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All Posts By Daryl Crowther, Journalist

Ten Reasons Every Woman Should Be Drinking MATCHA Tea Powder Each Morning

It is time to ‘go green’ and swap your morning coffee for a cup of matcha which seems

Ten Reasons to 'go green' 2016to be all the craze right now. Whilst drinking a cup of green tea is healthy, many of the insoluble nutrients stay trapped within the leaves which are thrown away. The Japanese then solved this dilemma by grinding the green tea leaves into a very fine powder, this creating matcha which is equivalent to TEN cups of green tea! The result? No leaves, no waste and a nutrient-rich cup of green that that’s naturally high in protein and fibre, low in sugars, fat-free and salt free. Alongside matcha being said to be the most potent detox in the world, see below ten more fascinating things you didn’t know about this Japanese antioxidant power-house.

1. Get the glow and slow down ageing 

Studies have shown that matcha delivers a massive amount of antioxidants per gram, which can help reduce tissue damage caused by UV radiation and pollution for a natural ‘anti-aging’ regime. Matcha has true bioavailability, which means the body actually absorbs the nutrients consumed to give your skin a detox-glow

2. Natural release of energy, without the coffee slump 

Endurance from matcha’s slow release caffeine can last up to 4 hours as L-Theanine prevents any caffeine spikes and downers, unlike coffee and sugary energy drinks. BLOOM Tea launched their SUPERCHARGE matcha with maca root and guarana for an added energy burst.

3. Strengthens the immune system with antibiotic properties

Matcha contains trace minerals and vitamins (A, B-complex, C, E, and K), chlorophyll, and is a source of dietary fibre and has as little as 3 calories per serving. Research has shown that catechins present in matcha have antibiotic properties that build a stronger Immune System to defend against viruses.

4. Burns up to 40% more calories

Research has proven that matcha has been shown to increase thermogenesis, the rate at which our bodies’ burn calories, from 10% to 40% of daily energy use. Matcha can boost metabolism and burn fat by up to four times without raising blood pressure or heart rate and its alkaline, which helps your body’s PH balance too.

5. Potent detoxing 

The green tea leaves used to make matcha are shaded at the latter stage of growth, which spikes chlorophyll and amino acid production. Chlorophyll fortifies the Immune System and also removes heavy elements and harmful chemicals from our bodies.

6. Actively fights cancer

Scientists have discovered that matcha contains EGCg catechins (antioxidants) recognised for their cancer fighting properties and studies show matcha contains 100 x more EGCg than any other tea.

7. Reduces stress and anxiety

Despite matcha containing a low 30mg caffeine, it is regulated by L-Theanine (amino acid), which doesn’t stimulate cortisol (stress hormone) like caffeine from coffee does. Instead, it promotes relaxed awareness without the drowsiness caused by other calming products.

8. Boosts memory and concentration

It has been said that L-Theanine increases the production of dopamine and serotonin which enhances mood, promotes better concentration and improves memory for up to 4 hours.

9. Improves cholesterol balance

Medical research papers have shown that matcha can lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.

10. Naturally high in fibre

Matcha contains a high level of dietary fibre which is absorbed straight into the body to help maintain a healthy gut. This is particularly important for stabilising blood sugar levels and easing constipation.

 

Available at Holland & Barrett, Harvey Nichols, Ocado.com, Selfridges, Planet Organic, Wholefoods and BloomTea.co.uk

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The Modern Groom

When I got married, I wanted to have a look that was respectful but edgy. My budget wasn’t massive, but there were fews option on the high street that were not super traditional or just a full-on morning suit. I finally went for a “slim-fitting” suit from Reiss accessorised with a knitted black tie. In my mind, my look was “a minor member of the Hives”; in reality, I probably looked super-normal.

That was a good few years ago and, luckily, things have moved on. If the red carpet is any indication, men’s tailoring is no longer about a sharp tuxedo and shoes shined to an inch of their lives. From inverting the monochrome colour scheme and swapping your blacks for whites (Common in Dolce & Gabbana at the Oscars), expressing yourself via lapels (Idris Elba, Nick Jonas, Nas and Orlando Bloom at the Met Ball) or styling down with a loafer or a slipper (Jared Leto’s Gucci footwear at the Oscars), there are multiple ways in which to pull off the “well-groomed” look but not feel anonymous.

Both Topman and M&S have taken these looks on to the high street. Topman’s new range of suiting, This is Tailoring (which launches today), has gone for the “which modern groom tribe are you?” approach. There’s the Joker Groom (a white suit worn with Stan Smith-like trainers, a gambler hat and a red carnation); the Goth Groom (an all-black three-piece suit, worn with shiny black buckled-up brogues), and Throwback Groom (a couple of 70s-leaning looks, modelled on The Sweeney). Meanwhile, M&S’s Wedding Collection includes Peaky Blinder-like shirts and black Monk shoes.

The Modern Groom

 

Interestingly, the styling, hair and accessories are most in focus. So the hair (Kid ’n Play hair and hippie curtains) is just as statement as a boldly patterned cravat or a desert sand-coloured shoe. It’s a direct spin off from the red carpet, where expressions of individuality were subtly relayed through the buttoning of a shirt or the wearing of sunglasses. If I had known that back when I got married, I would have been more bold. Perhaps even accessorising with a Tamagotchi.

 

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Apple is About to Open a Monster Retail Store

Apple has opened a new store in Union Square in San Francisco. And it looks…different.

Gone are the wide sheets of brushed aluminum and blue LEDs. Instead, there’s a whole lot of trees and warm lighting. And the giant plane of glass and wide-open spaces have grown gianter and wider-open.

Apple says this woodsy aesthetic represents the future of Apple’s store design, and will arrive at more stores in the future. TechCrunch’s Matthew Panzarino and Apple analyst Rene Ritchie were on site to give everyone not in San Francisco an early look at this new architecture.

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Retail Giant to Open a New Store in Corby

Marks and Spencer is to open a huge food hall in Corby, creating 50 jobs.

The popular high-street name has given its seal of approval to the booming town and will open a store on the Asda retail park in Phoenix Parkway at the end of the summer.

Further details have not been revealed but it is expected that the M&S will open in a newly-refurbished unit that is currently occupied by a pound shop, between Brantano and Asda.
The unit is presently subject to a planning application to build an extension and coffee shop although M&S were unable to confirm if they would in fact be having a coffee shop on the 12,000 sq ft site.

A spokesman for the retailer said: “We can confirm we are opening a food hall at the Peel Centre later this summer.

“We hope to create 50 jobs.”

The store started as a market stall in Leeds in 1884. It has traditionally been known for its clothing and homeware but its high-end food has been increasingly popular in recent years.

 

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Claudi and Fin Launch Their New Bite-Size Lollies

The UK’s healthiest 100% natural lolly goes mini

They say the best things come in small packages, and Claudi and Fin are testament to this as they add another ‘froyo’ line to their delicious collection.

Drum roll please, as they announce the delicious 8 pack of minis, which includes the brand NEW peach & apricot flavour.

After a successful launch in Sainsbury’s, Ocado, Waitrose and Budgen’s, Claudi & Fin, who make delicious, 100% natural Greek style frozen yoghurt lollies decided it was about time the treats were available as a bite-size snack, launching exclusively in 440 Tesco stores nationwide.

Having won Pitch Up with Sainsbury’s, a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style competition against 400 foodie brands in 2013, ‘mumpreneurs’ Lucy Woodhouse and Meriel Kehoe were given the opportunity to launch the healthy lolly they created in their kitchens for their young children, Claudi & Fin.

The healthy range launched with mango and strawberry flavours, but by popular demand they’ve added a new flavour (Peach & Apricot) and size (30ml) to the family.

The mouth-watering lollies are made with real fruit, whole milk and Greek style yoghurt containing
calcium, potassium and zinc. There’s also a healthy dose (30%) of your child’s recommended daily
intake of vitamin D!

What’s more, this deliciously healthy vegetarian treat contains less sugar than
75% of lollies on the market, and only 35 calories a pop (the same as eating 10 grapes)! We know
which one we’d prefer…

Lucy Woodhouse said, “Like a lot of mums, and busy women, we were surprised by the lack of healthy
treats available on the market, so we decided to see if we could come up with something ourselves.
We hit the shops, stocked up on tonnes of healthy ingredients, whipped out the blender, and the rest
is history.”

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Keira Knightley Shares Her Beauty Secrets With Chanel

Keira Knightley is the second celebrity to star in Chanel’s Beauty Talks web series, following Gisele’s debut in March this year. The luxury fashion house’s global creative make-up and colour designer, Lucia Pica, gives Knightley a Thirties-style makeover, while the actress discusses her love of red lipstick and why she prefers to use her fingers, rather than brushes, to apply her make-up. Check out the full video and all of Knightley’s top beauty tips below.

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Another New Restaurant Planned for York City Centre

ANOTHER restaurant chain is getting ready to move in to York city centre, close to the new Carluccio’s planned for St Helen’s Square.

Joe’s Kitchen – a “casual dining” brand owned by the company behind restaurant chains like Frankie and Benny’s and Chiquito – could soon be opening at 1-3 Coney Street, just off St Helen’s Square.

The Restaurant Group is in lined up to open a branch of the bar and restaurant in the old Cafe Rouge building on Coney Street, just yards from the Mansion House.
Cafe Rouge has been closed for some time, leaving the prime location on one of York’s busiest streets empty and unused.

Last month Joe’s Kitchen submitted a licensing application for permission to sell alcohol and have recorded music at the venue.

Papers show the company wants to open the bar and restaurant from 8am to 12.30am seven days a week, and is asking for a “late night refreshment” licence so it can serve food and drinks later than 11pm.

The company’s licence application is current being assessed and processed by the City of York Council, but the restaurant will not be able serve alcohol until a manager or “designated premises supervisor” (DPS) is named.

However, plans appear to be moving on and the company has now made a separate planning application for permission to put up new signage outside the restaurant.

If it goes ahead, the new Joe’s Kitchen will be across St Helen’s Square from a planned Carluccio’s set to open in the former TSB and Swarovski buildings.

The Italian restaurant chain wants to make the venue its second in the city – after the concession in Fenwicks – and create a new 148-seater, three-storey restaurant and delicatessen, creating 40 jobs.

It is the latest of a number of bar and restaurant chains making a bid to move into York. Plans are underway for a branch of Cosy Club to open in Fossgate and last week The Press reported how The Botanist cocktail bar and restaurant and Gusto restaurant are in talks to move into the old Mulberry Hall building in York.

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West Belfast-Based Delta Print Bought by Huhtamaki in £80m Deal

Food and drink packaging specialists Huhtamaki has acquired the Belfast-based Delta Print and Packaging

The £80 million acquisition, which also includes Delta’s production plant in Poland – European Packaging Solutions – it’s hoped will strengthen Huhtamaki’s position within the foodservice packaging market across the continent.

It will also allow the Finnish-head quartered company to expand its offering to customers which include the likes of KFC, Kellogg’s and McDonald’s.

The existing management team, which will remain unchanged, will report to Rosemary Mason, managing director Huhtamaki Foodservice Western Europe and UK.

She said: “To date, our product offering has focused on food-to-go packaging such as cups, lids, plates, bowls and cutlery for some of the leading food and food service brands in the world.

“The acquisition of Delta, which manufactures board products complementary to our own such as burger clam boxes, fry cartons and flat cartons for many different retail products, will allow Huhtamaki to enter the fast-growing folding carton business in Europe and strengthen our global customer partnerships.”

Mrs Mason continued: “We recognise that the 290 plus employees of Delta, and their experience, skills and knowledge of the industry, have been integral to the success the company has enjoyed over the last 30 years and we look forward to welcoming them on board and increasing the number of Huhtamaki employees in Northern Ireland.”

Huhtamaki already employs more than 200 people in Northern Ireland at its plant in Lurgan and paper recycling unit in Lisburn.

The Lurgan plant, which manufactures cup carriers, egg cartons and egg trays, was acquired by Huhtamaki in 1999 and has recently benefitted from Group investment of £4.9m.

“Moving forward as Huhtamaki Foodservice Delta Limited, we will work hard to ensure a smooth transition ensuring business as usual and providing our customers with a high level of service,” added Mrs Mason.

“Throughout the Huhtamaki Group there is a strong emphasis on the care of both customers and employees, and this culture will extend to Delta which has been delivering high levels of customer service for over thirty years.”

“Together, we believe we can accelerate sales growth through mutual customers in coffee, quick service restaurants and consumer goods, thus expanding our footprint in the folded carton packaging market within Europe, and even further afield.”

Delta’s head office is in Belfast with production facilities in Gliwice, Poland.

Delta founder Terry Cross OBE, who will remain as a senior advisor assisting Huhtamaki build its folding carton packaging business further, said: “I am delighted that Delta has become part of the Huhtamaki organisation which is a leading, global specialist in food and drink packaging. Thirty five years on from our first transaction, now is the time for the company to take the next step in what has been, and what will continue to be, a very exciting journey for the company, our employees and our customers.

“It is the innovation, dedication and hard work of our staff here in Belfast, and at our sister site in Poland, that has captured the attention of a global company such as Huhtamaki which is fantastic for a Northern Ireland company.”

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The Nokia Name for Phones and Tablets has Been Revived

The Nokia is Back!

Nokia’s alive! After Microsoft bought the handset business from the Finnish firm in 2014 the legendary Nokia name disappeared from our phones, but it’s coming back.

A new company, HMD, has been specifically founded as a subsidiary of Foxconn to put the Nokia name back onto phones and tablets.

HMD has signed a licensing agreement with the Nokia Corporation – the company does still exist – for the exclusive use of the Nokia brand on mobiles and tablets for the next 10 years.

For those fearing a fresh onslaught of Windows devices, there’s good news as HMD has confirmed its Nokia-branded smartphones and tablets will run on Android. It remains to be seen whether there will be an interface overlay, like we saw on the almost Windows-esque Nokia X or the Z-launcher toting Nokia N1.

Feature focus

It’s not just smartphones though. HMD has agreed with Microsoft “to use the ‘Nokia’ trademark on feature phones until 2024, and design rights relating to Microsoft’s Feature Phone Business.” In fact, Microsoft is selling its entire feature phone business to parent company Foxconn for $350 million.

The Nokia brand still carries a lot of weight in developing nations, where low-cost feature and smartphones are big business, so it’s no surprise HMD is keen to focus on this as well as higher end products.

It also means we could some familiar Lumia styling in the new Nokia feature phone range, with Microsoft giving the go-ahead for its design language to be used. It’s currently not clear whether this design language will transcend to the smartphone line-up as well, or if we’ll see a new style direction for the Android-toting handsets.

HMD is in good hands too, with Arto Nummela stepping in as CEO and Florian Seiche as the company’s president.

They may not be household names, but Nummela has previously held senior positions at Nokia, and is currently the head of Microsoft’s Mobile Devices business EMEA and Microsoft’s global Feature Phones business.

Meanwhile Seiche is currently Senior Vice President for Europe Sales and Marketing at Microsoft Mobile, and has previously held leadership roles at Nokia and HTC.

Whether HMD, Nummela and Seiche can make the new Nokia devices a success remains to be seen, but if they can harness the legendary brand and the fondness people hold for the name when thinking back to Nokia’s of old, they’d be off to a good start.

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Apple Holds the Top Spot as the UK’s Most-Loved Brand

Apple has been ranked as the UK and Europe’s most loved brand according to a Brand Lovelist report conducted by social analytic firm NetBase. Apple received the most mentions from fans expressing their reverence of the brand.

The report identified 50 brands in Europe determined by market research and ranked the most loved brands in technology, consumer goods, food and beverage, automotive, financial services and energy. Data was collected via NetBase’s social media listening platform which was used across Europe from April 2015 to March 2016.

Apple came in at first, with over 400,000 more mentions that Good which holds the second place position. Apple and Google alone accounted for 64% of overall UK brand mentions on social media channels. Toy maker Lego was third and Tesco fourth, being the only food and beverage brand to feature on the list.

Tesco’s ranking highlighted the significance of targeted campaigns which engage customers. #Triedforless was the most popular social media hashtag associated with the big four retailer.

As the most-loved consumer goods brand, Lego enthusiasts were largely animated about the #Starwars #Lego partnership. In addition to Lego, consumer goods companies made up 28% of the most loved brands list which included Adidas, Burberry and Chanel.

“While it’s not altogether surprising that Apple came out on top if we look beneath the surface it tells us that here is a company that has created an enviable passion among its consumers. Alternatively, look at Tesco, why is it the only food and beverage brand on the list, where are the likes of Lidl and Sainsbury? The answer is because it has worked hard to build a strong relationship with its customers and they want to express their love for it” said Chief Marketing Officer of NetBase Paige Leidig.

“Understanding consumer preference is more than simply measuring the volume of social media content it’s about understanding the intensity of passion and feeling in those posts. Most consumer purchases are won on emotion and the Brand Lovelist measures brand love and every single version of it; it tells us which brands people love the most. Furthermore, it highlights the importance of having insightful customer data that you can act upon whether it’s a new campaign, product launch or purely understanding ongoing customer perception of your brand,” Leidig added.

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