News (260)

Thursday, 16 November 2017 08:00


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The field of Gastrophysics is paving the way for the future of dining experiences and menu design. We are not only looking at how food is being put together on the plate but also how each step on the sensory journey comes together to create the dining experience.

At the end of this course, participants will:

  • Understand the science and research of Gastrophysics which brings together Chefs, psychologists and neurologists
  • Have ideas on how to apply sensory research into experience design
  • Understand how our senses can alter our perception of flavour
  • Find creative and unique ways to design new menus
  • Experience one of London’s most sought after sensory dining experiences

For full details of this study tour and how to book please click here.

This Christmas as Alcohol Consumption Declines

 Britvic Adult Socialising

Brand new research from Britvic reveals that almost half of consumers (45%) are set to buy more soft drinks at Christmas as figures show that over a fifth (21%) plan to drink less alcohol.  With 37% also planning to spend more on soft drinks at Christmas than previous years, increasing to over half (56%) of consumers aged 16-24, seasonal soft drinks sales are set to soar this Christmas and Britvic is advising leisure operators to be prepared.

The research, conducted by Censuswide UK, also indicates that of those consumers planning to reduce their alcohol consumption this Christmas, 39% now drink less alcohol all year round, increasing to 41% in those aged 25-34 and to 46% in those aged 55+.  While there is clearly a seasonal sales opportunity that operators need to be prepared for, with figures showing a big decline in alcohol consumption all year round, it’s also important to stock a dynamic range of soft drinks throughout the year to cater for this growing consumer interest in soft drinks.

Interestingly, figures revealed that for over half (54%) of those that will be drinking alcohol this Christmas, the tipple of choice will be spirits.  With over three in five (63%) of spirits drinkers using mixers, ensuring the bar is fully stocked with an enticing and great tasting selection ideal for mixing, like Britvic’s range of Mixers and Juices, will be key to capitalising on this seasonal sales opportunity.  As interest in premium spirits continues to rise, offering the right mixer to perfectly complement and balance the flavour is now just as important as the spirit.  Having recently been awarded a prestigious International Taste & Quality Institute Three-Star Superior Taste Award, Britvic’s Indian Tonic Water is the perfect product to allow operators to do just that.

The results also showed that almost a quarter (21%) of consumers don’t think there are enough premium soft drinks to choose from.  This increases to 27% amongst those aged 25-34 and highlights a major gap in the market that operators can fill by stocking premium ranges such as J2O Spritz to make their sales sparkle this Christmas. 


Russell Goldman, Commercial Director, Licensed and Foodservice at Britvic, commented: “It’s clear from our research that there’s going to be a real shift towards moderate drinking this Christmas and as a result, there is likely to be a high demand for soft drinks throughout the season.  Offering a range of inspiring serves and using products like Teisseire to create sensational experiences for customers, both with and without alcohol, will enable leisure operators to cater for this peak in demand over the festive period.”

Tuesday, 14 November 2017 08:00

Vanilla Black

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A Day of Inspiration for Vegetarian Menus with a talk from Andrew Dargue

vanilla black

Dont miss out on the opportunity to hear from Andrew Dargue, the founder and chef proprietor will talk about the Vanilla Black story which is truly inspirational.


Each delegate will be given a small goody bag of unusual ingredients that feature on the Vanilla Black menu.


Click HERE for further details and how to book on this very popular Study Tour.

Thursday, 09 November 2017 08:00

Value for Money Reports

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VFM sm


As the UK’s professional body for university and college catering, we work in a number of different ways to enable our members to develop and achieve sustainability in every sense of the word. Our framework agreements continue to play a vital role in enabling institutions to achieve value for money and over last financial year secured more than £8.6m in cost savings. This was shown in the personalised Value for Money Reports, which all our Full Members received this week.

TUCO members are benefitting from being part of a network with ever more opportunities to learn from peers and draw on insight at home and abroad. Our summer and winter conferences go from strength to strength and the TUCO Competitions have grown into a highly respected showcase for the talent found across in-house catering teams.

Over the last two years TUCO Academy has come to the fore, providing a growing range of courses both site based and online. The Academy is also now playing a leading role in shaping and delivering our popular programme of study tours. As with all aspects of TUCO’s work, our success stems from having a highly engaged membership, whether it’s through our regional groups or conferences. By working together, we can equip in-house catering departments with the skills, insight and tools to continue to thrive.

If you’ve not received your report or you have any queries please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

WLC Apple Pie

A number of the gluten, wheat and milk free We Love Cake lines have recently been registered with the Vegan Society. After popular demand, the naturally vegan lines have now been registered with The Vegan Society and packaging will soon to be carrying the Vegan logo.

In addition to the rise in demand for gluten, wheat and milk free products, there has also been a large increase in the number of consumers looking for Vegan products – with a reported half a million Vegans currently living in the UK (Ipsos MORI). The rise of people choosing to follow the Vegan lifestyle is especially high amongst the 15-34 year, with this younger age bracket representing 42% of all Vegans.

Emily Sudell, Marketing Manager said; “with this rapid growth, it has never been more important to ensure university canteen/cafe menus are providing options for Vegans – with students representing a large portion of this market.

“We are excited by the new Vegan claim on our products and have already received a great reception to this move across our fans on social media channels”

The We Love Cake lines which have been registered with the Vegan society include the best-selling lines in the range; Chocolate & Orange Tart & Sweet Pastry Mince Pies, along with their traditional favourites of Cranberry & Pecan Flapjack, Apple Crumble Slice and Apple Lattice Pie.

The individually wrapped bakes are already very popular across universities, with the full range being available frozen through Bidfood Wholesaler.

John Hine, National Food Service Account Manager said “we welcome the move to including the Vegan symbol on our packaging as this will help to broaden our product offering to an even wider market – without compromising on taste”

All of the We Love Cake lines are made and hand-finished in the first dedicated gluten, wheat and milk free bakery in the UK, based in the heart of Cumbria.

Tuesday, 07 November 2017 08:00

Benchmarking Survey

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The closing date for the survey has been extended to Sunday 12th November, we hope you will set some time aside to complete the survey so that your information can be added to those members who have already submitted their data.

TUCO is undertaking a benchmarking study that will offer members anonymised comparisons of their catering business with other in-house catering businesses within Higher Education.  The findings will enable you to compare your University catering costs against other similar institutions. 
The research is being carried out on our behalf by Qa Research, an independent research company.
In exchange for completing the survey, Members will receive:

  • An overall report showing operational and performance data from across the sector
  • An individual summary report with your data in comparison to averages for the sector
  • Entry into a free prize draw to win £500 credit against the TUCO Academy events

For this survey we are interested in data from the academic year just gone i.e. 1st August 2016 to 31st July 2017.

The next steps

The survey asks about staffing, operations and turnover for the catering operations across the University. It is anticipated that you may need to ask others in your organisation to assist with providing data for some questions within the survey.

Please review the attached PdF of the survey so you can see what questions are being asked and therefore who in your University you may need to circulate the survey to or get answers from.

The survey will retain the information as long as the next question icon at the bottom of the screen is clicked before exiting the survey; you can click back into it at any stage and it will remember your previous answers so you do not have to fill it all in in one go.

You can circulate the survey to the relevant staff to complete but please note only one person within your organisation can complete the online survey link at any one time for the data to be saved. At the end of the survey you will be shown a summary page with all your answers. Please check your answers and amend any data if necessary before finally submitting the survey.

Please note, although you can send the online survey link to others in the University, only one person within your organisation can complete the online survey link at any one time.

Only click 'submit' (at the end of the survey) once all sections are completed. Clicking on the link below will take you to the online survey.

TUCO benchmarking survey

If you have a query about the research in general, please contact Mike Haslin, Chief Executive Officer at TUCO This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Should you have any technical questions about this survey, please contact Nick How at Qa Research This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thank you for your help.

Monday, 06 November 2017 14:00

Pricing Bulletin 20/10/17 - 03/11/17

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Please note there is revised pricing on the following agreements



Fish & Seafood

Fruit & Veg        


Meat & Poultry                



Please note there are amended product files for the below suppliers       



Catering Disposables & Kitchen Chemicals          

Catering Light & Heavy Equipment         

Fish & Seafood

Frozen & Chilled             

Fruit & Veg        

Hot Beverage   

Innovative Food Concepts          

Meat & Poultry                


Soft Drinks

For all new promotions visit dedicated promotions website page.


New documents              

and make a Big Difference

Hospitality and Food Service operators from London came together at Cyrus Todiwala’s Café Spice Namaste this week to hear from top chefs and industry experts about how they can dramatically reduce the amount of food they throw away.

The event ‘Small Change Big Difference – the true value of food’ was organised by WRAP as part of TRiFOCAL, a London-wide project designed to take action on preventing edible food from going to waste, recycling inedible food, and promote healthy, sustainable eating.

At the event, guests heard from top chefs Alice Gilsenan (founder of Tiny Leaf, London’s first and only organic, zero waste, vegetarian restaurant), Silla Bjerrum (chef and consultant) Stephen Scuffell (executive chef for Crown Moran hotels) and Cyrus Todiwala OBE, DL, as they explained how small changes like reviewing and reducing portion sizes and making the most of your ingredients can make a big difference to your bottom line.

Guest were also given an introduction to the ‘Your Business is Food, don’t throw it away’ campaign materials, with advice on how these can help food businesses save money and boost profits by throwing away less food.

And to drive the point home – Cyrus treated guests to an unforgettable lunch made from surplus ingredients including Broken Basmati Khichri and Mixed Vegetal Bhaji using second vegetables.   

Claire Pritchard, London Food Board, who facilitated the event, said: “London’s food scene is one of the best things about the capital, but there’s always more we can do to reduce food waste. The previous GLA’s FoodSave scheme, for example, helped London’s small food businesses prevent more than 1200 tonnes of food going to waste, saving these businesses more than £500,000 and the good practice learnt is helping inform this new project. We’re making progress every day, and events like this are key to driving behaviour change.”

Eleanor Morris, programme manager for WRAP, one of the organisations behind TRiFOCAL and ‘Your Business is Food; don’t throw it away' said: “Almost 20% of food which the foodservice industry buys each year is thrown away and costs each outlet an estimated £10,000 a year. It’s no good for the future, no good for the environment, and certainly no good for the bottom line. But by tracking and taking action on food waste – food operators can make a big difference, as our guest speakers and case studies proved.”


17.11.09 TRiFOCAL infographic

Wednesday, 08 November 2017 08:00

Food Matters Live

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From the future of food to catering for people with allergies: meet the true leaders of food innovation and discover the latest trends impacting your industry at Food Matters Live. London’s ExCeL. 21-23 November


What will the younger generation demand from retailers in the future - and how can industry respond to increasing interest in health and wellbeing? From healthy snacking to free-from, vegan and sustainable proteins – what are the trends topping innovation in food and drink?

These questions and many more will be debated at Food Matters Live – the fast approaching business and networking event, which combines a three-day conference, multi-stream seminar programme and an extensive exhibition – all under one roof at London’s ExCeL on 21-23 November.

Food innovators, business leaders, manufacturers, retailers, government ministers, scientists and experts in health and nutrition will be among 400 influential speakers leading a series of thought-provoking debates during the three-day CPD accredited education programme.

BBC journalists Anita Anand, Simon Jack and Timandra Harkness will host the Food Matters Live conference, which will debate a broad range of issues from geopolitics and the impact of Brexit on the future of food, drink and consumers, to how the out-of-home sector and foodservice providers can market ‘better-for-you’ as the best choice, to the effectiveness of the sugar reduction programme.

Chef Heston Blumenthal will question why food science, practical cookery and understanding nutrition are not at the core of education, while Sainsbury’s former chief executive Justin King and neuroscientist Baroness Susan Greenfield will share their invaluable experience and industry insight.

Prue Leith, vice-president of the Sustainable Restaurant Association and the new face of The Great British Bake Off, will join a panel discussion to consider if cafes, restaurants and vending machine suppliers are responsible for tackling obesity in the out-of-home sector.

And Compass Group’s Louise Pilkington will discuss the economic impact of obesity on rising healthcare costs and lower worker productivity due to illness and days off, while Jozef Youssef, the creative force behind Kitchen Theory - the gastronomy experience design lab - will ask if diners are ready to embrace tomorrow’s foods.

Alongside the conference, the Food Matters Live case-study rich seminar stream will be of particular interest to the foodservice sector, with its unrivalled programme focused around seven key themes, including: ‘Future of food retail’, ‘Food futures’, ‘Free-from, allergy and intolerance’, ‘Marketing’, ‘Tackling Obesity’, and ‘Packaging: innovating through design’.

Experts will use the sessions to consider the latest food tech innovations set to change the face of industry, how to engage tech-savvy, time-poor customers through voice-activated technology or augmented or virtual reality, what role packaging plays in helping to reduce sugar consumption - while also giving an overview of latest consumer trends for the foodservice community.

The Free-from, allergy and intolerance seminars will look at brand trust, why consumers are allergic to certain foods, assessing the role the media plays in driving demand for free-from, and attracting food-to-go customers with innovative packaging.

In the Future of food retail stream, Spar Parkfoot’s David Charmann will discuss how retailers and foodservice providers can capture a larger share of the growing food-to-go opportunity, while Simply Fresh’s Kash Khera will join experts from MMR Research, Graze and Spoon Guru in a buyer panel discussion on consumers of the future, what is important to them and what this means for purchasing.

Elsewhere, Clément Scellier will talk about Jimini’s success in marketing insect-based foods as a healthy and sustainable source of food, while Compass Group’s Leanne Hewitt will focus on the challenges of providing healthy nutrition in offshore and military workplaces.

More than 16,000 influential professionals are expected to attend this year’s Food Matters Live exhibition, featuring over 800 leading organisations - from major food and drink manufacturers, foodservice providers and suppliers to new and exciting start-ups - each showcasing the latest developments in 'better for you' food and drink innovation.

With the UK’s food-to-go sector set to be worth £23.5bn by 2022 – up from £17.4bn in 2017, according to IGD – try, taste and explore a diverse range of products arranged in themed areas, such as Free-from, Natural & Organic, Drink Well, International Innovation and Innovative Ingredients.

Discover the latest in healthy snack food and confectionary in the Healthy Snacking zone. On display will be Fori meat-based high protein snack bars in chilli beef, Piri Piri chicken, Moroccan lamb and Thai turkey flavours; Adonis crunchy low sugar pecan nut bar, which is designed not to cause a blood sugar spike; the new Boka Food range of healthier snacks, such as granola and sugar-free marshmallows, and Gato’s puds that are dairy sugar, gluten and guilt free, in flavours such as chocolate & aubergine fondant with Spirulina, and orange & cardamom polenta sponge with turmeric.

For those who love to eat bread and crackers but prefer to avoid wheat and gluten, try Ready Raw enzyme rich bagel bites. Pining for a permissible indulgence? Feast your eyes on Pundits’ high in cocoa dark chocolate, which is sugar free but delicately sweetened with Stevia.

With the market for ‘free from’ food rising by 30% to over £500m in 2016 - and predicted to hit £673m by 2020 - according to Mintel, the dedicated zone has doubled in size and houses Mr Kipling’s gluten free range of lemon and ginger loaf and mini cherry bakewells; the Vegetarian Butcher’s fish free tuna – a tasty addition to pasta sauce or fish cakes; Lovemore Custard Creams with a delicious vanilla fondant cream filling, and Samosaco’s gluten free green or red onion pakoras and minted pea tikki.

As increasingly health conscious consumers boost demand for organic foods, head for the Natural and Organic zone to discover the innovation behind the trend. Sample LioBites fruit crisps and smoothie squares in apple and mango, banana and passionfruit flavours; Meet the Alternative beef style pieces made from healthy high quality protein, and Linwoods’ milled organic flaxseed, sunflower & pumpkin seeds with essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.

For cutting edge innovation, visit the Enterprise zone to discover Breakfast by Bella - the new organic, sugar and gluten-free range of granola inspired by an under pressure commuter who needed food on the move. Try flavours such as crazy cacao, nutty nosh and peanut butter me up. Also worth a taste are Kate Percy’s Go Bites – tasty bite-sized energy balls in date and coconut, apricot and seeds, or chocolate and hazelnut.

A sneak preview of the products and ingredients that will be on display can be found in the new online directory at

A new matchmaking service will give visitors and exhibitors a huge opportunity to identify potential partners - with a dedicated Meet the Buyer programme connecting buyers from retailers and foodservice providers with innovative companies. Buyers from the likes of Planet Organic, Marks and Spencer, Superdrug, EAT, Planet Organic, Tree of Life, Protein World, Ramsden International, Buckley and Beale, Greencore and Delicatezza are among the first to confirm their participation.

To find out more and book your place, go to

Briony Mansell-Lewis, Food Matters Live Director, said: “Food Matters Live is fast becoming an annual business opportunity for many in the industry, providing a platform to explore, taste and experience the latest trends and innovations shaping the future of food and drink.

 “We’re delighted once again to welcome so many experts to share best practice, forge collaborative relationships, find solutions to challenges and explore new ways of working with colleagues across the food, nutrition and health sectors.”

Food Matters Live is free to attend, including entry to the conference, seminars and all visitor attractions. Simply register at

Notes to editors:


Now in its fourth year, Food Matters Live takes place on 21-23 November 2017 at London’s ExCeL.

Register yourself and your colleagues for this unique event, which is free to attend and brings together the food and drink industry, retailers, foodservice providers, government, and those working in nutrition and health at

In addition to an extensive exhibition, Food Matters Live offers a multi-stream seminar programme and main stage conference, featuring 400 speakers covering wide-ranging topics – from the latest food and public health policies to improving the availability and delivery of free-from food and drink, latest trends in sustainable retailing, packaging design and exemplar brand strategies.

Exhibitors and visitors will also get the chance to find out who has won the inaugural Food Matters Live Awards, which celebrate the inspiring innovation and creativity that is shaping the future of food and drink.

The winners - who will be announced on 22 November in the main conference theatre at Food Matters Live - will receive a unique award, creatively designed around the innovative concept of a taste bud and incorporating the five senses of taste.

For further information

Rachel Rowe

Food Matters Live

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

+44 (0) 20 3735 5961

+44 (0) 750 744 0395

Monday, 06 November 2017 08:02

November is World Vegan Month

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World Vegan Month Logo 2017 hi res small

Vegan lifestyle winning hearts and minds across Britain, finds new survey to mark World Vegan Day 2017


What was once regarded as a fringe movement viewed by the wider public with varying degrees of suspicion, veganism is now winning British hearts and minds in ever greater numbers.

According to new research to mark the start of World Vegan Month, more than half of UK adults are now adopting vegan-buying behaviours and Britain is more vegan-friendly than ever before. 

One in five (19 per cent) cut down on the amount of meat they buy and the same number check if their toiletries are tested on animals, and nearly one in eight (13 per cent) now choose meat or dairy free options from the menu when eating out.

Around half of those surveyed (51 per cent) said they welcomed the rise in vegan foods available in shops, cafes and restaurants, with almost one in ten (9 per cent) saying they would like to see an even greater choice of vegan food options on offer.

A third thought there should be better education in schools to teach about the impact of animal farming on the environment, 26 per cent said prisons, schools and hospitals should provide a vegan option by law and 9 per cent think there should be a tax on animal based products.

Half of those surveyed said they know someone who is vegan and a fifth said they would consider becoming a vegan themselves.

Far from feeling threatened by an individual's decision to give up eating meat or dairy, 43 per cent said they respected them for their stance and nearly a quarter (24 per cent) said they admired them. But many remain to be convinced with nearly half (46 per cent) saying they would never consider becoming a vegan, even if they knew they would lose weight, improve their health and have a genuine impact on animal welfare.

For those who have embraced veganism though, there's a feeling that the revolution has only just begun.

Later this month, The Vegan Society will be commemorating World Vegan Month 2017 with the launch of a brand new app, VNutrition, which has been developed with the support of its in-house dietitian, and will focus on helping vegans hit their nutritional goals. 

The Vegan Society will also be launching its Vegan on the Go campaign which will encourage retailers to provide more vegan on-the-go type lunch options, firmly establishing veganism as part of mainstream culture.



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