Eat issue 7, 2021

Page 1

ISSUE 7 2021

Inside... The magazine for Confex wholesaler customers

GIN O’CLOCK

Shaking it up for the perfect serve SIMPLE TWISTS

Banish boring roasts to surprise customers PARTY TIME

Sparkling ideas for New Year’s Eve 2022

Trends insight to keep you ahead

Hello Christmas

Ready or not, the countdown is on to the big day and our advice and ideas will help make sure it’s your best yet


ITALIAN

PRODUC

OES FRO AT

CERTIFIE

D

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ON TOM TI


WELCOME

«

Hello AND welcome… … to the latest issue of Eat, the digital magazine created to help support you

Jess’s mustreads this issue

in managing a successful business. There are two seasonal events coming up that offer a huge opportunity for operators: Christmas and New Year’s Eve. This duo of key dates is more people than ever will be celebrating to make up for the missed chances last year. Flick to pages 15-18 and 24-25 for

Perfect serves, page 12 Ideas for mixers to perfectly complement gin

»

more significant this year as the lifting of restrictions means

our advice on planning for the biggest occasions of the year. Elsewhere, we look at the highlight of a Sunday – the roast dinner – and how you can make the most of roasts to surprise and delight your customers (pages 20-22). And discover of the year on pages 12-13. To round off this issue, we bring you a glimpse of the future

Christmas time, page 15 A plan to help you prepare for the busiest time of the year

»

the ways to up your gin game ready for the busiest time

in our 2022 trends feature (pages 26-27) so that you can get ahead of the rest. I hope you enjoy the read.

Pumpkin power, page 28 Use up Halloween leftovers

»

JESS DOUGLAS MARKETING & HR DIRECTOR CONFEX LTD

ISSUE 7 2021

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CONTENTS

«

20 26 28 12 Eat is published by The Bright Media Agency, The Old Bank, 2 Cross Street, Enderby, Leicestershire LE19 4NJ, on behalf of Confex Ltd.

» FOR CONFEX LTD Jess Douglas

» FOR THE BRIGHT MEDIA AGENCY » Content Director Stephenie Shaw

» Creative Director Emma Bramwell

» Content Editor Kate Feasey

» Senior Designer Rafaela Aguiar-Hill

» Head of Sales and Business Development Sally James

» Publisher

15

Contents

07 08

Shelf stockers

Our round-up of the latest must-stock products

News

A look at changing meal habits and creating the perfect ambience, plus dates for your diary

09 11 12

Lumina Intelligence

Insight from the expert on the Christmas opportunity

CORE of it

Gin time

Focus on your margins with own-brand range advice How you can up your gin game for the festive season

15

Christmas is coming

The countdown is on and we’re here to help with advice and ideas

20

Sunday roast

24 26

One of the nation’s favourite meals and how to spice it up

New Year’s Eve party

Food and drink ideas to celebrate the big night

Eye on the future

28

Get ahead and be prepared with our guide on the key trends for 2022

Five ways with

Sweet and nutty pumpkin!

David Shaw To advertise, please contact Sally James on 07514 623564 or sales@thebrightmediaagency.com

Get in touch

WANT TO SHARE YOUR VIEWS OR YOUR BUSINESS? IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE INCLUDED OR SEE US FEATURE A PARTICULAR SUBJECT, PLEASE GET IN TOUCH EAT@THEBRIGHTMEDIAAGENCY.COM

ISSUE 7 2021

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Official Team Partner KP Snacks are the Official Team Partner for the action-packed, unmissable 100 ball cricket competition featuring the best international and domestic cricketers in the world.

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ROUND-UP

« WHAT’S NEW

Tasty plantbased joy Get a protein boost in a bar Snickers Hi Protein Crisp is the latest addition to Mars Chocolate Drinks & Treats range of protein bars. Already a

Beer for the planet Continuing its mission to connect people through great beer that is good for the planet, carbon negative brewer BrewDog introduces new BrewDog Planet Pale (4.3% ABV). It delivers session-strength fresh grassy hops with subtle tropical tones of pineapple and lime in the background and is sure to be popular. Available in 330ml 4-pack and 440ml single can formats.

popular variant in confectionery and ice cream, the new bar contains 20g protein and 217 calories.

Here’s WHAT’S NEW

Mondelēz International has just launched a plantbased alternative to the nation’s favourite Cadbury Dairy Milk and be prepared for it to fly off shelves. Cadbury Plant Bar comes in two flavours – Smooth Chocolate and Smooth Chocolate with Salted Caramel – and is made with almonds for a creamy taste.

A round-up of the latest new products for your outlet

First-of-a-kind vegan Choc-o-lot Bursting with chocolatey taste and completely dairy-free is new plant-based Vita Coco Choc-o-lot. With only 25 calories per 100ml, containing immune-supporting vitamin C and being rich in replenishing potassium too, this vegan chocolate milk drink is the ideal mood-lifting and nutritious, low-cal chocolate injection to beat the afternoon slump.

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16:15

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INDUSTRY NEWS

»

Dates for your diary NOVEMBER

01-30 World Vegan Month

11-15

National School Meals Week

21

Stir Up Sunday

DECEMBER

07

National Fry Up Day

12

Get Ahead Gravy Day

31

New Year’s Eve

08 Eat » ISSUE 7 2021

Brunch in, breakfast out? A recent survey undertaken by Jarlsberg, the UK’s number-one deli cheese with holes, found the pandemic had a huge impact on people’s eating habits, with a growing trend for us Brits to favour brunch over breakfast. The research shows that nearly 80% of people changed their brunch habits during the pandemic, with one in three replacing breakfast with brunch because of waking up

Did you know?

1 IN 5

PEOPLE NOW HAVE BRUNCH AS A REGULAR MEAL AND

1 IN 2

PEOPLE LIKE BRUNCH TO INVOLVE EGGS later as the nation changed to working from home. The weekend is still the most popular time to brunch and it appears 50% of brunchers like to have meat as part of this meal.

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE AMBIENCE Premium candle specialist Bolsius Professional has released a report, packed with insight and inspiration, for operators on the impact of ambience on venue choice, dwell time and repeat custom. Visit bolsius.com/en/ professional/guide-to-ambiance to discover how to create the perfect ambience for diners.


INSIGHT

« LUMINA

Christmas: are you ready? UK consumers are feeling excited about this year’s festivities, so shout about your offer and make the most of the Christmas opportunity, says Katy Moses, Managing Director, KAM

B

y the end of your marketing and make September this sure potential customers Did u yo year, a whopping can easily find you. When ? w o n k 3.3 million Brits people are looking for a new had already made their or different venue, their AFTER Christmas reservations. As decision is increasingly ASKING last Christmas was such a digitally driven. After asking FRIENDS AND wash-out, it’s no surprise that friends and family for FAMILY, recent research from KAM recommendations, the next found that consumers are place most people turn to is OF BRITS DO keen to make this year a a general internet search A GENERAL bigger celebration than ever. (38%), followed by a Google INTERNET With one in three intending ‘near me’ search (25%) and SEARCH, Christmas Day itself looks set then a hospitality review to put more effort into to return to pre-Covid levels celebrating Christmas this website/app such as SEARCH this year, with 1 in 10 year compared to pre-Covid, Tripadvisor (22%.) This GOOGLE intending to visit a pub or we predict that people will be represents a huge opportunity ‘NEAR ME’ restaurant. The same can be spending more and planning for operators to either AND said of New Year’s Eve, with earlier. One in four of those influence potential customers a very similar proportion of who celebrate Christmas had or lose them. If you don’t USE consumers saying they intend show up on a Google ‘near already started planning for HOSPITALITY to visit a pub or restaurant. it in September, so if you me’ search, then add it to REVIEW With demand so high, haven’t already got your your to-do list and mark it WEBSITES OR APPS now’s the time to bolster Christmas offer sorted with as ‘urgent’. bookings well and truly open, then you’d better get on it DOWNLOAD THE FULL RESEARCH HERE because you’re already missing out. dropbox.com/s/0kh9fsxis2ykdts/KAM%20-%20Christmas%20 The research found that 2021%20Infographic.pdf?dl=0 hospitality footfall on

38% 25% 22%

»

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CORE


RANGE ADVICE

« OWN BRAND

CORE THE ULTIMATE WIN-WIN

With more than 350 lines of topquality own brand to choose from and more planned for 2022, CORE helps you to wow your customers and protect your margins

O

ffering top-quality products and great value is the ultimate balancing act for anyone working in hospitality, especially after the challenges of the past 20 months. Making sure you delight your customers with a quality offer often comes at a price, but with CORE – your local wholesaler’s own-brand range – it’s a win-win situation. Developed by leading foodservice experts with the end customer firmly in mind, there are now more than 350 lines available to help you keep your costs low while still delivering the wow factor. And, the good news is there’s plenty more in the pipeline for 2022.

CORE: your secret weapon

CORE chips pricing held until the end of this year – top up now

Available from your local wholesaler now ISSUE 7 2021

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FEATURE

» GIN

YOUR

‘ginspiration’ It’s long been the trendiest spirit, but there’s a reason why gin is so popular

F

or years gin has been the spirit of choice and its popularity isn’t waning. With so much variety, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to the perfect serve. Gin and tonic is THE classic and with numerous flavoured gins available, it can be easy to whip up a refreshing and flavoursome G&T. With the explosion in flavoured tonics too, they’re a great addition

to your mixer range. And while tonic is the natural partner to gin – some things just go together such as strawberries and cream – it can be easy to think why change something that works so well together. But it pays to literally mix things up from time to time. And with people wanting to go out and enjoy an out-of-home experience, be creative and your customers will thank you.

CITRUS BLAST Bitter lemon makes a zesty partner for gin with its slight tang. Don’t let the name ‘bitter’ stop you from trying it out as it isn’t bitter and really does work. Alternatively, add fresh lemon juice or mix up a gin and lime, either fresh or bottled – it’s a winner. 12 Eat » ISSUE 7 2021


SPICE IT UP Ginger beer is a great mix with gin, bringing a touch of sweetness and spice to the drink. Add a splash of lime cordial and a wedge of fresh lime and you have yourself a cocktail.

BERRY NICE Cranberry juice is great for customers who like their gin drink more on the sweeter side.

SO-DA GOOD TROPICAL VIBE The sweetness of pineapple juice goes well with a London dry-style of gin, bringing out the gin’s citrus elements. Add a splash of soda for a more refreshing drink.

A great option for those wanting a low-calorie drink is soda water. It lets the gin flavours shine through, so it’s especially good with flavoured gins. There are so many flavoured sodas available too that will elevate the serve.

Top tip

TEA TIME Gin and earl grey tea. Hear us out. For those looking for a completely different mixer, earl grey tea is ideal as it has complementary aromatics to gin. Mix steeped tea and gin, and serve with lemon and sugar to taste.

SERVES THAT JUST CAN’T BE REPLICATED AT HOME ARE KEY TO YOUR SALES, SO USE PREMIUM MIXERS AND A RANGE OF GLASSWARE AND FRESH GARNISHES, FROM FRUIT TO HERBS

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MAIN + SNACK + DRINK

ASK YOUR CONFEX WHOLESALER ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF THE FOOD TO GO CLUB AND SIGN UP TODAY!

£

3.99

NEW

Offer subject to availability. Varieties as stocked.


FEATURE

« CHRISTMAS

FESTIVE cheer It’s never too early to start planning for Christmas in foodservice to make sure you get your offer just right

R

ight now is the time to put your Christmas thinking caps on, if you haven’t already! The secret to survival at this time of year is preparation and forward planning. Some of you may be ahead of us and have everything in place but with Halloween and Bonfire Night among the events coming up before the biggest of the year, it’s OK to not be ready just yet. And that’s why we’re here, to try and make it as smooth as possible for you with some helpful tips and advice. After all, it’s the most

hectic time of year for everyone in foodservice and quite possibly the best time to make a good impression to keep your venue front of mind for future custom.

PLAN FOR SUCCESS

Many will be looking to eat out over the festive period to make up for missed chances last year. And Christmas parties are back on the cards too. A focus on driving revenue in the run-up to Christmas is really important, so think set menus and go all out to create a festive atmosphere in your venue

to draw customers in and ensure they have a memorable time for all the right reasons.

FOCUS POINTS

Top tip A SIMPLE WAY TO ENCOURAGE TRADING UP IS WITH ADD-ONS TO YOUR MENUS, SUCH AS A BOTTLE OF FIZZ OR WINE

Finances will still be a factor for some, so making sure you have menus that cover all price points and budgets is key. And when it comes to enticing group bookings and work parties, see if you can offer a discount. This year more than ever people want to try something different, be it the dining experience or the food on the menu. Sharing plates and tapas-style dishes tick the box for price and something different and can be a great way for diners to try

»

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foods they may not have done before, so be creative with your dishes. Wellness and better for you options remain a priority for people when eating out, so have a balance of lighter choices and indulgent ones – it is Christmas after all – to cater for everyone. Don’t overlook the opportunity to cater to those who want the experience of dining out over the festive season but prefer to stay at home to do it. This means at-home kits are still big business and can be a great profit-booster at this time of year as you can go all out to create a festive extravaganza using high-quality ingredients with a price tag to match.

MENUS

Factor the following into your menus and you won’t go far wrong. Keep it simple and profitable. With the strong

»

16 Eat » ISSUE 7 2021

» S uggest drinks pairings

to really boost your profit margins, including wine, beer, cider, spirits, cocktails and mocktails, and soft drinks. Plant-based foods are an absolute must. Try to offer at least two options. Home baking was massive during the pandemic and its appeal remains huge, so get your apron on and get baking festive favourites to bring joy and comfort to your customers. Boards were all over Instagram this year and are perfect for Christmas. Go for sharing boards of cheese and fruit, cold meats and pickles, and festive sweet bites.

» possibility of fewer staff than usual, focusing on a tempting but more limited menu is the way to go. Customers are used to this approach since the reopening of hospitality, so it won’t come as a great surprise or disappointment. Innovation is important when it comes to menus. Think about how you can offer traditional festive fare but with subtle and delicious tweaks.

»

Top tip WITH SUPPLY POTENTIALLY BEING AN ISSUE UP TO CHRISTMAS AND BEYOND, WITH A PLAN B FOR MENUS

»

»


FEATURE

« CHRISTMAS

Christmas countdown Here are some pointers to help you stay cool, calm and collected in the weeks leading up to Christmas so that you have the best season

3

1

Build excitement now with bold, eyecatching POS to advertise Christmas menus. Use your social media platforms, posters, website and table talkers to promote your offer, and remind customers about your venue with a branded email. Make it easy to find out what you’re offering and how to book.

4

Have a think about how you can create a great atmosphere that customers will remember. Basically, music, crackers and party hats are a good starting point.

Cleanliness and hygiene remain important considerations for people eating out of home, so highlighting the measures you have in place to reassure customers will see them choose your venue.

5

2

Ensure your work party offer is clear and you have all the details they’ll want, such as cost per head, how many you can cater for and a menu.

Make sure all the seasonal extras, such as crackers, party poppers, tablecloths, napkins, etc, are ordered and sort your festive music playlist.

Make a note of which days the key dates fall on as it has a pretty big impact on sales. Christmas Eve is on a Friday this year, so be prepared for the all-day and afterwork revellers.

6

Go through your decorations to check they’re all still in one piece. And don’t forget to check those fairy lights! This goes for a tree too if you’re not getting a real one.

7

Get the tree and decorations up and the Christmas music on. Now is also the ideal time to launch your limited-edition, seasonal drinks and food, whether it’s cocktails or lattes, puddings or mince pies.

»

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FEATURE

» CHRISTMAS

8

Go through your drinks offering and make sure you have everything needed to make special festive drinks, such as mulled wine.

9

Plan a day ahead throughout December so you’ll be prepared for any eventuality, for example, staff off sick or an increased booking number. Prepare your team too and meet up with them daily so that everyone knows what’s happening and when. Start confirming your bookings either by phone or email.

10

Take notes as you go on what’s worked well and not so well to prepare you for next year.

11

Particularly for smaller outlets, check your oven capacity and versatility of equipment so you can cope with increased demand.

12

Go through all your pre-orders and check you have everything ordered.

13

Ramp up your social media presence by posting pictures of happy people and amazing food and get everyone involved with a hashtag to spread the word.

14

Encourage your customers to come back in the new year, when all goes quiet, by giving them a Christmas card with a January bounce-back offer inside. Plus, get people to follow you on social media by putting the same offer on your various platforms and emails.

18 Eat » ISSUE 7 2021

OM


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FEATURE

» ROASTS

Roast on

SUNDAY

What’s Sunday without a classic roast dinner to enjoy? Just any other day, so make sure yours is set to impress

A

s autumn rolls in and the colder weather with it, warm your customers with a classic Sunday roast. There are few things more comforting than a hearty roast – it’s like a hug for the senses! And with people still seeking comfort from food post-pandemic, it’s a crowd-pleaser, and a profit booster to boot. However, you don’t need us to tell you what makes up the traditional favourite, though we do have a few twists up our sleeves to reinvigorate this popular meal. First off, take a look at the meat you offer. Decide how many different ones to add to your menu and consider rotating them every so often or having a roast of the week. Then consider simple touches that can really elevate the meat into something special. Try these ideas.

20 Eat » ISSUE 7 2021

» R ub crushed sea salt and

rosemary into chicken skin and chill overnight. Sit a chicken on sourdough croutons made by tossing bread chunks in olive oil and seasoning and adding to a roasting tin with garlic and lemon halves. Make a spicy marinade with ginger, spices, garlic, chilli and natural yogurt and rub over a chicken. Score the skin on a joint of pork loin on the bone, rub with salt and poke slices of garlic and rosemary into

»

» »

Top tip DEGLAZE YOUR MEAT PAN WITH RED WINE, SHERRY OR CIDER, DEPENDING ON THE MEAT, AND SEASON FOR GRAVY WITH A PUNCH OF FLAVOUR

slits. Roast and serve with apple and horseradish sauce and crackling. Drizzle beef with oil, season well with sea salt and black pepper and rub all over.

»

SPUDS

A roast isn’t a roast without roast potatoes. There’s so much you can do to add flavour and texture, including parboiling, then drying and tossing in the pan to fluff up the edges, which turn gloriously crispy in the oven.


Pork

Chicken

Cook the joint in a pan with about 2cm of water as it’ll create steam in the oven and keep the meat succulent.

Beef

Sear in a pan before roasting as this keeps all the juices in and creates a deliciously moist roast.

GET STUFFED!

Stuffing shouldn’t just be for chicken and Christmas, add it to every roast and use fruits such as apricots, apples and cranberries partnered with sage and thyme and other woody herbs to lift it.

SHOULD YOU, SHOULDN’T YOU?

That’s the debate when it comes to Yorkshire puddings. The look of delight when a customer gets one with their meal that they’re not expecting is worth making

sure you add to every roast you serve.

ON THE SIDE

Whatever you do, don’t sideline the side dishes; let them shine and your roasts will be the talk of the town. Give veg some love with simple ideas such as adding a roasted garlic and herb butter, a sprinkling of chilli on broccoli, a crumble of feta over roast carrots, or a squeeze of lemon juice and seasoning to greens – they’re easy wins. For a more

Top tip INCLUDE VEGETARIAN AND VEGAN VERSIONS SO NO ONE MISSES OUT

Put butter under the skin and rubs lots of salt and thyme over it.

sophisticated upgrade, try shredded sprouts with bacon and chilli butter, kale and cauliflower cheese, leek, squash and parsley crumble and whisky-glazed carrots.

TREAT TIME

Pork crackling is a real treat with a roast. It’s golden, crispy and full of flavour but getting the cut of pork right is important. Go for leg as there’s a decent layer of skin on it. Plus the fat helps prevent the meat from drying out so you can cook it at a high temperature for long enough to get that scrumptious crackling. Prep well: the skin needs to be dry; score the skin; add salt to draw the water out; and use a little vegetable oil to help the skin puff and not dry out.

»

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FEATURE

» ROASTS

FINISHING TOUCH

Never underestimate the sauces! They’re the perfect partner to a roast and the finishing touch. Go for the expected so you don’t have disappointed customers but also try something different such as a roasted garlic sauce with beef or a chilli sauce to pep up chicken.

ROASTS WITH A TWIST

» F orget the usual nut roast and serve up nut roast en croute for vegetarians.

» S erve chunks of roast lamb

with roasted peppers, crumbled feta and dill. Rather than roast a large lamb joint, serve up shanks in thyme with mashed potato, roast carrots, sliced leeks and kale. Drench a boneless joint of gammon in ginger beer for a sweet and warming spicy flavour. Cook a beef pot roast – you can use silverside instead of ribeye, which is much cheaper.

»

» »

Top tip

Serves 6

USE ANY LEFTOVERS TO CREATE TASTY SANDWICHES AND MEALS FOR MONDAY, SUCH AS A BEEF OR LAMB RAGU, OR A CHICKEN AND PASTA SALAD

METHOD

1 GINGER BEER GAMMON »PREP: 5 MINS »COOK: 2 HRS INGREDIENTS

»FOR THE JOINT

2kg boneless gammon joint 1 onion, peeled and quartered 2 carrots, peeled and roughly sliced 1 tsp black peppercorns 2 cinnamon sticks 22 Eat » ISSUE 7 2021

2 bay leaves 1 litre ginger beer 2 oranges, quartered »FOR THE GLAZE 2 tbsp clear honey 50g light brown sugar ½ tsp cinnamon 1 orange, juiced

Put the gammon in a large pan and add the onion, carrots, peppercorns, cinnamon sticks and bay leaves. Pour over the ginger beer and top up with enough water to cover the gammon. Bring to the boil, skimming off any impurities. Simmer for 1 hr and 15 mins, topping up with boiling water if the pork starts popping out. Remove from the heat and leave to cool in the liquid for 1½ hrs. Preheat the oven to 190˚C/gas mark 5. Remove the gammon and

2

transfer to a board. Remove the skin and score the fat into diamonds. In a small saucepan, heat the honey, sugar, cinnamon and orange juice over a low heat, then increase the heat and simmer until it becomes syrupy. Line a roasting tin with foil and transfer the gammon on to it. Add the quartered oranges. Brush half the glaze over the fat of the gammon, then roast for 45 mins, brushing the remaining glaze over it halfway through.

3

4



Party TIME

New Year’s Eve is the time to party, so be prepared with these simple but effective appetiser and drinks ideas

Food

1

Up your bacon sarnie stakes by blending butter with a little sherry, spread on to 10cm-long, lightly toasted baguette pieces and top with cooked bacon and the baguette top.

3

Be bang on trend and serve up vol au vents for a nostalgic and comforting vibe. Fill puff pastry cases with smoked salmon and chive-infused sour cream or try these simple ideas: » finely chopped cooked mushrooms combined with a roux made from

24 Eat » ISSUE 7 2021

2

Dress up pigs in blankets for the occasion by swapping chipolatas for a spicy thick sausage, roll in puff pastry, slice into roughly 1.5cm pieces and bake until golden and sizzling.

butter, garlic, flour and milk » small prawns combined with a mix of cheese spread, Greek natural yogurt, tomato puree and lemon juice » small pieces of ham and diced pineapple mixed with cheese spread and Greek natural yogurt » guacamole as the filling with any topping.

4

Round off with a selection of mini sweet bites, such as rum and raisin brownies, chocolate fudge, pastry cases filled with Eton mess and mince pies.


FEATURE

« NEW YEAR

Drinks 1 Raspberry mimosa

Pour raspberry liqueur with champagne, prosecco or sparkling red wine over ice, stir and serve. Add a sugar rim and fresh raspberry for a finishing touch.

2 Cranberry mule

Combine vodka with cranberry syrup and a little freshly squeezed lime juice, then half fill the glass with ice and top up with ginger beer. Garnish with a fresh lime slice and mint leaves.

3 Pineapple sparkling margarita

4 Cranberry martini

Shake vodka, cranberry juice, Cointreau, lemon juice and sugar syrup, strain into a glass over ice and serve.

Blend fresh pineapple chunks with lime and lemon juice, strain, add tequila and a splash of Grand Marnier and chill until ready to serve, then top up with champagne or prosecco.

5 Kir royale A classic, simply pour Chambord into a fluted glass and gently top up with champagne with a raspberry to garnish.

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FEATURE

» LOOKING TO 2022

FUTURE

trends We bring you a glimpse into the future with predictions for the big trends in food and drink to get onboard with ready for 2022

Veg rules

Blast from the past

In times of uncertainty we turn to the past for reassurance and inspiration and the nostalgia trend keeps on running well into 2022. Cakes are the perfect way to tap into this trend. Take your customers back to their childhoods with favourites such as cherry bakewell and fondant fancies. Find inspiration in classic sweet shop flavours too, such as sherbert lemon and rhubarb and custard. 26 Eat » ISSUE 7 2021

As plant-based foods become more mainstream, consumer attitudes are shifting. While there’s still demand for plant-based alternatives that mimic meat, more and more consumers will be looking for dishes where vegetables are the heroes. Make veg the stars of your dishes and you’ll not only see a new wave of customers but you’ll notice a difference to your bottom line too.

Waste reduction

As people’s awareness of their impact on the environment increases, be prepared for a renewed focus on local and seasonal produce. And showcase the ways in which you play your part as a business in reducing food waste.


To go

Health

If there’s one area that operators need to focus on it’s health and wellbeing. Menu items developed to be low in fat, salt and sugar are an absolute must going forward. And incorporate ingredients that are beneficial to gut health, such as those rich in fibre – nuts, fruit and wholegrains, for example. Fermented, probiotic foods are a must too; think kimchi and kombucha. Immunity-boosting food and drink is big news and the spotlight is on CBD. This wellness ingredient is known to relieve anxiety and help with sleep issues. Don’t be daunted by it as more and more products are entering the market to add to your chillers and shelves. Reducing the amount of artificial flavourings and ingredients in your foods will score you extra points too as consumers look for cleaner labels.

Inject some inspiration into your food-to-go offering as it’s an area expected to flourish again in 2022. As operators fight for custom, make sure your range stands out with new creative recipes and deals. Coffee plays a huge part in the to-go area. During the pandemic, consumers got into the habit of grabbing a coffee to enjoy on a walk, so it’s time to up your game and practise your barista skills to cash in on this opportunity.

TAKE NOTE OF THIS BUZZWORD: REDUCETARIANISM. IT REFERS TO PEOPLE WHO AREN’T READY TO GO TOTALLY VEGETARIAN OR VEGAN BUT STILL WANT TO REDUCE HOW MUCH MEAT, DAIRY AND EGGS THEY EAT

Top tip

Take out

Continuing to offer a delivery and/or collection service will see your venue succeed in 2022. And meal kits will remain popular as people recreate special experiences in the comfort of their own home.

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5

WAYS WITH…

pumpkin Got a load of pumpkin left over from Halloween? Fear not, there will be no waste, just plenty of delicious dishes with these easy sales-boosting ideas

1

Piece of the pie

It’s a classic, yes it’s pumpkin pie. Whip up a batch of pastry, cook grated pumpkin flesh with brown sugar and cinnamon, adding nutmeg or crushed walnuts for an extra flavour boost, assemble the pie and bake.

2

Soup it up

Delicious and versatile and the perfect warmer on a cold day, thick and creamy pumpkin soup is a winner. Stay simple with pumpkin, onion, cream and stock, or add spices such as ginger. Serve with hunks of fresh bread or melted cheese on toast fingers.

28 Eat » ISSUE 7 2021


GET CREATIVE

3

« PUMPKIN

Simply roasted

Slice a pumpkin into wedges – you can peel or leave the skin on – scoop out the seeds and either roast wedges as they are or drizzle with oil, a little honey and cumin seeds until tender, then choose how to use. Try chopped in warm salads, mashed to serve as a side dish, to top a pie or even to make into pancakes with a pinch of nutmeg or cinnamon, or puree and add to pumpkin spice lattes or cocktails.

4

Sweet treat

Pumpkin cake is ideal as you can serve it for Bonfire Night too. Use pumpkin, sultanas, orange zest and juice, mixed spice, maple syrup and chopped pecans or walnuts in your cake mix and top with cream cheese drizzled with maple syrup and nuts. You could also make pumpkin muffins.

5

Smooth as

Pumpkin puree makes an ideal base for so many recipes and can be frozen too. Try a delicious smoothie by whizzing pumpkin puree, unsweetened almond milk, banana, ice, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice together in a blender. It’s dairy-free too!

ISSUE 7 2021

« Eat

29


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