Category Archives: Catering Business

23 
Jan

Worcestershire Food Producers

Worcestershire food producer and sauceWorcestershire food producers are the latest in AC Services’ series on local food producers proving it’s not just Worcestershire Sauce!

In the very heart of England, Worcestershire borders Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Gloucestershire.

Renowned for fruit farming and the cultivation of hops, today only the Vale of Evesham has orchards still worked on a commercial scale.

Banner Foods are based in Bromsgrove, was established over 100 years ago back in 1906 by Sam Banner and his wife. Nowadays the business has three distinct sectors: a farm shop butchery with takeaway food; a manufacturing unit that produces meals for all catering establishments; and most recently a restaurant.

The butcher’s side of the business provides excellent cuts of meat, including lamb in mint and onion gravy, lamb Marrakech with orange, sultana and chickpeas and lambs liver. More exotic meals include curried fragrant guinea fowl breast and rich venison casserole.

Fruits of the Earth

One of the Worcestershire food producers serving the UK is Primafruit is based in Evesham. It is the place for fresh fruit. The company specialises in the sourcing and supply of fresh fruit and works with some of Britain’s best-known retailers and foodservice customers.

Fruit is sourced from around the world and Primafruit prides itself in its excellent relationship with growers and suppliers. The product range includes stone fruit, citrus, grapes, kiwi and pineapples all year round as well as melons and bananas.

No waste is sent to landfill; with a local dairy farm taking significant volumes of fruit waste as cattle feed and compost material.

Ice Cream and Herbs

For those who love ice cream then Bennetts is a familiar name in the county with a delightful selection of traditional and contemporary flavours. All recipes are suitable for vegetarians and are gluten free except amaretto, lemon meringue and champagne sorbet.

There are over 50 flavours of truly traditional ice cream to choose from. This made on the farm in Worcester from milk supplied by Bennett’s own dairy herd and fresh double cream from a local independent dairy.

The farm holds 240 Holstein/Friesian cows. In the summer, the cows graze in luscious pastures, set between the rivers Severn and Teme. The creamiest and freshest morning milk is collected, pasteurised and turned into delicious ice cream within 24 hours. There is a huge choice from Banoffee Fudge, Blue Bubblegum, Caramel Honeycomb & Fig Ice Cream, Coconut & Pineapple Ice Cream or Honey & Ginger.

Finally let’s talk about herbs!  Red Deer grows fresh herbs in Worcester and then distributes them nationwide. Established in 1986, Red Deer Herbs concentrates on processing herbs and related crops to the highest quality standards. The choice includes red and lemon basil, chervil and chives, lovage and fennel and borage, a taste similar to cucumber.

Worcestershire food producers are the last in the first AC Services series of local food producers in the area it serves. But there are so many good local ingredients, we’ll soon start spotlighting some more.

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Published Date: 23rd January 2018
Category: Blog, Catering Business, News
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09 
Jan

Events Calendar 2018

Events Calendar 20182018 is an even year which means a big sporting event is coming up in summer, in this case, the FIFA World Cup taking place in Russia.

We also have the Winter Olympics in South Korea and the Invictus Games in Australia and loads of other sporting attractions.

However, 2018 also promises to be a huge year for the Royal family, with an eagerly anticipated wedding between the world’s most eligible bachelor and a glamorous American actress and the birth of the fourth in line to the throne.

Listed below are some sporting and other interesting events in chronological order: start booking those days off well in advance or prepare events for your customers:

Jan 15-28           Tennis Australia Open, Melbourne, Australia
Jan 15                 World Religion Day
Jan 25                 Burns Night
Jan 25-28           Extreme Sports Winter X Games 22, Aspen, Colorado, USA
Jan 26                 Australia Day
Feb 4                  Gridiron/Football, Super Bowl , Minneapolis, Minnesota
Feb 9-25            Multi-sports, Winter Olympics, Pyeongchang, South Korea
Feb 13                Shrove Tuesday
Feb 14                Ash Wednesday, Lent begins
Feb 16                Chinese New Year , Year of the Dog
Feb 28 – Mar 4  Cycling World Track Championships , Apeldoorn, The Netherlands
March 1               St David’s Day, Wales
March 9-18         Multi-sports, Winter Paralympics, Pyeongchang, South Korea
March 17             St Patrick’s Day, Ireland
March 21             International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
March 30             Good Friday
Apr 1                    Easter Sunday
Apr 5-8                Golf Masters, Augusta, USA
April 4-15            Multi-sports Commonwealth Games , Gold Coast, Australia
Apr 14                  Horse Racing, Grand National, Aintree, Liverpool
Apr 23                 St George’s Day, England
May 16                Ramadan begins
May 19                Royal Wedding , Windsor
May 19                Football FA Cup final. Wembley Stadium, London
May 26                Football UEFA Champions League Final, Kiev, Ukraine
May 27-Jun 10   Tennis French Open, Paris, France
14 Jun -15 Jul     Football FIFA World Cup, Russia
15 Jun                  Eid al Fitr, end of Ramadan
Jul 7-29                Cycling, Tour de France
Jun 14–17            Golf, US Open , New York
Jul 2                      Tennis, Wimbledon
Jul 19-22              Golf, British Open , Carnoustie, Scotland
July 20-22            Rugby World Cup Sevens, San Francisco, U.S.A.
Jul 21-Aug 5        Hockey World Cup, Women, London, England
Aug 4-12              Multi-sports, Gay Games, Paris, France
Aug 16-19            Golf, US PGA, Town and Country, Missouri
Aug 18-Sep 2       Multi-sports, Asian Games, Jakarta, Indonesia
Aug 27                  Tennis, US Open, New York, USA
Sep 1-9                 Rowing 2018 World Rowing Championships, Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Sep 9                     Rosh Hashanah/Jewish New Year
Sep 11-23             Multi-sports, Summer Youth Olympics, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Sep TBC                Multi-sports, Invictus Games, Sydney, Australia
Sep 28-30             Golf, Ryder Cup , Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France
Oct 25 – Nov 3     Gymnastics, World Championships (Artistic), Doha, Qatar
Nov 6                     Horse Racing, Melbourne Cup, Victoria, Australia
Nov 7                     Deepavali (also known as Diwali), Festival of Lights
Nov 24-Dec 16     Hockey (Field) World Cup – Men, Bhubaneswar, India
Dec 7-11                Swimming, World Swimming Championships, Hangzhou, China

Don’t forget that while this is the World Events Calendar 2018, there are lots of local events and celebrations around which to create a theme.

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Published Date: 9th January 2018
Category: Blog, Catering Business, News
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12 
Dec

Good Food Show Birmingham 2017

Good Food Show BirminghamBREAKING NEWS! Mary Berry has been spotted chatting with Marcus Bean, Nadiya Hussain and a whole host of other top chefs. But rumours of a rival show to the Great British Bake Off have, were quashed as the chefs were united at the annual Good Food Show Birmingham NEC from 30 November – 3 December 2017.

With four days of live entertainment, shopping, innovative products and cooking demonstrations galore, over 450 exhibitors took part. They were joined by an exciting menu of top chefs and cookery experts. Mary Berry, Tom Kerridge, Michel Roux Jr, James Martin, The Hairy Bikers, Raymond Blanc, Anjula Devi and Nadiya Hussain were in attendance bringing demonstrations and advice to the masses who came through the halls.

Big Kitchen

The Big Kitchen super-theatre was the highlight of the Good Food Show Birmingham. Here the celebrity chefs cooked festive recipes and warming winter foods. This year brought a new element to the first day. Visitors who had booked the session, were able to enjoy a free Eat Like a Local session.

New for this year was the Friends and Family Festive Kitchen, hosted by Chris Bavin. Live cookery demonstrations and inspired recipe ideas gave plenty of thought for the Christmas period. These included ideas for a Caribbean Christmas and the perfect Christmas dessert.

Skills School

There were plenty of other opportunities for the public to hone their cookery skills in the Skills School. On offer were masterclasses in Naked Cake Decorating with Sophie Godwin and a Sourdough Workshop with the BBC Good Food cookery team.

There was also the chance to learn a range of knife skills from the Zwilling professionals. This included different sharpening techniques, which type of knife should be used, how to use a knife for specific techniques and how to master the pinch grip.

Finally in the Skill School was the Sipsmith Gin Tasting. Historically, alcoholic tipples were almost exclusively served warm as a cosy way to get through the long, cold nights. The Sipsmith masterclasses offered tips on serving the ideal hot G&T.

Whisky and Northern Ireland Highlights

There was special interest in The Whisky Blending Lab from The Whisky Lounge. Blended whisky has apparently been ignored for far too long. So the idea was for visitors to construct their very own blended whisky. Those who took part not only blended the whisky but named it and walked away with a labelled bottled miniature!

Our final highlight was the Taste the Greatness of Northern Ireland Sampling Theatre and Pavilion. This was hosted by chef, Paula McIntyre, alongside a selection of producers. According to the showguide “Northern Ireland is a place of greatness because of a deep down determination to make the best of everything they’ve got. That same determination has taken hold of producers, processors and restaurateurs alike and is winning awards and international acclaim by producing world class ingredients and causing an explosion of authentic producers.”

Perfect for getting us in the mood for Christmas, the Good Food Show Birmingham returns to the NEC at the same time next year.

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Published Date: 12th December 2017
Category: Blog, Catering Business, News
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21 
Nov

Herefordshire Food Producers

Herefordshire Food ProducersWith a cathedral city, Herefordshire is one of the most rural and sparsely populated county in England.

The land use is mostly agricultural.  The county is renowned for its fruit and cider production, and the Hereford cattle breed as well as its famous spring asparagus. Herefordshire stretches from Ross-on-Wye in the Wye Valley to Leominster and Mortimer Country, from Kington and the Golden Valley to Bromyard, Ledbury and the Malvern Hills.

Herefordshire food producers are recognised throughout the UK for quality and taste, as Trecorras Farm can testify. Last year the company showcased its charcuterie to London restaurants and chefs at The Tower of London including the new kid goat meat charcuterie range.

The company produces high quality kid goat meat as a passion. Rural Herefordshire provides the perfect environment for the young kid goats – currently one of the hottest food trends – to thrive. Trecorras supplies many chefs and restaurants locally and nationally with kid meat, charcuterie and merguez sausages.

Saucy Solution

Another company that has been acclaimed for its produce is Tigg’s. Tigg’s salad dressings and sauces are made in Bodenham by two brothers. They have added their own personalities to their former ‘Granny Tigg’s’ artisan-style labelling to make a more generic label, ‘Perfect Match’.

We tweaked our brand to a play on dating amongst food, in which different all-purpose sauces and dressings might find their match with different foods as well as different customers,” said Jacob James of Tigg’s. The company produces naturally colourful, all-purpose dressings and sauces that can be used on salads and as ketchups, pasta sauces, marinades and even pizza bases! Flavours include Sweet Original, Bold Beetroot and Cool Basil & Pea.

Wye Not?

Wye Valley Produce is grown by fourth-generation farmers, the Chinn family, in the Wye Valley. Having planted its first asparagus crop in 2003 it has since expanded to include rhubarb, blueberries and green beans.

According to the company, “the light, sandy soil and south-facing slopes of the meandering Wye Valley capture the earliest spring sunlight, and create a microclimate that is perfectly formed to produce some of the earliest, and the best, produce in the UK”.

Cider and perry are integral to the Herefordshire region. Gregg’s Pit was established in 1994. It makes real Herefordshire cider and perry using 100% juice of vintage varieties of apples and pears, harvested from traditional standard orchards. The company still uses traditional methods with an ancient stone press, which dates from the 18th century.

Herefordshire food producers also have global recognition, with beef perhaps the most familiar to most people. Companies like Heggies provide free-range Hereford beef, sourced from a  farm in Leominster. All beef has been aged for 21 days. Then it is delivered to the customer in an insulated container to ensure optimum freshness and quality. The company also has a range of award winning sausages, with ten flavours made on the premises.

Herefordshire is in the heart of England and has been producing fine food and beverages for generations. With traditional methods marrying with modern technology, the county has much more to offer on a global scale. AC Services is pleased to support Herefordshire food producers and catering businesses.

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Published Date: 21st November 2017
Category: Blog, Catering Business, News
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07 
Nov

Fast Food and Mass Catering

Fast Food and mass catering industryFast food and mass catering may appear to be the invention of the 20th century but catering for the masses transcends millennia. Evidence has been excavated at the site of the Pyramids. This revealed a mess hall for the workers, long benches and tables and fish and meat bones. Armies throughout history were fed en masse (possibly not with the healthiest food but fed nonetheless) so catering as a trade has a long heritage.

The modern idea of fast food evolved with the inception of the motor industry where it became easier for people to pop into a store to buy a burger. By the 1950s in the USA, fast food was in full swing. It wasn’t long before heavy advertising and the introduction of children’s meals made it a firm favourite. Today, the global contribution of fast food outlet revenue is in the region of £500 billion.

Fast Food Growing

According to a recent report in the Guardian, the total number of takeaway food shops in England has risen by 4,000 in the past three years. This is an increase of 8%. There are currently 56,638 takeaways in England. They comprises more than 25% of all the country’s food outlets.

Many of the 326 local authorities in the UK have seen significant increases in the number of fast food outlets. Between 2014 and 2017, 20 record rises of more than 20%. Only 40 councils (12%) have seen the number of fast food outlets fall or stay the same.

Since 2012, the fast food and mass catering industry has performed relatively well. Takeaway operators have responded to higher levels of consumer expenditure by introducing higher quality food, often using organic produce and ensuring low-fat, low-sugar and low-salt meal options.

Despite the constant criticism of unhealthy and high calorific food content, fast food is still very popular . Reasons include affordable prices, busy lifestyles and increasing on-the-go consumption. There is also a much wider variety of products available to accommodate different dietary requirements.

Check Appliances

With any mass catering, the emphasis is on efficiency and hygiene. This is true whether it is for a fast food chain or a mess hall, hotel, hospital, airline or school. Too many instances of bad practice resulting in food poisoning or infection have been traced to bad habits in the kitchen or inadequate cooking facilities.

An oven, such as the Rational units, must not only cook the food but also synchronise the cooking of each individual element. It should also be fast and reliable in performance. In addition, the oven must be regularly serviced and checked. This is best as part of an ongoing maintenance regime to ensure top performance.

Contact AC Services on 01454 322222 if you are a fast food and mass catering organisation for appliance best practice .

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Published Date: 7th November 2017
Category: Blog, Catering Business, News
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17 
Oct

Southern Welsh Food Producers

Welsh food producersThe spotlight this week is on Southern Welsh food producers.

Wales has over 78% of its land surface given over to agricultural use. The vast majority of which consists of permanent grass pasture or rough grazing. This has led to the world famous Welsh lamb. Other traditional dishes include laverbread (made from edible seaweed), cawl (a lamb stew) and bara brith (fruit bread).

However there are literally hundreds of Welsh food producers that offer succulent and exotic food to pubs, restaurants and other eateries which are worth a look.

Cider making is big business for Hallets. At their headquarters at Blaengawney Farm, the company uses old traditional methods of cider making from fresh cider apples borrowing a few techniques from wine makers along the way. Ancient oak barrels with cider ageing inside work alongside stainless steel wine fermenters to produce real and draught cider.

We make a number of different draught ciders and a perry… all of which are pure juice. We ferment each variety of apple separately and then blend into the ciders listed below. Our limited edition ciders are also produced in smaller quantities as opposed to our standard products of Heartbreaker, Blindfold and National Treasure which are available all year round,” says a spokeperson.

Apprentice Winner

If cupcakes are your thing, then Ridiculously Rich by Alana had a good start in life, having won the Apprentice Show and the backing of Lord Sugar. Every Ridiculously Rich cake is meticulously hand-crafted in Wales using the finest ingredients. Gooey Chocolate Brownies, Chunky Rocky Road and Salted Caramel Slices are just a few of the delicious flavours on offer. Originating from a little country kitchen, Ridiculously Rich’s approach in the kitchen is described as “perfectionist, experimental, flavour-obsessed, and motivated by all things indulgent.“

Cheese is everyone’s favourite and Caws Cenarth is a family business started in 1987 in response to Milk Quotas. Six generations of cheesemaking tradition go into the manufacture of the Caws Cenarth cheeses, which include the creamy, fresh-flavoured Caerffili. In fact, it lays claim to being the oldest established producer of Welsh Farmhouse Caerffili. Also on the menu are Garlic and Herb Caerffili, Smoked Caerffili and Brie-like Perl Wen, a creamy blue, Perl Las, and Golden Cenarth, a washed-rind cheese.

Hot Grandma

Chutneys, curds, preserves, jams, jellies and marmalades are all available at Little Grandma’s Kitchen a family-run business based in St Clears, Carmarthenshire. The company manufactures mouthwatering chutneys, including Mulled Spiced Apple, Caramelised Red Onion, Grumps Spicy Apple and Apple, Carrot & Ginger. For those brave enough, there is the Inferno Chutney with Naga Chilli and Weapons Grade Chilli! All products are made in small batches to retain their individual flavour using seasonal, local produce where possible.

Last of the Welsh food producers today is The Food Assembly at Abergavenny. This is an award-winning food community delivers the best produce from local Welsh farmers and foodmakers. It works via an online market, where customers to place their orders for vegetables, fruits, eggs, dairy products, meat, bread, honey and fish. The choice ranges from exotic spices to mackerel fillets to organic meat, all locally sourced.

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Published Date: 17th October 2017
Category: Blog, Catering Business, News
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10 
Oct

The Restaurant Show 2017

Restaurant Show 2017 logoOne of the major exhibitions of the catering calendar took place at Olympia last week with visitors and attendees surpassing expectations.

Entering its 30th year of exhibiting, The Restaurant Show 2017 is an eminent trade event catering to those owning, operating and working in restaurants, hotels, bars, pubs and other hospitality establishments throughout the UK.

Incorporating Bar & Pub, Conscious Hospitality and Catering Equipment Expo, the Restaurant Show 2017 featured over 450 suppliers. All offering products, ideas and networking opportunities for anyone involved in the industry.

Live Events

There was plenty to keep everyone entertained and informed. It included live events, with culinary demonstrations, premier competitions and seminars addressing key industry trends, innovations and new talent.

The Show provided a daily Business Insights session. Here leading industry experts discussed the latest industry news, trends and controversial issues. These included how pubs can continue to stay relevant in the face of changing consumer behaviour.

There were also talks on wine tasting, serving tea and coffee, food presentation and the rise of the flexitarian. This is a cross between veggie lovers and carnivores who choose vegetable-based dishes mid-week and save sustainably-produced high quality meat for special occasions.

Bar & Pub Show

The Bar & Pub Show also hosted seminars with the focus on getting the most profit from serving drinks. Topics ranged from sake to cocktails. Did you know that 9.2 million consumers regularly choose cocktails at the bar making it a £499m category?

There was also a discussion on raising the bar with premiumisation. This is catering for young people, who simply don’t drink like we used to. Thus they are looking for more than just a cheap pub or bar.

Rob Fink, Founder of Big Drop Brewing explained that “more and more adults are moderating their alcohol consumption… including the 18-24 age group, in which 1 in 5 are teetotal, so pubs and bars have to adapt to stay relevant. But whilst people…are also being more demanding about their choice of drink and craft beers have been instrumental in making people think differently and expect more from their beer.

Restaurant Show 2017 Awards

The Restaurant Show also hosted the National Chef of the Year and The Young National Chef of the Year competition. These have been running since 1972 and are considered the UK’s most respected and sought-after culinary titles.

After a two-hour cook-off in front of a packed audience The National Chef of the Year 2018 was awarded to Luke Selby for his starter of sea vegetable minestrone, mussels and farfalle pasta with a poached scallop, British caviar and a lemongrass scented buttermilk sauce. His main course was roasted fallow deer, blackberry, celeriac, sprouts and bacon served with a venison sauce finished with chocolate. And for dessert warm walnut almondine, ginger infused bramley purée, caramelised cox apple filled with apple compote with cinnamon and ginger ice cream.

Other competitions included the UK Pastry Open and Kikkoman Masters. While three Compass Chef of the Year events focused on apprentice, junior and senior chefs.

The Restaurant Show 2017  lived up to all expectations. The industry is expanding and adapting constantly to changes in legislation, governmental policies and the impact of Brexit. This Show gave visitors and exhibitors the ideal opportunity to discuss issues relevant to the future of the hospitality industries under Olympia’s roof 

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Published Date: 10th October 2017
Category: Blog, Catering Business, Events, News
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03 
Oct

When Should Preparing for Christmas Start?

AC Services preparing for Christmas with catering businessesA question that has often puzzled me is when should preparing for Christmas really start? If we were in the USA then we would already be in the throes of Happy Holidays marketing. But in the UK there is the automatic groan when the first Christmas advert appears. Or the C-word is mentioned at a networking meeting.

An enforced watching of daytime television last week, revealed that already it is not only DFS encouraging you to order now in time for Christmas, but there is an advert for Christmas 2018. Clearly it is never too early to start planning!

Christmas Traditions

All families and most businesses have traditions around Christmas and New Year. Whether that is the day off for Mum with Christmas dinner in a restaurant or the Boxing Day walk and trip to the pub.

For businesses it’s party season. Or the insistence that Christmas Eve is a half day even though no work is done. Of course this year as the 24th is a Sunday that tradition does not apply!

In some ways the Americans are right. The last week of December and turn of the year is all about partying, feasting and holidaying. Of course the early Christian Romans beat the Americans to it when they chose the 25th December as the day to celebrate. As this was the time of the pagan revelry of Saturnalia and the festival of Sol Invicta (the Unconquered Sun), it was an easy transfer.

So what’s this to do with Rational, Frima and AC Services?

Sol Invicta celebrated that the winter solstice had passed. By 25th December, it is usually possible to see the days once again drawing out. By January 1st it is clear this is happening, so we can look forward to future harvests and eat and drink what we have.

AC Services Southern has fallen into the tradition of highlighting to owners of Rational ovens and Frima vario-cooking centres that early October is the time to prepare for the feasting season before it’s too late. Whether that’s because the autumn equinox has passed and the days are clearly shorter, we don’t know!

But now is the time to plan to have your ovens serviced to avoid disasters on the big days. Remember, remember preventative maintenance is almost always cheaper than breakdown catering disaster.

Prepare for Celebrations, Act Now

So there is no better time to book a service for your Rational oven in time for Christmas! Why not also order your cleaning products now and avoid the impending price increases?

AC Services (Southern) are more than happy to help. We offer a range of packages to suit any budget for service. Our aim is to help you take some of the stress out of December. If you own a Rational oven in South, South West England and South Wales, we are the local cost effective provider of all your Rational oven and Frima vario-cooking centre service needs.

So, if you’re preparing for Christmas, please talk to one of the team on 01454 322222.

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Published Date: 3rd October 2017
Category: Blog, Catering Business, News, Service plan
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26 
Sep

One down and six to go!

Lunch! 2017 logo food to goIt’s a veritable smorgasbord this week with events related to the food industry. lunch! 17 opened at ExCeL London for two days, welcoming visitors in their thousands. For those who missed the show, worry not, there’s another one, the Food Entrepreneur Show opening this Wednesday. And 5 other shows at Excel.

lunch! 17 offered up its biggest and best show yet, with a new venue, over 330 exhibitors, two education theatres, thousands of products and tons of tasty treats. Dedicated to the food-to-go sector, the show celebrated its 10th anniversary with a packed itinerary. This included a number of influential keynote speakers.

Awards Galore

lunch! 2017 saw the return of the Innovation Challenge Awards, showcasing the most innovative products in the food-to-go sector. This year, there were 70 new products presented to the public.

In addition, the Start Up Zone presented a plethora of  start-up companies from across the food-to-go sector. 24 companies not normally found at trade shows displayed giving visitors the opportunity to see, taste and source innovative products. New companies included 4SOME Health, C’go Drinks, Doughlicious Ltd, Iraw Healthy Habits and The Hangry Food Company Ltd.

The Café Life Awards 2017 organised by the Café Society took place at the end of the first day of lunch! This was acclaimed as celebrating the leading operators in the café industry, hosted by celebrity chef Theo Randall. The awards “highlighted those involved in the sector who are pioneering and leading the market, whether in the development of new products or the creation of excellence in the high street.”

The Live Challenges this year included the Da Vinci Gourmet Speciality Drink Challenge, the Norseland Toasted Cheese Sandwich Challenge, the Florette Food to Go Challenge, New York Bakery Croll Challenge and the judging of the Café New Drink Innovation Award.

Food Entrepreneur Show and Five Others

Food Entrepreneur Show 2017Following lunch! 17 at ExCeL is the Food Entrepreneur Show 2017  on 26 and 27 September 2017. Exhibitors, suppliers, feature zones, live demos and talk shows are all on the menu. The show is the best opportunity for any entrepreneur striving for success in the food and drink industry.

The show runs alongside the Takeaway & Restaurant Innovation Expo, Restaurant Technology Live, Bar Technology Live, Hotel Technology Live, Restaurant Design Show and Street Food Live. So something for everybody!

The seminars and talks promise to be entertaining and informative, with subjects such as Marketing in 2017, Bear Traps, The Recipe For Future Takeaway Success, How Sustainable is Your Restaurant? And my particular favourite, Busy Fools, Honey Pots & Burgers.

Food & Drink Innovation Awards

The Food & Drink Innovation Awards at the Food Entrepreneur Show recognise the pioneers that have made an outstanding impact on the food industry in the last year. Four awards are up for grabs to those who have a product or service that is breaking boundaries in the food sector.

In addition, throughout both days of the show, the FoodTalk Radio Show will be interviewing new exhibitors, gaining insights into the concepts behind their products, services, and business. The event is completely free to attend and all of the seminars and features are free too.

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Published Date: 26th September 2017
Category: Blog, Catering Business, News
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19 
Sep

Speciality & Fine Food Fair 2017

Speciality & fine foodAnother September, another Speciality & Fine Food Fair at Olympia. The venue opened its doors to the eager hordes of visitors and exhibitors to this prestigious event from 3 to 5 September.

Open only to the trade, the first show opened 17 years ago and since then, has expanded enormously to embrace all aspects of the speciality food market.

Kara Bowen, Event Manager, said “Speciality & Fine Food Fair has, without a doubt, been at the forefront of the UK’s gourmet food and drink industry for nearly 18 years. Buyers from retail, foodservice and wholesale rely on the Fair as it provides an exclusive opportunity for discovery and inspiration. It is also a fantastic platform for producers to grow their business.”

Debut and Returns

This year, more than 700 food and drink producers attended, including nearly 200 suppliers making their debut. Among a number of new features, the old favourites such as the Discovery Zone, the Great Taste Awards and the Chocolate Trail were eagerly awaited. The Discovery Zone unveiled the latest food and drink delights from new businesses. Its stands are exclusively reserved for companies who have only been trading in the UK for up to 36 months.

Despite the unpopular sugar tax, chocolate and confectionery are still firm favourites. The Speciality & Fine Food Fair is heralded as the UK’s finest trade showcase of luxury and gourmet chocolate. The Speciality Chocolate Trail did not disappoint and led visitors through the halls of Olympia to over 50 fine and artisan chocolate producers.

Flavoursome

Savour the Flavour: Live Kitchen, also drew the crowds. It featured practical tips and advice from some of the industry’s best known chefs and personalities.

This demonstration was supplemented with Food for Thought which offered visitors workshops on trending topics, and Scale Up which provided in-depth round-table discussions on key business queries. Topics covered included Cooking Successfully with Allergies, Mastering Cheese and The Proof is the Provenance.

A company that attracted a lot of interest was Grub, which offered edible insects. Apparently, as well as being tasty, insects are nutritious and sustainable, high in protein, minerals like iron and calcium and containing essential amino acids like Omega 3 and 6!

The Speciality & Fine Food Fair offers a platform for artisan food and drink, from centuries old heritage brands to up-and-coming new food businesses. The success of the 2017 show is to be repeated next year from 2 to 4 September at the same venue.

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Published Date: 19th September 2017
Category: Blog, Catering Business, Events, News
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