Research has indicated that, as a nation, we throw away a third of the food we produce. Aside from the harmful methane it creates when it ends up in landfill, and the huge amounts of resources used to create it (such as water and fuel for transport) being wasted, the real choker for me is the 8.4 million people in the UK who are struggling to afford to eat. This is equivalent to the entire population of London. 270,000 tonnes of the food that goes to waste each year is still edible. That’s enough for 650 million meals.
On the 6th April 2018, our very own Beans, Natalie and Nick, attended the MCA Food Study Tour in London to discover the latest food trends and of course, in true Jellybean style, try lots of new food and drink from up and coming concepts. They found some good’uns – take a look!
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The Arena Savoy Lecture is the jewel in the crown of the foodservice networking calendar, so as the leading foodservice agency, we were of course there in force. We were joined by our lovely clients from McCormick Flavour Solutions, official sponsors of the event, with their French’s Mustard and Frank’s Red Hot Sauces. The evening kicked-off with networking and bubbles (but of course) and the first talk of the evening, as Kate Nicholls, CEO of newly formed UKHospitality took to the stage to share what the merger of BHA and ALMR means for the industry. In a nutshell, the new trade body aims to ensure that the hospitality industry has a united and singular voice, which when you consider that the sector employs £2.9million people, accounts for 10% of UK employment, 6% of business and 5% of GDP, not to mention £130bn contribution to the economy (more than fashion and all the creative industries combined) and £40bn contribution to tax receipts, equal to the entire defence budget or the Brexit divorce bill, is a rather large voice indeed!
The annual MCA Top of Mind Report debrief offers both an overview of the eating out market over the past year, as well as some predictions for the year ahead. Now in its 11th year, the briefing took us through macros trends, 2017 consumer behaviours, predictions for 2018, a state of the nation across casual dining, growth drivers, the results of their decision maker survey and of course concepts to watch for 2018.
The MCA annual Food To Go conference is a must attend for anyone in this dynamic sector and this year boasted some heavyweight speakers including the godfather of food to go, Julian Metcalfe of Prȇt and Itsu fame and Gerry Ford founder and group CEO of Caffè Nero. Currently the UK food to go market is set to reach a value of £20.7bn in 2018, outperforming the wider eating out market and retail with growth set to be around 2.8% compared to the 1.5% predicted growth for the eating out market, making it a land of opportunity for operators. But why is this? Well quite simply there are more of us, working longer and commuting more, we are ‘time-poor’ and grabbing food ‘on the hoof’ as table meals are replaced by food in the car, on the train, at our desks, etc. Whilst the proliferation of outlets and choice means that picking up food on the go is easy and we have a wide range of cuisines and formats to choose from.