Raynor Foods attends The University Catering Organisation (TUCO) Sustainability Palm Oil Forum

This February our Innovation and Technical Director (Tom Hollands) attended the TUCO Sustainability Palm Oil Forum.  The forum brought together a large range of catering and sustainability experts from across the UK, to listen to the most up to date evidence on the impact made by palm oil supply chains on social issues, environmental issues and sustainability.

The day started with a whistle stop tour of the chemistry behind fats and oils and how the chemistry can be altered so that fats and oils can be used over a host of applications, either the creamy mouth feel in ice-creams, the melt in your mouth sensation with custard creams and even the moistness in wet wipes!

What became clear very quickly was that palm oil has a significant range of different applications, from tooth paste to pet products, from cosmetics to cupsoups and although it only accounts for just 6.6% of land use for growing vegetable oils, it provides over 38.7% of global production of oils and fats!

Therefore, palm oil is the highest yielding vegetable oil and uses up to 10 times less farming land than alternatives – the reason?  Palm fruit can be harvested every 10 days, the same plant can be harvested hundreds and hundreds of times over 25 years, whereas sunflower oil, soya oil and the others only have a single harvest.

The crystal clear message from this event, especially from TUCO, RSPO, Orangutan Land Trust, EFECA and even Chester Zoo was NOT to boycott palm oil, rather only source sustainable palm oil, such as those certificated to the RSPO standard.  This is because the palm oil produced from sustainable plantations are more sustainable – remember palm oil uses up to 10 times less farming land than alternatives.  Alternative sources will require more deforestation, especially pertinent when trying to maintain bio-diversity and populations of Orangutans.

Furthermore, hundreds of thousands of families relies on these sustainable plantations for their income, education (an aspect of the RSPO certification) and welfare (worker rights) – its by far the cheapest and most sustainable oil in established RSPO farms.  By boycotting palm oil, it would impoverish millions of children and put back years of positive poverty progress that has been made.

Raynor Foods Ltd is ahead of the curve in this respect, all our products that contain palm oil (such as our fresh bread) comes from RSPO certificated sources since 2016!  However, we also have a Palm Oil reduction programme, which achieved an overall 45% reduction in palm oil use across our entire range of products in 2018.  The TUCO forum made abundantly clear that even with absolute good intent, our programme could be having unintended consequences, so we must change. Therefore, with immediate effect we have discontinued our Palm Oil Reduction Programme.

Instead we will look to engage with our customers and consumers, help them understand the new course, the reasons why and how important it is that we work together.  Additionally, we are committing to obtain RSPO certification and joining the growing ranks of businesses and organisations pushing in the same direction, so together we drive positive change for our world.

British Sandwich Week

This week marks British Sandwich Week, a celebration of the humble sandwich, whose roots lie when Lord John Montague, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, asked for his meat to be served between two slices of bread so he didn’t have to stray from gambling with friends for lunch.

In celebration of the week of the sandwich, Warburtons has conducted some research into the nation’s favourite sandwich and the plain old cheese sandwich emerged victorious. As sandwich makers and designers, we are constantly trying to think of new and exciting sandwich flavours, but should we bother?

Sandwich suppliers are constantly trying to find new and exciting fillings to bring to the market, but how many of these last the distance? Despite an influx of new and exciting fillings, it is the sandwiches we have enjoyed for decades that continue to top the sales time and time again.

According to the BSA 2017 Market Report – bacon, chicken and cheese hold the majority of the market, with bacon overtaking the latter after a 6.5% YOY growth in demand and the BLT returning to top of the pops.

Despite the rise in vegetarianism and veganism, the top 10 fillings remain meat or animal product based. However, arguably where we’ve seen the most innovation recently, is with vegan fillings.

January saw a boom in vegan options hitting the sandwich market with Onion Bhaji, Falafel and Rainbow Salad leading the vegan filling stakes.

Sandwich suppliers have noted the increased demand for vegan options and responded with vegan ranges but beyond that – is there a place for sandwich filling innovation when it is the old favourites such as BLT, Chicken and Bacon, Cheese Salad, Egg Mayonnaise and Prawn Mayonnaise currently remain the strong sellers.

The short answer is yes, the sandwich market needs to be kept fresh and exciting to keep it from going stagnant. While new and limited-edition flavours are never going to reach the solar highs of the BLT – they satisfy the needs of the consumer who craves something different.

Sandwich innovation and new filling options help to prevent menu fatigue and keep sandwich ranges relevant and exciting ensuring that the choice doesn’t become stagnant for both trade customers and their consumers.

For every consumer who religiously eats the same sandwich every single day, there is one that enjoys browsing the shelves for something new and exciting. Even if consumers choose the same sandwiches every day, they like to feel as if they have choice.

A simple sandwich isn’t necessarily simple and we are seeing flavours such as BBQ, Katsu, Mexicana and Indian becoming staples alongside the traditional British favourites.

For the sandwich industry to keep up with street food, innovation and new product launches are a defence mechanism. To ignore food trends is to become irrelevant and old fashioned. Tastes do gradually change over time and it is better to be ahead of the curve than behind it.

Christmas and summer provides ample opportunity to provide options that stand out from the crowd and provide a small sense of escapism from the everyday drudgery of the working world.

Every Christmas, we have seen sandwich innovation develop more elements of the Christmas dinner to bring something special to the lunch hour from edible stars to Yorkshire Pudding croutons.

Outside of developing new sandwich fillings, it is the innovation of separate ingredients that also require essential innovation. For example, the industry still needs good value palm oil free spreads that retain their spread quality or low-fat mayonnaise which isn’t full of xanthan gym.

These ingredient innovations can make all the difference, Raynor Foods introduced the use of Intense Tomatoes in their sandwiches to limit soggy sandwiches. They also cross-bred their own Verity Grace lettuce to produce something that was quicker to prepare with better flavour.

The other factor that will drive innovation is nutritional targets and legal requirements – such as cutting down on salt and fat. Sandwich suppliers will need to alter and develop their products to fit these new guidelines but still provide a tasty product meaning the old favourites could see a major overhaul as manufacturers review their ingredients and bread carriers.

It is innovation that keeps the sandwich market growing and developing and it allows us to find new and exciting ways to make our products even better and provide exciting flavours for consumers to choose from.

The sandwich market is a testing ground and we are lucky enough to work with a product that affords so many new and exciting options to experiment with. Innovation is the lifeblood of the sandwich industry and will allow us to continue to evolve to consumer demands.

British Sandwich Week & Sammies Update

British Sandwich Week is fast approaching us! Running from 14th to 20th May, we are starting to get ourselves ready!

The British Sandwich Association run an award night on the 11th May, they present the Sammies awards. If you’re not in the sandwich industry then you may not have heard of this. However, we can assure you that this is just like the Oscars to us! It’s a night where most people in the industry join together for a meal, awards and later on a few drinks and networking.

This year we have been short-listed for the Technical Excellence Award. Debbie Shand, one of our NPD Managers has been short-listed for all of her hard work in developing a new gluten free wrap for one of our customers.

Our Development Chef, Mike Crofts has got in to the finals for Sandwich Designer of the Year 2017. The product created to get him to the finals is the ‘Banging Breakfast Bagel’. This is a hollowed out bagel, filled with a hot egg and bacon mix.

We are keeping our fingers crossed for both Debbie and Mike! We will update everyone on Friday 12th May after we know the outcome of the awards night.

Because of British Sandwich Week and being an award winning supplier we have created some point of sale for our customers. Below is an example of marketing. The design is interchangeable and can be adapted for individual customers.

Make the most of British sandwich week. Celebrate one of the most popular versatile foods on the market!

British Sandwich Week Poster

New Products – Raynors Launches

If you’re on our email list then you would have heard about our huge launch that happened last week. Ten brand new products jumped on to our menu! Ranging from vegan, under 350 calories, hot food, gluten free and speciality new bread products.

If you haven’t yet had the chance to try these delicious products, let us update you on what they are!

Firstly the ‘Tuna Mexicana’. A fiery tuna blend with red onion, jalapeno peppers, spinach and tomatoes on thick oatmeal bread. Move on from the classic tuna and sweetcorn and try something a little more…intense!

In the Café range, we are introducing a Beef Club – beef with cheese, gherkins and our own special sauce – it’s a real lunchtime treat.

We thought it was about time to add another vegan product to our menu. We dived into Indian cuisine for this one, and are pleased to introduce our Onion Bhaji Wrap. We expect this wrap to be popular with the younger market.

In our gluten free range, we are replacing two of our gluten free rolls with sandwich options. We’re adding a gluten free Chicken & Bacon sandwich to the range, along with a Smoked Cheese Ploughman’s – we thought, why not take two of the most popular British sandwiches, and offer them as gluten free options?

Reflecting the market trend for new and interesting bread types, we are introducing some great new products.  In our under 350 calorie range, we are introducing a Hummus & Carrot Sandwich. Made with farmer’s bread, it’s a vibrantly colourful, tasty option, and it’s also Vegan!  Next, we are launching a Chicken & Tomato Focaccia. This replaces our Ham & Slow Roasted Tomato Focaccia in the Under 350 range – chicken is more popular with women than Ham, and we think that this will be a better fit in this part of our menu.

Next, we are launching two new flatbreads into our standard range! These delicious new introductions come in two flavours; Chicken Tikka on Indian spiced flatbread, or Mediterranean Chicken on Italian style tomato flatbread.

Lastly it couldn’t be a full product launch without something a little hotter? We’re introducing a Breakfast Wrap! Best eaten hot, the wrap is made with chipolatas, streaky bacon, omelette and Heinz tomato ketchup. Enjoy with a coffee for breakfast or indulge and treat yourself at lunch!

If you haven’t tried any of these exciting new products yet, get down to your nearest Raynors stockist, grab one and go; you won’t be sorry!

Chicken Tikka Flatbread Onion Bhaji Wrap Breakfast Wrap Beef & Cheddar Club Sandwich

New Under 350 Low Calorie Sandwich Range

Did you keep your New Years resolution?

Under 350 Calorie Sandwiches

Dieting is always one of the most popular resolutions and we are going to give you some motivation! As it’s February now and you may have had a month full of boring low fat dinners, and hours working out at the gym, we thought you deserved a little treat. We have launched five delicious under 350 calorie products. As a leading food to go company we like to keep on top of all trends. We have pulled together some fresh new ingredients and created some beautiful new products for you.

Ham & Slow Roast Tomato Focaccia

Hummus, Feta & Greek Style Khobez Wrap

Tuna & Roast Red Pepper Salad Tortilla Wrap

Sweet & Sour Chilli Chicken Tortilla Wrap

Italian Style Roast Vegetables Tortilla Wrap – VEGAN

Great tasting low calorie sandwiches

These products don’t just look great but they taste even better! The perfect thing to sit down to and really enjoy for lunch.

These products were launched on Tuesday 16th February so there is no need to give up on your New Year diets!

Make sure that you look out for the new lucky Raynors van to be driving around with this lovely shot of all the products together.

National Living Wage Increase

Raynors start paying national living wage

When the government announced after the election that they were introducing a national living wage, Raynors started looking at paying it to anybody who would benefit from this as soon as possible.  We wanted to do this as soon as we could, rather than waiting for when it became law, because we wanted to show our staff that we value them and their contribution to the business.  We started paying it from the middle of November, giving everybody an extra bit of Christmas cheer this year!

Managing Director Matt Raynor said: ‘We value every member of staff here at Raynors, and I believe that it is important to show that. When the government announced the wage increase, I thought, why wait? We started paying the increase from November 2015. A higher wage is always welcome, and it is important to us that our staff are happy.’


Follow Us On Facebook & Twitter – Follow Us!

We are on both Facebook and Twitter! I’m so excited to finally be on these sites! I really hope that you can all look out for us, and please follow us and like our page. Search Raynor Foods on Facebook and raynor_foods on Twitter and you will find us. It will be very much appreciated if you could like and follow our pages as we have just started on these sites so don’t really have much of a following. But I can insure that if you like our Blog posts then you will enjoy reading our posts on Facebook and Twitter!

Thank you for your support!

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World Meat Free Day

Okay, I might be a little late on this one, but yesterday was World Meat Free Day. Where people all over the world are meant to try and give up meat for the day.  Apparently there are two types of people:  those that hear ‘no meat’ and just shrug it off, and those that just the thought of ‘no meat!’ makes them crave it even more, and they need those meaty steaks in their life just to keep them sane!  Do you think you could give up meat?  I think we all could for a day, but the latest advice is that we should be trying to cut back or cut it out of our diets completely.

In 2012 the UK ranked 22nd in meat consumption, and the average person consumes 85kg of meat a year.  I don’t feel as if this is too much meat being consumed a year really, seeing as most of us will probably have it every night for dinner.   Also, 40% of the food that we grow goes to feed animals, which is expected to rise to 60% of what we grow in the next 20 years. Therefore due to the growing demand of meat, the prices will go up.  That’s not the only thing which could contribute to us cutting back our meat consumption.

Giving up meat isn’t easy, but vegetarian and vegan diets are becoming a lot more popular,  so we could probably do it over time.  Although I think it is too soon to start giving up on meat now!