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In Other News…

19/09/2018
In Other News…

Gather & Gather welcomes new experts to table

Gather & Gather welcomes four new experts to its think-tank, The Gathered Table. The founders of Union Hand-Roasted Coffee, Jeremy Torz and Steven Macatonia, bring their coffee credentials, whilst Mowgli Street Food’s, Nisha Katona and the founder of The Doctor’s Kitchen and NHS GP, Dr Rupy Aujla, both bring their unique approaches to food, reports Hospitality & Catering News (September 12).

Last month, Gather & Gather launched The Gathered Table bringing the best and brightest minds in food, technology and sustainability together to pioneer a radical new approach to workplace dining. From chefs and nutrition experts, to tech innovators and sustainability champions, this unique think tank looks beyond the everyday to create better-fed, happier and healthier people in the workplace.

It said: "The new collaborators bring additional dimensions to the table. Coffee credentials are a core component in the Gather & Gather offering, providing the high-quality coffee in the workplace that people have come to expect both from the high street and at home. Union’s bespoke approach with small batch roasting to create a flavourful cup brings exactly that."

Insomnia Coffee to open 15 stores in Northern Ireland

Insomnia Coffee is to open 15 outlets in Northern Ireland over the next four years, reports The Irish News (September 17).

The fast-growing Irish coffee chain, which has 150 stores in the UK and Ireland, made its first foray into Northern Ireland last year and says its “multi-million expansion” plan there will create up to 150 jobs. It also partners with clothes retailer Primark, with 11 coffee houses in its stores currently.

Chief executive Harry O’Kelly told the Irish News that he hoped to double the size of the company over the next three to four years, with 20 plus stores opening next year on the island of Ireland and 60 over the next four years.

“Belfast is the largest city in Northern Ireland, but we'll look at all the major urban centres and developments that are presented to us for new stores. Towns like Enniskillen, Craigavon, Newry, we will look everywhere," he said.

Beyond the UK and Ireland the growing chain is targeting international expansion, with Germany previously mooted as a possible new market.

Cafe2U launches Green Coffee Month

Leeds-based mobile coffee company, Cafe2U, is launching ‘Green Coffee Month’ across its UK network of 90+ coffee vans, highlighting the changes it is making to help the environment and raise awareness of how more people can become environmentally friendly through their coffee drinking habits.

The month will begin on the September 17 and conclude on October 12, and will comprise Reusable Cup Week, coffee grounds recycling initiatives and a scheme designed to solve the problem of existing ‘plastic film’ coffee cups not being easily recycled.

It said: "One of the easiest solutions to prevent [cups going to landfill] is to purchase a reusable coffee cup. Cafe2U is proud to have teamed up with KeepCup to provide environmentally friendly alternatives instead of traditional disposable coffee cups and, during ‘Reusable Cup Week’, will be incentivising customers across its network of 90 vans to only drink from multi-use cups."

As part of the month, Cafe2U will be donating 10p for every coffee sold in a reusable cup to Hubbub Foundation UK, the charity dedicated to solving environmental challenges including coffee cup recycling.

UKH highlights burden of calorie labelling on small businesses

Trade body UKHospitality is highlighting the difficulties small business will face in implementing calorie labelling, in its official reaction to the Government’s consultation on the matter.

“The consultation does seem to acknowledge that there will be difficulties for some businesses, particularly smaller ones, to implement calorie labelling,” said UKH’s chief executive Kate Nicholls, adding that any inflexible mandatory requirements will place considerable burdens on smaller businesses and those that change menus regularly.

“At a time of economic and political uncertainty, and with costs continuing to rise for employers, the last thing businesses need is additional, unwieldy legislation. We will be making this point forcefully to the Government to ensure that any new rules are proportionate and take into account the challenges faced by SMEs,” said Nicholls.

  • UKHospitality was formed in February following a merger of the British Hospitality Association and the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers and represents more than 700 companies in the UK’s hospitality sector. It includes Pret A Manger, Caffe Nero and Patisserie Valerie among its members.

Sales in UK eating and drinking out market up 3.4%

The Coffer Peach Business Tracker for August 2018 reports total sales up 3.2% in the UK eating and drinking out market. Restaurants saw the biggest sales increase, at 3.8% with like-for-like sales up 1.4%, while pubs experienced a 2.9% increase.

London, the report showed, continued to outperform the rest of the country with 1.5% trading uplift.

“These latest figures will come as a huge relief for restaurant operators, who have been under the cosh of late, not least because of the early summer heatwave which was great news for Britain’s pubs as the public headed outdoors, but little help for the country’s restaurant chains,” said Karl Chessell, director at CGA, the business insight consultancy that produces the Tracker, in partnership with Coffer Group and RSM.
 
“More mixed weather during August and a damp bank holiday weekend will have helped the casual dining market,” he added. “The school holidays will have also helped as parents looked to keep their families occupied.”

  • Sales trends for the UK eating and drinking out market are produced by CGA, in association with RSM and The Coffer Group.

'World first' gin and tea bar

Cheltenham Spa’s East India Café’s owners have confirmed the world’s first gin and tea bar will be opening mid-October, reports, the Local Data Company in its ‘Week on the High Street’ report.

The Memsahib Gin & Tea Bar will offer around 55 gins sourced from all over the world as well as its own distilled gin and a range of teas and spices. The design for the bar’s interior is inspired by the British Raj period transporting guests back to the 19th century where they will experience the culture that inspired Anglo-Indian cuisine.

Nestle uses satellite monitoring in fight against deforestation

Nestle says it has accelerated its ‘No Deforestation’ commitment by implementing 100% satellite monitoring coverage of its global palm oil supply chains.

Starling, a satellite-based service, was developed by Airbus and The Forest Trust as a global verification system to show that no deforestation is taking place throughout the supply chain.

In 2010 Nestle made a commitment stating that all its products globally would not be associated with deforestation by 2020. By 2017 Nestle announced 63% of its global supply chain was deforestation free with Starling implemented, it plans to have 100% covered by the end of this year.

Executive vice president, head of operations, Nestle SA Magdi Batato said the programme would be extended to cover its pulp and paper supply chains next year, as well as soya at a later date.

Top firms up for sustainability award

Devon café ODE-truefood and Bartlett Mitchell are among the top 20 sustainable restaurants vying to win at the Food Made Good awards, organised by the Sustainable Restaurant Association, on October 1 at FEST Camden.

ODE-truefood is a former winner of the awards.

The shortlisted companies for Food Made Good Business 2018 are: Artizian Catering Services, London; Bartlett Mitchell, London; The Bay Fish & Chips, Aberdeenshire; Cafe St Honoré, Edinburgh; The Cookery School at Daylesford, Cotswolds; The Culpeper, London; Daylesford Organic, Cotswolds and London; Eden Caterers, London; Farmstand, London; The Gallivant, East Sussex; Kai, Galway; Loam, Galway; ODE-truefood, Devon; Oxford Brookes University; Petersham Nurseries, London; Poco Tapas Bar, Bristol; Relæ, Copenhagen; Vacherin, London; The Wheatsheaf at Chilton Foliat, Wiltshire; and University of Winchester.

Bob & Berts opens in Scotland

Northern Ireland coffee shop chain, Bob & Berts, is opening its first three stores in Scotland, with ambitions to have 20 outlets there, creating 400 job, over the next four years, reports the Scotsman (September, 12).

It is currently fitting out premises on the High Street in Falkirk, due to open by the end of this month. The second outlet, on the High Street in Dunfermline, will open at the end of October, followed by the third in Stirling.

Bob & Berts, founded in 2013 by Colin McClean, raised £2m from BGF in August 2018 to fund its entry into Scotland and further growth in Northern Ireland. In total, the company plans to open 30 stores over the next four years.

Muffin Break moves into Nottingham

Muffin Break, the café-bakery chain, opened its first site in Nottingham last week, with plans for 10 more stores to open within the next year.

Situated in the Victoria shopping centre, the latest store is the forth for Muffin Break, which offers a variety of special blend coffees and a range of freshly baked muffins, cakes and cookies, plus savoury options.

Michelle Orr, Muffin Break marketing manager, said: “We’re delighted to be offering something different to the people of Nottingham. Our cafés are locally owned by our carefully selected franchisees, meaning our customers will receive a friendly, local coffee shop experience. We pride ourselves on offering our customers high quality, fresh, made on site food every day.

She continues: “Muffin Break has exciting growth plans, with 10 more stores set to open within the next year alone – exciting times indeed.”

Coca-Cola take-over of Costa seeks to tap supply chain, says FT


The main outcome of Coca-Cola’s £3.9bn acquisition of the Costa Coffee group from Whitbread will not involve a shift to bricks-and-mortar retail, but rather the tapping of the UK company’s supply chain to provide coffee to fast-food clients and meet consumer demand for hot coffee drinks, reports the Financial Times (September 16).

“The retail piece is not necessarily the biggest attraction,” said John Murphy, Asia-Pacific president at Coca-Cola. Being able to provide coffee products to its largest clients — mainly fast-food companies keen to diversify the range of beverages on offer — is one of the deal’s key benefits, he added. The Costa transaction — Coca-Cola’s largest acquisition in eight years — is the multinational’s latest effort to diversify away from fizzy drinks, which still account for almost three-quarters of sales but are under growing scrutiny amid a global push back against sugar-laden soft drinks.

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