Pub Food never realised how difficult it was for food suppliers to the pub trade to get a national listing with a major wholesaler - until now.
As an invited guest of Fairway Foodservice plc, Pub Food dropped in to a hotel suite in Bradford to witness a number of suppliers - including Loxton Foods and Sara Lee Foodservice - try to convince the 19 frozen food wholesalers which make up Fairway that their products were the bee's knees and should be listed in the company's national price list.
Getting a national listing with Fairway is like the Holy Grail for most food suppliers, according to a company spokesman. Not only does it guarantee existing factory jobs it can create new ones by increasing manufacturing throughout and making the suppliers concerned more profitable. During the year, suppliers get three chances to receive a listing.
Pub Food sat in on a tasting session with Loxton Foods whose managing director, Keith Durbin, was half way through trying to persuade Hadyn Lloyd and Sue Oxley of Lloyds Foodservice to list a new range of sous vide dishes which, he said, were ideal for the pub market. They were good as it happened and, as a result, sous vide oriental chicken supreme and sous vide braised lamb shoulder with redcurrant jus have made the grade and will be listed.
Lloyds was just one of 19 companies with tables scattered throughout the Bradford hotel's hired suite that day. Keith and his colleague went from table to table trying to convince other companies within the Fairway group that the Loxton sous vide products were what their customers were looking for. In total over 80 new products were on trial to appear on the Fairway Foodservice Spring price list which publishes next month.
Other lucky suppliers included Cherry Valley Farms with its Peking duck starter kit; Sara Lee Foodservice's Little Rock Chocolate cheesecake, Lin City cheesecake and Boston Berry cheesecake; Bantry Bay Seafood's mussels and half mussels in garlic butter; and D Sidoli and Sons' tiramisu with chocolate, individual Irish and chocolate cream and toffee crunch pie.
All judgments were based on quality, value, convenience and reliability.
For further information, call Fairway on 01422 319100.