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Stir it up magazine November December 2015

A-peeling dishes Potatoes are a staple ingredient of many winter dishes, says Katrina Ellis, McCain Foods product manager. “No matter what type of outlet you are catering for, when it comes to winter menus, dishes need to be tasty, comforting and filling. This makes potato integral to lots of winter warmer dishes from traditional roast dinners to classics such as sausage and mash, so it’s important to get your potato offer right.” Using ready-made products, such as McCain Simply Potato Roasts or Mash, enables caterers to serve perfect potato every time, with no waste and at a consistent cost. This not only makes budgets easier to manage but saves time, meaning staff can focus on other parts of the menu. This is especially important during the busy festive season, as managing the complexity of Christmas dinner on a large scale can be challenging for caterers. Cooking from frozen also helps caterers to reduce wastage because they can cook to order, enabling caterers to manage unexpected increases in custom with freshly cooked, appetising food, without the need to prep large quantities at the start of the day with the risk of waste if the numbers are down. McCain’s have created a series of One Pot Meal recipes featuring a number of dishes perfect for the winter months such as Sausage Hot Pot, Smokey BBQ Casserole and Chilli Wedge Bake. For recipe inspiration visit: www.mccainfoodservice.co.uk/simplyopm. Beef it up! It is no surprise that slow cooking is undergoing something of a revival at the moment. The focus on flavour combined with the profit opportunities from selecting underused cuts suited to this style of cooking – think chuck, brisket, shin and neck – is an attractive proposition for any chef. Slow-cooked beef or lamb is a real winner, particularly during the winter months when customers are drawn to rich, comforting dishes with bags of flavour. Added to which, there are an abundance of quality beef and lamb cuts for chefs to choose from, all delivering beautifully tender meat as well as great value back to the kitchen. Hugh Judd, foodservice project manager for AHDB Beef and Lamb, said: “Slow cooking really does bring out the flavour of the meat and enables caterers to use a variety of versatile and cost-effective beef and lamb cuts to create wonderful dishes. We would thoroughly recommend that chefs talk to their catering butchers to find out which added value beef and lamb cuts are on offer throughout the year and how best to cook them. “Remember too that sourcing through an assurance scheme, such as the AHDB Beef & Lamb Quality Standard Mark Scheme will enable you to provide your customers with guarantees of quality, consistency, assurance and traceability.” A recipe for success More than six out of 10 caterers claim to change their menus more often during winter than any other season, in order to reflect seasonal events such as Bonfire Night, Christmas and Valentine’s Day. These crucial dates present caterers with the perfect opportunity to spice up menus, generate excitement amongst customers and most importantly, increase sales. To help make the most of these occasions, Premier Foodservice has launched a ‘Winter Warmers’ calendar, containing recipe inspiration, top tips and advice on how the profit sector can make the most of the colder months. Six new recipes for professional chefs, including Pumpkin Lasagne and Roast Lamb with Rhubarb and Cider Bisto Gravy feature in the new calendar. Sarah Robb, channel marketing manager, comments: “Winter is an important time of the year for caterers as each month presents a new occasion and therefore a new opportunity to drive sales. We realise it can also be a stressful time in any professional kitchen and at Premier Foods we aim to make life easier for our customers, by providing them with products they can rely on and helpful advice in a format that will keep them organised throughout the winter season.” Pudding Parties Indulgent desserts are a staple for the winter season, says Grace Keenan, brand manager for Kerrymaid. “Desserts present a significant profit opportunity during the winter months and, to maximise sales, caterers should consider creating a dedicated dessert menu to entice customers.” She suggests caterers should host a Kerrymaid Pudding Party to liven up a slow winter evening. Grace explains: “A Pudding Party is about trialling a selection of different desserts, and all customers have to do is sit back and indulge, while scoring the puddings as they go.” For further information on hosting a Pudding Party including recipes, free supporting point of sale material and ideas on how to use the opportunity to boost sales during normal service, visit http:// kerrymaid.com/index.php/pudding-party Porridge enjoys ongoing popularity Hot cereals such as porridge continue to be the star performer within the breakfast cereals market – particularly during the winter months – and with more and more people choosing to eat breakfast out-of-home it’s a must-have on your menu. The availability of convenient porridge sachets and pots has made life easier for caterers – and this format has proved particularly popular among 25-34 year-olds, who are significantly more likely than other age groups to be eating porridge out of home. Duncan McKay, Quaker senior marketing manager, says: “Both health and convenience continue to be important drivers within the hot cereal market. Convenient products such as Quaker Pots have brought new and younger consumers into the porridge category; these shoppers are increasingly looking for quick, easy and healthy solutions to fit into their hectic daily routine where breakfast sometimes can be missed.” A premium brew The dynamics of tea are changing, so now is the time to join the tea revolution. Standard tea is in decline (-6.2%) but the good news is that special tea is in growth (+10.3%) which gives a great opportunity to increase your premium and seasonal tea offering over the winter period. CATEGORY FOCUS Individual sticky toffee puddings Chai latte with homemade biscuits How to make a chai latte Takes less than 1 minute to make 1. Put Twinings Bollywood Chai Latte pyramid tea bag into latte glass 2. Fill your glass about 1/3 of the way full with boiling water and put the tea bag in to brew 3. Leave for three minutes to brew 4. Fill the latte glass with hot milk. Best served with frothy from your cof fee machine. Chai /chai lattes are currently the fastest growth segment of the tea market (+14%), satisfying tea drinkers “treat” needs with an indulgent tea serve. It is also responsible for bringing in younger consumers to the tea category. Twinings’ new Bollywood Chai Latte is a great sweet treat at less than 100 calories and has just been awarded a Great Taste star at the 2015 awards. Caterers should also upsell their menu with winter-inspired beverage options, advises Isabelle Haynes, Tetley senior brand manager – out of home: “The festive season is a key time for family and friends to get together, providing the perfect opportunity for operators to revamp and upsell their menu. “Christmas is a time to indulge and offering warming recipes alongside your beverage menu will be sure to increase sales. Consumers who purchase tea from a coffee shop at breakfast and snacking times typically spend more than any other consumers, giving operators an opportunity to increase spend and maximise their food offering.” NOV / DEC 2015 15


Stir it up magazine November December 2015
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