News Fri, 18 Apr 2014 15:53:10 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Win a private screening of England vs Uruguay at Old Trafford with Mars

University caterers are in with a chance of winning a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to watch England play Uruguay in the FIFA World Cup in a private screening at Old Trafford, thanks to a new campaign by Mars.


Outlets that successfully promote the new Mars on packoffer to their customers can win this exclusive prize: Two places at a private screening of England versus Uruguay at Manchester United’s football stadium Old Trafford on 19th June 2014 (kick off at 7pm).


The prize includes accommodation per person for the night of the screening, food and drinks at the event, a stadium tour of Old Trafford and the chance to meet an England legend! (The prize does not include travel costs). Two chosen runner-up sites will win a personalised Nike England football shirt.


Mars is an official supporter to the England World Cup team in Brazil, which will attract 3.2bn viewers worldwide and will be broadcast to 214 countries and territories. In the UK alone up to 23.2m people will watch the World Cup in the UK.


With the tagline ‘Fans, you deserve it’, Mars will be supporting the England team and their legion of fans through its biggest and most rewarding promotion the company has ever done. Customers who purchase a Mars bar can win one of 500,000 personalised England shirts in a promotion produced by Nike and endorsed by England players.


All operators have to do to win this fantastic reader offer is to show how they are promoting the on-pack campaign by:


* Accounts display(s) must be of the FA flashed Mars bar with this on pack activity (available through your wholesaler)
* Order codes: P & H code 27572, Brakes code A107249, 3663 code 50622
* Site must display as a minimum the mars bar `win 1 of 500,000’ packs at both till point and on main display.
* Photographic evidence must be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 24th May 2014.


The prize will be judged on the best overall support and displays that promote the activity; the more imaginative the better.


Posters and counter top units are also available. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Good luck!

Thu, 24 Apr 2014 13:56:12 +0000
TUCO appoints new regional chair

TUCO is proud to announce that Ian Reinhardt, general catering manager at Cambridge Trinity College, has been appointed the new regional chair of Cambridge.


Reinhardt will represent members of the Cambridge region whilst sharing views and information, passed down from the TUCO board.


He will also be responsible for arranging regional meetings, promoting membership and working closely with TUCO members.


The general catering manager will follow in the footsteps of previous Cambridge chair, Tim Shorey.


The appointment is one of a number of announcements, following TUCO’s repositioning and brand makeover in October 2013.


TUCO has also recently appointed Sue White as the learning and development manager.


“The University Caterers Organisation has a long-held reputation for supporting members and suppliers in delivering outstanding service, produce and standards to universities throughout the UK,” says Reinhardt.


“Dating back over 50 years, the history and prestige of the organisation can be greatly admired, and I’m looking forward to contributing to this fantastic legacy.


“I hope my appointment as Cambridge chair will bring some valuable contributions on pertinent issues for in-house university and college catering in our region.”


TUCO Chair Julie Barker adds, “Ian’s appointment is a real endorsement of what he has achieved and recognition of what his experience can bring to TUCO.


“He brings a myriad of admirable qualities to every aspect of his exceptional catering career, we are thrilled to see fellow peers have taken notice and given Ian the opportunity he has thoroughly deserved.


“In the face of tough competition, UK in-house university catering continues to represent high standards and is increasingly considered an important part of an institution’s integrated offer to attract students – alongside accommodation, recreational and leisure facilities, transport infrastructure, academic facilities and resources.


“Savvy universities are capitalising on this fact and promoting their catering operations as key points of difference.”


Wed, 16 Apr 2014 09:31:05 +0000
Reading University host second TUCO and 3663 Roadshow

TUCO and Bidvest 3663 joined forces last week to bring universities across the UK, food concepts, demonstrations and industry updates.


Following a successful Roadshow and Exhibition at the University of Manchester last year, the organisations decided to once again team up, inviting university caterers to Park Eat at the University of Reading to experience new products, innovative concepts and fresh ideas.


Set in a perfect location at the heart of the university, butchery and filleting demonstrations, talks about Coelic disease, and a sushi chef teaching passers by the art of making sushi, made the day as enjoyable as the sunshine outside.


The event brought together almost 40 exhibitors with delegates from many different universities across the UK. Amid the bustling atmosphere, attendees visited the stands, sampled the offering and networked with exhibitors.


Many brand representatives used the event to introduce the industry to new products including, bubble tea, gluten, wheat and dairy free cakes and natural fruit energy drinks.


Exhibitors included TUCO partners, Pasta King, Santa Maria, Enjays, Britvic and of course, Bidvest 3663.


Matt White, head of catering at the University of Reading commented on the success of the day, “As ever at TUCO events there is always added value.


“Visitors were able to utilise the time on site and tour some of the fantastic facilities The University of Reading has on offer after, especially after its recent capital investment in Catering Services of some £20m.


“The Reading team gave tours of the Central Kitchen, which produces over 44,000 meal items a week, showed guests around some of the cafes, restaurants and bars, and even showed some visitors the work the team have been doing on the allergen and nutritional information that will soon have to be available for customers to access.”


The Roadshow offered networking opportunities for all in attendance and as ever, TUCO’s four key milestones were all reflected throughout the day.


Gayle Hunt, national account manager at Bidvest 3663, spoke of their positive working relationship with TUCO, "The Bidvest 3663 Roadshow and Exhibition demonstrated the key working relationship we have with TUCO and the benefits of having a strong partnership in the university catering industry. 


“This is the second successful event of its kind and we were pleased to see so many delegates in attendance of what was overall, an extremely well supported valuable day.


"The University of Reading was a great location to hold the event and lots of positive response was generated from the exhibition.


“We hope to further strengthen our TUCO partnership through more of these events and continue to teach members how we can support them using sustainable products ranges and solutions along with efficient ways of working, both online and offline."


List of exhibitors who attended the Roadshow below:


Absolute Zero


Authentic Foods




Central Foods


Direct Seafoods

Dr. Oetker

Dr Schar



Fusion Foodservice

Glorious Soup


Kepak Group

Kerry Foods

King Asia

Lee Kum Kee

Love Smoothies

Major International



Pasta King




Santa Maria

Sealed Air


Sushi Craft

The Phat Pasty Company


Unilever Food Solutions


Vista Foodservice

Vita Coco

Tue, 15 Apr 2014 08:55:10 +0000
Tri-Star Packaging sees double success

Food-to-go packaging specialist, Tri-Star Packaging, won the coveted Distributor of the Year and Product Launch of the Year categories at the Essential Café Trade Awards late last month.


Judges were impressed by Tri-Star’s efforts to enhance its offer to café operators, and its commitment to investing heavily in improvements to service and product range, resulting being awarded the Distributor of the Year award.


Recent innovations include the launch of Tri-Label, a service that gives cafés the ability and freedom to create and print labels from any PC and printer using the UK’s only cloud-based labelling software package – Tri-Label Online.


Meanwhile, it was Tri-Label Online that ensured Tri-Star returned home with the award for Product Launch of the Year.  


“We’re thrilled to add these two Essential Café Trade Awards to our growing collection of industry prizes,” says Kevin Curran, managing director of Tri-Star.


“It’s clear that, in both categories, the benefits of our Tri-Label service and the Tri-Label Online software have made a huge impression on the judges. 


 “Outstanding service and constant innovation are at the heart of what we do. We strive to supply innovative products that will keep our customers ahead of the market and ahead of their competition.  


If a solution does not exist, then we work hard to create it. Our innovation enables smaller operators to benefit from our expertise, giving them access to next-generation products usually only available to larger outlets. 


“We take pride in being able to offer the same outstanding, personal service to café owners of all sizes – from the smallest independent to major chains. These awards clearly highlight our leadership in this field.”


The event took place at Sandown Park in Surrey on March 27.

Mon, 14 Apr 2014 09:43:27 +0000
Craft Guild of Chefs Golf Day to be held at Wyboston

The 2014 Craft Guild of Chefs Golf Day is being hosted once again at the Wyboston Lakes Golf Club in Wyboston, Bedfordshire, in association with Golf Club Hospitality magazine.


The event takes place on Thursday 11 September, with a guest list that extends beyond Craft Guild members and suppliers to an extensive list of end-user chefs and operators from within the industry.


The informal day will begin at 9am with a bacon roll and coffee, before the first golfers on the course tee off at 10am in teams of four.


The course is a scenic 5,983 yards and features 18 holes at par 70. Laser clay shooting, a barbecue lunch and refreshments are all included.


After a day on the course, there be will an evening Gala Dinner, prepared by the team at Wyboston, where performances for the day will be awarded. Night accommodation is also included.


The 2014 Golf Day has room for only 120 golfers and the course is suitable for all abilities.


For more information and to book your place, visit or call 0845 500 6008.

Thu, 10 Apr 2014 15:13:48 +0000
TUCO Competitions video footage now available

We are pleased to announce that TUCO now has a YouTube page, displaying the fabulous work from the talented competitors at this year's TUCO Competitions in Blackpool.


The short clips are a great reminder of what was a very successful event, demonstrating some of the highest standards in the university catering sector.


Please take a few minutes to watch and share some of these fantastic achievements amongst friends, family and of course, your institutions.


Please click here to visit our YouTube channel and watch our videos. 

Mon, 07 Apr 2014 18:19:33 +0000
Universities encouraged to take part in Vegetarian Week 2014

National Vegetarian Week (NVW) 2014 is a great way for educational establishments to showcase their creativity and diversity when it comes to vegetarian options.


Running from the 19 – 25 May, the week aims to challenge individuals to turn vegetarian in hope of opening their eyes to how delicious, meat-free foods can be.


If your catering establishment is holding an event, special offer or themed day in aid of NVW, please list your event here, for free.


The National Vegetarian Week website offers businesses, community groups and educational establishments free NVW packs to help them organise their day.


National Vegetarian Week packs are free and include:

  • 1 x A3 'National Vegetarian Week' poster
  • 1 x A3 'Take the Challenge' poster
  • 1 x A3 ‘empty belly' poster (to write in offers, events or whatever you're doing for the Week)
  • 1 x 'Banner' poster (measuring 20cm x 100cm)
  • 25 x A5 leaflets


The Vegetarian Society runs this event each year to raise the profile of vegetarian issues whilst inspiring and supporting people to be vegetarian.  

Thu, 03 Apr 2014 08:14:39 +0000
Chefs asked to step up to the challenge for the BBQ Battle

Chefs around the UK are being asked to step up to the challenge and compete in the Crown Verity British BBQ Battle.


The winner will take home a £3,000 Crown Verity BBQ, as well as £1,000’s worth of other prizes. Entrants need to submit a brief description of a starter, a main and a dessert that can be prepared on a BBQ using at least one Lion sauce in one of the courses. Sauces include BBQ and Hot Sauces; Mustards; Salsas and Chutneys; and Mayonnaise and Dressings.


The deadline for submissions is 2 May, with shortlisted entries invited to the live cooking final, which is being held at Blenheim Palace on the 18 June. All the shortlisted chefs will receive samples of their selected sauces in advance of the final. Each will be given one hour to produce their three courses.


To enter the competition, visit

Mon, 31 Mar 2014 13:48:51 +0000
Food and hospitality industry raise huge amount for Farm Africa

£135,000 has been raised by the food and hospitality industry to help tackle hunger in Africa at Victoria and Albert Museum ball.


The money was raised for the ongoing Food for Good campaign in aid of Farm Africa, which is playing a vital role in tackling hunger in eastern Africa.  


Over 200 guests from the industry helped to raise the money at the Food for Good Ball on March 27, a major fundraising event organised by the leading UK charity, Farm Africa.


The ball was staged under the Dome in the magnificent surroundings of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.


Weighing in with particularly strong support for the evening were the Ball’s Platinum Sponsors, ABP Food Group and Compass Group UK and Ireland.


The £135,000 raised, in addition to £750,000 already raised since the first challenge event in 2011 when food industry leaders climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, will play a vital role in helping Farm Africa to realise one of its key aims this year; expanding the range of its life-changing work to 2 million people across eastern Africa.


Responding to the incredible amount raised, Farm Africa’s Chairman Richard Macdonald, says, “Last night was a powerful demonstration of what can be achieved when the industry comes together, even in the face of a very challenging economic climate.


“But last night’s Food for Good Ball is just the start of something much bigger as we redouble our efforts to raise even more, so we can achieve our aim of broadening our work to end hunger.”


One of the highlights of the evening was a sumptuous dinner prepared by the Michelin-starred chef, Jason Atherton,of Pollen Street Social.


Guests were treated to a wild duck and bramble salad starter, roasted beef fillet with braised oxtail and marrow and horseradish mash, before finishing with an exquisitely exotic coconut rice pudding served with pickled mango.


In addition to enjoying a Michelin Star menu, guests were also treated to a range of entertainment. Former England and British Lions rugby player, Martin Bayfield, acted as Master of Ceremonies, regaling guests with a highly amusing speech over dinner. The Surrey East African Dance and Arts Group provided a dance performance, while the Noa Alvarez Quartet treated attendees to an after dinner jazz set.


You can find out much more about both Farm Africa’s Food for Good Ball and how you or your company can get involved in Food for Good here.


Mon, 31 Mar 2014 02:01:07 +0000
3663 discuss industry challenges at Savoy lecture

Foodservice and hospitality professionals gathered in the ballroom at The Savoy on the evening of Monday 24 March for Arena’s Savoy Lecture, presented by Bidvest 3663’s group managing director, Alex Fisher.


Introducing the presentation theme of looking at the key challenges, global issues and opportunities facing the industry, he invited the audience to tuck into a selection of dried and flavoured critters, including crickets and grasshoppers. 


He raised the importance of stepping outside of ‘food comfort zone’ and highlighted concerns for the increasing shortage of global resources and the potential future need for alternative proteins.


Alex spoke of the need for the industry to be completely aware of, and prepared for, the emerging global macro trends, and the implications for the future of foodservice.



Speaking about his desire to promote the industry as a career of choice, Alex said, “It saddens me that our industry is not a first choice industry.” 


He praised the likes of Springboard for their great work, but challenged manufacturers on the common practice of poaching talented employees who have ‘cut their teeth’ in foodservice, and paying them more to work in retail.


The lecture ended by Alex posing three fundamental questions to the audience. How well do you recognise the challenges on the horizon? How well do you understand what action is needed? Are you equipped to respond to future changes?

Sun, 30 Mar 2014 01:02:32 +0000