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Organic food set for record growth
The Soil Association says an increasing interest in healthy eating means organic food is set for record growth this September.
According to the charity’s figures, the growth in the organic market in the first half of 2017 has been “driven significantly by increased consumer interest in nutrition and a desire for traceability in food sourcing.”
Total sales of organic grew by 4.1% in the 52 weeks to 1 July 2017, sustaining the growth seen over the past five years. Some of the biggest areas of growth include fruit (+12.6%), tomatoes (+13.1%) and salad (+7.9%). Bananas have had the highest growth of any food and drink product in the organic sector with sales soaring by 25.5%.
The Soil Association’s Organic September initiative will further boost the sector with retail promotions and brand participation, with a day of celebrating independent retailers across the UK – Organic September Saturday on 16 September a highlight of the activity.
The figures also suggest continued growth is driven by younger consumers, with the 24 – 44 age group being the most committed to buying organic. Shoppers are increasingly seeking out healthy food, as reflected in booming sales of organic produce (up 7.4%). According to the Soil Association, “the rise in organic sales is in line with heightened consumer awareness and interest in well-being, with more health-conscious consumers making nutritious food choices including smoothies, salads, fresh dairy, and cereals, as well as the desire to try new products.”
Clare McDermott, Business Development Director at the Soil Association, said: “Organic product innovation is demonstrating a wide appeal for consumers prioritising food quality, taste, and well-being simultaneously. With such a wide variety of products to choose from, together with nation-wide events and organic brand promotions, there has never been a better time to try organic than Organic September.”
West Berkshire Brewery installing new packaging line
The West Berkshire Brewery is building what it describes as “one of the UK’s most flexible and highest quality beer packaging lines.”
The automated line is being installed as part of a five and a half million pound development of a new “state of the art” brewery and packaging facility at the site in West Berkshire.
Built by CFT of Parma, Italy, the new packaging line is rated to fill 9,000 330ml bottles or 12,000 330ml cans every hour. The line is flexible enough to allow a run to be packaged into four different bottle varieties or three different can sizes, as well as being racked into keg or cask.
A minimum run of 30 hectolitres or 9,090 330ml bottles will allow brewers to test new beers and restaurants to launch their own beer brands.
West Berkshire Brewery CEO Simon Lewis said: “This amazing new facility is going to transform the packaging options currently available in this country to brewers of all sizes. Our new facilities can cater for large and small volumes with equal ease, offering unrivalled quality control and flexibility whatever the size of brew.
“For those customers interested in creating bespoke lines of beer, we will be able to work with them to create the beers that truly represent their brand, offering superb brewing, packaging and labelling facilities and quality control before and after packaging in our on-site lab to ensure consistency.”
The new line will be running by late autumn. Get more details by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
London hotelier completes Southampton deal
Ashely Hotels have acquired the Highfield House Hotel in Southampton.
The 71-bed hotel is located two miles from the city centre, a short walk from Southampton University.
Family-run Ashley Hotels says they will retain all staff who wish to stay in the business and have appointed a new general manager.
Funding to make the acquisition came from the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).
Alim Hirji, director of Ashley Hotels, said: “The Highfield House Hotel represents a strategic acquisition for the group and we very much see this being a profitable business given the location attracts both the business and leisure market with Southampton University contributing to all year round sales.
“Over the years, the Royal Bank of Scotland has been an avid supporter of our business strategy, and we are pleased they have once again invested in our future to help us provide affordable and comfortable accommodation across the UK.”
‘Better burger’ chain Five Guys opening in Cheltenham
Handcrafted burger company Five Guys are taking a new lease at The Brewery Quarter £80m development in Cheltenham town centre.
The new restaurant will take a 2,454sq ft unit and open in October, creating 35 new jobs.
Phil Martin, Martin Commercial properties director, said: “This is great news to officially confirm that Five Guys is coming to The Brewery Quarter – and for burger fans in Gloucestershire. Five Guys is a highly sought-after restaurant chain with a huge following amongst burger lovers. Selecting The Brewery Quarter is a huge coo to the development and its fantastic offer within the centre of Cheltenham.”
World Cheese Awards 2017 open for entry
Cheese producers across the world are being invited to submit their cheese to be judged at the World Cheese Awards, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.
The award winners will be announced on Friday 17 November at the Taste of London Festive Edition at Tobacco Dock.
Organisers, the Guild of Fine Food, are expecting this to be the largest cheese-only competition the UK has ever seen with some 3,000 entries from over 30 different countries.
They will be judged by 250 experts including international buyers, retailers, writers and cheesemakers. Cheese can win Bronze, Silver or Gold awards with the World Champion Cheese crowned at the end of the single day of judging.
John Farrand, managing director of the Guild of Fine Food, said: ““This global celebration of cheese seems to gather momentum every year, so we can’t wait to bring the world’s finest cheese back to home soil once again and give Taste of London Festive Edition’s 30,000 attendees a glimpse behind the rind. Beyond the serious business of identifying the winning wedges, we’ve got a few surprises up our sleeve to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the World Cheese Awards, so we’re hoping that cheesemakers, judges, graders and consumers alike will join us in marking our three decades at the heart of the cheese community.”
The World Cheese Awards is open for entry from Monday 21 August until Wednesday 11 October, unless the entry cap is reached before this date. Producers can enter online at www.gff.co.uk/wca.
The TMI announce Annual Convention details
The Tourism Management Institute’s Annual Convention will focus on how “destinations are increasingly bringing place management techniques and knowledge to their role.” This year’s event will be in held in Manchester on 30th and 31st October, in conjunction with Manchester Metropolitan University.
Visit England are supporting the event and will reflect on some of the pilot Discover England projects. Workshops will tackle the challenges of DMO funding and the curating of the visitor experience within destinations.
Further information and booking detail can be found here: https://www.tmi.org.uk/event/14/tmi-annual-convention-2017.htm
Guild of Fine Food launch online meeting hub
Due to be unveiled at this year’s Speciality & Fine Food Fair, the Guild of Fine Food’s new Membership Hub is an online platform “designed to help the fine food world stay connected.”
The Membership Hub will allow the more than 1,300 food and drink businesses represented to communicate with each other, access useful resources and get breaking industry news.
John Farrand, managing director of the Guild of Fine Food, explains: “We are seeing a definite rise in new independent food and drink businesses entering the market, and it is important that these companies are well represented and have all the information and support they need at their fingertips. This is where the new Membership Hub comes in, providing a 24-hour virtual meeting place, which members can access anytime to share ideas and knowledge. We hope this new online hub will encourage businesses of all sizes to come together and help keep the fine food world as vibrant and exciting as ever.”
FOOD & DRINK NEWS
Butcombe Pioneers new beer
Butcombe Brewing Company have launched a new golden pale ale called Pioneer. It will sit in the brewer’s Classic range alongside their Original, Rare Breed and Gold.
The 3.6% ABV ale is a cask-only beer brewed with nine malt types and British oats with a “soft bitterness from Sterling hops and an aroma of citrus, grapefruit, orange and marmalade from the Pioneer and First Gold hops.”
Geraint Williams, Managing Director at Butcombe Brewing Co. said: “Pioneer allows Butcombe to do what they do best, craft brilliant cask ale. Our brewers have explored their craft and created a unique ale at the forefront of the market. Pioneer is a beer that delivers excellent thirst quenching taste pint after pint.
“We are eager to support our On-Trade customers with this beer, so ensuring its cask only is important to us. Cask beers like Pioneer enables pubs to create something can’t be replicated at home, and we’re keen to support our customers with great quality ale to drive people to their outlets.”
It’s now available to On-Trade customers with a special introductory offer of £59.50 for a nine-gallon cask.
Fairfields’ microwaveable crisps
Artisan crisp firm Fairfields Farm have unveiled a new snack concept: Heat & Eat, a microwaveable bag of crisps with a dip.
The product consists of a 125g bag of hand-cooked crisps and a 50g dip. It’s launching with two flavours; Sea Salted with Tomato Salsa Dip and Cheese & Chive with Caramelised Onion Dip.
The packaging will enable consumers to tear the bag open, remove the dip, microwave on high for 30 seconds for hot crisps “just as if they’d been hand cooked at home.”
Robert Strathern, founder of Fairfields Farm said: “The hand-cooked snack market is now quite mature, with innovation centring around flavours, rather than concepts… We’ve come up with something that’s not only unique, but that also creates a whole new snacking occasion. Heat & Eat is a talking point for friends, a tasty treat for couples and a delicious quick and hot snack for all the family.
“We love how amazing and fresh our crisps taste when they’ve just been cooked,” continues Robert. “We wanted our customers to enjoy that same experience so we began working on some ideas. There’s been some huge hurdles to cross, particularly with creating new packaging that simply didn’t exist before, however, the final result is just as we imagined.”
To help deliver the concept of Heat & Eat, Fairfields Farm has also linked up with music discovery app Shazam. Customers can scan the pack and go to a Heat & Eat portal which will include a video and information on how best to enjoy Heat & Eat.
Heat & Eat will launch in Tesco and other retailers on 11th September. The RRP is £2.49.
Bournemouth hotel gets new restaurant manager
The Marsham Court Hotel in Bournemouth has announced Peter Stafford will be their new restaurant manager, overseeing the 87-bedroom hotel’s silver service restaurant.
The family-run hotel was named Large Hotel of the Year at the Bournemouth Tourism Awards 2016.
Peter was formerly assistant restaurant manager at Bournemouth’s House of Fraser store restaurant. He trained as a chef, working at the Bournemouth Marriott and the town’s former Woodcroft Tower Hotel, before moving into restaurant management.
Rosie Wallace, Managing Director of the Marsham Court, said: “As soon as I met Peter I knew I wanted him for the job.
“We have a hugely diverse clientele who require a friendly, personal and highly competent restaurant manager – Peter is all that and more, and I am confident his ideas will also help to drive the business forward.”
Old Amersham group acquire Cotswolds boutique hotel
Old Amersham Hotels have added Number Four at Stow to their portfolio. It was on the market with Colliers International at £1.5m for the freehold.
The contemporary hotel has 18 bedrooms, suites and a family room as well as Cutler’s restaurant and a meeting suite.
Old Amersham Hotels Director David Ashfield said: “We have six hotels, three here in the Cotswolds and three more in the Chilterns providing high-quality service for the tourist and business markets.
“Number Four at Stow makes a great addition to our portfolio. It is a real asset and is in great shape. Our first objective will be to make sure more people know about it.”
The deal was brokered by Colliers International Hotels director Peter Brunt, who said: “Number Four at Stow is a great fit for this ambitious, high-quality brand. It had been run by sisters Caroline and Patricia Losel, and was ranked as one of the top 10 in the UK by Tripadvisor.
“With high-quality competition everywhere you look it’s a real challenge to be recognised as one of the best hotels in the Cotswolds – but Number Four is Number One for locals and visitors alike, and it makes an excellent acquisition for the Old Amersham Hotels group.”
Accounting and General
Accounting and General are accountants, taxation and profit performance advisers, located in south Devon, offering services for businesses across the South West – serving clients at their own premises with ease.
For clients looking to increase their profits, Accounting and General provide commercial and operational as well as financial advice, to tourism, hospitality and food and drink businesses. Clients include hotels, pubs, guest houses, restaurants, holiday parks, attractions, retailers and food and drink manufacturers.
Accounting and General prepare annual accounts and complete self-assessment or corporation tax returns for businesses operating as a sole trader, partnership or limited company. In addition, Accounting and General can undertake Companies House record keeping and filing, prepare monthly accounts (pubs being a core speciality), quarterly VAT returns and provide payroll services if required.
Accounting and General provide outstanding accountancy and support services at very competitive fixed fee prices, starting from £180 for a personal tax return, to £4,000 for a full service to a medium sized business.
For a free consultation call 01803 844 425 or email email@example.com
Speciality & Fine Food Fair
3rd – 5th September
“The UK’s leading showcase of fine food & drink – meet over 700 national and international producers and suppliers of artisan food and drink.”
Great Taste Golden Forks Dinner
Intercontinental Park Lane Hotel, London
The Great Taste regional awards and the Great Taste 2017 Supreme Champion will be announced at this prestigious event.
AVEX International 2017
12th – 13th September
“AVEX is the leading exhibition for the vending, water and coffee industries across the UK and beyond, providing a platform for the display of the latest technology, product development and innovation from all sectors of the industry.”
Packaging Innovations 2017
13th – 14th September
“See the latest innovative solutions being offered by the industry’s leading suppliers, and discover how they can revitalise packaging, increase brand awareness and boost sales.”
Luxury Packaging 2017
13th – 14th September
“Bringing together packaging buyers and decision-makers, with inspiring suppliers and an incredible range of bespoke and prestige solutions they provide.”
Temperature Controlled Storage & Distribution Exhibition
13th – 14th September
Ricoh Arena, Coventry
“Showcasing the latest innovations for temperature controlled storage and distribution, the event focuses on solutions for the storage and transportation of chilled and frozen foods.”
Toby Buckland’s Garden & Harvest Festival
16th – 17th September
Forde Abbey, Somerset
“Delicious food and entertainment; celebrate the fruits of the season and enjoy a free programme of garden demos in the Forde Abbey’s stunning kitchen garden.”
Lunch! The Contemporary Food-To-Go Show
21st – 22nd September
“The UK’s leading trade show for food-to-go. Set to be the biggest and best yet, with over 350 exhibitors, 2 theatres of education, thousands of products, a new home and a new easy-to-navigate floorplan.”
Coffee Shop Innovation: Business Exhibition & Conference
26th – 27th September
“The UK’s leading event for professionals working across the café, coffee shop, and catering industries! Packed with seminars, industry leaders, interactive workshops, and an unparalleled conference schedule, the event will draw over 3,000 decision makers from the coffee industry”
Takeaway & Restaurant Innovation Expo 2017
26th – 27th September
“The UK’s only exhibition for growing your takeaway or restaurant business. The event to help you boost profits, build your brand, grow your business, and much more!”
Restaurant Tech Live 17
26th – 27th September
“Restaurant Tech Live is Europe’s largest exhibition dedicated to the emerging technology and services that are forming the future of the restaurant business.”
Bar Tech Live 17
26th – 27th September
“Bar Tech Live is a brand new platform for the high-tech products, devices, gadgets, and services that will transform the look, feel, and future of bars.”
Hotel Tech Live 17
26th – 27th September
“Hotel Tech Live is the UK’s most exciting event for the technology, systems, products, and services that are breaking new ground in the hotel sector.”
Restaurant & Bar Design Show 2017
26th – 27th September
“The Restaurant Design show is the UK’s largest and most comprehensive event specifically aimed at restaurant, bar and café interior designers. This show will deliver the foremost in ideas, inspiration and creativity to food and drink establishment owners, architects, designers, and other industry professionals from across the country.”
Street Food Live 2017
26th – 27th September
“Street Food Live is Europe’s largest exhibition for street food vendors looking to start or grow their business.”
29th September – 1st October
The Castle Hotel & Castle Green, Taunton
“Feast is a celebration of the West Country’s best local food and drink. From the farmers who rear organic livestock in pristine meadows, to microbreweries that create some of the most complex flavour profiles.”