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RH AMAR • Famous For Fine Foods

Expert opinion Henry Amar, Chairman, writes: Every morning, when a company Chairman arrived at his office, he would find a beggar sitting on the pavement outside. Every morning, the Chairman would fish in his pockets and give the beggar a few coins. One morning, ahead of a very difficult day, the Chairman’s patience snapped. “You make me sick”, he told the beggar, “you’re a perfectly fit man – instead of begging all day, why don’t you get yourself a proper job?”. The beggar jumped to his feet, grabbed the Chairman by the lapels and said: “Listen, mate, I don’t tell you how to run your business – don’t you tell me how to run mine!”. (continued on P2)

New look for RH Amar We are pleased to announce the launch of our new website, which can be seen in all its glory at www.rhamar. com. The updated design continues to provide essential information to customers and suppliers on all brands and services. New features include a company history timeline, staff profiles and details of our charitable work. The website – which has been built to work across PC, mobile and tablet devices – also showcases the new RH Amar logo. The logo emphasises the evolution of the company with a clean, modern design, while retaining the renowned strapline “Famous for Fine Foods”.

Autumn 2013

Winners in the food “Oscars”! RH Amar brands won no fewer than nine awards in the 2013 Great Taste Awards, organised by the Guild of Fine Food. The awards, often referred to as the “Oscars” of the food industry, involve a rigorous blind tasting process by a discerning judging panel of food industry specialists. The much-prized Two Gold Star Award went to the best-selling German brand, Kühne, for its “lovely, crunchy” Pickled Gherkins. Winners of the coveted Gold Star were:BRAND




Butter flavoured Rapeseed Oil

Loved the creamy buttery flavour


Passata Rustica

Lovely fresh tomato flavour, reflecting the quality of the tomatoes used

Soft Brew


Liked the maltiness and found the drink refreshing and very summery


Goats Cheese Biscuits

They taste great cold – so when warm they may have even more wow factor!


Stuffed Vine Leaves

Authentic looking and tasting

Taylor & Colledge

Vanilla Syrup

A beautiful colour …with a strong aroma of vanilla

Forest Feast

Malatya Dried Apricots

Very nice appearance. Moist. Very good quality. Large and juicy. Judges would buy these.

Forest Feast

Jumbo Agen Prunes

Delicious, juicy. Dried and rehydrated perfectly that helped retain the texture.

Rob Amar with award-winning products



Fine Food News Autumn 2013 (continued from P1)

Expert opinion Henry Amar, Chairman, writes: Most businesses, however, need the advice of outside consultants from time to time to provide expertise they do not possess. At RH Amar the classic example was in 1985, when we decided to stop using third-party storage and to open our own warehouse. Our then management team of three people had no idea how to go about it. We found a warehouse in Amersham and I then hired a recently retired Distribution Director of a large multi-national company. In 56 working days, he refurbished the warehouse, sealed the floor, put in racking, hired the staff, procured all the equipment we needed, and taught us how to run a warehouse. He charged us £2,000, and we gave him all the olives he could eat.

Del Monte® Desserts will delight Del Monte has always been famous for its pineapple which is why its market share is well over double that of its two closest competitors combined (Kantar 52 wk March 17th 2013). As pineapple is one of the fruit types contributing most to the overall penetration growth of the canned fruit category, Del Monte felt there was a clear opportunity to harness and extend the appeal and usage of canned pineapple, especially amongst younger consumers. The launch range of three 230g pineapple chunks feature naturally- flavoured syrups specially selected to complement the taste of pineapple: Vanilla, Coconut, and Mango. Other flavours are planned to follow. Enjoyed on their own as a healthy, quick snack or meal-finisher, or combined with ice-cream, or added as a twist to a familiar recipe, the range is likely to become an immediate favourite.

New – clip strip Geeta’s recently launched range of authentic Indian pastes in eye-catching turquoise foil pouches is now available on clip strips. This allows Geeta’s pastes to be sited in multiple areas in a store, for example, alongside the fresh meat counter as a mechanism to drive impulse sales.

Once we controlled our own warehousing, we never looked back. Today, in High Wycombe, our warehouses are massively bigger than in our time at Amersham – and on the day I write this article, we are signing a new lease to ensure our occupancy until 2020. And now we have the expertise we need in-house.

Nerene’s latest challenge In September, Sales Coordinator, Nerene Vorster, took part in the Leukaemia and Lymphoma charity bike ride. She cycled 100 miles, starting in London on the Olympic route. Nerene comments: “I am proud to say that, despite the distance, wind, rain and hair-raising city traffic (Boris can keep his bikes – I do not plan on cycling in London again!!!), I finished the challenge in eight hours!”

PRODU Watch out for Cirio – in cash and carry Cirio, Italy’s favourite tomato brand and the UK’s second best selling tomato brand, has raised expenditure and activity to better target the cash and carry shopper. As part of an initiative to raise awareness in this sector and increase shelf standout, Cirio has invested in bay branding across major account London depots, branded tower ends and branded shelf edge strips in all cash and carry accounts.


Fine Food News Autumn 2013

Cooking made easy with Cooks&Co Meal Kits

Investing for growth

Cooks&Co has launched a range of eye-catching Meal Kits that promise to tap into the growing demand for “semiscratch” cooking. In an innovative packaging format, the Meal Kits feature three transparent pots containing a flavoured oil, a stock or paste and a premium herb. These offer shoppers an easy-to-make, gourmet meal. Each Meal Kit provides the base for a delicious meal for between two to four people, and can typically be prepared in less than half an hour. They combine all the flavour benefits of a meal cooked from scratch, without the fuss of measuring out individual ingredients.

Rob Amar, Managing Director, writes:

Cooks&Co Meal Kits include: Chicken Arrabiata, Seafood Linguine, Chicken Cacciatore, Chicken Provençale, Jerk Chicken or Beef, and Beef Goulash.

ps for Geeta’s pastes The pouch format addresses a “growing consumer need for smaller pack sizes” (Kantar WorldPanel Lifestyle Survey Apr 2012) and also lends itself well to clip strip display. Geeta’s will initially be offering its Balti, Jalfrezi, Korma, Madras, Rogan Josh

and Tikka Paste flavours on clip strip displays. The pastes are quick and convenient to use just requiring about three store cupboard ingredients and are perfect for smaller households or large households that eat separately or prefer different flavours.

UCT NEWS Garlic gets the chop! Cooks&Co have launched Chopped Garlic in 1.2kg sapphire jars. The garlic is preserved in healthy rapeseed oil and responds to an increasing demand from professional chefs and caterers for a quick-to-use garlic ingredient that has the texture and authenticity of hand-chopped garlic.

Coping with a crisis In late July there was a flash flood in the RH Amar warehouse, with water rising up from the drains in a very short period of time. Thanks to Pete Collins, Gary Page, Graham Johnson and Malcolm Shergold, who stayed late to ensure we would be fully operational the next morning, no stock was damaged. Mariusz Moszczynski came in early the following day to help mop up the last traces of the flood. Henry Amar commented: “We measure achievement in many different ways in the company, but the response of these four long-serving colleagues to a critical situation ranks very highly. We all owe them sincere thanks.”

Many conversations I have these days with customers, suppliers and friends start along the lines of “How’s business?” My stock answer of late has been “OK” – after all, I am known for being a man of few words, and it seems a concise way to express my cautious optimism. Perhaps the best way to answer this question is not to ask me, but to look at the investments we’ve made, and the goal we have set ourselves, as they are an indication of a company’s confidence and ambition. In 2010 we increased our warehouse space by 65%, and in 2011 we implemented a new ERP system. But 2012 and 2013 have been all about people. And I’m not just talking about renewing our Investors in People Silver status. Since January 2012, our head count has increased by 20% and now stands at 66, with nine new positions created in the last year alone. Our sales team is now bigger and better than it has ever been, and we have also strengthened other key areas of our business, namely in marketing, category management and logistics. These investments are only possible because of the company’s solid foundations, and are part of a new 5-year strategy we launched last month, with the goal to double our business by 2018. I am genuinely excited to be setting out on this next stage in the company’s history, and am delighted the ambition of our Board is shared by colleagues, customers and brand-owners alike. So next time you ask me “How’s business?”, you might get a good deal more than a one-word answer!


GENERAL NEWS Kikkoman sponsors EatJapan Sushi Awards

Fine Food News Autumn 2013

Helping the young unemployed RH Amar offered free skills training to a group of jobseekers in September, as part of IGD’s “Feeding Britain’s Future” campaign to help tackle youth unemployment throughout the UK.

Kikkoman continued its support of the UK’s largest Japanese culture event, Hyper Japan, by once again sponsoring the prestigious Eat-Japan Sushi Awards 2013. The show, attended by 62,000 people, took place in July at Earl’s Court and is a consumer event for all things Japanese. One of the highlights of the event was the Sushi Awards, which saw five top chefs from across the country compete to be the “UK Sushi Roll Champion for 2013”. Approximately 1500 tickets were sold to watch the awards, and the visitors were invited to taste each of the five different sushi dishes and vote for their favourite. The winner of the competition was Yoshihiro Motohashi, Group Head Chef at Eat Tokyo which has five restaurants in London. The UK Sushi Roll Champion for 2013 certificate was presented to Chef Motohashi by sponsor Bing-yu Lee, UK Manager of Kikkoman, who also presented the winner with a giant inflatable Kikkoman bottle!

More high calibre personnel join sales team RH Amar has continued to make high calibre additions to its sales team as the company seeks to meet ambitious growth targets.

IGD – the food and drink industry charity – attracted high profile backing for its Skills for Work Month 2013 from the worlds of business and politics, including from Prime Minister David Cameron, as more than 100 companies took part in the scheme. A group of young people from High Wycombe spent a whole day with RH Amar, during which they were given a tour of the company’s two 50,000 sq. ft. warehouses before attending special CV and interview clinics led by Managing Director, Rob Amar, and John Lilleystone, the company’s HR & IT Director. Rob Amar said: “Feeding Britain’s Future has been a great opportunity to help young people from our town continue to gather the skills they need to find a job. It has also been a unique chance for us to tell them how our great John Lilleystone, HR and IT industry of food and drink Director, with jobseekers employs 3.7 million people in the UK, equivalent to one in every seven workers, and to show them the kind of opportunities that we have to offer.” accounts including Musgrave, Booth’s, Booker and Makro. Sue joins from Premier Foods and previously specialised in the convenience sector for health and beauty supplier Beiersdorf UK. James Ellwood also joined as National Account Manager Impulse. James will be responsible for Bestway, Landmark, Today’s, Palmer & Harvey and Martin McColl Retail Group. Previously, James worked at Unilever and Cadbury’s.

Sean Spellman joins us from SHS Sales & Marketing and will be Channel Controller for Asda, Morrisons and The Cooperative Group. Sean started his career in the food and drink industry with Coca-Cola Enterprises before moving to Lever Fabergé to lead their personal care business with Morrisons. He has also worked for Southcorp Wines Europe and Fosters Wine Estates, and is an expert in multi-channel sales. Tim Pugh joins as Channel Controller for Tesco, having started his career with Adams Pork Products before joining household products specialist Jeyes, where he rose to the role of Senior National Account Manager with specific responsibility for Tesco. Sue Paetel joins our Impulse team as National Account Manager, with specific responsibility for growing key

L to R: Sue, Tim, Sean

Turnpike Way, High Wycombe, Bucks, HP12 3TF, UK Tel: +44 (0) 1494 530200 Fax: +44 (0) 1494 472076 Email: Website:


RH Amar Fine Food News Autumn 2013  
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