FoodChain Issue 123 March 2017

Page 1

FoodChain Issue 123 l MARCH 2017

The business of food and drink


brands the

Asahi UK’s strategies for developing its range of Super Premium brands are built on a genuine passion for beer

Industry News l

Protected status UK companies and the impact of Brexit on the European Protected Food Name Scheme


Maxwell’s Burger Cheesebomb is available for a limited time New healthier chocolate spread launched onto market

Marco Pierre White’s Plymouth steakhouse location due to open


Mobile & social CRM solutions are becoming more intuitive and easier to integrate thanks to new approaches

MUNT_FOOD_INGREDIENTS_A4_AD.qxp_Layout 1 15/07/2016 09:52 Page 1


Best Food & Drink Industry AD project

WINNER MUNTONS Additional Notes: The judges felt this was a very strong category. Muntons' entry was a compelling, clear submission with commercial logic and technical and operational implementation.

Muntons are an international malt and malted ingredients company supplying a wide range of ingredients - malt flours, extracts, kibbled and flaked grains and band & spray dried extracts - to the food, confectionery and drinks sectors. renowned for their clean label attributes, Muntons malted ingredients bring benefits to some of the world’s leading food and drink brands. when Muntons first embarked on its own green initiative (called ‘practical sustainability’) our modest aim was to reduce the company’s carbon impact to the benefit of our business, the industry and, of course, to do our bit for the planet. the initiative included a robust supply chain carbon footprint reduction analysis that has led the company to invest £15m in energy efficient technology to date.

little did we know, five years on, that our efforts would be rewarded by seeing a significant reduction in environmental impact and substantial energy and cost savings. the practical sustainability programme has enhanced our business and helped to establish a benchmark within the food industry. Muntons new ad plant at the stowmarket maltings is our latest innovation in the company’s commitment towards a greener, more sustainable future.

Measurable successes from our Practical Sustainability programme include:

water A reduction in

consumption by



Waste going to


M u n t o n s p lc , c e d a r s M a lt i n g s , s t o w M a r k e t, s u f f o l k , i p 1 4 2 a g

01449 618300

Leading our industry to identify CARBON SAVINGS of up to


w w w. m u n t o n s . c o m

FoodChain ISSUE 123 L MARCH 2017



Editor’s Welcome

brands the

Asahi UK’s strategies for developing its range of Super Premium brands are built on a genuine passion for beer

Asahi UK

Industry News L Maxwell’s

Protected status UK companies and the impact of Brexit on the European Protected Food Name Scheme

Burger Cheesebomb is available for a limited time

L New

healthier chocolate spread launched onto market

L Marco

Pierre White’s Plymouth steakhouse location due to open

Mobile & social CRM solutions are becoming more intuitive and easier to integrate thanks to new approaches

Chairman Andrew Schofield Editor Libbie Hammond

Ultimate burger?

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


aving only recently become a convert to Five Guys (late to the party I know) I now seem to be on the lookout for the best burgers and the news story on page 7 certainly caught my eye! If any of FoodChain’s readers have tried the

Burger Cheesebomb I would certainly like to hear about it – it’s a limited edition so get in quickly if you want to sample it. In fact this issue is packed with delicious stories – from the products we were lucky enough to sample in the Taste Test to the coffee, beer, fruit, catering and hotel menus and biscuits that are featured in our profiles. It’s always a pleasure to put together a print issue of FoodChain – if you would like your products or your story shared in our pages, please do get in touch.

Follow us at:


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

© 2017 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 4 22 24 10

14 Features Customer service Going mobile, turning social


The food and beverage industry is constantly evolving and the CRM solutions of the future will evolve in sync

Allergies Compliance and communication



Tasneem Backhouse looks at some trends coming this year, on which food manufacturers and retailers can capitalise


Post Brexit there needs to be negotiation to ensure that European Food Name Scheme continues to provide its important protection

Packaging Better together


RFID The real benefits


In industrial automation, control and data acquisition systems, RFID has the potential to become a hugely widespread and useful technology


Gwyn Jones highlights the problem of antimicrobial resistance – data shows that UK farmers and vets are already implementing change


The Internet of Things has the potential to transform not only individual businesses but also the entire food and beverage manufacturing industry


Martin Leeming believes that the time is right for the industry to put aside the plastic vs corrugate debate and consider hybrid solutions

Brexit Protected status


Food waste The waste factor Is it possible to turn food waste into something good? Charles Reilly examines the issue

Predictions for 2017 Recipe for success

Collaboration Turbo-charged collaboration


As we enter the New Year, John Lash thinks it’s the perfect time to review processes and consider ‘sensing demand’

How can restaurants approach legislation and their responsibilities regarding allergen monitoring? Andy Tyson reports

Agricultural research The right response

Supply chain Good sense


7 / 13

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

Taste Test

17 / 21

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


47 59

67 Profiles

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

IFE Exhibiton


KK Fine Foods


Asahi UK


Bright Blue Foods


Fond Doux Plantation & Resort


Magic Rock Brewing Co Ltd


Heritage Portfolio




Innis & Gunn


Fazlani Exports Pvt Ltd




Sun International


Macdonald Hotels






Bidvest Foodservice




Linda Lewis Kitchens


Murree Brewery


Starwood Hotel and Resorts


Thomas Hardy


MRS Packaging


London Stock Exchange Group


Roussas Dairy


Lincoln & York




Catala Group


Thai Leisure Group


WIV Wein International


PTC Germany GmbH



Going mobile, turning social Mobile and social features are increasing the potential of Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Solutions are becoming more intuitive and easier to integrate. Matt Keenan explains how the food and beverage industry could benefit


Customer Service


he modern business environment would be inconceivable without Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Software solutions that analyse and improve the interactions between a company and its customers have become a core part of many companies’ day-to-day operations. Worldwide, businesses are spending $12 billion each year on such solutions, says Gartner – clearly indicating how widely used CRM has become. Food and beverage is one of the UK’s fastest moving, most dynamic industries: market trends can change rapidly, and the desires and tastes of customers can be difficult to predict. To stay ahead of the game, companies need to adapt to trends and changes with great speed and agility. Data collection, aggregation and analysis are crucial. This can be a real challenge, however. If the right tools and processes are not in place, it can be difficult for companies in the sector to capture, manage, and quickly resolve customer service and support requests. Valuable data can get lost. Insights might not get shared. As a result, both productivity and efficiency can suffer. 5

Customer Service CRM solutions have been designed to store data in a central, accessible place – helping companies to reduce the amount of time it takes to win business, improve marketing efforts, and create stronger, more data-driven relationships, closely connecting food and beverage companies with their customers. This is the case even more if you take into account how much the functionality of CRM solutions has widened, recently. In a hyper-connected world, CRM is acquiring new features, with two trends standing out in particular: CRM is going mobile, and CRM is turning social. Both these trends are likely to make CRM solutions even more attractive to the food and beverage industry. The mobile features that are being integrated by a growing number of CRM providers right now are allowing users to use their solutions on the go – on phones, tablets, or other devices. The technology enables a more connected workforce – more readily available to customers as well as available to sales management and sales support teams. Mobile features provide users with access to real-time data and content. When, in the past, sales representatives often had to get back to customers or prospects about questions they were asked – now a few clicks can be sufficient to access pricing information or product availability. Additionally, embedded within mobile CRM solutions, real time analytics can be used to improve user acquisition strategies. Campaigns become much more targeted, messages can be fine-tuned. Push and in-app notifications are possible. Dashboards present the right information – in the most useful way.

On the move Mobile CRM solutions also help to enable delivery of real time content as well. Users no longer need to rely on static, old-fashioned slideshows, which can easily go out of date and are difficult to update. Today’s mobile CRM solutions allow for up-to-date customer purchase history or marketing collateral to get pulled up on phones and tablets instead. Based strictly on information that’s relevant to the customer that a user is engaging with, mobile CRM


presentations allow for a much more intimate and personalised way of communicating. Modern mobile solutions can also register actions taken during a meeting – providing valuable data for follow-ups, or an analysis of what has worked and what hasn’t worked. If location tracking is enabled, real efficiencies for the user can be gained by mapping optimal routes to customer and prospect locations. Recent years have seen a blurring of the lines between personal and professional personas and social networks have accelerated this trend. The deep integration of CRM solutions with social media is opening new possibilities to determine important relationships, find new contacts, and identify buying signals. Social CRM solutions can connect seamlessly into social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn where it’s easier than ever to gather hints on customer wishes and desires. With a modern CRM solution, such data can feed directly into your customer and contact profiles and create a richer overall profile with data regarding preferences, interests, behaviour and affiliations. These enhanced profiles enable deeper levels of user segmentation, which opens ways for much more personalised interactions. One of the newest, most exciting prospects of social CRM features is demographic profiling and prediction. Similar to consumer websites that showcase ‘Customers who have bought this, have also looked at’ features on the web, profiling and prediction functions open up new possibilities for CRM users by prioritising leads and opportunities based upon successes from similar customers. Social CRM tools provide a deeper customer profile and enable more effective predictions. The combination of mobile and social features will provide users with CRM solutions that are not just a tool or software program, but work much more like a mentor or coach. In the recent past, the user-friendliness of CRM solutions has been perceived as inferior when compared to the technologies of everyday consumer life, such as apps on smart phones. With mobile and social

features coming into their own, this perception is changing rapidly. As they become more and more intuitive, CRM solutions will become more adopted and integrated in unforeseen ways.

More user-friendly More intuitive and user-friendly solutions eliminate the need for lengthy training cycles to learn how to use a system. Extensive manuals or training course are increasingly becoming obsolete. This also means that employees who are not yet using a CRM system will be much more inclined to try. When, in the past, solutions could be seen as difficult-to-use specialist tools for a selected elite, they now have the potential to become company-wide platforms for more efficient interaction between customers and the company, between off-site staff and those that are based in the office, and between departments. The food and beverage industry is constantly evolving and the CRM solutions of the future will evolve in sync. Companies that employ such solutions effectively will be able to move faster, adapt quicker, and respond to changing customer needs and behaviours not merely as they slowly filter through complicated, slow, nonmobile systems – but as they happen. As a result, companies will be able to make much more proactive and impactful business decisions and respond to consumer needs in a way that will allow them to stay ahead of the game. D Matt Keenan is Senior Vice President of CRM at Aptean. Aptean is a leading provider of mission critical enterprise software solutions. It builds and acquires industry-focused solutions to support the evolving operational needs of its customers. Its solutions help nearly 6500 organisations stay at the forefront of their industries by enabling them to operate more efficiently, thereby ensuring higher customer satisfaction.

IndustryNews Ultimate burger shake combo

Thirst quencher

Maxwell’s Bar and Grill in Covent Garden has two brand new specials running until the end of March – both of which should attract some attention! The Maxwell’s Burger Cheesebomb is a 6oz prime beef patty with crispy bacon, shredded lettuce, red onion, & secret sauce covered in hot melted cheddar cheese served with fries. The Nutella Freakshake was launched to celebrate World Nutella Day on 5th Feb, but will remain on the menu after that date. The rich and creamy hot chocolate shake is topped with gooey marshmallows, whipped cream and a fresh chocolate chip muffin oozing with warm Nutella. The Nutella Freakshake appears alongside menu regulars including Salted Caramel Donut freakshake, Oreo Cookie Freakshake, Freakshake from Mars and the Cookie Monster Freakshake.

Sophisticated spread Founder of Wyldsson, Dave McGeady, always loved hazelnut and cocoa spreads, and used to eat jars of the stuff until he took a look at the label and saw how much sugar, palm oil and other nasties are in so many of these products. Dave commented: “It got me thinking… wouldn’t it be great if there was a Hazelnut & Cocoa spread WITHOUT all that refined sugar and palm oil? What if you could create a Hazelnut & Cocoa spread that had more hazelnuts

in it? And instead of all that refined sugar, how about using something a lot more natural like dates instead?” This thinking led to the creation of his new product – a palm oil free, vegan and higher protein Hazelnut and Cocoa Spread. The spread features the delicious taste of Organic Peruvian Cocoa combined with Roasted Hazelnuts, with a subtle sweetness provided by little chunks of dates and tiny bits of cashews.

PHROOTI Fruit-Infused Water is a delicious, full-flavoured range of all-natural drinks that is set to bring something totally new to the soft drinks aisle. PHROOTI (pronounced ‘fruity’) uses real-fruit, fresh filtered water and just a touch of lemon juice and natural flavouring (0.1 per cent) to create an all-natural thirst-quencher that is not only a delicious and refreshing drink, but also an incredibly healthy way to hydrate. PHROOTI uses a unique process, which locks in all the fruity flavour and kicks out all the sugar, making it free from all sugars, including naturally occurring sugars. “As a consumer of soft drinks I’d become fed up with the options out there which were all: sugar and sweetener-laden, so-called ‘low sugar’ drinks,” explains Jerôme Jacob, founder of the Sheffield-based brand. “I felt the market needed something new that was delicious, natural and fruity, which is why I’ve invented PHROOTI. This is a totally unique range of drinks that are zero sugars and taste delicious.” Jerôme, 25, a former marketing and advertising manager who has won three Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, is excited about the launch. “The market is crying out for a product like this. We’re looking to satisfy those consumers who want a healthier alternative that is still delicious and PHROOTI provides just that.” Perfect for the on-the-go market and premium outlets, PHROOTI comes in glass bottles and is available in two delicious flavours: Raspberries & Strawberries and Blackcurrants, Blackberries & Blueberries. 7

Compliance and communication It is now two years since the EU Food Information for Consumers Regulation (FIC) came into force. Andy Tyson discusses how restaurants can approach the legislation and their responsibilities regarding allergen monitoring and recording in the supply chain 8


ecember 2014 will be remembered by many operators as the time their administrative responsibilities escalated, as new regulations came into force, requiring declaration of the use of 14 major allergens – including fish, crustaceans, nuts, milk, mustard and lupin seeds. Consumers are able to ask at any point if food contains allergens and staff have to be able to answer, not always the easiest task when you consider the amount of suppliers involved in any one foodservice operation. At the time, concerns were raised over the amount of supplier information to be collected, organised and communicated but now, with the law well established, have operators got to grips with the potential issues thrown up by their supply chains?

Andy Tyson

Recent figures suggest not, with over 23,000 UK businesses given food standards warnings last year, an increase of 59 per cent on 2013/141. Our latest independent research2 also shows that 24 months on, 68 per cent of foodservice operators surveyed still feel exposed to non-compliance with allergen legislation3. The main problem, it seems, is that whilst restauranteurs can take charge of their own internal procedures to ensure allergen controls, best practice in the supply chain is presenting a different challenge entirely. The amount of information to be monitored is increasing in scope and complexity, due to a growing number of suppliers. Surveys are needed to establish supplier allergen control plans, cleaning programmes and

Allergies hours. Suppliers complete tailored, comprehensive questionnaires to collect what restauranteurs and their customers need to know. By ensuring transparency in terms of suppliers’ allergen processes, operators are able to identify any suppliers that don’t have watertight systems in place. Whilst the future of allergen legislation is not yet known – particularly regarding the impact that leaving the EU will have - it is sensible to expect that businesses must remain informed, vigilant and organised when it comes to supplier information. Two years on from the introduction of the regulation, it seems that many restaurant owners still have a task ahead of them, but one that can be made significantly easier by the right technology. Never has the phrase fail to prepare, prepare to fail been more relevant, and putting the correct systems in place now to monitor allergens in the supply chain is critical if businesses are to be ready for the demands of today as well as those of the future. D

protocols, the range of allergenic products they produce and allergen training records for employees. Many feel the volume of data to be examined and analysed is overwhelming. All restaurant types, including takeaways, have to be able to tell consumers on demand if the food they serve contains any of the major allergens. This is quite a task as it requires examining a raft of supplier information and then training staff in how to communicate this to customers. It is most likely due to this complexity that when The Royal Society of Public Health conducted a study, it reported that over half of the venues questioned couldn’t tell them if one of the major allergens was present in a meal4. Our own research has found that only 27 per cent of operators hold

supplier information readily available on specialist software, meanwhile 60 per cent use an outdated paper or spreadsheet-based method. A reliance on paper-based systems can be a huge concern as they are often harder to update and manage when compared to software-based systems. This means businesses could be leaving themselves open to reputation damage, fines and, in extreme cases, criminal charges for non-compliance. Businesses can look to specialist software to ensure that it has the appropriate tools in place to do the job. Central data monitoring solutions such as Supplier Information Management software (SIM), are specifically designed to improve the way supplier-related risks are managed, as well as cutting down on man-

1 - news/2016/11/21/23000-uk-businessesgiven-food-standards-warnings-after-eu-aller/ 21 November 2016 2- Trade Interchange Foodservice Supplier Management Report Autumn 2016 3 -Trade Interchange Foodservice Supplier Management Report Autumn 2016 4 - protecting-the-public-s-health/allergies.html

Andy Tyson is Co-Founder and Director of Trade Interchange, a supplier management technology provider. Trade Interchange’s ARCUS Supplier Management software enables collaboration across the business and supply base, to address Supplier and Contractual risk, Supplier Performance Management and eSourcing. Founded in the UK in 2000, Trade Interchange is a privately held company based in Teesside, supporting international clients, including leading brands such as Brakes, Sodexo, The Restaurant Group, Domino’s, Casual Dining Group, Pizza Express and Whitbread. 9

Recipe for success 2

Tasneem Backhouse offers the following insights and predictions for the food ingredient sector in 2017 10

017 looks as though it could be the year of alternative ingredients and flavours, as demand for foods from exotic global regions become increasingly mainstream. Additionally, flours such as chickpea are set to become more prevalent in baked goods as a substitute to traditional wheat flours, tapping into the trend for free-from food products. Consumers of all ages are becoming increasingly experimental with new dishes and research from Mintel shows that 60 per cent of 16 to 34 year olds enjoy trying new cooking trends, ingredients, and products.

New food regions Consumers’ love for world flavours is continuing to grow, with the demand for international cuisine predicted to increase by 20.3 per cent by 2017. The multicultural diversity of the UK population is bringing emerging cuisines to the high street according to the Bakers Federation, creating demand for retailers and food manufacturers to provide a wider variety of international foods. This has resulted in lesser-known cuisines being brought into the spotlight. We have seen an increase in demand for spice blends and

Predictions for 2017 Mexican dishes, such as fajitas and quesadillas, are firm favourites but there’s increasingly more options for consumers, such as kits for Thai and Goan curries, Moroccan tagines, Spanish tapas and BBQ marinades

• Indonesian fish curry powder - a tasty mix of cumin, fennel, chilli, star anise and fenugreek to create a delicious Indonesian fish curry The taste preferences of UK consumers are always evolving and we’re seeing a greater demand for herb and spice blends from more unusual and exotic places around the world. For example, Asian cuisine remains a popular choice, but there are alternative regions with new flavour combinations coming to the fore, such as from Korea and Indonesia. The Caribbean is also receiving more attention from consumers, and is a melting pot of cultures and cuisines with influences from Africa, Amerindia, Europe, East India, Arab nations and China. 2017 is set to be a successful year for manufacturers who embrace these trends and develop dishes, meal kits, marinades and spice blends for consumers to experiment with in foodservice outlets and in their own homes.

ingredients for Indonesian, Korean, and Cuban dishes and I predict this will continue in 2017. Leading favourites from 2016 are three of our newly launched blends, including: • Cuban sazon complete seasoning - a blend of garlic, oregano, black pepper with cumin and a drop of lime, used to create authentic Cuban styled meat, fish and vegetable dishes • Korean BBQ seasoning - a savoury soy sauce mix with ginger, chilli, and sesame seeds, used to coat pork ribs or stir fry with chicken to recreate the taste of the Orient

the food group and the need for food manufacturers to include pulses in their formulations and recipes. Mintel also reports that sales of free-from foods have increased by 13 per cent since 2015, as consumers are adopting diets such as gluten-free for the health benefits, not just medical reasons. For food manufacturers looking to tap into this market and rebuild a healthy reputation for products such as bread, pulses are the ideal solution. Chickpea flour is a wheat flour substitute that has risen into the limelight this year and we predict it will continue in 2017. A nutritious alternative to wheat flour, chickpea flour is gluten-free and high in protein, containing double the amount that’s in wheat flour, and it’s also high in iron and fibre. Adding a nutty taste to bread recipes, the ingredient also binds well in recipes and creates a consistent texture, which according to Epicurious, can be a struggle in gluten-free baking. Using alternative ingredients, such as chickpea flour, in breads can raise a product’s health credentials and enhance its appeal. I expect a lot more alternative flours to be incorporated into gluten-free products in the bakery sector and across wider food products.

Spicing up soups and meal kits

Chickpeas rule the roost The United Nations named 2016 the year of the pulse (according to Mintel), highlighting the nutritional benefits of

Soup’s healthy image has made it a mainstay in the British food market all year round (source: Mintel), but there are opportunities to further its popularity. With spices regularly receiving positive media coverage, spicing up traditional soup recipes with ingredient blends can help to amplify the products appeal and create distinctive and delicious new flavours. Our key blends for spicing up soup recipes in 2017 include: 11

Predictions for 2017 • Aromatic Japanese style noodle seasoning – used to put a ramen-style twist on traditional soup recipes • Paprika, garlic and lemon blend - for a tasty, authentic Spanish style soup • Jamaican jerk seasoning – best used to create and spice up West Indian chicken soup • Spicy vegetable soup seasoning – ideal for winter favourites, such as potato and kale soup Home cooking and entertaining is set to remain popular in 2017 with consumers looking to create impressive and complex dishes at home. A report from Mintel shows that there is a strong interest in ethnic spice kits that allow consumers to experiment with the scratch-cooking trend and cook their favourite international dishes. We predict that meal kits will continue to grow in popularity next year, especially among cuisines from different global regions. We’ve seen an increase in spice blends


BBQ marinades, offering small quantities of ingredients to compile home-cooked meals. Food manufacturers and retailers can capitalise on these developing trends to ensure they are meeting demand and making products more readily available, increasing convenience and choice for consumers in 2017 and beyond. D for soup recipes with international twists and expect to see more food manufacturers expand their ranges and become more experimental with blends from across the globe. Meal kits are also a huge seller and while they remain popular in the retail market, there is an emergence of popular home delivery services. Mexican dishes, such as fajitas and quesadillas, are firm favourites but there’s increasingly more options for consumers, such as kits for Thai and Goan curries, Moroccan tagines, Spanish tapas and

Tasneem Backhouse is joint managing director at EHL Ingredients. EHL Ingredients is an importer, blender and packer of food ingredients from around the world. From herbs and spices, to beans and pulses and dried fruit, it supplies over 300 food ingredients to all areas of the food industry, and boasts a 200-strong organic range as well as over 70 ingredient blends.

IndustryNews Top tankers

Food on the go

Abbey Logistics Group has acquired the complete share capital of Armet Logistics Ltd, one of the leading bulk liquid food transport companies in the UK. This significant development follows an exciting 12 months for Abbey Logistics; the Liverpool based specialist logistics provider, which have seen the company complete a management buyout in August 2016 backed by NorthEdge Capital, and the commencement of a number of large new contracts. Abbey has also brought several highly experienced industry professionals into the business, demonstrating its commitment to growth and the services it provides to its customers. Steve Granite, Abbey Logistics Group CEO said: “This acquisition is an ideal fit for Abbey – we share a common capability and passion to develop best-in-class, effective logistics solutions, and both companies also share the same positive, can-do spirit that has enabled us to grow and develop strong reputations in our sectors. I know that by bringing Armet into Abbey, the culture within the Group will be strengthened even further and enable us to take problems away from our customers. “By combining our people, fleets, depot networks and services we will create the ability to deliver an unrivalled customer experience that is focused on compliance, flexibility and outstanding customer service.” The combined businesses will generate an expected turnover in excess of £70m in 2017/18 and employ circa 700 people in the UK with plans to grow to over £100m in revenues by 2021, creating a further 300 jobs.

Compass Group UK & Ireland, the UK’s largest food and support services firm, has launched its first bespoke chilled food to go range, ‘Chop Chop’, which includes sandwiches, salads, snack pots, paninis, toasties and fruit pots. The range was developed by Compass’ inhouse food development and nutrition team in partnership with high profile chefs, as well as supplier Adelie. Currently being launched across the business, Chop Chop will be available in hospitals, universities and retail outlets. The range includes around 150 items and will be delivered to over 700 UK sites, with expected sales growth of ten per cent year on year. The range includes a selection of delicious sandwiches with classics like Egg and Cress and BLT sitting alongside more adventurous flavours like Chicken and Artichoke or Goat’s cheese and mixed pepper on Spianata bread. Several new suppliers have been enlisted to ensure the best quality of ingredients, such as the use of thicker bread and bacon that has reduced salt for an authentic smoky flavour. Louise Pilkington, Marketing Director, Compass Group UK & Ireland, said: “Our new food to go range is based on extensive research into the food to go market and consumer needs. As lunchbreaks continue to get shorter sandwiches are seen as a quick and healthy option, so it was important to us to create a high quality range which can make lunchtime something to look forward to.”

New venue for MPW Celebrity chef and restaurateur Marco Pierre White (MPW) is bringing his nationally renowned Steakhouse Bar & Grill to Plymouth. On schedule to open in March 2017, the new restaurant is located on the top floor of the Holiday Inn Plymouth on Armada Way, which is soon to be rebranded to a Crowne Plaza. The Steakhouse Bar & Grill menu will be exclusively curated by Marco himself.

To suit all tastes, it typically includes a mix of childhood favourites and modern day delicacies – ranging from Welsh Rarebit and Chicken Kiev, to Baked Camembert and a selection of 28-day aged native breed steaks. Marco’s ethos is all about classic dishes, simply cooked using the best locally sourced ingredients. 13


status T Nicola McNeely and Jon Parker explain why EUPFN status is so important – and why it needs to be firmly on the negotiating agenda 14

he European Protected Food Name (EUPFN) Scheme provides important protection to many household brands across the UK. Post Brexit, there will be some negotiating to do to ensure that this protection is upheld – and that it continues to be available. Many regional food products around the UK and Europe are protected under the European Protected Food Name (EUPFN) Scheme. Introduced predominantly to protect food and drink products on a geographical or recipe basis, EUPFN provides significant

Nicola McNeely

benefits to those involved in the product – from manufacturing to distribution to selling. Post Brexit, this protection – both for existing designations and future ones – could be under threat. Essentially, all PFN legislation is EU regulated. EU regulations aren’t translated into EU law – EU member states simply apply these directives to our own laws, which is why they can differ country to country. If a complete Brexit means we divorce ourselves from the ability to use directives from EU law, it raises questions about the continuity of PFN.


The problem, then, in the current post-Brexit uncertainty, is the question of how a UK exit from the EU could affect products – both current and future – that have, or seek, PFN status

or sourcing of the raw materials can take place outside the geographical area. The product can be produced or processed or prepared in a specific area.

Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (TSG) The product is made to a traditional recipe or production method but is not linked to a specific area.

There are three types of EUPFN categories, and each one has a slightly different meaning – affording different protection and regulation:

Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) All aspects of production including sourcing of the materials, must take place in the geographical area. The product is produced, processed and prepared in a specific area.

Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) Some elements of production and/

Some of the UK’s most well known household brands are protected by EUPFN status. Stilton Blue Cheese or Cornish Clotted Cream, for example, benefit from PDO, as does Anglesey Sea Salt (Halen Môn). Similarly, Pembrokeshire Early Potatoes and Welsh beef and lamb are registered as PGI. It is important to uphold and continue EUPFN, in whatever capacity that may be post-Brexit, for two key reasons. Firstly, EUPFN status affords legal protection against misuse, imitation and fraud to any products covered by it. So, for example, a manufacturer wouldn’t be able to produce Stilton cheese – and market it as such – unless it complied with the specific regulations that the product is moderated by. From a financial perspective, this means that producers of an original product have a monopoly over it if they have a designated PFN. Parma ham, for example, or Champagne, can’t be labelled and sold under those names, unless they fulfil the necessary criteria. Secondly, EUPFN status underlines and highlights the provenance of certain products. For Wales, there is a huge benefit to the local tourism industry that goes hand in hand with the increased brand awareness of Welsh provenance as a result of EUPFN products.

Having worked on PFN’s in both the Welsh Development Agency and Welsh Government, Jon Parker (now Director of development company, CamNesa), explains his experience of how PFN’s have benefited Welsh produce: “Following the early designations for Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef to PGI status, we have continued to add to these with notable products such as Pembrokeshire Early Potatoes, Halen Môn – Anglesey Sea Salt and, most recently, Carmarthen Ham. There have been clear financial and promotional benefits to designation of Welsh products, as well as the protection afforded to product imitation.” When asked about the importance of Halen Môn’s PDO, co-founder Alison Lea-Wilson, said: “We sought PDO status for our product not only to provide protection to our sea salt and brand, but to underline the provenance of the product of which we are extremely proud. The uncertainty of Brexit means that while we still have our trade mark for Halen Môn, the retraction of PDO as a mark recognised in so many target markets would be huge loss.” Welsh Lamb and Beef PGI designations are important to the industry supply chain, both from a financial export perspective, and the prestige that association with fresh, local produce affords. Simon James, Managing Director at Edwards of Conwy, said: “We have used the PGI status of Welsh Lamb and Beef throughout our product range, within both our Conwy butchers shop and our retail product range. We’ve found that consumers have grown to recognise and understand the value of the status over the years and it is an important indicator of provenance for our products.” The problem, then, in the current post-Brexit uncertainty, is the question 15

Brexit of how a UK exit from the EU could affect products – both current and future – that have, or seek, PFN status. In Brexit talks, several things must be considered with regard to PFNs.

Intellectual property Nicola McNeely, a Partner at Capital Law, said: “Firstly, we need to think about those products that currently have existing PFN status. Under the current law, PFN status is infinite. The protection goes on indefinitely once it’s been granted by the EU, although it must be inspected at least once every three years by a nominated inspection body. How will this protection continue if the UK departs from the EU – or will/can designations be withdrawn? “Secondly, we need to consider the potential implications for future PFN products. As the UK is still part of the EU, those wishing to can still apply for PFN. But, as the process takes


four years to complete, many may be wondering if it is worth putting the money behind something that could be uncertain in the future. It will need to be decided to what extent will the UK be eligible to apply for PFN if it is no longer part of the EU. “Currently, the only PFN that has come from outside the EU is Colombian Coffee. This is an interesting example, and one that could be considered a benchmark for future UK based PFNs. Colombia and the EU have a reciprocal agreement with regard to the protection of products – which could be an interesting position for the UK to take post Brexit. However, in this case, the application took five years to go through, which suggests there would need to be some significant negotiation on both sides.” There are many benefits to PFN – for manufacturers, distributors and the local economies involved. We must work to

ensure that this protection and system is not lost on the UK’s exit from the EU. We need to ensure that PFN policy and regulation is not overlooked in Brexit negotiations, and that it remains at the forefront of discussion, given the high value of the commodities involved – both financially and provincially. While we may not yet have the answers on how to maintain this system (or develop an equivalent) post Brexit, we need to ensure that people continue to think about the value of the intellectual property they have held within their products – and the protections they have with, or without, Protected Geographical Status from the EU. D Nicola McNeely is an Intellectual Property expert at Capital Law and Jon Parker is a Director at CamNesa.

TasteTest Lose the hangover Given the popularity of Dry January and general encouragement for people to drink a bit less wine (!) Belvoir, known for its delicious range of all natural cordials and gently sparkling pressés has decided to turn its hand to developing a range of drinks to mimic the sensation of drinking wine but which don’t leave customers with the sore head. The result is Belvoir Shiraz without the hangover, Belvoir Chardonnay without the hangover and Belvoir Rosé without the hangover. They are also perfect, of course, for expecting or breastfeeding mums who like the idea of joining in the party but know they shouldn’t. And reassuringly, like all Belvoir’s drinks the Wine Alternatives are made using all natural ingredients, with no artificial additives, preservatives, colourings or sweeteners, and all three varieties contain no added sugar.

Chardonnay and the Shiraz’s intense colour and more grown-up flavour was highlighted as very appealing. The Rosé, which contains a carefully balanced blend of rosé, red and white grape juices with raspberry juice and a touch of orange blossom and jasmine extracts, was slightly sweet, but still crisp, and nicely fruity. As ever with Belvoir the bottle design was beautiful, and I love the idea of taking this to a dinner party as a wine alternative for the drivers. The Belvoir Rosé without the Hangover was the team’s favourite, although there was a strong argument for the

Sweet satisfaction Founded by two friends with a vision of creating a more ‘adult’ range of sweets, Jealous Sweets has gone from strength to strength. The company’s most recent launch is a brand-new snack-sized sample of its best-selling sweets in the form of Impulse Bags – perfect for on the go. The Jealous Sweets Impulse Bags are designed to offer a fun, fruity sugar fix and the range includes Grizzly Bears (gummy bears with a bite) and Tangy

Worms – for when you need to get a wriggle on!

These little bags of sweet treats really hit the spot in that quiet period in the afternoon when you really need a pick me up. “All the fruity flavours were good and intense and well balanced with sweetness, and the Tangy Worms had a real zingy sharpness and a great chewy texture,” said our tester.

Ravishing ravioli Dell’Ugo is now probably best known for its range of ravioli – featuring creative, tasty fillings and delicious pasta. All the ingredients of Dell’Ugo pasta are of the highest standard. The Altamura semolina, used to make the pasta, is regarded as the best in the world and the Free Range eggs come from Dell’Ugo’s own flock of chickens. The products in the premium range include Wild Mushroom & Truffle, Crab & Crayfish, Goats’ Cheese and Beetroot, or Roasted Pumpkin and Chorizo….ideal to serve to guests to whet the taste buds at any dinner party, but also a quick yet sophisticated option for a midweek evening meal. Our tester was very pleased to try the Crab & Crayfish ravioli, having already been a fan of Dell’Ugo’s Goat Cheese and Beetroot flavour and she wasn’t disappointed. “I served the ravioli with crushed peas and tomato and mascarpone sauce, in a meal I made for my mum so I wanted it to be special. It cooked so quickly (just four minutes) and exactly to the instructions on the box – perfection. The crab and crayfish flavours were distinctive and the filling was generous so there was a good balance of pasta to filling. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy these and highly recommend Dell’Ugo products, as I am always very impressed with their amazing quality.” 17

The right response I

Gwyn Jones explains why animal welfare must not suffer in the fight to tackle antibiotic resistance 18

f you hadn’t heard of ‘antimicrobial resistance’ – AMR – this time last year, you will have by now. While 2016 will be remembered for a number of reasons, it was also the year when many of us realised the scale of the challenge presented by this insidious problem that threatens to rewind human and animal medicine 100 years. On our current trajectory, it’s estimated that AMR, which includes bacterial, viral and fungal resistance to medication, will cause ten million deaths annually by 2050 with many arising from simple infections following routine operations. This is why the UK

Gwyn Jones

Government has placed antimicrobial resistance at the top of its risk register alongside terrorism and pandemic ’flu. Bacterial resistance to antibiotics, the antimicrobial we depend most upon and take for granted, is our biggest current concern. Despite sensationalist media reporting, there’s nothing ‘super’ about ‘resistant superbugs’. Resistance is a naturally occurring phenomenon that happens as bacteria defend themselves against attack. In fact, resistant bacteria millions of years old have been found in the ice caps and in the preserved bodies of woolly mammoths.

Agricultural research Farming’s role But humans have not been using antibiotics as carefully as we could have been, and our pipeline of new antibiotics has slowed down dramatically. Farming has played its part in AMR. Whilst resistance issues within the human population are largely developing through medical use, we cannot ignore the fact that almost 40 per cent of the UK’s antibiotic sales are used to treat disease and illness in UK livestock farming, where over a billion animals are reared and managed every year. A recent review of several Northern European studies suggests that farm animal use could be responsible for as few as one in every 370 human clinical cases, and that proper hygiene, preparation and cooking of meat before consumption will kill almost all bacteria, harmful or otherwise. But we must accept that in some cases, resistant bacteria and the mechanisms that cause resistance could pass from animal to human, as well as cause significant problems in the animals themselves. There’s no perfect solution to combat this. Resistant bacteria are found on large and small farms, organic and conventional, as well as in pets and horses. Bacteria resistant to certain antibiotics are being found where that antibiotic has never been used, and where use is being cut, we are still seeing a rise in some resistant bacteria. I don’t believe ‘antibiotic-free’ is the answer either. Recent moves

into this area by at least one UK processor are concerning because of the misleading message to consumers and the potential ramifications on animal welfare. Such labels imply other products, by default, contain antibiotics, when all use of antibiotics in farm animals in the UK is strictly regulated and withdrawal periods observed to avoid presence in meat and milk. Furthermore, what does ‘antibiotic-free’ actually mean? And in a system where no antibiotics are permitted at any stage, what happens to animals that need treatment? Is this delayed, potentially causing suffering, or are they euthanised or moved to another farm, flock or herd where antibiotics are permitted?

Responsible use The better solution is to share knowledge on how to upgrade facilities, improve immunity, lower disease burden and treat animals more effectively so that reduction, refinement and replacement of antibiotics in farming can be achieved without compromising welfare. This is what is meant by ‘responsible use’. Each farming sector will need to tackle this in a different way because they all face their own challenges and opportunities. Following the publication in May 2016 of the O’Neill report on Tackling Drug-Resistant Infections Globally, RUMA announced it was setting up a Targets Task Force to look at how meaningful and co-ordinated objectives could be developed for each 19

Agricultural research

Several months on and things are looking good. Recently published 2015 data shows UK farmers and vets were already responding to the challenge with a ten per cent fall in sales of antibiotics for food-producing animals

of our livestock sectors. We welcome that in its response to the report, the Government has supported this approach while laying down a broader challenge for British agriculture to reduce overall average antibiotic use by around a fifth by 2018. Several months on and things are looking good. Recently published 2015 data shows UK farmers and vets were already responding to the challenge with a ten per cent fall in sales of antibiotics for food-producing animals. The first Targets Task Force workshop has taken place, defining a coordinated strategy and aiming to meet every two months throughout 2017 to support each sector as it defines objectives.

Industry response Meanwhile the poultry meat industry has illustrated just what can be achieved, cutting overall antibiotic use by 43 per cent over the past five years and voluntarily banning many critically important antibiotics. The pig sector is also responding. In 2015, sales of antibiotics licensed only for pigs fell by 25 per cent, and those licensed for pigs & poultry by ten per cent. Having launched its Antibiotic Stewardship Programme earlier in 2016, records covering around a fifth of finished pigs have now been entered on to a new industry database designed to record antibiotic usage. With a more complicated structure and many smaller producers, the cattle and sheep sectors are looking at their antibiotic use, in particular the ‘hot spots’ for antibiotic use – for example, how to manage dairy cows during their ‘dry’ period so they don’t develop mastitis, and how E.coli infection can be avoided at lambing time. The best news is that all these changes are evidence-based and are being carefully implemented by


specialists. The farming and veterinary communities accept that they, alongside human medical communities, need to get to grips with this problem. But there is no room for knee-jerk reactions and marketing ploys where both animal welfare and human health are at stake. D

Gwyn Jones is chair of the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture (RUMA) Alliance. RUMA is an agricultural and food industry alliance which promotes responsible use of medicines in farm animals. Its 26 member organisations represent all stages of the animal food chain from ‘farm to fork’ that have an interest in the stewardship of animal medicines in agriculture. This reflects the importance of traceability, transparency and accountability at all points in the chain: from primary food production, through processing, manufacturing and retailing to the final consumer. RUMA has formulated comprehensive guidelines for the responsible use of antimicrobials in livestock production and its observers are Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD).

TasteTest Feeling fruity Sparkling Ice has added a Kiwi Strawberry combination to its range. At just 12 calories per bottle and containing zero sugar, Kiwi Strawberry is joining the existing trio of flavours: Black Raspberry, Orange Mango and Peach Nectarine. Combining real fruit juice, vitamins and antioxidants, the on-season beverage stands as the ultimate better-for-you alternative to the many calorific fizzy drink options consumers now prefer to avoid. Kiwi Strawberry, alongside the other three variants is available in leading supermarkets and high street retailers, including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Boots, Superdrug and WH Smith stores. It can also be purchased in a number of local independent retailers, priced at £1.49.

Super savoury “The Kiwi and Strawberry Sparkling Ice is lovely!” said our tester. “I love the slim bottle and the flavour is very authentic, I was dubious you could actually capture a kiwi fruit in a drink but this is perfect. It also has a nice aftertaste which sometimes I find isn’t the case with fruity drinks. The last time I tried the Sparkling Ice I loved it and I had high hopes for the new flavour and was not disappointed. This was thoroughly enjoyable to drink – double thumbs up from me!”

Time for a beer? Seeing a gap in the market for a delicious, full-bodied alcohol free beer that really tastes as good as the real thing, St Peter’s Brewery has launched St Peter’s Without, a three-year project and a major investment for the craft brewery. Three years in the making, St Peter’s Without is a real, bona fide choice even for the most ardent beer drinker. It is brewed to the exact same standards as craft ales, but without the alcohol. It is completely different to than other alcohol-free and low alcohol drinks on the market, contains less alcohol than a glass of orange juice and is at least 25 per cent lower in calories than standard beer. “The time is right to launch St Peter’s Without,” says Steve Magnall, CEO of St Peter’s Brewery. “Pubs and bars are crying out for an excellent quality, fullbodied alcohol-free beer that drinkers will take seriously. Without really is a fantastic alternative.”

‘Marmitey’ while others found it to be very appealing in its intense maltiness. “This has a really good flavour and I find it more satisfying to drink as an alternative to a traditional alcoholic beer – soft options never really hit the mark for me, especially if I am driving but at a social occasion,” said our tester.

Yushoi Snapea rice sticks are a delicious baked savoury snack made using green peas and rice. Subtly seasoned in a range of mouth-watering flavours (including Soy & Balsamic Vinegar, Smoked Salt & Szechuan Pepper, Sweet Chilli & Lemon, Lightly Salted and new Coconut & Chilli) the baked snack boasts 95 calories or less per 21g serving. High in fibre and a source of protein, nut free and has no artificial colours, flavours or MSG, the range is also Vegetarian Society Approved and, with the exception of Coconut & Chilli, is suitable for vegans. All flavours in the range, apart from Smoked Salt & Szechuan Pepper, are also gluten free. Working with leading nutritionists, food technologists and health experts, Yushoi Snapea rice sticks has been developed to meet with the Government’s criteria to encourage better eating habits, make choices simpler and address concerns in relation to obesity throughout the UK.

“If someone had told me that a snack made of green peas and rice was going to be additively delicious, I wouldn’t have believed them, and yet here I am, stuffing these amazing morsels in like a starving castaway!” said our enthusiastic tester. “We love all the flavours but the new Coconut & Chilli was my favourite – just enough heat to be really tangy and flavoursome but with a tiny bit of sweetness from the coconut. I’ve been buying Yushoi from the supermarket ever since trying them!”

This product rather divided the Testers – some thought the smell was rather 21


collaboration W The impact of the Internet of Things and network-centred thinking for food manufacturers. By Mike Edgett 22

hen the term ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) started gaining greater awareness, at first glance it seemed like business as usual for food and beverage manufacturers. Food manufacturers have been monitoring, measuring and responding to manufacturing metrics throughout the plant as the core of quality control for decades. Data points such as oven temperatures, refrigeration timings, vat sizes and ingredient weights have been commonplace for years. But when applied to the entire supply chain, IoT has the potential to transform not only

Mike Edgett

an individual business but also the entire food and beverage manufacturing industry. As food companies continually reassess their readiness for meeting regulations and new compliance demands, one important aspect is collaboration with their vendors, partners and customers. Companies need to be able to demonstrate solid preventative procedures that manage metrics throughout the supply chain. Traceability is more than knowing where a product came from and where it went but also the parameters by which it was transported and stored.

Therefore, while the Internet of Things will undoubtedly impact many aspects of manufacturing, supply chain management and logistics, it could hold some of the greatest potential in delivering this collaboration as the technologies available increase, exponentially, the amount of information available to manufacturers and supply chain partners. Scanners, barcodes and GPS tracking devices are already being used to monitor the movement of goods in the warehouse and on trucks to customers. A recent survey indicated that 35 per cent of manufacturers currently collect and use data generated by smart devices to enhance manufacturing/ operating processes, and an additional 17 per cent plan to do so in the next three years. This opens up the possibility of the goods themselves being a source of collaboration, rather than just the people or organisations associated with those goods. Automated tracking reduces the risk of human error and makes the associated decision making processes quicker. In the case of global supply chains for food manufacture, this can deliver substantial competitive advantage. And these moments of collaboration are no longer limited to the meeting room or the boardroom. The continued adoption of mobility is changing some of the core capabilities of IoT. Manufacturing leaders can’t be tethered to their offices, desk and PCs. They walk the plant floor. They make decisions onsite, in the heart of the operation. They need 24/7 access to critical data and systems from remote locations throughout the supply chain. IoT can deliver this data – and analysis – direct to the decision makers.

The barriers to progress There are of course, some barriers to delivering this level of collaboration. While the technology has improved and the cost has decreased to collect data in a manufacturing plant and beyond, the data is often underutilised. The value of IoT can only be achieved by eliminating silos and getting disparate systems (or indeed, departments) to communicate.


Food and beverage manufacturers, like every other business, exist within a sophisticated network of partners, suppliers, customers and stakeholders. Success is dependent on how those relationships are managed and the collaboration that results After all, data is meaningless if it is stored in silos and if it lacks the full dimension of context. With real-time access available to easily monitor the details of the complete manufacturing operation – within the four walls and beyond – a company can begin to see real value. Interoperability is the key word here, though, it is more than simple integration. Data must be able to be consumed in context and used for event triggers and actions. This must be accompanied by a change in culture that values collaboration and delivers the visibility to see how each partner contributes the end result.

The rise of the network If all this suggests a dethroning of the idea that everything needed for collaboration is within a company, then that is precisely because that is what is happening. In the modern world, upwards of 80 per cent of the data a company needs to function and grown is outside of that company. Food and beverage manufacturers, like every other business, exist within a sophisticated network of partners, suppliers, customers and stakeholders. Success is dependent on how those relationships are managed and the collaboration that results. The role of IoT technologies in this digital transformation of supply chains within the food and beverage industry will be profound. In a recent GT Nexus/Cap Gemini survey, 75 per cent of respondents said that digital transformation of the supply chain is ‘important or very important’ and 70 per cent said they had projects underway. There is a drastic change in how businesses (including food manufacturers) collaborate, on the horizon.

The same survey found that today only 23 per cent of respondents said that the majority of data from the extended supply chain is analysed and used for decision-making. In five years, that number jumps to 68 per cent. This demonstrates how quickly much of this is changing and how the future is a bit unpredictable except for the obvious fact that data and IT will continue to be the driver for competitive differentiation. The need to be able to quickly respond and collaborate effectively is one of the reasons that more food manufacturing companies are looking to move more of their core IT solutions to the cloud. Flexibility, speed of deployment and improved security are all fundamental requirements to be able to embrace the value of IoT. The challenge for food and beverage companies, therefore, lies not in defining one IoT vision but understanding where the biggest transformation opportunities are. Every company has a different set of needs and potential improvements, so the requirement is to define a roadmap for how to turn their data into meaningful actions. The goal is not to collect as much data as possible, but in setting a data strategy that can have the greatest positive impact on a company’s future by recognising that the company exists in a collaborative network. D Mike Edgett is industry and solution strategy director, process manufacturing, Infor. He is a business strategy executive with global B2B experience in diverse industries. He is responsible for the Infor marketing message and strategic direction in the Food, Beverage, Chemicals and Life Sciences markets. 23

Good sense A moment of reflection for the New Year. By John Lash



ach January, the pundits are abuzz with talk about the new food trends for the year. Whether it’s antibiotics, sugar levels, food waste, GMO-labelling or cauliflower being the new kale, one thing is for certain: the pace of change in the food industry continues to get faster every year. The implications are significant for manufacturers. Shifts in consumer tastes, the rapid rise of e-commence and steady SKU proliferation all contribute to increased volatility and make matching supply to demand considerably more challenging than just a few years ago. The timehonoured practice of simply adding more inventory to buffer against uncertainty runs counter to today’s financial objectives. It ties up cash in unproductive working capital and erodes margins with excess holding

costs and spoilage. As we kick off the New Year, what considerations can we make to get a better handle on demand? According to E2open’s annual Forecasting Benchmark Study – encompassing more than $250 billion in trade from 17 multinational consumer goods companies and published as a public resource to help companies on their journey to forecasting excellence – the average demand planning forecast error for food items is high, at almost 50 per cent. This means that if your company forecasts that 10,000 cases of a particular product will sell this week, half of the time the real number is between 5000 and 15,000 and half the time it is outside that range. The root cause of this uncertainty is the reliance by traditional demand planning systems

Supply chain 2. Go hands-free:

on historical sales to predict customer orders. As we all know, historical performance is a poor indicator of future sales, especially in times of rapid change. So what can be done?

1. Get current:

Augment historical sales data with current information across your supply chain. Include data from your channel partners if available. Using daily data puts a finger on the pulse of what is actually happening in your supply chain and is particularly helpful for hardto-forecast items like new product introductions and seasonal goods. Current information lets you understand how much consumers really like that new yogurt flavour; or just when (and where) the flu season arrives to drive soup sales.

Using current information means analysing lots of data with applications specifically developed for the task. Traditional demand planning systems were designed decades ago to analyse limited amounts of historical data. At the time, this was state-of-the-art technology but now these systems are ill equipped to handle today’s masses of real-time data. Likewise, trying to do it manually with spreadsheets is error prone and, more importantly, would require an army of planners. This is a job for an automated algorithm. As an analogy, consider how Google Maps uses algorithms to sort through masses of real-time traffic data to get you to your destination with the best possible route. Demand sensing algorithms do the same for demand planning. They sort through masses of supply chain data to determine the most likely demand based on current market realities. Daily forecasts are created for every item in every location and get published directly to supply systems for execution. The entire process is hands-free and touchless, as if Google Maps was combined with a driverless car but for the supply chain. Few of us use maps anymore because our smartphones are much better at navigation and paper maps can’t give real-time traffic redirections while you drive. The takeaway is that automated, data-driven systems create better outcomes. As such, it is only a matter of time before the adoption of demand sensing is commonplace in the food

industry. But unlike the paper map example, demand sensing augments, instead of replaces, existing demand planning systems. This protects existing investments while enabling new capabilities designed to capitalise on the rapid proliferation of data all around us. Case in point, leaders like Campbell Soup, ConAgra Brands, General Mills, Kellogg and Unilever have been quietly sensing demand for years with excellent results. The average reduction in forecast error compared to demand planning is 41 per cent. Safety stock is proportional to forecast error, so a 41 per cent reduction in forecast error translates into the opportunity to reduce safety stock by 41 per cent, improve customer service or a combination of the two. The use of automation algorithms is an important step in evolving to a digital supply chain and a compelling proposition that has the attention of the analyst community. At its Executive Supply Chain Conference last year, Gartner predicted that by 2018, ’25 per cent of companies will have deployed demand sensing and short-term response planning technologies.’ As we start up the New Year, take a moment to pick up your smartphone and reflect on the rapid pace of technology advances you have experienced in the past few years. Consider the masses of real-time data now available across your supply chain and what it could mean to upgrade your demand planning capabilities from paper maps to Google Maps. D John Lash is Vice President, Marketing, at E2open. Founded in 2000, E2open provides the largest and most comprehensive Supply Chain Operating Network, including a broad suite of collaborative supply chain solutions. Leading global enterprises rely on E2open to provide greater end-to-end visibility, more accurate data and insights, and realtime business process orchestration across complex, multi-enterprise trading partner networks. 25

The waste


Charles Reilly takes a look at how it is possible to turn food waste into something good



ood waste is an issue that businesses throughout the food and drink industry need to take more responsibility for. In its 2016 report, food waste charity WRAP said that food waste from the manufacturing and grocery sectors came to an incredible 1.9 million tonnes. With Sainsbury’s boss Mike Coupe speaking to the London Evening Standard recently about food waste the issue is gaining more traction, but there’s still a long way to go.

Charles Reilly

There are several factors that lead to wasted food. The precise factors that produce waste will vary by business and industry, but there are some common themes. Any attempt to reduce food waste or to do something more useful with it must start by identifying where that waste comes from. Take retail, hospitality and foodservice industries where there’s pressure to meet the varied needs of the customer. Every business needs to provide a selection of food to keep their customers happy, from a small cafe with 100 daily customers to Sainsbury’s with 27 million customers. Providing a range inevitably means you’ll sell more of one thing one day, then more of another the next. Whatever’s left over often ends up as waste, even if it’s perfectly fine in quality.

Food Waste There’s also a rigorous quality checking process, which many stores go through to check that the food they sell looks a certain way. This approach sees edible food that doesn’t look right being thrown away, as Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall discovered to his horror last year. The cosmetics of fruit and vegetables in particular has received attention several times over the last few years, but good food continues to be wasted. Issues with inefficient systems and the relentless demand for fresh food means that waste is able to accumulate. It could also be possible that you’re buying in more ingredients than you need, or stocking products that people aren’t buying.

What can be done? Of those 1.9 million tonnes of food waste, it’s estimated that 540,000 tonnes are edible, but the problem is that this food is not getting to the people who need it. Charities like The Felix Project in London and the nationally active FareShare act as middlemen between the food and drink industry and the charities that provide meals to people in need, but

there’s still much more scope to expand this service to more stores and further, to restaurants, manufacturers, and other businesses in the supply chain. The redistribution of food waste doesn’t do anything for the cost of waste, but it does mean that ‘waste’ isn’t ultimately wasted. And food poverty is a real problem in the UK, with as many as 500,000 people reliant on food parcels, according to Oxfam. Redistributing food might not take away the cost of the waste, but it may see more people coming through your doors and buying your products as they see that your values are in line with their own. However, if roughly 75 per cent of the food we waste isn’t edible, there are practical steps your business can take to reduce waste in the first place. According to WRAP, the cost of wasted food often comes from a number of

areas such as lost margin, packaging, energy, labour and disposal costs. Taking measures to reduce your business’s waste could save you money, whatever your position in the supply chain. The first step to reducing waste is to analyse which area of your business is creating the most. Common culprits could be inefficiency in your processes and systems, which leads to poor quality products or time delays, or a need to reassess how much stock or ingredients you buy in. Once you’ve identified the areas losing you money, it’s important to make sure the people who work in those areas are aware of the issues and committed to solving them. If you’re staff aren’t on board, real change will be impossible. The problem of food waste affects the whole industry, and it’s far more complex than I can address fully in this article. Improvements will only come about from the combined efforts of businesses across the food chain. Doing so isn’t just good for society; it’s good for the bottom line too. D Charles Reilly is director at Fridgesmart. After living in Bermuda and travelling the world as a filmmaker, Charles returned to the UK in 2014 to join the 40-year-old family business and help lead its commercial operations. 27

Better together Martin Leeming asks: is it time for the industry to put aside the traditional ‘plastics versus corrugate’ debate and look at hybrid solutions?



n recent times, the corrugate industry has heavily invested to allow it to offer innovative solutions to meet demands for retail ready packaging and point of sale merchandising units. This investment worked, but since then retail has undergone another sea change and consumer shopping habits are once again challenging the packaging supply chain. In particular, of the packaging solutions currently available, which are suitable for large supermarkets, many do not meet the differing needs of convenience stores. Add to this the on-going challenges of meeting sustainability targets and minimising food wastage and the pressure is on once again for corrugate to react. Since 2013, the corrugate packaging industry has invested nearly £500 million in new technology, with the bulk of this being spent on improving digital printing technologies. Whilst the improvement in print quality

Martin Leeming

has benefited producers and retailers alike, the sector is now facing a new set of challenges. The main reason for the investment was the rise in demand for eye-catching retail-ready packaging options that provide the shelf appeal and brand exposure that brand owners are looking for. However, changes in consumer shopping habits are now dictating the next stage of development in corrugate packaging design. Increasingly busy lifestyles will see consumers change their buying behaviours, with many opting to shop ‘little and often’ at convenience stores. It is estimated that these changes will see convenience stores grow 22 per cent to £20.2bn by 2020. The smaller size of convenience stores - combined with a greater proportion of fresh and chilled food and meals for tonight - requires an all new approach to packaging design. With less on-shelf and storage space, pack

Packaging sizes must be reduced but with smaller designs come larger costs. Designers are now tasked with developing products that can deliver smaller packs that enhance the appeal of fresh foods, are lower cost, consume fewer resources, are quicker and easier to prepare for unpacking and maximise brand impact. So how can corrugate evolve once again to meet these demands? First, packaging designers must put themselves in the position of the retailer and consumer. By beginning at the shelf and working backwards, designers can understand every objective the pack needs to meet, including customer appeal, cost-to-sell, ease of unpacking, erecting and filling, disposal of waste, and of course, overall cost. With shelf space at a premium, both primary and secondary packaging must work together to provide a cohesive solution. The two have long been considered as separate entities, with retail ready packaging often regarded as an afterthought. However, secondary packaging needs to be designed to maximise the impact of the primary pack on shelf, as well as being flexible enough to adapt to different store formats without compromising picking and costs and ‘one way stock’ efficiencies. This is in addition to the speedy opening and preparation of the products for shelf and, of course, quick and easy disposal of a minimum amount of packaging.

Historically, one of the main barriers to the industry taking a more holistic approach to packaging design has been the polarisation of different packaging materials, be it corrugate, recycled polyethylene terephthalate (RPET), cartonboard or film. Blind faith in one material is not the answer; whilst you could argue that each of these materials has worked hard to innovate, none provides a single solution to the current challenges.

Hybrid solution The RPET versus corrugate debate has divided opinion for many years. RPET is better on shelf, showing the primary packaging to its maximum effect and not hiding the product behind corrugate pillars. Conversely, corrugate is better at providing vital protection in transit. The competition between the two has lead to an improvement in both, but arguably stagnation in overall innovation. However, the pace of improvement is now slowing and new approaches are required. Fortunately, manufacturers have realised that hybrid packaging, consisting of corrugate and RPET, is an effective and efficient alternative. Combining the high strength of corrugate and excellent shelf presentation qualities of RPET results in a pack that is both strong and suitable for delivery as well as being easy to handle and open on the shop floor. Using RPET also gives better product visibility, with consumers

wanting to see the quality of the food rather than its packaging. The flexibility in design, function and shape offered by hybrid packaging is key to driving sales whilst still minimising packaging and selling costs. Focusing on using the investment in the primary pack to sell the product is a far smarter option than simply getting around the problem by printing on the corrugate that is hiding it. By separating the delivery system from the display system both can be optimised rather than compromised. Introducing a third element in the form of thin film, cold wrap technology will further enhance the efficiency of the delivery system. This enables cost reduction and makes packs easier and quicker to prepare for shelf. This in turn opens the way to provide more flexibility in pack sizes to meet the needs of different store formats without compromising picking costs and ‘one way stock’ in stores. Efficient, hybrid solutions that consume fewer resources, use less material, and therefore negate the feared impact of smaller pack sizes, must become the norm. By working together, the corrugate and RPET industries can create a truly different and innovative packaging solution. Gradual changes are already taking place, which is great news and should be encouraged, however a new change is now required to meet not only the challenges facing the major food retailers, but also the entire packaging industry collectively. In keeping with the spirit of collaboration, it’s time to show we are better together. D Martin Leeming is CEO of TrakRap. TrakRap designs and produces sustainable packaging solutions for manufacturers of Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) supplying supermarkets and retailers. Utilising the TrakRap system – a unique combination of the TrakRap machine coupled with specially designed, ultra-thin stretch film and innovative pack designs – TrakRap provides the most cost effective, environmentally friendly solution available. 29

The real

benefits Jonathan Wilkins takes a look at the applications of RFID and the real benefits the technology holds for industry 30


hat do the jerrycan, the jet engine, penicillin and radio frequency identification (RFID) have in common? They were all developed during World War II and, unlike many other inventions of the time, are still commonly used today. RFID is the technology that allows data to be transmitted via radio waves on the electromagnetic spectrum, with the purpose of automatically identifying and differentiating physical objects. One

Jonathan Wilkins

of the most fundamental reasons for RFID’s success is the straightforward technology it relies on. In fact, RFID is so far-reaching that most of us use it in our daily lives. From our sophisticated smart phones and mobiles, to something as simple as electronic passports, automatic tollbooths or even our car keys, RFID has found its way into almost every aspect of our daily routine. The fundamental technology that underpins RFID has its origins in the

RFID espionage tactics of World War II, when Russian inventor Leon Theremin created what is considered to be the predecessor of RFID technology. His ‘clandestine listening device’ remained passive until activated by radio waves from an outside source, in much the same way that some RFID tags still work today. Similarly, during the Second World War, aeroplanes were fitted with transponders that would reply to interrogation signals, identifying the machines as friend or foe.

Huge potential

Whether it’s intelligent factories, keyless ignition for your car or moisturesensing diapers, RFID technology has enormous potential for both consumer and business environments

Although RFID is still used in the aerospace and defence sectors, it has long since crossed the boundary into other segments of society, including security, retail and the supply chain. RFID is commonly used for a multitude of applications, from asset identification to tracking, access control and management. By implementing a complete RFID system, it’s easy to have real-time, accurate visibility of all assets within the radio frequency range, which creates endless possibilities for data monitoring and acquisition. No doubt about it, there is huge potential for RFID. However, before it can be effectively utilised for any application, the system must be able to communicate with other hardware and software devices. In the Internetof-Everything and smart factories, the ultimate goal of RFID technology is for equipment to be able to act independently on the information it receives via the technology. Although most of the technology required for smart factories exists, there are still several hurdles to overcome before most manufacturers will be able to efficiently implement the concept. Perhaps one of the biggest issues when it comes to new technologies is the cost of implementation, maintenance and training. Few manufacturers are ready to completely revamp their manufacturing facilities, even if it could lead to increased return on investment in the long run. Another challenge for companies considering the implementation of

RFID technology is standardisation. The frequencies used in the US, for example, are incompatible with those used in Europe or Asia. Unfortunately, the emergence of a universal standard has yet to take place. Standards are normally developed and issued by industry-specific and national or regional bodies like EPC global, the International Electrotechnical Commission or the International Standards Organisation. A great deal of work has been going on over the past decade to develop standards for RFID frequencies and applications, but until a general set of rules is agreed on and implemented, the motivation for companies to adopt the technology will most likely stagnate. It is also worth noting that several concerns regarding RFID technology focus on security and privacy. Whether it’s the issue of illicit tracking, payment or e-passports, RFID systems are vulnerable to skimming and eavesdropping. Unauthorised readers could theoretically use RFID information to track or possibly intercept products. Whether it’s intelligent factories, keyless ignition for your car or moisturesensing diapers, RFID technology has enormous potential for both consumer and business environments. In industrial automation, control and data acquisition systems, RFID has the potential to become a hugely useful and widespread technology and complement existing control and data acquisition systems. D Jonathan Wilkins is marketing director at EU Automation. EU Automation stocks and sells new, used, refurbished and obsolete industrial automation spares. Its global network of preferred partner warehouses, and wholly owned distribution centres, enables it to offer a unique service within the automation industry, spanning the entire globe. It provides worldwide express delivery on all products meaning it can supply any part, to any destination, at very short notice. 31

Food for

thought I

IFE 2017 is dedicated to showcasing the full scope of today’s global product innovations. Running from 19 to 22 March at ExCeL London, it’s the place to discover new products from 1350 foods and drink manufacturers and identify a range of future trend predictions

FE has been running now for 40 years so we are quite proud that it has an established reputation in the industry and is very much considered the place to find innovative inspiration. It’s the gathering of suppliers and buyers from across the globe and it’s a networking opportunity for the industry to come together over the four days. We usually get around 29,000 visitors through the doors over the four days and last time they came from 108 different countries,” begins Event Director Soraya Gadelrab. “We have hundreds of exhibitors who come back year after year and they come back to the event because they feel it’s the place to meet their existing suppliers and also find new customers, but we also have an influx of brand new companies who have just launched into the industry or launching new brands. It’s the event for well known respected brands and new, exciting and innovative brands to come together.” From aloe vera drinks to immune system boosting juices and smoothies,


the functional drinks market is huge and further growth is predicted as consumers become increasingly aware of their physical and psychological needs. The industry can also expect to see a rise in demand for groundbreaking premium adult soft drinks. Exhibiting at the International Food and Drink Event for the first time, Equinox Kombucha has created raw, organic sparkling energy drinks full of naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, amino acids and live bacteria at stand N1900. For the health conscious that like something a bit stronger Twisted Halo at stand N2145 has created low calorie alcoholic beverages. The range includes a gently sparkling blend of coconut water twisted with ginger and muddled with premium vodka at just 90 calories per 275ml bottle. Consumption habits are changing more than ever before and continue to lead the way when it comes to healthy eating and drinking. Cleaner eating is a key trend to look out for and the International Food & Drink Event 2017 has a large section dedicated to health

Exhibition and wellbeing. New suppliers this year include Nutristrength, founded by two brothers devoted to producing clean living nutritional products. The brand will be showcasing a range of protein powders produced using goat and sheep whey and even peas at stand N2432.

Alternative protein In many categories, industry forecasters expect to see consumers opting for authentic and traditional products, using unadulterated ingredients and locally sourced produce. Discover the Great British and Irish Food section, with a range of artisan products such as Snowflake Gelato at stand N2842. The brand has received 25 Great Taste Gold Stars and was voted the Great Taste Supreme Champion. The company Free From has already been one of the hottest trends across 2016 and will continue to grow in 2017 with brands launching exciting and innovative products, from avocado oils to dairy-free ice cream, vegan jerky and quinoa crisps. “One thing that fascinates me is insects,” said Soraya. “Two years ago at the International Food and Drink Event I sat in a seminar with a futurologist called Morgaine Gay and she was talking about what we are likely to see in food and drink trends in the coming years. One of the things she spoke about was the rise of insects as an alternative protein, it’s much more sustainable when there are meat shortages and if you visit the Far East or Mexico insects are a staple part of the diet. A year later at another exhibition that I’m involved with four companies exhibited insect based products, protein bars and flour to add to smoothies. It may seem a little strange right now, but I bet in a few years time we’ll be tucking into ant egg ice cream.” New for this year buyers can walk a dedicated trend trail to discover the latest suppliers and products. The simple to follow trail maps will highlight relevant stands to source new and on-trend produce, such as free-from, healthy alternatives for children and innovation on-the-go. As well as the trend trails available the exhibition has been split into product sections that will enable buyers to find

what they are looking for: “What we have done is streamline sections based on how the market has changed, so for example this year we can see there is a huge amount of innovation in the snacking and convenience sector, so we’ve introduced a new section called snacks and confectionery,” said Soraya. This year the International Food & Drink Event’s message is focused on innovation and getting inspired and communicating that message effectively. The aim is to get traders looking for new ideas, learning more through immersion in the food and drink industry, networking with people and feeling inspired enough to move each business forward. “As well as revising the product sectors to keep up with what is mapping or mirroring the food and drink industry we are introducing two brand new theatres at the show. The first is called talking trends because people come to the show to find out what is going to be new and exciting,” said Soraya. The big picture stage will be the setting for discussions, talks and debates about big issues on the food and drink industry. There are some very key newsworthy topics to discuss like the impact that Brexit could have on

imports and exports, sugar taxes, the obesity levels in the United Kingdom and the effects on-line shopping has had on consumers. Another useful tool to help visitors get a head before the exhibition opens is the planning programme that is being developed on the website to enable buyers to search for the exhibitors and speakers that they would like to attend. The system will then create a personalised printable itinerary with a floor plan highlighting all the events including time slots. As a trade event suppliers can be confident that the people attending are genuine trade buyers from the industry. Organisers are keen to point out that interaction between people is important: “The networking element can get pushed aside. We are urging visitors and exhibitors to grab a coffee or a beer and chat; it’s how relationships are born,” concluded Soraya. D The spirit and excitement of the organisers and exhibitors promises to deliver at the International Food & Drink Event 2017. For further information about the show, visit: 33

A passion for Super Premium beer


Asahi UK


Operating as part of the leading Japanese brewery and soft drinks company, Asahi Breweries Ltd. and as a subsidiary of Asahi Europe Ltd, Asahi UK distributes several Super Premium beer brands across the UK and Ireland Gary Haigh

ith a portfolio comprising some of Europe’s most recognisable premium beer brands, including Peroni Nastro Azzurro; its Belgian abbey beer St Stefanus; Pilsner Urquell; Kozel; as well as the Polish Lech and Tyskie brands, Asahi UK Ltd. is responsible for the continued development of these brands as well as the Super Premium Category growth concept across the UK and Ireland. Although the company has had a prominent position within the UK since 2005 and in Ireland since 2008, Asahi UK was established in its present form during October 2016, when the Tokyobased Asahi Breweries Ltd. company completed its £1.3 billion acquisition of Miller Brands UK. The acquisition of 35

Miller Brands UK added the premium European beer brands Peroni, Grolsch and Meantime to the company’s portfolio and reinforces its mission to further develop the appreciation of quality beer brands throughout the UK and Irish beer markets. “Our Super Premium brand portfolio is powered by a seamless distribution network, expert customer marketing and sales capability – this means we can extend and grow Asahi’s ambition


in the UK,” says Asahi UK Managing Director, Gary Haigh while commenting on the acquisition. “Peroni Nastro Azzurro has been a key driver in the growth of the UK super premium sector which is now worth £1.3 billion and accounts for more than a quarter of the London beer market. With the backing of the Asahi Group we will be able to continue our strategies for the brands, building on their success and allowing our customers to benefit from meeting the demands of UK consumers for high quality beer brands.” Asahi UK is considered to be unique in the UK brewing industry in that it exclusively sells authentic, imported products, which enables it deliver a portfolio that combines a continental drinking experience with true heritage and quality. The Peroni Nastro Azzurro

brand for example, has changed the way consumers think about beer and is considered to be the best example of an innovation-led beer brand in the UK. Through the Peroni Nastro Azzurro brand Asahi has reinvented the consumer perception of what a beer can be, from its unique statement glass to the beer’s entire drinking persona and experience. By implementing an independent study amongst beer drinkers, the company has identified the five key areas that cause a consumer to perceive a brand as a super premium beer, comprising authenticity, taste, positive brand story, experience and visual identity. Across the Peroni Natsro Azzurro brand, its 250ml single ‘Piccola’ bottle is an apperitivo (‘before the meal’) beer and has proven to be very popular with female drinkers especially, while the 750ml ‘Alta’ sharing bottle has proven to be popular choice for evening sharing.

Tank beer Elsewhere across the Asahi UK portfolio of beers, the company’s Pilsner Urquell brand has continued to grow as London beer lovers increasingly tap into its authentic tank beer brewing technique, with over 10,000 pints of fresh, unpasteurised tank beer being enjoyed at the 2016 ‘Taste of London’ festival in Regent’s Park. In the first week of December 2016, Pilsner Urquell opened its thirteenth tank beer outlet at Cooper Hall, Manchester with the venue making a main feature of the brewery fresh unpasteurised beer and housing four Pilsner Urquell tanks. The worldrenowned Czech beer is made using Saaz Hops, Moravian Barley, Pilsner H yeast and Plzenˇ soft water and is delivered directly from Plzenˇ every week in temperature-controlled trucks, ensuring that guests always experience the freshest tasting Pilsner Urquell. The Pilsner Urquell brand has continued in this spirit of Asahi UK’s determination to innovate, through aiding the reinvigoration of pub culture within the UK by showcasing true brewing craftsmanship. The beer is delivered through the process of ‘Tankovna’, where Pilsner Urquell delivers unpasteurised beer directly from the brewery to the recipient

Asahi UK tank bars. The brand is seeing new consumers enter into the category and use Tankovna venues as a destination for a quality and authentic drinking experience, with ten per cent of consumers entering a Tankovna venue because of the striking copper tanks. “Tank Beer is unique in its taste and quality and offers beer lovers the freshest beer possible,” explains

ZETA SYSTEM SRL Shipping anything from A to Z! Since 1992 Zeta System srl has been a leader in Europe as a shipping forwarder developing technological solutions that suits the needs of all customers. The direct sea services to the UK and over 35,000 containers shipped every year places Zeta System on top of the logistics suppliers. Sole Director of Zeta System Srl Mr. Antonio Zaccagnino says: “It is prestigious for us to ship thousands of Peroni beer containers for Asahi UK Ltd and a lot more Made in Italy goods for some other VIP customers.” Supply chain management, forwarding, warehousing and distribution are all logistics services and solutions, which Zeta System uses to guide its clients to the most exclusive transportation solution at a competitive price.

Pilsner Urquell Master Brewer, Robert Lobovsky. “The tanks ensure that the beer is kept at the right temperature and in perfect condition until the time it is poured into the glass, ensuring the very best taste, quality and a fuller, rounder malt body.” With the ongoing transition from Miller Brands UK to Asahi UK, the company is in the process of further defining its sustainable development strategy to ensure that its new organisation is appropriate for both Asahi, its customers and the environment. While the details of the company’s future strategy are still in development, Asahi UK will always remain committed to social responsibility and business ethics in all areas of the company. The company believes that every business has a responsibility to understand and act upon its environmental impact and works towards sharing more information

with its suppliers, customers and consumers about both the carbon footprint of its beers and how the business is a working to reduce it. Asahi UK highly values its place within the local community and works to ensure that it makes an effective contribution to the local area and the people living there. It is therefore examining how it can most deploy resources such as employee volunteers, mentors and fundraising to most effectively support this aspiration. Finally, Asahi UK is uncompromising in its integrity and the quality of the company’s Super Premium beers. This philosophy extends to its policies and codes of practice, which will continue to be world class.

Passion for beer The current market environment within the beer sector is one of both considerable competition and tantalising opportunity. Although the market for 37

beers has endured a period of decline during the past decade with as many as 15 pubs closing a week, the recent surge in the popularity in craft beers and an increase in the number of UK breweries by eight per cent to 1700 by October 2016 suggests a rising passion from consumers for premium beer products. Asahi UK shares this passion and takes great pride in its

Arcese Arcese is an asset based multinational company operating in the transport and logistics sector. Thanks to an extended network of partners worldwide, an owned modern fleet and warehouses, Arcese is a leading logistics operator in Italy and Europe. With more than 600 million euro turnover, Arcese offers a wide range of services covering the entire supply chain: from road transport (FTL - LTL), to sea and air freight to warehousing and logistics.


comprehensive portfolio of premium beers, which are produced using the finest ingredients. The company’s Peroni Nastro Azzurro beer for example, is brewed using Nostrano Dell’isola Italian maize creating a unique blend of three quarters barley and one quarter maize to give the beer its unique taste, while Pilsner Urquell uses the famous Saaz hop from the Zatec region of the Czech Republic, which is also known as the Noble Hops. Hops are responsible for the bitterness, aroma, foam and shelf life of a beer and Pilsner Urqell has double the amount of hops, giving it a fine hoppy aroma and a uniquely pleasing bitterness.

Howard Tenens Howard Tenens is one of the largest privately owned logistics company in the UK. We believe in reliable, high quality, value for money supply chain solutions, which we provide for an impressive array of customers across multiple sectors. Our warehouse footprint is over 3,500,000 ft² in the UK, and we freehold own the vast majority of this commercial space as well as a distribution fleet of 160+ vehicles and 500+ trailers providing national coverage. We specialise in providing solutions to our customer’s supply chain challenges, fulfilling all contracts to the highest levels of customers service and value for money by utilsing our professionally trained teams expertise and industry leading warehouse and transport management systems. We can offer the end to end solution, from imports to exports, container clearance, transport, storage, handling, re-work, kitting, value added services, full loads, parcel and pallet deliveries.

During the coming years Asahi UK will seek to further develop its brewing experience, as well as capitalise on its acquisition of Miller Brands UK, while taking advantage of the growing appetite for Super Premium beer in both the pub and off trade environments. D


Return to

St. Lucia Fond Doux Plantation & Resort is a romantic getaway featuring 15 private authentic and comfortable cottages in a working plantation


ond Doux Plantation & Resort is a 19th century eco-friendly colonial resort in the heart of St. Lucia, best known for romantic getaways. The resort is part of a unique paradise, in a working plantation and a natural escape from everyday life to encourage guests to reconnect with nature and invigorate. The plantation was originally owned by King Louis XIV and subsequently handed to the Devaux brothers in recognition of their service to ‘Crown and Country.� The Fond Doux Estate was purchased by its current owners, the Lamontagne family in 1980,


and operated as a banana plantation throughout the 1990s. By 1999 the family decided to develop into heritage tourism and in 2006 the Fond Doux Plantation & Resort was born.

The Resort Today the resort consists of 15 unique cottages with three different categories, a triple tier swimming pool, wedding gazebo, spa, gift shop and hiking trails. The one bedroom accommodations are perfectly suited for couples looking to enjoy some peace and quiet in a romantic and secluded setting, the deluxe one bedroom

Fond Doux Plantation & Resort

is larger and set up for self-catering options, one bedroom cottage with its own plunge pool, honeymoon suite has its own outdoor rainforest shower and the two bedroom cottages are designed for groups and families. The resort has two restaurants, the newly named Bamboo Restaurant and Bar and the Cocoa Pod Restaurant. Both restaurants offer dishes with Caribbean and St. Lucian flair and are created with the freshest produce found in the resort’s gardens and river. “As the resort is situated among lush cocoa groves, guests can not only smell chocolate wafting by on warm breezes,

but they can also actively engage in the processing of chocolate if they wish, from cocoa harvesting and cocoa drying to cocoa dancing,” said the Managing Director of Fond Doux Plantation & Resort, Eroline Lamontage.

The Processing of the Cocoa Beans Cocoa Fermentation House The Cocoa Fermentation House consists of six cocoa fermentation boxes. Whenever the cocoa pods are ripe, the estate workers collect the pod and crack them in half. The beans inside are placed

into the boxes and covered with some fresh banana leaves. The beans ferment for an average of ten days. During the fermentation process, the natural yeast and bacteria in the air causes the beans to release the pulp, this pulp is called the cocoa vinegar, which can be used as any other vinegar.

Cocoa Drying Trays After the beans are fermented, they are placed on large drying trays in the sun for an average of two to three weeks. When it starts to rain, the trays are wheeled back in as it can cause fungus. 41


Fond Doux Plantation & Resort Cocoa Dancing After the beans have fermented and dried, they are placed into a large pot. An estate worker takes a young cocoa pod, scrapes away the outer part and adds some water to form a mixture. He then sprinkles the mixture over the beans to preserve them and enters the pot barefooted and dances on the beans. The dance is called the Cocoarina dance. After the beans have been polished they are placed on drying trays for two weeks. “At the end of this process we have 100 per cent pure cocoa, nothing added or extracted from the beans,” explains Eroline. FoodChain first featured the Fond Doux Plantation & Resort in April 2016. Since then the resort has gone through a number of changes and it is clear that innovation is key to the resort’s success in the hotel and leisure markets. The Jardin Cacao Restaurant has been replaced and renamed the Bamboo Restaurant and Bar. Eroline explains: “The surrounding bamboo walls make the name an obvious choice and with cacao being a predominant theme in other restaurants around St. Lucia, we wanted to standout from the crowd.” The Cocoa Pod Restaurant has also undergone transformation with an enhanced roof and a wall of fame, with the photographs of celebrities and public figures that have contributed to the resort’s success. In addition to the renovations a new executive chef joined the Fond Doux culinary team to improve the menus. Both menus feature Creole chicken and freshly caught fish and shrimp that are infused with locally grown seasonings, vegetables, salads, staples and traditional St. Lucian preparations, for healthy and culinary experiences. Other improvements include new signage, two of the one-bedroom cottages have been redeveloped, the Eroline gift shop has had a makeover, and the resort has upgraded to three-phase electricity and improved Wi-Fi. “It’s been a busy time for us and we are very proud of our achievements, and awards,” Eroline commented. The awards presented to Eroline and the team for 2016 stand out as a real testament to the innovation happening at the Fond Doux Plantation & Resort: “We are the winner of numerous

awards including America’s 2016 Best Sustainable Boutique Hotel, TripAdvisor and Certificate of Excellence 2016 and the 2016 Trip Experts Choice Award for the Hotel and Heritage Tour. The resort has also been recertified as a Green Globe Member as we are dedicated to championing the protection of the environment.”

Vision for 2017 Further innovative developments have been put in place for 2017. Eroline is

focusing on completing the resort’s gym, an extension of the spa to include an outdoor treatment area and new hands on chocolate making lessons to enhance the cocoa and chocolate experiences in the area. Eroline was keen to mention that staff training will also be enhanced for the year ahead: “We will offer continuous staff training throughout 2017 to include on property coaching activities and training programmes as they become available to us.” Eroline concludes: “The resort is looking to explore more sustainable measures with the vision to become the best sustainable hotel in the world within the next three to five years. Saint Lucia has continuously been awarded the best wedding and honeymoon destination and as a result of this, there has been an increasing demand for the honeymoon suites and so the resort will be constructing an additional ten cottages.” D 43

Catering to impress With a rapidly growing reputation for professionalism and excellence in the field of specialist events planning, Heritage Portfolio is a business that is quickly growing into exciting new markets


Heritage Portfolio


stablished by its current Executive Director, Mark Miller during 1993, Heritage Portfolio is a specialist events and catering company based in Edinburgh with services covering the whole of the UK. During the course of almost 25 years in operation, the business has enjoyed significant growth, both structurally and in terms of the portfolio of venues that Heritage Portfolio today represents. “We took the time to create a company context, brand and ethos which is something that all of our 300 plus employees embrace and hold onto with every event that they create, menu that they design and venue that we tender for,” Mark reveals. “We operate within a very niche offering – we work with venues and clients of distinction in historic castles, palaces, stately homes and sites. These are located throughout the UK and each incorporates its own unique personality and offer.” Having previously appeared in FoodChain during May 2016, Heritage Portfolio has continued in its proud tradition of delivering a premier level of service to some of the UK’s most prestigious locations and events, while capitalising on its growing reputation with several new contracts and appreciative clients. “When we last spoke to FoodChain we were delighted to announce that we had won new contracts with the stately Arley Hall & Gardens in Cheshire and the café and restaurant at the tourist attraction, the British Airways i360 in Brighton. We are happy to report that we have had a great success with both and that the events business at Arley Hall is doing well – which is certainly not a surprise as the venue is just so spectacular,” elaborates Siobhán Leith, Head of Marketing for Heritage Portfolio. “We had also opened a new café – The Gardener’s Kitchen. Here we have recently launched the new breakfast and fish and chip menu, which has been really well received. Head Chef Neil Faux has paid particular attention to the fresh ingredients, presentation and making as much as possible onsite including the hand cut chips and the sauces and dressings that accompany any dish and we are seeing a marked increase in sales for these new initiatives.”

During its previous appearance in FoodChain, Heritage Portfolio had also announced the creation of its North West Hub, which has since become a well-known and respected caterer, events provider and creator. The investment into the north-western region was made in response to an opportunity to bring the company’s renowned hospitality and catering expertise to clients south of the Scottish border. “We currently have three prestigious venues that we partner with across Liverpool and Manchester – St George’s Hall in Liverpool, Manchester Cathedral and Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral. Across these Heritage venues we are able to create unique events where

our North West team works closely with the client to bring their vision to life, all of the menus are created by using locally sourced ingredients and by further putting a modern twist on some traditional favourites. Similar to the offering in Scotland, we have a team dedicated to working with private clients who wish to host an event either at their own home or a chosen venue, which requires a caterer. We provide a complete events creation and catering service to these clients,” Siobhán says. “Our North West culinary team have created a number of menus to suit the venues and the events that we hold. We have a great team in place, lead by Operations Director Samantha Lincoln,

Right: Themed event design. Below: Foraging dinner. 45

Heritage Portfolio which includes General Manager and Head of Special Events – Leanne Miller Bowles, Operations Manager – Rachel Salmon and Event Designer - Patrick Carroll.” In order to meet the individual needs of its clients, as well as the wider culinary requirements that may exist within the extended regions of the catering and event services market, Heritage Portfolio works to remain aware and inline with the popular trends that exist within the food industry. “There has definitely been a shift away from the standard three course meal when it comes to event catering. While this is appropriate for some dinners it is important that we are able to offer something unique too and we therefore created a ‘foraging’ menu during 2016, which went down really well. Guests literally had to search for their food (forage) in the foliage before them at the table! This played on both the freshness


of the food and the fun and guest interaction that can be had at a dinner. It is certainly an ice breaker at a dinner where guests may not know each other yet,” Siobhán details. “We also work a lot on the theatrical element of dining, we don’t simply theme a room or a menu, it is about bringing the catering team and chefs into the food offering too.” Having firmly established itself within its target niche and expanding beyond its home market within Scotland, Heritage Portfolio has proven to be a leading force within the catering and event services sector. During September 2016, the company was proud to announce that it had been appointed to run the café, restaurant and events for V&A Museum of Design Dundee, the first V&A museum in the world outside of London. This catering operation will be an essential part of the visitor experience which will include a large café in the main hall, a spectacular restaurant with

outdoor terrace overlooking the River Tay and a range of unique events and dining spaces available for hire during the day through to the evening. Over the coming years, Heritage Portfolio plans to further capitalise on its current momentum and continue to reach new clients. “Our vision for the future is to grow, this is in terms of the number of venues within our portfolio, our structure which will support them and also our service offering,” Siobhán concludes. “Our North West team will look to add appropriate venues to their collection so that they can offer a range of spectacular venues to our clients. The V&A Museum of Design Dundee opens in the summer of 2018 once the structure is complete so we will continue to work hard with the team there to create and mobilise a worldrenowned museum, dining and events experience.” D

Innis & Gunn

Experiencing something new

Embodying close to 15 years of brewing excellence, Innis & Gunn represents an innovative and ambitious brand that is rapidly developing a new and exciting restaurant bar concept 47


hile the Innis & Gunn brand was officially launched in 2003, when the first bottles of its original brew went on sale, the history of business actually begins with a serendipitous discovery that would lead to the creation of an exciting new beer and a lively, innovative brand. During 2002 a famous whisky distiller approached the company to assist it in seasoning some its oak casks with the sweet, malty character of a full-flavoured beer where all previous attempts had failed. Innis & Gunn eagerly responded by brewing a custom-made recipe, which was subsequently put to bed in the distiller’s barrels. After 30 days the beer was removed from the barrels and whisky was duly added. Over the course of its maturation the Scotch acquired several pleasing additional qualities from the beerinfused wood, resulting in a greatly appreciated dram and several further repeats of the successful experiment. Some months later the Innis & Gunn


Founder and Master Brewer, Dougal Sharp, received what would be a defining phone call. Inquisitive souls at the whisky distillery had sampled the beer after its time in the casks and once the company did the same, Innis & Gunn realised that it had stumbled upon a remarkable beer that had been transformed by the oak into an unusually refined brew. This would become the basis of the launch of the company’s unique range of oak aged beers, which continues to be enjoyed by casual drinkers and beer enthusiasts to this very day. Today, Innis & Gunn represents the UK’s second largest craft brewer, with a tempting range of 12 different beers on tap and a variety of accessible bottled and canned beers. These include its year-round ‘favourite’ Innis & Gunn Original, Rum Finish and IPA beers and its seasonal Irish Whisky Finish, and its Bourbon Pale Ale brews. The company even offers an alcohol free pale ale, with its Innis & None brew that arrived on the market in January 2017.

The company has continued to enjoy great success with its constantly developing line of beers, which have enabled Innis & Gunn to generate a turnover of £12.5 million during 2015, however the firm’s story of innovation does not stop there. In 2015 the company launched its Innis & Gunn retail initiative, representing a new restaurant bar concept. This lead to the development of the Beer Kitchen brand and the company’s first restaurant bar opening on Lothian Road in Edinburgh.

Flavour and quality “Beer Kitchen represents our first move into restaurant and bar operations and we now have three units, with a fourth set to open in Glasgow during 2017. We aim to have six Beer Kitchen sites in operation by the end of the year and a further four opening in 2018. We remain a beer company, but one that is moving into the restaurant and bar arena with the unique Beer Kitchen brand that we have created,” reveals Innis & Gunn Retail Managing Director,

Innis & Gunn David Hall. “The Beer Kitchen Brand is the realisation of the restaurant bar concept. The food style is centred on casual dining, with a menu that is strongly inspired by our range of beer’s reputation for flavour and quality. In terms of the design of the restaurants we are working with Morgan Mcdonnell, which is an award winning architecture and design company. Each Beer Kitchen site that we open will have the same palette and feel and although all of the buildings themselves are slightly different, they will all have the same furniture, flooring and finishings so that the identity of the brand really shines through.”

Haggis donut The feel of the brand has been identified by visitors as being almost ‘Scottish/Scandinavian’ in design, with a casual atmosphere and a professional level of service. Beer Kitchen offers a selection of 18 beers on tap, which are constantly changing to ensure that there is always something new for customers to experience. “Around half of the beers that we serve at any one time are our own brews, while the others are comprised of great brands from Scotland, the rest of the UK and internationally as well. We are also really passionate about cocktails, wines

and spirits, meaning that clients are able to visit us at our Beer Kitchen locations and enjoy a glass or wine, spirit or soft drink – it is something that is accessible to everyone.” Further to offering a refreshing selection of beers, wines and spirits, Beer Kitchen also offers a hearty

menu of food that mirrors the Innis & Gunn tradition of quality and flavour. This includes its unique haggis donut, which is just one example of tempting and innovative menu coming out of the brand as it continues to grow. “The haggis donut is a savoury donut with haggis and garlic aioli, which is currently one of our most popular dishes. One of the company’s managers mentioned the idea of developing a savoury donut and we all got together to discuss ideas and making something that could really work – its about sitting around a table and sharing ideas that we have seen elsewhere or that something new altogether. The haggis donut is a great example of this that tastes fantastic works really well,” David concludes. “In terms of developing the brand, we are currently looking for our next site while maintaining a quality product within the bar and restaurant space.” D 49

Biscuit tradition since 1890

Having established a strong position within its core markets, Danish snack producer Bisca is focused on expanding not only its product range, but also its global footprint 50


t is more than 125 years since the Volf family made the first cakes and cookies at their homestead in Hellerup, Denmark, under the name of Karen Volf. Over the years the name Karen Volf has been added to more delicacies throughout Scandinavia. Innovation and the ability to adapt to a changing market is key to the success of the brand. A major milestone was achieved in 1997 when Bisca acquired

Karen Volf and a further milestone was achieved in 2006 when the company’s production and head office relocated to Stege on the Danish island of Møn. One area where Bisca particularly prides itself is in the consistent quality that it delivers to its customers. Operating under BRC and IFS accredited procedures, the company’s attention to quality production goes beyond simply following guidelines, and manifests itself in a culture that sees

Bisca quality as a natural part of production. The same focus can be applied to its approach to sourcing quality ingredients that takes precedence alongside a responsible strategy. “One of the latest actions we have taken is moving from caged chicken eggs to freerange eggs,” the CEO, Michael Møller Jensen previously said in FoodChain. “We feel that it is important for us to move in a direction where we can take responsibility for the quality of our supply chain and also food safety.” Today many of its recipes are still dating back to when it all began because of their exceptional quality. In some countries Danish Butter Cookies are considered to be one of the finest and most delicious hostess gifts to take to a party. “Our strength is that we are sufficiently large enough to have cost efficient production in order to compete with some of the major players in the industry, yet at the same time are small enough to operate with a flexibility and agility that they cannot match,” said Michael. “We are placed right in the middle where we can compete on price and are still able to do short production runs and bring new products to market quickly.” Such a competitive agility puts Bisca in a particularly strong position in the current market where consumers and retailers remain keenly focused on price, but where there is growing room for new opportunities. “Right now it’s a very competitive market as the markets emerge from a recession and consumers are looking closely at prices,” Michael continued previously: “This makes it very challenging to find the resources to put into innovation and product development. Consumers prefer cheaper products at the moment instead of higher quality, innovative offerings.” However, despite this he did note that over recent months consumer spending had started to increase and Bisca’s ability to react effectively would be put into practice as it released a new range of organic products. The launch begins with an organic biscuit range to assess consumer response before expanding into its cake range, according to initial success. However, Michael expressed his interest in seeing just how well organic products

are received in what is predominantly a non-essential sector. “This is going to be our first step into the organic movement and we want to examine to what extent our consumers are prepared to buy organic and whether they are prepared to pay that little bit extra for it,” he noted. “If we do see a willingness here then we will be looking at expanding this across the range.

Innovation “We always approach product development through market trend analysis, which we gather from trade fairs and customer engagement, and then use our in-house innovation team to develop new products in line with this,” Michael said. “We know that there is an increasing trend for organic products in the market and we are excited to see how consumers will respond to this entry within this particular sector.”

Throughout its history, Bisca has successfully established itself as a key player in its core Scandinavian markets, with the majority of its turnover coming from the retail sector here. “As we look ahead we are in the process of expanding our focus to look at the wider European and Chinese export markets,” explained Michael. “With this in mind, over the coming years we want to have built a business where we are a clear market leader with a strong brand, which includes a robust organic range within our key markets,” Michael concluded as he looked ahead. “In terms of export we hope to have established a stable and growing business in new markets as well as having a presence in China.” In addition to growing export the strategic vision will also be focused on continuing to launch new product developments in order to increase its share of existing markets. D 51

Macdonald Hotels

Investing in the future

Through an ongoing focus on traceability, quality and close partnerships with suppliers, Macdonald Hotels is building up an individual reputation for excellence in its restaurants across the UK and Ireland 52


roud to deliver a unique experience to each customer that arrives at any one of more than 40 hotels across the UK, Macdonald Hotels achieved the prestigious AA Hotel Group of the Year award for the second time in 2013. Moreover, the company was also awarded the AA Eco-Hotel Group of the year in 2012 for its focus on reducing electricity and fossil fuel usage by 15 per cent in 2015. By ensuring each hotel branding has its own individual charm while also taking on the character of the area in which it is located, Macdonald Hotels delivers a new experience to customers

at whichever Macdonald Hotel they visit. Moreover, from Scotland to the South of England, Macdonald Hotels is run by real hoteliers with a genuine passion and long-term experience to ensure the service, dining and accommodation at each of its 45 hotels is the very best it can be. Operating as the UK’s largest independent hotel group, Macdonald Hotels recently announced it was in its best-ever shape following the publishing of its annual results for the year to 31st March 2016. With profits of £55 million for its 55 hotels and resorts across the UK, Ireland, Spain and Portugal, the company’s turnover was up five per

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cent to £163.4 million, while its total operating profit was up five per cent to £17.7 million. As already mentioned, profit after tax was up £49.1 million to £55 million following the sale of land at the Macdonald Botley Park, Southampton, as well as continued strong trading performance, while the company’s bank core debt was reduced to £196 million.

Refurbishments These significant improvements are the result of a tremendous combined effort by the workforce and management team to put in a strong, sustained performance throughout all hotels and resorts, while also reducing its debts by half a billion pounds in just 13 years. During 2016 the company also invested further into its properties, including the refurbishment of 128 bedrooms at the Macdonald Randolph Hotel in Oxford, the completion of a major refurbishment


of the Macdonald Aviemore Highland Resort, which included 172 bedrooms, public areas and restaurants as well as a major bedroom refurbishment programme at the Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel, Bath. Following these investments, the company is currently in the process of completing the bedroom refurbishment of the Macdonald Holyrood and is completely remodeling the Macdonald Houston House and Macdonald Forest Hills, with the aim of achieving 4 Red Star rankings at each. On top of this, the company has also invested half a million pounds in an online self-serve HR system, which plays a significant part in its overall ‘people strategy’. These investments in enhancing its hotels and resorts is certain to prove fruitful for Macdonald Hotels, as the results of Brexit and the weaker pound making Britain an attractive place for overseas visitors while also

encouraging UK holidaymakers to choose ‘staycations’ over more exotic breaks away. Aside from providing high quality bedrooms in charming hotels, Macdonald Hotels is also committed to delivering exceptional food and drink to its customers as well as other activities such as leisure, spa, gold and corporate and conference markets. Because of the diversity of Macdonald Hotels’ client base from North to South it offers varied menus; although food tastes vary by region, the quality of the produce and the relationship that the company has with the supplier is the key.

Menu planning Macdonald Hotels also believes that it is important for a company with a deliberately diverse portfolio of properties to be able to meet equally varied customer dining expectations, without ever compromising on the

Macdonald Hotels best possible quality and provenance in its food and beverage offering. Furthermore, chefs at Macdonald Hotels have the luxury of creating the majority of their own menus, which not only reflect the individual hotel’s identity, but also the creativity of the chef. Differentiated in the market by its dedication to serving only the highest quality of food, Macdonald Hotels uses the finest seasonal ingredients and sources the best produce available. Placing a great deal of importance on the provenance and traceability of its food, Macdonald Hotels expects the highest standards of diligence in product integrity and traceability from its suppliers. For example, meat is sourced from highly reputable suppliers, with 21day aged cuts of beef supplied directly from Scotbeef, thus ensuring Macdonald Hotels’ new Scottish Steakhouse restaurants deliver delicious food of the best possible quality. Because Macdonald Hotels buys with provenance in mind and prefers to support local businesses, the chefs of its restaurants are given flexibility in planning menus by the season, which thus ensures that UK produce comes first.

Having celebrated 25 years of business in 2016, Macdonald Hotels continues to exceed the rising expectations of customers in all areas of the business, including food, through the delivery of a world-class service. Committed to the

development of new food concepts, the company is keen to make Macdonald Hotels throughout the UK the go-to place for fantastic food and a menu that keeps people coming back for more. D 55



Gold standard

Embodying more than 260 years of history, Warsteiner has established itself as a highly respected and successful beer brand with products reaching grateful drinkers in over 60 countries worldwide


epresenting a leading German brewery with a strong family heritage, the story of Warsteiner began in 1753 when Antonius Cramer was asked to pay beer tax for the first time as his home brewing volumes surpassed by some way the volume allowed for personal consumption. This marked the beginning of a long and successful brewing tradition and as the fledgling business continued to grow, Caspar Cramer was emboldened to finally establish what would become the original home of the small brewery by building the Warsteiner Domschänke, a brew pub in the centre of Warstein. Thanks to the efforts of Warsteiner, the small village, situated in the Sauerland, in the southeastern region of Westphalia, has since become famous around the world for its excellent beer production. As for Warsteiner itself, the company is presently in its ninth generation of family

ownership under Catharina Cramer, and its brewery group continues to put its mark decisively on the history, the present and the future of the German beer industry. Warsteiner is today a globally recognised brand, with its unique selection of beers sold in more than 60 countries throughout the world. Part of what makes the company’s beers so instantly distinctive was the discovery of the Kaiserquelle (‘Kaiser’s Spring’) at the edge of the Arnsberg Forest in 1928. With only one to two degrees of water hardness, the water from this spring is particularly applicable for beer brewing and contributes to the salubriousness of the beer. The soft water of the Kaiserquelle, which continues to feed the water tanks of the Warsteiner Brewery today, is a pivotal component for the specialisation of beer in the pilsner brewing tradition. This in turn led to the development of the highly

acclaimed Warsteiner Pilsner. As the company continued to grow, its brew volume achieved the 100,000-hectolitre threshold for the first time in 1960 and Warsteiner has since continued to hold its place as one Germany’s largest breweries. Over the years Warsteiner has perfected a comprehensive range of beers that provides the ideal beverage to suit every taste. While the original Warsteiner Pilsner continues to take pride of place in the company’s range, it is no longer considered to be the only Warsteiner flagship product, with wheat, dark and non-alcoholic beers all joining Warsteiner Pilsner as part of a widely appreciated, high quality line up of beers. Warsteiner’s steadfast commitment to quality and taste starts with the selection of particularly soft brew water, hops from the Hallertau region and the finest summer barley malt. 57

Warsteiner Fans of wheat, dark and ale beer can also find their favourite beverage in the Warsteiner Group’s assortment of products, with the company assuming a holding interest in the König Ludwig Schloßbrauerei Kaltenberg in Fürstenfeldbruck as of 2001. Today customers can enjoy the König Ludwig Weissbier, König Ludwig Hell and König Ludwig Dunkel brands as part of an expansive Warsteiner portfolio. Throughout its history Warsteiner has enjoyed great success in markets around the world, with Asia providing fantastic brand development and sustainable commercial development for the business. The company’s beers also remain as firm favourites in its native Germany, while the brand has seen sustained expansion in France and Spain as well as a 15 per cent growth within the UK in 2016. The success of Warsteiner in UK was achieved in co-operation with Marston’s Brewing Company who signed a multiyear exclusive distribution contract in December 2015 in order to enrich their portfolio of well-known and widely appreciated Ale brands with the top world beer brand, Warsteiner. The latest


success in the UK is the national launch of the IBC (International Beer Challenge 2016) silver awarded Warsteiner Premium Fresh 0.0% multipack which will be available in more than 700 Tesco stores as of March 2017. Warsteiner is the leading International Premium Pilsener from Germany in the UK market. It is brewed according to the German Purity Law from 1516 with the finest ingredients and no artificial flavours or additives.

Non-alcoholic variety Warsteiner offers a perfectly balanced taste due to the best ingredients: (1) It’s soft brewing water from natural springs in the Arnsberger forest located very close to the brewery with beautiful names like ‘Glory’ and ‘Paradise’ beside of the already mentioned ‘Kaiserquelle’. (2) Selected brewing spring barley cultivated in celebrated regions of Germany and Champagne in France. (3) Hand-selected top quality hops from Hallertau region and; (4) The unique Warsteiner yeast. Just those four ingredients are allowed to be used due to the German Purity law. Nothing more. Warsteiner Premium Pilsener is distributed all over the UK with focus in urban areas as London, Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool. With Warsteiner Fresh 0.0% Warsteiner just celebrated a great performance during the typical British dry January. Warsteiner Fresh with 0.0% alcohol is the perfect thirst quencher for any occasion such as sports, business meetings, lunch or just between mealtimes. In research from 2016 Warsteiner Fresh is significantly preferred over

Becks Blue and others for appearance, taste and overall liking. And there is a special reason for that. It is gently dealcoholised by a vacuum distillation at low temperatures to keep a crisp and full bodied Warsteiner Pilsener taste. The dealcoholisation takes place only after the brewing process is completed. The result is an award winning Premium NA Pilsener.

Respected brewer During February 2016 the global appreciation of Warsteiner beers was highlighted when the company was awarded six gold medals by the prestigious German Agricultural Society or ‘Deutsche Landwirtschaftsgesellschaft’ (DLG). The DLG annually tests beer and beer mix beverages according to a five point scheme that focuses on the important qualities of purity, authentic taste, quality of bitterness, body, freshness and flavour stability. Tests are carried out on two different samples collected on different dates to ensure that the results provide information regarding the consistency of beer production quality. Of the six beers that were awarded the gold standard, three beers comprised of the company’s Warsteiner Premium Pilsener, Warsteiner Double Hopped and Warsteiner Radler are available to clients internationally, meaning that enthusiasts are able to get a taste of what makes the Warsteiner so special. Having enjoyed a long history of tradition, innovation and recognised quality, Warsteiner is a highly respected German brewing company with a global footprint. As it looks to the remainder of 2017 and beyond it will seek to capitalise on the successful launch of its non-alcoholic beers as well as the continued popularity of its established range to increase its market share well into the future. D


Cocoa conquers Spain Below: Mario Crehuet, Carlos Crehuet, Manuel Crehuet (sitting)

Indcresa is a story about a family of entrepreneurs committed to growing and developing the cocoa industry


ndcresa dates back to 1915 when its forward thinking founder Enrique Crehuet Roig built his first factory on land purchased in downtown Barcelona. Despite low consumption levels of cocoa products at that time, he decided to install cocoa processing equipment. “Our grandfather had a great vision of the future. The civil war between 1936

and 1939 stopped many initiatives, but everything began to change in the 1950s with the creation of cocoa based products. Cocoa powder overtook the Spanish demand for butter as he predicted. It was the beginning of our grandfather’s innovative strategy to manufacture cocoa powder by importing cocoa cakes, to avoid generating butter surpluses,” said 59

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Mario Crehuet, Enrique´s grandson and CEO of Indcresa, together with his brother Carlos. The growth in cocoa powder grew more quickly than the Crehuet family could have imagined. In 1988 Indcresa inaugurated its first factory in the world dedicated exclusively to manufacturing cocoa powder, in an industrial zone 20 kilometers from Barcelona. At the time its main suppliers were from Brazil, Ivory Coast and Malaysia, but over time it started to incorporate other areas. Mario explains: “Little by little cocoa powder applications were growing and we required more raw materials thanks to very popular products like instant drinks such as Cola Cao or Nesquik, syrups like Hershey, spread creams like Nocilla or Nutella, the biscuits that we all seem to love like Oreo and Principe,

compound coatings, chocolate substitutes, the fillings in bakery and confectionery, dairy products such as milkshakes, yoghurts and ice-creams and cocoa breakfast cereals.” Further innovative developments have taken place over the years, and today Indcresa has a modern factory with a capacity of up to 70,000 tonnes per year. It exports 75 per cent of its cocoa powders across five continents, thanks to subsidiaries in Holland and the US. The family run company’s vision will grow it further: ‘Our philosophy is to continue growing and to continuously adapt to the market place and changing customer demands, while always keeping the identity of our family business and willingness to remain very close to our customers.’

Cocoa powder processes As consumers want more products the family has had to look further a field for suppliers. After a careful selection process Indcresa obtains raw materials from the leading cocoa producers in Ghana, Ivory Coast, Malaysia, Indonesia and South America, many of them long term suppliers. Mario states: “We are in permanent contact with all our manufacturers, especially in Africa and Asia, with the majority of presses in Europe and with all the traders in the world. The relationship with our suppliers is very reliable because we have been building it for many years, reaching future agreements with many of them.” When the raw material reaches the warehouse it is analysed to determine its properties, and through the most

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Indcresa appropriate processes of control it’s optimised and improved, taking into account its subsequent behavior when used in the final products. “Careful selection of cocoa powder is essential to improve the flavour, colour, aroma and texture of all its applications,” explains Mario. “We produce a wide variety including natural, light, medium and strongly alkalised cocoa powders and ultimately different kinds of red and black colours.” Due to ever increasing demand Indcresa has recently invested into new processing lines to manufacture larger volumes of alkalised and red and black products. It has also added a new and more sophisticated packaging building with the latest available technology and built new factory warehouses in external facilities to expand the levels of stock of both raw and finished products. Its facilities have grown to 50,000 m2 just outside of Barcelona.


Global sales The company’s main customers are large multinational companies with very popular products such as instant drinks, bakeries, biscuits, syrups, dairy, chocolates, coatings, creams, ice creams and desserts. Indcresa also has medium and smaller customers producing similar products, but on a localised scale. Its predominant markets are the USA and Spain, but it also has a strong presence across Europe, where France, Germany, UK and Italy are the leading countries. In Latin America and across the Mediterranean strip in Algeria and Turkey sales are also good, while Russia, South Africa and India purchase large amounts of cocoa powders. Mario puts a lot of Indcresa’s successes down to his sales team: “Our sales department is very proactive and constantly opening new markets and getting new customers, which allows us

to expand our customer base and sales every year.” The innovative nature of the company doesn’t end here. It’s already planning future changes. In the next three years there are plans to expand capacity and capabilities. “We expect that the cocoa business will develop in an even more demanding way. Consumers want sustainable and healthier products,” says Mario. The company received approval to manufacture cocoa that is certified as ecological in July 2015. This all comes with investment into processes, machinery and the right people; the future is looking good for Indcresa. D

Murree Brewery

Guaranteed CARE Murree Light A light beer having continental malts and hops, corresponds to Czech pilsener

Murree Beer Brewed from imported six row barley malt and Bavarian hop products

Murree’s Classic Lager A flagship beer, smooth on palate. Taste and flavour close to Central European lagers

Murree’s Wheat Beer Murree’s Wheat beer is a new German style beer


stablished in 1860 in response to the increasing demand for beer by the personnel of the British Raj, Murree Brewery is the oldest continuing enterprise in Pakistan. Located at Ghora Galli, located in the Pir Punjal range of the Western Himalayas at an elevation of 6000 metres above sea level, the Murree brewery was also among the first modern beer breweries to be established in Asia. With Murree beer proving to be popular among British troopers barracked in the Galis of these hills, the brewed barley malt and hops soon caught the attentions of the local population, who swiftly became consumers. By the turn of the 20th century, Murree was a name famously connected to beer in kegs and bottles in the bars, beer halls and army messes of British India. Awarded a medal for product excellence at the Philadelphia Exhibition in 1876, the brewery has gone on to win numerous awards over the following 140 years. Discussing some major milestones within the brewery’s long history, Isphanyar Bhandra, CEO and Owner

Focused on transparency, investment and innovation, Murree Brewery is a trusted producer of a wide variety of beers, liquors and non-alcoholic products of Murree Brewery comments: “In 1947 when the Indian Independence Act partitioned British India into two new independent dominions of India and Pakistan, my grandfather at the time was working as Director of Murree Brewery. He made the strategic decision to buy off the British and Hindu majority shareholders, which is how Murree Brewery came into my family in the same year. Today we are an approximately 200,000 hectare litre brewery that sells our products all across Pakistan; exports are not allowed as far as alcoholic beverages are concerned, in fact, neither are imports permitted. We essentially cater to local markets in Pakistan.” Products within the brewery’s portfolio include fruity malts, soft drinks, Tops Tetra packs at one litre, Tops Tetra packs at 250 ml, squash, three litre PET bottles; NR juice, five litre PET bottles, sauces, water, vinegar, beers and liquors. Beers include the famous Murree Beer, Murree’s Classic Lager, Murree’s Millennium Brew, both in cans and bottled, Peach & Lemon Beer, Murree’s Strong Brew, Murree’s Classic Lager and Murree’s Special Strong Beer. Within the liquor range are products such as Murree’s Rarest limited edition

21 year old whiskey, Murree’s eight-yearold Malt Whiskey Classic, Murree’s Citrus Gin and Murree’s 12-year-old Millenium Reserve single malt scotch whiskey. The number of whiskies available within the brewery’s portfolio is a result of a German brew house being installed in 1967 and Saladin Box Maltings in 1971 and latest Brew House is from an English Company Briggs of Burton, India; during the 1960’s the Murree Brewery also made the strategic decision to embark on an ambitious long-term programme to mature malt whiskies, with white oak casks and vats procured over the last four decades from North America, Australia and Spain. Today Murree Brewery’s two underground cellars hold more than half a million litres of malt whiskey for varying periods of maturation under controlled temperature conditions. Committed to fulfilling customer requirements and expectations through CARE (Continuous improvement, Alignment of Mission & goals, Responsibility and respect of jobs and each other, Educating one another) Murree Brewery retains a competitive edge in the market through its adherence of high standards and optimal transparency in all areas of the business. 63


Murree Brewery

“As far as our products are concerned, we are committed to keeping high standards, however we are also above the table when it comes to operating; we don’t have any hidden closets or hidden skeletons,” says Isphanyar. “Additionally, we are one of the few companies in Pakistan to have third generation employees that work within our group. We take pride in this as this is not very common in Pakistan as employees are treated as slaves, however our family philosophy is to treat employees as extended family; this is something I learnt from my late father and the results of this is very low turnover of employees. “We are also fully committed to investment, having invested approximately $5 million dollars in our glass container company; we don’t just have the brewery, we also have a juice factory, water plant and the glass container factory. We make glass bottle for ourselves too,” highlights Isphanyar. “To stay competitive we keep buying machinery to the tune of $4 million to $6 million annually. This investment is in response to Pakistan being declared an emerging market that is experiencing an explosion in its population. While

the European population is on the decline, in the sub continent we see the total opposite, as 70 per cent of the population is comprised of teenagers. You can well imagine that 70 per cent of more than 200 million people is a huge consumption group.” Moving forward, Murree Brewery is certain to enjoy continued growth

as it focuses on investment, product development and meeting the needs of its huge potential customer base, as Isphanyar highlights: “We will keep on investing in infrastructure and machines while also spending money on research and development. For example, we recently introduced a wheat beer concept in Pakistan, much like what they have in Germany; this concept was developed after six to eight months of R&D, during which time we strived to match the same taste as you expect in Germany. Furthermore, we fly our foreign consultants in from Germany to audit our procedures and to help us create new products and so on.” With immense opportunities for success ahead and the brewery’s sales teams already surpassing its targets time and time again, Murree Brewery’s long history looks set to continue for many years to come. D 65


Thomas Hardy

Quality in a bottle Thomas Hardy Holdings Limited provides a wide range of packaging options for the beer and beverages markets

Burtonwood, Cheshire and the company has two packaging plants one in Burtonwood and one in Kendal, Cumbria with mixing and blending facilities that feed the bottling line on each site. Thomas Hardy has and continues to package some well-known drinks brands including Bacardi Breezer, Carlsberg, Hooch and Fentiman’s, however: “We have never had our own brands so we pride ourselves on being able to sit round a table with everyone and anyone,” says Chris Ward. “Our core focus is on quality and service through the investments we’ve made in people and plant and I’m very proud of the teams we’ve built up on both sites.”

Major investment

M3 Changeparts M3 Changeparts has been working alongside Thomas Hardy for the last 11 years. We are the preferred supplier of bottle handling and label handling change parts. Our excellent working relationships with the engineers and operators are a critical success factor in projects and installations. M3 Changeparts is a proud supplier of Thomas Hardy Ltd and we wish them continued success for the future.

WestRock WestRock provides packaging solutions designed to give their customers a winning edge in the global marketplace. WestRock partners closely with their customers to deliver the best value on everything from paperboard used for a wide variety of packaging and shipping containers to specialty packages and packaging machines. Every day, their 41,000 team members combine practical innovations and rigorous execution in more than 250 operating and business facilities across North America, South America, Europe and Asia-Pacific to deliver products and services that answer unique local needs.


homas Hardy is a family run brewing and bottling business, dedicated to servicing the beer and beverage industries. The business was started by Peter Ward in 1997 having realised from 30 years at Courage (latterly Scottish & Newcastle) and his time as a consultant to the World Bank, that there was a gap in the market to offer niche packaging solutions to potential customers that do not have production facilities of their own as well as supporting multinational beverage companies. Peter’s son Chris Ward and his experienced executive team now run the business from their head office in

In the last five years Thomas Hardy has reinvested over eight million pounds back into the business and plans to invest a further million pounds this year. “We continually invest in plant to stay at the forefront of what we do, as we strive to reach our goal of being the ‘go to’ packer for premium beverages in the UK,” explains Chris. “A lot of investment has been made in the sites’ facilities, with a particular focus on filling capability in Burtonwood, pasteurisation control and end of line packaging formats on both sites.” The company has witnessed first-hand the move away from traditional 24 packs to smaller packs, carry packs and multipack clusters for the take home market. The innovative nature of the company ensures that it is adaptable to new trends. “We have invested in a couple of new WestRock packers that will allow us to manufacture standard four pack, six pack and eight pack clusters but also three by one and the four by one stick packs, which you are starting to see on the supermarket shelves,” explains Chris. Thomas Hardy and WestRock have worked together on a deal to install an identical new machine on each site with additional capability. “It’s a dual approach and both parties will support each other in trying to generate further volume for the new machines. It means that we have enhanced our cluster pack offering and WestRock will hopefully sell more clusters, so it should be a win/win arrangement,” explains Chris. 67

Thomas Hardy it will be another major investment for us,” says Chris. The premium drinks market, especially adult soft drinks, has seen double digit growth on the back of the success and popularity of brands like Fever Tree and Fentiman’s, which points to some exciting times ahead and the team at Thomas Hardy hopes that their service and innovation will continue to attract new customers. D

It looks like an exciting time ahead for Thomas Hardy. The company has also invested in a new KHS filler at Burtonwood capable of sterile filtration and clean room filling, enabling Thomas Hardy to package beer into P.E.T. bottles and support the craft beer movement of packaging beer that has been sterile filtered, rather than pasteurised, for enhanced flavour and aroma.


Thomas Hardy plans to continue to grow its current bottling facilities focusing on the premium end of the market but isn’t afraid of exploring new avenues. “We are looking at the feasibility of a specialist canning line and actively seeking support for the project from new and existing customers. However it is still very much at an early stage and there is a lot of work to do as

Aetna UK Ltd

Thomas Hardy Kendal upgrade end of line Thomas Hardy Brewing and Packaging have been one of the leading contract packers of beers, ciders, soft drinks and FABs for many years, offering brewing, blending and contract filling for many leading household brands that are available on the shelves of major retailers and pub chains. The Kendal plant currently packs around 150 SKU’s, filling over 40 different bottle sizes. With demand from customers for still further packaging flexibility, the decision was made to upgrade the end of line solution to offer both current and future customers new secondary packaging options. Peter Armstrong the Director of Thomas Hardy Kendal commented: “Many of our customers were asking us for new packaging solutions and so we have been upgrading the wet end of the line here at Kendal for some time. The original Dimac shrinkwrapper supplied by Aetna UK had packed over 50 million cases for us and had been a brilliant machine but was now ready for an upgrade.” “The project was done in two parts. The first was to provide a solution for replacing the old shrink tunnel but, following customer requests, we needed to be able to offer the additional option of registered or printed film for trays and pads. The second phase was to replace the tray erector and wraparound packer within the existing format of the line, which included linking in a direct feed from our existing Mead Clusterpak machine.” David Walkinshaw, Sales Manager at Aetna UK said: “We have had a long association with Thomas Hardy since the company was established by Peter Ward. We have equipment in all of their sites therefore when we were approached for this project we were of course hopeful that we would be successful in continuing this long association.” David continued: “As Thomas Hardy are co-packers, the need for high speed changeovers and flexibility is key to their success and profitability. Once the last bottles of one product are packed out and palletised at the end of the line, the plant aims to change over their various packers and labellers in readiness of the next product coming off the filler. The improved mechanisms on the Prasmatic TC 500 and Dimac Greenstar F that we installed have definitely facilitated changeovers and help the Thomas Hardy team reduce downtime.” Peter Armstrong added “Another issue for us at the time of making the decision to go down the Aetna route again was their ability to offer a machine that could accommodate pack sizes as small as 6 x 275ml bottles while still being capable of handling 45 packs a minute, and the new Prasmatic TC 500 was able to offer this capability. Overall this has been a great installation for us and although we have an excellent technical team here that are pretty self sufficient, it is always good to know the Aetna UK after sales and service team are there for us should they be required.” 69


stock London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) is a world leading financial infrastructure company, built on foundations that stretch back for centuries



racing its roots to 1698, when John Castaing began listing stock and commodity prices at Jonathan’s coffee house in the City, London Stock Exchange evolved throughout the 18th century. In 1801, it began inviting members to join on a formal subscription basis. Today, London Stock Exchange is the world’s most international exchange, as nearly 2500 companies from more than 90 countries are quoted across its markets, with a combined value of £4.4 trillion. As Marcus Stuttard, Head of UK Primary Markets and Head of AIM at LSEG began by explaining, London Stock Exchange’s markets include the Main Market – London’s flagship venue for equity, debt and exchange traded products, offering businesses access to Europe’s most liquid pool of capital – and AIM – the world’s leading market for small and growing companies. He gave more details about AIM: “Since its launch in 1995 AIM has helped more than 3650 companies raise

nearly £100 billion,” he said. “AIM is a tremendous success story for Britain, supporting the re-balancing of the economy away from debt towards equity and boosting access to vital growth finance for thousands of ambitious businesses. Equity funding enables companies to concentrate on innovation, growth and job creation, rather than having to prioritise serving a loan.” Marcus continued: “In June 1995, the market was launched with just ten companies and an aggregate value of £82 million. More than 20 years later, AIM is now the world’s most successful and established market for growth companies. Our statistics show that in 2005, the average AIM company had a valuation of £17 million at admission and raised £5 million at IPO. This year, the average new AIM company is worth more than £95 million and raised over £30 million - these significant increases reflect AIM’s international profile and the deep pool of capital available to companies joining the market.”

London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) He added: “When looking at AIM I think it is also important to take into account the impact the market and the companies quoted on it have on the real economy. Figures for the latest year available show companies who raised capital on AIM, instead of borrowing from banks, created 731,000 jobs, paid £2.3 billion in tax and contributed £25 billion alone to UK GDP.” While AIM and the Main Market are obviously hugely significant operations, they are not LSEG’s only sources of business. It also operates a broad range of international equity, bond and derivatives markets, including Borsa Italiana; MTS, Europe’s leading fixed income market; and Turquoise, a pan-European equities MTF. It also offers post trade and risk management services, an extensive range of realtime and reference data products, and indexing and analytic solutions. LSEG is also a leading developer of high performance trading platforms and capital markets software, plus it also organises a range of events, as well as undertaking research projects and creating reports, which are part of LSEG’s broader support for high growth companies including the business support programme, ELITE. Examples of two such reports produced by LSEG have the aim of celebrating the fastest-growing and most dynamic small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). The first edition of 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain was launched in 2013, and identifies inspiring companies, as well as demonstrating the continued strength of British business and the thriving entrepreneurial spirit taking hold across the country. 1000 Companies to Inspire Europe was launched in 2016 – Marcus explained that this report is designed to shine a light on European growth companies and the role they can play in driving economic growth in Europe. “If properly supported, we believe these companies will create high-quality jobs and economic growth. Across the Euro area, SMEs are responsible for two-thirds of jobs and 60 per cent of value added to the business economy,” he stated. When creating these reports, LSEG ensures that the requirements that

companies have to achieve really set them apart in the market: “For the UK report companies must be active and registered in the UK, with revenues between £6m-£250m. Positive revenue growth must have been recorded in three of the last four years but most importantly, for companies to be included they must have outperformed their sector peers. The result is a showcase of UK businesses that is richer and more varied than, we believe, in any other report of its type. “We effectively replicated this exercise for our European edition but changed the parameters for inclusion – companies must have revenues between €20m and €300m and must outperform country peers rather than sector peers. The long-list is split among the EU 28 countries according to every country’s contribution to the EU GDP.” Thanks to LSEG’s dedicated research and stringent methodologies, each report examines in detail the opportunities and challenges facing SMEs and looks at the sectors and trends that will shape the future of the UK/European economies. Adding some details from the UK report, Marcus said: “Without doubt, many of these companies find identifying and accessing the right form of long-term financing a challenge. More than half of Britain’s smaller companies resort to credit cards to fund their business, with just three per cent of entrepreneurs in

the UK making use of equity finance. At London Stock Exchange Group we constantly see the benefits companies experience from using equity finance and are committed to supporting them throughout their growth journey. That’s why we publish our 1000 companies report and run our ELITE business support and mentoring programme for private high growth companies that want help to prepare for future investment.” For those SME’s looking for finance options, they can gain confidence from AIM’s longevity and proven success – the market celebrated two decades in operation in 2015, and the track record and the proven resilience of the AIM community provides LSEG with the best evidence for success that it could wish for. “Whilst most international growth markets have stagnated or disappeared over the years, AIM has prospered, and has continued to evolve through the business cycles,” agreed Marcus. “Our goal for the future is to support companies by providing access to investors that can provide genuinely long term capital to support companies long term development plans. We want more of the UK’s exciting manufacturers to become global leaders in their fields and are confident that the capital, credibility and profile that AIM can provide can help them accelerate their growth.” D 71

Full of


Recognised as one of the UK’s most inspiring businesses, coffee manufacturer Lincoln & York has developed a solid reputation in the market as an expert in private label coffee roasting



amed after its two founders’ home cities, Lincoln & York was established in 1994 by coffee buyer James Sweeting and coffee trader Simon Herring. Beginning operations by hand roasting coffee in the garden shed before selling it to local coffee shops, golf clubs and even hairdressers, James and Simon used their extensive knowledge of coffee to develop Lincoln & York into the UK’s premier coffee supplier. “We import coffees from all over the world and create blends and products for customers depending on their sector, taste profile and changes in the market; we can tweak products from time to time to meet customer requirements and also develop new ranges in line with market demand,” explains James Sweeting, Managing Director and CoFounder of Lincoln & York. “To remain innovative and come up with new ideas we have a tasting team of four that taste approximately 200 coffees per day; during tasting we look out for certain things that customers may be requesting and then present clients with

opportunities as they come up. Each of our tasting team trains for three years and are put through a range of tests to ensure they are experts in the field of coffee. “Our main customers are presently in the UK food service and coffee bar market, which includes the out-ofhome brands that you see on the high street. The UK is our key market area, with 75 per cent of our sales coming from here, while the remaining 25 per cent is exports.” More than two decades since its inception, Lincoln & York has grown from a pop-up roastery to a 6000 square metre state-of-the-art facility, with two roasteries, 11 packing lines and a 70-strong team of passionate coffee lovers. Recent strategic investment in the site took place in 2014, when the company made history with the installment of the UK’s largest coffee roaster at its North Lincolnshire plant; part of a £3 million investment phase, the 600 kg Brambati drum roaster doubled capacity and paved the way for further growth that has resulted in the company being listed amongst the London Stock Exchange’s 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain in both 2014 and 2016. The company also announced that it had been included in Insider Magazine’s Growth 100 list in October 2016 in recognition of its growth as a coffee supplier over the last five years.

Optimum reliability It was also in 2014 that the company opened the doors to its own contingency facility; proud to be the only large roaster in the UK to have its own contingency facility, the company can ensure optimum reliability and complete flexibility to all customers thanks to the facility’s features such as a green coffee intake area, contingency roasters and packing lines, development kitchen/ cupping room and a completely separate power supply. The fully-equipped standalone building is on the same site as the main factory and includes additional office space that enabled the company to expand from 40 personnel to 70 in just two years. “In addition to these investments, we are also always investing in green bean, green coffee handling systems and end-of-line packaging systems,” notes James.

Lincoln & York Having developed a strong reputation as experts in sourcing, roasting, packing and delivering completely customised coffee products, Lincoln & York has adapted its facilities and services to ensure both personnel and the roasteries can deliver tailor made packages that meet specific customer requirements. From seven kg ground coffee ESE pods to one kg bags of espresso beans, 60 kg roasts of high grade speciality coffee to 600 kg of blended espresso, Lincoln & York can supply optimum solutions to its diverse customer base. “There is a polarisation in the market between individual, artisanal coffee shops with a single site owner who is trying to develop his/her brand, while the other side of the spectrum is coffee shop chains or restaurants or other out-of-home businesses. The two are significantly different and thus have different needs, which is why we strive to offer the best possible product to suit each clients specific requirements,” explains James. “Because of our knowledge, size in the market place and long-term experience, we are able to source and supply the best and most competitive coffees.” Key to ensuring high quality products that are sourced at the right time and at the right price is Lincoln & York’s commitment to developing

close relationships with its suppliers and specialised companies through its three-strong coffee buying team, which includes three Coffee Quality Institute certified Q Graders. Sourcing its green Arabica and Robusta coffees from more than 40 origins across the globe, the

company regularly makes trips to source to ensure coffee is grown well, harvested properly and processed with care. “We source our coffee from Central and South America, East Africa and Asia and have a solid network of suppliers as well as a good tasting and buying team that consistently checks quality to ensure we buy what we say we buy,” confirms James. Having developed a strong foothold in the UK, Lincoln & York is keen to take advantage of the booming coffee market by expanding further into Europe and potentially beyond over the coming years. “The coffee market is still growing, which is something you can’t say for all industries; as such, we have a growth plan for the next three to five years that we will follow to outgrow the market. This plan includes putting more emphasis on generating business outside the UK and to make exporting a more important part of our business,” James concludes. D

Midwest Market Force Ltd Midwest Market Force Ltd is a very well established UK based distributor of coffee filter papers and coffee and tea utensils. We’ve built up a reputation for supplying competitively priced and quality products, which is supported by excellent service and fast despatch. Midwest Market Force Ltd has enjoyed a great relationship with Lincoln & York, dating back to 2003. We supply a range of high quality coffee basket filters to their state-of-the-art facility in Lincolnshire. 73

Ripe picking for the

Specialising in the production and distribution of stone and pome fruit, family firm Catala Group delivers 155 million kg of its products to customers around the world each year



stablished in 1950 when founder Domingo Catala acquired the first warehouse, Catala Group grew over the years, with the first orchard acquired in 1963 and the second warehouse built in 2001. In 2011 the company expanded further, with a third and fourth warehouse as well as an additional 2000 hectares of land; these later developments enabled Catala Group to grow, pack and market its own fruit on a global scale. Today the family firm remains dedicated to the production and distribution of stone and pome fruit such as apricots, peaches, nectarines, plums, pears, apples and persimmons and operates across a total plant surface area of 140,000 square metres. Within that vast area is a cooling capacity of 50,000 tonnes; this is spread throughout the centres at La Portella, Merida, Villena, Torrefarrera, Badajoz and Les Mees, the latter of which is located in France. With a total of 2500 hectares of farmland across Spain and France, the company boasts an estimated production capacity of 155 million kg; this fruit can be sent from any of Catala Group’s centres to any destination across the globe at any time of year. Current export markets include Brazil, Argentina, the US, Chile, the UK, Germany, Holland, Belgium; Russia, Poland, Italy, France, South Africa, Algeria, China, Australia and the UAE.

Fruit available to consumers includes apricots, which Catala Group can provide five varieties: spring blush, moniqui, tsunami, kioto and farial. Each variation has its own characteristics, with size and colour varying from white, yellow, orange or red. For those seeking a sweet and fleshy peach, Catala Group offers up to 30 varieties of the fruit; this range includes transvalia, caterino, spring crest, royal gem, estrella roja, summer sun, queen lady and sweet cap. For plums, meanwhile, the group produces 16 varieties, including yellow, ana gold, extrema gold, October king and diamex, the latter of which is a sweet, thick, round and flat plum with black skin. Since its origin, Catala Group has been committed to its social and environmental responsibilities, efforts that have been carried out from every member of the team. This strategy is used as a tool in order to improve quality, social development and a deep respect to the environment. Moreover, from 2013 onwards, there has been a change in Catala Group’s way of operating in order to enhance its sustainability principles. For example, the group has implemented a new model based on environmental respect and economic performance with the aim of lowering pesticide residues; this is in line with the group’s target of getting as close to zero MRL as possible and being more demanding than the current policies from the EU.

Catala Group To reach this goal the group has applied prevention, responsibility and collaboration principles to minimise residues and manage the ones generated. Actions taken include continuous recycling, third party fruit buying with minimum pesticide residues, adherence to the Spanish empty pesticide recycling organisation SIGFITO’s policy and the implementation of pick up areas and phytosanitary treatments. Additionally the company replaces pesticides and chemical plant food with the release of predators and the utilisation of natural and organic manure. On top of these actions, the group also focuses on energy saving through a high efficiency irrigation system, water use management and a water availability programme. Catala Group also knows soil management is crucial for agronomy and sustainability and responds accordingly with direct herb plantation, mulching and nutrient analysis. Furthermore, the group has always been sensible when it comes to the protection of animal species and believes that fauna and flora are crucial to get optimum sustainable production. In more detail, these actions include parasite control through massive capture and sexual confusion techniques, the control of weeds and natural herbs, ferirrigation and soil protection; the conservation of reserve areas such as forests, ponds and lakes, in accordance to EU legislation, animal protection, that includes nests, lairs and the promotion of box nests in order to allow birds of prey to live on farms. The group also promotes anti-electrical systems in accordance to EU Birds norm 79/409/ CEE and also promotes the use of new and better-adapted varieties. Alongside its focus on the environment, the group is also committed to continuous improvement through research and development and has implemented new growing techniques as a result of this. These techniques include new experimental plots with the aim of marketing varieties that fulfil market demand with the goal of enhancing tasting quality, brix levels, improving pressure and texture, colouration, shape and also size.

Additionally with the aim of fulfilling market demands, the group selects new varieties to extend seasons. Through stringent adherence to both its own standards and EU legislation, as well as through working with the best nurseries and plant dealers, Group Catala can ensure the best possible quality when it comes to the varieties of fruit planted on its farms. This dedication to quality in all areas of operation has not only resulted in a

global export market and strong growth, but also the attention of the London Stock Exchange, which included Catala Group among the 75 Spanish firms highlighted in its 1000 Small and Medium Companies to Inspire Europe. Having achieved this honour, the future looks positive for Catala Group as it benefits from the fruits of its labour and focuses on further increasing its market share throughout Europe and the world. D 75

Grape expectations Through personal contact with customers and an ongoing passion for wine, WIV Wein International AG has become the world’s number one group of direct wine-selling businesses


WIV Wein International AG


IV Wein International AG traces its roots back to the year 1675. What initially started as a family-owned vineyard has grown into an internationally successful group of companies with more than 4000 employees and sales partners around the globe. Despite the changes that it has undergone over the centuries, the company remains family driven and ever-focused on (the distribution of) high quality wines, with Katharina Pieroth leading Pieroth Estate, a subsidiary of WIV Wein International AG and Andreas Pieroth operating as chairman on the supervisory board of the group. While the history of WIV dates as far back as 340 years, the company’s success as a pioneer in direct sales began approximately 60 years ago, when brothers Elmar and Kuno Pieroth revolutionised the way wine was distributed into the homes of customers. Today this way of operating remains a key pillar of the group, as David Samuel, Member of the Board at WIV Wein International AG, notes: “The concept of direct sales of WIV is based on personal and non-binding wine tasting at the home of customers. Quality of

wine, long-term experience, optimal service and professional advice are the requirements for our business success.”

Worldwide wellpositioned for the future The core business consists of the distribution of fine wine, sparkling wine, champagne, and spirits. The company is one of the pioneers in the German direct sales segment and has also set the trend in terms of globalisation; today, the companies and brands of WIV are represented in 16 countries over four continents. Service companies for logistics, touristic and trade fair construction round up the service offering of the group of WIV Wein International AG. Elaborating on the other services provided, David continues: “On top of direct sales, the group pursues a multichannel strategy to satisfy the growing requirements of the markets. With the specialist market chain Vino, we are also entering into the internet wine trade via; we shape market trends, especially addressing young customer segments. Moreover, the British trading house Hallgarten Druitt Novum Wines as well as the Japanese subsidiary of Pieroth (Wine way) delivers

wine to trade, hotels and upscale restaurants in Great Britain and Japan. The core of WIV’s business is in Europe, a quarter of sales relate to Asia and the Pacific region. The most important markets are Japan, Germany, UK and Switzerland.”

Quality and service – the foundation of success By having its own vineyards and wine cellars the group can lay quality foundations for the successful sale of its own wine right back to the production stage, as Katharina Pieroth, Managing Director at Pieroth Estate discusses: “Mild climate and geological diversity are distinctive features of the Nahe wine growing region, where our Pieroth Estate is located; this area offers ideal conditions for wine with character and our vineyards are situated in the charming countryside with lush meadows and rough rock formations. Good wine is created first and foremost in the vineyard, which is why we put the highest value on nature-orientated care of soil and grapevines; in the cellar we restrict ourselves to little necessary interference in combination with modern cellar techniques. In addition to this vineyard, we count some of the region’s 77

recognised top locations among our vineyards.” Alongside the wines produced in own vineyards, WIV also sources over 1000 wines, juices and spirits for its sales companies and external customers through its own international oenologists. The company is buying bottled wines from wine estates but also has its own cellar and bottling site in Germany to ensure full quality control when bringing the carefully selected bulk wine or juice to the bottle or when producing and bottling its liqueurs. The comprehensive services which WIV has started to provide successfully also to external clients in UK and Germany include sourcing of bulk wine, bottling of wine, manual extra services to the packaging and finally logistic services such as warehousing and delivery through its co-located subsidiary top-Logistic. “The broad range of high quality services we offer combined with our passion to make


it happen for the customer has helped us to continuously increase the bottle volume in our production and logistic facility over the last years and we see a great opportunity to further grow also the business with external clients,” says Meike Schmidt-Krenz, Head of Central Purchasing and Sales B2B at WIV. Thus WIV is fully prepared and committed to inspiring customers with the quality of its wines that are both produced by the group’s own vineyards as well as sourced by well-reputed suppliers. With its own experienced wine buyers located in Germany, France and Italy, all of which are oenological experts, the group makes strong long-term relationships with key suppliers from all over the world. The wine suppliers of WIV are regularly visited by wine buyers to ensure the quality standards match the group’s own high levels; location, cellar, technical equipment are inspected and

WIV Wein International AG validated and ongoing quality control and permanent personal contact remain the base of a well functioning business relationship between WIV and each supplier. For over 20 years – since the end of apartheid – WIV has been regarded as a specialist in South African wines. “To start with, there was just the renowned wine house of Boland Kelder in Paarl, followed over the years by other famous partners which supplemented and rounded off the selection, the latest addition being Klawer Cellars from Olifants River. With the addition of wines from the estates of Groot Constantia, Meerendal and De Krans, WIV succeeded in marketing famous varieties exclusively far beyond the borders of South Africa,” explains Meike. Having won numerous awards at national and international competitions, the company has earned a sterling reputation for delivering wine of a consistently high standard. This reputation, alongside a passion for wine and close relationships with customers, suppliers and service providers resulted in sales of 450 million euros in 2015.

As a family run group with a reputation for delivering outstanding customer service that matches the impeccable quality of its wines, the future looks ripe with opportunity for WIV as it continues to focus on direct contact with clients and improve competitiveness. “We

also want to reduce our dependence on internal business by increasing the level of profitable external business and, of course, by continually improving the quality of our products and services,” concludes Meike. D 79

h t i p a w ss e i d on a M KK Fine Foods is a passionate, fast moving business built on family values and integrity with a forward thinking approach that creates award-winning food

Samir, Leyla and Graham


KK Fine Foods


he company was started in 1987 by current CEO Leyla Edwards, and from the humble beginnings of her kitchen it has since grown into a business that operates out of a 120,000 square foot factory and boasts state-ofthe-art capabilities, and employs over 350 staff. This represents the huge distance KK Fine Foods has come, and is indicative of the drive and innovation that the company has constantly displayed, always taking itself to the next level in producing ready prepared food. Today KK Fine Foods is an award winning company that delivers high quality meat, fish and vegetarian meal solutions to the UK pub, restaurant and retail sectors. KK’s extensive portfolio offers British favourites plus many ethnic dishes from India, South East Asia, China, Mexico and South America. KK’s Italian classics, including pasta and risotto, are hugely popular as are its handmade pastries and pies, fishcakes, vegetarian burgers and sausages. In addition to this, KK is developing balanced, healthy, low fat dishes, and has a huge interest in ‘free-from’ such as gluten free, vegetarian and vegan. The success that KK Fine Foods enjoys has not only resulted in increasing growth and sales, but also a number of prestigious awards, as well as a number of significant investments that help to push the business even further forward. Managing Director Samir Edwards discussed some of the most recent investments the company has made: “Last year we finished off quite a major round of investment that has been happening over the past two years, this involved in excess of six million pounds being put into various aspects of the site. This not only includes factory investments, but also into our people, all of which we have completed, which means that 2016 was our first year with all the investments in place. As a result our capacity has doubled and it has opened up the additional volume for our existing customers and new clients.” The investments not only demonstrates the intent of KK Fine Foods, it also displays the demand from consumers for the company’s products,

as once its developments had been implemented its growth rate increased. The business has recorded double digit growth for the past two years. This impressive trajectory clearly shows the popularity of KK Fine Foods and the positive impact that its re-investments have made and will continue to make. Another key factor behind the company’s success over many years has been its ability to understand its

customer’s needs and the tastes of the end consumer, both of which KK Fine Foods prides itself on. In order to do this it uses extensive market research, which takes a number of forms, from attending food events in the UK, and in countries across the world, while also watching for the early stages of new food trends, as well as a number of other methods. All of which ensures that KK Fine Foods remains at the forefront of the industry, developing meals that appeal to the latest trends and tastes of tomorrow.

Customer satisfaction Fundamental to it creating food that appeals to the end consumer is the vast amount of research it conducts, and what underpins all of this is the company’s passion for customer satisfaction, something that Samir highlighted: “We see ourselves as a proactive and forward thinking business, 81

KK Fine Foods and we are able support both customers that have an idea of what they want and those that do not; as such we have a very firm understanding of what our clients are looking for. We want to ensure that we give our customers 100 per cent satisfaction, we want to make sure there is a happy customer at the end, because we also want repeat business.” The many positives of KK Fine Foods were once again demonstrated in 2016 - this time in the form of a number of awards at the British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF) Annual Awards 2016. At this occasion the business won two gold and three bronze awards for a range of products; it gained Gold in best new meat free or vegetarian product with its Thai edamame burger, and a Gold in best new vegetable-based product with its mushroom, cranberry and brie wellington. It also won a Bronze award in best new meat free or vegetarian product with its aubergine,


butternut squash, Greek style feta and pomegranate moussaka, while also receiving the Bronze award in best new multi-portion product with its Korean shredded chicken, plus a Bronze in best new meat-based product with its

wild boar cracker with red wine sauce. This long list of awards is a clear sign of the variety that KK Fine Foods offers, and the depth of expertise and passion that its staff put into developing foods. In addition to all of this Samir added: “We also had products nominated for this years Q Awards, and were nominated in the final three products for the frozen ready meal category.” Therefore, with a plethora of awards in 2016 KK Fine Foods is making itself stand out as a leader in creating innovative and popular foods that tap into the market tastes, and this has been added to with the completion of its two year investment project. The distance that the company has come, from its start to where it stands today, is a clear reminder of the determination and ability of the company, and with all of this in mind there is surely no limit on how far KK Fine Foods can go. D

Bright Blue Foods

Returning investment

Offering a wide selection of seasonal bakery goods as well as all year round products, Bright Blue Foods is the leading name behind some of Europe’s most recognisable licensed and own-brand cakes and pastries


perating with a passion for delivering the highest levels of quality in own brand and licensed brand cakes and pastries, Bright Blue Foods is a leading manufacturer in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector with an extensive range of products including mince pies, mini rolls, swiss rolls, slab cakes, jam tarts, fruit pies, biscotti, celebration cakes, fairy cakes and fruit cake. The company currently employs more than 1000 staff across four factory sites and prides itself on managing a truly diverse and integrated workforce. During 2016 Bright Blue Foods produced 158 million fairy

cakes, over 60 million mince pies and 111 million mini chocolate rolls – which if placed side by side would stretch from London to New York! Bright Blue Foods serves some of the food market’s most recognisable retailers, including supermarket brands such as Tesco, Marks & Spencer, ALDI, Iceland, Lidl, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Asda, which it serves from four locations - comprised of two production facilities within Blackburn, a facility in Bradford and a further site located at the Cukiernia Mistrza Jana (CMJ) bakery in Szczecin, Poland. The company’s head office is also located at its manufacturing site in Blackburn,

which includes a 5574m2 facility based on a 2.25-acre plot that produces mini rolls, fruit pies, mince pies and swiss rolls. The company reached an important milestone during September 2015, when the transformational investment company, Endless LLP, acquired Bright Blue Foods for an undisclosed sum. The investment was the tenth acquisition for Endless throughout 2015 following its announcement in 2014 that it had raised a new fund of £525 million to invest in buyouts, non-core acquisitions from larger groups and refinancing operations. The months following its acquisition by Endless have proven to 83

be transformational for Bright Blue Foods, with the company taking advantage of an investment of capital to invest in new market opportunities, improved manufacturing facilities and the introduction of an enthusiastic new management team. “Following its acquisition of Bright Blue Foods, Endless immediately injected capital into the company to get the business moving again. Once a new management team was put in place, we were able to get the company’s factories back under control very quickly and producing efficiently. The Endless team was then quick to work with us to identify suitable opportunities for further development of the business, with three areas ultimately being identified,” explains Bright Blue Foods CEO, Jonathan Lill. “The first of these was in the market for celebration cake, which resulted in a spend of over £1 million in our


bakery in Poland. This has enabled us to deliver highly efficient production lines for celebration cakes throughout the year, as well as for seasonal products at Christmas. In recent years, there has been minimal investment in this category within the UK and further

capacity has been removed from the market by the proposed closure of Food Utopia’s Avana Bakeries. This is a great opportunity for Bright Blue Foods as we are able to produce high quality celebration cakes in Poland both efficiently and at a lower cost, which

Bright Blue Foods gives us competitive advantage in this category.”

Award winner In addition to expanding its capabilities in the manufacture of celebration cakes, Bright Blue Foods has also invested significant capital into enhancing its existing large-scale production facilities such as its pastry lines, which combined with the development of its Polish facility has allowed the company to deliver a highly successful service level during Christmas 2016. Finally, the firm has also directed capital into its Bradford Bakery facility in the production of small cakes with an aim to increase the presence of Bright Blue Foods in this area. “Bright Blue Foods has some fantastic people who have stuck with the company through some very difficult times and who deserve to see the business back on its feet and

growing,” Jonathan says. “We now have some very well invested assets that have allowed us to achieve 99.6 per cent customer service throughout 2016 as well as recent quality recognition from the food industry for our mince pies and Christmas cakes.” Indeed, during November 2016, it was announced that Iceland Luxury Mince Pies, produced by Bright Blue Foods, had won a Gold Q Award in the 37th Quality Food Awards, held at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel. This recognition in the wake of a period of rapid transition and investment demonstrates that Bright Blue Foods is on course to further establish its market leading presence throughout 2017 and beyond. “We are delighted to have won the Gold Q Award. We strive to ensure all our Mince Pies are made using the most premium ingredients and feedback from all our customers is extremely positive and

we are glad that the judges thought so too. In addition to the prestigious Gold Q Award, Bright Blue Foods has also received Good Housekeeping Tried and Tested Awards for four of its seasonal products including mince pies and Christmas cakes and the BBC Good Food award for Christmas cake,” Jonathan concludes. “In terms of growing the business, firstly, we will always be focused on our customers and consumer trends in the market. Secondly we will aim to deliver great customer service and if we continue to do that, we will have a great platform for growth. Through innovation we can deliver great products to our clients throughout the UK and Europe and this will enable us to deliver excellent returns for all the company’s stakeholders, including its customers, owners, suppliers and its hard-working staff.” D 85

Unique approach

Formed from three people’s passion for beer, particularly US craft beer, Magic Rock Brewing Co Ltd has enjoyed solid growth as a specialist in brewing exciting and flavourful beers


Magic Rock Brewing Co Ltd Images courtesy of Sam Needham 87


Magic Rock Brewing Co Ltd


ounded in 2011, Magic Rock Brewing Co Ltd is a labour of love from two brothers with a passion for great beer and the burgeoning UK craft beer scene. Aided by head brewer Stuart Rose, the team was driven by a desire to bring characterful and exciting beers to both their local market and beyond. With brewing beginning in mid 2011, Jonny sold the majority of his shares to Richard in the final quarters of 2011. Beginning operations with a core range of six beers, from an easy drinking pale ale to an American-inspired 7.4 per cent IPA, the brewery was also involved in a number of collaborations, seasonal beers and one-offs to keep things interesting for both customers and the company. From the brewery’s early days, the beers exceeded expectations, which

resulted in Magic Rock Brewing Co being named the 2nd Best New Brewery in the World 2012 on the independent ratings site Rate Beer. Having gained an impressive reputation, the company increased capacity to meet demand in the first year of operations, with additional 166bbl fermenting vessels added in October 2011 and January 2012. With further growth following, the brewery relocated to a new site in Birkby, Huddersfield, which increased capacity to 10,000hl PA; the Magic Rock Tap House was then opened, which resulted in the launch of the brewery’s first run of cans. Capacity was increased by a further 100 per cent in early 2016, with fermentation capacity now reaching 70,000 litres. Richard discusses the brewery’s developments in that time: “We still make the core beers that we produced five years ago, which all still sell in good numbers; but we now have a core number of eight beers, which are reflected by the products we do in smaller packs, so there is an eight can core range. We did draught for the first five years in operation, but since we moved to the new site in 2015 and installed the right equipment, we now have cans.”

Core range Within the core range is Salty Kiss, a 4.1 per cent German style gooseberry

flavoured gose that has a tart, sour, fruity and refreshing taste that makes it an excellent accompaniment to food; Hat-Trick, a modern take on a traditional pale ale that is 3.7 per cent and brewed in association with local football club Huddersfield Town and Ringmaster, Magic Rock Brewing’s 3.9 per cent flagship pale ale that uses hops from the US to ensure a floral/grassy aroma as well as citrus flavours. There is also Inhaler, a 4.5 per cent juicy pale ale; Rapture, a full-bodied, 4.6 per cent hoppy red beer that is made up of five types of malt and six types of hops; High Wire, a 5.5 per cent tribute to the pale ales of the West Coast of America; High Wire Grapefruit, a 5.5 per cent fruitinfused version of Magic Rock Brewing’s High Wire pale ale and Dark Arts, a six per cent surreal stout that blends four malts and many hops to deliver a decadent and indulgent experience. The final product in the range is Cannonball, a 7.4 per cent India pale ale that is high in alcohol and hugely hopped to deliver strong flavours such as tropical fruits and a sweet malty backbone. Elaborating on what makes Magic Rock Brewing’s products unique, Richard states: “It is the approach; I wanted intensity of flavour with drinkability that makes people want another one. When it comes to our core beers it has been a matter of tweaking them and continual improvement

Klenzan Ltd “Magic Rock prides itself on its excellence and consistency and we needed a chemical supplier to equal our own high standards - Klenzan are that company! “From the very start of our journey they have provided Magic Rock with the right products to aid the commissioning process right through to our daily cleans. Their work has been a major factor in the continuous improvements during our expansion development as cleaning and disinfection are a fundamental part of our process. I can confidently recommend Klenzan Ltd as a solid and reliable supplier, with many years of expertise in their field,” said Stuart Ross, Head Brewer.

Crowther & Shaw Crowther & Shaw are delighted to support Magic Rock Brewing Co with their commercial refrigeration equipment. We worked alongside the brewery during their expansion and relocation to their new premises providing their new beer storage coldrooms and associated refrigeration systems. Magic Rock has proved to be a growing business and we are happy to have provided them with support in our market sector to help with this success. 89

since we started brewing. It is also our branding, which is done by a friend of mine Richard Norgate; I’m not sure people had seen modern branding quite like ours with beer in the UK before, we love good design and wanted a level of idiosyncrasy to our branding. The way we approached the marketing and brand side of the business has worked out very well.”

Continuous improvement Focusing on continuous improvement and expansion has proven fruitful for the company, with turnover increasing to £3.5 million and a further increase of 25 per cent to 30 per cent anticipated over the next 12 months. “This expansion has enabled us to supply to a lot of people that we couldn’t previously; in the first four years we had to keep saying no to people and instead maintained our original clients. However, with this additional capacity we have


CTS Ltd As part of Magic Rock’s plans to purchase bulk malt for crushing in house, Nick Zeigler invited CTS Process to put forward a scheme. We were pleased to offer Nick our own Malt Mill which would give Magic Rock the versatility to produce the exact grist specification required for their exciting range of beers. CTS visited the site and carried out a full survey allowing them to fully integrate two new loadcell mounted malt silos, conveyors and the mill. The existing grist case was fitted with loadcells and a new CTS supplied PLC control system providing easy recipe selection was installed.

been able to export and do more distribution, with export reaching more than 20 countries now,” says Richard. Moving forward, Magic Rock Brewing is keen to continue enhancing its product range and delivering new and interesting products to customers as a way to remain a leading position in a competitive market. “We have no desire to aggressively expand, but instead are more interested in improving quality. We can potentially increase capacity by 30 per cent by improving procedures and speeding things up, but more important for me is that we are focused on production improvements and delivering better quality beer. The UK market is very competitive and we don’t want to get dragged into price wars, which is why we seek out new ways of offering high quality beers that are exciting for customers and for us,” Richard concludes. D

Magic Rock Brewing Co Ltd 91

Cutting edge Thurne-Middleby has an international reputation for high quality, precision engineered industrial slicing systems for bacon, cooked meats and cheese applications, and builds on over 45 years of experience in the industry



hurne-Middleby has a history that goes back to 1967, at which time it was known as Thurne Engineering, and since then the company has seen its reputation and brand grow. This was partly due to how it embraced the latest technological developments in order to provide the very best in high speed slicing equipment, which is an essential tool for suppliers of bacon, cooked meats and cheeses. ThurneMiddleby has been a key figure in a number of major innovations within the industry, and has harnessed scanning and computer technology to great effect. The company has been charecterised throughout its history as one that aims to achieve the very best, and is always looking at how it can become even better and make products that go even further for its customers. Due to such a positive and proactive attitude it is no wonder that Thurne-Middleby continues to excel within the industry, leading the way in high quality precision engineered slicing systems. Over the course of the last few decades there have been a series of mergers and acquisitions, the most recent of which was in 2015 when the

Middleby Corporation acquired the assets of the Marel high-speed slicing business unit. The history of Middleby is one that also stretches back many years, and it was founded in 1888 as a bakery supplier. As a result of the purchase, Middleby decided to rebrand the unit under its original trademark of Thurne and to continue its manufacture of the company’s broad line of high-speed slicers and integrated slicing systems. Thurne-Middleby offers a comprehensive range of slicing systems for fresh and pre-cooked pork, turkey and beef bacon applications. Its IBS range of slicers is specifically designed for bacon applications and utilises robust marine blade shafts to achieve maximum reliability in a low maintenance design. This enables the company’s bacon slicers to deliver consistent performance, bringing together high throughput, high first time on-weight percentages and low giveaway in one system. Within this range the business produces the IBS1000 Bacon Slicer, which offers high quality retail and wholesale back, belly and middle bacon slicing for manual packaging operations. Another is the IBS2000 Select Bacon Slicer, this achieves high

Thurne-Middleby Ltd productivity with economy in pork belly or turkey bacon slicing – offering big performance from a small footprint. The machine produces all common and food service packs, from shingles and stacks to layout drafts and platters. ThurneMiddleby’s IBS 2000 Bacon Slicer provides a maximum product control, producing well presented, consistent slices on a daily basis, without thick-thin finning or slivers, while providing great first time on-weight performance and low giveaway for drafts of fixed weight and slice count. The range that the company produces continues, with the IBS3000 Profile Bacon Slicer, which is a fully automatic, high speed, high yield bacon slicer that delivers outstanding production volumes with exceptional pack weight accuracy. The integrated laser scanner gives precise pack control by making a high-resolution 3D that scans every bacon primal. The bacon is then weighed by an integrated scale before slicing, enabling effective yield and throughput measurement. There is also the IBS4600 Precooked Bacon Slicer, which is in fact the world’s first slicer to have four independent feeds, each with its own vision system that gives weight control of individual slices. This machine offers an exceptional level of uniformity of the bacon, in terms of appearance, texture and quality, which are only some of the benefits that this product offers customers. In addition to its range of machines that provide a high quality solution to customers bacon slicing needs, it also offers a comprehensive range of slicing systems for cooked and cured meats, natural products and cheese applications. The company’s proven solutions are based on more than 45 years’ experience and are highly regarded by deli processors around the world, from small family firms to multisite corporations. This comes in the form of its PolySlicer 1000, which offers versatility, slicing accuracy and high throughput. The slicer is the ideal choice for processors who require a compact, versatile and easy to use machine. An involute or orbital cutting head and a large slicing aperture enable efficient multi-log slicing to produce stacks, shingles or fluff packs.

The business also has the PolySlicer 3000 that’s extremely flexible and adaptable for a wide range of slicing applications, from cooked meats to natural cured products and cheese. This slicer can be supplied with an optional advanced vision and laser system that follows contours so closely at the cutting face that virtually any variation in product composition – however irregular – is detected. With the vision system, holes in cheese, voids in ham, areas of fat and even lean and fat ratios

are carefully and accurately measured at the blade, slice by slice. This means high on weights, extremely low giveaway, consistent accuracy, high output and excellent product presentation. Thurne-Middleby’s machines are popular for many reasons, such as the innovation, reliability, and high quality that they provide, and as a result it will no doubt continue to expand its presence in markets throughout the world. One way in which the company will continue to demonstrate its qualities to new customers is through its presence at numerous tradeshows, and in the coming months it can be seen at Expo Carnes in March 2017, at WI Cheese Industry Conference in April 2017, Interpack in May 2017, and many more across the world. Therefore, with a reputation that only continues to grow, supported by high quality leading products, the future for Thurne-Middleby looks bright. D 93

Authentic value O

Delivering the perfect blend of quality, taste and price, Fazlani Exports Pvt Ltd is a market-leading provider of the best of agricultural commodities and ready-to-eat products 94

perating as part of the wider Fazlani Group of companies from its base located at Nariman Point in Mumbai, India, Fazlani Exports is a Government of India recognised export house that forms a key part of the Group’s overall diversified portfolio. Its interests are in agricultural commodities, ready-toeat food, education, tobacco, flora, fragrance and real estate. Fazlani Exports is a family-run business with roots that date back to the formation of the Fazlani Group in 1927 and is focused on the export of agro products including sesame seeds and spices in both whole and ground forms. Core to the success of the business, is the focus that Fazlani Exports places on maintaining long-term relationships with its employees, clients and the wider community. This is emphasised by its care to draw on the advantages of running as a family business and its on-going commitment to community

projects. “The idea of building and running a business as a family is thrilling,” explains Managing Director, Iqbal Fazlani. “In fact, most experts even recommend building a firm with family members because it keeps the family together and maximum efficiency within the company is ensured. “Even Warren Buffett has invested in several family businesses on different occasions and some of the world’s most successful businesses started as family enterprises,” he continues. “Further to focusing on strong family ties, we have consistently worked on earning our customer’s trust and maintaining close relationships with our employees and farmers. Over the years, we not only have grown as a company but also as a sustainably and socially responsible entity, and our charitable institutions running under Fazlani Foundation today supports more than 24,000 students and support several other social initiatives.”

Fazlani Exports Pvt Ltd Expansion plans In terms of its product portfolio, Fazlani Exports operates several divisions that allow the business to offer a broad range of continually developing product lines across the company. Its manufacturing facilities are fully accredited to ISO 22000:2005 and HACCP standards, as well as Kosher and Halal certifications. Fazlani Foods for example, is a division of Fazlani Exports that is focused on the manufacture of ready-to-eat foods, pickles, pastes, and chutneys under the brand names of Fazlani Foods and Foody Fusion. Fazlani Foods represents an authentic Indian line, while Foody Fusion is more targeted as a world cuisine line. The company’s manufacturing facility along with above accreditations is also BRC Certified which itself proves its commitment towards maintaining international standards for quality and processing. These lines are continuously developed by the Fazlani team, which requires significant market research and ongoing investment into the company’s facilities. “We are currently developing a healthy range of ready-to-eat meals, which will hopefully be launched during the second half of 2017,” Iqbal elaborates. “As for investments and looking at the company’s growth in sales across the market, we have already decided to expand our operations and will be moving to a new facility by early 2018, which will encompass an area of 100,000 sq ft. This is roughly three times bigger than our existing premises.”

High standards The decision to expand its manufacturing capability comes as a result of the highly positive response to the Fazlani Foods and Foody Fusion brands, which has encouraged the company that it is the right time to grow the business in terms of its market presence and turnover. “It is around two years since we have launched our Fazlani Foods line and around six months after the Foody Fusion brand was introduced and the response has been tremendous. The products developed across both brands have a wide reach and the acceptance of our Fazlani range in both the ethnic and

main-stream market has been fantastic especially in the USA, with buyers like World Food (Cost Plus), and all developing close relationships with our business in a short span of less than a year. In terms of our sesame seed products, we are keen in expand within the UK, USA, Canada, Europe, Australia, Africa and host of South-East Asian countries. Sesame seeds are highly active in different parts of Europe and especially in UK, where we are an approved vendor to Warburton’s - one of the largest bakeries in UK. We would also like to develop in the Far East and Middle East,” Iqbal reveals. “When it comes to ready-to-eat products, the US is highly active and we are also looking to expand in Europe

and Australia, as well as within Africa and the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) region,” he adds. “Most of our range of ready-to-eat products are free of preservatives and additives and the range is also GMO Free. Many of our products are also Gluten Free. In addition to this we are coming out with a range of healthy ready-to-eat lines with a host of different nutritional benefits. Also, by choosing all of our ingredients personally, we are able make sure that we keep each product fresh and healthy.” Across the entirety of its business, Fazlani Foods operates according to the values of reliability, competence, openness and compassion. Staff morale remains core to the success of the company, as well as high levels of quality and customer service. “During the coming years we promise to set even higher standards of conduct for our company, customers and our country. Along with sustaining our growth and profits, we aim to continue to create better value for our, employees and clients in all areas,” Iqbal concludes. “We look forward to providing the best service to our clients and consider their suggestions and convenience as the prime focus in implementing changes in the business that helps us to maintain a pace that a step ahead of the competition!” D 95

Spirit of Africa With a proud legacy within the gaming, hospitality and entertainment sectors, Sun International represents a recognised superior brand with a diverse portfolio of resorts and hotels 96


hile the business today operates as a defining name within the hospitality and entertainment sectors, the roots of Sun International can be traced back as far as 1969 and the formation of the Southern Sun Hotel Company. Over the course of close to five decades, this leading firm has evolved into one of South Africa’s largest tourism, leisure and gaming groups that incorporates a diverse portfolio of assets ranging from five-star hotels and casinos to premier resorts, such as its luxury Sun City Resort located within North West Province of South Africa. Further to

its holdings within South Africa, Sun International entered into the Latin American market during 2008 with the development of Monticello Grand Casino in Chile. Over the subsequent years the company continued to enjoy great success throughout Latin America and developed a portfolio including the Ocean Club Casino in Panama and its Sun Nao Casino in Colombia. In 2016 Sun International also entered into a merger with the Chile-based leader within the gaming industry, Dreams SA to form the largest gaming company in Latin America. Throughout its history Sun International has pioneered gaming

Sun International In January 2016 Sun International began an ambitious refurbishment of the Sun City complex, with a reinvention that aimed to create an experiential journey for the resort’s guests and visitors. The project was the latest of several development phases to be undertaken over a five-year period and introduces several new attractions including the Royal Baths adult pool for guests above 21 years old; an ‘always on’ party zone at the resort’s Sun City Hotel; and two new by-invitation-only high-end casinos at the Palace Villa and Palace Salon. The redevelopment project also introduced several fantastic new food choices, including the Bocado restaurant at its five-star Cascades hotel, which offers guests one of the most beautiful settings to enjoy vibrant

remained a popular destination for visitors the resort’s decor and some of the entertainment and hospitality offerings needed a complete overhaul to bring the resort in line with millennium trends, technology and innovation. We believe that our investment has achieved that objective and more because not only does Sun City 2017 have a fresh face, it also has a refreshed entertainment, hospitality and conferencing offering that all our visitors - be they families, gamblers, convention visitors, adrenalin-seekers or eco-tourists – will find attractive,” reveals Brand and Communications Group GM, Michael Farr. “Probably the most important investment component is the R300-million (£18 million) being spent on a major revamp of the

Mediterranean dishes. The resort also boasts a new-look signature steakhouse, The Grill Room; the newly opened 24 hour Mugg & Bean at the Sun City Hotel that offers visitors a place to meet, eat and connect at any time of the day or night, right at the centre of the resort; and a microbrewery-themed gastro pub, The Brew Monkey, which offers spectacular views over the tidal pool, with a choice of sitting indoors or outdoors on the deck. The Brew Monkey menu features a selection of ‘monkey dogs’, gourmet burgers, snack boards and craft beers.

Sun City Convention Centre. This will effectively reinvent our offering - the focus of this refurbishment is a complete facilities upgrade to attract convention business throughout the week. We have invested heavily in this project in order to recapture our place as the premier convention venue in the country, which we are confident we will do. In addition, the Entertainment Centre, now called Sun Central, will have a suite of new experiences for the whole family and will be home to a South African Hall of Fame honouring the country’s sportspeople and performing artists.” The restaurants found at Sun City are as varied and diverse as the accommodation and entertainment that are on offer throughout the resort, with a wide range of culinary options extending from fine dining solutions to fast food themed bars for guests to choose from.

Complete upgrade

within Southern Africa and first introduced casinos to the region during the late 1970s. The Sun City resort was established in December 1979 and at the time of its opening the resort comprised the Sun City Hotel (renamed The Soho Sun City Hotel in 2016) and the internationally recognised Gary Player Championship Golf Course. During the 1980s the resort expanded with the addition of The Entertainment Centre, The Valley of the Waves, The Cabanas, The Cascades and The Vacation Club. Finally during December 1992 the Lost City was opened at the resort, which included The Palace Hotel set in its lush 25-hectare Lost City gardens.

All the resort’s hotels have been refurbished as well. “At the time of its launch in 1979 Sun City was at the cutting edge of hospitality and entertainment, and while it has always 97

Food trends With a broad cross section of visitors arriving at the resort all with different tastes and culinary requirements, it is vitally important for Sun International to cater to both traditional flavours and new food trends. “While fine dining will always be popular there is a global move towards more casual dining environments that still offer high quality dining experiences. Likewise, craft beer is also becoming extremely popular. We have witnessed the popularity of both of these trends at our Brew Monkey microbrewery gastro pub. Visitors are also showing favour towards authentic ethnic cuisine experiences such as those offered at The Shebeen, The Raj and Ying Tao,” Michael explains. “Another important trend is the growing awareness of sustainability. With respect to food, we are mindful of our fragile marine environment and the impact of over-exploitation of seafood and


Sun International have partnered with SASSI to remove endangered fish species from our menus. To this end we are the only hospitality and leisure group in South Africa to commit to transforming all our restaurant operations that serve seafood.”

Beyond the obvious With a strong portfolio of assets and an on-going programme of investment, Sun International represents an exciting destination for visitors and guests of all backgrounds and ages. The company remains keenly aware of global trends throughout the travel industry, which enables it to anticipate the global appetite for holiday options in terms of value, location and culinary requirements. This market awareness will prove to be a major strength for Sun International as the company looks to reap the benefits of its recent investments over the coming years. “Since the 2008 economic downturn, millennial travellers increasingly look for value-adding holiday packages they want more than simply to spend a holiday beside a pool in an exotic location. Contemporary global travellers are drawn to travel that allows them to experience the essence of a region and Africa in particular has risen to the fore as one of the world’s great regions for experiential travel. In addition to the continent’s unique fauna and flora, it is steeped in history, heritage, culture, tradition and scenic beauty and visitors travel to the region to experience what they describe as the ‘spirit of Africa.’ Destinations such as Sun City, which allow travellers to go beyond the obvious to deliver a ‘360 degree experience’ of a region and are increasing in

popularity,” Michael concludes. “Sun City’s competitive advantage therefore stems from Sun International’s global experience and competence in developing and operating casinos, hotels and resorts, while still remaining competitive in the South African market.

During the next 12 months we will be focusing on the completion of the final elements of the Sun City upgrade, our interests in Latin America and the opening of our new casino in Menlyn, Pretoria.” D 99

Healthy returns With close to two decades of experience within the agricultural sector, Mironivsky Hlibopproduct (MHP) today represents a leading name in poultry production



hile the company is today ranked as number three amongst poultry producers within the EU, the roots of MHP date back to the formation of the business during 1998 by founder Mr. Yuriy Kosyuk through the acquisition of a controlling stake in the OJSC Myronivsky plant for the manufacture of groats and feeds. This acquisition would allow MHP to became one of the leading graintrading companies in Ukraine and by 1999 the company had purchased and fully upgraded the Peremoga poultry farm and entered into the area of chicken meat production. MHP has since grown to represent the market leader within the Ukrainian poultry sector, with a market share accounting for around 35 per cent of meat consumption and more than 55 per cent of industrially produced poultry within the region. One hundred per cent of the meat sold by MHP is produced at its own manufacturing plants, consisting of three broiler chicken farms and two breeder farms with parent stock rearing and egg hatching production facilities. In 2014 the company completed the construction and launch of the first phase in the development of its MHP Vinnytsia complex, with a capacity of some 220,000 tonnes of poultry per annum. During the same year the company was awarded a license to export its products to countries throughout the EU and began delivering chicken under the ‘Qualiko’ trademark. 2015 saw the further completion of several investments into

MHP facilities with the conclusion of a major refurbishment and re-assignment of its Peremoga Nova broiler poultry farm as a parent stock poultry farm. During this time the processing capacities of the company’s Orel-Leader and Myronivska poultry farms for growing poultry were also extended, while a new laboratory was put into operation to serve the needs of its Lehko meat processing plant, as well as groat and feed production and poultry farming in Myronivska. Vertical integration is a key component of the MHP business model, representing a key competitive advantage over both domestic and international peers. MHP works to ensure that it is in complete control of every stage of its poultry production – from the incubation of eggs right through to the final distribution and sales of poultry products. The company grows its own grains that then become the basis of its feed fodder, which means the MHP can control both the quality and cost of its poultry from field to fork. This unique business model, which is supported by significant investment in leading-edge production facilities, gives the business a major competitive advantage throughout the market. MHP also views vertical integration as a key to realising economies of scale, especially within the developing domestic market in Ukraine. As the company continues to grow and expand its production capacity, it remains committed to maintaining its self-sufficiency in chicken fodder as a valuable asset. Furthermore MHP works to identify imaginative and complementary uses for the various by-products of its processes and the company uses the sunflower husks left from oil pressing as bedding at its chicken production facilities and chicken droppings to make fertiliser for grain production. It also makes use of the grain husks as a fuel to generate steam energy for one of its fodder plants, while since 2012 MHP has operated a biogas plant fuelled by chicken droppings at the poultry farm in the Dnipropetrovsk region. These developments are important steps towards achieving full vertical integration and an increasing self-sufficiency in energy throughout the business. In addition to the company’s commitment to achieving sustainability

Mironivsky Hlibopproduct (MHP) through vertical integration, MHP is fully aware of the importance of animal welfare and considers healthy poultry to be the first step towards qualitative and safe food production. Throughout the production process the company broadly divides its welfare procedures into three areas comprised of care during incubation and breeding; care during transportation; and care in the course of slaughtering. Beginning on day one of hatching its poultry is under permanent supervision and control on the part of qualified employees including specialists of veterinary medicine. Favourable conditions of maintenance, high standards of biological safety, balanced nourishment and fresh drinking water, permanent veterinary inspection, timely treatment, keeping of bedding clean and protection against suffering are all considered by MHP to be key aspects of humane treatment of poultry during the breeding process.

In terms of achieving the highest levels of quality for its delivered poultry products and maintaining a rigid standard of safety, MHP operates strict controls over bacteria like Salmonella across all of its poultry breeding enterprises. These controls are not limited to the company’s programme of state veterinary-and-sanitary control over salmonellosis of broilers in poultrybreeding, with MHP also maintaining its own regulated processes and measures that prevent and make the appearance of bacteria impossible during production. As a dynamic and fast-growing Ukrainian company operating with a strong model of vertical integration, MHP

has established itself as a market leader in the agrarian market within the poultry segment and it is keen to continue to further increase its production capacity to deliver into the Ukraine and beyond. While the company is equipped with cutting edge technologies, MHP considers the basis of its success to be in its workers. Its employees have the unique knowledge and experience within the industry that will allow the company to continue to expand its market share through the development of its production capacity, investment, business model, management skills and leading technologies for years to come. D

HF Press+LipidTech Advanced technology for top-level machine design & high quality production HF Press+LipidTech focuses on customised solutions for the edible oil industry. The portfolio includes the complete processing chain starting from oilseed preparation, oilseed pressing, and crude oil cleaning, and ending with crude oil refining. The product portfolio also includes special presses and apparatuses for animal waste products or special applications in the dewatering sector. The company’s global customers are using its long-lasting HF equipment to produce high quality products under the most efficient and cost competitive conditions. HF Press+LipidTech provides more than just support in machine design, plant engineering, assembly, and commissioning. Overall maintenance concepts and a worldwide service are also an essential part of its scope of supply. 101

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Bidvest Foodservice

Committed to


Embodying a passion for great food, Bidvest Foodservice works in partnership with its clients to deliver world-class cuisine across a variety of foodservice markets


ince first beginning operation as 3663 in 1999 when the Bidvest Group acquired Booker Foodservice, Bidvest Foodservice has grown as a leading partner in the delivery of service excellence and high-quality ingredients to clients throughout the food industry. The company has a vision to be the world’s best foodservice provider and operates according to its mission to deliver service excellence, make life easier and to help its customers grow. Bidvest Foodservice was previously featured in FoodChain during February 2016, after the company had completed a rebranding and a cultural change

Andy Kemp

programme and put in a new strategy to transition the business. Following this change, Bidvest Foodservice has continued to grow and further establish its presence in line with the changing demands of the foodservice sector and its clients. “Since then the Bidvest Group has decoupled itself and now operates as the Bidvest Group Limited (conglomerate), based mainly in South Africa and the BidCorp foodservice business that trades internationally. This was part of a strategic plan to develop the Bidvest organisation as a whole,” elaborates Bidvest Foodservice Group Sales & Marketing Director, Andy Kemp. “The most important thing

Bidvest Foodservice has is our customer focus and we ensure that our clients really do come first within our business. We invest a lot of time and money into really understanding what our customers want and have recently appointed a Head of Insight & Customer Experience, Sarah Whiddett, who joined us from Waitrose. Sarah’s role is exclusively to help us examine and measure levels of customer experience. As a result of this commitment we have won a host of awards during 2016, which underpin our mission to provide the best levels of customer service. In July 2016 for example, we scooped the ‘Best Wholesaler’ accolade at the ‘him!’ awards and we have been noted as having the 103

best ‘Wholesaler Telestaff’ by a network of 10,000 operators across the UK. In November we also received the Bronze Green Apple award for our sustainability credentials, and at the Federation of Wholesale Distributors (FWD) Awards we won the Service to Caterers, Green Wholesaler, Wholesale Driver and Young Wholesaler awards.”

KP Snacks

Responding to trends Further to continuing to monitor its relationships with the company’s clients, Bidvest Foodservice is also quick to respond to the changing trends and emerging demands of the food industry. Across the foodservice market healthy options and ‘cleaneating’ trends are increasing in demand from both consumers and service industry clients and Bidvest

Foodservice is addressing this with products such as wheat free and dairy free snack foods including ‘hippeas’ - organic chickpea puffs, which are growing in popularity. This is backed by a growth in popularity of new and existing cuisines from around the world as they appear in the UK market,

Délifrance With more than 1000 bread, viennoiserie,

KP Snacks produces some Iconic Brands,

pâtisserie and savoury products, Délifrance is

which are market leaders in their categories;

one of Europe’s leading bakery companies. A

and caters for various different categories

creator of bakery solutions for over 30 years,

within the Crisp, Snacks and Nuts category

Délifrance makes new taste experiences by

creating a one-stop shop solution for

infusing simple and essential bakery products

customers. These brands includes McCoys -

with flavour and inspiration. The Délifrance

number one Ridge Crisp brand, KP Nuts - the

brand, created in 1983, is well established

biggest branded nut brand, Hula Hoops - the

within the UK and European baking market

number one family snacking brand, Pom

and renowned for its quality, innovation,

Bear - a family favourite, and many more. KP

expertise and local support. Délifrance is

Snacks supports Bidvest and their customers to help grow their category and sales.


proud to be servicing and supporting Bidvest

Bidvest Foodservice team at the FWD Awards


Bidvest Foodservice while at the same time consumers are also expressing an interest in locally sourced goods. “We are beginning to observe a growth in the backing of British products, which is equally contrasted with a move towards South America, Mexican, Caribbean and Hawaiian foods with techniques such smoking and barbequing. Previously there has been an oriental burst in the market, which was all about the Far Eastern, Chinese and Japanese foods, which is now also moving towards Korean and Asian street food,” Andy says. “There are several ways that we are able to keep ahead of the trends appearing in the market, but one of the advantages of being a global business with offices in China, Singapore, Malaysia, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and throughout Europe, is that it is very easy for us to look at trends globally. We also undertake our own research

into new foods and take part in things like the National Restaurant Association (NRA) show and travelling out to the US to do food studies there. Our buyers are category champions that help us to remain on the leading edge – certainly we like to think that we deliver more innovation into the market than anybody else.”

Opening of our new business support centre and depot in Slough Trading Estate

Clients in control Indeed, innovation is at the core of the Bidvest Foodservice business with a continuously evolving product portfolio that is developed through constant collaboration with the company’s clients and industry partners. However, further to ensuring a rich and varied choice of food options, Bidvest Foodservice also developed a comprehensive online ordering system that enables its clients to have specialist control of their product inventories. The increasing introduction of digital technology is an invaluable tool for both Bidvest Foodservice and its clients in keeping track of an incredibly robust and dynamic food industry. “Bidvest Direct represents our latest online e-trading platform that allows orders to be processed 24-7 from any smart device. It also includes a reporting facility that allows the client to look at baskets, information, order forms, ingredients, 105

nutritional value and even live stock levels and live pricing information. These are extremely valuable tools for our clients,” Andy reveals. “We believe that the foodservice market is incredibly strong at present and that

away-from-home eating concepts are huge. For example, you only need to look at the coffee culture today in comparison to the market ten years go. Coffee shops today offer a vast variety of blends and increasing varieties

of morning goods. I think the market is very strong and will continue to grow, meaning that it is important for wholesalers to provide value for money and to work in a partnership with clients to reach a better understanding of their needs.”

Industry collaboration Bidvest Foodservice works in close collaboration with the foodservice industry and its clients through initiatives such as its ‘plate2planet’

Nestlé Professional NESCAFÉ® with its distinctive flavour and rich heritage has strived to deliver a great mug of coffee every time. Within Nestlé Professional® the ‘Sqround’ tin format was created to enhance the consumer experience: the click and close technology helps to seal in the flavour every time; its rich colours and aesthetically pleasing design blends style and convenience to deliver a premium look and feel. Breaking the mould from the old design and with the Bidvest customer’s


Black + White Coffee Co.

convenience in mind, it simply is a better tin.

Bidvest Foodservice scheme, which promotes both industry innovations and sustainability. Partner businesses in industry-leaders such as Unilever, Premier Foods, Delifrance UK, Vegware, Planet First and Jacobs Douwe Egberts all work in collaboration to promote sustainability for partner businesses, clients and the industry as a whole. With the Christmas period fast approaching, Bidvest Foodservice continues to employ all of its strengths to provide a marketleading package of food options to achieve fantastic results, as Andy concludes: “The Christmas period is incredibly important for us, as it is for operators across the food market. It is a busy time where you will find that even clients with fixed costs, such as government-funded bodies, will still provide a Christmas dinner. We don’t work from fixed menus across our Christmas range and instead provide a massive selection of products that

meet the requirements of the entire market. For example our fresh turkey sales are already up around 250 per cent on what they were this time last year and we have increased the scope of our selection of buffet items.

The Christmas package that we have developed this year has been incredibly well received by our clients and we already know that we will have the best Christmas that we have ever had.” D

plate2planet Live summit in November 2016 107

rise On



Experts in supplying top-notch pizza and catering equipment, Linda Lewis Kitchens celebrates a decade of success in 2016


ounded in January 2006 by budding entrepreneur Linda Lewis, Linda Lewis Kitchens (LLK) was established with the goal of supplying top-class catering equipment and other products for food preparation, cooking equipment and fast food equipment to customers seeking optimum quality solutions to their catering needs. A decade since its inception, LLK has accumulated an enviable customer base, with clients including independent restaurants, pubs, hotels and national chains within the takeaway and restaurant sector. As the sole importer of Cuppone pizza equipment to the UK, the company has grown significantly over the last ten years and also drastically increased knowledge in pizza equipment throughout the business. Linda discusses the company’s rise since its humble beginnings: “Initially it was myself as the sole person in Linda Lewis Kitchens, but I went onto recruit another member of staff and three partners; I bought the partners out in 2009 and we relocated to new 4800 square feet premises in 2009 as well. In September 2016 we moved again into premises that are 13,200 square feet; this is a massive increase in space for us that has led to our team growing from eight to eleven, we also have four agents on the road. The move also means we have a demonstration area where customers can come in and undertake trials on the oven, look into menu development and get advice. That way customers can make a well-judged

decision on the right oven for them based on who will be working there, whether consistency will be a massive issue and so on. Our new facilities are also where we provide warehousing and distribution services for customers. “Another reason for us to have a demonstration area is because we have recently launched our own range of wood-burning and living flame ovens. This is a very exciting development for us, as from the onset of the business we have been representing Cuppone, which has been manufacturing pizza equipment for 52 years in Italy; however, Cuppone only produces gas and electric deck ovens and we have realised there is huge demand for wood-burning and living flame ovens. In response to this, we have been working with a manufacturer that has been developing these types of ovens for ten years; we took on the distribution of these ovens in September 2016 and they have proven to be very popular so far. In fact, we have quoted for approximately 40 since taking these wood-burning and living flame ovens on. We also went to the Pizza and Pasta Show and had 60 enquiries from there.” Alongside the relocation to larger premises and the diversification of its product range, a recent focus for LLK has been centred around growing the Cuppone brand in the UK, which includes the world-renowned Cuppone pizza ovens, dough mixers and presses. An ever-expanding series of products, the Cuppone pizza oven range is not only stunningly stylish, which makes it

Linda Lewis Kitchens ideal for front of house positions, each is made in Italy and has a stone base in order to guarantee authentic pizza making. “Authenticity is hugely important to LLK,” says Linda. “We often get asked for conveyor ovens, but the way a pizza is cooked on a conveyor oven isn’t the authentic brick-based way of cooking pizza. We want to produce a really good product, not a mass-produced product; with our range of pizza ovens you never get a soggy bottom and instead get a fabulous result.” She continues: “Another great product is the pizza press, which flattens the dough balls and can also be used for naan breads and chapattis; with up to 400 presses per hour, this is a great product that saves thousands of pounds per year while delivering the same consistency in quality.” Passionate about pizza, LLK’s team of employees use their long-term expertise in the catering sector as well

as their in depth knowledge of pizza to provide customers with the best possible solutions that not only inspire but also ensure the best-possible results. “The quality of communication, advice, products, services and actions is something that we instill in our staff, which in turn means that we will never sell something to a customer if it isn’t right for them. It is ultimately about making customers happy and not leaving them disappointed with a product that isn’t right for their business,” comments Linda. This expertise and customer-

centric focus on operations runs throughout the company, with LLK also offering a swift response when it comes to repairs – furthermore, the company’s warranty costs are just 0.05 per cent of its annual turnover, illustrating just how reliable its products are. “As a customer of LLK, you can be assured that the product is unlikely to break because of our statistics, but you also want to know if any problems do arise, LLK will get someone there straight away with parts to fix it and get your product up and running,” highlights Linda. Having recently been shortlisted at the Catering Insight Awards for Service Support and Warranty, LLK is set for further success as its commitment to going above-and-beyond when it comes to customer satisfaction, quality and innovation leads to increased demand from those seeking optimum solutions in the competitive catering industry. D 109

Global luxury

Since its merger with Marriott International Starwood Hotels is now part of the world’s largest and best hotel company



ith 1270 properties, employing over 180,000 people across 100 countries it will not come as a surprise that Starwood Hotels is one of the largest and leading hotel companies in the world. Under a number of internationally renowned brands, like The Luxury Collection, Le Méridien, Sheraton, W Hotels and Aloft, the company caters for a number of needs with hotels and resorts providing economy-grade to luxury havens for any corporate or leisure customer. Customer service inevitably plays a key role in Starwood’s portfolio, but equally valued is its commitment to both the staff and many communities that it engages with across its global footprint. For instance the group currently has a global commitment to achieve a 30 per cent reduction in energy consumption and emissions, plus a 20 per cent water reduction across all properties by 2020, and has raised over $30 million through its partnership with UNICEF since 1995. At present Starwood Hotels is represented by 12 luxury hotels in the UK and Ireland. These include Sheratons, Alofts, independent Tribute Portfolio and Luxury Collection hotels,

a W Hotel and a Westin Hotel dotted across London, Liverpool, Scotland and Ireland. However, in line with the company’s global expansion strategy – it signed 175 new sites across the world in 2014 alone – Starwood Hotels has ambitious plans to increase this number, starting with opening a number of key sites over the next two years. Since previously being featured in FoodChain magazine in December 2015, a major milestone in Starwood Hotel’s history has come to pass, with Marriott International, a global leading lodging company with more than 5700 properties in over 110 countries, completing a $13.6 billion merger with Starwood Hotels in September 2016. This merger not only brings together two different corporate cultures, but has also created the world’s largest hotel chain. Moreover, the merger is anticipated to not only optimise value, but will also add strong benefits when it comes to global scale in an increasingly digitalised market; in fact, the group will now have 30 brands, 5700 hotels, more than one million rooms and a presence in 110 countries.

Loyalty programmes Key to the future success of this significant merger is the combination of Marriott Rewards with the Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty programme; should this aspect of the deal go well, there would be 75 million loyal customers that should directly book with Marriott, which thus reduces the impact of competition from online travel agents. Furthermore, with the loyalty packages integrating, the group would also benefit from a reduction in the costs of running these loyalty programmes separately. Benefits for guests of one of the companies are likely to include more reward options via the other company and an increased global reach to take advantage of these rewards. While the loyalty programmes are currently linked, the two are anticipated to remain separate entities until 2018; until then, guests can link their Rewards and SPG accounts to get the best possible benefits throughout the group’s portfolio. However, it should

Starwood Hotels and Resorts be noted that the policy remains that guests can be a member of either Marriot Rewards or the Ritz-Carlton Rewards, but not both. With the hospitality sector broadening into a new area in which companies provide sales and marketing support for independent hotels, this merger also offers Starwood Hotels and Marriott opportunities to focus on developing competitive digital offerings that engage guests and ensure they return again and again; this could include a tool with recommendations for nearby activities or an app that recognises the preferences of guests and provides a personalised service. Additionally, interacting with customers via social media and regularly updating guests on offers or developments within the hotel company will also ensure Starwood Hotels and Marriott continue to extend the connection with guests after they have checked out. Upon looking at Starwood Hotel’s website, it is clear that the company has taken heed of the opportunities for growth that are available online, with offers to guests shown in the lower centre of the homepage; these include the option to double and triple Starpoints for weekday and weekend stays respectively if they register for SPG More for You by November 30th 2016. Other offers available include links to the biggest sale of the year, in which up to 35 per cent can be saved if guests book by December 4th and SPG Breakfast plus, an offer that provides guests with 35 per cent off their stay, continental breakfast for two and more in North America. Additionally, Starwood Hotels is offering guests 40 per cent off their next night for every night they pay at the hotel company’s regular rate. Despite this major development taking place, Starwood Hotels will continue to operate as an individual brand under the Marriott umbrella, and will continue with its total focus on providing an unrivalled guest experience as well as progressing forward with the huge plans it has in place for further growth and investment. In fact, over the next five years alone, the company has four new hotels due to open; these include the Aloft London, located at London Tobacco Dock and

Aloft Brighton, both of which are due to open in September 2018; the remaining two hotels, Element at London Tobacco Dock, and W Edinburgh at Exchange Crescent, are scheduled to open in June 2019 and 2021 respectively. With 100 hotels opened and planned in 14 countries across the globe, the Aloft brand makes a departure from the traditional hotel experience with a tech forward, vibrant experience and modern

style. Similarly, Element hotels mark an innovation within the hotel industry in its sustainable and natural approach to hospitality. The brand offers stylish settings complete with healthy breakfast offerings, saline swimming pools, spacious fitness centres and electric vehicle charging points. In 2008 Element Hotels made history in being the first hotel brand to pursue LEED certification for high-performance buildings across a complete brand. This will be the first Element hotel to open in the UK and again conforms to Starwood’s rapid expansion plans. Committed to expansion and growing its already expansive brand and hotel portfolio over the coming years, Starwood Hotels looks set for continued success as it not only benefits from the strengths of Marriott, but also from an ongoing awareness of key global trends as it moves forward. D 111

Bags of fun A leader in the world of fun food and equipment, MRS Packaging is dedicated to providing high quality equipment, supplies and disposables to customers



ounded in 1990 by Mr Manu Soni, MRS Packaging Ltd was created with the vision of providing the highest quality equipment, supplies and disposables to customers that are key players in their respective spaces. Keen to become the leader in delivering optimum quality concession and catering equipment, food supplies, disposable packaging services to clients without sacrificing excellent customer service, MRS Packaging has spent the past 16 years becoming a pioneer in the food and beverages industry for those in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. “A firm believer in the role of industry in shaping customer taste and demand, my understanding of the changing demographics of the markets my customers cater to, as well as my pursuit of technology, has been instrumental in positioning MRS Packaging as a leader in the world of fun food and equipment,” says Mr Manu Soni, Founder and Managing Director of MRS Packaging Ltd. He continues: “In the past two-anda-half decades, MRS Packaging has introduced among other interesting food options, nacho chips and flavoured pocorn to cinemas, which was previously virtually unheard of. We were also the

first to go to market with nacho tortilla chips in the retail space as ‘Nachos 2 Go’.“ Supplying the best quality product in its store, the company is a firm believer that nachos are the most important snack for every event, movie or gathering. Recently adding to its product range of nacho machines, nacho chips, cheese, chill and salsa as well as nacho trays and supplies, MRS Packaging has introduced refreshing guacamole to further enhance consumer experience and improve profits for customers. Today the UAE’s leading suppliers of fun food and concession equipment, MRS Packaging currently employs more than 65 personnel and celebrated 25 years in operation in 2015. Products and services available within the company’s extensive range are segmented into divisions: concession equipment, food supplies, disposable packaging and business consultation. Within concession equipment, products include popcorn poppers, with cabinets, carts and dispensers; nacho, salsa and cheese warmers; cotton candy machines, shave-ice Snow Kone machines, Slush and frozen beverage supplies and hot dog grills as well as candy apple cookers. Products in the food supplies segment include popcorn and gourmet popcorn, nachos, chips, cotton candy supplies; cheese, salsa and jalapenos; slush mixes and concentrates and waffles, crepe and pretzels.

Solution provider For those seeking disposable packaging products, the company offers customers paper, foam and plastic cups, custom print options for cups, matching lids, single use boxes and takeaway dinnerware and cutlery, tableware and accessories. In addition to these products, MRS Packaging also provides business consultation services, which includes profit counselling, turnkey solutions, business plan viability consulting; food selection consulting and supply planning consulting. “We are a one-stop-shop concession and fun food solution provider,” confirms Mr Soni. “We are also a HACCP certified company and a member of the National Association of Concessionaires (NAC), the trade association of the recreation and leisure-

MRS Packaging time food and beverage concessions industry. To serve customers we have our own warehouse and supply vans and trucks, regional warehouses and logistics as well as an after-sales services technical team. When it comes to our business consulting service, we help customers decide on the right location, demography and food cost as well as market selling price research for specific location and demographic profile.” Indeed, the MRS Packaging team provides customers with quality aftersales service, on-site installation and concession equipment, operational

Golden Malted Golden Malted is pleased to have M.R.S. Packaging Ltd. as the exclusive distributor of its Golden Malted Pancake & Waffle Programme within the GCC region. In 1937, Fred S. Carbon developed the recipe for ‘The World’s First Improved Flour’, Golden Malted Pancake & Waffle Flour. Golden Malted commercial waffle bakers are provided on loan at no cost with exclusive use of Golden Malted Pancake & Waffle Flour.

training and advice on how to use and care for the concession equipment supplies. “MRS Packaging also consults customers on recipes and portions that maximise operational profits without compromising on customer happiness,” adds Mr Soni. Core customers of the company include theme parks, such as Dubai Parks & Resorts, sports arenas, stadiums, theatres, cinemas, hotels, restaurants and bars. “We have supply

and maintenance contracts with some large theme parks,” says Mr Soni. “At MRS Packaging, we know we are not merely suppliers; we participate in our customers’ success so that we can succeed with them, and we do this through our culture of continuous improvement in service quality.” With the UAE swiftly becoming the leisure and entertainment centre for the Meena and GCC region, the future looks full of fun for MRS Packaging as it continues to seek out new contracts and continue its ongoing projects with major theme parks. To stay competitive in a growing market, the company won’t be resting on its laurels and will instead continue to introduce new options while also delivering exceptional customer service. By maintaining a pioneering approach to fun food solutions, MRS Packaging will certainly be a business than enjoys fun-sprinkled profits. D 113

Taste the

tradition Dedicated to the production of feta cheese, Roussas Dairy uses pure, pasteurised Greek sheep & goat milk to deliver traditional, high quality products to its global customer base


Roussas Dairy S.A.


ounded in 1952 by the Roussas family, Roussas Dairy has maintained the traditions of its forefathers by focusing on achieving truly authentic products through traditional methods of production. While the company today operates in a highly modern, state-of-theart production plant in Almyros, Central Greece, its high quality feta cheese is still created following the skill and mastery passed down from the family’s nomadic

Sarakatsani ancestors, who for centuries roamed through the mountains of central Greece with their herds. Following three expansions at its 10,000 square metre plant, the company’s annual capacity has grown to more than 20,000 tons of cheese annually as well as 140,000 litres of sheep/goat’s milk per shift. The latest expansion is a ten million euros project in total scheduled to be completed in early 2017, improvements at the plant also included the construction of a new packaging building, the installation of new robotic packaging lines, new automated production lines and new office premises and seminar halls; the company also over doubled the capacity of its sewage treatment plant. Despite this progression into ultra-modern, expansive facilities, the company still views the dairy as a means to enhance the traditional methods, which result in the delivery of high calibre, worldrenowned cheese.

Indeed, in the present day more than 90 per cent of the company’s annual production is exported to locations such as the US, Canada, Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia and the Middle East and Far East. Retaining its name in Europe, Roussas’ products are also known as the brand Mt. Vikos in the US and Canada, Mt. Athos in Australia and Asia & Terra Aeolica (Europe, Australia). Products available under the Roussas’ name which has a logo, proudly emblazoned with the slogan ‘ARTISAN CHEESE MAKERS’, include feta P.D.O., which is aged in tins; feta P.D.O. that is aged in wooden barrels, a traditional technique which requires the cheese to mature in specially handcrafted beech tree barrels, organic feta P.D.O., diced feta P.D.O., white cheese, spreadable cheese, yellow cheese, fresh cheese, grillable cheese, labneh and yoghurt. With a packaging availability, ranging from vacuum packed portion sizes of 30 grams to bulk 60 kilogram wooden barrels, Roussas Dairy can correspond effectively to various consumer demands on a global market scale. 115

Roussas Dairy S.A. New products within the company’s portfolio include the latest entry, Roussas spread with Feta and Greek Yogurt, which is a tasteful and innovative product that was developed as an addition to the company’s wide product range. Future range additions include products that comply with latest nutritional trends such as Lactose free cheese and Low sodium cheese. Key to Roussas’ ongoing success is the company’s belief that quality products begin with quality ingredients, in which purity plays an intrinsic part of the cheese-making process. Strongly opposed to the use of GMO’s when it comes to the production of animal feed, the company remains steadfast in the use of pure, natural milk and is proud to have adopted the principles of organic cheese production, from the very first steps of organic farming in Greece. With organic production rapidly increasing in popularity as consumers become more aware of the means in which their food is produced, dairy organic producers such as Roussas are certain to benefit from further demand. In addition to being certified as an organic cheese producer, Roussas is also involved in all aspects of animal care; in fact, the company pays attention to animal feed, nutritional requirements and veterinary practices, while the scientific personnel at the factory keep up-to-date with any new developments in the organic field. Alongside being an organic cheese producer, Roussas also barrel ages some of its feta products and is the lead exporter of feta that matures in this traditional manner, keeping alive a centuries old maturation technique. After maturation, cheese is portioned, packed and exported to reach every consumer across the globe that loves authentic, high quality feta. This distinguished product can be found on shelves for premium quality cheeses at the special cheese corners of retail shops. Complementing this commitment to traditional, high quality, cheese products is the fact that all packaging for Roussas’ is manufactured from premium quality materials that are mostly recyclable and environmentally friendly, ensuring the packaging will naturally decompose with time and not

cause harm to both the environment or animals that live within it. This commitment to quality and heritage has proven fruitful for Roussas, with the company winning a number of awards at the coveted, blind-tasted Great Taste 2015 awards. Judged by more than 400 of the most demanding palates, belonging to food critics, cooks, restaurateurs and chefs as well as a host of writers and journalists, the Great Taste awards is widely acknowledged as the most respected food accreditation scheme for artisan and specialty food producers. Winning six precious gold stars in total, the company is now able to proudly carry the little gold and black Great Taste logo on its products. When a product wears a Great Taste label it not only carries a badge of honour, but is also a signpost to a wonderful tasting product. Winning products were Roussas Barrel Aged Feta, which was awarded three stars, Roussas Organic Feta, which was awarded two

stars, and Roussas Feta Cubes in EVOO with herbs, which was awarded one star. In addition to these awards, Roussas Barrel Aged Feta was also included in the 2015 Great Taste Top 50 Foods, which means the product has been part of an exhaustive judging process that defines the best 50 foods that consumers should be buying and tasting. Having achieved major success at the Great Taste awards, Roussas is seeking to increase its international market share through the delivery of distinctive tasting products of unrivalled quality. However, although its size has increased and means of production have changed, the company remains committed to purity, flavour and quality. Because of this, Roussas Dairy S.A. is confident that the company will continue to set high standards when it comes to exceptional, fine tasting, authentic Greek dairy products for cheese connoisseurs all over the world. D 117

A fresh opportunity With a tempting menu of fresh Mexican food available at any time of the day, Tortilla offers a unique blend of Mexican and Californian dining experiences



he story of Tortilla began in 2007 when Brandon Stephens and his wife Jen Stephens opened the first in what would become an international chain of CaliMex restaurants in the London Borough of Islington. Brandon had travelled to London from the Mission District of San Francisco‚ the self-proclaimed burrito capital of the world, to study at the London School of Economics. During his tenure as a student at the prestigious institution, he wrote a thesis on Mexican food in London in which he noted that the cuisine was poorly represented. Having arrived in London from San Francisco where a blend of Mexican and Californian styles is hugely popular, Brandon felt that there was a significant opportunity to enter into the UK market and excitedly founded Tortilla. Beginning with his first Islington restaurant, the business proved to be a hit with the locals and quickly expanded to include new locations throughout the London with Richard Morris joining the business as Managing Director in January 2014. “Brandon had established the brand across 10-11 locations when I first met him. He was interested in exploring other

opportunities, so I came into the business as CEO for Tortilla to manage and continue to grow the company. Having consolidated our 11 existing locations we decided to raise some money by refinancing with an aim to open eight to nine restaurants a year until we reached 40-45 locations,” Richard explains. “We are currently on plan and although we haven’t opened as many stores as we would have liked, we are presently established in 32 locations with a further three or more planned for 2017. The business has gone from strength to strength and has been very successful, with a projected turnover for 2017 of £30 million with stores established all over the country.” Capitalising on the popularity of its exciting Mexican/Californian inspired menu, Tortilla is now established in 18 locations throughout Greater and Central London, as well as across 13 other major cities around the UK including Liverpool, Bristol and Birmingham. “We took the decision to open outside of London around 18 months ago and the brand has been generally well received. Sales growth has been slightly slower outside of London, purely because Mexican food, burritos and tacos are relatively common in London when compared to the rest of the country. While a new restaurant opened in London is typically busy within the first six months this can take up to 18 months elsewhere, however once the brand has been fully understood the trading grows quickly,” Richard says. “It can be a leap of faith for customers to walk into a restaurant that they do not know. We make it possible for diners to be the architect of their own burrito or taco from the food on offer, which initially can be a daunting prospect, as they do not necessarily know our naming conventions such as carnitas or barbacoa. We also offer options such as guacamole, different types of rice, salsas and cater for a wide range of dietary requirements, but once people come in and see our food they understand that it is made fresh onsite everyday and that the price point is very competitive. Customers quickly understand that this represents great value, as they are able to customise their food. Our menu can

Tortilla be really healthy or it can be proper comfort food.” Each of the company’s Tortilla restaurants are designed to project a San Francisco theme, while incorporating unique features that differentiates each individual location. The design elements of the restaurants include deep red tiles that signify the redwood trees found in San Francisco and rustic beer cages that are stocked with both Mexican and Californian beers. Several new locations have opened around the UK during 2016, while Tortilla has also continued to on its path to ‘world domination’ by opening its second branch in the space of three months in Dubai, at the Riverland theme park belonging to Dubai Parks & Resorts. As the business continues to grow, Tortilla will continue to seek out new sites and establish its presence around the UK and beyond. “We have now opened two locations in Dubai, one

of which is located in the Festival City Mall, while the other is situated at the Riverland theme park. We have plans to open a further three or four restaurants each year in the MENA region and have two planned for Saudi Arabia during 2017 with a third site planned for Dubai, which will operate as franchises. They are not owned or run by us but we know the franchise company quite well and have a good relationship with them, so the relationship works very well and they

are doing a really good job,” Richard concludes. “We have a fantastic product and we are keen to keep it competitively priced. We currently employ over 500 people across the business and a big focus next year is looking after them and making sure we have very clear career progression in place. We always aim to put our stores and customers first, and it is really important that our teams see a long term career with Tortilla.” D 119

From the

heart Recognising an opportunity to develop a new dining experience, Thai Leisure Group is rapidly establishing itself with leading new brands in the restaurant sector



ith Thai cuisine arguably an under-represented offering within the busy UK restaurant sector, the Thai Leisure Group was incorporated with an ambition to capture this potentially lucrative market by providing diners with a tempting combination of authentic Thai cuisine and genuine hospitality. Formed during 2005 by its founders and joint chair board members, Martin Stead and Kim Kwaikraihott, the company today represents the UK’s leading Thai restaurant operation with 21 locations across the country. Since its inception, an important part of the success of the business has been its mission to be ‘Ow Jai Sai’ (from the heart) in delivering a ‘Ha Dao’ (five star) customer experience. Indeed, Thai Leisure Group is fully committed to providing its clientele with an excellent dining experience by embracing the spirit and soul of Thailand, with passion and a love of its business that is expressed through ‘Samakee’ (great team working) and ‘Sanook’ (fun). During more than a decade in operation, Thai Leisure Group has grown to include four distinctive brands across 21 locations throughout the

UK, with a target to reach as many as 40 restaurants by the end of 2018. In fact 2016 has proven to be a highly successful time for the company, with the business opening several new restaurants and securing funding for further new locations to be opened by the end of the year. With its roots set in a site formerly occupied by Aberdeen’s renowned heritage pub The Monkey House, Thai Leisure Group launched its new Chaophraya Aberdeen restaurant during July 2016. The new site can accommodate as many as 160 diners and created 40 new full and part-time jobs in the city, with the majority of staff being hired from the local area. The fine dining restaurant pays homage to its roots with opulent interior reminiscent of modern Thai design, whilst complementing the historical interior of the Union Terrace building, originally built in 1855. “The demand for upmarket dining in Aberdeen is booming and we couldn’t be more excited to bring the first Chaophraya site in two years to this beautiful city. Following the unprecedented success of our Thaikhun restaurant, we’re looking forward to offering Chaophraya’s aspirational dining experience to people we know love Thai food at its best,” commented Thai Leisure Group Managing Director, Ian Leigh. “For me, Chaophraya provides the perfect backdrop for occasions and celebrations, whilst still being completely accessible to everyone.”

Greater coverage Further to the launch of its second site in Aberdeen, Thai Leisure Group has been able to open three new branches in Southampton, Newcastle and Bath after securing £10 million in additional funding from the Santander Group during February 2016. The new sites represent an important step in the company’s strategy to create greater coverage of the Thai Leisure Group brand across the UK. Santander had previously provided the company with growth capital in 2012, which was used to support Thai Leisure Group in its expansion into Scotland with openings in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen. Over subsequent years the business

Thai Leisure Group has reached a turnover of in excess of £36 million, while creating around 900 job across the company. The Thai Leisure Group culinary experience is comprised of its four unique and distinctive concepts, which are derived from its Thanikhun Street Food and Chaophraya Thai Dining roll out brands in addition to its Yee Rah Bar & Grill and ChaoBaby Thai Restaurant supporting brands. Each of these brands is designed to bring a unique Thai

Scotch Frost Scotch Frost, the UK leading ethnic food service supplier, offers bespoke solutions across NPD, procurement and distribution to the independent food trade and growing chain businesses. It distributes nationally throughout the UK. A leading importer and distributor of over 3500 products: frozen, fresh and ambient, the business recently acquired by ZEN-NOH, National Federation of Agricultural Co-operative of Japan, which will help the company to expand quicker whilst adding top class Japanese food products including Wagyu Beef.

dining experience to the UK marketplace and as the business has evolved, so too have its brands. During September 2016 for example, it was announced that the iconic Chaophraya restaurant group had introduced a revolutionary new menu, designed to transform and further elevate the dining experience of its clients. Fusing culinary imagination with fine cuisine, Chaophraya’s new menu delivers a sophisticated edge to Thai dining, by offering a mix of eclectic and contemporary dishes inspired by tastes from across the Thai regions. As part of the transformations, Chaophraya will also encourage guests to embrace the traditional way of dining as per Thai culture, by eating ‘family style,’ where multiple dishes are shared by everyone at the table.

New levels This new dining experience challenges the misconceptions associated with

eating Thai food with chopsticks, as in the majority of cases only noodle dishes are eaten this way, with a spoon and fork presented at the table. With the ongoing evolution of its menu and the rapid expansion of its presence across the country, Thai Leisure Group is set to continue to take the UK by storm with its unique dining experiences. “The launch of our new menu is a really exciting development for Chaophraya. Over the past six months our senior culinary brigade have travelled to Thailand to research the latest developments in Thai cuisine and we have blended this with the knowledge of our expert chefs in our restaurants,” concludes Development Chef of Chaophraya, Nattawut Leela. “With a dash of imagination we believe we have created a menu that takes Thai dining to a new level here in the UK.” D 121


PTC Germany GmbH


comes first

PTC’s scallops fresh prepared

With several years of industry experience and a tightly controlled supply chain, PTC Germany GmbH is a leading specialist in the production, trade and distribution of both fresh and frozen fish products


perating from its headquarters located in the town of Kempen in the district of Viersen, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, Product Trade Centre Germany (PTC) is a leading enterprise that was recently named as one of the London Stock Exchange Group’s 1000 Companies to Inspire Europe 2016. The company was founded in December 2009 before later

opening its Bremerhaven production site during 2010 and offers an extensive range of frozen and fresh fish products that can be purchased from its in-house production facilities. Over the subsequent years PTC has expanded to include processing plants within Poland, Africa, Cambodia and Turkey, while it was also announced that the company has taken control of a new production plant built close to the city of Smederevo, Serbia. 123

PTC Germany GmbH The first phase of the Serbian production hall encompasses 6000m2 of manufacturing space as well as 2.5km of road and supplementary infrastructure, resulting from an investment valued at around €3 million. In addition the manufacturing plant, the City of Smederevo has also constructed 500m2 of supporting cold storage, while PTC also plans to open an additional fish farm in the region. At the moment PTC is finalising its plans for phase two and phase three of their project in Serbia. Phase two will include a 6000m2 manufacturing hall for the production of shrimps and value added products. Phase three will include a 6000m2 fish smoking plant for the production of smoked tuna and smoked trout. Phase two and three will be will be fully operational in Q2/Q3 2018.

PTC’s longline A-quality Tuna steak

Supply chain control The construction of the new facility is the result of an announcement from PTC during 2015 that was considering relocating its production operations from Vietnam and China to Serbia, due to the region’s business technology and logistical advantages. With its far-reaching network of manufacturing facilities and logistics support, PTC is able to reach retail markets across the world. Indeed the company is able to present itself as a forward-looking, reliable and flexible partner throughout the retail and wholesales sectors. “We are able to develop long-lasting relationships with our clients by demonstrating that we are in control of the entire supply chain, which means that we can guarantee a high reaching and consistent level of quality. PTC is very transparent in giving its customers prices and offer and it is our goal to be one of the leading seafood suppliers in the world within the next five to ten years, so it PTC’s HQ stationed in Kempen, Germany

One of PTC’s aquaculture farms in Turkey

is very important for us to work closely with supermarkets and wholesalers, not simply as suppliers but also as partners,” reveals Purchasing Director, Jan van Asperen. “We can show our customers what we do, how we do it and what the exact price will be. This means that clients can see the entire supply chain, which gives them a much-improved view when compared to what they would have had in the past. Previously there were around ten companies that would respond to supply tenders and the customer would simply pick the cheapest one without knowing what raw materials were sourced, which facilities were implemented or if chemical treatments were used. All of these things could be an issue if they are unknown and we are able to remove that risk.” Quality is at the heart of the PTC

service offering, allowing the company to offer excellent fresh and frozen fish products, as well as a fully traceable on trusted supply chain. Furthermore, while PTC is fully aware of its responsibility towards its customers and end consumers, it is also deeply aware of the importance of the environment and therefore works according to several sustainability standards including ASC and MSC. In order to ensure the quality of its comprehensive portfolio of fish products, the company carries out intensive quality control checks at its Kempen headquarters in addition to internal quality control operations at its production plants. Further to both in-house and external quality checks into its processed fish stocks, PTC also implements sustainable production techniques during its manufacturing processes to produce a product that its both sustainable and of the highest quality. Throughout the company’s history, PTC has continued to invest in creating an open and sustainable supply chain that ensures that the business has full control of the production of fish products form the sourcing of raw materials to delivery. As a result of the development of this vertical supply chain, PTC represents a unique service offering that redefines what is possible in terms of quality within the fresh and frozen fish industry. During the coming years the business is expected to double in size by the end of 2016 and again in 2017. Over the subsequent years PTC aims to continue, to expand and to become one of the leading frozen and fresh fish supplier in the market. D

Kotra LOGISTICS Kotra LOGISTICS, a partner in the transportation, storage, and handling of fresh and frozen fish and live seafood, distributes daily from HACCP standards compliant conditioned distribution centres in the Netherlands, Denmark and France for clients from all over Europe. Day and night, an up-to-date fleet (± 150 units) travels through Europe. All FRC certified, with advanced cooling/ freezing facilities, to distribute your products quickly, at the right temperature, and under the right conditions.


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 Editor Libbie Hammond Sales Director Joe Woolsgrove Sales Rob Wagner

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