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Supermarket beer sales overtake pubs and clubs for the first time
Marking a big shift in the way the nation drinks from on to off-trade, the sale of beer in supermarkets and off-licences overtook Britain’s 145,000 pubs, hotels, clubs and restaurants for the first time in 2015.
The Guardian reported that figures released by the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) show that of the 7.74 billion pints of beer sold during 2015 in the UK, 51% was sold by the off-trade, mostly through supermarkets.
This compares with the figures dating back to 1990 when nearly 88% of all beer was sold in pubs, bars and restaurants. By 2000, these on-trade sales had dropped to just under 68% and fell further to 52% by 2010.
The BBPA figures say that the average pub price of a pint of draught lager is in a range between £2.40 and £4.70 – 38% higher than a decade earlier. A pint of bitter has seen similar rises, up from £1.80-£2.56 in 2006 to £2.05-£3.90 this year. Meanwhile, Tesco are selling 18 cans of Stella Artois for £14, equivalent to around £1 a pint, while Asda are offering a similar multipack of 20 Carlsberg cans for £10, equivalent to 65p a pint.
The BBPA have called on the chancellor, Philip Hammond, to boost the pub trade with a cut in beer duty similar to the one George Osborne introduced three years ago. It said: “Duty is 54% higher than it was in 2000, despite recent cuts. Much more work needs to be done to cut beer duty in the UK, still a staggering 14 times that of Germany.”
Isle of Wight producer scoops Co-op award
The Tomato Stall have been named Local Supplier of the Year by The Southern Co-operative at their annual awards, The Scoops. Stores nominate suppliers from their Local Flavours range who have exceeded expectations for the award.
Kate Hibbert, Local Sourcing Manager, said: “The Scoops celebrate all that is good about The Southern Co-operative; our colleagues, our stores, our funeral homes and for the first time in 2016, our suppliers. The relationships we have with our suppliers are key to the success of our local sourcing strategy and celebrating this was a further step for us to take to demonstrate how committed we are to both this area of the business and to preserving the future of local food producing communities. We were delighted that the award went to The Tomato Stall. The Tomato Stall has been supplying our Local Flavours range in the Isle of Wight since 2011, rapidly extending to our Hampshire and West Sussex stores. This growth is testament to the quality of the products, their innovation, sustainable practices, and a proactive working relationship with us. True ambassadors of their brand, The Tomato Stall team regularly run tastings and demonstrations for our customers in store.”
Bath hotel gets five star recognition
The iconic Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa in Bath has been awarded the AA’s five red star award, one of only five hotels in the country to hold this rating from the AA’s professional inspectors.
Announced at the AA Hospitality Awards in London on 26th September, it’s official recognition of the hotel’s commitment to hospitality services, a high quality restaurant and range of leisure facilities for the five star, 45 room hotel, which is located within a Grade 1* listed Georgian townhouse on the Royal Crescent in the World Heritage City of Bath.
General Manager Jonathan Stapleton said to Hospitality and Catering News: “We’re delighted to be one of only five hotels to receive the AA’s five red star award this year. 2016 has seen the opening of our newly revamped The Spa & Bath House as well as our beautiful walled Wedding Garden so we can’t imagine a more appropriate time to be recognised. We also have the 250th anniversary of The Royal Crescent coming up in 2017 so there’s a lot to celebrate.
“The staff have shown such determination and dedication in meeting the first class standards required for this award – I couldn’t be prouder to be working alongside such a team of professionals to deliver the very best of British hospitality.”
Sol Zakay, Topland Chairman and CEO, together with Lionel Benjamin, Topland’s Director of Hotels commented “we would like to congratulate Jonathan and the entire team who have worked so hard to deliver consistent outstanding service. This award recognises the efforts and commitment of a dedicated team and ownership group.”
Since acquiring the hotel in 2012, The Topland Group have invested in a multi-million pound refurbishment of The Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa, including adding a new bath house in May 2016.
Organic brewery celebrates 10th anniversary with first canned beer
Real ale producer Stroud Brewery, have launched their first organic canned products – Alederflower & IPA and plan to double their turnover in the next five years, according to Owner and MD Greg Pilley.
The Alederflower is a “subtle elderflower infused pale ale with organic Cascade and Nelson Sauvin hops and a 4.9% ABV.” While the more plainly named IPA is a “juicy, hop forward IPA at 5.6% ABV with organic New Zealand Motueka and Cascade hops taking centre stage.” Both are available in keg and cask.
Greg Pilley comments: “At Stroud Brewery we have been producing organic bottled beers for nearly 10 years. We wanted to do something extra special to mark our 10th Anniversary and decided to venture into creating a range of organic products in cans. The environmental impacts and in house quality control of cans sits very easily with our organic ethos and we’re really pleased with the new beers that go in them.”
“We’ve seen good growth in the last two years” added Pilley, “the UK cask market is our main focus of our business, but we are also keen to add to the diversity of our markets and increase our exports. With the dropping strength of the £ and increasing interest in organic beers – especially in Scandinavia and other countries where value in provenance and food quality is rising – we believe Stroud Brewery could certainly be a big player in these overseas markets.”
Agri tech company calls for active food labelling
Bristol-based agricultural software specialist, Agrantec, believe that adopting an ‘active labelling’ approach to food tracking would build on the recent call by the NFU for the introduction of mandatory origin labelling of meat and milk in processed products.
Agrantec’s Managing Director, Martin Coates said, “While schemes such as the Red Tractor logo offer some measure of reassurance to consumers, they are very much ‘passive’ labels. They show that you have joined a scheme that has set some basic standards and that requires a producer audit once in a while. But there is no guarantee that every single product meets the standard, and in fact some producers fail audits every year.”
Agrantec instead think the greater information provided by ‘active’ labelling that their NotaZone software offers would allow consumers to trace produce back through the supply chain, step-by-step, for every single product.
“The NotaZone platform streamlines and automates the often complex administration that food legislation requires”, comments Martin Coates. “It allows each business in the supply chain to collaborate in their efforts to produce quality, sustainable food in a competitive global marketplace.
“From the consumer perspective, a simple Follow This Food QR code can immediately trace the product back through the supply chain to the source producer, and even to an individual animal. Active labelling is the labelling system we need in the 21st century.”
Agrantec has just finished a two-year sponsorship package for the Taste of the West Awards and is working with specialist producers in the South West.
The Stable doors open in Exeter development.
The Bridport-born pizza and cider chain opened a restaurant in Exeter’s new Queen Street dining development on 29th September 2016.
Following Turtle Bay, Absurd Bird and Gourmet Burger Kitchen into the new site, this will be The Stable’s 16th restaurant, following their recent opening in the former Bournemouth tourist information centre. You won’t miss them either as they craned two vintage caravans onto the roof terrace facing Queen Street.
Co-founder Nikki Cooper said to the Exeter Daily: “We are so delighted to finally have found the perfect site for The Stable in Exeter, a city we have been keen to open in since our first restaurant in Bridport seven years ago.
“The Higher Market is an impressive building and we are really excited to have a rooftop cider cocktail bar, complete with funky renovated caravans, lounge beds and loads of colourful planting. We envisage it being a great place to hang out with friends and families; a peaceful haven in a very busy and lively city.”
Also lined up for the £12million development are Comptoir Libanais, KuPP and The Terrace.
Rick Stein opens in Marlborough this Saturday
Bookings are being taken for the Rick Stein group’s new 84-cover restaurant at Lloran House in Marlborough, Wiltshire. Opening on the 8th October, it will be the third Rick Stein restaurant outside of the chef’s Cornwall base, following venues in Poole Sandbanks and Winchester.
The menu is being worked on by Rick Stein and group executive chef Jack Stein as well as head chef Kevin Chandler, with group wine buyer Charlie Stein finalising the wine list. The food offering will look to the farm as well as the sea, with a number of locally-sourced meat and game dishes that recognise Wiltshire’s farming heritage. So expect to see salt pork belly with split pea purée and sauerkraut, and baked guinea fowl with garlic beans and smoked sausage alongside the famous turbot hollandaise and Devon sole a la Meunière.
Rick Stein said: “Marlborough is such a beautiful town in a wonderful part of the country and it’s incredibly exciting to be opening a restaurant there. As soon as I saw Lloran House I thought it would make the perfect restaurant and it’s now really taking shape. The team have all been working hard to make everything ready for opening and I know we’re all looking forward to welcoming the first customers through the door.”
Moonroast Coffee supplies Selfridges food hall following Great Taste success
Hampshire-based artisan coffee roaster Moonroast are celebrating their success in getting three of their coffees into the world famous Selfridges food hall in London. This comes after they won four Great Taste 2016 Awards including the coverted 3 star rating for their Ethiopia single origin coffee.
Francis Bradshaw, Moonroast Coffee’s founder and roaster said: “I founded Moonroast Coffee with Judy, my wife, two years ago in my barn, where we are still, to create great coffee and encourage everyone to find, embrace, serve and drink great coffee. As first time entrants, to win Great Taste Awards for four of our coffees is a ringing endorsement of that ambition. And so for Moonroast to make its way onto the shelves in Selfridges food hall is the icing on the cake. Moonroast continues my family’s unique one hundred year coffee heritage. It was my father, Haydon, who helped blend Nescafe’s Gold Blend. You could say we’ve gone from Gold Blend to gold stars.”
The 3-star Ethiopia, 2-star Guatemala and 2-star Arabica Decaffeinated will arrive on the shelves at the end of September. Go to www.moonroast.co.uk for more details.
New independent craft beer and pizza restaurant for Bath
Opening in Bath’s Moorland Road, Fire and Brew is aiming to “add to the atmosphere and independent character of the street”, according to co-owner Gerard Krow Coles.
Open all day, the “neighbourhood casual eating venue” will offer wood fired pizzas and a huge range of craft beers and cider.
The team behind the project are Gerard, owner of Honey’s Midford Cider, Chris and Jacqueline Lewis, owners of the Bath-based craft beer brewery Electric Bear Brewing Co. and local businesswoman Jeanine Pellicci. All of the team live locally and have experience in the local drinks trade, catering and bar interiors.
They aim to open in November.
FOOD & DRINK NEWS
Cheltenham restaurant launches signature gin
The White Spoon restaurant in Cheltenham celebrated their first birthday with a new gin, produced by local company Brennen & Brown Distillery.
The White Spoon Gin uses botanicals chosen by the owners Chris and Andy White and is blended for a “simple elegance”. They are serving it as part of a special gin and tonic, made with 1742 tonic water and garnished with fresh apple, lime leaf and a touch of ground black pepper.
Andy told So Glos: ‘‘The initial feedback from people who have tried it has been very positive and we are now looking forward to seeing how the rest of our customers enjoy it. It is the start of an exciting period for The White Spoon, as we develop our drinks menu, which will sit alongside our fantastic wine list and complement the great food we serve.’
Give it to us straight, customers tell pastry product maker Pidy
The Belgian-based producer of ready-to-fill pastry products is introducing a new range of straight sided Tellines. This is in response to customers asking for a bigger filling to pastry ratio.
Paul Eason, Chef & Business Development Manager at Pidy UK, commented: “Our new Telline range offers what we believe to be a more desirable pastry to filling ratio and one which is unrivalled in the current market. Not only this, the straight sided look of the pastry is far more on trend than the traditional fluted variety. As a result, these Tellines look both striking and modern on the plate.”
For more information, go to www.pidyuk.com
First Stop Supplies
Celebrating 25 years in business, First Stop Supplies have been keeping things clean in the south of England since 1991. They supply an extensive range of catering, cleaning and hygiene products to both the public and private sectors. Care and nursing homes, pubs, clubs, bars, hotels, restaurants and schools have all benefitted from their helpful staff, online ordering and next day delivery. Based on the Dorset/Hampshire border, they cover those counties as well as Surrey, Sussex and Wiltshire.
Even the best cleaning products need to be used properly to be as safe and effective as possible. First Stop Supplies offer a range of services to support this – free of charge to existing customers and created by the manufacturers of the products. As well as accessing training materials, they can also offer on-site training to your business, delivered by their friendly, local team.
Every hospitality business could benefit from an audit of their existing procedures. First Stop will produce a personalised cleaning plan and give expert guidance on product selection and bespoke training for your staff. They will provide decanting, dosing and dispensing support. You can also use them to troubleshoot any problem areas and get a fresh look at your cleaning regime with a site survey.
It’s no wonder then that they can boast some glowing testimonials from satisfied customers like Mo Kent, Executive Housekeeper at the Captain’s Club Hotel in Bournemouth, who said:
“We chose First Stop because they are a local company. Matt was very down to earth and not pushy when he came to see us recommending the products he felt would serve us in our industry.
First Stop have fantastic customer service, nothing is too much trouble for them, even when we run out of items at the last minute, they endeavour to supply us within hours.
One thing we like about First Stop is they are very approachable and friendly. They ensure we get the best price/product available.
We would highly recommend First Stop to anyone looking for reliability and a good customer service team.”
It’s this combination of local, friendly service with high professional standards (they are ISO9001 accredited and ESPO and CBC approved) that have firmly established First Stop Supplies as an essential partner of the hospitality industry in the south for a quarter of a century. Go to http://firststopsuppliesdorset.co.uk for more information or give them a call on 01202 827666.
The Great Bath Feast 2016
1st – 9th October
“The Great Bath Feast is a melting pot of wonderful flavours and lively personalities; of cakes and ale; of great gourmets and warm gastro pubs; of buns and cook books; of gastro gadgets and wine and food matching… a Food Festival where all of the participants are keen to share their enthusiasm for fine food and drink with you.”
The Restaurant Show
3rd – 5th October
(Alongside The Bar & Pub Show, The Conscious Hospitality Show and Catering Equipment Expo)
“The definitive platform for the restaurant and foodservice market.”
London Cocktail Week
3rd – 9th October
The 7th annual event
“London Cocktail Week is the biggest, most vibrant celebration of the capital’s fantastic cocktail scene. The week is filled with masterclasses, tutored tastings, supper clubs, meet the maker evenings, parties and pop-ups, hosted all across the capital.”
Taste of the West Awards Ceremony Lunch
The Great Nave of Exeter Cathedral
“Don’t miss out on your chance to attend the biggest networking event for foodies in the South West!”
Slips, Trips and Falls Conference
4th – 5th October
Farmers & Fletchers, London
“An essential conference for anyone involved in managing slips, trips and falls in the workplace in any sector.”
The Great British Pub Awards
The Hilton on Park Lane, London
“The competition run by leading trade magazine the Morning Advertiser, is the stand out event for pub operators throughout the country.”
Dorset Magazine Food, Drink & Farming Awards 2016
Lulworth Castle, Dorset
“These awards are designed to showcase the great and the good in Dorset, and reward the hardworking people behind them, including suppliers and producers, small farming businesses, chefs, restaurants, pubs and hoteliers.”
“Seafood Week is an annual campaign aimed at getting more people to eat more fish more often. Seafish runs the eight-day celebration every October. To help us promote and share what you are doing for Seafood Week just simply tell us and we’ll include your business on our Seafood Week map.”
Tourism Management Institute Annual Convention
The TMI Annual Convention is the annual gathering and conference for all those working in destination management across the UK.
Monday, 17th October
The Ham Yard Hotel, London
“The forum will present an exciting programme of specialist speakers together with panel debate from key leaders within the hospitality sector. The forum focuses on the future of technology, online platforms and social media within independent and multisite operators across the sector.”
Independent Hotel Show
18th – 19th October
“Inspiring and Informative, the Independent Hotel Show, is the UK’s largest and best established business event in support of the luxury, boutique and independent hotel sector.”
Institute of Hospitality Southern Branch “Wake Up & Smell the Coffee” Event
Winchester Coffee School, Winchester. SO23 7QN
The evening will include a talk and theory about coffee beans, choosing of the beans and grounding, the practical aspect of using a barista and making coffee. Hand-made food to taste whilst enjoying the coffee! Members & non-members welcome.
South West Chef of the Year Annual Awards Dinner Monday
Exeter Golf & Country Club
“A lavish award ceremony and dinner hosted by the judges including Michael Caines MBE. The awards dinner is a culinary feast comprising courses prepared by three top chefs from the region.”
New Forest Food Festival
31st Oct – 6th Nov
New Forest, Hampshire
The First New Forest Food Festival.
“A week of culinary events, produce, tastes, dishes and activities for every foodie. 15 themes with amazing Headline Events hosted by leading Forest venues & producers all with a special twist. Tasting menus, celebrity chef evenings, tea parties – there’s something for everyone.”
Getting your just desserts…
What with Brexit, the world economic situation and global warming – to name but a few – you might gave though the government would have more to worry about than the size of desserts. Even more shockingly, they actually want them to be smaller. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, he of the often mispronounced surname, has reportedly told the hospitality industry that restaurants, pubs and cafés that don’t reduct the size of their desserts or cut down the amount of sugar in them will be publicly named and shamed. “Doing nothing was no longer an option”, according to Hunt and the warning is aimed at everyone from big chains right down to small independents.
Given the average British person’s love of what Greg from MasterChef calls ‘pud’ and our hard-earned right to indulge in them when we eat out, we can see any sort of list of shame having the opposite effect. How long before eatery owners are trying to get to the top of the naughty list with huge slabs of sticky toffee pudding or thousand calorie wedges of cheesecake?