Bestway has Christmas wrapped up with bumper Price Hold package

November 2016

As the peak Christmas trading season fast approaches, Bestway Wholesale is supporting the foodservice sector with its biggest-ever package of festive offers and promotions, along with seven day opening.

Whether operators are serving a tempting buffet or a full turkey dinner with seasonal veg and all the trimmings, the latest Price Hold Guarantee from Bestway features more than 200 products to help drive sales. Along with food and drink, non-food seasonal essentials such as Christmas crackers and napkins are also included.

Alongside products from Bestway’s exclusive Essentially Catering range, brands such as Aviko, Paxo, Bisto, Kerrymaid, Florette and many others are featured.  

For licensed operators, the Price Hold Guarantee also includes a range of top-selling brands and Bestway exclusives guaranteed to help the party season go with a swing, including beer, cider, wine and spirits.

All are available at market-leading prices guaranteed by Bestway from November right through to New Year’s Eve, allowing operators to plan their all-important seasonal menus and promotions with confidence.

Tony Holmes, Bestway’s sales director for foodservice and retail, says, “The festive season can be a long haul for operators, from the first Christmas parties through to the New Year bank holiday. By offering certainty on pricing, we help ensure that whatever other surprises Christmas has in store, unexpected costs won’t be one of them.”

Just a few of the exclusive prices in the November/December Price Hold Guarantee include:    

·         Smoked salmon 500g – £7.99

·         Turkey butterflies – £4.99 per kg

·         Essentially Catering boneless leg of lamb – £9.89 per kg

·         Essentially Catering whole ribeye steak –  £14.99 per kg

·         Essentially Catering Brussels Sprouts 1 kg – £1.39

·         Essentially Catering 100 buffet sausage rolls – £2.85 

·         Tuxford & Tebbut Blue Stilton 2.18 kg –  £7.29

·         Catering Crackers 50 x 11” £9.79

For the licensed trade, offers also include:

·         Peroni 24 x 330ml – £19.99

·         Baileys Irish Cream 6 x 70cl – £55.99

·         Grant’s Scotch Whisky 1.5l – £19.99   

·         Lelac Champagne 6 x 70cl – £65.99

·         San Huberto Malbec/Chardonnay 6 x 70cl – £25.99

·         Fever-Tree mixers 24 x 200ml – £10.99

All products in the Price Hold Guarantee are available in Bestway and Batleys depots as well as for free delivery, with online and telephone ordering available. Depots will be open seven days a week throughout December, excluding Christmas Day itself, enabling caterers to restock whenever needed.

Holmes adds, “As we know, catering and foodservice operators are facing an uncertain period as inflation starts to bite. Our Price Hold Guarantee is one key way that we can support our customers, and we’re stepping it up a gear not just in the run-up to Christmas but right through 2017, offering an unbeatable product range with prices held for two months at a time.

“With seven day opening at depots, as well as online and telesales ordering and free delivery, we offer the catering and foodservice sector a genuine 24/7 service.” 

Bestway Wholesale operates a dedicated telesales hotline (01738-646666) for orders plus nationwide deliveries. Caterers can also order online at

Festive ales from Hogs Back Brewery

November 2016

Finding a festively-themed beer on the bar is one of the first signs for pub customers that Christmas is well and truly on the way, says Surrey craft brewer Hogs Back Brewery.

This year, Hogs Back is offering two seasonal cask ales on draught:  Advent Ale and Mistletoe & Swine, both available from late November.

Hogs Back managing director Rupert Thompson says, “Offering a festive ale or two is a simple way for licensees to engage customers in the pub’s seasonal celebrations. A humorous pump clip and a pint with characteristically Christmassy flavours will appeal to both regular and occasional beer drinkers.”

Both Hogs Back’s seasonal ales fit the festive bill. At 4.4%, Advent Ale is a deep chestnut coloured ale with a refreshing fruity nose, a sweet liquorice and roasted malt flavour and rich dark chocolate aftertaste.

Mistletoe & Swine, at 5.2%, is a full-bodied, deep amber ale with subtle hints of sultana, peppery ginger, warm cinnamon and orange zest.  Made with a mulling recipe for a real Christmas taste and feel, it goes well with mince pie or a classic cheese board.

Behind the bar rather than on it, Hogs Back’s bottled ale A over T – Aromas over Tongham, named after the brewery’s location – is a 9% ABV barley wine with rich, complex flavours of sultanas, orange peel and plums, and is the perfect complement to a platter of mature cheeses. A over T was awarded a Gold medal in the 2016 International Beer Challenge.

When choosing their ales for the festive season, licensees would do well to select brewers that will be familiar to their customers, Thompson advises, “Drinkers going to the pub over the festive period differ from the year-round trade: many are occasional pubgoers, visiting for the office Christmas party or similar.

“These drinkers are unlikely to be too adventurous in their beer choice, so by stocking a festive ale from a brewer with a well-known name locally, such as Hogs Back, licensees can offer them reassurance, as well as appealing to the regulars who enjoy our flagship TEA year round and want to try something different at Christmas.”

He adds, “It’s definitely worth making space on the bar for at least one local ale, as the festive season brings in a number of customers visiting friends or family. For them, trying a beer from a local brewer is an enjoyable part of their trip.”

Seasonal beer and food matching

Growing numbers of drinkers enjoy matching their meals with beer rather than wine, and at Christmas, licensees have a great opportunity to showcase beer’s food pairing potential.

Thompson says, “Offering a glass or bottle of a different beer with each course of a Christmas meal allows customers to enjoy a more diverse range of tastes, more affordably, than they would with wine.  In addition, beer is a more traditional accompaniment to British food and has a particular affinity with many festive favourites.”

Thompson’s recommendations for matching Hogs Back beers to seasonal foods include:

  • TEA: the malty flavour of this traditional ale makes it the perfect partner to a turkey dinner with all the trimmings;
  • Hogstar English Craft Lager: brewed with five different hops and a blend of botanicals and matured for a month, Hogstar has a depth of flavour and natural carbonation that work well with smoked salmon or other seasonal seafood dishes;
  • Hazy Hog Cider – the bittersweet apples make a chilled Hazy Hog a great drink to serve with sausage rolls, creamy vol-au vents, pork pies and other buffet food;
  • A over T: this award-winning barley wine has flavours of dried fruits, plums and orange peel that are shared by mince pies, Christmas cakes and puddings. It is also perfect with mature Stilton and Cheddars.
  • Montezuma’s Chocolate Lager – the hint of chocolate in this refreshing, well balanced lager makes it a wonderful match with a yule log or other rich dessert.

Cafeology flies high with European award for Bird Friendly coffee

November 2016

Ethical beverage company Cafeology has been recognised at a Europe-wide Awards scheme for its innovative Bird Friendly coffee initiative in Guatemala.

Cafeology was named runner up in the Business & Diversity category within the European Business Awards for the Environment, which is given to a product or service that ‘makes a significant contribution to halting biodiversity loss and supporting natural ecosystems’.  It was the only UK company to reach the finals of this award, open to businesses from across Europe.

Cafeology is the first UK company to supply a Bird Friendly coffee. The beans are grown by coffee cooperative Asociación Civil Guaya’b, close to Guatemala’s border with Mexico, under a high altitude canopy of diverse trees. This provides a habitat for birds, protects the rainforest and produces a superior quality, denser bean with a unique taste.

Bryan Unkles, founder of Cafeology, said, “I learned about the destructive effect some coffee farming was having on the natural habitat while visiting our central American growers.  With Cafeology’s core principle of ‘great coffee, great cause’ in mind, we looked at ways of addressing this, which resulted in the launch of our Bird Friendly coffee in 2014.

“Ours is the only coffee in the UK with Bird Friendly certification from the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Centre in Washington DC, which is considered the gold standard for shade-grown coffee.  It was also the first coffee to be endorsed by the RSPB, who receive a donation from the sale of every tin.

“We’re delighted that both our product and our campaign to raise awareness of the need for more sustainable coffee farming, have been recognised at these prestigious European awards.”

The latest award follows similar accolades for Bird Friendly coffee in the UK last year, when Cafeology was presented with a Guardian Sustainable Business Award and reached the finals of the RSPCA’s ‘Animal Hero’ Awards.

Unkles added, “Coffee is the second most-traded commodity after oil and, around the world, is drunk an estimated 30,000 times every second. As the UK’s demand for coffee continues to grow, we have a duty to think about our consumption and how we can minimise any harmful effects on the tropical rainforest and its biodiversity.”

Cafeology’s Bird Friendly coffee is a single estate, 100% organic Arabica coffee with a smooth taste and medium body.  It is available to food service operators in 1kg bags of roast and ground coffee, or roasted coffee beans.

Cafeology supports its food service customers with a comprehensive range of dispense equipment, maintenance, eye-catching Cafeology branded crockery, menus and other POS, and a number of barista training courses.

Notes to editors


Cafeology was founded in 2003 by Bryan Unkles with the aim of delivering ‘exceptional, ethically sourced products selected by taste and sourced directly through long term relationships.’

The company, headquartered in Sheffield supplies coffee, tea and chocolate to retail and food service customers in the UK and Ireland.

Cafeology has unique direct supply agreements in place with coffee producers in central and south America. It chooses its partners carefully and takes pride in developing long term relationships with them.

Bird Friendly Coffee

Asociación Civil Guaya’b is a cooperative of around 300 indigenous farmers in Huehuetenango near the Mexican border. They follow growing and organic farming conditions that are third-party certified to standards created by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Centre with strict requirements on tree height and diversity, foliage cover and canopy structure to help protect the rainforest habitats of resident and migratory birds. These include the Resplendent Quetzal, which is at risk due to habitat loss, as well as a multitude of migrant birds which spend their winters in Central and South America.

The success of Bird Friendly certified coffee is measurable. Research by the SMBC in Peru shows that while a sunny plantation harbours just 61 species of birds, this number jumps to 243 when coffee is cultivated under a canopy of 10 tree species or more.

Farmers must be re-certified every three years in order to retain their Bird Friendly status. Meanwhile, the premium prices they obtain for their product is invaluable in supporting their families and boosting local economies.

The replacement of traditional shade-grown methods for sun-grown has risen steeply in recent decades due to economic pressures that have forced farmers globally to increase the yield of coffee plants and individual farms. This ‘technification’ has resulted in over 2.5 million acres of forests in Central America alone being destroyed in the last 20 years and with it has come a loss of biodiversity in animals and birds living in these habitats.

Data from the Word Resources Institute has also revealed that more than 104 million hectares of the world’s remaining Intact Forest Landscapes – an area three times the size of Germany – were degraded from 2000 to 2013.

Some coffee farmers have contributed to this deforestation by cutting down shade-grown plantations to cultivate in the open and applying a range of chemical inputs that help to increase yields. These technified farms are more costly to manage, farmers become dependent on the inputs, and production increases are realised at the expense of habitat and biodiversity. Most coffee available in the UK today is sun-grown with limited shade.

Hi-Spirits to distribute Scapegrace Gin in the UK

October 2016

Hi-Spirits is expanding its gin portfolio with an agreement to distribute New Zealand brand Scapegrace Gin in the UK.

Coming from the Rogue Society Distilling Co, Scapegrace bills itself as the gin ‘from the bottom of the world’. Distilled in New Zealand using spring water sourced from the country’s Southern Alps, and 12 botanicals sourced from around the world, the spirit is batch-distilled using a restored 19th century copper whisky still, with each batch individually numbered.

Scapegrace is a traditional word for a rogue or rascal, and the brand celebrates gin’s sometimes murky history with a black-tinted bottle, which has a shape based on an antique genever bottle. The end result is a complex gin which combines classic juniper and citrus notes with subtler floral and spice undertones.

The partnership between Hi-Spirits and Scapegrace comes as UK gin sales continue to boom – analyst Mintel estimates that total gin sales were worth £1bn in 2015, and will top £1.3bn by 2020.

Hi-Spirits managing director Dan Bolton said: “Scapegrace is a great addition to our gin portfolio, as a premium spirit that carries New Zealand’s reputation for clean, fresh flavours with it.

“Consumers increasingly enjoy a range of gins and gin serves in their drinking repertoire. Along with offering on-trade and off-trade retailers classic and modern gins, both British and global, we’re helping them to plan their ranges and segment the gin category to meet consumer expectations.”

High profile marketing support will include a brand ambassador and a customised branded Scapegrace Gin camper van, which will be offered as both a consumer prize for festival trips as well as doubling as a pop-up bar and being used for trade incentives. Sampling, POS, and staff training in both the on-trade and off-trade are also planned.

Scapegrace gin is 42.2% ABV with an RSP of £39.99. Suggested serves for Scapegrace include:

Gin & Bit

  • 50ml Scapegrace Gin
  • Bitter Lemon

Pour over ice, top with bitter lemon and garnish with two slices of orange.


  • 45ml Scapegrace Gin
  • 12.5ml maraschino liqueur
  • 8ml crème de violette
  • 12.5ml fresh lemon juice

Shake, double strain into a coupe.

More details at

For more information, please contact Hi-Spirits on 01932 252 100, email or see The full Hi-Spirits portfolio is online at

Lock in Christmas prices for the best deals, urges Lynx Purchasing

October 2016

Caterers should be negotiating with suppliers now in order to lock in prices on food and drink for Christmas menus, says buying specialist Lynx Purchasing.

With sterling having fallen sharply in the wake of the Brexit vote in June, uncertainty over both pricing and availability is expected to be a factor in the supply chain throughout the rest of the year and into 2017.

The warning note comes as Lynx Purchasing publishes the Autumn/Winter 2016 edition of its regular Market Forecast for the catering and hospitality sector. Rachel Dobson, Lynx Purchasing manager director, said, “We’re now clearer on the timetable for Brexit, but not the detail of what it will mean in terms of our trading relationship with Europe and the rest of the world.

“It’s understandable that suppliers are building plenty of caution and caveats into their forecasts, and with a wide range of products seeing changes in price, caterers will need to keep a close eye on their costs over the coming months.

“When it comes to produce for Christmas menus, our best advice this year is that it’s never too early to start talking to suppliers. Orders that are locked in early provide certainty for everyone, and it looks unlikely that there’ll be too many last minute bargains on offer come December.”

Product areas featured in the Market Forecast include:

  • Turkey: The UK imports a significant number of fresh turkeys from the EU, and while this will be affected by the exchange rate, there is a good supply of birds which could help to keep prices competitive. Turkey for added-value products, such as stuffed or flavoured joints, comes mainly from South America and is traded in dollars, so while availability is good, higher prices than last year are inevitable.
  • Dairy: With many dairy farmers having exited the market, prices are now moving up. While the price of milk often hits the headlines, for caterers the prospect of a sharp increase in the cost of butter, cream and cheese should also be a concern.
  • Salmon: Salmon is always a Christmas favourite on menus. However, with problems in Chile caused by an algal bloom that has killed millions of farmed fish, and a fall in production in Norway, the supply of fresh, frozen and smoked salmon is unlikely to improve by the end of the year.
  • Prawns: A hugely popular product for Christmas starters, prawns are in short supply after a sharp drop in the availability of warm water prawns. Severe weather conditions in Asia earlier this year have affected the volume of supplies from India, Bangladesh and Vietnam, inevitably pushing up prices.
  • Cooking Oil: The UK inflation figures for August showed a sharp 12.8% uplift in the price of oils and fats. With all oil initially traded in Chicago, the cost has been affected by the weaker exchange rates, and both rapeseed and sunflower prices have jumped dramatically following the Brexit vote. With unpredictable weather patterns also playing a big part, the price of cooking oil is expected to remain high into 2017.
  • Salad: Spain supplies much of the UK’s leafy salads during autumn and winter, but there are suggestions that some Spanish growers will be looking to reduce their exposure to the UK market this season. This is as much to do with the UK’s retail price wars as with concern over Brexit and the lower value of sterling, with the low prices paid by supermarkets deterring growers.

Dobson adds: “Our advice to caterers is to be cautiously optimistic. There are clearly challenges ahead, but as ever there will also be opportunities, especially if operators can build enough flexibility into menus to make the most of produce when availability, quality and value are best.”

The Lynx Purchasing Market Forecast combines official inflation data with exclusive insight from across the range of suppliers Lynx works with. A FREE copy of the Autumn/Winter 2016 edition can be downloaded at or via the link Lynx Purchasing Market Forecast Autumn Winter 2016.

Lynx Purchasing works with more than 2,200 hospitality and catering operators to match them with the best suppliers and get the best possible prices on food and drink, as well as a whole range of essential products and services. Lynx’s buying experts help operators buy better and save time and money, year after year.

For more information on Lynx Purchasing, visit  email or call 01325 377 845


Hi-Spirits to Distribute Our/London vodka

Micro-distilled spirit Our/London vodka is to extend its reach after agreeing a distribution partnership with Hi-Spirits.

The move will make the vodka available through Hi-Spirits across the UK on-trade and off-trade.   Our/London is a wheat-based vodka, with a fresh, pure flavour and a fruity note. Its smooth character means it can be enjoyed on its own, as well as in cocktails and mixed drinks.

The distillery in Hackney Downs, East London is one of a global network that also sees Our/Vodka produced in micro-distilleries in Berlin, Detroit, Amsterdam and Los Angeles, with more to follow. The same recipe is used internationally, but with local ingredients giving each Our/Vodka a unique character.

The new partnership builds on a network of stockists for Our/London which already includes

retailers Selfridges, Fenwick’s and Harvey Nichols, drinks specialists Whiskey Exchange and Master of Malts, e-commerce through 31 Dover and Amazon, and on-trade operators Cosy Club, Bistrotheque and Balans Soho Society.

Dan Bolton, managing director of Hi-Spirits, said: “Our distribution expertise will make this authentic, premium vodka much more widely available. Our/London taps into long-term trends in both the on- and off-trade for premiumisation, authenticity and provenance and consumer’s increasing preference for quality over quantity when enjoying drinks.

“The Our/London and Hi-Spirits teams are a great fit and we are excited to work together to increase the brand’s distribution both in London and the wider UK market. By adding Our/London to our portfolio alongside Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Moskovskaya, we’re expanding and differentiating the choice for operators when planning a vodka range.”

Our/London partners Neil Chivers and Clive Watson said: “We are delighted to be partnering with the Hi Spirits team. From our very first meeting it was clear that they understood what we were about and, given their great reputation and existing portfolio, we felt they were best placed to help take our business to the next level.

“We’re confident the new relationship will lead to continued growth and ensure that nationwide availability of Our/London vodka increases to both the trade and consumers alike.”

Our/London vodka is 37.5% ABV, with an RSP of £19 for a 350ml bottle.

For more information, please contact Hi-Spirits on 01932 252 100, email or see The full Hi-Spirits portfolio is online at


For media information please contact John Porter at ShielPorter Communications 07734 054389

Note to Editors: The Our/Vodka network is the brainchild of Åsa Caap and four entrepreneurs from Great Works in Sweden. The Our/Vodka brand is funded by Pernod Ricard Holding, but operates independently from the Pernod Ricard distribution network

Our/Vodka works with local partners in each city to add their own stamp and character. The Our/London partners are Hackney dwellers Neil Chivers and Clive Watson.