Retail & Food Service

CLIP add a little sauce to foodservice branding project

CLIP have completed an exciting new design and branding project which brings something new and innovative to the foodservice industry.

Their team of experts recently revealed their latest packaging project for Piquant, a manufacturer of sauces and marinades.

Piquant have produced a wide variety of sauces, marinades, dressings and mayonnaise for over 20 years and recently commissioned CLIP to create a new logo and packaging design to improve their brand image. CLIP have over 15 years of branding experience and they have developed a three stage creative process which ensures the best possible solution. The project showcased CLIP’s knowledge of the food industry and highlighted their ability to approach any project with an original idea while following strict client guidelines.

Mike Hooker Sales Director at Piquant says: "The team at CLIP have done a fantastic job fulfilling our design requirements and ensuring that the heritage of the brand was kept in the form of the green oval and distinctive ‘P’ within the logo. We are experts in the production of sauce and marinades and we wanted our brand to reflect our knowledge of this industry. We have received some fantastic feedback from existing customers and new clients on our distinctive label design."

Due to the nature of the product CLIP wanted to ensure that the client could print bespoke labels in-house as and when they needed them. A set of template labels were designed to work with Piquant’s internal printing set up allowing flexibility and improved turnaround time. This branding project will be followed up with new marketing literature to help the sales team, a new website and a dynamic PR campaign.

Anish Mistry Creative Director at CLIP explains: “Many foodservice companies are busy with customer relations and production challenges and they tend to ignore how their brand might appear to customers. At CLIP, we believe that manufacturers should be taking advantage of having a distinctive visual brand combined with good packaging. This blend instantly sets them apart from their competition who might look a little dated.

"Piquant’s new brand has refreshed their image whilst still reflecting their core business values and will undoubtedly generate sales and customers loyal to the brand as well their products.”

CLIP’s in-house departments include branding, design, PR, social media and marketing. CLIP specialise in brand image performance and influence. Working with national and international clients and helping them to generate brand awareness and sales in the UK and Europe.

Cooplands Bakery on a roll after £2,000 win

A popular chain of traditional bakeries has scooped a £2,000 prize as part of nationwide campaign the Big Break, organised by Bacs Payment Schemes Limited, the company behind Direct Debit in the UK.

The campaign, which is now in its fourth year, saw participating organisations encourage businesses to pay for services by Direct Debit and receive automatic entry into a prize draw to win the cash windfall.

Cooplands Bakery, which boasts over 100 shops in the Yorkshire, Durham, Lincolnshire and Teesside areas, scooped the £2,000 prize after their popular Bradford outlet was drawn at random for paying their business rates by Direct Debit with Bradford Council. The chain of bakeries is the third largest in the UK and employs over 1,000 people.

As part of the campaign, participating billers also agreed to make a charitable donation for every new Direct Debit set up during the Big Break, which ran between February and June 2014, helping give a boost to a range of good causes.

Alan Jaques from Cooplands Bakery says: “We were completely surprised by our £2,000 win. Paying our regular bills by Direct Debit is something we do routinely as its easy and is one less thing to have to do manually.

“We are going to use this windfall to invest in new product development initiatives aligned with our current strategy of broadening our healthy eating range of sandwiches.”

Bacs’ Dawneth Perry, says: "Yet again in 2014 our Big Break campaign has proved to be a huge success and I’d like to congratulate Cooplands Bakery on their win. This year not only saw businesses opting for the ease of paying by Direct Debit but, thanks to the generosity of participating organisations, the campaign helped raise vital funds for a range of good causes.”

Calling on convenience: A new era for frozen and ready meals?

With many consumers living increasingly busy lives, the onus is on convenience and retaining exciting tastes. How are manufacturers making sure they hit the right note?

Food that is frozen, including ready meals, have seen an interesting few years. No longer is the ready meal a second option for when the cupboard is bare for most people, it now forms the backbone of many people’s daily diet. As a result, there has been somewhat of a step up in terms of quality and investments into launches that are focused on health, rather than simply filling a hole or acting as a stopgap food.

With many countries across the world now adapting to longer working hours and busy social lives, time-starved consumers now rely on the quick and easy options afforded to them by frozen food and ready meals, but those producers that are succeeding are those that have adapted their offerings.

Take, for example, The Saucy Fish Co., which recently won ‘Best Fish’ Award in Healthy Food Guide Food & Drink Awards 2014 for its Salmon with Chilli Lime and Ginger Sauce product.

One of Saucy Fish’s flagship products, Salmon Chilli Lime and Ginger is only 195 calories per serving, packed full of Omega 3 and is now sold in the USA and Australia. This is the second consumer award for this product, after being awarded Gold for Best Ready Meal in Health & Fitness and Women’s Fitness magazines last year, beating off stiff competition from brands including Innocent and Kirsty’s.

Simon Smith, Head of Brand at The Saucy Fish Co. says: “It’s fantastic to receive recognition from health food industry experts. We all know fish plays an integral part of a healthy lifestyle and this award, in a competitive category with many nutritious products – really demonstrates the taste and quality of our products are second to none.”

This focus on taste and quality is indicative of the industry at the moment and this of course extends to the manufacturing stages. Western Mechanical Handling has recently developed a wide range of cost effective solutions specifically suited to the production of ready meals across the whole manufacturing process. It has recently focused on engineering flexibility and simplicity to inline grilling units designed to add colour to the surface of cheese and potato-topped meals. This is carried out without raising the core temperature before machinery enables effective collation, for sealing or chilling, and finally packing.

Working with a large ready meals manufacturer, WMH was approached to provide a replacement for an old inefficient grill unit which would allow an increase in production within the footprint of the existing unit. WMH was able to provide a solution using direct heat infrared technology. The controllability of the infrared panels allows the grill unit to be up to working temperature within a minute of being switched on and allows rapid changes in temperature and intensity, reducing downtime between product lines and enabling the line to be shut down during break periods and saving on energy consumption.

The grill has three independently-controlled heater panels which enable the heat profile within the grill chamber to be tailored to give the best results for each product line which improves product quality and consistency. This was particularly important to the factory as the unit was required for browning lasagne and cottage pies which ranged in size.

Post completion of the line, the requirement to grill products in cardboard trays was added. While WMH had previously developed a fully automated solution for grilling products in CPET trays for another client, a lower cost retro-fit solution was required in this case. Using in-house test grilling units, WMH engineers developed a shroud system to protect the cardboard trays during grilling.

Simple additions like this make production of such products easier to manage and to effectively make more desirable to consumers and this focus on quality is being extended further into the supply chain.

Shaping up

It's also how a product looks on shelf that matters, and ready meal trays are cutting some sophisticated shapes, with tubs, round ‘bowl’ trays and compartmentalised trays an increasingly common sight on supermarket shelves.

Whilst these shapely new designs add shelf appeal, they are causing headaches for the sleeve coding operation, according to Richard Pether, Director at offline coding and marking specialist Rotech.

“It is straightforward enough to apply best before dates and traceability codes to a sleeve wrapped around a rectangular tray that is being transported past the coder via a conveyor with good side guides. However, with more awkwardly shaped packs, the chances of presenting the pack and sleeve squarely to the coder can be slim. Getting the coder into the correct position can also be difficult, as shaped packs tend to have difficult-to-reach areas,” he explains.

“If the code misses the target area, this results in mis-coded packs, which can potentially cost ready meal manufacturers thousands in retailer fines. Even if mis-codes are spotted before a meal leaves the line, there is still a cost to the manufacturer in reworking the product. Recurrent mis-codes can lead to major production inefficiencies.”

These were the issues facing a UK prepared foods manufacturer when it contacted Rotech to enquire about an off-line sleeve overprinting system.

The manufacturer in question had just taken an order from one of the multiples for 3,000 units of a new product that was packaged in a tub with a cardboard sleeve. The manufacturer was applying date codes using an existing inline inkjet system, but because the code was positioned in a difficult-to-reach spot at the bottom of the sleeve, the line had to be slowed down to make sure the code was applied accurately.

“Essentially the coding operation had become a bottleneck because the coder was having trouble printing at an angle just a few millimetres above the conveyor; it kept mis-firing and spraying the belt rather than the product,” explains Pether. “This was not only limiting line speed, but also resulting in packaging waste.”

Rotech’s solution came in the form of its RF2, a standalone friction feed overprinting system that would enable the manufacturer to code the sleeves offline and bring them to the production line already printed. Engineered specifically for the food industry, the RF2 uses Rotech’s stack-to-stack feeding technology to pick sleeves from a stack, accurately print date or batch codes, and place the printed sleeve neatly onto another stack for collection, all at speeds of up to 400 per minute.

Pre-coding enabled the manufacturer to deactivate the inline coding system, increase line speed by 30% and code the 3,000 sleeves in a matter of minutes.

“By removing the coding operation from the critical path, line efficiency was restored and waste eliminated,” says Pether.

The beauty of an offline coding system lies in its inherent flexibility; one machine can easily supply multiple production lines. At this prepared foods manufacturer, the RF2 is also deployed for coding sleeves for seasonal trays of sausage rolls; the rest of the year the trays don’t have a sleeve, so it is only in the weeks and months leading up to Christmas that sleeve coding is required. The same system can also be used for different types of packaging, from watch strap bands to cartons, pouches and bags.

Offline coders also come into their own when immediate additional capacity or super-fast coding are needed. This scenario arose at the start of the year, when an RF2 offline sleeve coding system from Rotech got The Original Curry Company out of a tight spot.

As well as supplying the food service trade with curries and dishes in bulk, the London company produces a retail range of Indian curry based ready meals, and in March of this year, received a major export order for 2,000 frozen meals. In order to meet his retail customer’s requirements, the producer needed to apply use-by dates to the sleeves of the meals – and fast.

The Original Curry Company turned to Hertfordshire-based Rotech, who was able to supply an RF2 offline sleeve coding system at very short notice, enabling the producer to turn round the order.

“Had we hand stamped the dates, it would have held up the shipment. The RF2 was able to run off a couple of thousand sleeves in half an hour. For us, offline coding represents a higher quality, more efficient alternative to manual coding, and a more flexible, economical alternative to inline coding. We also found the off-line coder to be exceptionally accurate, giving us complete confidence that every single sleeve was clearly and correctly coded,” says James Innes from The Original Curry Company.

Cold hard facts

Carrier Transicold recently showcased a prototype of a natural refrigerant trailer unit at the International Motor Show, which stands out for its use of carbon dioxide in a closed-loop system.

Shown inside a purpose-built innovation lab within Carrier Transicold’s stand, visitors were able to experience the unit’s impact in person. David Appel, president, Carrier Transicold & Refrigeration Systems says; “Carrier Transicold develops transport refrigeration systems that not only ‘green the cold chain,’ but also allows consumers to more effectively manage the global food supply cold chain, helping reduce food waste, to feed more people and protect natural resources. The IAA show represents the perfect opportunity to showcase Carrier innovation to the world.”

This natural refrigerant system could replace conventional refrigerants, such as R-404A, a fluorinated gas (F-gas) with a GWP of 3,920. The multi-temp prototype was assembled inside a regular Vector unit chassis and uses advanced technology from Carrier’s NaturaLINE refrigeration system, which was initially developed for deep-sea containers and completed sea trials in 2012. A modified example of the NaturaLINE unit is currently undertaking a two-year mono-temp field trial in London with Sainsbury’s.

A measured and daring approach seems to be what is driving the industry at present, with those willing to invest in solutions across the board being most successful. With consumers becoming more savvy with regards to perceived health benefits and effects on their health in general from consuming such meals too, a leap in use of quality ingredients and safer processing standards will no doubt follow.

Chasing the consumer demand is one sure-fire way to succeeding within the frozen and ready meal sector, those offering something truly desirable, rather than simply functional will most probably reap the most benefit.

New qualification to prepare foodservice staff for allergen legislation

A new qualification has been launched that could help foodservice staff prepare for legislation on food allergens due to be introduced later this year.

The HABC Level 3 Award in Food Allergen Management for Caterers is aimed at anyone involved in the purchase, delivery, production and serving of food within the catering, hospitality or licensing sectors.

Forthcoming legislation from the EU, due to come into force on 13 December 2014, will mean that businesses will need to provide allergy information on any food sold unpackaged, whether via a pub, restaurant, café, deli counter, bakery or sandwich shop.

The qualification from Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance (‘HABC’) – which is the largest provider of food-safety related qualifications in the UK - will give food staff knowledge relating to the control of food ingredients and allergies at all stages of food purchase and production. They will also gain an understanding of the process for ensuring that accurate ingredient information is available for customers at point of sale and service.

The qualification is supported by two slide presentations, one of which covers the suitable control of allergens in line with the new EU legislation so that learners can remain compliant, and the other which allows supervisors and managers to deliver further training to their staff after completing the qualification themselves.

Christian Sprenger, Managing Director of HABC, says: "Around 8% of children and 4% of adults have a food allergy of some description, and that figure is rising, so even without the new legislation it would be important that caterers make sure their staff are aware of the issue. Through this qualification, businesses – whether large or small - will be able to help their customers make informed choices and protect their welfare, whilst also preserving the reputation of the organisation."

The qualification takes just over 10 hours to complete, meaning it can be taken in just one or two days.

Energy saving tops agenda at CESA Forum

Energy saving was the big topic at the inaugural Heavy Equipment Forum, organised by the Catering Equipment Suppliers Association.

Many of the products on show highlighted how much technologies have changed in recent years. They included refrigerators that use just 15% of the energy compared to the equivalent model available in 2001, ventilation that incorporates heat recovery systems; panini grills that use 40% less energy and gas burners that are up to 97% efficient.

Simon Frost, chair elect of CESA, welcomed delegates and exhibitors and thanked CEDA, Cedabond and ENSE for their support of the event. He said, “The Forum’s goal is to build on the professionalism in our industry. It’s an opportunity to gain knowledge and exchange ideas on the latest products, technologies and concepts. Over 80% of all catering equipment sold in the UK originates from a CESA member. It’s very exciting to see so many innovative products here today.”

Over sixty delegates attended, representing many of the UK’s leading distributors. They had the opportunity to hear from and question the fifteen manufacturers and suppliers exhibiting. Simon Parry of BBCS Ltd was impressed by the attention exhibitors paid to getting their messages across. He sais, “The chance to meet fifteen suppliers in one day, without turning the ignition key, is just brilliant."

Quini appoints Jennifer Anderson as VP Revenue and Products

Quini, an interactive wine tasting application and data solutions provider has appointed of Jennifer Anderson to the company’s leadership team, as VP Revenue and Products.

With over 12 years of progressive roles in software solutions, data product innovation and market development, Jennifer will spearhead Quini’s revenue and product strategy, and will lead the organization’s sales and product development efforts.

Jennifer joins Quini from Yardi Canada, where she most recently managed the company’s Point2 real estate data aggregation and syndication solutions and client acquisition teams.

“Jennifer has a long and successful history of driving products and sales growth in the enterprise data and consumer solutions markets,” says Roger Noujeim, Quini’s CEO.

“Having worked alongside Jennifer for a number of years, I am delighted to welcome her to Quini and look forward to the leadership that she brings.”

“I am excited to participate in Quini’s market opportunity and to help realize its potential,” says Jennifer. “Quini’s data-driven solutions in the wine industry are unique and target an important void for more current wine tasting information. I am thrilled to join Quini and to start working with our partner and user base around the world.”

During her long tenure at Yardi and Point2, Jennifer was instrumental to the companies’ product innovation, data acquisition and customer network growth across North America. Jennifer moved to Point2 from Monsanto Canada Seeds, in 2002.

Jennifer earned her Bachelor of Commerce degree with a Marketing Major from the University of Saskatchewan.

Sellout success for Rumfest’s eighth outing

The RumFest recently welcomed both rum aficionados and newcomers to its new home of the ILEC in Earls Court with some tickets selling out in record time.

The two days saw distinguished rum-makers from around the world showcase their best blends with samplings, talks, masterclasses, delicious cocktails and the chance to taste rums worth over £100 per bottle as part of the brand new Golden Tot initiative in the biggest event on the rum calendar.

London auction house Christie's hosted The RumFest's first ever auction, which raised over £10,000 for charity including £5,200 on the hammer for one of the oldest bottles of rum in the world, dating back to 1780 from the recently discovered Harewood House collection.

After setting the GUINNESS WORLD RECORD for the largest rum tasting on Thursday 9th October, this year's RumFest was already on course for an unforgettable year. The new setting of London's ILEC provided an intimate setting as enthusiasts roamed the stands to sample some of the best rums in the category, whilst heightening their knowledge of one of the world's best loved spirits. Well-known brands like Bacardi, Havana Club, Diplomatico and Angostura offered an insight into their rich heritage, while The RumFest offered a platform for newcomers like Glorious Revolution and London's rum of the moment Duppy Share.

The brand new Golden Tot Tokens allowed rum lovers to sample some of the ultra-premium rums on the market whether El Dorado's 25 year old or St Nicholas Abbey's very limited edition 15 year old or Pusser's Decanter, which cannot be bought anywhere in the world!

Masterclasses, seminars and talks took place across the weekend, presented by leading names like Angostura’s Master Distiller John Georges, Georgi Radev from London's Mahiki Club, Havana Master Blender Asbel Morales and The RumFest founder and Global Rum Ambassador Ian Burrell. Combined with main stage presentations featuring Chef Hasan De Four on cooking with rum, Christie's auction house held a heated auction with over 20 precious and rare rum lots sold to the highest bidder, for prices that stretched into the thousands. Ian Burrell was on hand to take spectators and bidders through the history of each of the rums, while Christie's auctioneer David Elswood hosted the Saturday highlight and a grand total of £10,670 to be donated to the WaterAid Charity Fund and the Geraldine Connor Foundation in Leeds.

On Friday the trade-only Boutique RumFest returned in association with the Cork Supply company and allowed buyers, distributers, distillers, press and industry figures from as far as Fiji and India to congregate and discuss the spirit whilst delivering a great opportunity to sample the next big thing.

Global Rum Ambassador and RumFest founder, Ian Burrell says: "This year's RumFest was the ultimate celebration of the premium blends within the category and a chance for people to sip and discover rums that they have never come across before.

"Our ambitions were to give visitors the opportunity to take their love and knowledge of rum to new heights through the carefully curated masterclasses, seminars, main stage presentations and vast array of esteemed rums to sample from across the world.

"We hope you agree The RumFest 2014 proved to be the best yet and I want to thank all those who helped to make it so - guest speakers, presenters, mixologists, blenders, distillers and visitors alike. See you next year for more rum fun!"

UK retail health ‘pulled back by food sector’

The health of retail in the UK dropped unexpectedly in Q3 for the first time since Q4 2012. It follows another very disappointing trading period for food retailers.

However, industry expert body The Retail Think Tank expects consumer demand to rally in Q4, leading to more positive results for the sector. Its findings also included:

• The health of the UK retail market declined in Q3 of 2014, this is the first time it has fallen since Q4 2012.

• The food sector yet again struggled, continuing the trend of declining performance every month this year and really driving the negative mood of Q3.

• Following a positive July and August, despite tough comparators for the non-food sector, unseasonal warm weather in September impacted heavily on fashion retailers and the overall results for Q3.

• The health of UK retail is set to improve in Q4, with high employment and buoyant consumer confidence driving demand up until Christmas.

• Decisions to be made by Dave Lewis, group chief executive at Tesco could have far-reaching effects on the entire grocery sector, and ultimately play a key role in defining the health of retailing in Q4.

• The impact of the impending minimum wage rise that will ripple through the entire wage structure is expected to be neutralised by falling fuel and petrol prices balancing out costs, though Russia could present a risk to domestic gas prices.

Following its quarterly meeting on October 7th 2014, the KPMG/Ipsos Retail Think Tank has released its latest findings that state the health of UK retail unexpectedly declined in Q3 2014. The RTT’s Retail Health Index dropped back one point for the first time since Q4 2012 to 80, putting it back to where it stood in Q1. Retail health is expected to bounce back again though in Q4, reflecting continued growth in employment and sustained consumer confidence nurturing demand.

Of the three key drivers of retail health – demand, margin and cost – demand for non-food goods was particularly weak in the latter part of Q3, and alongside another poor showing from food retailers, was largely responsible for the overall drop. Following positive results in July and August for non-food, unexpected warm weather in September impacted heavily on demand for clothing and footwear. The effect of a disappointing September was exaggerated further as it was a five-week month and was responsible for reversing the positivity of July and August.

Food retailers continued to struggle, as they have for a year now. Changes at the top of Tesco could impact heavily on the other major food retailers in Q4, if it decides to go on the offensive before the year end and this will play a part in shaping Q4. The RTT acknowledged they could not predict what Tesco would do, but considered it unlikely that an aggressive price war was imminent, particularly this side of Christmas, so alleviating pressure on the food sector over the festive period.

Going into Q4, there are signs that the health of the UK retail market is set to improve. The RTT believes that strong employment, improving job security and resilient consumer confidence will drive demand through to Christmas. There are also nascent signals that wage rises will increase towards the year end, and with inflation remaining low, higher disposable incomes could come at a fortunate time for retailers. Those non-food retailers that have been able to invest in the race to deliver true omnichannel for Christmas, have done so, learning from the winners last year, and putting them in a stronger position to convert this demand into sales. In addition, retailers have had plenty of experience over recent years to avoid building large stockpiles for their Christmas campaigns only to discount heavily to stimulate late demand. The extra trading day this year over last will also help stave off panic measures and alleviate pressure on margins.

Retailers are continuing to invest in backend systems, digital and technology. There will be a final push to get everything ready for Christmas, but this should be seen as a necessity, as any advancements will service any increase in demand. The RTT noted that all retailers would feel the increased cost of the 3% minimum wage rise ripple throughout the entire pay structure, but over the quarter, savings made from falls in fuel and petrol prices may balance this out over the quarter. One caveat comes from geopolitical concerns relating to Russia, Ukraine and the EU. As we head into the European winter the potential for an escalation of tensions could see gas supply disruptions that lead to wholesale energy price spikes. If these are prolonged it could mean utility bills rise sharply.

David McCorquodale, head of retail, KPMG, UK, says: “The retail market really didn’t get the luck it needed with the weather in September. During the mild temperatures, we saw a multitude of mid-season discounting in an effort to kick start sales of winter clothing and reduce stock levels. Food sales have continued to go backwards and last quarter it was non-food propping up the UK retail market. With September being so poor, everyone has struggled and it has really impacted on the whole quarter.”

Dr Tim Denison, head of retail intelligence at Ipsos Retail Performance, says: “This coming quarter should see the results of a years’ worth of investment in omnichannel come to fruition. In an effort not to fall behind, the race for omnichannel was put high on retailers’ agendas early on in the year, following strong performances from the likes of John Lewis and Next last Christmas. With everyone raring to go and demand set to swing for the better, retailers should be in a great position to deliver positive results without having to discount heavily before Christmas.”

Martin Hayward, founder of Hayward Strategy and Futures, says: “The polarised fortunes between food and non-food continued for the first two months of the quarter, and the health index was most likely on track to hold steady. The negativity of September really showed the fragility of the retail market, where one bad month for non-food cannot be supported and results in a negative point score.”

James Knightley, senior global economist at ING, says: “After soaring the pre-recession highs, consumer confidence has started to stabilise. This could be due to market uncertainty surrounding the Scottish referendum and Mark Carney’s recent speech signalling that an interest rate rise is on the way. This rise looks likely to be early on in 2015, reducing the impact on retailers looking for good Christmas sales figures. Whilst costs for retailers will increase with the 3% rise in minimum wage, this will somewhat be negated by savings made with falling petrol prices.”

Nick Bubb, retail consultant, says: “In recent months, food sales have been falling by an unparalleled degree. The decisions of the new CEO at Tesco could well be the overriding factor behind the retail health outcome for the next quarter. Margins for all food retailers will continue to be squeezed, and any announcement that leads to a food price war pre-Christmas will impact heavily on everyone.”

Mike Watkins, head of retailer and business insight, Nielsen, says: “There has been a range of outside influence on the retail market over the previous three months. The near-promise of the first interest rate raise in nearly four years, consumer confidence peaking but then no sustainable increase in consumer spend within retail, the Scottish referendum, September being warm, the housing market cooling and continued problems in the Eurozone all have had conflicting effects on UK retailers. The non-food retailers have been propping up the poor showing of the supermarkets for a year now, so it’s worrying that a poor month from the high street can have such a detrimental effect on the market, when there are continuing strong headwinds for food retailers.”

Groupon offers deal to eat the World’s Most Expensive Burger

Groupon has announced a deal with Honky Tonk restaurant in Chelsea, London, to offer one customer the chance to eat the World’s Most Expensive Burger – the Glamburger.

On sale at £1,100, the burger has been certified by Record Setters, as of 2nd October 2014, as being The Most Expensive in the World, and was created to celebrate Groupon’s five millionth food and drink voucher being sold.

The burger patty is made from 220 grams of Kobe Wagyu beef minced with 60 grams of New Zealand venison to perfectly balance the fat content, and a rich center of black truffle brie to create a liquid pocket once the meat has cooked.

The burger patty is then seasoned with smoked Himalayan salt and served with a Canadian lobster poached in Iranian saffron. Atop the lobster, creator of the burger, chef Chris Large has added maple syrup coated streaky bacon, Beluga caviar and a hickory smoked duck egg intricately covered in edible gold leaf. The bun is seasoned with a Japanese matcha and cream mayonnaise and coated in gold leaf. The finishing touches are a mango and champagne jus and grated white truffle.

The gold Glamburger took three weeks to develop in the kitchens of Honky Tonk, with chef Large experimenting with various ingredients and methods before settling on his final recipe. The burger has been specially created for the Groupon deal with only one lucky winner getting the chance to taste the exclusive dish for free.

Roy Blanga, Managing Director at Groupon UK says: “To celebrate selling our five millionth food and drink voucher, we’ve partnered with Honky Tonk restaurant to create the World’s Most Expensive Burger for one lucky person.

"A winner of one of our Local Stars awards, Honky Tonk has a reputation for offering some of the best burgers in London. We’re committed to delivering new and exciting dining experiences for our customers, whether it’s your local fish and chip shop or a Michelin-starred restaurant.”

Additional details about the free prize draw:

Free prize draw

● One winner will get:

○ An exclusive tasting of The Glamburger, The World’s Most Expensive Burger

○ Round-trip cost of travel to restaurant

● Winner will be randomly chosen on 12th October 2014


Head chef at Honky Tonk, Chris Large, says: “Creating The World’s Most Expensive Burger for one lucky Groupon winner has been a great experience and I know, after sourcing the best possible ingredients to create this masterpiece, the winner will certainly have a dinner to remember.”

‘Glamburger’ ingredients

• Kobe Wagyu beef

• New Zealand venison

• Canadian lobster

• Black truffle brie

• Iranian saffron

• Maple syrup coated streaky bacon

• Brioche bun

• Hickory smoked duck egg

• Edible gold leaf

• Japanese matcha and cream mayonnaise

• Mango and champagne jus

• Grated white truffle

To check out the Glamburger deal for yourself, visit the website.

Budding entrepreneurs receive training boost

The UK’s leading School of Artisan Food has awarded bursaries to a number of budding food enterprises. The fourteen entrepreneurs will now have access to various short courses at the School to help them kick start their businesses.

The bursaries, funded via Experian, were available for a range of short courses covering butchery, cheesemaking, patisserie and business studies. Over seventy applications were received during the initial application phase.

Joe Piliero, Director at the School, says, “It was a really tough job deciding on the final list of successful applicants as there are so many people with great ideas who require training and financial assistance. We’re looking forward to helping those who were successful to see their ideas come to fruition and will be on hand with advice throughout their time at the School.”

Those who have been successful include bakers, chefs, cheese makers, dairy farmers and butchers. Bex Derry, who attended the School’s Entrepreneurship and Food Business course after receiving a 100% bursary, says, “This course was exactly what I needed to know right now to help my businesses grow. I feel I have a solid base now to give my businesses the best possible chance of success. Just add passion and hard work to this course and you'll have all you need to be an entrepreneur.”

Jan Barratt, Head of Community Involvement at Experian UK & Ireland, says, “We’re delighted that our partnership with the School is proving such a success, supporting bursaries for promising Advanced Diploma students. We are confident that Experian’s support will help a new generation of entrepreneurs bring their ideas to life."

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