Trial new dishes to make the most of the Lunch market, says Lynx Purchasing

September 2016

Operators need to be ready to try new dishes and menu styles to compete in the booming lunchtime market, say Lynx Purchasing.

The buying specialist is at the Lunch! 2016 show in London on 21 and 22 September to help operators looking to source new products and find new suppliers.

Lynx Purchasing managing director Rachel Dobson says, “from baguettes to burritos, consumers expect to be offered a wide choice in the lunchtime market. Whether it’s eat-in or take away, operators need to be ready with everything from healthy options to tempting treats.

“The market is growing, with industry analyst Horizons estimating that the 3.5 billion lunch meals sold last year will grow 5.6% by 2018. However, in the wake of the Brexit vote it’s clear that increased supply chain costs will filter through to operators, while consumers will be looking for the best possible value when eating out-of-home.

“We work openly with 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.

“Our job is to help operators buy better and save you time and money, year after year. The price we give is the price we get, because 100% of the savings we negotiate are passed on. We’re looking forward to meeting potential new customers at Lunch! and discuss how we help them make the most of the profitable, but very competitive, lunchtime market.”

Lynx Purchasing is on Strand M524 at Lunch! For more information on Lynx Purchasing, visit  email or call 01325 377 845

Hi-Spirits Shakes Up London Cocktail Week

September 2016

Southern Comfort, Buffalo Trace Bourbon and Langley’s Gin will all have a high profile during London Cocktail Week 2016, with unique drinks and a diverse offer from distributor Hi-Spirits.

This year’s celebration of the capital’s thriving cocktail culture, running from 3 – 9 October, promises to be the biggest and most vibrant yet.

The Southern Comfort Chicken Stop will be popping up in Spitalfields, welcoming dedicated cocktail lovers with a selection of Southern Comfort cocktails and Southern Fried Chicken.  The New Orleans inspired pop-up will mark the first stop on the Southern Chicken Trail. Customers will be encouraged to continue on the trail and explore some of London’s best chicken shops, with Southern Comfort and Fried Chicken pairings on offer at all stops.

The acclaimed Buffalo Bourbon Empire pop-up bar also returns for 2016. Located this year at Hackney House, the Buffalo Bourbon Empire will spotlight six exclusive bourbon cocktails created by leading London venues – The Vaults of Milroy’s, Barbecoa, Basement Sate, Blessings, MASH, and Four Sisters.

Award-winning whiskeys from the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Kentucky will also be on offer, including the first chance for UK aficionados to sample the 2016 release of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection whiskeys.

For those interested in learning more about the heritage and culture of bourbon, the Buffalo Bourbon Empire will host a series of masterclasses throughout the week. These include sessions with Drew Mayville, the Buffalo Trace master blender, and Nicola Olianas, global brand ambassador for Antica Formula, who will explore the classic cocktail combination of vermouth and bourbon. Tickets can be booked online at

London Cocktail Week will also feature £5 cocktails made with Langley’s No.8 Gin, the award-winning super-premium English gin brand. The exclusive cocktails will be available at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen, 214 Bermondsey, Arabica, Bermondsey Yard, Merchants House and Village East.

Dan Bolton, managing director of Hi-Spirits, said: “London has always been one of the world’s great cocktail cities, and London Cocktail Week has reinvented the capital’s party spirit. We’re delighted that Southern Comfort, Buffalo Trace and Langley’s will be at the heart of the celebrations, and as always, our team is expecting a very busy week.”

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

Lynx Purchasing launches new branding

September 2016

Hospitality and catering buying specialist Lynx Purchasing has launched new branding as the business gears up for an expansion drive.

The revamped marketing approach will reinforce Lynx Purchasing’s key strengths, emphasising the openness and trust that are at the heart of Lynx’s relationship with its customers in its target sectors, which include hotels, restaurants, cafés, pubs & bars and care homes.

With increased import costs as a result of the post-Brexit fall in sterling starting to filter through the supply chain, and operators competing hard for customer spend, Lynx is highlighting the savings it can deliver on food and drink purchases, and well as a wide range of other essential products and services.

A redesigned company logo, along with updated marketing messages, will appear on all of Lynx’s communications with the hospitality and catering sector, including its website, social media, printed material and trade exhibitions.

Rachel Dobson, managing director of Lynx Purchasing, says, “We operate in a very competitive market and it’s important that our key message to customers is clear – not all purchasing companies are the same, and with Lynx Purchasing what you see is what you get.

“Our job is to help operators buy better and save time and money, year after year, with 100% of the savings we negotiate passed on. We have a proven track record of successful partnerships with leading operators in the hospitality and catering sector, and as we enter a period of greater price instability, our new marketing and branding messages will help us reach even more of the operators who can benefit from our support.”

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

Second healthy hop harvest expected at Hogs Back Brewery

August 2016

Hogs Back Brewery is preparing for its second hop harvest this September, with expectations of a healthy crop thanks to favourable weather and skilful tending of the hop plants in the 3.5 acre garden, adjacent to the Brewery in Tongham, Surrey.

The 2016 harvest is expected to be between 40-50 zentners, or 2,000–2,500 kilos, which is more than double last year’s crop.

Hogs Back has continued to cultivate the same three hops it grew for its first harvest in 2015. These are the popular British varieties Fuggles and Cascade, along with Farnham White Bine, a local variety that was once prized for its aroma, but which had been ‘extinct’ until last year’s revival.

Hogs Back has used Farnham White Bine to create a single hop beer, Farnham White, which was initially available as a limited edition cask ale, and has now been launched as a bottled ale exclusive to Waitrose.

Hogs Back Brewery managing director Rupert Thompson said, “We’re looking forward to our second harvest. Last year, we left a lot of hops on the bine rather than picking them, in order to create stronger plants, so we’re hoping to literally reap the rewards this time with a yield of excellent quality hops.

“We doubled the number of strings to support the hop plants from two to four this year, and we’ve also been blessed with more hop-friendly weather with warmth, rain and sunshine at the right points in the growing cycle.

“The hop garden is a huge investment for us and we’re in it for the long term, learning and improving as we go. We’re delighted with the beers we produced from our own hops last season and excited about the potential that the hop garden gives us to create unique beers in the future. It also makes us a little more resilient than other brewers to the global hop shortage, particularly as we expand our plantings in future years to use more of our own hops in our beers, rather than buying in.”

He added, “Consumer interest in the hop garden has been bigger than we expected; 250 people came to our harvest party last year. In a crowded beer market, being the only UK brewer to grow our own hops gives us a point of difference that resonates with a growing number of consumers who are interested in sustainability and environmental issues.”

Hogs Back planted the hop garden in 2014, with the first harvest in September 2015. The initiative has already won accolades from the industry, with the British Beer & Pub Association’s Grain-to-Glass Award 2015 recognising the brewer’s commitment to sustainability and local community engagement and, earlier this year, the Society of Independent Brewers’ Business Innovation Award.

*The zentner is a traditional agricultural measurement of about 50 kilos, still used to measure hop harvests. 



  • Hogs Back Brewery was founded in 1992 in Tongham, Surrey, in the heart of the traditional Surrey hop growing area.
  • Its flagship brand TEA, or Traditional English Ale, is the leading independent ale in Surrey and increasing in popularity elsewhere. According to CGA Brand Index figures for the year to September 2015, TEA was the third biggest craft beer brand in volume growth terms in the on-trade, behind Brewdog Punk IPA and Goose Island IPA, and saw the biggest growth of any cask ale brand.
  • The Hogs Back Brewery range includes a number of award-winning draught and bottled beers. Recent launches include Hogstar English Craft Lager and Montezuma’s Chocolate Lager, both demonstrating Hogs Back’s ability to combine brewing expertise and tradition with product innovation to create distinctive, memorable beers. Hogstar won a Gold award at the Society of Independent Brewers’ National Keg Beer Competition 2015. In 2013, Hogs Back also launched a traditional cloudy cider, Hazy Hog.
  • In September 2015 Hogs Back Brewery harvested the first hops from its own hop garden on a 3.5 acre plot adjacent to the brewery, bringing the traditional but near-extinct Farnham White Bine hop variety back to its Surrey home. Once fully mature, the hop garden will provide 25% of the brewery’s hop requirements.
  • Hogs Back Brewery is growing its presence in both the on and off trade.  Customers include Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Lidl, Majestic Wine, JD Wetherspoon, Mitchells & Butlers, Greene King and Spirit Pub Company.
  • Hogs Back Brewery is growing its presence in both the on and off trade.  Customers include Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Lidl, Majestic Wine, JD Wetherspoon, Mitchells & Butlers, Greene King and Spirit Pub Company.

Bartenders set for a Southern Showdown!

August 2016

Hi-Spirits launches Southern Comfort Cocktail Competition

Bartenders are being challenged to create a new cocktail using Southern Comfort, with a trip to New Orleans on offer to six regional winners.

The Southern Showdown cocktail competition is looking for unique new recipes that capture the spirit of the city of New Orleans, where the classic whiskey-based liqueur has its roots. Distributor Hi-Spirits is inviting bars from across the UK to submit entries online, with the best entrants invited to make their cocktail for judges at the six regional Showdowns.

All bars stocking Southern Comfort are invited to enter. Cocktail recipes should contain at least 50ml of Southern Comfort, and embody New Orleans in any way the entrant chooses. With food and drink at the heart of Southern hospitality, entrants will also be asked to which dish would go best with their creation.

Regional finalists will also be able to gain bonus points in the run-up to their Showdown by promoting and serving the cocktail in their venues, as well as spotlighting it on social media.

Dan Bolton, managing director of Hi-Spirits, said: “New Orleans has one of the world’s greatest cocktail cultures, and the opportunity to compete in the grand final in the heart of the deep south will inspire UK bartenders to high levels of creativity.  Southern Comfort is a wonderfully versatile and mixable spirit, so it we’re expecting to see some real ingenuity and flair from entrants.

“The opportunity to be crowned champion in the home of Southern Comfort is a great incentive, and we’re expecting a hard-fought contest.”

Entrants have until 16 September to upload their recipe and an image at, where full terms and conditions for the competition are also available. The regional finals will take place between 3 – 12 October, with the grand final in New Orleans from 27 – 31 October.    

To stock Southern Comfort, please contact Hi-Spirits on 01932 252 100, email or see The full Hi-Spirits portfolio is online at

Hi-Spirits to distribute Paddy Irish Whiskey in the UK

June 2016

Hi-Spirits is to distribute Paddy, the world’s fourth biggest Irish whiskey brand, in the UK from July 1.

The new agreement covers distribution in the UK on-trade, off-trade and travel retail markets, and follows the acquisition of the Paddy brand by US spirits company Sazerac in May.

Dan Bolton, managing director of Hi-Spirits, said: “Paddy is a wonderful fit with our existing portfolio. Both Irish and American whiskey have seen strong growth over recent years, and being able to offer our customers Paddy alongside the Buffalo Trace American whiskey portfolio is a significant development.

“We have a very successful track record in growing Sazerac brands, including Buffalo Trace and Fireball, in the UK market. The addition of Paddy, coming hot on the heels of Sazerac’s acquisition of Southern Comfort and Tuaca earlier this year, means it’s an exciting – and busy –  time for Hi-Spirits.”

Globally, Irish whiskey experienced the fastest volume growth of any spirits category in the last five years, and the Irish whiskey industry is projecting 100% growth by 2020. Sazerac has indicated that its acquisition of the Paddy brand will be supported by a sizeable investment to support its future growth.

Paddy Irish Whiskey will continue to be produced by former brand owner Irish Distillers at the Midleton Distillery in Cork. Irish Distillers is the producer of the world’s best-known and successful Irish whiskeys. Sazerac is one of New Orleans’ oldest family owned, privately held companies.

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