Anjali Dattani

Anjali Dattani

  • 39% of allergy/intolerance sufferers who have bought /used free-from products would like to see a UK-wide allergen labelling system on free-from products.
  • 48% of Brits say that they, or someone in their household, avoid at least one food/ingredient - although only 20% do so due to an allergy or intolerance.
  • UK free-from market valued at £837 million in 2018, growing by 133% since 2013.

Allergen food labels are a source of confusion for today’s Brits according to latest research from Mintel, as only 37% of consumers agree that it is easy to identify which allergens a product is free from by its label. 

While pre-packaged goods are legally required to highlight on-pack the presence of any allergens, almost half (48%) of Brits are unsure whether or not allergen labels are clear, and a further 15% actively disagree that this is the case.

Meanwhile, a UK-wide allergen labelling system on free-from product packaging appeals to 29% of those who have bought/used free-from products, a figure which rises to 39% of those users who avoid foods/ingredients because of an allergy or intolerance.

Estimated to be worth £837 million in 2018, the UK free-from market has seen stellar growth over 2013-18 with sales growing by 133% over this time period.

Emma Clifford, Associate Director of Food and Drink at Mintel, said:

“Potential changes to allergen labelling has received a lot of high profile media coverage recently, with speculation that the Government is planning to introduce new changes following the death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who died after suffering an allergic reaction to a Pret baguette. Given the perceived lack of clarity and the dangerous health implications that ambiguous allergen labelling can have on consumers, there is a real need for companies to make the presence of allergens very obvious on labelling.

“While current regulations require allergens to be listed in bold on the ingredients list, many companies choose to highlight certain free-from credentials on the front of packaging as well. At the moment this is not regulated and as such, there is no uniformity between the labelling used, which can fuel confusion among consumers, particularly given the huge amount of other product information on packaging. There is strong demand for a UK-wide labelling system for allergens which would unify the way in which companies communicate this information on packaging.”

Allergy or intolerance is the least likely reason for avoidance

According to Mintel, just under half (48%) of consumers say that they, or someone in their household, avoid at least one food/ingredient, with 16-24-year-olds (61%) the most likely age group to report household avoidance of foods/ingredients. Overall, there has been no significant change in the share of UK consumers that avoid certain foods or ingredients over the past year.

Perhaps surprisingly, only 20% of consumers (or other members of their household) avoid certain ingredients due to an allergy or intolerance, which is on a par with those who do so as part of a healthy lifestyle (22%). Of those who have eaten/drunk free-from foods, 28% do not avoid any foods/ingredients.

Meanwhile, three in ten (30%) Brits avoid certain foods/ingredients for other reasons (eg ethical, vegetarian) rising to 38% of under-25s and 41% of females in this age group.

While dairy is the most commonly avoided food/ingredient (17%), avoidance of dairy has remained unchanged over the last three years. Soya (16%), fish or shellfish (16%), red meat (15%) and lactose (15%) make up the top five foods/ingredients which Brits avoid.

“Allergies or intolerances aren’t the main reason that consumers are avoiding certain foods or ingredients. Healthy lifestyles and ethical and environmental concerns are also boosting the appeal of these products, with young consumers in particular most likely to be driven by these factors.

“The fact that as many as a quarter of free-from purchasers do not avoid any foods/ingredients reflects that the pool of free-from users is far wider than just those who fully avoid certain ingredients, either due to allergies/intolerances or for other reasons.”

Gluten-free is most commonly bought free-from food

Gluten-free products remain the nation’s most popular type of free-from food with 27% of consumers having purchased or eaten these over six months, despite only 12% of consumers reporting that they or somebody else in their household avoid gluten. 

Meanwhile, a quarter (23%) of consumers have purchased dairy substitutes, while 19% have bought dairy-free foods.

A quarter (26%) of consumers say free-from diets are good for digestive health, but 44% say that it is hard to know whether they have health benefits for those without an allergy or intolerance. A further 40% worry that following a free-from diet puts you at risk of missing out on certain nutrients.

“The idea that following a free-from diet could potentially put people at risk of missing out on certain nutrients is a concern for a significant number of consumers. Gluten-free products carrying nutrient fortification claims are not widespread in the UK market, suggesting a missed opportunity. While highlighting the absence of allergens is vital, spotlighting nutritional credentials is also important for free-from products, particularly to appeal to those opting for these products as part of a healthy lifestyle," concludes Emma.

Friday, 25 January 2019 09:48

The National Union of Students cuts 54 jobs

The BBC reports that The National Union of Students (NUS) has cut 54 jobs in response to its "financial issues". In the article, the NUS said it offered voluntary redundancy to reduce staffing costs "in a way that provided a positive exit" for those involved. Fifteen staff left the union at the end of December, the NUS said, and the remaining 39 would leave between January and May.

An NUS statement said: "In response to the financial issues we faced last year, we proposed a staff voluntary redundancy scheme which launched on 19 November and closed on 12 December.

"By providing colleagues with choice, in what is a difficult and emotional time for all of us, our intention was to reduce our staffing costs in a way that provided a positive exit for those whose applications were accepted."

Read the full story on the BBC website: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-46987569

 

Tenzing have created something that goes beyond the traditional energy drink – they offer a natural alternative to a market that is flooded by sugar and synthetic filled products whilst building a brand that is socially aware of the impending environmental issues we are facing.

They thought it seemed a bit odd that there wasn’t a way of achieving a lift with nature’s finest ingredients - plants. So they created an all natural, plant-based drink in a bid to change the way people think about energising themselves and (surprise, surprise) it’s not made with ingredients you can’t spell... it’s made purely from plants. 

Tenzing is a natural energy drink, good for the body, mind and planet with 5% of company profits donated to environmental charity projects. These projects have been focused in Nepal, where the drink was originally inspired by a traditional Himalayan Sherpa recipe, to roll out clean-up projects on the route up to Everest Basecamp. However this year, Tenzing will focus it’s efforts on launching multiple environmental projects over here in the UK, the company’s biggest market.

Founder, Huib van Bockel, was previously Head of UK Marketing at Red Bull, so no stranger to the energy drinks market. He said;

"I’d wanted to bring a healthy alternative to the market for a long time, so TENZING came from a deep-rooted place in me. I wanted to transform the way people energise themselves, have the option of a low-sugar, natural and environmentally conscious option at a time when personal, mental, and environmental well-being is arguably more important than ever."

The company was founded in 2016 and has grown year on year since. In 2018, they grew 200% having secured partnerships with the likes of Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s, Boots and many more. A huge driver of this growth was within the University sector - distribution sites have grown by 800% in the last 12 months for Tenzing with UCL, Kings and Nottingham huge advocates of the drink.

The multiple functionalities of the drink mean it can both aid concentration and energise you pre or post exercise or simply just be enjoyed alongside your lunch - this product is the perfect side-kick for any student.

With a strong marketing campaign behind the brand, TENZING forecasts growth of 400% in 2019, and an international mission to change the way people think about energy, by expanding across Europe and launching in Canada.

Wednesday, 23 January 2019 10:32

Urban Food Awards nominations open

The Mayor of London and London Food Link need your help to find the winners of the 2019 Urban Food Awards.  

This year, the awards will recognise the enterprises, initiatives and organisations bringing good food to the London’s table. The London Growth Hub is sponsoring this year’s ‘Superfood Social Enterprise’ award category, which will see the winner receive up to £5,000 of free business support. 

For the first time, the awards will also profile and celebrate women doing great things for food across the capital. This follows on from the success of the Mayor’s ‘Behind Every Great City’ campaign in pushing for greater gender equality.  

Londoners have until 17 February to make their Urban Food Awards nominations or enter their own work for consideration. Winners will be announced at an invitation-only ceremony in March. 

This year’s categories are: 

·       Good To Go: Recognising and rewarding takeaways dumping the junk. For example, by offering healthier options, plant-based menus. 

·       Surplus Superstar: Open to enterprises and initiatives working to reduce food surplus and waste, including those involved in circular economy  

·       Superfood Social Enterprise: Open to food-related social enterprises (i.e. businesses run to generate social and/or environmental ‘profit’ or benefit) launched in the past 12 months 

·       Innovation and Tasty Tech: Throwing the spotlight on good food enterprises based around innovative new ideas or technology  

·       Good Food on Prescription: Enterprises and initiatives helping to improve people’s health and wellbeing through the growing and production of good food 

·       Veg City champion: Local campaigns or initiatives on a mission to encourage kids in the capital to eat more veg. Read more 

·       Sugar Smart heroes: Organisations and partnerships helping people to reduce their sugar consumption. Read more  

·       Good Food For All: Businesses, organisations and partnerships working beyond the food bank to help improve people’s access to good food.  

In addition, this year’s Urban Food Awards will be celebrating…

Women in Food: This special award will recognise a number of amazing women working doing great things for food in London. They could be working alone or as part of a team in food education, community food, good food enterprise, urban food growing, or good food campaigning or policy. Nominate an amazing woman you know who is doing great things for food! 

Chair of the London Food Board, Claire Pritchard, said: “I’m delighted the Mayor of London is once again supporting the Urban Food Awards in partnership with London Food Link. I’m really looking forward to seeing Londoners nominate the projects and social enterprises which are growing, producing, selling and promoting good food. I’m also thrilled that, for the first time, the awards will be used to celebrate some of the fantastic women doing great things for food in London – whether through food education, charity work or campaigning.” 

Entries 

All entries should be received by Sunday 17 February. More information on the website. 

Judging 

Founded in 2014, the Urban Food Awards are open to nominees and entrants that are based and operate in the capital. 

The judging panel will be chaired by Claire Pritchard, who is Chair of the London Food Board, a group of experts who advise the Mayor of London and the GLA on the food matters that affect Londoners.  

Fellow judges will include members of the Mayor of London’s food policy team, London Food Link staff, and other good food experts. They will be looking for nominations/entries that:  

·       Make clear how the nominee’s work in London aligns with the London Food Strategy’s definition of good food and with Sustain’s good food guidelines.  

·       Outline the wider benefits their work brings to the local community, economy and environment.  

·       Demonstrate the progress they have made in achieving what they set out to do. 

The main benefit for nominees is the opportunity to generate free publicity in their bid for London-wide glory.  

Everyone who makes a nomination will be entered in a draw to win a pair of tickets to the awards event. 

Full details and link to the nominations form can be found on the website, where people can also join London Food Link: www.londonfoodlink.org

The Wing Yip Young Chef of the Year competition is now open. Young chefs and catering students across the UK and Ireland who are between 18 and 25 can now enter and compete for the 2019 title. 

There will be two stages to the competition, the first stage – a written entry including an Oriental recipe of choice. Stage 2 – selected finalists must take part in a live cook-off at University College Birmingham (UCB) on Thursday 4 April 2019. At the end of a gruelling but exciting day, one lucky chef will not only be crowned Wing Yip’s Young Chef of the Year, but will also win a £750 cash prize, as well as a stage with MasterChef finalist Larkin Cen at his restaurant, Woky Ko.

Putting the contestants through their paces will be a panel of expert judges – President of the British Culinary Federation Peter Griffiths, Michelin starred Chef Glynn Purnell and MasterChef finalist and Woky Ko founder, Larkin Cen.

Peter said: “Now in its seventh year, we wanted to mix it up a little. The competition has grown from strength to strength, and has attracted a wealth of talented young chefs from across the UK. We are adding a new element to the competition this year – the finalists can choose any Oriental dish for the main course, but it must be served in a bowl.

“We would like to reiterate that competitors don’t necessarily have to have extensive experience in Oriental cuisine, it’s about being creative and cooking something that sounds, looks and tastes delicious!”

The winner of the Wing Yip Young Chef of the Year 2018, Conor Bird, Chef de Partie at the House of Commons, said: “Taking part in the competition was a fantastic experience, especially getting to know all the other competitors and working alongside a team of top-class judges.

“I would definitely recommend young chefs enter next year. It has a massive impact on who you are as a chef and what you learn is just incredible, I learnt some invaluable skills – and no matter the outcome, everyone feels like a winner.”

To enter, applicants must submit a traditional street-food starter served in a suitable container and main course of their choice, which must be served in a bowl. The most imaginative menus will be shortlisted, and finalists will be invited to a live cook-off at UCB, on Thursday 4 April 2019, where they will cook for the judges.

Wing Yip Director, Brian Yip, added: “The competition has firmly established itself in the culinary calendar since we launched it seven years ago. Wing Yip’s Young Chef offers an exciting opportunity for budding chefs to gain hands on experience in Oriental cooking, whilst gaining industry knowledge from renowned chefs. It’s a fantastic day, enjoyed by all, and not to mention a wonderful opportunity for the winner.”

Entries open on Monday 14 January 2019 and close on Friday 18 February 2019. Follow this link to enter: www.wingyip.com/young-chef.

Friday, 18 January 2019 08:48

MSC welcomes Sustainable Seas report

The MSC has welcomed the publication of the Environmental Audit Committee’s report on the inquiry into Sustainable Seas.

Erin Priddle, UK Program Director says: “It is good to see the Environmental Audit Committee raising these important issues of ocean plastics and acidification. Far too often, our seas have been treated as ‘out of sight, out of mind’. We hope that this report will galvanize action in securing a healthy future for our oceans.”

The inquiry included an examination of the MSC programme and its effectiveness. The report concluded that: 

“The Marine Stewardship Council standard is the market leader and the most rigorous certification in the seafood sector.”

The report also noted that: 

“…alternative labelling and certification systems… are not nearly as rigorous or stringent.”

The committee recognized that the MSC programme has been effective at driving change towards sustainable fish stocks and improvements in fishing practices.

The report acknowledges the role of British retailers, noting: 

“…fisheries companies using certification standards such as those provided by the MSC and retailers stocking products with fisheries ecolabels, are playing key roles in tackling the challenge of unsustainable fishing.”

Erin Priddle continues: “The report reflects the complex, often polarized views around seafood certification. While some claim the bar is too low, others warn that it is ‘becoming too high even for world leading fisheries’. This illustrates the challenge of a global standard: if the bar is raised too high, it risks preventing fisheries – such as small scale and developing world fisheries – from ever reaching that bar.”

MSC Fisheries Standard Review

The report recommends that the ongoing Fisheries Standard Review should address specific criticisms of Unit of Assessment, the holistic assessment of fisheries, carbon emissions from fishing boats, shark finning, and barriers to entry for small scale fisheries. With the exception of carbon emissions, all of these subjects are being addressed in the Fisheries Standard Review currently underway, or in separate consultations taking place in 2019.

Erin Priddle continues: “We acknowledge that there are some who have concerns about aspects of the MSC programme, or doubts about individual certifications. We take these concerns seriously and are grateful for all contributions which will help to strengthen the MSC Standard. We look forward to working with all involved in the coming weeks and months to listen to their contributions and, through this review and the potential updates to the Standard, reassure them of the programme’s rigour.”

Importantly, the report also recommends that the concerns of Prof Roberts and others should be addressed through the established process of the five-yearly Fishery Standard Review. This is a transparent review process that invites stakeholder engagement. The process is reviewed by independent bodies, ISEAL and GSSI in order to ensure that it complies with best practices for standard setters. In the most recent GSSI review, the MSC met all the essential components of the GSSI benchmark, and a further 63 supplementary components relating to issues such as deep sea fishing, vulnerable marine ecosystems and data collection to demonstrate impact.

Erin Priddle explains: “The MSC has been driving forward sustainable harvesting in global fisheries through a multi-stakeholder process for more than 20 years. The first version of the MSC Standard was built following an 18-month consultation with over 300 marine scientists, NGOs, specialists and governments. In the current review – our fourth to date – we have already welcomed input from WWF, Professor Roberts and others and will continue to invite them to engage with the MSC as we take forward this important and timely consultation.

MSC is deeply aware of the ever-changing political and environmental landscape. We are committed to understanding these changes and the interaction they have with our Standard.  While there will always be those demanding short-term, or immediate change, the inquiry has recognized that the MSC has a well-established process to make changes to the Standard that includes the voices of all stakeholders.”

Support for small scale fisheries

The report highlighted the MSC’s work to increase the accessibility of the MSC programme to small-scale fisheries, but also shared concerns of some stakeholders about those fisheries’ ability to enter the MSC programme. In addition to the long-running Project UK Fisheries Improvements, supporting improvements in British small-scale fisheries, the MSC announced a £1 million fund and sustainability initiative in October 2018 to support small scale fisheries, including those in the Global South on their pathway to sustainability. The MSC has been engaged with fisheries in the Global South since its inception and has built up a solid knowledge of the constraints these fisheries face to achieve a sustainable level of performance. The fund will also help create a more sustainable seafood market through research to overcome data and information gaps in fisheries management. 

Peter Thomson, the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean and Co-Chair of the Friends of Ocean Action, welcomed the move: “Our ocean is in trouble. We urgently need to scale workable solutions to deliver sustainable fisheries and resilient marine ecosystems. The attainment of SDG14’s targets is essential to the ocean’s future well-being. I welcome MSC’s latest initiative to engage with and help fisheries in the global south, and to invest in new scientific research that could benefit many fisheries around the world.”

The foodservice industry is throwing away tens of thousands of working appliances, every year.  Now CESA is taking a stand and has published a Guide to Decommissioned Catering Equipment to try to tackle the issue.  Many appliances enter the waste stream for the materials to be recycled, but this should be the last resort.   

“Scrapping perfectly serviceable equipment undermines the foodservice industry’s sustainability aspirations and credibility,” says John Whitehouse, chair of CESA.  “It’s also a waste of money – the value of this unnecessarily scrapped equipment on the second hand market, is tens of £millions per year.  WEEE (the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive) is designed to recycle components from equipment that is no longer working.  Sadly it doesn’t protect serviceable equipment from being scrapped too early.” 

CESA has published the guide to provide industry insight into the facts and show how to tackle the problem.  The CESA Guide to Decommissioned Catering Equipment is available to download for free from the Info Hub, which is accessed via the information tab on the home page at cesa.org.uk.

“We’re not suggesting that operators shouldn’t buy new equipment to replace old – often changing menus, refurbishment or upgrades mean that old appliances simply aren’t up to the job,” says John Whitehouse, chair of CESA.  “However, scrapping isn’t the only answer.  Reconditioning equipment is not just greener, it can also be a major weapon in the campaign to stop misguided caterers who still buy domestic appliances because they are cheaper, despite the health and safety risks.  A supply of second hand equipment will encourage them to step up to commercial standards, since it will be more affordable.”  

The guide also points out that arranging responsible reuse raises great CSR and PR opportunities.  “Obviously it will help with any company’s sustainability targets,” says Whitehouse.  “However, there’s also the option of using the income or the equipment itself to help low budget organisations – such as charities, social enterprises, new business start-ups or projects in third world countries. 

“In terms of sustainability, the refurbishment of second hand equipment makes a real contribution to the circular economy.” 

The guide notes that the main reason for the industry’s ‘scrap it’ mentality is a lack of knowledge about the other options available – which the guide seeks to address, with the parting advice: save it or sell it, don’t just scrap it!

The Catering Equipment Suppliers Association (CESA) is the authoritative voice of the catering equipment industry, representing over 190 companies who supply, service and maintain all types of commercial catering equipment - from utensils to full kitchen schemes.  For more information on CESA visit www.cesa.org.uk

The British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) has launched a practical guide to portion sizes: Find Your Balance, to help us understand not just which foods to eat, but how often and in what quantities, in order to maintain a healthy weight and have a balanced diet. The guide uses simple hand and spoon measurements to help us estimate appropriate portions, when cooking and serving food. It is designed to complement the Government’s Eatwell Guide, which provides guidance on the proportions of the main food groups that make up a healthy diet. 

To develop the portion size guidelines, BNF’s Nutrition Scientists reviewed portion size guidance from other countries, analysed portion sizes currently consumed in the UK, and what is available to buy in supermarkets. These portion sizes were modelled in test diets to ensure they could meet current food and nutrient-based recommendations. Based on this, guidance was developed on how often to eat foods from the main food groups and sensible portion sizes for healthy adults, based on an average daily calorie allowance of 2000kcal. 

In order to provide practical ways of estimating these portions without having to weigh out foods, the BNF devised easy to use measures for most foods, based on hands or spoons. 

The BNF has packaged its portion size guidance into three free resources: a fridge poster which provides an overview of the advice; a booklet which expands on how to put the portion guidelines into practice; and a longer digital resource, which is downloadable, with advice on portion sizes for a wide variety of foods.  

Bridget Benelam, Nutrition Communications Manager at the British Nutrition Foundation, said: “More often than not, portion size is not something people give much thought to. The amount we put on our plate typically depends on the portion sizes we are used to consuming, how hungry we feel and how much is offered as a helping at a restaurant table or in a packet/ready meal. Nonetheless, in order to maintain a healthy weight we should ensure that our diets contain the right balance of foods, in sensible amounts. This isn’t just about eating less; it’s also about eating differently.”

“When researching the portion size guidelines, we looked at data from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey* (NDNS) on food consumption, and found that there was a lot of variation in the portion sizes people reported eating. Our suggested portion size for cooked pasta is 180 grams (254kcal) but, for example, when we looked at portion sizes for spaghetti, the most commonly consumed size was 230 grams (324kcal) and about 10 percent of the sample we looked at were consuming 350 grams as a portion, which would provide nearly 500 calories from the pasta alone, before sauces and sides were added to the meal.”

Within its portion size guide, the BNF has advised how often the suggested portions of foods from different food groups should be eaten during the day, and demonstrates how to put this into practice with an example meal plan. The food groups include: 

  • Fruit and vegetables – 5+ portions per day
  • Starchy carbohydrates – 3-4 portions per day
  • Protein foods – 2-3 portions per day
  • Dairy and alternatives – 2-3 portions per day
  • Unsaturated oils and spreads – small amounts

Benelam continued: “While the types of different food and drinks we need apply to all healthy adults, we understand that no two individuals are the same and the amount of food we need varies from person to person. If you’re tall or very active you may need more and could have larger portions, and if you have a slighter build or are trying to lose weight, you may need smaller portions.”

Within the protein foods and starchy carbohydrates food groups, the BNF has broken down portion sizes into different categories to reflect portions that are 200kcal or more, less than 200kcal, and lighter snack-sized portions. This reflects the variety of foods in these groups and whether they would be eaten as a main meal or something lighter, allowing people to choose the portion sizes most appropriate for them. Those with higher calorie needs could have more of the foods that are 200kcal or more, and for people with lower calorie needs, or trying to lose weight, could choose more options under 200kcal. 

Dairy foods are separated into those that are lower or higher fat (‘low’ or ‘medium’ for fat on a food label, versus those that would be labelled ‘high’ for fat) – it is recommended that we should go for those in the lower category most of the time. When it comes to fruit and vegetables, the key message is to eat more! Example portions are given but, provided fat and sugar aren’t added, you can have big portions of most fruit and vegetables for relatively few calories so, within reason, you don’t need to limit portion sizes of these. When it comes to unsaturated oils and spreads, these are healthier fats and we should be replacing saturated with unsaturated fats. However, all fats and oils are high in calories so it’s important to keep portions small.

You can access the BNF’s handy guide to portion sizes here: nutrition.org.uk/findyourbalance

*PHE (Public Health England) (2016) NDNS: results from Years 5 and 6 (combined)

Lucozade Sport is kicking off 2019 with a new marketing campaign from its functional water brand, Lucozade Sport Fitwater. The New Year activity incorporates social, AV OOH and influencer partnerships. With the majority of New Year’s resolutions featuring a health and wellbeing theme, January is an ideal time for the brand to be making a splash to drive additional sales for operators.

The new campaign will launch across social media on the 7th of January for at least 8 weeks. The creative will focus around a More Than Water messaging, encouraging consumers to purchase Lucozade Sport Fitwater to help replenish what they lose in sweat during exercise, due to the significant amounts of electrolytes. It will also feature in relevant AV OOH locations, to drive brand awareness and encourage purchase. With this campaign, they are able to reach 82% of their target audience at least five times.

The brand has also unveiled additional influencer partnerships as part of the New Year campaign. Lucozade Sport Fitwater is partnering with actress and fitness influencer Gemma Atkinson and social media fitness star Vic Spence to bring the More Than Water campaign to even more of its target audience and drive sales.

Claire Keaveny, Head of Marketing at Lucozade Sport comments, “Operators will certainly notice an increase in consumers looking for healthier and functional drinks in January as many kick-start New Year exercise regimes and lifestyle changes. Our new campaign means those consumers will be looking for Lucozade Sport Fitwater in the chiller before or after exercise, so stock up to make sure it’s available to your visitors today!”

Lucozade Sport Fitwater is now worth £4.3m since its launch in 2017, developed to help customers capitalise on the growing popularity of functional water with their consumers. Fitwater is the 3rd biggest penetration contributor for the Lucozade Sport brand behind the core flavours (Orange & Raspberry)3. Its unique purified spring water contains four key electrolytes including magnesium that contributes to electrolyte balance and a reduction of fatigue, as well as calcium which helps normal muscle function. This allows operators to target consumers before or after exercise.

January need not be so blue, as the first month of the New Year provides great opportunities to capitalise on the trends of the season. 

A recent survey by MONIN, the flavour experts, revealed that more than 20 million Brits are considering going vegan for the month of January, while two thirds of the population are considering giving up alcohol in the same month. To help bar managers ensure they get their offering right MONIN has identified what January’s consumer wants from their no ABV or vegan cocktails.

The most important factor for consumers selecting these drinks is great taste with 41% citing it as a top consideration, coming in second is the need for the drink to be refreshing (38%), while a fruity taste, fresh fruit inclusions and quality ingredients make up the top five key purchasing decisions.

When it comes to choosing the drink based on flavour it was no surprise that strawberry and raspberry are front runners with 41% and 38% opting for these respectively. But while traditional ingredients remain popular, consumers are becoming more adventurous in their palate preferences and it’s vital to keep up with this ever-growing hunger for the ‘next big thing’.

Drinks inspired by orange is a strong third at 34%, with those over 55 most likely to choose this option, while 18-24 year olds and millennials are most willing to experiment. Perhaps the search for alternative flavours is in-part responsible for the resurgence of floral notes such as rose and lavender with 20% and 14% of consumers respectively looking for drinks with these flavours. Rhubarb (19%), coffee (17%), jasmine (15%), cucumber (14%) and chocolate (13%), complete the top 10.

When it comes to cost, on average consumers are willing to pay approximately £5 for a no ABV cocktail. Perhaps unsurprisingly this figure rose in the capital where £5.57 is deemed appropriate, with nearly half (47%) willing to pay above this. However, it’s the Northern Irish who are willing to splash out the most with an average price point of almost £6 being considered acceptable.

Lee Hyde, MONIN’s UK Beverage Innovation Manager said: “Traditionally it is accepted that footfall is low during January. However, our survey shows there is real opportunity for sales in this period, by increasing the drinks range in line with the needs of the customer, venues can be rewarded with additional sales and an increase in customer loyalty.

“Our research also demonstrates that there can’t be a one size fits all approach to a drinks menu with customers of varying ages looking for a different drinking experience. MONIN’s extensive range of syrups offer fantastic versatility with on-trend options including Orange Spritz, Rose, Beetroot and Cucumber, as well as traditional favourites Strawberry and Raspberry.

“Clearly advertising the offering will remind consumers that giving up alcohol or animal products needn’t prevent them from enjoying themselves! Rather than shying away from Dry January and Veganuary establishments can enjoy making the most of these opportunities.” 

Recipe inspiration:

 

Orange Spritz

30ml Sirop de MONIN Orange Spritz

150ml Non alcoholic sparkling wine

 

Add all ingredients to a large wine glass with ice, stir thoroughly and garnish with orange slices.

 

Yuzu and Rose Iced Tea

15ml Le Fruit de MONIN Yuzu

10ml Sirop de MONIN Rose

40ml Seedlip Spice

60ml Green tea

 

Brew the tea and allow to cool. Add all ingredients to a stirring jug with ice, stir thoroughly and garnish with edible flowers.

 

Turn Up The Beet

20 ml Le Fruit de MONIN Beetroot

5 ml MONIN Blackberry syrup

30 ml Seedlip Spice

15 ml lime juice

Top with ginger beer

 

Combine ingredients except ginger beer in a shaker filled with ice cubes. Shake vigorously. Pour into a glass and top with ginger beer. Garnish with a blackberry and a sprig of mint and serve.

For more information on MONIN products please visit www.MONIN.com or www.b-opie.com. Follow MONIN_UK on Instagram Facebook or Twitter

 

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