Happy New Year! A few days into January and it’s like we’ve never been away. One topic dominates the headlines. Brexit. In our ‘The Warehouse’ section, Oakland International Commercial Director, Robert Hardy reckons the best course of action is to plan for NO DEAL and see anything else that comes as a bonus. Robert is a certified Customs specialist preparing food businesses for Brexit, and a registered international trade expert with the EU Commission. He knows his subject.
Meanwhile, for now it’s business as usual. In our World Foods feature, for everyone feeling jaded after Christmas, there’s a world of cuisines to explore. It’ll soon be time to celebrate Chinese New Year on Tuesday 5th February, a great opportunity for retailers and wholesalers to spice up their food sales.
As we become more serious about healthy living, chocolate remains another of our favourite permissible pleasures. In our Chocolate feature Susan Nash, Trade Communications Manager at Mondel?z International says consumers are still looking to enjoy their treats, and will happily trade up to do so.
Talking of treats we also interview Jo Harwood, Sales Director at Burton’s Biscuit Company, who bake some of Britain’s best loved goodies, including Maryland Cookies, Jammie Dodgers and Wagon Wheels. And we meet Mark Roberts, UK Trade Marketing Manager of Perfetti Van Melle, who lead the way with reduced sugar and sugar free sweets.
Healthy living is increasingly important in the beverages side of the foodservice sector. We interview Amanda Hamilton, CEO and Founder of Chai Latte brand Drink me Chai. We also talk to Greg Harvey, Channel Controller at Taylors of Harrogate, whose Yorkshire Tea is now also the UK’s number 1 decaf tea brand.
Staying with beverages, as our Soft Drinks feature reminds us every January soft drinks and waters sales sales spike as millions of us make resolutions to get healthy and take a break from alcohol. Soft drinks have also been getting a shot of caffeine as the burgeoning energy drinks segment grows and grows and we get hooked on coffee shop culture.
In our Tobacco feature, despite declining UK smoking rates, the market is still the UK’s single biggest FMCG category, with a market value of £14.4bn. We have an interview with Jens Christiansen, Head of Marketing & Public Affairs at Scandinavian Tobacco Group, whose portfolio of well-known brands includes the UK’s leading cigar brand Signature, previously Café Crème.
And finally, we’re used to enjoying food from around the world, but Bidfood’s Lucy Pedrick predicts food from Great Britain will go from strength to strength in 2019 as Brexit means people look for alternatives to imported goods and seek out dishes featuring locally sourced ingredients. We’ll keep you posted.