Posts Tagged ‘food’
When Kraft took over Cadbury, we all knew that it would spell trouble for some of our favourite chocolate. And indeed, we saw a large amount of kerfuffle with Creme Eggs.
Well, start worrying about your baked beans, tomato soup and ketchup, because Kraft have merged with Heinz. Together, they’ll become what they reckon is the third largest food and beverage company in America. The deal was brokered by Heinz’s owners 3G Capital and billionaire gadabout Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.
Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway chief executive, said: “I am delighted to play a part in bringing these two winning companies and their iconic brands together. This is my kind of transaction, uniting two world-class organisations and delivering shareholder value. I’m excited by the opportunities for what this new combined organisation will achieve.”
But what about our beans, Buffett?
This new, merged like Voltron company, will be called the Kraft Heinz Company and they better not start messing about with our HP brown sauce and Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce, or Bitterwallet will find out where all the company’s directors live, and boot them up the arse for eternity. We’re not even slightly joking.
Japan again, where culinary rules are thrown out of the window and everyone is invited to cook-up and assemble all manner of fantastical nonsense for you to pop in your flapping gob.
So what have we got this time? Well, if you read the headline, you’ll know we’ve got a nice Kit Kat sandwich for you to mull over.
As this is Japan, where they have Kit Kats that taste like Baked Potato and even Wasabi flavours, you’ll be pleased to know that this particular sandwich deals with the trad. arr. Kit Kat that you know and love.
This is the brainchild of First Kitchen, and as you might be able to work out, the dish consists of a muffin, enough whipped cream to give you instant diabetes, some bits of orange to make you feel healthy and a Kit Kat.
We translated the description from the site, and this Kit Kat sandwich has “outstanding compatibility with coffee, ease of use as a dessert” and has been “developed with the aim of glutinous mouthfeel”.
If you’re in Japan, it’ll cost you £1.25ish and if you’re not, you are no doubt capable enough of making your own.
Can’t boil an egg? What’s wrong with you? Boiling eggs is almost as easy as sucking them (according to the nanas of the world). With that, there’s a product on the market called Yowk, which offers you a pre-cooked runny egg, which comes complete with pre-cut soldiers, some salt, a spoon and a lid that doubles up as an egg cup.
Basically, the egg (pasteurised) has been pre-cooked by the sous-vide method, or in English, this is a boil-in-the-bag egg. Basically, you make it like a Pot Noodle.
Yowk is being considered by a coffee chain and supermarket and at £1.79 a pack, it’ll cost you roughly five-times the amount of a normal egg.
So, shout-out to all those people who haven’t worked out that you can put an egg in a pan of boiling water and cook it for 3-and-a-half minutes and put some toast on at the same time.
The vaguely depressing thing about all this, is that there is probably a market for pre-cooked boiled eggs.
A man open a box of Frosties (nice to see an adult unashamed of eating Frosties, when other grown-ups tut at such things while rolling awful muesli round their gobs) and found it had a secret message inside!
Over in That Canada, Stephane Gaudette opened the cereal and discovered that he had the last ever box of Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes ever to be made in the country.
Gaudette – a history teacher, as luck would have it – found the inner bag had a message which read: “This is the very last bag of Canadian cereal for the Canadian market from Kellogg’s London, Ontario plant.”
For those of you not up to date with Canadian cereal manufacturing news, the factory was closed in December 2014 after 107 years in business, with 550 people becoming unemployed.
You’ve had a nice meal and you order some nice cheese and biscuits to finish things off with. You’re in the mood for something else, but you don’t want a sweet pudding.
You know how it is.
Well, Diane Murray did exactly that, but her order wasn’t at all what she was expecting. She got cheese. She got biscuits. The problem, however, was the type of biscuit.
That’s right! Instead of a nice savoury biscuit and some crackers, Diane ended up with some bourbons and custard creams with her cheeses. And whatever those knock-off Jammy Dodgers with cream in the middle of them are called.
Mercifully, she thought it was funny and said that she’d reveal the place that served up this unusual treat in return for a Comic Relief donation, which is nice.
She tweeted: “@stephkerr: Cheese and biscuits – if anyone pledges to comic relief I’ll tell them which hotel they can get this in”, with the above photo attached.
We’d go for a custard cream with some brie on it. You know it makes sense.
Did you eat some chicken for your lunch from a supermarket? Well, bad news for your insides as reports say that contamination of our feathered friends is up. Not only that – it might be getting worse, according to shrieking scientists who are worried about you getting food poisoning.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) say that the proportion of fresh roasting chickens you can get in the supermarket that are carrying campylobacter is up 72.9%. The number of those that are considered to be highly contaminated is also up to 18.9%.
They also discovered that 1 in 14 packs are contaminated on the outside.
So, it goes without saying that there’s going to be some sore stomachs this year and there’s all set to be an estimated 280,000 people getting sick because of campylobacter in 2015. So, that all told, the FSA reckon that, in lost work through being ill and the cost NHS treatment, these dirty chickens are costing the country £900 million. Like all illnesses, there’s a chance it could grow stronger and turn into a superbug, thwarting any antibiotics you might take.
The FSA say that Asda is the worst place to buy chicken from and that they came out worst on pretty much every contamination test. The best places, it seems, are Marks & Spencer, the Co-op and Waitrose.
The FSA Director of Policy, Steve Wearne, said that the shops need to up their game in a bid to fix the problem. While they have no power to do anything about this, they can keep publishing these reports and helping customers to make an informed decision and vote with their feet. While M&S pay their farmers extra to keep their chickens free of bugs, it looks like other supermarkets need to start doing the same.
There’s a lot of hand-wringing going on about the UK’s farmers this week. Research by the National Farmer’s Union (NFU) have warned that around half of the nation’s food will come from abroad by 2040. The fact it isn’t already at that level might be news to some.
At the moment, around 60% of the food we consume in the UK is produced in Britain. In 25 years, it is thought that this will fall to 53% and that, but 2080, it’ll be as low as 50%.
NFU president Meurig Raymond said: “Today’s report highlights the causes of the decline in self-sufficiency, including shifting and conflicting direction on European and UK farm policy. The stark choice for the next government is whether to trust the nation’s food security to volatile world markets or to Back British Farming and reverse the worrying trend in food production.”
“I know what I want to happen. I want to see a robust plan for increasing the productive potential of farming, stimulating investment and ensuring that the drive to increase British food production is at the heart of every government department.”
NFU vice president Guy Smith added: “Currently, farming grows most of the raw ingredients for Britain’s food and drink industry – worth £97bn – which provides jobs for 3.5 million people across the country. With that in mind, the prospect of the UK becoming less than 50% self-sufficient should ring alarm bells across all political parties.”
“Our burgeoning trade deficit in food and drink isn’t just worrying in terms of food security, it also has important implications for jobs and general economic health.”
There’s a lot of support for British-produced goods, however, the biggest factor when it comes to consumer choices is, as it always was, price. That all said, the authorities aren’t too worried about it.
A spokeswoman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) said: “From farm to fork, our food industry is in good health – it generated a record £103bn for our economy last year, more than cars and aerospace combined.”
“We are helping the industry become more competitive, at home and abroad, by opening up record numbers of international food markets to export our produce, making it easier for our schools and hospitals to buy local, helping consumers choose UK products through improved country-of-origin labelling, and investing in cutting-edge technology like GPS-guided tractors.”
Don’t start tearing your clothes off and screaming in celebration just yet though. As ever, with these things, BK are trialling it in certain areas first. So, if you live in Hornchurch, Gants Hill, Romford, Hayes, Northampton, Truro, Skegness and Hull, then you’re in luck.
As for the rest of the country – if this doesn’t get rolled out nationwide, you’ll know who to blame for not making the delivery service a rousing success. We’ll understand if we hear reports of angry mobs descending on Truro or Hull with pitchforks.
If this proves worthwhile for Burger King, then the other fast food chains might join-in, which will be huge competition for Just Eat and Hungry House.
A cursory glance at Twitter, and the reaction to the news is pretty good. Unless you live in an area that isn’t delivering yet. They’re taking it hilariously badly.
So, if you’re in the right bit of the country, you can visit Burger King Delivers and check your postcode to see if you can order a Whopper to your front door.
Global sales at the fast food empire dropped 2.2% for the six consecutive month. Sales in the US fell 4.6% in November, which is more than double than what was projected.
It’s been a bit touch-and-go for McDonald’s as like-for-like sales have not increased since October 2013.
It’s said that consumers are going for healthier lunch-based solutions, even if Big Macs are less fattening than your average pre-packed sandwiches [Or, they're going to places that are unashamedly unhealthy, which is why people eat burgers - Ed]
Elsewhere in McDonald’s world, sales in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa markets were down 4%, but this was partly due to a meat supplier scandal. It’s the same all over though – Russia dropped 2%, and both France and Germany have suffered low sales.
Don Thompson, McDonald’s chief executive, said: “Today’s consumers increasingly demand more choice, convenience and value in their dining-out experience.”
Last month, the fast food giant said it would move into its 120th global market by opening outlets in Kazakhstan next year, adding yet more to the 35,000 locations that serve about 70 million customers a day.
So what are you all eating instead? Are we going to find you all Up The Greggs?
Over at Tesco, they’ve got a wilful disregard for the state of your teeth with some potentially orgasmic spreads that are made from biscuits.
We told you about the mighty Biscoff, which is basically crack in a jar that will give you diabetes just by looking at it, and now Tesco are getting in on the action too.
However, this time, there’s a vote going on.
Tesco say: “We asked The Orchard at Tesco members to submit their suggestions for a new biscuit inspired spread. After much umming and ahhing, we’ve shortlisted four tasty spreads: Jaffa Orange, Millionaire Shortbread, Jammy Ring Swirl and Chocolate Digestive.”
“It’s now up to you to pick the winner. Which spread do you think takes the biscuit?”
You can vote over at their Facebook page. We’re just disappointed that no-one suggested a Tunnock’s Tea Cake spread. We’ll just have to go back to squashing 6 of them onto our toast with a spoon while we cry at Judge Judy repeats.
People are always interested in how consumer behaviour changes, particularly after big events like a recession. New research from Kantar Media now show that, compared with five years ago, consumers these days are miserable, minging slobs, or “unhappier, unhealthier and less concerned by their appearance” as they put it.
Since 2008’s downturn, consumers’ health, appearance and happiness have all taken a “significant knock” according to Kantar, leading to “profound behavioural changes” in the relationship between consumers and food.
Kantar claims that the dark days of the recession led consumers into finding comfort and reward in more indulgent and less healthy foods, with the proportion of adults who said their diet was very healthy falling from 41% in 2009 to 36% today. Today’s consumers are also ”less fussy” about their appearance, with only 54% claiming to look after the way they look, down from 62% in 2009. In some areas, we reckon the percentage is even less…
But even if you are still clinging on to your health and your looks, chances are you aren’t happy. Today, only 49% of adults are “happy with their standard of living” down from 58% in 2009. Similarly, the proportion of adults who say they are happy with their life as it is has fallen from 63% in 2009 to 57% today.
The problem, according to Kantar, is that we are now associating junkier food and takeaways with happiness- after all, the recession meant that going out for a meal was often replaced by a cheeky takeaway. Little pleasures. But this isn’t just bad news for our waistlines and looks, producers of healthier and organic foods are also down in the dumps.
“The consequence of this declining happiness amongst British consumers and its link to healthy eating is that interest in the likes of organic and fair trade food will be unlikely to pick up again until the economic recovery not only improves consumers’ quality of life, but also ultimately delivers higher levels of happiness,” said Anne Benoist, director, Kantar Media TGI.
“The fast food industry has, to a certain extent, repositioned itself during the downturn so that it is no longer so synonymous with junk food…This has helped consumers feel less guilty about what they eat. The healthy food industry needs to undertake a similar re-positioning so that eating healthily is no longer equated with unhappiness in consumers’ minds.”
So we may now be glum, gelatinous and grotty as consumers, but it could be worse. We could be eating healthy food and be even more miserable…
*assuming you weren’t one already.
Yes indeed, Nutella are doing special personalised pots of its spread in branches of Selfridges this year. The £3.99 for a 400g jar will seem meaningless once the object of your affection’s eyes light up upon unwrapping their own personal jar of brown gloop.
It’s not available online, but you can call 0800 123 400 and order there and collect in your nearest store.
This idea worked a charm for Coca-Cola. By simply putting human names on a product, you’ll find that everyone on the internet can’t wait to show something with the same name as them, thereby, doing a lot of free promotion for you.
Obviously this – as anything offering a personalised service – can be corrupted by miscreants and all manner of words can be put on the jars, not that we’re advising you get a jar and personalise it with something like “compacted faeces” or something like that.
But it’s Christmas time, there’s no need to be afraid (well, unless you have a nut allergy, and then you’re a bit doomed). Quite literally SPREAD the love. [you're fired - Ed.]
All 870 of the chicken-based restaurant chain’s interiors are set to be revamped from March 2015, which they reckon represents “the future of interior design for KFC”.
To get an idea of what’s to come, the chain have launched the new spruce-up at their Bracknell branch, with Exeter and Reading next on their list.
Although they’ll have to pull their finger out, to get it nationwide before their self-imposed deadline.
Gone are the easily-copied-by-Chicken-Cottage fittings of old, and now it’s all exposed ceilings and textured brick effect walls, accessorised with illustrations of, well, mainly chicken, from commissioned artists
Jane Sawby of KFC’s in house interior design cabal, reckons the design was inspired by “families and friends coming together around the kitchen table to share freshly made food” adding, “KFC was designed with sharing in mind”.
You’ll also be able to see your food being prepared in a “semi open-plan kitchen” get-up.
Swaby continues: “The sense of the kitchen being the heart of the home really influenced the authentic, inviting design. You can feel the openness and warmth from the moment you step through the door and we hope that customers feel at home in the new restaurant.”
There’s just too much speak there, so we’ll leave that with you to digest what they’re banging on about. Basically, it sounds like they’ve noticed how well Nando’s and Bar Burrito are doing.
This follows Just Eat’s float on the London Stock Exchange earlier this year. Back in August, they announced a 35% increase in users and over 4400 new restaurants signed up into their takeaway harem.
Orders in general were up by 56% up until September, which is better than last year when we had that heatwave and nobody wanted any food at all. That, and what spare cash anybody had was used on pesky things like rent.
David Buttress, Just Eat CEO, is understandably very pleased about all this, saying: “I am very pleased with our performance over the summer, a period when even more consumers have enjoyed the benefits of our online marketplace for takeaway food, particularly via their mobile devices,”
“At a strategic level, our commitment to developing market leadership in all of our territories was further reinforced by Just Eat acquiring control of Alloresto.fr in France, and creating a market-winning JV in Brazil with iFood. We are in an excellent position as we enter the important winter period and remain confident for the full year.”
That’s all super then. Let’s just stop moving our limbs altogether and welcome our feeder overlords.
Halal Test, which launched in France this week by French start-up Capital Biotech, uses immunochromatography, which is the same technology used for pregnancy tests, to detect traces of pork in food, cosmetics and medicines.
The portable test, which costs €6.90 each or €125 for a pack of 25, had already attracted considerable interest from several companies in the UK and further afield.
Halal Test is currently available only in France through traditional retail channels or online, but the makers of the kits reckon the UK is a very interesting market to develop further.
The test is packaged with a small tube into which a food sample is mixed with warm water. A test strip is then inserted into the tube, and after a few minutes reveals whether any pork traces are present by displaying two lines for a positive result and one for a negative result.
It can also sniff out alcohol in food products too, like a proper party pooper. The company is also developing a test that can detect how an animal was killed too. It’s all glamour, basically.
Capital Biotech said: “There are similar tests which use similar technology, but they are much more complicated to use, and require a special liquid extraction buffer usually containing ethanol. We concentrated our research efforts to simplify the use of these tests and get rid of the liquid extraction buffer, which makes them easy to use by anyone and anywhere.”
Imagine that – going to a restaurant and pulling out a mini laboratory and making the rest of your family wait for your findings while their food goes cold.