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Stir it up magazine SEPTEMBER 2017

10 SEPTEMBER 2017 CATEGORY FOCUS come s ear ly Christmas FORWARD PLANNING FOR THE FESTIVE SEASON Precision planning Precision planning is crucial to the smooth running of the busy festive period, and, now that the summer is over, canny caterers are turning their attention to Christmas. Using this opportunity to plan and advertise your holiday menus in advance will attract more bookings in the time leading up to Christmas and, by encouraging diners to pre-order Christmas meal menu choices, operators can better forecast spend and bulk buy necessary ingredients in advance, helping to reduce food waste and overheads. “The first rule of Christmas is it is never too early to think about Christmas,” says Willie Pike, Major’s consultant development chef for Scotland. “Planning ahead for what is arguably the nation’s favourite season is key to getting your offer right. For excellent consistency and authenticity of flavour, clean label readymade gravies, stocks and sauces, can be a caterer’s best allies during the busy festive season. Not only do they save on time, are key for quality and consistency but at Christmas it is arguably even more important to be inclusive and cater for all dietary requirements.” Trends for Christmas 2017 This Christmas is all about nostalgia, with a big emphasis on the 1970s. Expect to see the revival of the Black Forest Gateau with supermarket Waitrose leading the way with a black forest panettone created by TV chef Heston Blumenthal. Their executive chef, Jonathan Moore, said: “Flavours of black forest bring back fond memories for many and it’s most definitely enjoying a revival. “Chefs including Yotam Ottolenghi and Bruno Loubet of the Grain Store London Black Forest pavlova (meringue layer cake) have introduced dishes such as Black Forest Battenberg and Black Forest coupes to their menus.” Another big flavour trend is Prosecco. With UK sales topping £500million last year, it seems we can’t get enough of the fizzy stuff and you can expect to see it used on food menus as well as the drinks menu. Country Range Strawberry Prosecco Charlotte taps into this trend, offering a deliciously refreshing and fruity dessert. Christmas traditions To help caterers best understand what customers are looking for this Christmas, Premier Foods has conducted a survey – and found that they are traditionalists at heart. Says Sarah Robb, channel marketing manager at Premier Foods: “The traditional Christmas dinner is still the most popular choice with diners over the festive period; with 77% of consumers surveyed saying


Stir it up magazine SEPTEMBER 2017
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