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News (220)

Friday, 29 September 2017 09:00

Payment-enabled self-serve beer taps

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Drink Command has released a new self-service draft beer system that allows customers to pour and pay for their drinks directly at the beer tap. With full-service payment management from Verifone (NYSE: PAY), venues throughout the UK and Ireland can now install the technology to reduce queues, improve speed of service and enable customers to pay with contactless, NFC and other payment methods at the tap.

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The University of Reading are among the first innovative operators in the UK to realise the benefits of the self-serve trend to their venues and operations.

“Our 16 tap self-serve beer wall has allowed us to increase our capacity to serve more customers and hold our existing staff levels by giving patrons the option to order from the bar, or serve themselves at their leisure,” said Matt Tebbit, Head of Residential Catering and Bars at The University of Reading.

“There is a change of mind-set happening in the beer dispense industry, similar to how self-serve technology has improved the way we buy petrol for our cars, or how supermarkets have improved queuing times with self-scan checkouts,” said Robbie Ward, Marketing Director at Drink Command. “By focussing on beer industry ‘pain points,’ such as capacity issues at busy venues and payment complexity, we have created a solution that is being adopted by the beer industry at scale.”

With installations in 26 countries globally, Drink Command are the recognised experts in self-serve draft beer technology. Its solution’s integration with Verifone’s full-scale payment-as-a service (PaaS) offering, including payment terminals, gateway services, estate management and device monitoring, enables Drink Command to offer cashless payment solutions for clients with easy setup and integration with existing merchant bank card facilities.

“Consumer expectations are radically changing. They prefer spending money on events, or ‘experiences,’ but demand the speed of service they’ve grown accustomed to online,” said Kevin Freeguard Vice President and Managing Director, Verifone, UK and Ireland.  “Drink Command enables hospitality venues to meet customers’ evolving demands in an innovative way, while also addressing their payment system needs, with a single ‘all-in-one’ solution.”

Drink Command will be showcasing their new self-serve draft beer taps with payment integration at Stand 8124, BarTechLive Expo, ExCel London on September 26th and 27th 2017. Further information about Drink Command technology is available at www.drinkcommand.com or by contacting 0203 6426386 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017 09:00

Global Larder - Modern Indian

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Modern Indian small

Forget dusty old curry houses, serving creaming kormas and vicious vindaloos, Indian food continues to appeal to the new generation of consumers in its authentic, healthy and on-the-go forms. Millennials and Gen Z certainly aren’t scared of a bit of spice and heat, hence the popularity of curry flavouring and Tandoori spiced food. Naan based sandwiches and rice based bowls offer new and creative lunch formats. The drinks category is no exception to the trend: now consumers are wise to the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric, this is popping up everywhere, while chai is unstoppable.

Relevance for TUCO members

  • Consider delivering Indian food in hand held and on-the-go formats, focussing on naan sandwiches
  • Explore a modern or healthy take on Indian food, such as using fish or veg instead of meat

For more information on the Modern Indian Trend within Global Larder read the TUCO research Global Food and Beverage Trends Report 2017 pages 225 & 226.

Friday, 20 October 2017 09:00

Global Larder - Mexican

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Mexican small


What started as a trend has turned into a revolution. As it has moved further and further away from the carb and cheese laden image of the Tex Mex variety, authentic Mexican has grown to become one of the most influential cuisines across food and drink. Involving fresh, healthy and colourful ingredients such as fish and pickled veg, utilising corn instead of wheat and incorporating a spectrum of addictive chilli varieties, Mexican is band on current consumer palates. Given its deep roots in street food and hand held formats, it slots in with consumer snacking and on-the-go eating habits. While the slow cooked meats and sauces denotes the craft and authenticity consumers are seeking.

Relevance for TUCO members

  • Explore the many Mexican street food formats and which of these you could deliver to students
  • Use the fresh, colourful and healthy Mexican ingredients as opposed to Tex Mex

For more information on the Mexican Trend within Global Larder read the TUCO research Global Food and Beverage Trends Report 2017  pages 222 & 223.

Wednesday, 04 October 2017 09:00

Global Larder - Japanese

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Japanese small

Beyond sushi and katsu, Japanese cuisine continues to be a firm favourite with consumers. Relatively light and healthy in comparison with Western cuisine, the exotic and unmistakable flavours for more exciting eats. Japanese bakery has really grown in importance, led by the delicate flavours in mochis, sesame, yuzu and matcha – which in particular has become ubiquitous across drinks and sweet bakery. Over on savoury, consumers are in love with hearty bowls of nutritious ramen, as well as the heat of wasabi and the saltiness of miso.

Relevance for TUCO members

  • Consider incorporating Japanese flavours into sweet bakery, focussing on matcha, sesame and yuzu
  • Explore savoury dishes that could be added to the menu – teriyaki and katsu curry are firm consumer favourites

For more information on the Japanese Trend within Global Larder read the TUCO research Global Food and Beverage Trends Report 2017 pages 220 & 221.

Monday, 02 October 2017 09:00

Global Larder - American

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Probably due to the strong cultural influence through the entertainment industry, be it in drinks, sweet or savour, the American flavour profile is a favourite that we never seem to tire of. Continually we are seeing a borrowed nostalgia come through in American food, as we embrace the childhood delights of mac ‘n cheese and pop tarts. This trend has moved beyond maple and bacon, to peanut butter and jelly, key lime pie, s’mores, bourbon and even chicory coffee. American cuisine really lends itself to decadent desserts, thanks to sugar, spice and plenty of indulgent ingredients. But consumers also continue their love affair with American barbecue, fried chicken and the classic, simple All-American burger.

Relevance for TUCO Members

  • Consider which elements of borrowed American nostalgia you could incorporate into your menu, with a focus on s’mores, peanut butter & jelly, and mac ‘n cheese
  • Which kind of burger do you offer students? Consider stripping it back to the ‘All-American’ essentials

For more information on the Global Larder food and beverage trend read our research Global Food & Beverage Trends Report 2017 from page 215.

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How many of you have reached the last section in our Global Food & Beverage Trends Report 2017?

Introducing the Global Larder.

Mega Trend Description

Millennials are multi-cultural, but Gen Z have the most well-travelled taste buds yet. The increasing amount of cultures in society’s melting pot is reflected across channels, but particularly in street food and casual dining. Some cultures, such as American, are so influential, socially, that they will always have a place un or food; a cuisine like Mexican has greatly increased its influence over the past year, and there are new entries, most notably Global Fusion – that takes the good bits from all over and mashes them together with a healthy irreverence!

How this Resonates with the Younger Generation?

  • Nearly 50% of Gen Z are non-Caucasian, compared to boomers, at 28% - Gen Z’s diversity will continue to drive food culture trends we already see around the exploration of authentic, global food experiences (Hartman Group, USA, 2016)
  • Almost half of millennial restaurant-goers are looking for globally inspired cuisine (Mintel USA, 2016)
  • In the latest EquiTrend Study, Millennials and Gen Z scored fast-casual Mexican restaurants 7.6 points higher than Baby Boomers (The Harris Poll, USA, May 2017)

Sub Trends

  • American
  • Japanese
  • Mexican
  • Modern Indian
  • Middle Eastern
  • Global Fusion
  • Korean
  • Antipodean
  • Filipio

Read the Global Food & Beverages Trends Report 2017 pages 215 – 237 for more information on the Global Larder.

The University of Nottingham’s catering outlets are some of the most diverse you’ll find on UK university campuses. Driven by competition from the nearby city centre and desires of a sizable international student population, it was the first university in the UK to open a Chinese restaurant on campus and also has an African-Caribbean themed restaurant run by one of its former MBA students. However, that doesn’t mean they've become complacent.

Under the guidance of catering operations director Jonathan Hamblett, the university is listening to student feedback, continuing to innovate, and offer progressive catering options. Their aim is to “reposition much closer to what students find in the high street but still be priced below the high street and well below regional HE peers”.

To achieve this bold goal the university has recently invested £7.5m in catering outlets and are leveraging TUCO sourcing frameworks to give them a competitive advantage.
Find out more about the University of Nottingham’s plans and how their TUCO membership has saved them £409,638 in the last year alone, read the full case study.

Read the Showcasing Excellence University of Nottingham Case Study

Thursday, 31 August 2017 17:31

TUCO Trendhub

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TUCO and trendhub from thefoodpeople
We’re delighted to announce the new interface between the TUCO website and thefoodpeople’s trend portal – trendhub. This builds on the food and beverage trends predictions that thefoodpeople have authored for TUCO over the last 2 years.
As a TUCO member, you now have access to trendhub, an online food and beverage trends portal from thefoodpeople. As part of this subscription that you can access a plethora of weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual food and beverage trends content in the form of articles, reports, videos and infographics. Trend content can be searched, trawled, shared, starred, commented on, printed and downloaded, you can even create your own trend reports.
Trendhub will keep you inspired and informed about the very latest developments from the world of food and beverage trends from all continents using their unique global trends spotting network.
To access this resource click here. Once in trendhub, a quick and easy way to find your way around is to use the ’take a tour’ function which will quickly familiarize you with the key functions of the  trendhub portal. The first time you log in you will be guided through ‘on boarding’ which allows you to set a series of interests and preferences to customise your trendhub experience.
We hope you enjoy being inspired and informed about all matters food and drink trend related through this exciting interface between TUCO members and thefoodpeople.
For trendhub support contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Friday, 25 August 2017 16:56

Pricing Bulletin from 14-Aug-17 to 29-Aug-17

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Soft Drinks – Supplier Assessent

Ahead of the annual contract review meetings with the Soft Drinks suppliers, we have a feedback survey ready to capture your feedback.

The link is below but if you have firewall issues with Survey Monkey, please let me know and I have a workaround.


The tool says the survey should take no more than 7 minutes to complete so if you could spare those 7 minutes to fill this in, we would be rather grateful.


Catering light & Heavy Equipment – Research Survey

We still have the research survey for the new Catering Light & Heavy Equipment framework open for a few more days if you haven’t had chance to complete it yet, the link is below:


Please feel free to share the above links with colleagues, multiple responses from sites are welcomed.



Enotria & Coe


Palmer & Harvey

Fish & Seafood

M&J Seafood

Frozen & Chilled

Philip Dennis

Fruit & Veg

Ribble Farm Fare

Innovative Food Concepts

Pasta King

Meat & Poultry

Althams Butchers

Coca Cola European Partners


Please note there are amended product files for the below suppliers



Catering Disposables & Kitchen Chemicals

Alliance Disposables

Tri-Star Packaging Supplies Ltd


Catering Light & Heavy Equipment

Bunzl T/A Lockhart

Fresh Direct

Lucozade Ribena Suntory


New promotions are available


New documents

Oliver Kay - Aug 2017 Bank Holiday Opening times, Buyers Update, Produce Report


Kitchen Equip Maintenance - Updated CRM notes

M&J Seafood - Outlook Report

IFC - Statement from Crucials

KFF - Q2 Market Report








Wednesday, 23 August 2017 18:51

How to Eat British on a Budget: A Student Guide to Food

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How to Eat British on a Budget

A Student Guide to Food


When you’re a student it’s a good idea to try and balance an often tight budget and eating British food.  It is achievable with this savvy guide!  Try our tips to make sure that you are getting the most for your money and eating well.  Spending less doesn’t necessarily mean compromising on quality, and gone are the days of students making do with living off boiled pasta for three years.  Supporting British farmers and producers is completely realistic with this guide, and it really can save you money along the way!

Less is More!

Less is definitely more when it comes to meat and poultry, but this doesn’t have to mean smaller portions.  It is far better to fuel your body with better quality protein, and alternate between meat based and vegetarian meals.  Scrap bad quality items on your shopping list and replace them with British produce, even it if means eating meat a little less often.  There are loads of other ways to make sure that your body gets enough protein, like eating more grains and pulses.

Shop seasonally!

Make the most of shopping seasonally and buy products like berries and asparagus when they are harvested in Britain. Foods that you would normally consider to be out of your budget become affordable when they are in season.  This way of shopping also promotes a more varied and interesting diet.

Do your research!

Co-op have pledged to stock only British meat in their stores. This means that when you’re doing your weekly shop, you know the quality is definitely there and you won’t have to spend as long checking labels.


It goes without saying, taking advantage of what is on offer on products right across your weekly shop means more money saved and more money left in the budget to treat yourself.

Home Cooking!

Finally, buying British means buying the best quality ingredients for your kitchen.  Planning a weekly shop and preparing food from scratch is possible even if you are new to cooking.  Check out our recipe cards for simple and affordable British meals.




Student Recipe Spinach and Feta Omelette

Student Recipe Sausage and Leek Risotto


Spend Less & Eat Well

A Student Guide to Food


Being savvy about planning your weekly shop means not only reducing waster but also the money you spend. It can be easy to spend loads on processed food that doesn’t taste great, and before you know it there’s not much money left for you to do anything else.  Follow our simple guide to save money and eat well when you’re at uni.

Work out your weekly budget!

The idea of three large chunks of money coming into your bank account from Student Finance might feel novel to you, but it’s surprising how quickly money can be spent.  The first week of freshers for one reason or another will most likely be a bit mad, and your spending plan that you drew up before moving into halls just have gone out of the window! So, take some time to pause and recalculate (or calculate for the first time if you haven’t already), what you can afford to spend on food per week for the first term.  It always pays off to be a little more generous with yourself so there is some contingency.  If you don’t end up spending it all in the first term, then great, but it might just avoid you falling short just before Christmas.

Meal plan like your degree depends on it!

Planning your meals on a weekly chart may sound boring but it really does pay off.  Jazz up your chart and make use of those coloured pens that you bought in the run up to uni.  A useful tip when it comes to meal planning is doubling up recipes.  Offering to cook for yourself and one of your new housemates can be a great way to make friends, and if they return the favour then it’s one less meal to plan for the week.  Making double portions also means taking advantage of your new Tupperware. The vegetarian chilli that you made for dinner on Tuesday can be refrigerated and had for lunch on Thursday. This is not only a more economical way of cooking, but it will save you time and means that it’s easier to stick to a healthy food plan.

Think outside of the box!

There will be loads of places on campus that sell fresh, local food for less than you would pay in a supermarket. Check out your student’s union website to see the kinds of events that are planned and if your university holds a weekly market. Buying at these local markets means buying fresh, British produce and supporting local farmers. It is also worth remembering that students get 1-% off at Co-op with an NUS card.

Shop Share!

When you do a shop, it can be a great idea to share the trip with a housemate. If you’re travelling by car this means saving on petrol and when you get to the supermarket you can both make sure that you stick to your meal plan and not get tempted by non-essentials.

Make eating out a special occasion!

All this money that you’re saving on your weekly food shops means that you can afford to make eating out a special occasion.  It does not need to be an expensive restaurant but eating out less on a regular basis means that when you do, you can value it more. Schedule in a date night or a lunch with your friends as an incentive to keep working on your meal plans!


British Food Fortnight 2017 – 23rd September – 8th October






Advertising Opportunities: Dan Hillman

t: 0345 500 6008 e: dan@h2opublishing.co.uk

TUCO Magazine Editor: Morag Wilson

t: 01474 520 267 e: morag@h2opublishing.co.uk

Contact Us

The University Caterers Organisation Ltd

3rd Floor, National House

St Ann Street, Manchester

M2 7LE

t: 0161 713 3420 e: info@tuco.ac.uk