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All Posts By Nikki McMath

Speciality & Fine Food Fair 2017

By Posted on 2 m read

Feast Magazine – Speciality & Fine Food Fair 2017

An Aladdin’s Cave of the finest food and drink gems from across the UK and around the globe beckons on September 3-5 at Speciality & Fine Food Fair 2017.

A trade show for all the senses, the Fair is a showcase of the very best that the artisan sector has to offer. More than 700 carefully curated speciality food and drink producers, including 200 that are new to the UK market, will be showcasing thousands of innovative and exciting new products.

Plant-based, all natural, raw and free from dominate the new trends. From fermented drinks, raw snack foods, vegan chocolate, sugar free condiments and vegetable yoghurts to nuts, nuts, and more nuts!

Producers for 2017 includes: Andean Sol, A Little Bit Food Co, Adam’s Cold Pressed Chocolate, Anglesey Sea Salt, The Belgian Boys, Caws Cenarth, Easy Bean, Goodio, Harem Delights, Ozerlat, Pieminster, Pundits, Revolicious, Rombouts, Ten Acre, Truede, Tigg’s, The Veggie Plot and Willy Chase’s.

Doors open on September 3-5 at Olympia, London

The Fair has been given a fresh feel for 2017 and includes a new-look line-up of attractions. The Discovery Zone will showcase the finest artisan gems from businesses that have been trading in the UK for less than 36 months. Brands include Alive Biome, Gourmade, Garbanzo, La Befana Beer Bread, Love Cheesecakes, Ntsama’s Chilli Oil and Sauces, Neat’s Snacks, Popcorn Shed, Pure Maple, Spice Kitchen and Sleep Well.

Buyers will also be invited to tread the Speciality Chocolate Trail, created by chocolate consultant and fair Ambassador Will Torrent, to find the very finest gourmet chocolate and premium confectionery from 50 top producers. They include: Amelia Rope Chocolate, Bean & Pod, Beech’s Fine Chocolate, Coco Chocolatier, Dragees Reynauld, KANMI Chocolate and Raw Halo.

Savour the Flavour: Live Kitchen features practical tips and menu advice from some of the industry’s most experienced chefs and personalities. Hosted by Chef Steve Walpole, decision makers can also discover what flavour trends and menu design styles are emerging. The line-up includes: chef and television presenter Rachel Green, Guild of Fine Food chef Nick Crosley and Mary Quicke MBE from the Academy of Cheese.

Business advice will be dished out by the experts in Food for Thought, and speakers include: Pritesh Mody, from World of Zing and Shami Radia, from Eat Grub. There will also be the chance to be amongst the first to source a host of stunning Great Taste award-winning food and drink, with the Top 50 products and Supreme Champion on display in the Great Taste Deli.

Kara Bowen, Event Manager, said: “Speciality & Fine Food Fair this year promises to be one of the most exciting yet. Not only can buyers and decision makers source some of the finest food and drink from around the globe and discover emerging trends first; they can immerse themselves in the vibrant and wonderful atmosphere that this trade fair has become so renowned for. A unique opportunity and a unique experience.”

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Olly Murs takes over Haydock Park

By Posted on 7 m read





Join in the conversation online #JCLive17

Tickets are onsale now and available via



Q: Your new album ’24 Hrs’ is your 4th consecutive number 1 album that must be a great feeling?


Olly: Amazing. I’m very proud of that you know to have 4 consecutive number 1 albums is brilliant. I never expected in my wildest dreams that I would’ve got this far so, absolutely delighted that we’ve managed to get 4 consecutive, like you say, number 1 albums it’s really really amazing so thank you. Amazing.


Q: What do you reckon has been the appeal of your music and yourself to make you the most successful male artist to ever come from the X Factor?


Olly: I dunno, I’d like to think that I’ve done some great songs and, think people love what I do… I just don’t give anything, I mean this album’s probably the most heartbreaking, most honest album that I’ve done but I think with previous albums you know I have a lot of fun, my album’s are happy and people enjoy listening to them and with this album in particular it’s still happy, still got lots of that vibe on it. Its just luck you know that people like me and people have bought my albums and I’m very lucky that they do because it doesn’t always happen like that so I’m very very grateful.


Q: You mention this is your most honest album to date, do you feel you are constantly progressing as an artist and songwriter through your albums?


Olly: Yeah 50/50 I mean, I did run out of ideas, I wanted to do something different and I felt with this album I just didn’t know where to go next.  What I was gonna do? I felt like writing about what’s been actually, genuinely happening was the right thing to do. I’m just really happy that I did this album and the fact that it went to number 1 and people really like it. At the start of the year I was like ‘what am I gonna write about? What am I gonna do?’ and I’m really happy that I did this honest album, I’ve always been an artist I’m just writing about what I’ve wrote on every album that I’ve done, I wrote most of my hits so this album was just an opportunity to do something different and to keep my fans interested and show them a different side to me and I’m really happy and proud of how well it’s done and I can’t wait for people to hear the second track from the album next year with the other single that we’re gonna release it’s exciting.


Q: Is there a particular track on this album that you’re most proud of you, that you really want people to hear?


Olly: I think ’24 Hrs’ and ‘Flaws’ are the two songs on the album that I’m really proud of because for me ’24 Hrs’ the song was something else, a different song that I’ve never done before, production wise and the feel of the song, but also ‘Flaws’ was, I feel like one of the best songs that I’ve written with the guys that I wrote with. It was really sad but I think you have to listen to the songs really to kinda get the idea of what I mean but I love writing really happy feel-good songs but at the same time I mean it’s nice to show people a different side to me and show some emotion and that’s what this album was about.


Q: You’re undertaking a massive headline arena tour in March, and obviously in the summer you’ve got a huge run of outdoor shows that will see you come to Haydock Park Racecourse on the 11th August, how do they vary in terms of what you put into them and what you get out of it, from the indoors to the outdoor?


Olly: I think it’s fun, it’s really fun being outside and you know the show that we’re doing at Haydock Park is a different gig for me, I’ve never done anything like this before, I’ve done racecourse gigs before in the past but not this sort of size and I’m really proud to do it and it gives me the chance to go to different places in the UK that I haven’t been before, do different kind of shows, do something slightly different. I can’t wait I mean, what’s better? Go to a racecourse, I can go there during the day I can, have a little flutter on a couple of the races and then do a gig in the evening. Perfect.


Q: How do you go about choosing your set list?


Olly: It’s gonna be difficult, you know five albums but you’ve just gotta play the hits and the songs that people know; that’s what I’ll do with the set make it as entertaining as possible. I’ll throw in a few covers there as well, have a bit of a laugh with the fans and it’ll be a really fun day out and I promise any fan that comes along, it’ll be a right laugh from the start of the day to the end of it and I promise to make sure everyone goes home happy having had a good time.


Q: Have you got ay kind of pre-stage ritual that you do before you go on?


Olly: Me and the band have a little huddle up before the show and we sing one of our songs, well not a song, a song that we’ve got as a team and we’ve been doing it for the last six/seven years so it’s a bit of a ritual but I’m sure we’ll be sinking a few shots before the show as well just to get into the racecourse spirit.


Q:  You’re going to be playing Haydock Park in the north-west, which is essentially settled in between Liverpool, Manchester, Warrington and Wigan and right beside St. Helen’s. Residents come to these events because it’s an opportunity to see an artist like you on their doorstep, there’s always been fantastic reactions at the courses to the music nights.


Olly: For me it’s just great to be involved and, like I say I can’t wait to get go out to see all the fans it’s gonna be a great one and I’m sure I’ll have a massive hangover at the end of it but I’ll enjoy it. Hopefully it’s a lovely day weather-wise, hopefully it’s not too wet and people have a really nice summer and really enjoy it.


Q: It must be great being able to get out and play to your fans, essentially in their areas without them having to travel a few hours into a major city


Olly: These are shows you get to see the real people; they are days out, family days at racecourses it’s slightly different you know. Over the years I’ve done loads of different festivals, all these commercial festivals that people go to every year, I just feel like going to a racecourse is so different and people get to see a different vibe, different set, different sound and you get to see different people. You know, there’s some of these people that come to the racecourse who are people that maybe have never been to a music festival before so, it’s nice that, I just thought its refreshing for me to do a gig like this.  I mean I’m really looking forward to having a day out with my mates at Haydock Park racecourse as well as everyone else and then at the end of it, get up and sing an hour, an hour and a half, two hour show whatever it is and just have some fun and have a great night.


Q: Residents come to these events because it’s an opportunity to see an artist like you on their doorstep, there’s always been fantastic reactions at the courses to the music nights.


Olly: That’s the great thing about doing these racecourse events it’s about going to different parts of the country, different areas that necessarily other artists might not have been to for a while or for someone like me, I haven’t been to the areas in a long time so it really gives the people of these areas that go to these racecourses a chance to come and see me because they might not come to the arena tours so, it’s good to come and bring the show to them. For me it’s just great to be involved and, like I say I can’t wait to get go out to see all the fans it’s gonna be a great one and I’m sure I’ll have a massive hangover at the end of it but I’ll enjoy it.


Q: When you go out on tour playing these types of shows, do you get to see much of the locality?


Olly: I haven’t been to many racecourses over the last few years as I’ve been so busy but I love the atmosphere, I love the people, you got out there and put a few bets on and the only problem for me on the day of these racecourse gigs is not to be drinking too much! So I’ve had a few little sly beers, the atmosphere at a racecourse is great; it doesn’t get much better in the summer. If you’re a fan of my music or not a fan of my music, it’ll be a fantastic day out and I look forward to putting show on, I’ll make sure everyone goes home happy and have a good day.

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Let Me Entertain You…Legally

By Posted on 4 m read

While the multitude of routes now available for a venue to play or stream music brings with it great choice – the flipside is that it has legal complexity. James Luck, commercial director for soundjack, reviews this legal maze and advises on the best way to avoid a hefty fine.

The options to deliver entertainment today are not only widespread, they have become that much easier. All you have to do is pick your Spotify or iTunes playlist, press shuffle and away you go.

No more need to purchase the latest CD collections, hire live bands or go to the expense of having a jukebox installed.

Or so it would seem.

The stark truth however, is that this supposedly simple “plug and play” solution could land you in very hot water. It could cost you thousands of pounds in fines, damage your reputation and even end up with a prison term imposed.

If you wish to play music, you need to have the correct licence. Depending on whether you use Spotify or iTunes, the radio, TV, a jukebox, play CDs and even a live band there will be some form of licence required.

And it doesn’t end there. The legalities and level of licence will be determined by the source of music, type of venue, size of venue and the number of people, but we can guide you through this.

There are two types of licence, PPL and PRS for Music and the likelihood is you’ll require both. There have been some very high profile cases in recent years where publicans, club owners and even hairdressing salons have fallen foul.

For example, in November 2015, the Socialite Bar, in Muswell Hill, North London, was fined by PPL to the tune of £19,000 and The House of Hair and Beauty, in Preston, had to cough up £1,500 for PPL in July 2010 and was banned from playing music.

But you can avoid being the next high profile case.

PPL collects and distributes money on behalf of record companies and performers while PRS for Music represents songwriters, composers and music publishers. So it’s easy to see why both licences are more than likely needed.

Still unsure as to whether or not you need to be covered? The easiest way to answer that question yourself is that, if you play any form of “original” music whatsoever to customers in your venue, then the answer is probably yes.

And the good news is that, with soundjack, you are free to play tailored playlists with the peace of mind we ensure the licence that most venues miss – the copying licence – is covered in our charges. And while we work with you to make sure you have the right playlists to suit your clientele or occasion, your customers are also able to influence track choice via a free app.

There are some fantastic stats to support this, too, making it even more important to be fully covered so as not to miss out on the benefits or have to pay out all your additional revenue in fines. For instance:

*   93 per cent of bars and pubs believe that playing the correct music creates a better atmosphere for customers1

*   Music in bars and pubs increases sales by an average of 44 per cent2

*   A massive 91 per cent of managers and business owners either “agreed” or “agreed strongly” that playing music makes customers and staff happier3

And it’s not just bars and clubs that can benefit from fully licensed background music. Leightons Opticians & Hearing Care wanted something that would integrate easily with its existing audio system for a space that lacked atmosphere and overcome wooden flooring that was creating an “eerie echo”.

Its success meant that the soundjack system was subsequently rolled out to all Leightons’ shops. Customers are now reluctant to leave and IT engineer Daniel Barnes has said the system is “stable and user-friendly, which is what we needed in multiple stores”, and that it’s “probably the best solution on the market for this kind of environment”.

So, while the process may seem complex and is indeed a legal maze, it need not be. My advice is if you are unsure whether or not you need to be licensed you should speak to a reputable and knowledgeable supplier to review your options.

It needn’t be a burden, hitting the right balance to provide background music for your customers, regardless of your venue, does not only provide entertainment for both staff and customers it can boost morale, bottom line and keep you out of court.

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Branston Partners With Merlin Entertainments For Endless Fun Promotion

By Posted on 2 m read

Branston has announced a major on-pack promotion in partnership with Merlin Entertainments for a second consecutive year. The two for one ticket giveaway will take place in conjunction with THORPE PARK Resort and SEA LIFE Centres, covering 13 locations across the UK.

Following on from the success of the 2016 partnership which ran across seven million Branston products, the promotion aims to extend the target audience for the brand while resonating with families in a fun and engaging way. Running between April and August 2017, across multipack and single cans, the on pack ticket promotion will also be supported by wider activity including PR and in-store activation such as specific retailer giveaways.

The partnership is part of an on-going initiative for Branston seeking to communicate the taste credentials of the range and encourage product trial.

Dean Towey, Marketing Director for Branston said: “The partnership with THORPE PARK Resort and SEA LIFE aims to provide a point of difference and encourage product trial amongst a wider target audience. We were thrilled by the success of last year’s partnership and are pleased to be able to offer a benefit which truly resonates with families”.

Katie Chapman, Brand Manager, THORPE PARK Resort comments: “We are looking forward to developing a partnership with Branston Baked Beans for a second consecutive year. The brand is very much aligned with our own core values and we feel the promotion is a great opportunity to reach out to families during the summer season”.

Cheska Bennett, Head of Marketing Midway UK & Eire, adds: “The partnership with Branston Baked Beans is a great fit for SEA LIFE. As the UK’s family aquarium, encouraging families to partake in fun days out during the year is one of our key focuses and we are very much looking forward to launching the Endless Fun promotion”.

To claim tickets, consumers simply purchase a promotional pack and take the offer label to the attraction of their choice or redeem their passes online using the entry code details featured on the reverse of the promotional label. Each label offers one person free entry into participating Merlin attractions and gives customers the opportunity to redeem at their own leisure.

For more information and terms and conditions, please visit

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Flavour of the Month: Electronic Cigarettes By Montserrat Sanchez, E-Liquids & Flavour Innovation Leader at Vype UK

By Posted on 2 m read

Have you attempted to describe the taste of food or drink to someone who has never tried that particular product before? What adjectives do you use – sweet or savoury, spicy or smooth; full of fruity freshness or does it pack a punch with a cool kick?

Would your friend be able to appreciate the full flavour if you described something in these simple terms? Perhaps not. There is more to flavour than taste alone. So when it comes to developing e-cigarette devices for adult smokers and vapers, we do a huge amount of work and are passionate about creating the unique sensory experience that consumers get from our innovative eLiquids and flavourings.


Flavour is more complex than just taste. It’s a multidimensional experience. That’s why at Vype, when designing new sophisticated flavours, we use a flavour wheel approach – similar to that of a mixologist – to craft distinctive and layered flavours that include all the different aroma territories (fruit, floral, velvety etc) but also cover the main taste and feeling sensorial descriptors to provide more delicious, diverse and complex flavour profiles.  For example, when it came to releasing a limited edition fruit collection for the summer, we didn’t just settle for a broad “strawberry” taste, but instead devised the “Strawberry Smash” – a juicy fusion of sweet strawberry with fruity green notes, providing a cool, crisp vaping sensation.

We don’t take our mixology role lightly. Like a master chef working hard in the kitchen, we strive for the highest standards of quality – only using pharmaceutical grade nicotine and food grade ingredients. Our flavour scientists analyse every chemical compound in Vype devices and eLiquids, so we are delivering the most satisfying vape possible with taste that you can trust .

We recognise that consumers are complex and curious. They want different vaping experiences and tastes at different times of the day or for different moods. That’s why through our mixology process, we create 33 recipe cards (available in our Flavour Lab) to inspire our Vype consumers; based on the carefully crafted Vype flavours to enable consumers to explore and create their own favourite flavour combinations

We don’t believe that a flavour pallet should be a static selection so we are constantly innovating to create broader flavours and different sensory experiences for vapers.  We  continuously experiment, innovate and evolve in order to offer consumers something new. So watch this space, as a new range of exclusive flavour experiences is upon us.

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Putting Matcha on the Menu

By Posted on 3 m read

For nearly a thousand years matcha has been an integral part of Japanese tea ceremonies, where it is said to help create a perfect environment for relaxed communication between host and guests.

A newcomer to the market, PureChimp, are looking to put matcha on more people’s menus and show us how versatile it can be. They hope to encourage the use of the green powder in baking with the launch of their new flavored matcha range…


What is matcha?

Matcha doesn’t look like the tea we’re used to seeing in Britain, but instead is a green powder made from very finely grinding tea leaves picked from plants which, for three weeks before harvest, have been grown under shade.

Growing the tea under cover results in the leaves containing increased amounts, compared to normal teas, of both caffeine and another natural chemical called theanine, which gives the tea specific health benefits.

Why use matcha in baking?

  • Matcha is renowned for being packed with healthy anti-oxidants and also provides a mellow caffeine boost, giving you ‘the buzz, without the fuzz’
  • It adds a subtly sweet green tea flavour to dishes
  • It’s vibrant green colour creates visually stunning treats
  • As it comes in powder form, its super versatile and you only need to use a little

Why choose PureChimp?

There are various different types and grades of matcha available. Some of the most recent additions to the market include ‘matcha tea bags’, but real matcha only comes in a powder form.

Matcha powder varies in quality due to a number of factors, ranging from where on the tea plant the leaves are picked to how they are ground. Only the very highest quality teas make it to become Japanese Ceremonial Grade matcha.

British brand PureChimp are hoping to make high quality matcha, and its benefits, accessible to everyone with their recently launched 20g serving packets of Japanese Ceremonial Grade matcha. Coming in handy re-sealable pouches, containing only 100% natural matcha and with 5% of profits going to charity, at just £4.95 for 20 servings PureChimp offer the perfect way to trial this Japanese speciality.

There are three flavours of PureChimp matcha powder available, original, mint, and lemongrass; making the taste and creativity opportunities even more exciting!

Visit for more details or to buy.


A bit of inspiration to get you started…


Matcha & Raspberry Chocolate Bars

Courtesy of Eliza Brook


  • 100g white chocolate
  • ½ tsp PureChimp Matcha 
  • 50g freeze-dried raspberries (whole or crumbled)


  1. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Place 2/3 of the white chocolate in a double boiler or a bowl placed over a pot of steaming water (medium high heat), stirring constantly until melted (5-10 minutes).
  3. Add matcha powder to the bowl and stir until the streaks disappear and the chocolate is uniform in colour.
  4. Pour the melted chocolate onto the parchment-lined baking tray. Sprinkle your frozen raspberries on top. Gently press the toppings into the chocolate to make sure they stick.
  5. Refrigerate for 30 to 40 minutes, until chocolate is set and can be broken into chunks. Enjoy 🙂

Lemon Matcha Jelly Bars


Courtesy of Joseph Legg



  1. To make the jelly, follow gelatin packet instructions but only add half the water the packet states (this is to make a firmer jelly).
  2. Per 250ml of jelly mix, add the honey and PureChimp Lemon Matcha and whisk thoroughly.
  3. Pour the Jelly into a tray around 5mm thick and place in fridge until set.
  4. Melt the white chocolate and pour a 3mm layer into a silicon chocolate bar mould and leave to set in the fridge.
  5. Once set, cut the Matcha jelly into strips and lay in the chocolate moulds.
  6. Top the mould up with more melted chocolate and leave to set in the fridge.
  7. Push the bars out of their moulds and garnish with lemon zest.


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FDF Awards 2017 – Deadline For Entries Closes Later This Month

By Posted on 2 m read

Food and drink businesses looking to showcase their outstanding achievements have until 28 April 2017 to submit entries for this year’s Food and Drink Federation (FDF) Awards.

The awards, which are completely free to enter, provide an opportunity to highlight the exciting work undertaken throughout the food supply chain in the past year in areas such as exports, environmental leadership, education, health and innovation. There are also a number of categories for individuals including the Rising Star and Apprentice of the Year awards. 

The awards take place at an exciting ceremony at The Brewery in Central London on 21 September 2017 and are hosted by comedian and TV presenter Hardeep Singh Kohli.

All categories are open to food and drink producers from across the supply chain and throughout the UK. Winners in the 2016 FDF Awards included Joe and Seph’s Gourmet Popcorn, Premier Foods, The Bread Factory, Clipper Teas, Warburtons and Addo Food Group.

Company categories in the FDF Awards 2017 include:

·         Campaign of the Year

·         Community Partner (business)

·         Education initiative

·         Environmental Leadership

·         Exporter of the Year

·         Good Employer

·         Health

·         Innovation

·         Regional Growth Business (six regional awards)

Individual categories include:

·         Apprentice of the Year

·         Community Partner (individual)

·         Food and Drink Engineer of the Year

·         Food and Drink Scientist of the Year

·         Rising Star

Ian Wright CBE, Director General of the Food and Drink Federation, said:
“The FDF Awards celebrate the very best of our industry and provide an opportunity for businesses and individuals to receive the recognition they so deserve. 

“It allows us to give a well-earned pat on the back to those that make such a positive contribution to our sector and also the wider UK economy.

“We look forward to welcoming new faces and old friends to what we’re sure will be a very enjoyable event.”

Entry is free and online (closing date 28 April 2017). All entries will then be assessed by an independent judging panel comprised of industry experts and key stakeholders including sponsors. Sponsors for the 2017 awards so far include Santander, General Mills and Aktrion Food.

Sponsorship opportunities are still available, for further information please contact [email protected]

Watch highlights from the FDF Awards 2016.

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CityMunch launches deals to help independent eateries fight back against big brands

By Posted on 2 m read

● Food tech startup backed by Just Eat launches 50% off campaign on Monday
● Will enable independent eateries in London to give consumers massive discounts direct to
their mobiles
● Move marks CityMunch’s first campaign in London
CityMunch, a startup backed by Just Eat, is launching its first discounts campaign in London from
Monday. By connecting independent eateries to hungry consumers through its new Merchant
Mobile App, CityMunch is enabling local food spots to finally fight back against the big brands.
The campaign will see food trucks, delis and pizzerias in East London offer half price lunches until the
end of May. The CityMunch Merchant Mobile App empowers street food vendors and other small
eateries to deliver up-to-date, convenient discount options to hungry consumers nearby.
Big brands have always benefitted from large marketing budgets to pull in customers. CityMunch
aims to level the playing field by enabling independents to reach new and existing customers with
the press of a button and in real time.
Independents can respond to the environment around them – weather conditions, local footfall – by
pulling out their phones and switching on discounts. Customers benefit from the cost savings, while
the vendors cash in on stock they would otherwise have thrown away.
Rob Lynch, CEO and Founder of CityMunch, said: “From Brazilian street food to halloumi wraps,
CityMunch is encouraging people to break a habit and try something new for less. We’re brightening
up someone’s Monday by connecting them to high quality and great prices. And we’re giving local
eateries a leg up by helping them to reach new customers.”

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Tayto Group Affiliate Acquires Freedom Refreshments in £Multi-Million Deal

By Posted on 3 m read

Leeds-based vending solutions company, Freedom Refreshments Limited, has been purchased by Montagu Group, which is an affiliate company of Tayto Group Ltd (TGL).  TGL owns key brands, Golden Wonder, Mr Porky, REAL Crisps, Jonathan Crisp and Tayto, which is Northern Ireland’s number one brand of crisps, and this £multi-million deal is TGL’s first acquisition in the vending-solutions sector.

The acquisition, which includes Freedom Refreshment’s subsidiaries, LTT Vending, eXpresso PLUS and NIVO, offers TGL access to almost 7,000 vending machines across England.

Paul Allen, chief executive of the Montagu Group, explains:  “The acquisition of Freedom Refreshments is a key facet of our strategic development programme.   While we have a strong share of the vending market in Northern Ireland, we only had limited reach into GB and this deal will enable us to increase our presence significantly within this sector.  The people at Freedom are experts at what they do, continually developing their brand and subsidiaries through both organic growth and acquisitions.”

The acquisition of Freedom Refreshments closely follows the Group’s recent purchase of London-based Tavern Snacks and a majority acquisition of Devon-based Portlebay Popcorn.  The addition of a GB vending arm is the next progressive step in the wider Group’s growth plans.

Paul continues:  “There are several synergies between Tayto Group and Freedom Refreshments and this acquisition will help us to bring our products to a wider audience.  Freedom Refreshments turns over around £16million pa and is an established provider of hot and cold drinks and snacks across many sectors, including healthcare, workplace, education and retail.”

Mark Stone, an experienced vending professional, has been appointed as CEO of Freedom Refreshments.  Mark added: “A Tayto Group sister company, Montagu Group, has been established to operate and direct the vending arm of the Group’s business.  The vending machines will carry Tayto Group products, where appropriate, but their contents will be driven by consumer demand and will also include an extensive range of hot and cold drinks as well as confectionery.”

Edward Selka, former partner/owner of Freedom Refreshments, adds:  “After a series of transformations, we have built the company into a thriving, national, vending refreshment and services business with around 160 employees and we are delighted that Montagu Group has purchased the company’s entire share capital.

“We are a family-run company and as the new owner, Montagu Group, is also family-operated, we share many core values.  We view this acquisition as an excellent opportunity for Freedom Refreshment’s employees to enjoy a secure future in a positive workplace as the company continues to grow and succeed.”

Paul adds:  “Within the last 12 years, Tayto Group has grown exponentially, increasing turnover from £19 million a year to around £180 million.  The new acquisitions will pave the way for further expedited growth.”

Tayto Group, which is owned by Northern Ireland family, the Hutchinsons, employs more than 1500 people across its operations and is the country’s largest UK-owned crisp and snack manufacturer.  With headquarters in Tayto Castle, Co Armagh, the Group produces more than 25 million bags of snacks and crisps each week across its six sites, which are based in Tandragee, Corby, Scunthorpe, Westhoughton, Wolverhampton and Devon.  Tayto Group products are currently exported to around 43 countries, including Australia, Dubai, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United States of America.

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Amazon Business Launches in the UK to Serve Procurement Needs of Businesses of Every Size

By Posted on 3 m read

Amazon Business combines the value, convenience and selection customers have come to love from Amazon, with a range of new features and unique benefits tailored to businesses

Features include Free One-Day Delivery on orders of £30 or more, VAT-exclusive pricing, VAT invoicing and Amazon Business Analytics

4 April 2017 – Amazon today announced the launch of Amazon Business (, a new service to meet the procurement needs of businesses of every size – from small businesses to large multi-national organisations, as well as institutional buyers like universities, hospitals and non-profits.

Amazon Business customers benefit from a range of business-tailored features such as Free One-Day Delivery on orders of £30 or more, VAT-exclusive pricing, VAT invoicing and Amazon Business Analytics to gain visibility into how their business is spending. It’s the selection, convenience and value customers love about Amazon, now for business.

Amazon Business offers more than one hundred million products in a wide range of categories, such as:

  • Laptops, office supplies and storage solutions, through to office furniture and commercial grade printers
  • Industrial safety and contractor grade power tools through to thermal imaging cameras
  • Janitorial supplies and cleaning products through to industrial grade high pressure washers
  • More than 50,000 types of lab supplies, including microscopes, test tubes and high-speed centrifuges

In addition to competitive pricing and great selection, Amazon Business customers have access to the following features:

  • Free One-Day Delivery: Get what you want fast and free on qualified orders of £30 or more.
  • VAT-exclusive pricing and VAT invoicing: The Amazon buying experience with VAT-exclusive pricing and availability of VAT invoices.
  • Visibility and control: Add a Purchase Order (PO) number to your orders, add multiple users to your business account, set spending limits, enable purchasing approval workflows and gain visibility into how your business is spending with Amazon Business Analytics.
  • Detailed transaction data on commercial card purchases: Track and reconcile your business purchases with line-item detail on every Amazon Business purchase made with a Visa Commercial Card issued by Barclaycard, Citi, HSBC or Lloyds Bank.
  • Integrated into procurement systems: Enabled on leading e-procurement platforms including Coupa, JAGGAER and SAP Ariba.

“Whether you are a sole trader, a buyer in a mid-size company or a Chief Procurement Officer in a large multi-national organisation, Amazon Business has the products and capabilities to serve your needs,” said Bill Burkland, Head of Amazon Business UK.  “Amazon Business combines more than one hundred million business products with a new set of unique business features – from reporting and analytics to spending limits and purchasing workflow approvals – making it everything you love about Amazon, now for business.”

Amazon Business launched in the US in April 2015, serving more than 400,000 businesses and generating more than $1bn in sales in its first year. Amazon Business launched in Germany in December 2016, with more than 50,000 business customers now using Amazon Business and over 10,000 business sellers having accessed the Amazon Business Seller feature set to sell their products to business customers. Since its US launch, Amazon Business has shipped to business customers in more than 60 countries through its US and German websites.

“As a company, we want to spend as little time as possible purchasing the thousands of things we need to run our business,” said Paul Egan, CTO of Founders Factory, one of the UK’s leading start up incubators. “Amazon Business gives us access to everything we need at competitive prices, whilst supporting our fast pace and agile way of working – crucial as we’re currently hiring one to two people per week on average.”

Business customers can register for a free Amazon Business account via Sellers that would like to add products to Amazon’s growing Amazon Business selection can learn more at

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