan pesto sauce on top of the base, then add vegan mozzarella/feta over the sauce. Slice some hearts of palm, sundried tomatoes, and Kalamata olives before placing on the pizza. Bake for eight minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden.

3. Add basil leaves to finish.

40 41 Pizza Plus Foodservice Light Industrial Estate, Liverpool Road, Walmer Bridge, Preston PR4 5HY Tel: 01772 610415 / Fax: 01772 617610

The mature approach

is export director at Trentin, a family-run business with a storied history in the dairy trade.

Tell us about how you’ve managed to stay successful for so long.

Trentin’s history began just after World War II. The current owner’s grandparents started a convenience food store originally, but soon focused more on dairy products – driving down to the Parma region and bringing wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano to the Veneto region. Their son started to help when he was 16 and currently, at 88 years, is still visiting our producers daily. We have always held on to quality and solid growth and have, in fact, built long-term relationships with retailers throughout Europe.

The cheese sector is incredibly competitive. What are the keys to standing out?

We are convinced that a constant quality

and service level are what our customers need most. Also having access to direct deliveries from Italy of a broad range of cheeses is something that makes us a valued partner.

Let’s discuss your key business relationships in the UK.

The UK has been a challenging ground for our company. There are a few dominant retailers who have strong ties to their historic suppliers, so it’s not easy making them switch to another one. Our partner in the UK, Pimpernel Wharf Ltd, is handling the importing, sales and distribution. And we see that nowadays – and more than ever since Brexit –foreign companies must have a good partner in order to be able to understand and handle the needs of customers in the UK.


Staying with Brexit… has it affected UK operations?

It has surely not made things easier. The importance of a good partner in the UK to handle the business has become even more valuable. We have further requirements in terms of certificates, increasing costs and lead times. So, in our opinion, things were surely easier before Brexit. But, as always, we adapt to new circumstances.

Our consumer market for global flavours is an exciting time. What do you see product wise for your business this year?

We see a trend with pairing the cheeses with figs and honey. But this traditional cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano and Pecorino) is great on its own or in a dish as well. There is also a trend towards even more mature Parmigiano Reggiano, so from 24 months up to 30, 36, and nowadays 40 months maturation.

How much of a priority is sustainability and carbon footprint?

These aspects of business have clearly

gained significant importance over the past few years, with ambitious goals set to drastically reduce our carbon footprint. Efforts throughout the supply chain are helping us achieve them; be it from the producer side via the switch to mono-materials in terms of packaging, along with trying to produce as efficiently as possible.

How do you see the future of Italian food in the UK?

A definite increase in the demand for Italian cheeses. More consumers are discovering our offerings and the multitude of ways they can be used in cooking. This applies to not just the UK, but Europe, where younger generations drive restaurant demand.

m p i z z a t o p p i n g s w h i c h a r 1 0 0 % H a l a l , c e r t i f i b y H a l a l C o n t r o l I r e l a n d . e e d WHAT M A K E S A P E R FECT PIZZA? HOW CAN WE HELP? Scan the code to find out what Perco can offer your business Nelstrops Pizza Flour
Pizza Sauce Danscorella Cheese
Pizza Toppings
Boxes @PERCOFOODS A w a r d w i n n i n g P i z z a F l o u r p e r f e c t f o r a l l p i z z a m a k i n g R e a d y - t o - u s e t o m a t o p i z z a s a u c e a v a i l a b l e i n t i n s a n d p o u c h e s ppizza D a n s c o r e l l a i s a l e a d i n g f o o d s e r v i c e m o z z a r e l l a b r a n d b r o u g h t t o y o u b y D a i r y P a r t n e r s H i g h q u a l i t y , s t r o n g d e l i v e r y b o x e s m a i n t a i n i n g p i z z a p e r f e c t i o n f r o m o v e n t o t a b l e CHEESE & DAIRY 43

In pursuit of perfection

The Grana Padano cheese journey is a combination of traditional values and sustainable innovation, alongside an ever-expanding global footprint.


In 1996, when Grana Padano was officially given a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) product, it had a

production of around 3.6 million wheels – of which 350,000 were exported. In 2022, that number had jumped to over 5.2 million, with 2.4 million exported.

This exponential growth has been achieved by a brand steeped in history, created almost 1000 years ago.

Made exclusively from raw Italian milk from the production area in the Po River Valley (Pianura Padana) – across the regions of Piedmont, Lombardy, Veneto and areas of Trento and the province of Piacenza in Emilia Romagna – it is inextricably linked to the climate, culture and people that create it. In fact, about 70% of the milk produced in the PO River Valley, to the north of the Po River, becomes Grana Padano cheese. The process brings together more than 4500 farms, dairies and maturing facilities.

A cheese wheel must age a minimum of nine months. After examination by testers from the Consorzio and an impartial third inspection body, it receives a fire-branded mark to certify perfection. The hammer, needle and probe are all that’s required.

At 20 months of ageing, if the producer requests it, the wheels may


undergo a further set of quality tests by the Consorzio’s technicians, so as to receive the fire brand ‘Riserva’. Grana Padano may even age to over 24 months with a texture that becomes grainier, with its taste and flavour evolving and becoming more intense.

Timing is everything, with around a year of maturing lending itself to use as a flaked addition to a fresh salad or to complete a carpaccio, with a white wine accompaniment. However, over 16 months is more suited to hot preparations such as flans and souffles or on its own, alongside a red wine of moderate intensity.

These processes also lend themselves to unique nutritional features, such as quality proteins, vitamins and mineral salts, especially calcium. It is lactose-free, due to production characteristics and the long ageing process.


The world’s most consumed PDO cheese is exported around the globe – most popular in Germany, with 2022 figures showing 585.339 NR. wheels a year. France is next at 279.250, while the UK sits at No. 7 on 134.122 – up 6.54% on 2021. Grana Padano is present in most big supermarket chains.

But it’s not just taste and quality that are of paramount importance. In 1954, the Grana Padano Protection Consortium was created. This is a non-profit making organisation, charged with protecting, promoting and enhancing the cheese,

while also focusing on improving means and methods of production.

“Sustainability is another theme that takes on the same value for us as quality,” said Renato Zaghini, president of the Consortium. “It is an element that belongs to the DNA of Grana Padano, which was born as a recipe to avoid wasting milk.

“So much so, the members’ commitment to sustainable systems takes the form of major investments aimed at improving the entire supply chain production process. Thanks to EU and the Italian Agricultural Ministry funded tenders, we could soon make investments of over €200 million that will further limit waste.

“The Grana Padano PDO system has always paid attention to the quality of

production and the ways in which it works on a daily basis.

“Quality is not built from one day to the next but is achieved by constantly investing commitment and resources in research and the application of actions that comply with relevant regulations and criteria of environmental, social and economic sustainability. The 4000 cowsheds that supply milk to the dairies producing Grana Padano PDO are aware of this, and the Protection Consortium pays great attention to this factor of sensitivity and respect. We ask the member dairies to recommend to the supplying cowsheds, to endeavour to respect animal welfare as a must.

“A well-cared for and healthy dairy cow produces better milk from every point of view, including dairy. It is in the interest of every intelligent producer to pay attention to his herd in order to protect their business and guarantee the consumer,” concluded Zaghini.

Check out two different aged

Grana Padano PDO cheeses at IFE – Food, Drink & Hospitality Week, Mar 25-27, at ExCel London. The company will be at Stand 4111, with show cookings from Danilo Cortellini (head chef at the Italian Embassy for over 12 years and now doing consultancy work and independent chef catering in Italy and the UK). Our exclusive show preview starts on P20.


Irish cream of the crop

Ornua is a global leader in dairy production, with its finger on the pulse of the pizza market.


In the increasingly competitive pizza marketplace, the emphasis on quality is higher than ever. One operator that understands this better than most is dairy cooperative, Ornua – which markets and sells products on behalf of its members, Ireland’s dairy processors and, in turn, its dairy farmers. Ireland’s largest exporter of dairy products, to 110 countries worldwide, works from 10 global business units, including 16 production facilities. With more than 60 years in the business, it’s uniquely placed to understand what’s coming next.

“The UK pizza market is expected to continue growing steadily due to factors like convenience, affordability and the popularity of delivery and takeaway options,” said the Ornua team. “Preferences for diverse flavours, healthier choices and premium ingredients will lead to a wider range of varieties, including gourmet, artisanal and plant-based options. Technological advancements such as online ordering platforms and delivery services will enhance convenience and reach.

“Sustainability will play a significant

role, with a focus on practices in ingredient sourcing and packaging, while competition will drive innovation, inevitably leading to unique concepts and creative toppings. Wellness trends are relevant, with a growing demand for healthier options and transparent nutritional information. Overall, the sector will be dynamic, characterised by growth and diversification.”


Thanks to investment in technology and people, Ornua is highly regarded for an innovative portfolio, with an unwavering commitment to quality. It prioritises innovation to tailor products for evolving customer demands.

“This entails not only investing in technology within our facilities but also staying vigilant of trends to ensure relevance. Furthermore, our steadfast dedication to maintaining high standards of quality in both our products and services is paramount. That way, we not only differentiate ourselves in the market but also build trust and loyalty.

“In terms of pizza business relationships in the UK, the main

focus is on supplying major retailers, particularly those well-known among households. We place a high priority on building and nurturing partnerships with these retailers to ensure widespread distribution. Additionally, we are dedicated to serving the foodservice and cash & carry sectors, where we strive to continue our strong connections and grow our substantial presence. By working closely with producers, manufacturers, operators and retailers, we strategically position ourselves to effectively cater to diverse demands.”


There is undoubtedly an enthusiasm for global flavours, with Ornua’s specialised marketing department diligently tracking what’s coming next, while carefully selecting pertinent insights to incorporate into product offerings well in advance. This approach guides launches, including flavoured string cheese, cheeses with diverse inclusions, sauces tailored to local preferences, innovative crumbs and more.

“These initiatives underscore a commitment to delivering innovative


and appealing products that resonate with the evolving tastes of consumers in the UK and all over the world.

“But sustainability is also a key part of cooperative structure and identity. Ornua group has committed to a 25% reduction target in Scope 1 & 2 emissions by 2025 – in line with a new five-year strategic growth plan, with the adoption of the SBTi (Science Based Targets initiative).”


Perhaps the ultimate reflection of Ornua’s success is that it not only weathered the economic challenges posed by Brexit but has managed to thrive. Emerging unbelievably well, the business experienced significant growth during this challenging period –particularly within retail and foodservice.

“It reflects resilience and strategic planning, enabling us to seize opportunities and maintain momentum amidst uncertainty. While Brexit presented obstacles, we leveraged our

strengths and adaptability to emerge stronger and more resilient than ever.

“And we eagerly anticipate a promising future and remain steadfast in our commitment to expanding our business. In the UK, we proudly supply

our renowned cheese brands: Consistent Shred™, PlantNation and Spinneyfields®, which have enjoyed significant growth. This serves as one example of Ornua’s dedication to the consumer and delivering high-quality products.”

Plant-based relaunch for ambitious Applewood

Nearly five years after its original launch, one of the UK’s multi-award-winning plant-based cheezes is relaunching with a new recipe.

Applewood Vegan hits supermarket shelves with a few tweaks to its originally successful recipe that will improve the cheeze’s texture – to make it look and taste more like dairy cheese.

When Applewood Vegan launched five years ago, consumers following a plant-based diet said its meltability made it stand out. It melted like dairy cheese, while many other vegan offerings didn’t. So, the team have taken the original recipe and made it more like ‘dairy cheese’, with a creamier texture.

Blind taste tests conducted by Wirral Sensory Services* found that the new Applewood Vegan option was wellreceived, with comments that it was ‘much more like real cheese, had a nicer texture’ and ‘lovely smoky taste and could be enjoyed alone or with food’.

Senior brand manager, Ffion Davies, said: “As we approach the

fifth anniversary since the launch of Applewood Vegan, we decided it was time to take a look at the original recipe and see if we could tweak it a bit to make it even tastier and creamier.

“The blind taste tests proved that the new recipe was as well-received as we had hoped it would be. We can’t wait to see the new Applewood Vegan out on the shelves of all major UK supermarkets.

“Applewood Vegan as a brand has won 15 awards since it launched in 2019, and I am hopeful this new recipe will help us win even more.” Buy in block and slices format at Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose, Ocado and Morrisons.

For more information, visit

*Taste testing by Wirral Sensory Services Oct 2023.


Making waves

Superb seafood is a given at Mamalu, with an authentic Italian experience always on the menu.


In the fiercely competitive restaurant hub of London’s Earl’s Court, it’s imperative that excellence comes as standard. Even more so with the delicate yet delightful flavours of Italian cuisine. Fortunately, Mamalu is successfully seducing both locals and visitors.

Opened last year, the award-winning welcoming atmosphere is matched by the menu. Showcasing an array of Italian classics, dishes are prepared using high-quality, sustainable and seasonable ingredients. But the heartbeat of the operation is the seafood.

“Directly importing from Italy ensures authenticity, while our speciality in seafood and homemade pasta delights diners seeking traditional flavours with a modern twist,” said Andre Bassi, managing director.

“We take pride in crafting our culinary creations. While prioritising local sourcing whenever possible, we continuously seek new and trusted suppliers to elevate our offerings. The

seafood, a menu highlight, is primarily sourced from Italy and local fisherman, ensuring the freshest cash. We rely on trusted local British suppliers for other ingredients, like fruit and vegetables, with Covent Garden Market an essential source of seasonal produce.

“While not under-appreciated in

the UK, we recognise that perspectives towards seafood differ from those in Italy. For example, the British penchant for fish and chips contrasts with the delicate preparation that emphasises fish’s natural flavours in Italian cuisine, offering inherent flavours and textures,” said Bassi.



The signature is the Plateau Royal, with its medley of Mazara red prawns, Sicillian langoustines, pink prawns and Gillardeau and Cocollos oysters. Other options from the raw bar include red tuna tartare with avocado & rocket and red Mazara prawn carpaccio, all complemented by cooked dishes of the calibre of Breton lobster and fried Mediterranean octopus with baby chicory.

However, carnivores are of course catered for with premium cuts, such

as an Irish T-Bone steak, dry aged for a minimum of 28 days in a Himalayan salt chamber. The pasta – from paccheri and tagliolini to tonnarello and gnocchi – is produced daily in the in-house Parma Parsi pasta machine, guaranteeing a softer, slightly richer taste.

“As a niche establishment, the challenge of financial pressures while maintaining our commitment to quality is achievable because our clientele values the consistency and excellence of our offerings over price

competitiveness,” continued Bassi. “But we ensure affordability by offering a range of prices on our menu. For example, one of our mains – Spaghetti al Pomodoro – is priced at £14, which exemplifies this balance.

“We also feature daily specials, based on the freshest catches, updating our menu seasonally to reflect the best dishes available.”

Despite the various challenges around staff recruitment, Mamalu has forged a solid, small Italian team since its inception a year ago.

“This success emits our commitment to company values and competitiveness. Mamalu was born from the aspirations of investors to create a unique destination in London, blending expertise and vision to bring this concept to life.

“We offer a unique specialisation, setting us apart. While we enjoy this distinction, our plans involve expanding to a flagship location near central London, where competition is more intense. We will prioritise strategic pricing and stay attuned to trends, ensuring our offerings remain compelling and relevant,” concluded Bassi.

ALPHIN PANS ap Serving the Pizza Professional Since 1989 SIDE ORDER COOKING TRAYS ROMAN STYLE “PIZZA BY THE SLICE” DOUGH CUTTERS Making the pizza professional happy since 1989 Please contact us on 01457 872486 or visit our website: to see what we can do for you. Telephone: 01457 872486 Email: Fax: 01457 820868 Alphin Pans Ltd Oakdale Mill, Delph New Road Delph, Oldham, OL3 5BY Untitled-3 1 12/01/2022 13:53:27 REVIEW 49

A zero-waste restaurant in five easy steps

The UK hospitality industry creates £3.2 billion of food waste each year. From perfectly edible leftovers to excess packaging, this is a substantial issue within the sector.

Low- and zero-waste restaurants are a growing trend in 2024, and experts from are their biggest supporters. Restaurants can officially be seen as ‘zero-waste’ when 90% of it is reused, recycled and diverted from landfill.

Company co-founder, Mark Hall, has shared the main processes owners need to set in place to run a zero-waste restaurant.



Every restaurant is different, and the path to zero waste begins with an audit of current practices. Evaluate the bins, their types, numbers and sizes to understand the regular waste output. Identify key areas for reduction and start with achievable goals, gradually working towards the elimination from all streams.


Optimising this is a lot easier than controlling customer leftovers. A few effective methods include creating a smaller menu and storing all ingredients properly. Use seasonal and local produce to minimise the fuel pollution

caused by long-distance transportation. Restaurants often produce large amounts of oil that are then disposed of improperly and pollute the environment – use less oil and even reuse where possible! As for the leftover foods, consider greener alternatives such as composting or donating it to animal charities or farms.


First In First Out (FIFO) is a straightforward way of reducing food waste. Prioritise items with the shortest use-by dates at the front of shelves and place newer food to the back. Train your staff in this process and conduct weekly reviews for stock rotation. Clear labelling with dates and allergens aids inventory management and prevents accidental disposal of usable food.


The single-use plastic ban means restaurants should no longer provide disposable items like plastic cutlery or cups, and have washable and reusable dishware only. With this being a huge waste source for restaurants, consider suppliers with plastic-free packaging only and minimise packaging use.



Switching to online menus via QR codes or providing digital tablets are the most effective ways to reduce paper waste. Real-time updates help kitchen management, and seasonal changes are seamless online. Another option that might work even better with a cosy café vibe might be chalkboards used as small menus.

Finally, over 11 billion receipts end up in landfill every year, so always try to encourage email receipts over paper ones.

Hall added: “Aiming to become a ‘zero-waste’ business is really not as daunting or difficult as it may have been a few years back. It might take some changes in the beginning, but it’s all worth it when you realise it saves your business money while helping fight the environmental crisis.

A great example of this model is Silo, a London-based restaurant. It’s one of the first zero-waste operators in the world, focusing entirely on seasonal products, all locally sourced, with reusable containers.”

Check out how-to-run-a-zero-waste-restaurant.



APR/MAY 2024

SPECIAL Business operations

Delivery, franchising, trends


Equipment, new products, profiles

FOCUS Ingredients

Flour, dough balls, bases and more

...all your usual regulars, news and restaurant insight


index registered suppliers


Unit 6, Teakcroft, Fairview Industrial Park, Marsh Way, Rainham, Essex RM13 8UH

Contact: Homayoun Aminnia

Tel: 01708 558885


Sunblest Flour Mill, Port of Tilbury, Tilbury, Essex RM18 7JR

Contact: Chris Brown

Tel: 01375 363100


Oakdale Mill, Delph New Road, Delph, Nr Oldham OL3 5BY

Contact: Liz Crossland

Tel: 01457 872486


Unit 204, Brickfields, 37 Cremer Street, London E2 8HD

Tel: 020 80376723


Carnevale House, Blundell St, London N7 9BN

Contact: Luigi Carnevale

Tel: 0207 607 8777

Depots: Bedford, Huddersfield, Gateshead, Bristol, Glasgow

The following businesses are members of The Pizza Pasta & Italian Food Association (PAPA) and subject to its rules and guidelines. While the Association cannot guarantee the products and services supplied by those listed, it does believe that those listed are reputable and is confident in recommending them.


Food & Science Park, Seafield Lane, Redditch B98 9BD

Contact: Noel Reidy

Tel: 07903 526 457



MCS Technical Products, Building 2, Westmead Industrial Estate, Westmead Drive, Swindon, Wiltshire SN5 7YT

Contact: Steve Snow

Tel: 01793 538308


Brunel Way, Stroud Water Business Park, Stonehouse, Gloucestershire GL10 3SX

Contact: Will Bennett

Tel: 01453 828890


Leighton Lane Industrial Estate, Leighton Lane, Evercreech BA4 6LQ

Contact: Andrew Ford

Tel: 01749 838108


Unit 4 Egerton Close, Daventry, Northamptonshire NN11 8PE

Contact: Steve Lane

Tel: 01455 559969


Broadgate House, Westlode Street, Spalding, Lincolnshire PE11 2AF

Contact: Andrew Thorne

Tel: 01775 767655 / 01775 767656 andrew.thorne@


Bommen 9, Thorning

DK-8620 Kjellerup, Denmark

Contact: Kevin Peacock

Tel: 07790 988121


Lodge Way, Lodge Farm Industrial Estate, Northampton NN5 7US

Contact: Jon Watkin

Tel: 01604 583421


35-41 Folgate Street, E1 6BX London


The Priory, Long Street, Dursley, Gloucestershire GL11 4HR

Contact: Rhian Kinman

Tel: 01666 890500



B1 Custom House, The Waterfront, Level Street, Brierley Hill DY5 1XH

Tel: 0800 488 0013

The Pizza Pasta & Italian Food Association, Engine Rooms, Station Road, Chepstow NP16 5PB Telephone: 01291 6363358 or email


Units 10-12, The Circle, Queen Elizabeth Street, London SE1 2JE

Contact: Mr James Faulkner

Tel: 07803937324


4 Royal Mews, Gadbrook Park, Rudheath, Northwich, Cheshire CW9 7UD

Contact: Lynne Utting

Tel: 01606 810900


Hazel Park, Dymock Road, Ledbury, Herefordshire HR8 2JQ

Contact: Alan Mackie

Tel: 01531 631300


Unit 25-26 Holmbush Industrial Estate, Holmbush Way, Midhurst, West Sussex GU29 9HX

Contact: Charlotte Kilduff

Tel: 01730 811490


Perco House, Norton, Stockton on Tees TS20 1DN

Contact: Leah Homer

Tel: 01642 361515


Light Industrial Estate, Liverpool Road, Walmer Bridge, Preston PR4 5HY

Tel: 01772 610415

Contact: Chris Smith


Simon Scotland Road, Hardwick Industrial Estate, Kings Lynn, Norfolk PE30 4JF

Contact: Lea Hall

Tel: 01553 772 522


Beaumont Road, Banbury, Oxfordshire OX16 1RH

Contact: Louise De Leon

Tel: 01926 410022


Unit 15 Keld Close, Barker Business Park, Ripon Yorkshire HG4 5NB

Contact: James Sturdy

Tel: 01765 641200


31-34 Great Bank Road, Wingate Industrial Park, Westhoughton, Bolton BL5 3XU

Contact: Phil Goodall

Tel: 01942 841200

Mobile: +44 7714999206


Victoria Mills, Wellingborough, Northants NN8 2DT

Contact: Gary Somers

Tel: 01933 441000


Shannon Place, Potton, Bedfordshire SG19 2YH Tel: 01767 260114



Trafalgar Mills, Leeds Road, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire HD2 1YY

Contact: Mr Roberto Giacobbi

Tel: 01484 538333

Great Britain

Sales contact: Ashleigh Jansen



Units 3+4, Dana Industrial Estate, Transfesa Road, Paddock Wood, Kent TN12 6UU

Tel: 01892 831 960


classifieds Tel: 0161 702 8447 email: A We also produce a range of Halal products We Manufacture hargioni pizza toppings ALPHIN PANS ap Serving the Pizza Professional Since 1989 Making the pizza professional happy since 1989 The widest range of pizza peels manufactured in the UK Alphin Pans Ltd Oakdale Mill, Delph New Rd Delph, Oldham, OL3 5BY 01457 872486 February 2022 Advert Eighth.indd 1 12/01/2022 14:00:14 54 Read it online



Carnevale Ltd.


Carnevale Ltd.

Mineral Water

Carnevale Ltd.

Soft Drinks

Carnevale Ltd.

Wine, Spirits & Liqueurs

Continental Quattro

Stagioni Ltd.

Carnevale Ltd.



999 Pizza Toppings (UK) Ltd.

Carnevale Ltd.

Dairy Partners Ltd.

Eurilait Ltd.

Futura Foods UK Ltd.

Leprino Foods Ltd.

Leathams PLC

Ornua Ingredients Europe

Perco (North East) Ltd.

Stateside Foods Ltd.


Futura Foods UK Ltd.

Leathams PLC


Carnevale Ltd.

Dairy Partners Ltd.

Eurilait Ltd.

Futura Foods UK Ltd.

Leprino Foods Ltd.


Eurilait Ltd.

Futura Foods UK Ltd.


Heated Pizza Delivery Bag Systems

Alphin Pans

Cooktek (MCS Technical Products)

Pizza Lid Supports

Alphin Pans


Dough Trays

Alphin Pans

Pizza Accessories

Alphin Pans

Pizza Plus Foodservice

Pizza Boxes

Perco (North East) Ltd.

Pizza Making Systems & Equipment

Alphin Pans

Cooktek (MCS Technical Products)

Euro-Catering Equipment

Pizza Ovens

Euro-Catering Equipment


Pizza Plus Foodservice

Pizza Pans

Alphin Pans


Other Fish & Seafood

Continental Quattro

Stagioni Ltd.

Leathams PLC



Allied Mills

Durum Semolina

Allied Mills

Carnevale Ltd.


Allied Mills

Carnevale Ltd.

Whitworth Bros. Limited


Allied Mills


Allied Mills

Premixes (Bread & Cakes)

Allied Mills


Continental Quattro

Stagioni Ltd.

Leathams PLC

Stateside Foods Ltd.


Chargrilled Vegetables

Carnevale Ltd.


Leathams PLC


Insurance Protector Group


Bakery Ovens

Euro-Catering Equipment

Baking Pans

Alphin Pans


Euro-Catering Equipment


Euro-Catering Equipment

Drinks Systems

Carnevale Ltd.


Euro-Catering Equipment



Cooktek (MCS Technical Products)

Euro-Catering Equipment

Induction Cooking & Holding

Cooktek (MCS Technical Products)

Preparation Counters

Euro-Catering Equipment


Euro-Catering Equipment



Dawn Farm Foods Ltd.

Leathams PLC

York House Foods


Leathams PLC

Chicken & Other Poultry

Leathams PLC

York House Foods


Carnevale Ltd.

Dawn Farm Foods Ltd.

Leathams PLC

Stateside Foods Ltd.

York House Foods

Italian Meat & Sausages

Dawn Farm Foods Ltd.


Carnevale Ltd.

Danish Crown

Qualitops (UK) Ltd


Carnevale Ltd.

Danish Crown

Dawn Farm Foods Ltd.

Qualitops (UK) Ltd


Carnevale Ltd.

Danish Crown

Dawn Farm Foods Ltd.

Qualitops (UK) Ltd


Olive Oil

Leathams PLC

Silbury Marketing Ltd.


Pasta (Dry)

Carnevale Ltd.

Continental Quattro

Stagioni Ltd.

Leathams PLC

index of products


Dough Balls

Pan’ Artisan

Pizza Plus Foodservice

Pizza Bases & Crusts

Pan’ Artisan

Pizza Plus Foodservice

Stateside Foods Ltd.

Sturdy Foods



Carnevale Ltd.

Fruit & Vegetables

Carnevale Ltd.


999 Pizza Toppings (UK) Ltd.

Carnevale Ltd.

Danish Crown

Dawn Farm Foods Perco (North East) Ltd.

Pizza Plus Foodservice


Silbury Marketing Ltd. Stateside Foods Ltd.


Italian Conveni


Prepared Pasta Meals

Freiberger UK Ltd.

Prepared Pizza (Chilled)


Stateside Foods Ltd.

Prepared Pizza (Frozen)

Freiberger UK Ltd.

Pizza Plus Foodservice

Stateside Foods Ltd.


Garlic Spreads & Mixes

Stateside Foods Ltd.

Pasta Sauces

Continental Quattro

Stagioni Ltd.

Leathams PLC

Pizza Sauces


Leathams PLC

Perco (North East) Ltd.

Pizza Plus Foodservice

Silbury Marketing Ltd.

Stateside Foods Ltd.

Sturdy Foods




Canned Tomatoes

Silbury Marketing Ltd.

SunBlush© Tomatoes

Leathams PLC

Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Carnevale Ltd.

Continental Quattro

Stagioni Ltd.

Leathams PLC

The Pizza Pasta & Italian Food Association is the trade body representing the UK Pizza, Pasta and Italian Food Association. The Association is given direction by a Management Committee comprising:


Richard Harrow (Consultant)


Sunny Chhina (The Fat Pizza)


David Jones (Pan Artisan)


Phil Goodall (Stateside)


Chain - Alessandro de Mauri (Pizza Express)


Chain - Julian Durrant (Papa Johns)

Small Chain - Khalil Rehman (Caprino’s Pizza)


Geoff Parsons (Basilico)

Katy Habibian (Village Pizza)


Keith Griffiths



Nick Waring (Eurilait)


Lynne Utting (Leprino Foods)


Jon Watkin (Dawn Farm Foods)


Gary Somers (Whitworths)


Richard Norman (Jestic)


James Faulkner (Leathams) 55
Very Pizzable meat toppings Danish Crown Foods, Phone 0044 01926 293 900,
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