'All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players...
...They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages'. - from 'As You Like It' by W Shakespeare
Check out our Picture Gallery for gala Shakespearean performances from the Garden Centre Association's members and associates at their annual conference fancy dress evening in Stratford-upon-Avon...
Much as usual, the dinner of the first evening of the GCA’s annual conference programme includes an invitation to turn up in fancy dress (optional). And also much as usual, most members and associates go for it big time, although some always go bigger than others, clearly as a matter of honour.
This year, in Stratford-upon-Avon, the theme was Shakespeare (it had to be didn’t it?), inspiring the appearance of a whole company of travelling players…Lears and Macbeths, Pucks and Bottoms, Richards and Henrys, Hamlets and Merchants, Ophelias and Juliets plus general heroes, villains and dreamers. A few touches of artistic licence here and there but hey, this wasn’t meant to be theatrical history lesson.
They even have a competition (brilliantly won by David and Madeline Eaton of The Solar Centre in the form of Titania and Oberon, with Matthew Bent as ‘Shakespeare’s Sister’ not far behind on the clapometer vote).
If you weren’t there, our Picture Gallery below will give you a hint of what the evening was about. If you were, take a bow!
Launching at Spring Fair 2018 are the new cutting range of Shears and Loppers from Pedigree Garden by Bulldog Tools.
Pedigree Garden is the new generation of British Bulldog tools bred from 235 years of heritage, craftsmanship and manufacturing bloodlines.
This year we launch our brand new "Geared Bypass Lopper" and our "Geared Hedge Shears" giving 20% more power for cutting through thicker wood and for easy hedge trimming,
Each product is made with Teflon (TM) coated blades, has lightweight but strong reinforced handles, a comfortable soft touch grip, and bumper protection for the knuckles, making pruning, clipping and cutting an altogether much more pleasurable experience.
The Bypass Lopper retails at £32.99 and the Geared Hedge Shears retail at £34.99.
For more information about the Pedigree Range please go to www.pedigreegarden.co.uk or call Sarah Cottle on 0773 606 1255 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org or see the range at The Spring Fair on stand 6J06.
Fairways and Bents celebrate top GCA awards
Fairways Garden Centre and Bents Garden & Home were crowned Garden Centre of the Year and Destination Garden Centre of the Year at the GCA Conference in Stratford-upon-Avon...
Fairways Garden Centre and Bents Garden & Home were crowned Garden Centre of the Year and Destination Garden Centre of the Year at the GCA Conference in Stratford-upon-Avon.
See all of the presentation pictures in our gallery below
Garden Centres of Excellence (top 10 in alphabetical order not order of inspection scores):
The Mains of Drum
The Worrall Cup:
The award for Best Marketing Campaign or Initiative was won by Perrywood
Associate of the Year:
This award was won by Smart Garden
Garden Centre of the Year:
Fairways Garden Centre
Destination Garden Centre of the Year:
Bents Home & Garden
Jayne Scott from Daleside Klondyke is the Rising Star
Now in its ninth year, the GCA Rising Stars project, sponsored by Westland, is a fixture - and the final presentations session from the candidates at the annual conference is a keenly-anticipated highlight in the programme. This year's winner was Jayne Scott of Klondyke Daleside...
Now in its ninth year, the GCA Rising Stars project, sponsored by Westland, is a fixture - and the final presentations session from the candidates at the annual conference is a keenly-anticipated highlight in the programme.
The project recognises the importance of training and motivating the garden centre managers of tomorrow and, to judge from the work put in by this year’s five finalists – for the first time, all women – it is producing impressive results.
The candidates clearly enjoy what is a highly-competitive process to reach the final stage, often discovering in themselves hidden skills and abilities. The results of the merchandising projects with which they are tasked after attending a series of masterclasses (facilitated until this year by training consultant Ian Boardman of IBBIS) are measured against sales, so the candidates are never under any illusion about what has worked or flopped.
This year’s winner, Jayne Scott of Klondyke Daleside, told her GCA audience how she couldn’t wait to get back to work and start putting ideas learned from the masterclasses into practice. Some worked, some didn’t – but a trial she devised in the growing media area revealed that customers preferred a brand offer smaller pack sizes, a useful nugget for her centre’s buyers and suppliers.
This year, the Rising Stars mentoring programme will run over a shorter period between June and October, with a greater emphasis on the garden sundries and plant areas. Sponsors Westland are aiming for up to 60 participants, with 31 April the deadline for applications.
Jayne Scott from Daleside Klondyke, who won the vote from delegates at Conference to win the title of 2017 GCA Rising Star was presented with her award by John, McDowell of Westland (second left), in a ceremony hosted by comedian Jo Caulfield and GCA chairman Mike Lind. Jayne wins a visit to the Chelsea Flower Show.
Jayne (second left) with her fellow Rising Stars candidates and Mike Lind.
The Smart Garden team scooped the prestigious GCA Associate of the Year award, proudly claiming the title as top supplier to the industry.
Delighted with the accolade, Sales Director Paul Knott comments “To be rewarded by our customers with such a significant award is an honour. We are over the moon to be recognised in such a way and will be working hard to ensure that we retain the title."
Managing Director, Jonathan Stobart, adds “This award is a testament to the hard work from everyone in the Smart Garden team and is proof of how well our new Eureka hub is working, with record despatches, up more than 50% on last year and 99% on-time availability."
To find out more about Smart Garden’s market leading product offering visit www.sgpuk.com
The Ruxley Rose awards were presented to Cowells Garden Centre (Garden Centre category) and Bents Home & GardenDestination Centre) at the GCA Conference.
'Green Up Your Gaff' is a winner for Perrywood
Perrywood Garden Centre is celebrating amazing successes at the GCA Conference and Awards, including being crowned winner of the prestigious Worrall Cup for its ‘Green Up Your Gaff’ campaign...
Perrywood Garden Centre is celebrating amazing successes at the GCA Conference and Awards.
Hosted by comedian Jo Caulfield, the Annual Gala Dinner and Awards, held on Tuesday 23 January at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon, saw Perrywood named 4th out of 100 Garden Centres in the ‘Garden Centre of Excellence’ ranking table – an impressive achievement for the organisation, which held 11th place in 2017.
Perrywood were praised for their plant displays and use of colours; impactful and easy buying displays within their gift shop and their commitment and focus on continuing to deliver a point of difference for their home grown plants grown on site in their large nursery.
Additionally, Perrywood came 2nd in the Ruxley Rose Award for destination centres (above £4m turnover). This award recognises the best plant areas and standard is extremely high. The inspectors were very impressed with Perrywood’s creativity and quality of plants.
Not only this, Perrywood was announced winner of the prestigious Worrall Cup for its ‘Green Up Your Gaff’ campaign. The Worrall Cup celebrates the garden centre with the best marketing expertise, campaign or initiative. The entries were judged by an independent panel of marketing experts and selected Perrywood as a result of the centre’s commitment to unique creativity, outstanding innovation and commercial success. Their campaign focused on sharing a love of houseplants to a younger audience through exciting events and in-store promotional activity.
Alan Bourne, Owner, comments: “We are very pleased to have moved to 4th place in the GCA league table. This is an amazing achievement and is a testament to the hard work and determination of our entire team. Second place in the Ruxley Rose Award reflects our passion for plants and the knowledge and enthusiasm the team has. Both the plant area and plant production nursery teams should be incredibly proud of this accolade.”
Hannah Powell, Communications and HR Manager, comments: “We are delighted to win the prestigious Worrall Cup and have given it to our houseplant team to ‘green up’!”
She continues: “Celebrating this success is a great way to kick-start the year and we have lots more creative ideas and amazing products to showcase in 2018.”
Cheques of £25,150 and £5,000 were presented to Greenfingers at the GCA Conference. The fund-raising included the annual Greenfingers Challenge Cup at conference and a donation from Woodlodge from Stackable Pot Sales.
Veteran gardening columnist and broadcaster Peter Seabrook is urging garden centres to take part in a nationwide June rose promotion, following the demise of the Royal National Rose Society last year.
“The RNRS is in liquidation and nobody seems to be doing anything about it,” he told his GCA Conference audience. He has proposed a Rose Festival Week, in the third or fourth week of June, in which centres would mount displays and run a competition in which customers would be invited to submit single stems of their best roses, possibly using social media. “It would create a lot of chatter at a time when sales are just beginning to slow” he said.
The RNRS had championed roses at its spectacular Gardens of the Rose at St Albans for more than 50 years. The society went into administration last May after its debts topped £86,000.
Interested centres should contact Peter at this address.
The GCA Conference 2018 got off to a flying start with more than £20,000 being raised for Greenfingers in the annual GCA Greenfingers Challenge.
A game of hockey with an element of ‘fun and frolics’ opened the annual conference in Stratford as garden centre (Pansies) and horticultural industry staff (Cabbages) went head-to-head for the Greenfingers Challenge Cup.
The 'fockey' event took place at Stratford Leisure Centre, adjacent to The Crowne Plaza Hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon, to raise money for Greenfingers, which creates gardens at children’s hospices nationwide.
Here’s our gallery of pictures from the event.
Biggest business challenge? Automation without annoying customers...
Many delegates who sat attentively through the GCA conference session by behavioural economist Roger Martin-Fagg will have left the room believing they had at least a better idea of how our “inherently unstable” economic system works, even if much of what he was telling us whiffed of smoke and mirrors...
Many delegates who sat attentively through the GCA conference session by behavioural economist Roger Martin-Fagg will have left the room believing they had at least a better idea of how our “inherently unstable” economic system works, even if much of what he was telling us whiffed of smoke and mirrors.
But as layman’s guides go, this was a masterpiece in his usual incisive, light-hearted and often wickedly humorous style (last enjoyed at the conference in 2013).
Insisting he was in the businesses of illustrating scenarios, not forecasts, he gave us points like this to think about:
- 1. Only 4% of our economy exists as “real money” – the rest is electronic digits.
- 2. Banks are our biggest manufacturing business – they ‘manufacture’ money every time they led some to you.
- 3. Over 80% of bank lending is on property – only 10% on business development.
- 4. The UK money supply needs to grow 4-5% a year to create the 2% of economic growth in real terms the government seeks – a big ask, he said.
- 5. Growth of 1.5% was more realistic, because we are at full employment and are losing the advantages of EU labour.
- 6. Interest rates will probably go up twice next year – by 0.25% in both May and October.
- 7. Of all the major economies, the UK’s is growing the slowest, but it’s in the context of a global upswing led by US (+3%), the EU (+3.5%) and China (+8%).
- 8. Real incomes are falling due to the collapse of sterling after the Brexit vote.
- 9. The rate of retail sales is trending steadily downwards.
- 10. If the economy grows at only 1.5%, the weekly take base will drop by £350m and the government’s annual income will be 10% less than forecast.
- 11. A property tax will be the only acceptable way to raise income.
- 12. The biggest challenge for UK businesses will be how to increase automation (as the labour shortage begins to bite) without annoying the customers.
- 13. A hard Brexit will cause a sterling crisis and a recession, because confidence will crash and companies will immediately delay payments.
- 14. A soft Brexit is the most likely outcome because we are pragmatists and will fully align with EU regulations, accept the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, permit selective immigration control and pay a £45bn settlement over two years.
- 15. “The transition deal will be the future deal – we don’t really leave.”
After the excitement of the first two weeks of the year the good old weather closed in last week to knock the gloss off a promising start to 2018.
Plant sales and Garden Product sales were up on the same week last year despite the drop off in footfall caused by the inclement weather.
As our graph below shows, sales are likely to continue at low levels through into February, but are you ready to make the most if Spring comes early?
Remember Derek Bunker’s call for a Happy Spring campaign – it will be if the weather is right and your plants, garden products and other departments are looking great!
GTN Bestsellers Top 50 sales volumes compared to the same week last year...
- Garden Products - up 15%
- Growing Media - down 10%
- Veg-2-Gro - down 18%
- Wild Bird Care - down 33%
- All Plants Index - up 12%
- All Items Index - down 2%
To subscribe to GTN Bestsellers email email@example.com
10 reasons to visit Glee at Spring Fair
There's less than a week to go before Spring Fair opens its doors on Sunday, February 4. And for the first time there will be a Glee at Spring Fair. Here are 10 reasons why you must visit...
There's less than a week to go before Spring Fair opens its doors on Sunday, February 4. And for the first time there will be a Glee at Spring Fair. Here are 10 reasons why you must visit.
The leading showcase for home, gift, garden and lifestyle brands. Spring Fair is the UK’s number one Home and Gift fair, and the introduction of Glee’s second edition at the show is set to further cement this reputation. Together, the two events will offer buyers access to the most comprehensive and exciting product showcase of any exhibition.
Conveniently located. The new Glee concession will be situated in a prime location in Hall 3, between Christmas Gifts, Floral & Seasonal Decorations and Greetings. This ideal location becomes a natural walk through for buyers interested in those products on offer from Glee’s exhibitors, including tools, growing media, pet products, Grow-Your-Own essentials, pots and planters, hand-crafted garden furniture and the latest plant varieties. Nowhere else at Spring Fair will buyers be able to see such a wealth of products from leading garden suppliers.
Leading gardening brands exhibiting: Many leading names will be exhibiting at the inaugural event including Pouf Daddy, Durston Garden Products, Charles Taylor Trading, Design Toscano, Neat Ideas, Darlac Tools, Harrod Horticulture, Apac Packaging, Laurica Plants, VegTrug, SeedCell and Woodlodge.
See new ranges first. By attending Glee at Spring Fair in the first week of February, retailers get the opportunity to see and purchase new and best-selling ranges ahead of the spring season. A second edition at this time of year will give retailers an additional destination to refresh their ranges for key retail spikes before the September show, and will also provide garden buyers with access to the latest concepts and trends for 2018.
Twice the Glee. Maintaining its highly recognisable branding, and signature boulevard aisle, Glee at Spring Fair will also remain a leading showcase for Glee’s key show sectors such as Landscaping and Garden Decoration, Pet, Garden Care and Outdoor Entertaining.
Access to other exciting products for your store. Not only will retailers be inspired by the products on offer in the Glee concession, but they can maximise cross buying and profit potential by visiting Spring Fair 14 other sectors; many of which garden managers, owners and buyers might not have fully represented instore. Look out for brands across the Contemporary Gifts, Children’s Gifts and Toys, Beauty and Wellbeing, Greetings and Gifts, DIY, Kitchen, Dining and Homewares, and Party sectors.
Championed by the industry. The leading industry trade associations; GIMA, HTA and Gardenex have all shown their support for the show and will be present to share their knowledge and advice to visitors in the Glee Cafe.
See the latest innovations in the market: Glee’s New Product Showcase is a great 'shop window' for buyers to see all that's new in one place. Based in the Glee Café, this is an area not to be missed, and will display the best new products from a range of Glee at Spring Fair exhibitors.
Unrivalled networking opportunities. GIMA will be once again holding its Buyer Connect event at the show, helping those exhibiting to maximise their exposure to key garden retail buyers through special speed networking sessions. Gardenex will be hosting its International Buyers Event that provides UK suppliers with the opportunity of meeting overseas buyers on a one-to-one basis. Visiting retailers can also maximise their time at the show to reconnect with existing suppliers, whilst forging new relationships with brands they may not have previously come across.
Celebrating Christmas excellence. Garden Trade News will be bringing its Greatest Christmas Awards to Glee at Spring Fair. Taking place at 9am on Tuesday 6th February, within the Glee Café (Hall 3), the awards reward great garden centre teamwork over the festive season. The best events, displays, grottos and food will be celebrated, helping to round off a hugely successful Christmas period for retailers, considered by many to the perfect end to what was another great year of trading within garden retail.
Find out more
Glee is the UK’s leading garden and outdoor living trade retail show, focussing on building year-round profits within core product categories including Garden Care, Landscaping & Garden Decoration, Outdoor Entertainment, Pet Products, Speciality Food and Catering, Home, Gift and Clothing, Plants and a dedicated Retail Experiences section. Each year the show attracts thousands of buyers from top retailers, such as leading UK garden centres, builders’ merchants, multiple retailers, and DIY stores. To keep up-to-date on all the latest news log onto www.gleebirmingham.com or call 020 3033 2160 to find out about exhibiting.
GTN's Greatest Christmas Team Winners to be announced during Glee@Spring Fair
The votes are being counted and the judges meeting to decide who will be the winners in GTN's Greatest Christmas Awards, sponsored by Gardman, ready for the announcement and presentation of awards at a special Greatest Awards Winners Breakfast Reception on Tuesday 6th February in Hall 3 as part of Glee@Spring Fair...
The votes are being counted and the judges meeting to decide who will be the winners in GTN's Greatest Christmas Awards, sponsored by Gardman, ready for the announcement and presentation of awards at a special Greatest Awards Winners Breakfast Reception on Tuesday 6th February in Hall 3 as part of Glee@Spring Fair.
All of the nominated Christmas Teams and all of the winning teams from The Greatest Awards during 2017 are invited to join us at the Glee@Spring Fair Cafe in Hall 3 at 9:00am for a breakfast reception and the presentation of GTN's Greatest Christmas Awards, sponsored by Gardman, for 2017.
In this special issue we've included as many of the photo tours from the judges visits during the Christmas period as we can. There will be more published later this month. We hope they give you plenty of ideas and inspiration as you start to plan and buy your Christmas for 2018.
Ho, ho, ho! See you on Tuesday 6th February at Glee@Spring Fair.
Click here to read a special Greatest Christmas Awards Special edition of GTN Xtra, sponsored by Gardman
PlantWorks Ltd – Job opportunity
JOB TITLE: Territory Sales Manager / Account Manager
SELLING: Biofertlisers and plant stimulants
SELLING TO: Garden Centres, nurseries, distributors, and end users
TERRITORY: North of England and Scotland
PACKAGE: Competitive basic salary + OTE, car, laptop and mobile
An opportunity exists at Plantworks Ltd. for a Regional Sales Manger based in the North of England. Primarily to sell our expanding range of RHS endorsed retail products, centred round our popular rootgrow mycorrhizal fungi to garden centres and retail nurseries. The position would suit a person with a strong background in horticulture and or a good knowledge of the Garden Centre retail environment. The role is predominantly field based, though some working from home will be necessary.
The successful applicant will be responsible for maximising sales to existing accounts, developing new business as well as dealing with customer enquiries from retailers, landscapers, designers and professional horticulturists. The job also involves training garden centre staff on our range of products and some in store merchandising as well as close liaison with our head office admin team in order to provide unrivalled service and support.
- Highly self motivated with excellent communication skills and be able to work on your own initiative
- A background in garden centre retail with a particular interest in plants and horticulture
- Sales and Marketing or Horticultural qualifications would be advantageous
- Target driven, ambitious and eager to learn with a ‘can do’ attitude
- Personable and presentable
- Flexible to working week – overnight travel and occasional weekends
Remuneration will be a combination of basic salary and bonus, for the right candidate there is excellent career potential with a rapidly expanding company.
Please send your CV and any supporting information by email to:
Permanent f/t (37.5 hrs pw)
We are looking to recruit a rare breed of horticultural brilliance – a Head Gardener with a wealth of experience, a creative and artistic eye, sound plant knowledge and inspirational leadership skills.
This post will be required to take part on a roster to provide daily cover as key point of contact for escalation of emergency and security issues or customer complaints. There will also be weekend working.
What it's like to work here
South Somerset Portfolio comprises of four pay for entry properties, Montacute House, Barrington Court, Lytes Cary Manor and Tintinhull Gardens, with approximately 385,000 visitors per annum. We take pride in the fact that we have the first and second houses the National Trust acquired as well as the first garden.
In the portfolio we also have Stoke Priory, Treasurers House, Priests House and Stembridge Mill which are all open to the public on a limited opening; these are run by tenants and volunteers. As addition to this we have Michaels Hill monument as well as approximately 700 hectares of countryside. The majority of what we do is internally funded which means that each property is reliant on the other properties performing well in order for us to tackle some of our longer standing conservation issues. We take a one team approach and share best practice and knowledge to ensure our visitors have an exceptional experience. We work collaboratively with our peers, consultants and the wider Trust so that decisions are made with all the accurate information to ensure a ‘Think Long Term’ approach.
Montacute House is a masterpiece of Elizabethan Renaissance architecture, surrounded by the beautiful gardens and immersed in the natural beauty of the parkland. The towering walls of glass, the glow of ham stone, the architectural design of house and garden and the quality of collections create a place of beauty. Montacute House has the most significant number of visitors in the portfolio, with approximately 160,000 visitors a year. This is the largest visitor business in South Somerset and therefore generates the majority of our much needed revenue.
Due to the nature of the building and the importance of the collection it is imperative that Montacute House has a visitor experience that is sympathetic to the fragility of the building but offers an exceptional experience every time. The property has grown significantly over the last 10 years and therefore the operational business needs a new look. The property comprises of the main house, formal gardens, orchards, parkland and other structures including St Michaels Hill monument. Montacute House has key partnerships, one of which is with the National Portrait Gallery, as we are home to a collection of their portraits in the Long Gallery.
What you'll be doing
In this operational role as Head Gardener, you'll be based at Montacute House but may be asked to support the other South Somerset properties.
Using your people management skills, you'll create a highly performing, effective and motivated team with clear delegated responsibility. You'll be managing all of the garden teams, staff and volunteers. As part of this you'll be looking after your teams development plans and will carry out performance development reviews with all direct line reports.
Within the garden team, you'll provide leadership and clear decision making. Working closely with other Head of Departments, you'll ensure that the property delivers the visitor experience and property plans to a high standard. You'll be responsible for the key performance indicators within your department on site in finance, conservation, visitor experience, energy and people. You're an excellent team player and will work collaboratively to develop property plans and inform the portfolio business plan, working with key stakeholders to ensure the property delivers them as agreed. You'll work as part of the Head of Department team; a decision making group responsible for setting the direction across the properties. The group aims to challenge and discuss contentious issues, as well as support the General Manager in the delivery of the Property Business Plans, and helps to find solutions to any issues regardless of role or responsibility. You'll be accountable for the delivery of the property risk plans and the environmental management systems for your department at the properties.
You'll work closely with the ranger team to ensure the outdoors is of a high standard, and adhering to the procedures and guidelines set out by the National Trust. You'll help to engage the property team in the National Trust strategies, as well as the property plans, ensuring that the team have a rewarding experience in their time with us. You'll also be accountable for the day to day management of the biomass boiler. Working with the Operational Manager to set the annual budgets and 5 year financial plans, you'll be accountable for the management of your budgets adhering to the National Trust framework.
Who we're looking for
To deliver this role successfully you will need;
- Significant practical experience in horticulture, supported by appropriate qualifications to RHS level 3 (or equivalent level of vocational experience)
- Experience of organising garden activities which enhance garden visits
- Leadership skills including coaching, team development, motivation and communication
- Good people skills enabling strong relationships to be built and maintained both externally and internally
- Proven track record of managing budgets, finances and small projects
- Experience in managing small contracts
- Good written and verbal communication skills including public presentation, influencing and negotiating.
- Knowledge of all Health & Safety and Compliance requirements relevant to horticulture
Looking after you
- Health cash plan – from as little as £2.81 per month for you and your dependents
- Pension contribution match up to 10%
- EAP and proactive Health and Wellbeing
- Discounted gym membership
Looking after your career
- Grow your career through professional training courses across the Trust
- Develop your skills with an internal secondment
- Pay review linked to values and behaviours, commitment to progression
- Income protection due to illness
Unique to Us
- Work in some of the most beautiful, iconic and unique locations in the UK
- Free entry to NT properties for you, a guest and your children (under 18)
- 20% off in our retail and catering outlets
- Discount up to 35% off a National Trust holiday cottage booking
Closing Date: 04 February 2018
For more information and to apply, please follow:
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Primula and Hyacinth boost plant sales
Given the drop in footfall due to bad weather, the fact that almost as many Primula were sold week on week and a 4% increase in planted Hyacinth sales shows a continued appetite for instant colour...
Given the drop in footfall due to bad weather, the fact that almost as many Primula were sold week on week and a 4% increase in planted Hyacinth sales shows a continued appetite for instant colour.
- Hellebores saw the biggest increase in the Top 10 plants, up 64%.
- Sarcococca return to the chart at No 10.
- Chlorophytum - Spider Plants - are the highest chart climber, up 15 places.
To subscribe to GTN Bestsellers email karen.pfeiffer@tgcm
Record garden centre sales of gift cards over Christmas
Sales of National Garden Gift Card hit record levels over the Christmas period, which will help boost garden centre footfall in the coming season. There are now £4.7m of unspent gift cards in circulation, with most set to be spent in garden centres soon at over 700 redeeming sites.
Sales of National Garden Gift Card hit record levels over the Christmas period, which will help boost garden centre footfall in the coming season. There are now £4.7m of unspent gift cards in circulation, with most set to be spent in garden centres soon at over 700 redeeming sites.
Garden centres can now sell, as well as redeem the cards, helping to drive footfall. Operationally the added benefit with the Garden Gift Card is that all the settlement is carried out electronically and you don’t have to pay in advance for gift card stock, which makes the cash flow so much better for you than the paper schemes.
There are also developments on the paper voucher front with a new series of eight wallet designs available from February. These designs are taken from the winners of the national photography competition held at the end of last year. They are our most inspiring set of images yet, and because they have been submitted by customers we can be confident they will appeal. Also, it will be possible to order the designs that you want rather than a mixed selection.
Martin Simmons, HTA Director of Operations comments: “It is really encouraging to see the level of gift card sales over Christmas.
"We have some exciting plans for the gifting schemes in 2018, including supporting National Children’s Gardening Week (26 May to 3rd June) and so look out for details about resources to promote this – and help drive families into store.
"We will be using the schemes and their social media channels to promote gardening generally and also repeating our national garden photography competition later in the year.”
To find out more about selling and accepting National Garden Gift Card and to read testimonials from garden centres visit https://hta.org.uk/news/record-sales-of-gift-cards.html
Voting opens for Bents' charity of the year
Over the years Glazebury based Bents Garden & Home has raised thousands of pounds for local causes through its Charity of the Year initiative and each year it gets harder to choose a new charity, which is why the Centre has put the 2018 decision into the hands of its customers...
Over the years Glazebury based Bents Garden & Home has raised thousands of pounds for local causes through its Charity of the Year initiative and each year it gets harder to choose a new charity, which is why the Centre has put the 2018 decision into the hands of its customers.
Colleagues at Bents were invited to nominate charities of their choice and after careful consideration three fantastic causes were selected; Arthritis Research UK, Brainwave and St Rocco’s Hospice, to be its potential Charity of the Year 2018 and is inviting customers to cast a vote.
All three finalists are very worthy causes, each providing something different and invaluable. Arthritis Research UK invests in breakthrough treatments, helping to make everyday life better for all 10million people suffering from the condition, whilst St Rocco’s Hospice provides high quality care for adults living with a terminal or life limiting illness.
Birchwood based Brainwave works with families to help children with disabilities and development delay covering a wide range of conditions from Down’s Syndrome, autism as well as rare genetic disorders.
Says Matthew Bent, Managing Director at Bents Garden & Home: “Our Charity of the Year campaign started with the Kirsty Howard Appeal for Francis House Hospice. Since then we have been committed to focusing all our annual fundraising to a dedicated charity, which has resulted in some fantastic totals donated to some great causes. But each year it gets harder and harder to choose a new charity, so we thought it would be a great opportunity to get our customers involved in the decision.
Voting is easy. Customers who have made a purchase will be provided with a token which they can simply drop into the slot of their preferred charity. The two runners up will both receive a donation of £250.00 with the winning charity given a starting boost of £500.00 by Bents.
Voting is now open with a closing date of Monday 5th February.
Garden lights shine through wintry weather
Wintry weather slowed down the overall early growth of garden product sales, but that didn’t stop further sales increases for garden lighting lines. Nine different garden lighting lines increased sales week on week...
Wintry weather slowed down the overall early growth of garden product sales, but that didn’t stop further sales increases for garden lighting lines. Nine different garden lighting lines increased sales week on week.
Pots and cutting tools were the other key week on week growth areas.
This week’s highlights were:
- Smart Garden Orion Solar Stake Light Large is the highest re-entry at No 6.
- Gardman Bottle Candle Lantern is the highest chart climber, up 25 places to No 22.
- Woodlodge Zest Pot No 2 is the highest of four new entries, in at No 40.
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The House of Lords private dining room played host to a fundraising dinner and charity auction on behalf of the Worshipful Company of Gardeners. The event was in support of a project called Future Gardeners.
The fundraising event was key to the future of the programme. Generous donors provided a catalogue of lots that were put up for auction that evening, including many holidays, outings, and even a trip in a Spitfire!
The auctioneer was TV gardener and WCOG Liveryman David Domoney, who provided a lively and entertaining evening which was a huge success - raising nearly £30,000!
This money goes directly to the Future Gardeners programme, and with The Worshipful Company of Gardeners committing to fund half of the running costs of the project themselves, Future Gardeners has been secured for at least the next two years.
Future Gardeners is a new, innovative training and work experience scheme, giving participants the core skills to gain entry level jobs in the horticulture industry without having any previous experience or specialist education.
Bankside Open Spaces Trust teamed up with The Worshipful Company of Gardeners, Walworth Garden Farm and the Royal Parks Guild to deliver the programme, which will run for at least five years. Open to all who want to try out a career in gardening, it is unique in that it does not require entrants to have minimum educational qualifications.
As well as pre-apprenticeship training and a City & Guilds qualification, the budding horticulturists will have their career options enhanced by being introduced to key employers in the sector, including some at London’s finest parks and gardens.
The project is in its second year and has seen spectacular results so far, with almost all of the trainees going straight into employment or further training in the industry.
These funds go a long way towards supporting and changing people’s lives through the power of horticulture. Not only does the programme benefit those involved, but it also addresses the alarming shortage of skilled professionals entering the horticultural industry in the UK.
It’s a key issue at the moment, as 72% of horticultural businesses say they struggle to find skilled workers, with 10% of vacancies taking a year to fill (Horticulture Matters, 2014).
David Green (Master Gardner) said, “The Gardeners Company, together with BOST, The Royal Parks Guild and Walworth Garden are committed to this five year programme and we need the funds to be committed to make this all happen.
"The support, enthusiasm and generosity of both the auction prize donors and the bidders tonight – members of the Company and their friends - has been stupendous and overwhelming in their response and I cannot thank them enough.”
David Domoney said, “It was an immensely enjoyable experience. I’ve always enjoyed being a charity auctioneer, and I was delighted to be in the company of some very generous people - not only those donating the lots for sale, but those purchasing them. Auctioneering not only raises the money, it also makes for a really entertaining evening too, and both were certainly achieved this Friday with a spectacular result.”
Leading Indoor Pot supplier Ivyline have announce their Midlands Sales agent, David Welling, as their Agent of the Year for 2017!
David is responsible for growth of all the Ivyline categories through the midlands, and came home in first place after an exciting finish to the year for the independent agents. "David had some tough competition this year, with MD Agencies in the South East and Sarah McCall in the west region very close on his heels" said James.
Ivyline announced their winner at their national sales meeting in Coventry on the 12th January, off the back of their most successful year to date.
Ivyline's independent business has grown by an impressive 50% versus last year, and this is said to be due to not only delivering quality, market leading ranges but also supporting all customers to tap into the trends of the indoor market. This momentum has already been carried through to 2018 following the Glee Trade Show where Ivyline launched 200 new lines, and have seen the most successful pre sell the business has had in its 40 year history.
James says " it's a very exciting time at Ivyline, customers are seeing great rewards in the categories we supply, as we work very closely with them on an individual basis to range the best volume and trend driven designs. Due to this, and off the back of the 2017 success, Ivyline are exhibiting at the Spring Fair 2017 for the first time, Hall 7 Stand no. 7C10 - D09, and launching 150 new trend driven home and gift lines. We all look forward to seeing existing and new customers at the NEC in early Feb".
Pictured: James Brindle, UK and Ireland Sales Manager (right), giving David Welling his first prize.
Stuttgarter, the traditional January onion set besteller, is back on top this week, jumping ahead of Red Baron.
Onion sets take the top four Bestsellers spots with Beetroot Boltardy and Autumn King Carrot seeds at Nos 5 & 6.
Seed potato sales are starting to show increases with Arran Pilot leading the way.
This week’s highlights were:
- Taylors Seed Potatoes Arran Pilot 2.5kg is the highest climber this week, up 24 places to No 7.
- Mr Fothergills Carrot Autumn King 2 climbs 20 places to No 6.
- Kapiteyn Onion Sets Sturon are the highest re-entry at No 14.
To subscribe to GTN Bestsellers email email@example.com
Gardeners prepare for seed sowing season
Early Bird offers continue to fly through the tills despite the wintry weather causing growing related sales to cool off last week. Seed composts, however, performed well as gardeners started to prepare indoors for early sowing....
Early Bird offers continue to fly through the tills despite the wintry weather causing growing related sales to cool off last week. Seed composts, however, performed well as gardeners started to prepare indoors for early sowing.
This week’s highlights were:
- Scotts Levington John Innes Seed, 25 litres, is the highest chart climber, up 41 places to No 9.
- Westland John Innes Young Plants No 1, 30 litres, is the highest re-entry, back in at No 21.
- Westland Gro-Sure Vegetable Compost, 50 litres, has the biggest percentage sales increase to re-enter at No 36.
To subscribe to GTN Bestsellers email firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to boost your learning potential?
That is just what a scholarship or bursary award from the David Colegrave Foundation can do for you; boost your learning potential, taking away at least some of your financial worries...
That is just what a scholarship or bursary award from the David Colegrave Foundation can do for you; boost your learning potential, taking away at least some of your financial worries!
There is just a week left for you to apply (application closes for the 2018 awards midnight 31st January), so you still have time to make your claim on a share of around £12,000 that you can put towards supporting your studies in horticulture.
Full details can be found on the David Colegrave Foundation website, www.davidcolegravefoundation.org.uk which also has the facility for a straight forward online application. Take a look at the range of scholarships available to you. If you need some help in deciding which is the most suitable to apply for, ask your tutor or contact the following Foundation Trustees – Stuart Lowen at email@example.com, Neil Gow at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jeff Colegrave at Jeff@hollandstreet.com
If you don’t want to apply on line, you can print off an application form, fill it in and post it to; The David Colegrave Foundation c/o The HTA, Horticulture House, Chilton, Didcot, Oxfordshire OX11 0RN, or email it to email@example.com
… but hurray, the deadline is looming!
Our scholarships support future horticulturists so that the UK’s ornamental horticultural industry can continue to grow. At £1,000 or more, one of our scholarships can really boost your opportunities.
Scholarship Season is open from September to January every year. We make the application process as straight forward as possible and invite you to tell us about your passion for plants and goals for the future. We advise candidates to highlight your talent, as evidenced by grades achieved, tutor assessments and work experience so far in your career.
Scholarships are open to all students completing horticulture related courses in the UK, and some also support those who are in the early days of their horticultural career. Student applicants must be attending, or enrolled to attend college, university or a similar educational establishment on a full or part time basis with a view to seeking permanent full time employment in commercial or production ornamental horticulture when finishing your course.
Working applicants should be employed in production ornamental horticulture in the UK. The tutor or employer of students shortlisted for a scholarship selection may be contacted by the foundation for a reference.
Over £52,000 worth of scholarships has been awarded in the past five years to students studying at 12 UK colleges.
For more information on scholarships visit www.davidcolegravefoundation.org.uk
The best of last week's
If you missed last week's GTN Xtra, below are the most-read stories...
A number of prestigious awards were presented at the GCA conference at The Crowne Plaza Hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon, including Webbs West Hagley winning the Dick Allen Award for the Most Improved Garden Centre.
Iain Wylie, Chief Executive of the GCA, said: "It is clear that all of our winners have worked extremely hard during the past year to reach and maintain the very highest of standards in garden centre retail excellence and I'd like to take this opportunity to congratulate all of them. Our inspectors were extremely impressed with their achievements."
Most Improved Garden Centre (Dick Allen Award)
Webbs West Hagley
Commercial Innovation and Creativity (The Barton Grange Trophy)
Winner: Bents Garden & Home
Environment and Community Award
Customer Service Award
The ifse Award for Catering Excellence
Webbs of Wychbold (DGC), Fron Goch (GC)
Indoor Lifestyle Award
Barton Grange (DGC), Stratford Garden Centre (GC)
Best Garden Products Retailer (GIMA Award)
Barton Grange (DGC), Fairways Garden Centre (GC)
Best Outdoor Living Retailer (Weber)
Gordale Nurseries (DGC), Stratford Garden Centre (GC)
Paul Dye's funeral details announced
Paul Dye's funeral will be held on Friday 16th February 1.20pm at Barham Crematorium, Canterbury Rd, Barham, Canterbury, Kent CT4 6QU . Paul Dye sadly lost his battle with cancer age 55...
Paul Dye's funeral will be held on Friday 16th February 1.20pm at Barham Crematorium , Canterbury Rd, Barham, Canterbury, Kent CT4 6QU (Tel: 01227 831351 ).
Then for those who would like to come on after to The Gate Inn around 3pm, Church Lane, Marshside, Canterbury, Kent CT3 4EB (Tel: 01227 860498).
GTN Xtra received the sad news that Paul Dye lost his battle with cancer age 55.
We first met Paul when he was at Polhill, Sevenoaks and latterly after a spell as a regional manager with The Garden Centre Group (now Wyevale Garden Centres) Paul spent the past few years working with Edward Boults Grovewell Garden Centre teams at Canterbury, Tenterden and Folkestone. Paul has been a great friend of GTN over the years and he will be sorely missed. We send our condolences to his family.
Colin Wetherley-Mein told GTN Xtra: "The trade has lost a very good person. Paul was one of the nice guys. He faced his illness with the same courage, integrity and honesty that reflected his work and friendships. He was a very knowledgeable and enthusiastic person, who always had time for you.
"He will be sadly missed and our thoughts are with his wife Angela and their family."
Ed Boult sent us this statement from Grovewell Garden Centres: "The very recent passing of Paul Dye is not only a loss of a friend, but an extremely sad loss for us as a business and for the industry as a whole. Paul’s plant and industry knowledge was exceptional; in fact, I would go so far as to say he was the best plant buyer I’ve ever known and had the pleasure of working with.
"A fantastic asset and support to Grovewell, his firm and fair management style helped push the business forward. A real gentleman with exceptional commitment, Paul Dye will be sorely missed by my teams, our customers and myself."
We will update this story and republish as soon as further details are available. In the meantime, please use the comments link below or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to add to this story.
Looking for Christmas Ideas for 2018?
If you are on your way to Harrogate and wanting some extra input of ideas for your Christmas 2018, take a look at GTN's photo tours of 30+ garden centres this Christmas including:
- Aylett Nurseries
- Barton Grange
Blue Diamond Trentham
Fresh at Burcot
Frosts Woburn Sands
Haskins West End
Mains of Drum
Old Railway Line
Woodlands Ash, Kent
Every week GTN receives and analyses epos data from a number of UK garden centres to produce the GTN Bestsellers charts and weekly bestsellers sales tips.
The full charts which provide useful insight into product sales peaks, new trends and new link sales opportunities are published in the weekly GTN Xtra newsletter.
As the year goes on we give sales volume comparisons with 2015 as well as 2016 to allow your teams to see variations over a three year period.
Access is by subscription only. For £145.00 per year you and your team can have access to the most up-to-date gardening sales analysis that has already helped many UK garden centres increase their sales. To subscribe call 01733 775700, e-mail email@example.com or buy on-line using this link.
WARNING the GTN Bestsellers Charts seriously improve the business of our subscribers. Invest 15 minutes each week in improving your sales using the GTN Bestsellers charts and your turnover and customer satisfaction will improve too.
Get the GTN Bestsellers charts in full every week in the GTN Bestsellers newsletters for only £145.00.
GTN Bestsellers is the only industry source of weekly garden centre sales information, collating Epos data from centres with an aggregate turnover in excess of £100m.
Use the weekly Garden Products and Growing Media Top 50 sales volumes charts to plan your hotspot and other promotions and ensure you have the right products in stock to satisfy the needs of your customers.
For further information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or buy on-line using the button below:
For further enquires please call 07973 504214.
All the latest news from the world of garden centre catering
Casual Dining 2018, the multi-award winning trade event for the UK's restaurant, pub and bar operators, has released its exhibitor show highlights for 2018.
Returning to the Business Design Centre in London next month, on 21-22 February, visiting buyers will be among the first to see, sample, and source a host of new products, catering equipment and services from 200 leading suppliers.
Blue corn tortillas, vegan burgers, black mussel shell pastry, gin salami, cold brews, spiced pear vodka tonic, craft pickles, multi-tier grills, compact draught beer systems, and streamlined payment solutions - are just some of the new innovations on offer.
Blanco Nino is previewing its new un-fried, pre-cut blue corn tortilla chips. Made using just three ingredients, non-GM sustainably grown blue corn and a pinch of salt and lime, they are naturally gluten, fat, and sugar-free (stand A211).
Whitby Seafoods is sampling its new Glorious Grains Jumbo Scampi. The large wholetail scampi comes with a new crumb made with red and blonde quinoa, linseed and amaranth seeds with kibbled rye and oats. This creates a nutty crumb that complements the sweet flavour of langoustine (stand G15).
McCain Foodservice is previewing its latest Staycrisp Skin-on Medium Fries and Julienne Fries. As part of the launch, they'll be staging a multi-sensory experience at the show, which will feature high-profile guest chefs and a flavour expert (stand G5).
Quorn Foods is sampling its new Quorn Vegan Burger at the show. High in protein and low in saturated fat, this naked burger can be grilled or cooked from frozen, helping to reduce waste. Ideal for vegetarians, flexitarians and vegans (stand A308).
Lucozade Ribena Suntory is previewing its Ribena Sparkling in two new flavours: classic Blackcurrant, and a tropical Pineapple and Passionfruit. Both flavours are under 15 calories per 275ml glass bottle, rich in Vitamin C, and free from artificial colours and flavours (stand M518).
Coldpress is sampling its new Strawberry Oat Cashew Drink. This thick and creamy blend of strawberries, blueberries, cashew milk and oats is made with a cold press HPP process, which allows ingredients to retain more nutrients, vitamins and a fresh taste (stand A313).
Ethnic Brand Marketing is launching Lueria Grand Vital, a red wine blended from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc grapes. It's hand harvested in Sifsaf, which nestles in the foothills of Mount Meron in Upper Galilee, Israel. Also showcasing: Roby Marton Italian Mule party jars (stand U212).
AAK Foodservice is launching the Lion World Flavours range of sauces, dressings and mayonnaises. Developed to give caterers and chefs a quick and simple way to bring authentic flavours to UK menus, the 17 sauces include: Thai Honey Sticky Sauce, Adobo Hot Sauce, gochujang-inspired Korean Hot Chilli Sauce, Japanese Teriyaki BBQ Sauce, Asian Ginger, and Chilli and Garlic Sticky Sauce (stand G21).
Sean Loughnane's is launching a meat free burger range to meet the increasing consumer demand for plant based foods. The new burgers options include Sweet Potato & Broccoli, Beetroot & Kale, Curried-Cauliflower, and Kale, Lentils, and Barley (stand A315).
SXOLLIE Natural Ciders is introducing its Granny Smith Cider. Made with the internationally-awarded Golden Delicious varietal, the cider has a zesty taste and is an ideal low alcohol, fully natural, sparkling alternative to Sauvignon Blanc (stand UB-9, Craft Beer & Cider Pavilion).
Essential Cuisine is launching its Peppercorn Sauce, part of a new range of ready-to-use sauce bases. The Sauce Collection has been created by the company's development chefs, and comes in a concentrated liquid format that means kitchens can simply mix with water, then add double cream and serve (stand M328).
Gorilla Spirits Co has launched a new Maraba Coffee Liqueur for 2018. Their carefully-selected beans come from individual growers in Maraba, Rwanda, which are then roasted and ground by partners Moonroast Coffee. The liqueur is rich with deep buttery chocolate flavours and a fruity overtone. Also showcasing: Silverback Mountain Strength Gin, Silverback Old Tom Gin, and Blackback Mountain Strength Vodka (stand AS-8, Artisan Spirits Lounge).
Maws Fine Foods is promoting its recently launched range of Pidy sponge sheets. The sheets come in a host of flavours, including savoury, Cocoa Nuts Joconde, and Raspberry. Produced using a family recipe, they can be used as a base for a wide range of desserts or for savoury application. Supplied frozen, the sheets defrost in just five minutes (stand U205).
The Tasty Meat Company is showcasing its new Hot Dawgs (its take on the frankfurter/hot dog). Made from selected cuts of pork, and mixed with a blend of spices, it can be served as a standalone product, part of a plated meal, or in a roll (stand A309).
Think Drink's Mosca Cold Brew is a rich coffee cold brew with cocoa and caramel notes. This natural, full flavoured, pick-me-up takes the time out of brewing, and is available in Double Expresso and Night Brew (stand M531).
Kavli Food Solutions is presenting its range of Cheese Bakes. These melted cheese starters can be cooked in table-ready dishes, and can be served with crusty bread. Also showcasing: the hot cheese board (stand A300).
Verstegen Spices and Sauces is showcasing its new guilt free sauces - made with herbs and spices, and naturally occurring sugars. There are four different flavour varieties: Piri Piri, Curry Ketchup, Salsa Tex Mex, and Tomato Ketchup. Also showcasing: the Ediks Shrubs range and Mild Vinegar's, and Kumar's Wok Pastes (stand U204).
Pipers Crisps is promoting its latest flavour - Jalapeno & Dill. Driven by the current trend towards heat and more globally influenced flavours, Jalapeno & Dill's chilli and herbal aroma is combined with Pipers' famous crunchy potato crisps (stand M101).
Fentimans is presenting its Mediterranean Orange Tonic Water, made with Valencian oranges and infused with lemongrass, and a hint of quinine. This tonic is made using the technique of botanical brewing - the blending and fermentation of natural ingredients (stand A407).
Westlers is launching its new fiery frankfurter, made from naturally beechwood smoked pork, and seasoned to appeal to customers who 'love a little more heat'; Each case of Fiery Franks contains 6x7 90g vacuum packed ambient pouches that come with 12 months life from manufacture (stand M123).
Seafood from Norway is presenting its Norwegian Skrei Cod. Every catch is monitored and subject to strict quality standards all the way from the sea to the plate, to guarantee freshness and quality. The Skrei is MSC certified sustainable and only available from January to April (stand M540).
Sea Products International's latest Luxury Mini Crab Cakes are 20g uncoated (naked) crab cakes with a high protein content (65% protein of which 52% is crab meat). Cooked from frozen or (best) from defrosted, the crab cakes can be made in minutes and come in pack size: 10 x 50 (stand M126).
The Billington Group is presenting its newly launched Craft Pickles. The range includes Pink Onions, Sweet Pickled Chillies, and Pickled Cucumber, and uses craft pickling liquor to give its flavour and colour (stand M218).
Thistly Cross Cider is promoting its new seventh family member, Cloudy 5.5% Cider. A crisp and balanced 5.5% session cider, medium dry and naturally cloudy. It's matured for six months to give balance and smoothness (stand UB-4, Craft Beer & Cider Pavilion).
Raynor Foods has added to its vegan selection, with a new Hummus Salad sandwich made with beetroot, carrot and hummus on thick malted wheat. They have also added to their Cafe range with the Tuscan Chicken, featuring chicken in pesto mayo with sun-dried tomatoes and rocket on thick malted wheat (stand M232).
Woodall's British Charcuterie is promoting its new range of salami, consisting of three flavours: Original, Spicy and Gin. Available in 40g or 250g packs, which work as bar snacks or on a sharing platter, they are gluten and lactose free, and high in protein (stand G4).
Pidy UK is exhibiting its new Black Mussel Shell. Made with butter and free-range eggs, it's shaped and ready-to-fill with any savoury filling of choice. Produced using a black mineral added to the pastry recipe, the range provides a modern and eye-catching design that will really make a statement on any sharing menu (stand M115).
Rebel Kitchen is promoting its Dairy-Free Organic Mylk range. Made with six simple ingredients that are blended together to replicate the flavour and qualities of cow's milk. Available in whole, semi skimmed and skimmed (stand M426).
Kalosa Spritz is the newest brand from Kold Group, made by mixing pure-distilled spirits with natural ingredients and a splash of sparkling water. Each drink is 4% ABV, only 99 calories, and contains a fraction of the sugar found in many drinks. Available in Pink Grapefruit & Vodka and Elderflower & Gin (stand AS-15, Artisan Spirits Lounge).
L'Aquila is showcasing its selection of vegetable ingredients, which includes Sorriso roasted sweet red-drop peppers and Sorriso chargrilled Jerusalem artichokes slices - ideal to add to pizza, salads, sandwiches and ready meals (stand M522).
Longflint Drinks Co is promoting its Winter Spiced Pear Vodka Tonic. By collaborating with the East London Liquor Company, who provided their 100% British Wheat vodka, it's made by macerating 300kgs of conference pears for three weeks before combining a spiced simple syrup made from whole clementines, cloves, cardamom and cinchona bark (stand A102).
Bannisters Farm is showcasing its mini filled potato skins at the show. Ready baked and frozen to lock in the flavour, Bannisters' gluten-free, fuss-free products offer savvy shortcuts in the kitchen. It's also introducing a new look for the full product range (stand M340).
Equipment, Services & Technology
Gamble Foodservice Solutions is previewing Hatco's Rapide Cuisine high powered induction units, which utilises a magnetic power system. It has user programmable pre-sets, and a food temperature probe for more accurate cooking. Other features include: four surface temperature monitors, a 6mm patterned glass ceramic top, a removable grease filter, and conformal coated boards (stand G17).
Coca-Cola Freestyle - the new smaller counter top freestyle machine, offers 50+ soft drink brands. Using patented micro dosing technology, its networked connectivity and supporting app allows consumers to create their own bespoke soft drinks, and then share them via social media. This marketing asset allows direct communication with consumers and offers ever changing content at the point of purchase (stand U116B).
Heineken UK - Blade is promoting Blade, its new 8 litre draught beer system. Blade's small footprint and compression system, which doesn't require carbon dioxide or other gasses, allows users to serve premium draught beer from any countertop (stands A101 and U106).
The Airedale Group is launching Lighthouse, a new advanced asset management tool, which offers clients full visibility on their reactive, statutory and planned maintenance plus real business intelligence on their commercial catering equipment (stand M423).
Alexandra is launching its new chefs wear made-to-order service. With a choice of up to 42 shades, it's now possible to personalise the NU572 chef's jacket and combine any two colours (stand G23).
Krowd is promoting its Borderless Dining app, which integrates all ordering apps (Deliveroo and UberEats etc) into a single dashboard. The Krowd App's competitive edge stems from hyper personalisation of recommendations, allowing diners to order at the table/pre-order and pay straight from their phone across all of their favourite restaurants (stand A310).
Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Co is promoting its Nitro Cold Brew Coffee machine, a new nitrogen-infused coffee experience, served straight from the tap and not over ice. The nitrogen gives the coffee a sweet smooth taste without the need for sugar, which can also be made into a liquor (U201).
Adande Refrigeration is showcasing the newly launched Adande Combi Oven Stand, which is available for both rear and side engine drawers. The stand allows the user to load chilled/frozen products from Adande drawer directly on to 1/1 GN cooking pans and place into a six-grid combi oven. Also showcasing: Adande Fryer Stations (stand M433).
Adia Technology connects employers and temporary jobseekers in the hospitality, catering and events industry in one single online platform. Backed by the world's largest recruitment company, Adia is making it smoother, and faster, to hire temp staff that are quality-assured (stand A419).
Ascentia Foodservice Equipment is launching the Robatayaki Grills from MIBRASA. Coming in a range of sizes and adjustable levels, the Robata Grills are handmade using the finest materials. This multi-tier open charcoal grill is equipped with accessories to perform a range of cooking techniques using grills, Teppanyaki hot plates or skewers (stand M536).
JJ Food Service is promoting its Lavazza Coffee Micro-Site, offering recipe suggestions, education, training and a range of coffee essentials. Visitors can download a free guide to coffee and register to attend a coffee training session at Lavazza's Training Centres in Uxbridge and Greenford (stand G20).
Yumpingo is exhibiting its Intelligent Bill, which builds on its existing digital guest review platform, streamlining the payment process while collecting unparalleled levels of food and service feedback. Through EPOS integration, restaurants are now able to track NPS to server level to transform how their customers are engaged (stand A317).
Crafti's is promoting its new brown Kraft Bizzi range, including meal boxes, food carriers, activity bags and activity place mats. These come in four designs (Zoo, Farm, Safari and Pet) with many different activities to entertain young customers (stand M138).
GS Systems is showcasing MAX Suite, which gives visibility over every site in an enterprise so that users can monitor key performance indicators, incentivise staff, plan proactively, and react quickly with critical real-time data (stand M247).
Bleep UK is promoting its new ISO Merchant Services and Card Payments Division. Bleep Payments will offer simple and straightforward merchant services, with fast, secure, and reliable card payment terminals, which can either be integrated with Bleep EPOS, or as standalone card processing devices (stand M139).
OrderZing takes online food and drink orders from mobile phones and prints the orders using an existing star printer infrastructure. It means users can start re-using existing hardware investment to help grow their sales pipeline (stand G25).
Harri is promoting TeamLive, which includes dynamic team scheduling overlaid with both labour costs and POS sales performance integrations. It's an app-based time clock that uses biometric facial recognition to track employees hours, thereby eliminating wage miscalculations and team-wide communication (U209).
Apicbase is promoting its APIC Studio and Kitchen Manager, which includes fully costed recipes, methodologies, allergen, and nutritional value tracking, ingredient bill of materials and orders. The APIC Studio can be used to access high quality food photography, so users can create customer proposals and recipe guides (stand A208).
Access is introducing a proposition around five integrated, cloud-based, market leading technology solutions, which span the key touchpoints of a hospitality operation. Covering aspects such as property management, reservations, finance, ticketing, cash, sales, stock, and people - it automates many of the time-consuming processes through just one single trusted technology provider (stand M342).
Carlsberg UK is promoting DraughtMaster, an innovative, compact and convenient beer dispense solution that uses 20 litre PET kegs. The system provides a longer lasting product than steel kegs, with a longer time between cleaning the lines. Fresh beer is filled straight from the Brewery and served with little interference from the system (it is a gasless system), providing a quality serve every time (stand A107).
Casual Dining - the UK's only dedicated trade event for casual dining operators, returns to the Business Design Centre in London, on 21-22 February. Over 5,000 attendees are expected.
For more information, and to register for a free trade ticket in advance, please visit www.casualdiningshow.co.uk