HEINEKEN acquires stake in Ellie Goulding’s ready-to-drink brand, SERVED

HEINEKEN UK has acquired a significant minority stake in SERVED, the ready-to-drink brand, co-owned by Ellie Goulding, for an undisclosed sum. SERVED was created by brothers Dean and Ryan Ginsberg, and Ellie Goulding in 2020, and has since become one of the fastest growing ‘ready to drink’ (RTD) brands in the UK. The SERVED range includes ready-to-drink cocktails and hard seltzers, made using natural and sustainably sourced ingredients, ‘wonky’ fruit, and premium spirits. The strategic partnership will see HEINEKEN support the brand into its next stage alongside the opportunity to take a leadership position in the wider UK RTD market. The founders will continue to build the brand independently as they further establish its premium and relatively ‘better-for-you’ positioning. The UK RTD category has grown 47.5% in five years and was worth £866m in 2022. The ready-to-drink cocktail category grew by an astonishing 24% last year, as consumers look to enjoy high-quality cocktails in a convenient and sustainable format, a trend that is set to continue. Dean Ginsberg says: “This is a significant milestone for the business. To date, our focus has been on building a brand that truly resonates with the next generation of drinkers. We are extremely proud of what the team has achieved in a short period of time, but our vison has always been to lead the category, and this partnership with HEINEKEN will enable us to accelerate our growth and maximise the potential of the brand.” Ellie Goulding adds: “It’s always been important to us that any partner of SERVED must share the same values and vision for the future. Through our discussions and work together over the last nine months, we are excited to be partnering with HEINEKEN – a family business with a strong vision for the category and set of values that align with our own.” Boudewijn Haarsma, Managing Director of HEINEKEN UK, says: “We have been interested in expanding our premium portfolio beyond beer and cider, seeking the right opportunity to invest in new growth categories. Dean, Ryan and Ellie have built something unique and special in SERVED and we’re excited about the prospect of partnering with them and building the proposition for the future.”

Ginsters invests £4m in ‘Taste the Effort’ campaign and brand new TVC


Savoury Pastry Category leaders, Ginsters, is launching a brand-new ‘Taste the Effort’ brand campaign – investing a huge £4million on TV, OOH, social, PR and shopper marketing with an OTS of x11.

The new campaign represents the brand’s biggest and most ambitious spend to date, reaching 90% of all UK households and 98% of Ginsters’ target audience, landing powerful messages about Ginsters’ dedication to making deliciously tasty, high-quality products.  

‘Taste the Effort’ aims to shine a spotlight on the dedication and care that goes into making Ginsters’ delicious savoury pastry range. The campaign specifically highlights the high-quality British and local ingredients that go into all Ginsters’ products, told through an entertaining character and champion for the brand. 

‘Taste the Effort’ will launch with an exciting new TVC on Friday 6th October, on air until w.c. 20th November, telling the story of ‘Merryn’ a local Cornish farmer, who goes above and beyond with the effort she puts into growing the highest quality vegetables for Ginsters’ delicious and iconic pasties.  

Through Merryn, Ginsters aims to tell their brand stories in a highly engaging and entertaining way. Seen in a farm setting, Merryn will humanise the Ginsters brand, using  humour to connect with audiences up and down the country and creating cut through versus other ‘farm to fork’ stories.  

The new ‘Taste the Effort’ campaign is landing in market shortly after the recent launch of Ginsters’ new identity and pack design, working in harmony to communicate the company’s rich heritage and dedication to quality. Available in store now across the whole Ginsters product portfolio, this significant investment will bring excitement to the category, driving deeper education about provenance and ingredients and highlighting Ginsters’ use of 100% British meat and locally sourced veg.

Emma Stowers, Ginsters Marketing Director, commented: “We are really excited to launch our new ‘Taste the Effort’ campaign. This significant investment in our new brand platform and brand identity will bring excitement to the category and dial up a strong association with the quality and delicious taste of our products.”

Seafood industry boosted by research into freeze/thaw process

Two Lincolnshire-based organisations have joined forces to identify a fresh and sustainable approach to the freeze/thaw process of seafood produce, which could transform the global seafood industry. The University of Lincoln, UK, has partnered with New England Seafood International (NESI), through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP). Designed to link forward-thinking businesses with the expertise of academics, KTPs provide schemes to help organisations innovate and grow. This KTP project will research and develop a brand-new fish thawing process, combining ecological, environmental and sustainable business outputs. The UK seafood industry relies on a large quantity of frozen and raw ingredients as part of the food manufacturing process. Currently, seafood thawing remains an under-researched area of the food chain, bringing many costly processes relating to timescales, cost efficiencies and retention of produce quality. In addition to identifying new and sustainable practice in the seafood industry, the initiative will also aim to tackle the skills shortage gap. The project will be based at NESI’s North East Lincolnshire facility in Grimsby, and the team at NESI will have access to a team of the University’s industry experts at the National Centre for Food Manufacturing (NCFM), who will assist on the project and impart their knowledge and expertise. The KTP will use a blended approach across manufacturing and scientific disciplines, in which they will challenge established industry practise, advancing the understanding of the freeze/thaw process and creating opportunity for wider industry adoption. Martin Davies, Group Operations Improvement Manager at NESI, said: “New England Seafood are delighted to have the opportunity to work alongside the University of Lincoln to improve one of the most complex and critical manufacturing process steps. “The academic expertise the University will provide, combined with many years of seafood industry experience in New England Seafood, a recipe to optimise this process for the long-term in a balanced way, across people ergonomics, food hygiene, environmental, and operational efficiency factors.” Janey Bellamy, Associate Professor in Food Robotics and Process Automation at NCFM, said: “This is a great opportunity to challenge established industry practices and to advance the understanding of the freeze/thaw process with clear and validated data. This work will have a positive transformational impact on the food supply chain across multiple sectors.” The project is funded by Innovate UK and will last for 2 years.

HERMA ready to make an impact at this year’s PPMA exhibition

HERMA, a leading player in the world of labelling machinery technology, is set to make an impact at this year’s PPMA exhibition. Through close collaboration with industry partners, HERMA is proud to unveil its latest innovative technology solutions. In partnership with Acrovision, Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) Ltd, Festo, HMK Automation Group Ltd, and Kuka, HERMA has been developing a system which seamlessly integrates robotic product placement, a versatile multi-product carrier system, a highly efficient product labelling station, intelligent safety lighting curtain and a sophisticated camera vision inspection system. Together, these components create a comprehensive product labelling solution, showcasing the scope of possibilities in the field. In addition to this ground breaking project, HERMA is unveiling its latest upgrade to HERMA GUI display (HMI). This contemporary technology is designed to modernise the way manufacturers interact with their machinery. It boasts user-friendly, intuitive features such as performance analysis, password-protected security, and customisable user language settings and is set to drive productivity to new heights. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience the future of manufacturing technology at the HERMA stand! PPMA Stand: D30 Email.sales@herma.co.uk Website: www.herma.co.uk

Kite launches redesigned large letter postal boxes

Kite Packaging, an award-winning UK packaging supplier, recently upgraded their large letter postal boxes for enhanced performance and security. The boxes are now offered as part of a package along with euro slot hang tabs, also known as hanging tabs. Available in eight sizes, these boxes cater towards everything from gift cards and small jewellery to A4 documents or certificates. Their slim yet sturdy, single wall corrugation offers rigid protection to many items while fitting Royal Mail’s PiP Large Letter and Small Parcel specifications. This minimises and regulates postal costs, enabling businesses to maximise their overall profits. Engineered to withstand the rigors of transit, their sturdy construction offers greater resistance against knocks and bumps when compared to bubble mailers or envelopes. This is thanks to a larger outer flap which wraps around part of the box, providing extra security while an integrated peel-&-seal strip makes for effortless, plastic-free seals. Kite’s large letter and small parcel boxes are fully kerbside recyclable and biodegradable, aiding responsible disposal. They are available to purchase as part of a package with euro slot hang tabs. A great point-of-sale product, these hanging tabs help increase product visibility. They are suitable for most retail pack size and materials, offering a high tack solution that adheres to even the most difficult surfaces. Find out more at www.kitepackaging.co.uk.

Investment in gut-friendly bread tops £4m after latest UK government grant

Having already re-engineered ultra-processed bread to make it actively healthy, SUPERLOAF inventor Melissa Sharp and co-founder Leo Campbell have been awarded £450,000 by Innovate UK (the UK’s national innovation agency) to apply the same approach to formulating other ultra-processed foods (UPFs) such as breakfast cereals, pasta, ready meals, yoghurts and pastries. SUPERLOAF has uniquely shown that carb-based UPFs can be re-engineered to become a vehicle for positive nutrition, ‘food as medicine’ – combining the economic and format advantages of being produced at scale, while being packed with better nutrition, principally via selected prebiotic plant fibres, bioactive plant compounds and targeted fermentation Now, in a resounding endorsement of their 6 years’ research and development to date, Innovate UK has awarded Modern Baker, parent company of SUPERLOAF, with its 6th successive grant, bringing total investment support to £4m. The grant has been awarded as part of the Better Food for All: Innovation for improved nutrition funding competition, and will be invested in applying Modern Baker’s breakthrough Alt-Nutrition ingredient more widely; formulating a broader range of staple foods for positive nutrition in the same way they have already reformulated ultra-processed bread. With obesity and diabetes posing an immense threat to public health in the UK and worldwide, the founders’ ambitions to reframe UPFs as health-positive food represents a unique approach to the chronic nutrition problem across the globe – increasingly linked to the explosion in UPFs, which now represent nearly 60% of the UK’s calorie intake – the highest in Europe. Modern Baker’s 6 years’ of research has been focused on two key areas: firstly, replicating the nutrient profile found in a fruit, veg and whole grain diet from natural plant sources; and secondly, developing the processes required to integrate it into processed foods. Sharp, co-founder of SUPERLOAF, explains how the idea came about in poignant circumstances. When aged 36 she was diagnosed with an aggressive breast cancer: “Our vision to take on the western world’s staple food and turn it into what we call an ‘NHS-positive food’ started in a chemo ward. “During one of my chemo sessions, a refreshments trolley was wheeled in, looking like something out of a 1960s Carry On film, except what was on it was not remotely funny. I was just learning the connection between sugar and cancer and to see in front of me, on a chemo ward of all places, a trolley stacked with chocolate bars, fizzy drinks and snacks you’d generally associate with a petrol station, was an epiphany. “I remember Leo (partner and co-founder) and I looking at each other, thinking exactly the same, and me saying ‘WTF’. From that moment, neither of us could get that image out of our minds and shortly after that we made a commitment to do everything in our powers to change these foods for better, starting with bread.” The new grant enables the team behind SUPERLOAF to head back to the lab and continue its 6 years of government-backed research developing staple foods that can be produced on a large scale without the harmful by-products of UPFs, furthering its vision to make a positive impact on one billion diets by 2028. “Bread was just the beginning,” says Melissa. “We founded Modern Baker which produces SUPERLOAF, and later – with a view to broadening our product range. The first time we were awarded funding by Innovate UK was a major breakthrough, allowing us to work with leading scientists and academics. After five successive grants and 6 years of R&D, SUPERLOAF was born, and – thanks to Marks & Spencer – can now be bought all over the UK. “Receiving our sixth grant in a row from Innovate UK is tremendously encouraging, and a brilliant validation of Alt-Nutrition staples that benefit digestive and gut health, potentially ushering in a new era of mass-produced foods that are nutritious and have a net positive impact on wellbeing and the planet. Now we’ve cracked bread – by far the hardest staple – we feel there’s no limit to where we can go from here, and we’re incredibly humbled by the support from Innovate UK, which has played a vital role in our journey.”

Visitors celebrate a ‘smorgasbord’ of food & drink on Day 1 of Speciality & Fine Food Fair

Speciality & Fine Food Fair, the UK’s leading showcase of artisanal food & drink, arrived at Olympia London this week for a fantastic day of product sourcing, learning and networking for independent retailers, wholesalers, hospitality professionals and more. The first day’s content programme kicked off with an insightful session from Waitrose & Partners Innovations Manager Lizzie Haywood, who discussed some of the key trends, challenges and opportunities in the food & drink retail sector. Haywood commented on the fact that consumers are seeking more value for money, and while the cost of living continues to bite, customers are willing to splash out on quality products and restaurant-quality at-home dining. She also cited the importance of ‘extra elevations’ to add a boost of flavour and value, and the parallel rise of condiments and in particular sauces with a kick of spice. Later, Food Industry Coach Amy Wilkinson hosted the session ‘Exploring the power of insights for NPD’ with panellists Ayisha Koyenikan, Associate Director at Mintel, Mark Whalley, Founder of Differential Insight and Food Industry Consultant Lucy Wager. The panel commented that all too often insights are coming as validation at the end of the NPD process, rather than as a starting point, steering better decisions. Koyenikan added: “Our most successful clients start with insights and a consumer problem; they’re not trying to retrofit a product to a need. You need to know who your consumer is and why they’ll cross the road from your competitors.” Celebrity chef Rosemary Shrager arrived at the show alongside The Wooden Spoon Preserving Company to promote a brand-new range of no-added-sugar jams and chutneys, inspired by her own desire to sample delicious products suited to diabetics. She commented: “I’ve never been to Speciality & Fine Food Fair before but it’s the most fabulous Fair where you can find everything under one roof. I adore it; there’s so much to see and so much to do. I’m fascinated by it.” Visiting supermarket buyers and independent retailers also celebrated the return of the show. Liz Melville, Owner of The Dings Deli, commented: “A veritable smorgasbord of tasty treats and tidbits from some of the UK and beyond’s top speciality suppliers and producers. Fantastic opportunity to meet the makers, discover new products and supply lines and most importantly ‘try before you buy’. No need to pack a lunch, you’ll leave full to brim with inspiration for the next 12 months, not to mention all the complimentary tasters.” Robert Marsham, Director at MacFarlane’s Deli, added: “MacFarlane’s Deli visited this magnificent event to find more items to fill our shelves as continue to celebrate our 25th anniversary. Today was extraordinary, we met fantastic new producers, with unique artisans produce to keep our South Clapham clients entertained through the autumn and winter seasons.” Peter Morgan, Owner, Drapers Lane Deli, said: “Finding new and different products is vital for our business to delight and excite our customers in Herefordshire. This year we have met small and large makers and producers from different parts of the UK and the world which is what makes the Fair so important to us.” Celebrating excellence in fine food & drink Pure Chocolate Jamaica won the Fair’s Pitch Live initiative in partnership with The Great Brand Exchange at Speciality & Fine Food 2023. Pure Chocolate Jamaica along with Kult Kefir, Tios Drinks had the opportunity to pitch their products live at the Fair to a panel of leading industry experts for the chance to win prizes including a popup in John Lewis, a month of free access to The Great Brand Exchange buyer directory and a month’s business mentoring. Paul Hargreaves, CEO of speciality wholesaler Cotswold Fayre, was surprised with an award for Outstanding Contribution to the industry as part of the Speciality & Fine Food Fair Awards. He commented: “It was a complete surprise but also huge honour to win this award. Of course, I am really pleased that my efforts and those of my team have been recognised as we continue to encourage others to raise the bar on sustainability, making our businesses better for people and planet.” The other winners were: · Large Independent Retailer of the Year, in partnership with BIRA – Grasmere Gingerbread · Small Independent Retailer of the Year, in partnership with BIRA – Drapers Lane Delicatessen · Not Yet on the Shelf – Cornwall Pasta Co. · New Product of the Year – International – Pure Chocolate Jamaica · New Product of the Year – UK – Golden Hooves · Sustainability Pioneer of the Year – Two Farmers

Nestlé, Cargill and CCm Technologies launch collaborative pilot to turn cocoa shells into low carbon fertiliser

Nestlé UK & Ireland and Cargill have launched a regenerative agriculture initiative, a UK supply chain trial, to assess whether cocoa shells from a confectionery site in York could be used to create a low carbon fertiliser. This two-year trial is designed to evaluate the fertiliser’s performance on crop production, soil health and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction. If successful, up to 7,000 tonnes of low carbon fertiliser could be produced and offered to farmers in Nestlé’s UK wheat supply chain. This amount of fertiliser equates to around 25% of Nestlé UK’s total fertiliser use for wheat. The production and use of conventional fertiliser accounts for approximately 5% of global GHG emissions, and more than half of the carbon footprint of wheat grown in the UK is related to fertiliser use. Recycling valuable nutrients from waste streams within the food system provides a promising opportunity to create a lower emissions supply chain. Scaling up low carbon fertiliser production in the UK can provide farmers with a more sustainable product at a reliable price. The cocoa shells are supplied by Cargill, which processes the cocoa at the York facility to become key ingredients in iconic products like KitKat and Aero. A trial volume of cocoa shell has been processed and pelletised by Swindon-based CCm Technologies. The trials, which were designed and are being overseen by York-based Fera Science Ltd, are currently taking place on arable farms in Suffolk and Northamptonshire. They are designed to investigate the performance of the fertiliser in terms of wheat yield and quality. They will also assess the impacts on soil biodiversity and GHG emissions in comparison to conventional products applied on the same farms. For all companies involved, turning cocoa shells into a lower carbon fertiliser embodies their commitment to innovation, collaboration and creating a more sustainable supply chain. This project is an example of the innovative solutions that Nestlé is investigating to help achieve net zero emissions by 2050. Nestlé has also committed to sourcing 50% of its key ingredients from regenerative agricultural methods by 2030. “Farmers often find themselves to be among the first groups to be exposed to global issues, and these risks are then borne by the food system we all depend upon. We have to find ways to build more resilience into the system and optimising our use of natural resources is a critical part of this,” said Matt Ryan, Regeneration Lead at Nestle UK & Ireland. “This project is a small, but very meaningful step towards a net zero future, where farmers, local enterprises, and nature all stand to benefit,” added Ryan. Richard Ling, Farm Manager at Rookery Farm, Wortham in Norfolk, who supplies wheat to Nestlé Purina, said: “We have now finished harvesting and we’ve successfully grown a Winter wheat crop using this new fertiliser. We’ve compared two parts of the field, one which used the cocoa shell fertiliser, and one which used with the conventional fertiliser, and there is no significant difference in the yield so we can see that it works! “We are really reassured with the results and are looking at running further trials. It’s a step change to be able to use a fertiliser made from a waste stream and see the same results as using a conventional product. “It’s an exciting and promising time and we are pleased to be taking part in these trials to help reduce the carbon emissions from our farming.” Sam Thompson, Global Engineering Lead at Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate, said: “Cargill and Nestlé have been working together for more than 60 years building resilient supply chains across communities where we both operate. We are excited to continue to build on this strong partnership through our innovative cocoa shell fertiliser trial. “Together, we hope to contribute to a more sustainable future for the British farming industry.” “Moving to a more sustainable world involves creating partnerships that think about waste differently,” said Pawel Kisielewski, CEO, CCm Technologies. “CCm’s technology enables many of the biggest players across agriculture and the food sector to give waste generated from routine food manufacturing a second lease of life as valuable low-emission sustainable fertiliser. This benefits farmer, customer and planet,” added Pawel. Nestlé’s focus on regenerative agriculture is underpinned by its work with the Landscape Enterprise Networks (LENs). LENs is an independent trading community which connects businesses with a common interest to protect and restore the environment in which they operate. Regenerative agriculture is also a key element of Nestlé’s Cocoa Plan, as it works closely with farmers in countries like Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana to create a more sustainable supply chain for cocoa.

Separation into two companies approved by Kellogg’s

Kellogg Company’s Board of Directors has formally approved its separation into two independent, publicly traded companies, Kellanova and WK Kellogg Co. Upon completion on October 2 2023, Kellogg Company will be renamed Kellanova, and will continue to trade on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker symbol ‘K’, while WK Kellogg Co is expected to begin trading on the NYSE under the ticker symbol ‘KLG’. Kellogg shareowners will receive 1 share of WK Kellogg Co (KLG) for every 4 shares of Kellogg Company (K) owned. “After more than a year of comprehensive planning and execution, we are more confident than ever that the separation will produce two stronger companies and create substantial value for shareowners,” stated Steve Cahillane, Kellogg Company’s chairman and Chief Executive Officer. It is said Kellanova will feature a growth-oriented portfolio that is weighted toward snacks and emerging markets, and will be led by highly differentiated brands with considerable opportunity for expansion. It is projected to generate net sales of approximately $13.4-$13.6 billion and adjusted-basis EBITDA of approximately $2.25-$2.3 billion in 2024. Kellanova expects to deliver long-term annual growth rates of 3-5% for net sales (organic basis), 5-7% for operating profit (currency neutral and adjusted basis), and 7-9% for earnings per share (currency neutral and adjusted basis), including in 2024 on a like-for-like basis excluding WK Kellogg Co. “We are looking forward to a new era as Kellanova, marked by a more growth-oriented portfolio, a renewed vision and strategy, and an energized organization grounded by a winning culture and our founder’s values,” said Mr. Cahillane, who will remain chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Kellanova. “These elements build on what has already been a track record of strong and consistent financial performance for the Kellanova portfolio.” Building on a foundation of iconic brands and a leading share position in North American cereal, WK Kellogg Co will focus and integrate its commercial strategy and execution, while modernizing its supply chain, all of which it expects will result in improved competitiveness, profitability, and cash flow. WK Kellogg Co projects net sales of approximately $2.7 billion and adjusted-basis EBITDA of approximately $255-$265 million in 2024. It expects to improve its adjusted-basis EBITDA margins by 500 basis points by the end of 2026, through supply chain modernization and a stable top-line trajectory. “WK Kellogg Co has a 117-year legacy of innovation and the soul of a start-up, with an organization incredibly energized by our future,” remarked Gary Pilnick, who will serve as WK Kellogg Co’s chairman and Chief Executive Officer following the separation. “As a standalone company, we will benefit immediately from the executional advantages of increased focus and end-to-end integration, while we modernize our supply chain and substantially improve our profit margins. We’re on a profitable journey to take this great business to the next level.”

Sainsbury’s switches from use-by to best-before date on milk range to reduce food waste

Sainsbury’s will be swapping use-by dates for best-before dates across its own-brand milk range, making it the biggest UK retailer to make this change. The move will affect 44 products in total, including all fresh and organic milk sold across England, Scotland, and Wales, and will apply to over 730 million pints of milk sold by Sainsbury’s every year. Research from WRAP has shown that milk is the third most wasted food in the UK, with over 490 million pints thrown away each year, often because the milk has passed its use-by date. Sainsbury’s switch to best-before dates aims to prevent customers from pouring away pints that are still safe to consume, giving them more time to use up their milk at home. The new labelling will start to roll out in the new year, with the change set to be complete by the end of February 2024. According to the Food Standards Agency (FSA), use-by dates are linked to food safety, whereas best-before dates relate to food quality. Food with a use-by date applied should never be consumed past this date (unless frozen on or before that date), whereas foods with a best-before date can be eaten beyond that date. Sainsbury’s will be encouraging its customers to follow the FSA’s guidance which recommends using sensory cues to see if milk with a best before date label has gone bad, for example, by sniffing the product. Ruth Cranston, Director of Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability at Sainsbury’s, said: “Around a third of all food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted. Combatting food waste is one of our top priorities and we are continuously innovating to tackle this issue, all the way from farms and suppliers, right to our customers’ homes. “By switching to best-before dates on our milk we are empowering customers to make their own decisions on whether their food is good to eat, helping to prevent them from disposing of food too early.” Catherine David, Director of Behaviour Change & Business Programmes at WRAP, said: “We are delighted to see this change from Sainsbury’s, which will help reduce food waste in our homes. Wasting food feeds climate change and costs money – with the average family spending over £730 a year on good food which ends up in the bin. Our research shows applying the appropriate date label to products can help reduce the amount of good food that is thrown away. “Applying a ‘best before’ date to milk rather than a ‘use by’ date means that people can use their judgement to eat beyond that date, allowing longer to use what they buy. Check out the Love Food Hate Waste for tips on how to maximise the life span of food – for example ensuring the fridge is below 5oC, to keep food fresher for longer.”