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All Posts By Cristina Diaconu

White Label World Expo UK Is Two Weeks Away

With just two weeks to go, the White Label World Expo is ready to take over the ExCel, London, on 27th & 28th November. 

Being the UK’s largest event for professional online sellers to meet white label goods suppliers, thousands of global business leaders, entrepreneurs, online sellers, retailers, and distributors come together for the White Label World Expo in order to meet top representatives from the likes of Amazon, Ebay, and Shopify to further their business and make long lasting relationships with suppliers that will benefit their business long term.

The White Label World Expo will host 300 of the world’s top suppliers, allowing you to try, touch, and test a multitude of different products and services; all of which will benefit your business if you decide to buy them. You will find a wide range of products and services from a selection of sectors including: beauty, health and wellness, personal accessories, food and beverage, CBD, amongst many more.

The White Label World Expo not only offers the best exhibitors from the white label and private label industries, but it also possesses an unequalled seminar program, consisting of expert speakers from every walk of life. 

Here’s a preview of what of the topics the incredible speakers will be discussing at ExCel:

– ‘10 Hacks for Black Friday & Cyber Monday on Amazon’ with Danny McMillan, host of Seller Sessions 🡪 Danny will walk you through 10 plus hacks on nailing Black Friday and Cyber Monday, from protecting yourself from Black Hat sellers to executing PPC and ranking strategies in the toughest window of sales.

‘Innovative Sales Strategy for Business Success’ with Bianca Miller-Cole & Byron Cole, award winning entrepreneurs 🡪 This talk will outline 4 innovative sales strategies to make your business more profitable and to force you to think outside of the box as you continue along your Self-Made journey. 

‘Keep Optimising – how to Massively Increase Your Traffic & Conversions’ with Chloë Thomas one of the Top 50 UK influencers in eCommerce and Shipping and host of the eCommerce MasterPlan Podcast 🡪 Growing from 10 orders per month to 100 or 100 to 1000 (or beyond) means doubling your business multiple times. In this seminar Chloë will explain how it’s all about capitalising on what you and your business are best at, eradicating your weaknesses, and constant experimentation. Chloe will take you through her model for achieving this, and give you lots of tips and case studies along the way.

‘Build a Brand, not a Business’ with Alan Barratt, CEO & Co-founder of Grenade 🡪 Building a business doesn’t create a brand, but create a brand and you can build a business. Learn with Alan the key factors and decisions that led to building one of the best known and fastest growing businesses in the UK over the last five years, Grenade.

Tickets to attend the White Label World Expo are free, so make sure you do not miss out on the opportunity to attend it. 

Register for your free tickets on their website here.

Alternatively, if you want to exhibit your white label products/services to the perfect market at the White Label World Expo, get in contact with Managing Director Nick Woore on 0117 929 6099 or nick.woore@prysmgroup.co.uk.

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The Athenian Celebrates 5 Years by Offering One Lucky Winner a Trip to Athens

To celebrate 5 years of bringing authentic Greek street food to the UK, The Athenian will be offering a chance to try it for real in Athens. The Athenian will be giving one lucky winner a trip away with a gastronomic experience like no other, a chance to sample some of Athens’ finest produce and the latest foodie hotspots the city has to offer. 

Athens is undoubtedly steeped in history and tradition, but in the last decade the city has seen meteoric growth in food tourism and The Athenian will be sharing the most authentic bars, restaurants and street food stalls to visit. The winner and a guest will be flown over to Athens for a two – night stay in which they can explore the heady mix of old and new in Athens, whilst discovering the up-and-coming metropolitan food and drink scene which continues to inspire The Athenian’s offering. The #IAmAnAthenian competition offers a chance to experience the fresh flavours, authentic ingredients and bustling creativity which is at the heart of The Athenian. 

Throughout November, to celebrate its 5th birthday, The Athenian sites in Tooting, White City, Victoria, Shoreditch, Wembley and Canary Wharf will all be serving the ‘Hi-5 special’. The delicious, limited edition souvlaki will consist of grilled mastelo cheese and wild boar sausage, dressed in aromatic herbs, hand skewered and wrapped in warm and fluffy pitas, served with oregano-flecked fries, croquettes as well an array of zingy sauces and crisp, refreshing salads. 

The Athenian is encouraging anyone who loves Greek food or those who simply want to explore more about Greek culture and cuisine to enter the competition. Simply enter the prize -draw on The Athenian’s website to be in with a chance of winning. The Athenian’s vision, which remains at its core is to offer a real taste of modern Greece, here in the UK. The Athenian’s menu is inspired by the traditional flavours of Greece but executed with contemporary tastes in mind, adding subtle nuances to revive old time traditional recipes and offering plentiful vegan and vegetarian options. 

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Seven Video Games All Gamers Must Play Before the End of 2019

The end of the year is such a cool time to be a gamer. We look forward to a jam-packed schedule of awesome releases in 2020. We also get a little nostalgic while looking back at our favorite games of the past 12 months.

If you were a disappointed gamer in 2019, you need to take a seriously long look in the mirror. Gobs of amazing games either came out or became huge hits this year. We’re talking pure gold across every genre and platform.

While we don’t have the space to cover each killer game of 2019 here, we will salute seven of our favorites.

So, without further ado…

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite

Best AR Game 

When you combine the success of Pokemon Go! (not to be mixed with the online slot game with the same name) With the worldwide popularity of Harry Potter, you get a game instantly downloaded by millions of people. Players can use location-based services in conjunction with the cameras on their phones to spot wizarding monsters, magic, and mayhem in real life – and then fight back! Great fun for Potterheads everywhere.

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is available for Android and iOS.

Stranger Things 3

Best Companion Game 

Following the success of the first two Stranger Things games, this version presents players with familiar events from the TV series along with brand new quests, character interactions, and secrets. Teamwork is a must in Stranger Things 3 as players work together to solve puzzles, explore the world of Hawkins, and battle the evils of The Upside Down.

Stranger Things 3 is available for PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Android, Xbox One, iOS, Windows, and OS X.

The Elder Scrolls: Blades

Best RPG Game

Any truly devoted RPG player sees the title of this game and experiences chills down their spine. Whenever Bethesda produces a new Elder Scrolls game the masses flock to purchase it – and rightly so. Blades is an epic adventure where players can create unique characters and cities in their conquests.

Blades looks stunning, continues the storyline, and is set in the well-known world we all love. Download it already!

The Elder Scrolls: Blades is available for Nintendo Switch, Android, PlayStation 4, iOS, Xbox One, and Windows.

Shadowgun War Games

Best Competitive Shooter Game

If you like your action fast and your shooters hard, then you’ll love Shadowgun. It’s a multiplayer FPS that uses tactics and reflexes to help you combat PvP style. This is the most recent installment in a series that is rapidly growing in popularity. Reviewers love the sleek gameplay and the speed of the action, making it an interesting shooter title in the 2019 market.

Shadowgun War Games is available for Nintendo Switch, iOS, and Android.

Entertainment Themed Slots

Best Video Slots

Video slots are emerging as a super popular genre of online and mobile video game.  If you follow mobile video slots, you know that theme games are all the rage these days. From movies like TED to TV-shows like Vikings, there is a wide range of online creations for everyone. There are hundreds if not thousands of these games themed after your favorite films and shows. It’s impossible to pick just one.

TV and movie-themed video slots are available on select mobile casino apps for iOS and Android.

Manifold Garden

Best Puzzle Game

This exciting first person puzzler requires players to navigate an abstract series of seemingly unending structures while solving puzzles. With the ability to manipulate gravity and turn walls into floors, Manifold Garden players take on superpowers to manage in the puzzling universe. The game’s use of geometry and architecture is especially eye-appealing.

Manifest Garden is available for PlayStation 4, Windows, Linux, and OSX.

eFootball Pro Evolution Soccer 2020

Best Sports Game

Back for a 19th installment, eFootball PES captures the best soccer leagues and players from around the world. No game is more realistic when it comes to digitally stepping onto the pitch as your favorite Premier League or Serie A team. A new Matchday Mode connects players with game developer Konami to decide on a weekly match or derby contest to be featured in the game.

eFootball Pro Evolution Soccer 2020 is available PlayStation 4, Android, Xbox One, iOS, and Windows.

Do you agree with our list? What games turned your world upside down in 2019?

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Craft Dining Rooms and Aktar Islam Launch New Site in Birmingham

In January 2020, the team behind Craft Dining Rooms and Aktar Islam will be launching the Craft English Garden, a stunning garden terrace and inside dining room bringing a unique drinking and dining space. Located on the Canalside at the ICC alongside the critically acclaimed Craft Dining Rooms, the site will be centred around a beautifully designed bar and crafted dining pods for groups to enjoy. 

The launch of the garden ties in with the news that local restaurateur Aktar Islam (of Michelin-starred Opheem, Legna and Pulperia, and previously of Lassan) has now partnered with Sam and Emma Morgan (owners of Craft Dining Rooms and Craft English Garden), marking a pivotal moment for the group’s development. Moving forwards, Aktar will work closely with Sam and Emma to offer the best of British food and drink for the Birmingham audience. 

The Craft English Garden has been envisaged with nostalgia and childhood in mind, recreating traditional British dishes with a modern view and specialising in afternoon tea. Beautifully crafted gin and tonics will lead the drinks menu on the terrace, with over 32 British gins on offer – from small batch gins to more recognised favourites, all customisable with a selection of Double Dutch tonics. The cocktail list will also embrace an English botanical theme, with deliciously vibrant and innovative creations garnished with hand-picked British ingredients. 

The keenly priced wine list will comprise examples purely from little known vineyards across the UK with bottles from Devon, Sussex, and Kent amongst others. The restaurant will offer a large selection of wines by the glass in addition to the bottle and there will be a resident wine expert on hand to provide recommendations and further informaiton about the different varieties on offer. 

With a design led by industry experts Fifi Interior Design, the space will encompass a flora and fauna theme, with hanging planters, floral archways, a feature foliage wall, and a selection of colourful succulents. The garden’s botanical-inspired design will embrace a vibrant colour palette, furnished with ambient lighting, luxurious lounge seating, elegant banquettes and warming fire pits for guests to enjoy late into the evening. 

The Craft English Garden will offer Birmingham residents and visitors to the city a vibrant and stylish space in which to enjoy the finest British food and drink in a botanical setting. 

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Hot Wheels Monster Truck Live Announces UK Tour

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 3 m read

Live Nation and Raycom-Legacy Content Company is partnering with Hot Wheels® to launch HOT WHEELS™ MONSTER TRUCKS LIVE, a new European tour that will create an immersive experience for Monster Truck fans. 

This new live entertainment tour will visit European arenas beginning on Friday, January 3 in Manchester at the Manchester Arena and will run through to Saturday, February 8 in Glasgow at The SSE Hydro. 

Tickets are on sale now from www.HotWheelsMonsterTrucksLive.com 

Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live will bring everyone’s favourite Hot Wheels Monster Trucks to life, combining Hot Wheels’ iconic jumps and stunts with epic crashing and smashing to deliver an exhilarating family entertainment experience for kids of all ages. In addition to the Trucks, each show will feature specialty acts like the superstars of freestyle motocross, world record attempts, and Megasaurus – the massive, car-eating, fire-breathing prehistoric robot who loves chomping on anything with four wheels. 

Offering unrivaled entertainment value for Monster Truck fans, each event will feature affordable ticket prices, the Crash Zone Pre-Show Party with Monster Truck photo opportunities, driver meet-and-greets, VIP autograph sessions, and other special prizes and promotions.

The first stop of the tour will be January 3rd – 5th in Manchester at the Manchester Arena, UK and the tour will travel to four cities across Europe. Scheduled stops include Manchester, Lodz, Birmingham and Glasgow with early show options available on select dates. 

Conceived in 1968 by an innovator, a rocket scientist and a car designer, Hot Wheels 1:64 scale die-cast cars were designed to look awesome and perform. Five decades later, Hot Wheels is the number one selling toy in the world* with more than 16.5 cars sold every second. The brand has evolved from a simple, yet beloved, toy car with orange track system into a global franchise powerhouse that offers fans of all ages multi-channel play experiences.

“Mattel is always exploring new and innovative ways for fans of all ages to play and engage with our portfolio of iconic brands,” said Julie Freeland, Senior Director of Mattel Global Live

Events & Attractions. 

“We are delighted to tour the Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live experience in Europe and to bring our fans into the real-life action in an arena.”

Raycom-Legacy Content Company is a world-class event operation, promotion, television production, licensing, media and public relations firm. The company is a partnership between Raycom Sports – a leader in sports marketing, event management and production – and Legacy Motorsports Events – led by executives with unrivaled experience operating large-scale entertainment tours.

“We’ve experienced unprecedented success in our first year delivering Hot Wheel Monster Trucks Live to fans in North America and we’re excited to expand to Europe under this new partnership with Live Nation,” said Ken Hudgens, President & CEO of Raycom-Legacy Content Company.

“We look forward to immersing a new group of international fans in our authentic Hot Wheels experience and providing them unmatched entertainment.”

Senior Vice President Touring, International Music, Live Nation, Tim McWilliams added: “As the world’s largest live-entertainment company, we’ve been part of many incredible shows, but we are especially thrilled to be working on Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live, which combines a thrilling family orientated spectacle with the iconic Hot Wheels brand.”

HOT WHEELS MONSTER TRUCKS LIVE 2020 EUROPEAN TOUR DATES:

January 2020

Fri 03 Manchester, UK Manchester Arena

Sat 04   Manchester, UK Manchester Arena

Fri 31 Birmingham, UK Birmingham Arena

February 2020

Sat 01   Birmingham, UK Birmingham Arena**

Sun 02   Birmingham, UK Birmingham Arena

Fri 07 Glasgow, UK             The SSE Hydro

Sat 08    Glasgow, UK             The SSE Hydro**

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The Real Greek Launches Party Packages In Time For The Festive Season

From the 1st November in time for party period, The Real Greek, the UK’s only group of authentic Greek restaurants, has launched a series of group dining packages that will allow Brits to eat and drink like Olympian gods this party season.

Groups of six or more can chose from one of three packages curated by Tonia Buxton, the face of Greek food in the UK, and featuring a feast of authentic Greek dishes. For £14.95, guests can choose Gaia, an entirely plant-based menu, for £16.95 there is Yiasou, which includes a mix of meat and vegetarian options, and at £19.95 parties can select Zorba, a premium option featuring nine individual dishes.

With every booking, guests will receive a third off the authentic Greek Red or White Ellinas (£12.00 per bottle, down from £18.00). Greece is the spiritual home of European wine making and so these special vintages have been hand chosen to perfectly pair with The Real Greek’s culinary offering and compliment any celebratory occasion.

Christos Karatzenis, Director of Operations at The Real Greek says: “Ellinas wine is the perfect celebratory tipple. It is specially bottled in Thessaloniki, with the Ellinas white wine being dry, delicate and floral, leaving notes of fragrant fruit on the palate, whilst the Ellinas red features ripe berry aromas. Both varieties bring out the authentic flavours of the Aegean and are perfect during the party season.”

Gaia

Priced at just £14.95 and named after the Greek word for Mother Earth, this menu is purely plant-based and features a selection of traditional Greek Hot and Cold Meze: 

  • Greek flatbread 
  • Crudités 
  • Houmous 
  • Santorini fava 
  • Dolmades 
  • Gigandes with spinach 
  • Falafel 
  • Grilled aubergine 

Yiasou

Priced at £16.95 this menu includes a selection of classic Greek meat and vegetarian dishes:

  • Greek flatbread 
  • Crudités
  • Houmous 
  • Spicy feta dip (htipiti) 
  • Loukaniko beef & pork sausage skewer
  • Bbq chicken wings 
  • Grilled aubergine 
  • Lamb meatballs
  • Chips 

Zorba

The premium package at £19.95 per head. It offers guests the opportunity to celebrate the occasion in true Greek style and includes: 

  • Greek flatbread 
  • Houmous 
  • Tzatziki 
  • Spinach tiropitakia 
  • Chicken skewer 
  • Lamb meatballs
  • Pork belly 
  • Halloumi & vegetable skewer 
  • Chips 

Guests with a sweet tooth can then select an option from the dessert menu for an additional £3.50 per person, including: 

  • Caramel & Pecan Cheesecake
  • Chocolate Mousse Cake
  • Baklava
  • Luxury Ice Cream
  • Luxury Sorbet
  • Vegan Vanilla  Ice Cream

The Real Greek welcomes groups of six or more to enjoy the party packages. Its traditional Greek hospitality always delivers a buzzing atmosphere and occasional live entertainment makes it the ideal location for birthdays, anniversaries and parties. The third off the authentic Greek Red or White Ellinas wine is only available throughout November, so get in there quick. 

The Real Greek also has a Christmas Menu that will be available from the 11th November 2019 – 5th January 2020. Priced at £19.95 per person for a two course meal and £24.95 per person for a three course meal, it can be enjoyed for both lunch or dinner (not valid on Saturdays).

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Gosh! Launches Plant-Based Cocktail Snacking Sausages

Deliciously natural, plant-based brand Gosh! has just launched the all new Veggie Cocktail Sausages. These snacking suitable sausages are being stocked in Morrisons on 11th November and Booths on 18th for RSP £1.99. Following Mintel research which concluded that 66% of adults snack on a daily basis, Gosh! created these plant-based pickers as a healthy savoury snack option.

Jenny Robertson, Brand Manager says: “We know that 95% of adults snack and the market is flooded with sweet snacking options like cereal bars, protein bars, sweets and chocolate. However, healthy, plant-based snacking options are very limited, especially for those on a restricted diet. Many snack products are also high in saturated fats and full of unhealthy ingredients. We know that many consumers are looking for products made from natural ingredients and great quality, and we identified the gap in the market to launch our Gosh! Cocktail Sausages.  With nothing in the ingredients that you wouldn’t recognise, these versatile morsels are filling, moreish and delicious!”

Gosh!’s range can be enjoyed as a cold convenient snack or heated up as part of a delicious and nutritious meal. Starting from just £1.99 the bites, burgers and sausages are the tastiest and healthiest way to eat meat-free. The whole Gosh! range is as transparent as glass with absolutely nothing hidden and everything on show – which is why the range is fully registered by the Vegetarian, Vegan, Coeliac and Kosher food societies.

Mintel 2019 research

  • 95% of UK adults report to snack, with 66% on a daily basis
  • 63% of adults try to eat healthily all the time
  • Naturalness has become an important quality that many consumers use to denote healthiness, driving demand for products with simple or kitchen cupboard ingredients
  • 17% of all new snacking launches in 2018 had vegan claims, demonstrating the growing importance for this type of snack
  • Plant-based snacks +38% YOY (Kantar, 2018)
  • 1/3rd of UK consumers are reducing their meat consumption (Kantar, 2018)
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Coffee Maker Plans To Expand in 2020

Kent’s own speciality coffee roaster, Lost Sheep Coffee, marks record sales of its new plastic free Nespresso 100% Compostable Coffee capsules retail arm with a huge 322% increase in turnover, which is set to increase further with the confirmation of a national supermarket listing in November.

The micro-roastery and coffee shop brand launched the new Nespresso compostable coffee capsules in February 2019 and completely sold out within eight weeks of launch.

From winter 2019 Lost Sheep Coffee capsule range will be available in selected Morrisons stores from £3.45 for a pack of ten, by early 2020 the roll out is anticipated to be nationwide.

“We are keeping up with the current demand, but to ensure we meet the future demand we are rolling out the national launch in two stages. The appetite for our plastic free 100% compostable capsules has been unprecedented, with customers all over the country and beyond buying them. To ensure we can meet the growing demands we are now moving to larger premises, this move will make us the largest Speciality Coffee Roastery in Kent” says Lost Sheep Coffee Owner Founder, Stuart Wilson.

“It is so satisfying for me to know that thousands of capsules have not gone into landfill and even if they did end up in land fill, they will still break down. It’s great to think that all of the capsules we’ve ever sold (if they have been used) would by now have now completely composted to nothing.”

“We are planning to expand the roastery to new premises in Whitstable Kent. We are increasing production and storage capabilities and will be creating multiple new jobs; this will allow us to double our production. In early 2020 we will be rolling out the capsule and coffee bean range nationwide.” Says Lost Sheep Coffee Owner Founder, Stuart Wilson.

A phenomenal first year for Lost Sheep Coffees roastery shows accolades comprising:

  • Supplying Morrisons stores across the south east – a completely new listing;
  • The capsules were recently officially validated and certified totally plastic free by the A Plastic Planet company.
  • Finalist for The Grocer’s Gold Awards “Green Initiative of the Year”
  • Saved tens of thousands of capsules from landfill
  • Tens of Thousands of all capsules bought and used from Lost Sheep Coffee now completely disappeared and the rest will follow in the next 1-12 weeks
  • Judged as Independent’s ‘Best Buy’ in coffee category 2019.

In terms of current production, Lost Sheep Coffee is selling approx. 2,500 capsules per week, a 100% increase on this time last year

USPs:

  • The capsules break down in 12 weeks to nothing 
  • The capsules are fully air-tight for freshness for 12+ months
  • They hand roast all the coffee in house personally themselves, no third parties!
  • World’s top Grade 1 speciality 100% Arabica coffee
  • Single Origin and they purchase directly from a farm in Brazil, then hand-roasted them in Whitstable
  • The farmer receives nearly 5 times more than they otherwise would through traditional coffee importers
  • The farm is Rainforest Alliance Certified
  • The packaging is made using paper from FSC certified forests along with vegetable inks and is fully recyclable
  • The capsules are certified 100% Compostable!
  • 100% Plastic Free (fully certified) 
  • The capsules are certified 100% compostable by the industry gold standard TUV Austria

Kent based roastery, Lost Sheep Coffee has disrupted the coffee capsule market with its new Plastic Free 100% compostable Nespresso compatible range. Lost Sheep Coffee has coffee shops in Canterbury and Ashford’s McArthur Glen shopping outlet. The coffee is direct trade single origin coffee made with the World’s top grade 1 speciality 100% Arabica coffee. The pods, which are presented in an eye-catching 100% recyclable box, are completely air-tight and fresh on the shelf for 12 months.

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Macknade Opens New In-House Wine Shop

Macknade, Kent’s favourite food hall, has taken on a wine retail outlet called Macknade Wine & Spirits offering 400+ wines, which it plans to expand.

Macknade Wine & Spirits stocks the entirety of the ever-expanding portfolio of wines made in Kent, in addition to the vast and popular collection of old and new world wines. The shop also stocks a collection of over 60 different spirits and there are plans to increase the range of organic and biodiverse grapes as well as exploring options for refillable wines.

“I think we must have the strongest representation of Kentish wines in the country alongside a great selection of new and old world wines.  With the opening of Macknade Wine & Spirits, we have expanded our wine collection from around 40 wines to over 400. We want to replicate the range available in our food hall so there will be some fantastic fine wines, alongside experimental wines, new grape varieties and family favorites. We really want to break the mould and stretch imaginations to explore new varieties and vineyards. There will be many more wine-tasting events in the Macknade events calendar, collaborating brands so far include Chapel Down and Simpsons Wine Estate,” said Macknade General Manager Finn Dunlop.

“We are dedicated to maintaining strong relationships with the winemakers, who are invited to come in regularly and conduct tastings for customers. Macknade Wine & Spirits has positioned itself as a conduit between the customer and the producer, which provides interesting insight for customers and a feedback opportunity for the winemaker. We’re in the business of introducing people to new wines, encouraging our customers to explore different grapes, new varieties and styles of wine. For us, nothing is frowned upon, it’s about exploring new flavours together.”

Macknade Wine & Spirits was previously an outlet known as Hercules, an independent Wine Merchant. Sarah Dunn will be continuing to run Hercules Wines but concentrating on its wholesale operation and retailing from its original premises in Sandwich, Kent. The Faversham wine shop is situated next door to Macknade is already supported by loyal local customer base, and will now be known as Macknade Wine & Spirits. There are plans to grow the wine collection immediately and redesign the layout of the shop in 2020, but care will be taken to keep the essence of the original shop.

“It was a natural progression for us to bring our wine offering in line with what our customers have come to expect from the wide variety and choice you experience at Macknade. We have a broad butchery section, 200+ cheeses and an enormous deli counter; Macknade’s extensive Anglo-Italian food hall is famous beyond Kent. And I’m particularly excited about Macknade Wine & Spirits as I come from a wine retail background and I’m looking forward to putting that knowledge and experience to good use.” Comments, Dunlop.

Award-winning Faversham food hall, Macknade, celebrated its 40th birthday this year. The Anglo-Italian business has been in the same family for sixth generations, but it was not until 1979 that they began retailing – opening Macknade Farm Shop, which later became known as Macknade Fine Foods. What started life as a tent in a field on the family farm is now a 10,000sqft food hall, delicatessen, café & butcher employing over 80 people in the local area. Towards the end of the year Macknade has announced the opening of a new food & drink hub in Ashford’s Elwick Place.

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Spreading the Love of Scotland Through Stories

VisitScotland has launched its latest marketing drive, Only in Scotland, which will shine a spotlight on the unique experiences the country has to offer and help continue the push for more sustainable growth of the industry.

The next chapter of the Scotland is Now campaign will reinforce the country’s position as a warm, welcoming and creative nation and is the result of extensive visitor research. This showed the need for more investment at the start of the visitor’s booking process by providing inspiration and ideas to encourage people to decide on a trip to Scotland. It includes focusing on trends such as wellness and the importance of holidays that give the visitor the option for activities, experiences and getting a sense of the local way of life.

The Only in Scotland activity will showcase the unique experiences and hidden gems you can discover across Scotland throughout the year. Local tour guides from around the country will provide the backbone of the campaign, telling compelling stories which will be shown on visitscotland.com and other media. The Tour Guide Tales will focus on guides based in the Scottish Borders, Fife, Dumfries and Galloway and Aberdeen – showcasing the lesser known regions to encourage visitors to try out different parts of the country.

VisitScotland has invested around £2m in the campaign with marketing planned in Germany, France, USA, UK and China. The activity involves partnerships with Matador Network and Expedia in the US, Le Figaro and Amazon in Europe and Stylist magazine in the UK.

In addition to its marketing activity, VisitScotland is also working with the tourism industry to involve them in the campaign with an industry toolkit, video and downloadable images for them to use and showcase their own unique experiences or what’s in the local area.

VisitScotland is committed to spreading tourism to every corner of Scotland and this drive is part of their continuing strategy to build an all year-round sustainable future for the industry.

Vicki Miller, Director of Marketing at VisitScotland said:

“This is a fantastic opportunity for us to continue our work in supporting the sustainable growth in tourism by encouraging further seasonal and regional spread from visitors across Scotland. We’ve worked closely with the tourism industry to ensure we give them the tools to be able to support our Only in Scotland activity and help us showcase the breadth of attractions and experience our beautiful country has to offer.”

Bringing together VisitScotland, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Government and Universities Scotland for the first time with a single, bold narrative for Scotland, the Scotland Is Now initiative was launched in April 2018.

In its first year, the campaign aimed to grow awareness of the nation targeting the key markets of New York, San Francisco and London. Within its first nine months, the campaign delivered in excess of 127 million views of its videos, attracted over 1000 uses of the #ScotlandIsNow hashtag every day, reached thousands of businesses worldwide and drove increased referrals to all partner channels.

The Only in Scotland activity will run until March 2020.

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