In This Issue
'All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players...
New launches from Pedigree Garden at Spring Fair
Fairways and Bents celebrate top GCA awards
Jayne Scott from Daleside Klondyke is the Rising Star
Smart Garden Products scoops another major award
Cowells and Bents picked up Ruxley Rose Awards
'Green Up Your Gaff' is a winner for Perrywood
Greenfingers fundraising at GCA Conference reaches more than £30,000
Peter Seabrook urges garden centres to back a national rose festival week
‘Fun and frolics’ event raises over £20,000 for Greenfingers
Biggest business challenge? Automation without annoying customers...
Bad weather knocks the gloss of promising start
10 reasons to visit Glee at Spring Fair
GTN's Greatest Christmas Team Winners to be announced during Glee@Spring Fair
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Primula and Hyacinth boost plant sales
Record garden centre sales of gift cards over Christmas
Voting opens for Bents' charity of the year
Garden lights shine through wintry weather
Charity auction raises almost £30,000 to change the lives of trainees through the power of horticulture
Ivyline announce their 2017 Agent of the year!
Stuttgarter back on top of Bestsellers Veg-2-Gro chart
Gardeners prepare for seed sowing season
Want to boost your learning potential?
The best of last week's
Barton Grange, Bents, Webbs, Stewarts, Fron Goch, Stratford, Fairways, Gordale win awards at GCA conference
Paul Dye's funeral details announced
Looking for Christmas Ideas for 2018?
Bestsellers Top 50 charts every week
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All the latest news from the world of garden centre catering
A taste of things to come: Casual Dining exhibitors preview their new innovations for 2018
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A taste of things to come: Casual Dining exhibitors preview their new innovations for 2018

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

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