Page 1

FoodChain Issue 118


OCT 2016

The business of food and drink

ÂŹA scoop of


While maintaining its roots in Essex, Rossi Ice Cream is keen to expand its customer base and share its flavours with a new audience

Industry News The SIAL event is taking place in Paris in October


More options Addressing the need to make gluten free products tastier and healthier


Prosecco gummies and other grown up sweets l

One answer to the paper cup waste debate

A hot market The UK coffee market is a looking exciting for producers and consumers

FoodChain ISSUE 118


OCT 2016


Editor’s Welcome

A scoop of


While maintaining its roots in Essex, Rossi Ice Cream is keen to expand its customer base and share its flavours with a new audience

Industry News LThe

SIAL event is taking place in Paris in October

More options


A hot market

Addressing the need to make gluten free products tastier and healthier


The UK coffee market is a looking exciting for producers and consumers

gummies and other grown up sweets

answer to the paper cup waste debate

Chairman Andrew Schofield Editor Libbie Hammond

Amazing flavours

Art Editor Advertising Design Fleur Daniels Staff Writers Jo Cooper Andrew Dann Joshua Younespour Profiles Manager Emma Crane Sales Director Joe Woolsgrove Sales Mark Cawston Tim Eakins Andy Ellis Darren Jolliffe Jonas Junca Dave King Theresa McDonald Rob Wagner Operations Director Philip Monument Editorial Researchers Alasdair Gamble Natalie Griffiths Mark Kafourous Kya Johnson Wendy Russell Office Manager Advertising Administrator Tracy Chynoweth


o – what about that black ice cream on the cover! Would you try it? When I first saw it, I assumed it was Liquorice or even Black Sesame

Flavour, but in fact it’s Vanilla, and just an unusual colour. Rossi Ice

Cream created it for a one-day only special event - you can read about more of Rossi’s flavours on page 34 – the company is no stranger to the unusual and has even made a fish flavour ice cream for a client – I think that might be one step too far for my taste buds! Alongside Rossi we cover many more dedicated food and beverage manufacturers and producers, all of which share a passion for amazing products and outstanding customer service. If you would like your products highlighted in the pages of FoodChain, please

Follow us at:

do get in touch.


Schofield Publishing Cringleford Business Centre, 10 Intwood Road, Cringleford, Norwich, NR4 6AU, U.K. T: +44 (0)1603 274130F: +44 (0)1603 274131

© 2016 Schofield Publishing Ltd Please note: The opinions expressed by contributors and advertisers within this publication do not necessarily coincide with those of the editor and publisher. Every reasonable effort is made to ensure that the information published is accurate, and correct at time of writing, but no legal responsibility for loss occasioned by the use of such information can be accepted by the publisher. All rights reserved. The contents of the magazine are strictly copyright, the property of Schofield Publishing, and may not be copied, stored in a retrieval system, or reproduced without the prior written permission of the publisher.


Contents 14 4




Features Coffee A hot market




The battle to develop and deliver more choice and greater tasting and healthier gluten free food

Logistics Boosting efficiency Intelligent equipment control of transit media is a compelling proposition for those companies looking to gain an advantage


Protein Muscling in on the act


Moving forward, it doesn’t look like the demand for high protein foods is going to slow down

A starting point for companies looking to improve staff motivation is to develop an effective EVP

Healthy eating The need for options


When it comes to investing in fast food delivery strategies, it pays to appreciate a proven and mature print technology

Andrew Dann takes a look at the coffee sector, which is seeing exciting growth for manufacturers and growers alike

Human resources Getting motivated

Printing Print condition



Taste Test


Up-to-date products and announcements from the food and beverage sector

The FoodChain team sample a selection of new and innovative foods and drinks





34 36 Profiles

Innovations & developments within some of the world’s finest companies

Bokomo Foods (UK) Ltd 24

Bokomo Foods (UK) Ltd makes products ranging from muesli and granola to flaked cereal products, wheat biscuits and snacking products

Harvey & Son (Lewes) Ltd 30

Alongside its award-winning range of beers, Sussex brewer Harvey’s also manufactures and sells different lines including wines, whiskies, foods, condiments and various merchandise

Rossi Ice Cream 34

The quality and appeal of Rossi Ice Cream simply cannot be under question. The name is spreading and with every mouthful the customer base grows

Aston Manor Cider 36

Aston Manor Cider, a family-owned business, is also the country’s second largest cider manufacturer overall

Innovative Bites 39

Founded in 2008, American food wholesaler Innovative Bites has witnessed significant growth and established a deep-rooted culture of success

Cotteswold Dairy 42

Cotteswold Dairy is a thriving, independent family orientated and owned dairy that processes approximately 100 million litres of milk per annum


A hot market

With reports suggesting that the coffee industry is in ‘rude health’ the growing demand for high-quality coffee products has created an exciting market for both manufacturers and retailers alike. Andrew Dann talks to Barry Kither, Nick Birss and Guy Wilmot about the popularity of coffee within a range of industry sectors


ot beverages like tea and coffee have remained an important staple of UK consumers for many years, with tea in particularly being regarded as a quintessential part of British culture. However, in recent years coffee has continued to grow in popularity with some 70 million cups of coffee consumed daily in the UK according to the British Coffee Association. Additionally according to Mintel research, two thirds of consumers actually buy coffee and other hot drinks out of the home with this level rising to three in four among 16-24 year olds. Indeed within the UK coffee shop market, the sector enjoyed an estimated growth of six per cent during 2015 in a report published by Mintel on April 18th,


2016. Over the past five years the coffee market has grown by an impressive 28 per cent from £2317 million in 2010 to £2968 million in 2015. During 2016 coffee shop sales are expected to reach £3135 million, while market forecasts predict further growth of around 26 per cent between 2015 and 2020, reaching £3747 million. The growing demand for coffee has created a surge in retail options, with large specialist coffee chains facing increased competition from non-specialists including pubs and fast-food restaurants that continue to improve on the quality of hot drinks that they offer. Established franchise chains also face growing competition from independent specialists, which provide artisan coffees that are

Coffee often at the forefront of innovation. Independent specialist coffee shops have become an increasingly familiar sight throughout the UK, including in the City of Newcastle where the Director of Northern Espresso Limited, Nick Birss established Laneway &. Co. during December 2015. “The inspiration behind opening Laneway &. Co. came from my time spent working in Australia and witnessing the country’s coffee culture. When I left for Australia there was really nothing in Newcastle in the way of speciality coffee shops and when I returned there was still only a very small offering, which is really behind the trend in other major cities in the UK. Australian coffee culture is certainly different to what we are used to but is increasingly having an impact on the way people drink coffee and is slowly beginning to filter into cities like London and Edinburgh that have strong independent coffee scenes,” Nick reveals. “The key difference between the Australian specialist coffee market and that of traditional coffee chains in the UK is that it is heavily focused on quality over quantity. During my time in Australia I found that you couldn’t find a drink over eight ounces – they just didn’t exist.” He adds: “The advantage of this model is that it is still possible to target the same price point as a chain store, while offering a slightly smaller cup size with a higher level of quality. When I started the business I think the perception was that we would see a lot of clients who were used to high street chain sizes and that would not understand why they were receiving drinks that are of a smaller size, however, clients have been very accepting of the store and its products.”

restaurants. The robustness of the sector also extends to the home, with sales of instant coffee reaching as much as £1.1 billion during 2014 according to Euromonitor figures. Indeed, the UK is among one of only a few European countries in which instant coffee is more popular in homes than fresh coffee beans and ground coffee. As a result of this, the UK is home to a uniquely dynamic coffee industry with distinctive markets for both home and outdoor products that each demand high quality drinks choices. “What is interesting is that 75 per cent of UK consumers happily drink soluble coffee at home, but are not happy to drink it at a restaurant. It is a unique foible of the UK coffee market, which is still dominated by large brands such as Nescafé,” explains Sales and Marketing Director at Lavazza (UK) Ltd., Barry Kither. “When UK consumers go out to restaurants or coffee shops they become real coffee drinkers. Sixteen per cent of consumers go to a coffee shop every day and the perception of customers is that they are indulging in something that is a luxury when they drink coffee away from home,”

he continues. “I think that the fact that the majority of consumers still have instant coffee in their cupboards at home suggests that culturally, UK coffee drinkers are not prepared for the effort of making real coffee at home in the morning. I think at one point we might have dreamed that the public would shift to preferring real coffee in the home, but I think that the present culture surrounding instant coffee is now solidly engrained.”

Further trends The dynamic between the demand for high-quality products in the home and the resistance to investing time in the preparation of real coffee has driven the introduction of products that incorporate the convenience of instant coffee brands and the perceived luxury of real coffee. Microground coffee is a relatively new development within the home coffee market that combines the taste of freshly roasted ground coffee with the convenience of instant coffee. Today, several leading names in the instant coffee market have introduced microground coffee lines that compete for shelf-space and consumer attention. “Lavazza has recently released its

UK coffee culture According to the Allegra World Coffee Portal: Project Café 2016 UK, the branded coffee chain segment recorded a turnover of £3.3 billion across 6495 outlets during 2015. The report also suggests that the number of branded coffee outlets within the UK will exceed 30,000 by 2025, despite continued market pressures from independent stores, pubs and


‘Prontissimo!’ line of microground coffee. Microground is a new product on the market that has created a completely new sector in which Kenco Millicano, Nestlè Azera and our own Prontissimo! products are currently competing in supermarkets,” Barry says. “Often the press will refer to microground as a premium instant coffee, but this is not really accurate because premium instant coffee has existed on the market for several years and not changed very much in that time. Microground is something of a hybrid that is aimed at consumers with an aversion to continuously drinking instant coffee. The Lavazza brand asset has carried through to this market very well and because we present within the-super premium sector, we haven’t felt any brand damage. We are proud to say that alongside some very strong competitors, the Prontissimo! product has sold very well.” Further trends in the home coffee market stem from a growing consumer demand for ethically manufactured products. Research from the European Ministry of Foreign Affairs (CBI) indicates that the European coffee sector has a principally ‘bulk’ market to an industry that is increasingly characterised by claims concerning quality and sustainability. According to the CBI, increased concern for sustainable sourcing has spurred demand for certified food and beverage items,


which has resulted in an equally strong impact on the coffee market. Entering into this market in 2009 when the company began selling into North America, Marley Coffee manufactures several lines of ethically sourced organic coffees that are beginning to gain

and drink and expanded internationally. Marley Coffee is now sold across Europe, the UK, South Africa, Australia, Chile, Japan and South Korea. Rohan Marley is a passionate supporter of the Organic movement. Indeed, Marley Coffee received a Soil Association

traction within the UK and Europe. The genesis of the company dates back to 1999, when Rohan Marley purchased a 52-acre farm in Chepstowe, located in Portland, Jamaica. The region’s Blue Mountains are known for proving an idyllic coffee growing climate and after spending six months living in Ethiopia, Rohan decided to combine his growing love of coffee with his passion to serve humanity and found Marley Coffee. “By 2012 Marley Coffee had established its headquarters in Denver, Colorado - a hot spot for organic food

Beverage of the Year Award in 2014 in the UK and Rohan is one of the Soil Association’s Organic Heroes,” elaborates Marley Coffee UK/Europe Brand Manager, Guy Wilmot. “All of the coffees produced by Marley Coffee are certified sustainable products, whether that be 100 per cent organic or 100 per cent Rainforest Alliance certified.” Within the UK and Europe, Marley Coffee presently sells a retail range comprised of its 227g bags of One Love Medium Roast, Buffalo Soldier Dark Roast and Lively Up Espresso

Coffee Rohan Marley, founder of Marley Coffee

All of the coffees produced by Marley Coffee are certified sustainable products, whether that be 100 per cent organic or 100 per cent Rainforest Alliance certified

Roast coffees in ground and whole bean options. The brand is also present within the foodservice sector with its 500g/1kg ranges for cafes and restaurants. The company currently supplies about 50 cafes and restaurants in the UK including the Turtle Bay Caribbean restaurant chain.

New innovations Like the coffee shop and home markets, the restaurant and foodservice sectors are experiencing an increased demand for high-quality products, which has been accelerated by the UK smoking ban and a decline in the sale of alcohol. This has driven pub owners and larger bar/restaurant chains to increasingly turn to coffee to complement an increase in food sales. This has again led to new innovations, such as the introduction of espresso capsules to ensure that consistent quality can be guaranteed without the need of investing in expensive coffee machines and training baristas. “It is not unreasonable to expect the coffee to be of a similar standard to the

food and that is where we at Lavazza are scoring well at the top end of gastronomy. If a restaurant has two Michelin Stars, its owner will not want to take a chance on the coffee that the restaurant serves. With capsules this is easy because the espresso will be perfect every time and the equipment that we supply to restaurants has a temperature controlled steam arm that really enables them to be very simplistic when it comes to the steaming of the milk as well,” Barry says. “We also provide a strong level of support, which allows our clients to work with Lavazza as a partner. For example, one of our most successful food case studies is Wetherspoons, which decided that it needed, not wanted – needed to sell coffee,” he concludes. “While working with Wetherspoons our approach has not simply been about price, but also about working together to sell less than 40 tonnes of coffee eight years ago to just over 600 tonnes today. We have stuck with this and have worked with the company throughout this

process. The UK coffee market is still in a state of evolution and to stay ahead it is important to innovate and explore different sectors. We tend to look at market sectors and work where we think that there is a fit, for example we are doing very well in the vending sector for semi-public sectors and offices. That is growing very quickly at the moment so we are certainly keen to give that a little nudge over the coming months.” With innovations across the board and increased demand in all sectors, it certainly appears that the UK coffee market is an increasingly hot environment. If market projections hold true and consumer interest continues to grow, the coming months could be extremely exciting for coffee producers, retailers and enthusiasts alike. D Marley Coffee Lavazza Laneway Coffee


Getting motivated Creating and maintaining an engaged and highly motivated workforce is one of the top priorities of most HR departments, but achieving it is something which eludes many. By Justine James 8


he key to getting it right is by listening and understanding your employees, but many organisations fail to do so effectively. A good starting point is to tap into information you already have, including employee opinion survey data and exit data. This will tell you what employees think is working and what isn’t. However, typically such surveys don’t tell you what is important to your people on an individual level. In an employee opinion survey, for example, employees may express a

Justine James

desire for a better work-life blend. In our experience what a good worklife blend means for one employee may not be the same for another. For some it could be about working more flexibly, for others more about having access to things at work that help them relax. In today’s world there are many reasons why employees might want to work flexibly, it’s not just about those with young families. With an ageing population there are more people with elderly parents that need the flexibility to care for them, for example. In short

it is important not to come up with a ‘one size fits all’ approach based on the results of an opinion survey if you really want to get to the heart of what your employees need and want. If you can truly ascertain what is important to your employees and try to accommodate them as far as possible, then you not only help improve staff motivation, you also get the added bonus of increased staff retention and earn a reputation of being a good employer, which will help attract top talent.

Strike a deal

Our starting point with clients looking to improve staff motivation and engagement is to help them develop an effective Employee Value Proposition (EVP), and we’ve helped develop them for organisations both on a local and global level. An EVP is the deal struck between an organisation and employee in return for their contribution and performance. At Talentsmoothie we call this the ‘People Deal’. It’s what characterises an employer and differentiates it from its competition. A well-articulated EVP will bring significant benefits. It can create an environment where people can thrive and do their best work, and in turn this impacts on the customer experience, customer loyalty and ultimately improves business performance. An effective EVP can bring an organisation significant benefits. According to the Corporate Leadership Council’s research, a well thoughtthrough and executed EVP can: • Improve the commitment of new hires by up to 29 per cent • Reduce new hire compensation premiums by up to 50 per cent

Human resources

For an EVP to generate maximum returns, it must be built around attributes that genuinely attract, engage and retain the talent you want • Increase the likelihood of employees acting as advocates from an average of 24 per cent to 47 per cent In addition, an effective EVP allows organisations to source more deeply within the labour market, increasing access to ‘passive’ candidates who may not have even considered entering the food industry. This is a really important factor given the predicted talent shortfalls in the future. Our clients turn to us for help with their EVP usually because of recruitment or retention issues. All companies have an EVP, but if it’s not well articulated it won’t be working well for you. For an EVP to generate maximum returns, it must be built around attributes that genuinely attract, engage and retain the talent you want. It must also be firmly linked to the business strategy and it’s requirements from employees now and in the future.

and strategic HR priorities. Knowing where to spend your time and money will make a difference and is one of the great outputs of the EVP process. We typically help organisations to define and implement their EVPs in eight stages. The full process can take anywhere from three to six months or more, depending on the size of the organisation. We find that engaging employees in the EVP development process is a very powerful engagement tool in itself and people usually enjoy and appreciate it. It’s also important for building ambassadors who will help implement the EVP once it’s fully defined. In today’s environment, where talent acquisition is competitive, an EVP can really help you to retain your good talent and attract needed, experienced talent. It might even broaden the pipeline of talent from outside your sector. Can you afford not to strengthen yours? D

Engage employees The EVP process will tell you what will really improve staff motivation, what’s real and working now and what you can do to make your working environment even better for employees in the future. It forms the bedrock of your people strategy and will inform what you should carry on doing, stop doing and start doing to support and drive your business strategy forward. It informs recruitment messages, communications

Justine James is Founder of Talentsmoothie, an organisational development consultancy. Areas of expertise include Employee Value Proposition (EVP), Employee Engagement, Employer Brand and Future Focus. Clients include Atkins, Centrica, Enterprise Renta-car, KPMG, Kuoni Group Travel Industry Services, Warner Brothers and Sodexo, and its projects range from one-off reviews, to global strategies and large-scale implementations.


Why repair when you can prevent? Increase quality and extend the service life of your vending machines. Every day, countless cups of hot beverages are purchased from vending machines. Preparing the perfect beverage in a vending machine requires a combination of factors. Reliable operation, attractive cups, user-friendly equipment – and a dependable source of excellent water – are all crucial to producing the right result, and the right revenue. All factors are equally important, but one topic is on the rise. “If your business wants to stand out from the crowd and win customer loyalty, you need to offer products of consistently great quality”, explains Dr. Hilmar Walde, Chief Technology Officer at the leading water technology company BRITA and member of the EVA board. Taste and appearance have become key differentiators for quality. Coffee is a prime example. Ideally, it should match the standards today’s discerning consumers expect from a barista-staffed café. However,

contains a balanced mix of minerals, such as calcium and sodium. Only then it has the ideal hardness for brewing hot beverages such as coffee”, he highlights. Still service and maintenance is the key to profitability and revenue.

that means more than just rich flavor – appearance, including a classic

Therefore BRITA’s filtration systems have been designed for ease of

crema, also plays an important role. But one swallow does not make a

operation. Installation and servicing, including filter replacement,

summer – it is only a consistency within the customer’s experience that

are simple and intuitive. BRITA Professional products offer a variety

creates trust.

of tried-and-tested features: a pivoting wall mount for the filter head enables cartridges to be replaced quickly and smoothly, without special tools. The hoses remain attached to the filter head, and the machine can continue to operate thanks to an integrated bypass system. A convenient interlocking ensures that. Moreover, the filter can be rinsed and drained at the touch of a button – with no risk of water leakage.

Water as main ingredient in your recipe for success. BRITA’s PURITY filtration systems improve the quality of the water used to prepare hot beverages in your vending machine. Moreover, BRITA-enhanced water extends the service life of your equipment. All key components that come into contact with water are reliably protected against limescale and deposits of unwanted minerals, such as gypsum. By guarding against damage in this way, you can increase the operational availability of your valuable equipment. And by avoiding repairs and reducing maintenance effort, you generate savings that

Water of the finest quality – and easy maintenance.

boost your bottom line. Dr. Walde asserts: “We have extensive hands-on

A beverage is only as good as its ingredients. And that applies to vending

experience of your industry.

machines, too. Aromatic coffee beans and fine teas are all-important.

As a result, we understand

But so, too, is the water that goes into each and every cup. Dr. Walde

that the combination of

points to the scientific research provided by BRTA and other mayor

excellent service – provided

players in the market like the SCAE organization: “Water has a significant

by trained professionals –

impact on the taste, aroma, and appearance of the final product.”

and user-friendly technology

Any good water filtration systems turn mains water into a liquid ideally suited to the specific needs of your vending machine. “The filtered water


is key to ensuring high equipment availability.”

WITH BRITA PROFESSIONAL. Enhance your vending business’s profitability. BRITA’s PURITY filtration systems improve the quality of the water used to prepare hot beverages in your vending machine. Moreover, BRITA-enhanced water extends the service life of your equipment. Discover the difference now:



Get inspired SIAL is the world’s largest food innovation exhibition, and takes place this year in Paris from 16-20 October. With 7000 exhibitors, the event is a source of inspiration for all industry players and is designed to give food for thought and inspiration to over 155,000 visitors. Since 2012 SIAL has been exploring, taking stock of and revealing consumer profiles across the world. The 2016 edition of SIAL Paris will present the third edition of the exclusive report Food 360 created by KANTAR TNS in partnership with XTC’s Book of Food Trends, Futurefood. Illustrated by a selection of innovations exhibited at SIAL it will cover food developments in 2016 in four acts and 13 trends. Complementing this exclusive study is the World Tour, created in collaboration with 28 professional magazines, as well as a focus on the Latin American market. Today’s new talent will also be recognised with an award: New Talents of Gastronomy. Further attractions include SIAL TV, SIAL OFF and the Stores Tours, the In Food Centre, La Cuisine cooking area, Wine & Food Lab, Made in France, Made with Love section, and the Inspire Drink event. There is also the Sustainable Food and Innovation – the 21st century challenge conference, designed to address the global challenge of food in the coming years.

The SIAL Innovation Awards are also a big part of the event, with more than 600 products selected from 2180 in competition. The winners have already been announced, and include products such as dried mushrooms sold in a mill, dehydrated exotic citrus sheets and even a powder/liquid rotor mixer, selected for its capacity to incorporate powders, which creates new cooking possibilities. For a lot more detailed information about SIAL, visit:

It’s a wrap A new oil and grease resistant (OGR) food contact paper Zanbarrier OGR, has been launched by Zanders. In the future, Zanbarrier will also be available in other barrier variations, rounding off the range of flexible packaging paper. Zanders has developed the product especially for products containing fat, primarily in the food domain, presented it for the first time at the FachPack 2016 trade fair. Zanbarrier OGR is uncoated, resistant to oil and grease and moisture-proof. It is suitable

for fast food packaging, for butter wrapping, as release paper for fatty and moist food products or as lamination on pizza and bakery boxes, for example. In addition to the OGR variant, Zanders is working on further barriers, including those dedicated for use with mineral oils, water and steam, or as aroma protection. “Our decades of experience in the use of high-performance technologies for surface treatments has enabled us to test and implement all different kinds of barriers,” explains Jakob Jonsson, Sales Director at Zanders. “With our highperformance barrier papers, we offer an environmentally friendly alternative to plastic packaging.”

Spice up your stuffing To celebrate Organic September, EHL Ingredients is launching two new organic stuffing mixes, bringing alternative tastes and textures to traditional stuffing ingredient blends. The first is a Middle Eastern style organic sultana, lemon and spice stuffing - a mix of juicy sultanas, breadcrumbs, a burst of citrus lemon with aromatic fennel, coriander, ginger and black pepper. With a distinctive Mediterranean flavour, the second addition is an organic garlic, tomato and herb stuffing – a blend of organic breadcrumbs, garlic, tomato, spices fennel, cumin, black pepper, parsley and oregano. Food manufacturers can include the blends in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean ready meals and accompaniments to spice up pork, lamb, chicken or turkey dishes, as well as meat-free foods such as vegetarian mince, stuffed peppers, cabbage rolls and baked mushrooms.


Available in bulk, the blends are ideal for packers, retailers and food processors to package into smaller bags or boxes to be sold on supermarket shelves for consumers to use at home. Christine Peers, sales director at EHL Ingredients, says: “Our development team is constantly working on new blends and seasonings, especially within organic, so we’re delighted to launch these two new stuffing mixes to strengthen our offering.

“This is not just great news for us, but offers a really positive outlook for the organic food market as a whole. We’re delighted with the response to our organic range from customers and we put our success in the organic arena down to several key factors - health benefits, an increase in consumer awareness, education on organic foods and healthier eating, and the consistent high quality of our products.”


Grown up gummies SugarSin was borne from a lifelong passion for all things sweet, with a dream to create a modern Willy Wonka Factory filled with the world’s most fabulous sweets. Currently re-launching its joyously colourful, uniquely modern and irresistibly scented Covent Garden Sweet Shop (in prime position opposite the Royal Opera House), SugarSin is now releasing a unique and enticing range of soft, gourmet Cocktail Gummies. Packed full or flavour, with an incredibly rich and juicy texture, the gummies are crafted in the shape of sparkling bubbles, adding a sweet touch to any occasion. The non-alcoholic, all natural and gluten free range includes the insatiably moreish Classic Prosecco and sweetly tangy Fizzy Prosecco Gummies, made with real Italian Prosecco, as well as refreshing cocktail-inspired Cuba

Libre Gummies, made with the perfect blend of spiced rum and bubbly cola. Available in beautifully presented hampers, attractive gifting jars – launched exclusively with Selfridges – and handy pouches, they’re sure to be a must-have stocking-filler this Christmas.

Popping good deal Kettle Foods, maker of Europe’s favourite premium crisp, Kettle Chips, has completed the acquisition of Metcalfe’s skinny Ltd, by acquiring the remaining 74 per cent of their business to become full owners of the brand. Kettle Foods had initially acquired a 26 per cent stake in the business in January this year. Metcalfe’s skinny popcorn is the UK’s leading premium popcorn brand that also incorporates a fast growing range of corn and rice cake products. The UK popcorn market is one of the most exciting categories within the UK snacks market, growing by 45 per cent over the last two years, and is set to grow further as consumers increasingly seek out lighter snacking options. The addition of Metcalfe’s skinny popcorn to Kettle Chips reflects the ambition of the Kettle Foods business to evolve into a more widely based

premium snacking leader and further extends the company’s better-for-you strategy. Ashley Hicks, Managing Director of Kettle Foods, commented: “We are delighted to acquire Metcalfe’s skinny popcorn, which is an incredibly innovative premium brand and which has built such a strong foundation in the UK market. We now have the opportunity to extend the brand’s success story with further innovation and brand development, and as a result drive even stronger growth in this exciting category.” Julian Metcalfe and Robert Jakobi, previous co-owners of Metcalfe’s skinny commented: “We are very excited about the opportunity for the Metcalfe’s skinny popcorn brand to expand with the support and expertise of the Kettle Foods organisation. This is a unique opportunity to bring the best brains in snacking together under one roof to truly give Metcalfe’s skinny the international opportunity it deserves. This is a positive step on many levels that we know will not only showcase the brand’s potential but will benefit our customers in the long term too.” www.

Cup debate continues Andrew Brooks, inventor and designer of the Pokito cup, is in favour of the suggested tax on paper cups: “A tax on paper cups is fantastic news and I applaud conservative MP Rory Stewart for his original idea and the Lib Dems for taking it up,” he said. Designed and manufactured in England, Andrew’s solution, the Pokito cup is an ultra-portable, durable and environmentally friendly cup which can be scrunched up to stow away in pocket, briefcase or bag after use – and it seals well, so no spills if you still have some coffee left over! Andrew continues: “Britons use seven million paper cups each day – that’s seven towers each as tall as Everest – 99 per cent of which go to landfill as, even if we use dedicated recycling bins, drinks residue will spoil the majority. Separating the five per cent plastic water-proof lining, lids and sleeves costs time and energy – yet, the quality of the resulting recycled paper is so poor it is usually used for napkins or newspapers. “The tax on plastic bags resulted in an 80 per cent reduction in their usage. I hope introducing punitive measure will encourage the takeup of reusable cups - a readily sustainable solution.” Pokito cup launched at the Lunch! Event in September. 13

The need

for options

Free from taste, texture and calories? The battle to deliver more choice and create tastier, healthier gluten free food. By Sue Warren



ating healthily continues to be an evolving topic fraught with controversial debate, strong opinion and some might argue, a great deal of misconception. Whether the food you are eating claims to be lower in fat, sugar and salt or claims it is free from common allergens like gluten, dairy and nuts, there can be a stigma attached that is hard to shake off. The notion that food free from certain ingredients or lower in fat is bland and tasteless, is an assumption that many forward-thinking food manufacturers are fighting to change. Clean eating is the name of the game today and it is becoming more important to many people. This is largely due to our increased awareness of the foods we eat and how it can affect both our wellbeing and our environment. Provenance is also important as we build a greater understanding of where our food comes from and how it’s produced. As consumers, our expectations are increasing and we want great tasting foods that won’t negatively impact our health.

A shift in mind-set starts with better education The challenge is there can be a stigma attached to some healthy foods or at least a general underlying feeling that healthy and free from foods cost a lot more than those that are higher in fat for example. Of course, this isn’t always the case but it is a perception that many people have and because of this, retailers and manufacturers need to work harder to educate the market and to start shifting the mind-set away from these assumptions. It won’t happen overnight of course, but we need to start somewhere if we are to support the change in culture that is needed. Despite the topicality of allergens and the rise in people needing to adjust their diet to avoid certain foods, the Free From sector also faces its share of misconceptions. Historically, the perception of gluten free foods for instance, is that these products taste bad or bland and are expensive – another common complaint has been that the texture of gluten free foods resembles that of cardboard.

Healthy eating Of course, there may well have been some truth in this view in the beginning, when food manufacturers new to the market and concept were at the early development stages of these products. However, with the manufacturers focus, understanding and investment in NPD the results have significantly improved products on the market.

Gluten free doesn’t necessarily mean healthy The market has of course progressed so much further in the last few years alone - but it takes time to changes people’s views. Think of it like an invention that improves and gets better over time. The issue of healthy food vs. gluten free is an interesting one too as there seems to be another myth that gluten free is always a healthier choice, but that is definitely not the case. A gluten free muffin will not necessarily be a healthier option compared with a muffin containing gluten. Double cream is gluten free but it doesn’t make it the ideal health food – the issue is, our expectations are somewhat blurred and education will play a big part in demystifying those. From a positive perspective, products and manufacturing techniques have evolved dramatically over recent years and the progress has been amazing. Today we can be confident in demonstrating that gluten free products can - and do in many cases - taste as good as non-gluten free with many people unlikely to be able to tell the difference between them. This remains the focus and consumer requirement,

gluten free shouldn’t be a compromise in any product or category.

Creating tastier food to stay ahead of the game Some larger retailers are also insisting that unless a product is absolutely expected to have gluten (i.e. wheat crackers), then it should be certified gluten free as standard. The gluten free information is there for those looking for it - but it is not always highlighted or labelled under gluten free branding. This effectively makes these products ‘mainstream’ despite being gluten free – but with most people totally unaware of the fact. When products are good enough to avoid being pigeonholed in the gluten free category, the consumer perception will begin to change but it will take time. The industry needs to have faith and to keep doing what it is doing and place the focus on continuous improvement. To stay ahead of the game and give consumers what they want in terms of healthier food, manufacturers need to continue to look for ways to create tastier products in the sector. Food is about all about taste and texture as well as the visual look. Removing the artificial ingredients can in some cases, take time and some significant NPD to maintain flavour and texture quality; this is a continuous process for many manufacturers. A sensible approach to removing unnecessary salt, fat and sugar for example is also key to keeping ahead of the competition but we have to be realistic as well - a salty snack needs salt, a fruitcake needs sweetening.

Nowhere left to hide Developing tasty food that is also healthy means looking more closely at those natural flavours that can negate the need for salt and the artificial flavour enhancers often used in products. The push to create inherently healthier products has been gaining traction for some years. Clear food labelling has really helped to both educate the consumer and drive the manufacturer to make improvements because the visibility of the real nature of the products leaves nowhere to hide. It is still surprising (and disappointing) to see how manufacturers get ‘creative’ on their food labelling; a recent change in legislation in the US now requires manufacturers to stop using the term ‘evaporated cane juice’ as an ingredient name for sugar. This kind of clear attempt to mislead the consumer is counterproductive to the great progress in transparency being made in the majority of the industry - but this is something that is thankfully getting clearer.

Not always saints - but more choice An increase in diet intolerances (and celebrity-mirrored lifestyle diets) has also fuelled the need for ‘healthier’ and cleaner products. But ten years from now the big selling point for the consumer will still be choice. People want options, not everyone wants to eat like a saint all of the time, sometimes we feel like that packet of crisps or that slice of pizza. A good range of options with clarity of the nutritional and health attributes will allow individuals to make clearer more informed choices from a point of knowledge and deeper understanding and that can only be a good thing. D Sue Warren is Strategic Development Director at Wellaby’s. Wellaby’s has recently launched Simple Bakes, a new range of tasty, totally moreish, savoury snacks that everyone can feel free to enjoy. These delicious wholegrain snacks are also free from most common allergens including gluten, nuts and eggs and they contain no diary. 15

Boosting efficiency


Logistics According to Gavin Williams intelligent equipment control of transit media is transforming food industry supply chains


s retailers in the food and drink industry seek to drive efficiency, reduce operational expenditures and enhance environmental benefits, the need for intelligent systems has never been greater. Yesterday’s ‘use and throw’ approach to in-store display packaging is being replaced by reusable and recyclable materials. These are the watchwords for retailers looking to minimise waste and maximise yields. In this efficiency-focused climate, we’ve seen significant growth in the use of reusable transit media, from trays to tote boxes to dollies and pallets. And while there are obvious savings – both environmental and financial – to be gained from reusable media, the most critical driver of efficiency is the technology that controls the allocation and return. It’s for this reason that we’re seeing an increased demand for Returnable Transit Packaging handling and tracking software systems. XPO Logistics has developed its own in-house system for this purpose, called COMET (Control of Materials and Equipment Tracking). COMET provides our food and beverage customers with the control and data they need to manage their critical assets. It’s an intelligent system that can handle the inbound and outbound flows of hundreds of millions of assets each year, while also generating commercial invoices and managing deposits where applicable. The beneficiaries include

Gavin Williams

major grocery retailers, manufacturers and suppliers of chilled, ambient and general merchandise. The volumes can be staggering. At XPO Logistics alone we manage 24 million units of reusable retail equipment across Europe on an annual basis. The greatest value is added by the automated system that controls the flow of these millions of units: the online track and trace capability for shipments along the supply chain. Having a bird’s eye view of the hundreds of different suppliers who lease transit media allows retailers to optimise transportation routes, reduce inventory, minimise freight and fuel costs, maximise trailer utilization, reduce CO2 and support packaging obligations. Being able to monitor these flows in real time adds significant value for food and drink industry customers of XPO Logistics – whether in the UK, across Europe or in global markets. Reusable transit media are valuable assets that require constant visibility as they move throughout the supply chain. Inventory for spares and repairs can also be optimised, ensuring that equipment can be repaired and repatriated quickly. Through COMET technology, demand can be balanced to ensure that every asset is utilised efficiently and overstocking by individual suppliers is mitigated. Retailers can maximise the earning power of equipment, identify losses and improve revenues without unnecessary investment in excess

stock, sweating the assets through better management of leases to third parties. Intelligent software also means that users are able to access a complete history of their transactions – giving them full control of their closing balance at any given time – and upload future orders for equipment up to four weeks in advance. This significantly reduces the need for manual intervention and administrative hours. With retailing margins notoriously tight, food retailers and manufacturers must continue to seek out new ways to maximise efficiencies in the supply chain. Intelligent equipment control of transit media is a compelling proposition for those companies looking to gain a competitive advantage. D

Gavin Williams is Business Unit Director, Supply Chain, at XPO Logistics. XPO Logistics, Inc. is a top ten global logistics provider of cutting-edge supply chain solutions to the most successful companies in the world. The company offers comprehensive solutions for transport, global forwarding and logistics, including e-fulfilment, reverse and temperature controlled logistics, VAS, bonded and COMAH warehousing, and the UK’s largest owned ADR pallet network. 17


condition T

New benchmarks are being set for continually faster food deliveries but this has to be supported by reliable and efficient print technology says Xavier Nicolaï


he bar is set very high in food distribution and grocery retailing, with the arrival of Amazon Fresh setting new benchmarks for even faster delivery, breadth of product choice and lower prices. The success of its business model, and others that follow, will be in speed of delivery through the supply chain, and being able to accurately track and trace shipments. Many of these processes will still rely heavily on the ‘paper chain’; barcode labels, delivery notes, account statements, reports etc. While some businesses may have dematerialised a number of their logistics processes, others have found it’s not always a cost effective solution and still depend heavily on printed materials. Labelling remains a critical element of moving goods through the supply chain and disruption or error can threaten both production and distribution. It can lead to stock mismanagement (both understock and overstock) compliance fines, loss of business, loss of revenue, loss of reputation and ultimately customer dissatisfaction.

And it’s not an uncommon scenario either. Some 47 per cent* of manufacturers experienced significant and costly disruption to their production process because of their existing labelling method.

The need for speed If you’re manufacturing or shipping fresh or chilled foods, your window of opportunity to get them on the road will be time critical, so speed of print delivery will be an important issue. Not only that, but strict regulations require an increasing amount of content to be included in often very space limited documentation, which further multiplies the challenges in terms of print speed. Indeed some 42 per cent* of global food and drink manufacturers find label print speed a difficult requirement to meet. Cercle Vert distributes food and nonfood products to private and public sector catering establishments in and around Paris. It needs to print 8000 documents a day, including billing statements, invoices, delivery notes, account statements and commercial reports.

Printing “We face major logistical hurdles. The challenge is to deliver to our customers quickly as they must be supplied on time in order to run their business well,” explains Patrick Mendez, IT manager at Cercle Vert. “We do over 1000 deliveries every day, a considerable volume given each order consists of multiple items.” The company’s busiest time is the first week of the month and the pressure is on to ensure delivery documents are printed quickly, without any interruption. The company uses multi-copy forms to label outgoing pallets and print its accompanying delivery notes and invoices. It chose line matrix printers to do the job because of their large volume printing ability and their reputation for coping with warehouse environments prone to variations in temperature and humidity. “We cannot process multi-copy forms on a laser,” offered Patrick. “A line matrix printer can print two or three copies in a single pass whereas a laser printer would need to print the document two or three times which wastes time, adds cost and uses more consumables.”

in Britain, France, Spain, Italy and Germany in office IT and printing revealed that only 28 per cent of UK businesses saw sustainability in IT procurement as a necessary expenditure if it costs more. This attitude is changing but it may have to change faster than it currently is once details of the new international standard for sustainable procurement, ISO 20400, are finalised. While the Act is likely to major on ethical sourcing of raw materials, it’s hoped the new standard will embed sound sustainability practices throughout the supply chain on all key purchases and projects. And there’s plenty of scope for improvement. A number of businesses, for example, migrated their printer fleet away to laser, a more energyconsuming technology than line matrix. They believed the older technology was noisy, inflexible and expensive yet, in a demanding, rugged environment like that found on production floors and in logistics areas, line matrix is the most reliable, sustainable and cost efficient print technology out there right now.

Managing costs and environmental impact

Reliable delivery is the key driver

Patrick has found that, when printing, line matrix devices use one third of the electricity of laser, they produce far less consumables waste, their life expectancy is twice that of laser and they emit no fine particles, all of which enables the company to additionally reduce its environmental footprint. When the printers are idle or running smaller batches or single documents the environmental impact is less than it would be with other devices. But Patrick is pleased with the sustainability of line matrix and has calculated that the total cost of ownership (TCO) is far healthier too; he claims to be saving over €1million in five years. Interestingly, while Cercle Vert sees managing its ecological impact as important, environmental sustainability does not always feature highly in purchasing decisions in Europe, with the UK falling behind the rest of the continent. A survey† of 500 senior IT managers and procurement leaders

Investing in fulfilment to meet consumers’ needs for convenience, reliability and speed is a priority for most retailers with 95 per cent1 of executives committed to ploughing money into delivery. They recognise the value of reliable delivery to their customers in terms of spend and loyalty and its significance in differentiating them from other brands. But while the goal is universally agreed, where the money should be invested in the supply chain is not always that black and white. For example, over half1 of supply chain directors see ‘cutting delivery times’ as an investment priority, compared to less than a third of ecommerce experts. The disparity between the two functions is less when it comes to agreeing to ‘facilitating defined delivery windows’ and ‘updating legacy systems’ and ‘investing in new technology and software’. But if the goal of being able to react quickly and meet ever more

stringent deadlines is to be achieved, both functions need to be on the same page when it comes to buying strategies, particularly in the area of upgrading existing technology. Business challenges associated with distribution requires the technologies within logistics to be mastered perfectly. Of these, the choice of printing solutions plays a mission critical role. From delivery notes to labels that stick on frozen foodpacks, printing is an inevitable part of a producer and transport company’s operating costs so where’s there’s an opportunity to shave costs off each unit price it is worth exploring which print technology to use. And inadequate labelling or failing to label correctly can have huge consequences, not just financial. Some 79 per cent* of food and drink companies experienced negative outcomes for mislabelled or inadequately labelled products. Negative consequences include customer or regulatory fines, rejected loads and mandatory recalls. Cost and speed will always be a requirement of industrial printers but sustainability is increasingly on the agenda so when it comes to investing in fast food delivery strategies it sometimes pays to appreciate a proven, mature technology. D * Source: ‘How does your labelling measure up’ report, Loftware Inc. † Source: Quocirca/Epson 2016 1 Source: MetaPack/Retail Week Connect Report ‘Bridging the delivery gap’, May 2016

Xavier Nicolaï is marketing manager for the EMEA region for Printronix LLC. For over 40 years, Printronix has addressed global customer needs for mission critical industrial printing. It boasts two of the mosttrusted brand names in back office and supply chain printing, Printronix and TallyGenicom, which are widely respected throughout automotive, retail, food and drink, government, utilities, transportation and logistics enterprises around the globe. See more at: 19

Muscling in on the act

Once a niche sector dominated by powders and shakes, the global high protein products market is now expected to reach £8bn by 2017. We speak to Daniel Reeds about what’s driving this trend and which products should be on your shelves


here’s not one single reason as to why the protein products market has exploded in recent years, rather a culmination of factors. Some of the traditional brands in the arena, such as Maxi-Muscle, began advertising their products to a more mainstream audience about a decade ago, producing products that were less aggressively targeted at the bodybuilding world and more focused on everyday


Daniel Reeds

gym users, and they used more women in their adverts and linked up with more sports. Alongside this, gym membership has gone through the roof and, more recently, social media has helped create a new means to put fitness products in front of a mass market. Perhaps the biggest driver behind the growth however has been a better understanding, from both the public and brands themselves, of the

Protein nutritional science behind protein supplementation. Previously protein was just associated with muscle growth, but now people are beginning to understand that foods high in protein can also help with weight loss, due to the fact they keep you feeling fuller for longer and therefore less likely to reach for the biscuit tin. As a consequence, it’s now believed more high protein food products are bought for slimming purposes than for muscle building. Key to the growth has been the innovation shown by brands in the sector, who have met the public’s growing appetite for high protein products in ever more tasty and creative ways. Dr Zak’s is a great example of a company that has helped bridge the gap between the traditional protein market and the new one. Created by a decorated bodybuilder, with a doctorate from The Royal Free Medical School, to help provide protein products other than shakes to the market, the Dr Zak’s range started out as bread and pasta fortified with protein. The popularity of these products has led to the brand now including bagels and a range of flavoured peanut butters, which allow people to up the protein levels of their everyday meals without even realising. Other companies in the sector allow for consumers, and manufacturers, to create high protein foods in the comfort of their own homes, and the likes of The Coconut Company’s Organic Coconut

Flour which contains a whopping 22g of protein per 100g of flour (that’s over double the amount in normal flour), has seen a boom in sales as consumers turn everyday dishes into high protein foods and manufacturers snap it up for use in everything from high protein cakes to ready meals. Buoyed by the success of the flour, the company is set to launch a coconut based protein powder; offering a plant derived protein with a high solubility and fibre content and an optimum level of protein, carbohydrates and good fats. Even the more traditional protein products, such as protein bars, are seeing a face-lift; with brands like The Primal Pantry launching an alternative

protein bar range, combining the growing demand for raw natural ingredients with a high protein on the go snack. Moving forward it doesn’t look likely the demand for high protein foods is going to slow, as they form an integral part of the functional foods market, predicted to reach a global value of $54 billion by the end of next year. Furthermore, if sales of red meat continue to slide, amid concerns over environmental and health factors, we may yet see an even greater demand for products fortified with extra plant based protein, as people begin to rely on these kinds of foods not as a means to get bigger muscles or even slimmer waists, but as a way of getting their everyday nutritional needs from nonanimal sources. D Daniel Reeds is MD at health food marketing company New Chapter Marketing. New Chapter Marketing has been working in the industry for over a decade, specialising in food and drink products. Having worked with brands ranging from niche start-ups to some of Europe’s biggest players it has been at the forefront of the ‘functional food revolution’. 21


All the products featured on this page were supplied from Yumbles, an all-natural food marketplace. It stocks healthy and delicious products that you can’t get in a nearby supermarket. Everything it sells is hand made, taste-tested and 100 per cent natural.

A ball of energy Healthbox Kitchen was founded to create flavoursome and nourishing energy snacks. Its protein balls and energy bites are made with completely natural and wholesome ingredients, with nuts forming the main base of the products as they are high in protein, unsaturated fats and fibre, low in sugar, and are an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals. This means that the company’s energy snacks are nutrient dense without unnecessary fillers. Healthbox Kitchen believes that

healthy needn’t be about diets or restriction and makes its snacks with 100 per cent whole foods, carefully developed to deliver sustained energy without compromising on taste.

“I tried the cocoa energy balls, and before I even tasted them, I loved the presentation of the two balls per pack, making portion control super easy, as well as being able to

quickly grab them for a snack on the go. I didn’t feel hungry again for a while after eating them (unusual for me!) and after reading up about Healthbox Kitchen I was also impressed with the dedication the makers put into the products, as well as their charitable efforts.”

The healthy alternative Mr Prempy’s journey started three years ago by two Londoners Shadi Geris and Suminder Sandhu, who were addicted to dessert but wanted something sweet that wasn’t unhealthy. They didn’t set out to make ‘raw’ food; their aim was to create cakes as simply as possible, with minimal process and ingredients. Mr Prempy’s cakes and chocolates are fully certified organic, wheat-free, glutenfree, dairy-free, refined-sugar-free and soya-free. They use fresh ingredients and make everything by hand from scratch, even the chocolate (they’re the only chocolate producers who use maple syrup as their sweetener!)

The tester trialled a Mr Prempy’s Bouncy bar, which is a coconut bar dipped in 90 per cent raw chocolate. The raw, organic Bouncy Bars are free from dairy, gluten, refined sugar and eggs, and handmade by the Mr Prempy’s team. “I think that this product was quite awesome actually,” the tester said. “It was so simple, but the provenance of the ingredients is amazing, and it shows that if you raise what we traditionally think of a sweet ‘choc bar’ treat to the next level, you can get something which tastes gourmet, that you savour in the

knowledge that it’s in no way bad for you. Of course, I understand you pay rather a lot more for the privilege – I’d rather have one treat occasionally than a lot of cheap stuff every day and Yumbles website is turning out to be a great find for me!”

The new crisp Nim’s fruit and vegetable crisps are a unique range of innovative, healthy snacks. Not to be confused with dried fruit, freeze dried fruit or chewy baked fruit & veg, Nim’s are completely natural and air-dried. Each 22g bag is only between 57 & 75 calories, low in fat (0.1g), high in fibre and Vitamin C. Plus they count as one of your five a day. Nim’s are suitable for vegetarians, vegans and coeliacs. As they are also gluten and dairy free, they can be eaten anytime, anywhere and by pretty much anyone!


One of the FoodChain test team is a big fan of fruit and veg crisps, and she tried a range of the flavours on offer from Nims. “The Beetroot and Parsnip variety came out on top – the beetroot was most flavoursome I have ever had (and I’ve tried quite a few) and the parsnip was lovely. I really enjoyed the Kiwi in the Pineapple and Kiwi, and the simple Pear on its own was really good, I would eat them all again

for sure! The low calorie count was excellent as were the five a day credentials. Very impressed!”


Top toms

Cocktail hour Aperol is an aperitif with a unique taste, thanks to its secret recipe featuring infusions of selected ingredients including bitter and sweet oranges and many other herbs (including rhubarb) and roots in perfect proportions. While it can be drunk neat on the rocks, Aperol is also the perfect base for summer cocktails, with the Aperol Spritz’s sparkling, bittersweet taste making it the ideal choice for any occasion. Made with three parts Prosecco (75ml), two parts Aperol (50ml) and one part soda, it is a simple serve that can be enjoyed on its own, or complimented with appetisers (‘Chicchetti’ in its native Italian tongue) such as stuffed olives, sun-blushed tomatoes, focaccia bread and parma ham.

A birthday party was the ideal time for one of the testers to try the Aperol Spritz out on her family. Everyone loved the distinctive,

bright orange colour and all were excited to try something they weren’t familiar with. One reviewer was particularly enthusiastic, as the cocktail reminded him of the 1970’s and Campari & Soda (indeed, Aperol is one of Campari Group’s brands.) “As this is a bit sweeter than Campari it makes a really good aperitif, and I like how it’s mixed with both Prosecco and soda, as it becomes a much more interesting and complex drink. I like the bitter edge as well – I think it would appeal to a range of different palates and on a hot day with lots of ice, it’s perfect for sipping while relaxing in the sun.”

Nutritious and delicious Hand-crafted to provide the perfect balance of nutrition and taste, Pulsin’ protein bars and raw chocolate brownies contain only natural ingredients. The bars make the ideal pre- or postexercise boost or handy, healthy mealreplacement for people on the go. Full of nutritious ingredients like maca and goji berries, the all-raw brownies aren’t just great tasting, they are also free from refined sugars, meaning no energy crashes and not a single ounce of guilt. The hardest problem faced is choosing between Pulsin’s variety of flavours, which includes: Maple & Peanut Protein Snack, Vanilla Choc Chip Protein Snack, Raspberry & Goji Raw Chocolate Brownie and the new Peanut Choc Chip Raw Chocolate Brownie. If you suffer from any food intolerances, don’t worry because as well as having no added sugar, Pulsin’ snack bars are vegan, dairy free, gluten free and are non-GMO.

“I loved having these available for my mind morning snack,” said our tester. “They were good and chocolaty and had a nice solid yet crumbly texture, which made them quite chewy and satisfying to eat. While I knew they were healthy, they were so tasty I didn’t feel like I was making any sacrifices to eat one, and I also think children would have liked them which has to be good for parents! If I was on the lookout for a snack while out and about, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy one!”

Sourced from the heart of Italy, grown in rich soil and naturally produced with no additives or fertilisers, pesticides and GM free, Tarantella tomato products have been around since 1892 and are readily available in ASDA, Morrisons, Co-op, Ocado, and independent stockists. The Tarantella organic tomato range is just perfect for pasta sauces and the thick rich juice of the product ensures a wonderful taste and ideal constituent to all recipes….even a Bloody Mary cocktail. What sets the range apart are its organic credentials – with recent research highlighting that organic tomatoes were higher in vitamin C and their phenolic content (a measure of flavonoid, antioxidant and flavour intensity) was a whopping 139 per cent higher. Plant phenols, such as flavonoids, are largely responsible for the health-giving properties attributed to many fruits and vegetables as they help the body fight oxidative stress – a form of chemical damage linked to chronic conditions such as heart disease, cancer and dementia.

“I was very interested in the research findings associated with these tomatoes – I often use tinned tomatoes and the fact that switching to the Tarantella organic brand can increase the nutrition by such a large amount was amazing. Such a simple step to take and of course, the fact that these tomatoes were of such high quality and great tasting makes the decision to get these instead a total no brainer!” 23

Recognised quality


Bokomo Foods (UK) Ltd Producing over 615,000,000 bowls of cereal per year, Bokomo Foods (UK) Ltd. manufactures many different types of cereals and packaging, which it sells to clients that include some of the UK’s leading supermarkets


okomo Foods (UK) Ltd. is owned by the South African based enterprise Pioneer Foods and first entered into the UK cereal market during September 2000, through a joint venture with the Australian company Sanitarium. The joint venture was known as Grain Health Foods (UK) Ltd. until 2004, when Pioneer Foods acquired the remaining shares in the organisation and renamed the business to Bokomo Foods. At this time the company only produced wheat biscuits, however during 2005 Belso Cereal was added to the business and Bokomo entered into the wider cereal market. “Strategically we knew that it was important for the company to widen its product portfolio beginning with the acquisition of Belso

Cereal,” explains Bokomo Foods CEO, John Hiles. “More recently we acquired Streamfoods Holdings and its Fruit Bowl brand during August 2016, including the company’s production facility in Wisbech and have started selling ‘Harvest Cheweee’ cereal bars as of 1 August 2016. While research and product development are key to our future plans, so too are the staff and manufacturing needs. As a result, the plan will be to invest in training, development and manufacturing capabilities, all set to position Fruit Bowl as the UK’s leader in the fruit snacking industry.” The deal to acquire Streamfoods Holdings was valued at around £7.5 million and was in line with Pioneer’s strategy of bolstering the company’s product range in the UK with

further branded options. Stream Foods employs around 98 people at its factory in Wisbech, with its products reaching clients throughout Europe and China. The company’s Fruit Bowl range includes products such as dried fruit bars, fruit bars and yogurt covered fruit snacks. “This acquisition is in keeping with the stated strategic intent of acquiring and bolstering Pioneer Foods’ product portfolio in the UK with a branded proposition, namely Fruit Bowl,” comments Pioneer Foods CEO, Phil Roux. “The transaction will augment and leverage our UK private label portfolio and our recently upgraded manufacturing capabilities.” Bokomo currently operates three manufacturing sites across the UK located in Peterborough, Wellingborough and Wisbech, which allow the company to make products ranging from muesli, granolas, crunch clustered cereal and different formats of oat porridges to flaked cereal products, wheat biscuits and snacking products. During July 2016 Bokomo officially opened its brand new state-of-the-art production facility in the commercial area of Orton Southgate, 25

European Oat Millers Ltd • Your Milling & Ingredient Partner Mile Road, Bedford, United Kingdom, MK42 9TB

Call: 01234 327 922 •

Proudly supplying Bokomo. We are a leading supplier of oats and ingredients through out the UK, Europe, Asia, Middle East and Africa. About EOM Trusted over 3 decades as an ingredient supplier of oats and grain base ingredients. We operate on our key values of loyalty, reliability, exceptional service and quality.

Milling Division Oat Milling. Whole Grain Products. Oat, Wheat & Barley Cereal Flaking. Oat & Barley Flour. Animal Feed. Bio Mass.

Ingredient Division Toasted Wheat Flakes. Bran Flakes. Spelt Flakes. Corn Flakes. Multi Grain Flakes. Rice Flakes. Extrusions based around Rice, Oats and Maize Raw Material. Coated Cereals. Protein Ingredients. Our dynamic, flexible approach makes us the ideal milling and ingredient partner. For all enquiries please call 01234 327 922 or email

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Certificate 13138 OHSAS 18001

Bokomo Foods (UK) Ltd

Throughout its history Bokomo Foods has continued to invest into its facilities and product portfolio with a focus of ensuring the highest levels of quality across all of its cereal products

Peterborough. The new facility is intended to boost the manufacturer’s positive growth trajectory by supplying healthy, tasty and cost effective breakfast cereals to clients within the UK and around the world. “We are hugely excited to have opened our new, large scale site, which we have designed specifically to meet the requirements of a world class breakfast cereal business. The relocation from our old factory has involved careful planning to ensure there is no disruption for our existing customers,” John says. “We operate in such a competitive environment that critical to our future growth was the issue of efficiency and cost. The new factory will allow us to expand and we will improve efficiencies across all areas to enhance the overall offering for our customers.”

the amount of available space while housing the entire facility under one roof, meaning that operations have been streamlined and energy efficiency across the entire production cycle has been dramatically improved. The construction of the factory was completed in May 2016 following an investment of over £2 million by Pioneer Foods. Transition planning was undertaken over the course of six months and the site became fully operation in June 2016. As a result of the development of the facility, Bokomo has also invested in the acquisition of new machinery with a

view to maintain its record for constantly meeting customer lead times. The company currently produces more than ten million bowls of cereal per week for all of the major supermarket chains and the new factory will enable Bokomo to more than double the production capacity of its previous facility. “The installation of a new oven means we’ve been able to increase our baking capacity and a high-speed machine has allowed for increases in packaging capacity, as well as more than 7000 pallet spaces, the business has plenty of room for expansion,” John says.

Room for expansion The previous Bokomo plant offered 6000 square metres of space, comprised of a conglomeration of six separate industrial units. The development of the new site has tripled

European Oat Millers Combining an enviable knowledge of the milling process with a passion for delivering exceptional products, we are one of the world’s leading suppliers of oats and grain base ingredients. The demand for our exceptional grain-based products spans the globe, with our distributor network reaching as far as the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Supplying quality ingredients to major food companies for three decades, we are trusted to produce excellent oat and cereal products that can be used across a variety of retail lines found in most supermarkets and health food shops. Our milling division capabilities and manufacturing process: Oat Milling, Whole Grain Products, Cereal Flaking, Flour, Animal Feed and Bio Mass. Our ingredient production plant specialises in: Extruded, Coated and Flaked Products and Ingredients. 27

Throughout its history Bokomo Foods has continued to invest into its facilities and product portfolio with a focus of ensuring the highest levels of quality across all of its cereal products. This has resulted in the company receiving several accolades over the years, such as winning two awards at the Good Choice! Quality Food Awards and the Quality Food Awards at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel during November 2015. The company was recognised as the winner of the winner of the ‘Cereals’ category in the Good Choice! Quality Food Awards for its production of Asda’s Good & Balanced Pumpkin & Mango Granola product line. Bokomo Foods was also highly commended in the ‘Cereals’ category in the Quality Food Awards for its production of Tesco Finest Red Berry Granola. The awards are some of the most respected awards within the food and beverage industry and represent


the best grocery products on the market throughout the UK. Each of these awards are highly competitive and are known for their rigorous judging and strict criteria. “This is a fantastic achievement for Bokomo and I am delighted that yet again we have demonstrated our expertise as the UK’s leading cereal manufacturer,” John exclaimed at the time. “Our team is the strength behind our success and we have great relationships with all the big supermarket chains and will continue to work together on producing high quality cereal for the UK market.”

Award wins During 2016 Bokomo Foods has continued to build on its previous success by winning the Food & Drink Manufacturer of the year category at the Central & East of England Manufacturing Awards. “This really represents us striving for excellence. We

Bokomo Foods (UK) Ltd all work hard and are proud in what we do,” John says. “The work environment is such that everybody can work to the full potential and through that we strive to delight the consumers that enjoys eating the products we make. This award is a recognition for all the effort and hard work.”

good at that. If you look at market data then the cereal market is flat both in value and volume, when combining Mintel data and our supply data to the trade discount,” John concludes. “The coming months will be challenging, especially with the additional pressure

of the devaluation of the pound and its impact on commodity prices. However I am a firm believer in that if we stand together as a company and do what we do better, we will be able to maintain our strategic growth plan.” D

Quality reputation Although the market in the cereals sector is relatively challenging, Bokomo Foods has a proven reputation for quality and a significant market presence that will help the business to achieve a strategic growth trajectory over the coming years. “The recent market has been fairly difficult because of the price pressures that have been brought on commodities as well as the selling price of cereals. As a result it is a very competitive market where the product quality, service and price differentiate you from your competitors and we are 29

Local flavour

Harvey & Son (Lewes) Ltd. has a heritage dating back to 1790 with a rich history of excellence within the brewery and pub industry


arvey’s is an historic brewer, wine and spirit merchant and pub operator with a reputation for brewing several award winning beers. Today, the company produces a range of over 20 beers and also owns 48 pubs across South East of England. “Harvey & Son established itself in Lewes during the early nineteenth century, extending its original business as wine and spirit merchants to include brewing. After more than 200 years in the County Town, Harvey’s has become synonymous with Sussex,” elaborates


Joint Managing Director & Head Brewer, Miles Jenner. “The company’s Victorian Tower Brewery sits on the banks of the River Ouse in the heart of the town and is irreverently known locally as ‘Lewes Cathedral’. The philosophy of the company perpetuates the core values of a bygone age where local sustainability was paramount.” As part of its philosophy of local sustainability, Harvey’s maintains longterm contracts with local hop growers, which provide support for the local farming community. Traditionally, the company’s trade was within a 60-mile

Harvey & Son (Lewes) Ltd

compost in the nearby market gardens. Harvey’s is regarded as ‘the beer of Sussex’ and the company is woven into the very fabric of society.”

Modern and relevant

radius of the brewery but with changing market conditions it acquired its first London pub during the 1990’s. It is also selling through distribution channels, which stock establishments such as Bill’s Restaurant chain. The local sale of its popular beers is an important factor in further demonstrating a tangible interaction between Harvey’s and the community. “Our malted barley is sourced within the UK,” Miles adds. “The brewery’s ‘spent grains’ are collected by the local agricultural college and fed to their dairy herd, while the ‘spent hops’ are used as mulch and

Today, Harvey’s beers continue to be produced on the original brewery site. The brewery itself was rebuilt in 1881 although parts of the original structure still stand, major additional works have doubled the capacity of the brew house, while retaining the site’s flexibility and maintaining the same architectural style. “Harvey’s have a range of 25 bottled beers covering most styles. By bottling ‘in-house’ even our speciality niche products can be produced viably. Recently the company has invested in kegging plant and has branched out into canning. It has always been the philosophy of Harvey’s to remain both modern and relevant while maintaining its heritage,” Miles says. “Sussex Best Bitter (4.0 abv) is the flagship beer of the company but the core range of traditional draught beers also includes our Dark Mild (3.0 abv), IPA (3.5 abv), Wild Hop (3.7 abv) and Armada Ale (4.5 abv). Additionally, Old Ale (4.3 abv) is available in Autumn and Winter, while our Golden Ale is brewed for the Spring and Summer months.”

Harvey’s was the first brewer to publish a programme of 12 speciality ‘seasonal beers’ that are available for one month at a time. Each beer is brewed uniquely to provide different styles ranging from porters and ruby ales to wheat beers and barley wines. Many of these speciality beers have a local provenance; the company’s Tom Paine (5.5 abv), for example, is named after the celebrated Georgian radical and sometime resident of Lewes who wrote ‘Rights of Man’. “Southdown Harvest (5.0 abv) is brewed using freshly harvested ‘green hops’ that are picked from the bine that morning and all beers are available in bottle throughout the year. Our newly devised Gold Bier, Malt Brown and Black Stout are served chilled from keg and can to meet the growing demand of a new generation of beer drinkers,” Miles reveals. “There are also two niche products that are worthy of mention: Elizabethan Ale (7.5 abv) barley wine was first brewed for the coronation in 1952 and has remained in production ever since, while Harvey’s Georgian ‘Imperial Extra Double Stout’ (9.0 abv) was created in 1999 and has been the recipient of a national or international award every year since its inception.” Further to its award-winning range of beers, Harvey’s manufactures and sells different lines including wines, 31

The name in fine sugars Since our founders created golden syrup the production of pure sugars, syrups and treacles have been in our blood. Our specialist ingredients are trusted by bakers, confectioners and brewers to create perfect results every time. Ragus, the professionals choice.

Harvey & Son (Lewes) Ltd

whiskies, foods, condiments and various merchandise. The brewery also procures its own ‘Lewes Blend’ Whisky and recently produced a ‘Malt Gin’ in collaboration with a UK distillery. The company’s brewery shop fronts Cliffe High Street in Lewes, which is the original premises occupied by John Harvey in 1810. The shop sells a large selection of local and foreign wines, some of which it imports, as well as a range of spirits from newly emergent distilleries. The company also sells souvenirs and local foods, including an award-winning marmalade made using Harvey’s Wild Hop beer. “The Brewery Shop is well supported by the local community and is extremely popular with tourists. Harvey’s is the last brewery in the UK to use returnable bottles, thereby forestalling the bottle bank, and the shop charges a returnable deposit to encourage their

return,” Miles details. “Draught beers are drawn from the brewery cellars for customers in containers ranging from four pints to nine gallons.”

its range of seasonal brews, thereby further strengthening the company’s local provenance. It is a move to engage with a new generation of consumer, confident in the knowledge that the existing customer base will remain loyal to the brand regardless of its packaging. Miles concludes: “Our long-term goal is to retain market share and develop new markets for both established and new products. Within the pub portfolio, more houses are likely to come under direct management but investment will continue within existing outlets and new opportunities to purchase licensed estate in town centres will be examined. Within the production and distribution areas of the business, investment and programmed maintenance will continue to ensure maximum flexibility and quality assurance.” D

Local provenance The reputation of Harvey’s beers has resulted in enquires from further afield in recent years. As the market has continued to evolve, Harvey’s has developed as a locally focused business with a growing reputation. “With changing market conditions, all options are now being considered and wholesalers with a proven reputation for beer management are distributing Harvey beers where new markets are identified. We have also recently undergone a rebranding exercise, redesigning our logo and all pump clips and labels for our core range products.” Additionally, a local artist has redesigned the point of sale for 33

A scoop of



Rossi Ice Cream has been producing award winning Ice Cream since 1932. Over 80 years later it continues to be loved by generations throughout Essex and beyond 34

ossi Ice Cream has a longstanding history in Essex and prides itself on providing premium, traditional ice cream as well as a high standard of customer service. By identifying each customer’s individual needs and offering a service that suits their requirements, many business relationships, including parlours, mobile vans and retailers, have lasted over many decades, which is a testament to both the quality of the ice cream and the company’s business approach. It offers a wide range of flavours and sizes for all market places

including classic Vanilla, Honeycomb, Mint Choc Chip, Lemon Ice and sizes ranging from 125ml to ten litres. With its deep roots in the Essex area, as the business continues to grow, it also cherishes being able to support local charities and contribute to the local tourism in and around the area. Rossi is a company that is taking a product it loves and supplying it to an ever-growing customer base. Summer 2015 saw the brand refresh of Rossi, introducing the company’s first ever printed containers in over 80 years. Together with the updated Rossi logo, this enabled products to sit proudly on retailer’s shelves, reflecting the premium ice cream produced and help to support sales. Colin Gray, Director at Rossi Ice Cream, discussed some of the success the company has had: “We have expanded the business into more retail areas, while still continuing to support independent retailers. This reflects on now supplying ASDA stores directly since June, as well as 30 Chelmsford Star Co-op Stores and 40 stores for the East of England Co-op. We have also been awarded an additional 40 stores throughout the region with the Co-op Manchester Group.” The company is fast becoming the ice cream of choice for many establishments as Rossi has been making moves further into the leisure, hotel and catering sectors including Havens Holiday Parks. No wonder the company is aiming to continue the expansion of its market and broadening its customer base, much further than Essex. One way in which Rossi is raising its profile and working with a diverse selection of companies is through a unique service of fully branded and personalised ice cream tubs. This is something that few, if any, of the company’s competitors offer and that has been overwhelmingly well received by all those that have used the service. The strengths of this tailor-made ice cream product were highlighted by Colin Gray: “We have supplied personalised ice cream tubs via branding and marketing agencies for a number of their clients including Tommy Hilfiger, Hugo Boss and easyJet. We also offer door-to-door delivery

Rossi Ice Cream using temperature controlled vehicles for events in London, Scotland, even Europe as far as Monaco in the south of France. The tubs are perfect for such a range of reasons allowing companies to offer ice cream at an event or exhibition at the same time as promoting their own product. The unique experience is a great talking point for potential customers as well as a ‘holding point’ at exhibitions and events, as the customer enjoys the ice cream and discussions/ relationships can be built. The tubs used for Hilfiger were for a store grand opening in London and were so successful, they repeated the order a year later for its first anniversary.” The company even has the capability to create and produce bespoke ice cream flavours with several companies approaching it with wild and wonderful ideas over the years it has been able to make a reality. From Gin & Tonic Sorbet for a Casino, Lavender for a London based hotel, even producing 80 different flavours as part of the ‘Around the World in 80 Scoops’ campaign for Insure & Go. Flavours included Squid Ink Ripple (Japan), Tobacco (Cuba) and Fish with Lemon Grass Syrup (Vietnam). Rossi Ice Cream has recently been nominated for the ‘Pride of Essex’ award

by Essex Life Food & Drink Awards, which is evidence of the success the company has achieved. As the business continues to grow, so does its

online presence with its social media engagement steadily increasing and the launch of a brand new website due in October helping towards increasing brand awareness. The quality and appeal of Rossi Ice Cream simply cannot be under question. The name is spreading and with every mouthful of Rossi Ice Cream the customer base grows. The heart of the business may have started and remains in Essex, but as the company begins to expand and move forward, the whole of the UK may one day, have the chance to enjoy an original Rossi Ice Cream. D 35

Crisp from the orchard As the UK’s largest independently owned cider maker, Aston Manor Cider is dedicated to producing quality products from orchard to glass



stablished in February 1983, Aston Manor Cider, a familyowned business, is also the country’s second largest cider manufacturer overall. The company produces a diverse range of cider brands from four modern production facilities including three in the West Midlands; a fruit pressing and processing mill in Stourport-on-Severn, a production and packaging facility in Aston and a logistics and warehousing hub in Witton, plus a further production and packaging facility in Tiverton, Devon. Aston Manor also has orchards in Worcestershire and Herefordshire. Although 95 per cent of its ciders are currently sold in the UK, Aston Manor Cider enjoys sales in as many as 20 countries around the world and its global export presence continues to grow. “Being a family-owned business gives Aston Manor Cider the advantage of being able to plan for longer-term growth. We have greater control over

business decisions and are focused on sustainability,” reveals Managing Director, Gordon Johncox. “The company’s passion and dedication to making quality products and providing excellent customer service, coupled with the ambition to be recognised as the most capable and progressive cider company, is driven by the business owners and is shared by everyone within the organisation. The strong commitment to the success of the cider category and the future growth of the company filters down from the business owners to all our employees.” Indeed, throughout its history Aston Manor Cider has worked to further enhance the growth of the business and the development of its cider products. The company is presently undergoing a major investment plan that will enhance its production and processing facilities, including an investment of £3 million to increase capacity and capability. In total the investment plan is worth around £50 million over a decade.

Aston Manor Cider As part of this, in spring 2013 the business announced the planting of 1000 acres of additional orchards while also agreeing several 25-year contracts with its farming and growing partners. Furthermore, in order to support further growth in the company, Aston Manor Cider announced a multi-million pound deal to create an outstanding logistics facility in July 2014 at a new site in Witton, just three miles from its main production site. “We have invested heavily over the past four or five years in our manufacturing capability and capacity. As part of a significant investment programme, we have focused on enhancing our operations across our production sites to help us become more sustainable to support wider company growth. The new equipment and initiatives we’ve introduced this year alone will help reduce waste, save energy and will make us even more efficient,” Gordon says.

“Another significant investment that we are proud of this year is our extended relationship with the Rugby Football League and in England Rugby League, giving us a great platform for consumer engagement with our flagship cider, Kingstone Press.” The cider is now the principle partner of England Rugby League, an agreement that covers two major international tournaments, the Four Nations later this year and the World Cup in 2017.

Extensive portfolio Further to its flagship Kingstone Press brand, Aston Manor Cider takes pride in being the only producer that offers a high quality cider that meets the unique requirements of every consumer and occasion. Its extensive portfolio spans the breadth of the cider category from mainstream ciders through to premium brands, which are all available in a variety of different packaging formats. “Aston Manor Cider has made significant 37

Aston Manor Cider investments in new product development this year to enable us to manage our brand portfolio and expand into new areas. Premium cider is experiencing a surge in growth, thanks to the rising consumer interest in provenance and quality. This led to us putting increased investment into the premium end of our portfolio,” Gordon explains. “We have developed our craft cider range under the Friels First Press Vintage Cider (7.4 per cent abv) brand to include new packaging formats and flavour variants. Friels First Press Vintage is made in small batches with 100 per cent fresh apples from the first press of juice from a variety of dessert apples delivering a fantastically fruity, light-bodied yet full-flavoured craft cider. Great for consumers looking for an authentic cider, it is available in 20l bag-in-box, 500ml glass bottle and now a stylish 330ml can. A hops-infused variant has also been added to the range, offering a


unique and refreshing flavour profile.” In addition to its continued investment into new facilities and increasing its product portfolio, Aston Manor Cider was recently awarded an ‘AA’ rating at its Stourport cider mill and an AA* rating at both its production and packaging sites in Tiverton and Aston by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) meaning that all of its production locations now have the highest possible accreditations for quality of operations.

Print-Leeds Print-Leeds is a specialist printing house producing wet-glue labels, UV litho on plastics and digital print. The labels division prints wet glue labels – wraparound, square cut, punched and tube wrapped – which can be hot foil stamped or embossed. Printed using UV or conventional inks with a gloss or matt varnish, the labels are predominately for the beer, water and food industries. Print-Leeds expertise is unrivalled, as is the quality of its work, attention to detail and customer service. It believes in investing in new technology and as recently invested over £4m in new machinery, making it one of the most technically advanced printers in the UK.

While the cider market may have suffered in recent years, Aston Manor Cider continues to enjoy growing success and is set to look to new markets in the near future. “UK cider sales have fallen in the last two years and whilst we’re not immune to prevailing market conditions, Aston Manor is doing better than the category as a whole. Though cider has declined as a total category there continues to be opportunities for growth, especially within the premium cider sector which as a category is experiencing the strongest rate of growth,” Gordon concludes. “Whilst the drinks industry will remain very challenging, we anticipate that we will continue to outperform the market over the next 12 months. We’re pleased with how we have improved the mix of business we do and that we are able to invest to support the future success we expect to see at home and abroad.” D

Innovative Bites Ltd

The US of Ate

Innovative Bites Ltd is a leading supplier, distributor and wholesaler of confectionary and grocery products that specialises in the import and distribution of American food brands


ounded in 2008, American food wholesaler Innovative Bites has witnessed significant growth and established a deep-rooted culture of success based on winning products and industry-leading customer service. Discussing the progression of Innovative Bites from a company with a turnover of £100,000 in 2010 to an organisation with a group revenue of £55 million in 2015, Vishal Madhu, Founder and Managing Director of Innovative Bites Ltd, begins: “Although the business was incorporated in 2008, no trading happened until August 2010. We have come a long way since our inception as we began operations with one major customer before seeing a gap in the market for American food brands; since then the business has doubled year-on-year.”

He continues: “Of course American products have always been available in the UK, however because their place within the market was niche or high end, products were sold in places such as Selfridges at expensive prices. If you didn’t have the money you couldn’t enjoy these products, but we believed food shouldn’t be expensive and found a way to make American food affordable and sustainable for all customer bases. The first retailer we worked with was Amazon and we were selling 1,400 products to this retailer; from there we worked with Tesco, Waitrose, Morrison’s and Sainsbury’s to name a few. All of these stores have an American range that we are a major supplier of. We have made products such as Lucky Charms available to customers now for £5 instead of £10 when they first came to market and thus made these

fun, exciting items more accessible; this development drove the market up and resulted in Innovative Bites surpassing the turnover of competitors that have been in the business for the last 18 years.”

Diverse products Having rocked the American market with its low prices, consistency of products and distribution into the UK and Europe’s markets, the company imports over 700 containers a year that carry more than 1400 lines. Proud distributors of key core American brands such as Hostess, Warheads, Cookie Dough Bites, Boylan’s, Ortega, Mega Marshmallows, Herr’s and New York Style chips, Innovative Bites is able to meet the continued growth in demand for its confectionary products. Providing more detail on the diverse range of products available is the company’s website, which has divided 39


Innovative Bites Ltd Global Container Services Global Container Services are specialists in customs clearance, freight forwarding and international logistics solutions for the food market. Our experience, flexibility and knowledge, matched by our attentive personal service, ensures the smooth flow of imported and exported goods enabling you to concentrate on your core business. Our team of dedicated customs clearance professionals will tailor a solution to meet your needs – whatever its scale or complexity may be. With over 100 agents covering 49 countries, we have the local presence worldwide to expedite the movement of your goods in the quickest and most efficient way possible.

American foods into different segments; these include American breakfast, American soft drinks, American lip balm, American spreads, American snacks, American confectionary, American syrup/toppings, American general groceries and American desserts. Within the confectionary segment, the company offers products from major brands such as Butterfinger, Flipz, M&M’s, Goobers and Tootsie Roll.

Focus on innovation In addition to supplying customers with established American brands, Innovative Bites has also developed its own Mega Marshmallows product, available in sizes of 700 grams and 400 grams bags under the brand Baking Buddy. Aware that the development of its own brands will result in independence and stronger control over the progression of Innovative Bites, Vishal comments: “Should a major manufacturer in the US decide to not bring a product to the UK any more, that would be a big hit to the business; this isn’t something we want so we are focusing tremendously on ensuring we have the right product base to launch. One great thing about the US is that innovation is a big deal and it is also very good at launching new products; if we focus on that innovation and bring

Palletways London Palletways London, part of Palletways, Europe’s largest and fastest growing express palletised freight network, is the main logistics provider for Innovative Bites, delivering 7,500 pallets annually to shops, supermarkets, remote distribution centres and hotels. Innovative Bites benefits from Palletways’ industry-leading technology which enables them to track and trace all deliveries. Palletways London works with some of the UK’s finest food brands including Amigo Foods, L’Aquila, Sun & Seed, Tiana Fair Trade Organics and Wild Harvest. This experience means Palletways is well equipped to handle large swings in volume quickly and efficiently.

these products into Europe without GMO, artificial dye or colours, we would be providing customers with a much cleaner product, and who wouldn’t want that?” As growth in demand has continued for the supply of American snack and confectionary products, the company made the strategic decision to acquire Bonds of London, one of the UK’s oldest sweet businesses; a development that is the first step in the company’s long-term plan to become the UK’s leading confectionary supplier. “The acquisition of Bonds of London was a strategic step to grow the company’s turnover,” says Vishal. “We have grown our business over the last few years, but a lot of the products we sell are produced by the same manufacturers such as Kellogg’s, Mars and Nestle. Furthermore, some manufacturers are non-existent in Europe, but if they see this market develop these manufacturers will see opportunities to expand here. We need to sustain our business in the long-run and to do this we will change the direction of the business from trading to a business of our own brand; this is the drive behind the acquisition of Bonds of London.”

Powerful combination With the acquisition complete in April 2016, Innovative Bites benefits from the lack of common customers between the two firms, which will enable the company to significantly expand its customer base. “We have cross trade now, which makes us a stronger operator with connections to 17,200 retail points across the UK and Ireland; the synergies are huge for the

business,” highlights Vishal. “There is still a lot of ongoing integration between the two companies however we are working together to streamline processes to bring the synergies together so we aren’t distributing from two hubs. To ensure we have the level of space we need to have all operations under one roof we have acquired a new 105,000 square foot site in Dunstable; this complements our 46,000 square foot site in Nottingham where we develop packaging and create bespoke products and packaging for items such as confectionary. With this investment we now have more than 150,000 square feet of space to grow from.” With the company targeting increased turnovers in 2016 and beyond, these new purpose-built premises will enable the business to operate more efficiently and improve its offering to customers – not only with products from America, but also from the UK. Having created a powerful combination of products, Innovative Bites is preparing for the next phase in its already highly successful history. “The top priority for us is to ensure the integration phase is completed correctly and that we have the right people in place for this development to be completed smoothly. Once this phase is over we have a number of options for continued growth; we could acquire another business or expand our own product line. Why just focus on confectionary? We could do snacks or soft drinks, we could do anything as long as we have the right thought process behind our decisions,” concludes Vishal. D 41

Mooving with the times


Multi-award winning family orientated business Cotteswold Dairy has achieved recognition in the industry for its high quality dairy and other fresh produce


ounded in 1938 by Harry Workman, Cotteswold Dairy Ltd began operating with a 30-gallon a day milk round. From these humble beginnings the company grew over the years thanks to Harry’s commitment to high quality, customer service and family values. Today in its third generation, Cotteswold Dairy continues to have these values at the forefront of all business activities, a tradition that has resulted in a thriving, independent family orientated and owned dairy that processes approximately 100 million litres per annum. “Before my grandfather started at the dairy he worked for the International Stores, where there was a policy for real service to customers and high quality products. He built the company on what he learnt there as well as family values, which is something we have continued over the years and view as a major strength. We are still very much traditional and focus on providing what our customer’s require, whether that is in a specific format for example,” says George Workman, Managing Director. Providing an overview of the company’s portfolio, George continues: “Today our product range includes various liquid milks and cream; these include conventional milk and Channel Island milk, which is from the Jersey and

Guernsey breed of cow, that is richer in flavour and has a lovely golden colour as carotene is naturally in it. We also process organic milk, which is produced on farms without the use of artificial fertilisers or sprays, Welsh milk from Welsh farms and have just launched a free range milk which carries the Pasture Promise logo; which means it only comes from dairy farms where cows are given the freedom to graze in fields for at least six months of the year. In addition we also offer specialist dairy products such as clotted cream, crème fraîche and Greek style yogurts, all made from the Jersey milk under our Upper Norton Jersey brand.’’ This focus on quality has not gone unnoticed in the industry, with Cotteswold Dairy receiving a number of awards over recent years. In 2016 the company won multiple Great Taste Awards for its products, with the Upper Norton Greek Style Yogurt being awarded the prestigious three star Award, while the Upper Norton Clotted Cream and free range whole milk were awarded one star. Key to delivering high quality products is the company’s commitment to sustainability, which includes working with 50 farmers who operate to the Red Tractor Farm Assurance scheme. Representing quality food that can be trusted, the Red Tractor

Cotteswold Dairy logo ensures strict governance when it comes to regulations for food safety and traceability, animal welfare and environmental protection. “We also seek to improve and meet targets on recycling and reducing our carbon footprint,” says George. “We still provide a doorstep delivery servicewhereby a glass bottle will do on average 25 to 30 delivery trips, the majority of which is delivered on environmentally friendly electric milk floats; this vehicle was way before its time and was one of the pioneers of electric vehicles.” Complementing Cotteswold Dairy’s headquarters are its three depots that have been set up in order to get products to a wider range of customers. The North Wales depot supplies Welsh milk packed under the Dragon brand; The Shrewsbury depot serves mid Wales with the Dragon brand as well as Shropshire and the surrounding area with its Cotteswold milk and products;

the Cheltenham depot, is dedicated to the doorstep delivery service. Cotteswold Dairy provides multi sector coverage to Doorstep, Bottle milk Buyers, Foodservice, Retail and Wholesale. Its Tewkesbury site provides daily deliveries, serving an 180 mile radius. In addition to dairy products, the company also offers customers an extensive range of other products such as fruit juices, bottled waters, and breads.

While business remains positive, George says Cotteswold Dairy is keen to remain at the forefront of the dairy industry by moving forward with a 15 year masterplan of its eight acre site: “There are seven stages of which we have just completed the first which is the creation of a new lorry park that adjoins our site. The next stage is to produce a cold store extension and other facilities which will free up additional production space. Once the first two stages are complete we will be able to double our current capacity. “We are looking to continuously improve what we are doing by becoming more efficient and lean while also endorsing our quality, service and family values. Over the coming years we will also be looking at improving the products and services we provide while also seeking opportunities to expand our presence into new sectors,” George concludes. D 43

FoodChain The business of food and drink

Schofield Publishing Ltd

10 Cringleford Business Centre Intwood Road l Cringleford l Norwich l NR4 6AU T: +44 (0)1603 274130 | F: +44 (0)1603 274131 Editor Libbie Hammond Sales Director Joe Woolsgrove Sales Rob Wagner

FoodChain Issue 118 October 2016  

The latest edition of FoodChain

FoodChain Issue 118 October 2016  

The latest edition of FoodChain