Birds Eye Nets Top Frozen Brand Award for 2017

Frozen food brand, Birds Eye, has been awarded the title of UK Frozen Brand of the Year by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), for the fourth consecutive year. The accolade comes as the MSC celebrates its 20th anniversary, and recognises the long-standing commitment made by Birds Eye towards responsibly sourcing fish.

Birds Eye have been instrumental in helping the formation of the MSC with the WWF under Unilever in 1997 and have a long-standing commitment to drive sustainable fisheries development by playing a pivotal role in generating over 3m tonnes of MSC certified white fish in the last four years alone.

The Marine Stewardship Council is an international non-profit organisation established to address the problem of unsustainable fishing. Fisheries that wish to demonstrate they are well-managed and sustainable compared to the science-based MSC standard are assessed by a team of experts who are independent of both the fishery and the MSC. Seafood products can display the blue MSC ecolabel only if that seafood can be traced back through the supply chain to a fishery that has been certified against the MSC standard.

Birds Eye was recognised for offering the largest range of MSC certified frozen products such as the ever popular Omega 3 Fish Finger made from 100% Alaskan Pollock fillet. In addition to the core range they now have a Gluten and Dairy-Free version coated in a rice flour crumb but with the same fantastic taste you would expect from a quality and trusted household brand.

Wayne Hudson (right), Birds Eye UK & Ireland Managing Director, accepted the award for UK Frozen Brand of the Year from Toby Middleton, MSC North East Atlantic Programme Director, at Birds Eye's new head office in Feltham.

Wayne Hudson (right), Birds Eye UK & Ireland Managing Director, accepted the award for UK Frozen Brand of the Year from Toby Middleton, MSC North East Atlantic Programme Director, at Birds Eye's new head office in Feltham.

“We are proud to receive this recognition once again this year” said Gulam Uddin, Business Unit Controller for Birds Eye Foodservice. “It demonstrates our commitment to giving our customers quality certified sustainable frozen seafood products across our entire range”

Choosing MSC labelled seafood from fisheries to put on menus ensures sustainable methods and helps protect the life in our oceans for generations to come.

For further information please contact Gulam Uddin at Birds Eye Foodservice on 07736 387779.

Check out our recipe for a 100% Gluten Free Fish Finger wrap here…..

NRA Show 2017 - Chicago

We’ve just returned back from a fantastic five day food innovation and concept tour to one of the most exciting and vibrant dining scenes in the world….Chicago.

As official sponsors of this year’s Midas awards and members of the Menu Innovation Network we spent our time there experiencing some of the latest cutting edge concepts that this great city has to offer.

Delegates from the leading group operators, pub chains and casual dining groups in the UK joined us for a trip to the annual National Restaurant Association exhibition.

In addition to some behind the scenes visits to a number of downtown restaurants we also managed to find the time attend a presentation on the latest US food trends.

The trip was a huge success and has certainly given us some fresh and exciting ideas for some new menu items and serving suggestions that will help keep our valued customers ahead of the trend.

New products reflect eating trends

It goes without saying that the iconic Birds Eye Fish Finger has firmly established itself as the ubiquitous mealtime choice and brand that everybody loves.

As part of the ongoing new product development program, from Europe’s largest frozen food manufacturer, there is now a 30g Gluten Free version available to caterers that are keen to keep up to date with trends in the market.

Made to the same exacting standards and quality that are synonymous with Birds Eye the innovative Gluten Free Fish Finger is made using the same 100% Alaskan Pollock fillet and has been developed specifically to meet the evolving dietary requirements of school children today.

The new fish finger is irresistibly tasty and full of goodness with a deliciously light and crispy gluten free breadcrumb and makes an excellent and healthy protein addition to any school meal.

A recent report by the BBC in April 2017 reaffirmed that younger people are leading a trend towards enjoying more and more products without dairy and gluten in particular.

Even more interesting is the fact the majority of these products are chosen by people who do not identify as having an intolerance in the first place and see them as short-cut to consume products they perceive to be healthier.

This is something that most caterers have been thinking about for a while and this new product helps them address this and keep parents on side at the same time.

“Over the last few months our new product development strategy has focused on providing our customers with new alternatives to help them meet the growing trend towards healthier eating” said Gulam Uddin, Business Unit Controller from Birds Eye Foodservice.

“This is first in the line of a new range of products we have been working on to provide our customers with quality solutions from a brand they know and trust” he continued.

To find our more contact Justin Pearce on 07436 536814 or email: justin.pearce@birdseye.co.uk

What's On Tomorrow's School Menu

A comprehensive survey into what parents think about school meals has delivered some positive results for the sector recently. That being the overall majority are in agreement that caterers are doing a great job at fueling their children in a nutritionally positive way.

However, these findings also highlighted areas where families are looking for improvement when it comes to communication, meal choice and in particular how school menus are developed in the future.

The latest tranche of independent research, commissioned by Birds Eye Foodservice, showed that Improved clarity around school meals by sharing more knowledge or insight around what school children are eating or how they are choosing raises satisfaction.

As ever, ensuring the plate fits the pupil is a key aspect for many parents with the alternative of going hungry equating to a lowering sense of value in school meals as a whole.

In the pursuit of creating more exciting and exotic dishes in schools there is a temptation for caterers to become too adventurous with dishes and this can start to lead to wholesale rejection of school meals.

For that reason alone the key to success starts and ends with the menu itself as lack of appeal from the outset can have a knock on effect.

Therefore one challenge going forward, for the sector, is how to continually re-market ‘safe-bet’ meal choices by making them sound up to date without overstepping the mark.

As an example many younger children, or picky eaters in particular, may be put off instantly by a traditional favourite if the description of that dish becomes too elaborate or uses words they do not understand such as Frittata, Quesadilla or Fishwich.

In addition to how a simple dish is described, brands too, can have a positive role to play for the overriding majority of parents. Indicating an investment in quality and ‘surrogate’ care on the part of schools. The nature of the brand and its heritage in food quality has a key role to play in parent perceptions.

TIPS FROM PARENTS ON HOW TO IMPROVE MENUS

  • Highlight ‘home-made’ and ‘local sourcing’ where relevant
  • Highlight brands where they are being used on school menus
  • Keep the language simple and accessible so that kids understand the dish
  • Look at children’s menus and presentation ideas from the profit sector to see what could work well in schools
  • Ensure that ‘healthy choice’ options such as fish and vegetables are not eclipsed by a ‘treat food’ alternative
  • Pictorial representation of the dish can help younger children
  • Offer a voting system where children can choose their favourite dishes

Above all else though the survey clearly demonstrates that there is definitely an appetite amongst parents to explore whether meal planning can happen more online in future.

By interacting this way with school meal choice it makes the process more efficient and that advance planning ensures the child gets the meal s/he wants and parents sees the meal s/he eats.

In the near future ‘smart’ systems could even remember previous meal selections for individual pupils and automatically re-select them as menus rotate, even providing suggestions of dishes they might like based on choices in the past. Maybe the children will accept the advice of the system more easily than mummy knows best!

It’s also not too difficult to imagine an analysis at the end of each academic year, included in the school report, to show a nutritional breakdown of what your child has consumed within school to encourage healthier choices. Now there’s food for thought!

To arrange a meeting to discuss a full copy of this latest research, please contact
Justin Pearce at Birds Eye Foodservice on 07436 536814 or email justin.pearce@birdseye.co.uk

Birds Eye Sponsors MIDAS 2017

Winner Daniel Matheson (right) from Marston’s Inns and Taverns for Food Factory with Gulam Uddin from Birds Eye Foodservice

Winner Daniel Matheson (right) from Marston’s Inns and Taverns for Food Factory with Gulam Uddin from Birds Eye Foodservice

We are pleased to celebrate our continued sponsorship partnership with the Menu Innovation Network.

As part of this a number of our team attended the Menu Innovation Forum on Thursday 9th March at The Cumberland Hotel in Central London to showcase some of our fantastic dishes to a captive audience of leading companies and delegates from the casual dining sector of the UK foodservice market.

The day was a huge success and it was a great opportunity to meet and greet some of our existing clients and also start to develop some new relationships that may lead to more business for us in this rapidly growing sector.

The event culminated, late in the evening, with the presentation of the Midas Awards hosted by Nigel Barden from BBC Radio 2. A team of mystery diners and judges with considerable menu development experience had been tasked with deciding the winner in each of the 31 categories.

Birds Eye sponsored the award for Kids Menu which was deservedly won by Daniel Matheson from Marston’s for Food Factory. Congratulations must also go out to Jamie Gibbs from Green King Pub Company for Hungry Horse and Glenn Evans from Las Iguanas for Iggy, who were also nominated in this category.

The winner and a representative from Birds Eye will take part in the Menu Innovation Network’s tour of Chicago in May 2017. The five day tour includes entry to the world’s largest foodservice event, presentation on the latest US food trends, behind the scene visits to leading Chicago restaurants and a invaluable chance to network with all of the key menu development chefs from the biggest and best UK operators.

Midas Awards 2017

We are proud to announce that we will be sponsoring the Menu Innovation & Development Awards (MIDAS) once again this year.

The event will be held in Central London at The Cumberland hotel on Thursday 9th March 2017 and is attended by leading chefs from all across the UK.

The awards, which are now into their 9th year, recognise and reward the best menu development managers and group executive chefs from chain operated businesses.

Birds Eye have sponsored the award for the ‘Children’s Menu’ category since the awards began which has seen winners from JD Wetherspoon, Frankie And Benny’s and Martson’s Inns in recent years.

This year’s deserved category winner will receive a place on the Menu Innovation Network’s insight tour of Chicago in May 2017. The five day trip includes entry to the worlds largest foodservice event, exclusive behind the scene visits to leading Chicago restaurants and a presentation on the latest US food trends.

Good luck to all of this year’s nominees.

To find out more about this event and how to enter next year please contact Gulam Uddin at Birds Eye Foodservice on 07736 387779 or send an email to Gulam.Uddin@birdseye.co.uk