Cookery Course News

UK seeks comfort In biscuits

Biscuit sales have increased by more than 20% in the last 5 years according to a new study by market analysis firm Mintel.

Annual sales in 2010 were £2.2billion, with over 50% of the population admitting to appreciating a biscuit with their coffee or tea.

Biscuits are traditionally viewed as a comfort food that people opt for as an inexpensive treat when the more expensive forms of unwinding, such as a night out at the cinema are considered unaffordable.

The study also estimates that the UK market will continue to expand with forecasts predicting a further increase in sales of 15% by 2015.

The figures reveal that almost 90% of the 45 to 54 age band enjoys a biscuit with their tea. This figure is slightly lower for the 16 to 24 age band at 80%.

A spokesperson for Mintel explained the biscuit industry in the UK has profited from consumers reaching for their biscuit tins during the recession, however the inability to appeal to a discerning and younger customer base coupled with higher commodity are threatening the market.

The study also revealed the nation’s top 5 biscuits. Individually wrapped biscuits and half-coated varieties – such as chocolate hob knobs share joint 1st position in the list of the UK’s favourite sweet biscuits – over half of the population has purchased one or other in the last year.

Cookies are the 2nd most popular whilst cream biscuits are ranked third. Wholemeal or Sweetmeal biscuits are 4th most popular while tea biscuits take 5th place.

With sector sales of £468million the market is dominated by “healthier biscuits” such as the lower sugar and diet varieties. These account for a quarter of all sales with sales rising by 16% in the last 2 years.

For those interested in encouraging their children to make biscuits, The Kids Cookery School offers a specialist one day cookery course.

Cooking Courses News

Cookery courses now popular way of enteraining clients

Cooking courses are becoming an increasingly popular form of entertaining clients and staff with many businesses looking for an alternative to the more traditional activities such as golf, clay pigeon shooting and rugby.

The Cambridge Cookery School is one of many cookery schools that have seen a growth in demand. Accountants, Solicitors and Industrialists are all reaching for their chopping boards in an effort to improve business relationships.

Many in the industry accept that the growth in demand is due in no small part to the increasing popularity of cookery programmes on television.

Tine Roche, who is the founder of the Cambridge Cookery School, estimates that 60% of her revenue is now corporate. The sessions can be structured with either team building or entertainment in mind and level of competitiveness can be decided by the corporate host.

The cookery courses can be tailored to suit the needs of the corporate host.

The Edinburgh New Town Cookery School offers a team building class where the participants cook a three course dinner or lunch, which they then enjoy with a glass of wine in our the school’s dining room. The event usually takes around 3 ½ hours and can be booked in the evening or during the day.

The cookery school also organises sessions where wine is the central theme. This can take the form of Wine and Food Pairing Dinner or a Wine Tasting, with the expert knowledge of a wine tutor. The events follow a specific theme, for example, based on a grape type, time of year or specific country. Whisky Tasting can also be arranged with specialist tutors.

The Lavender House Cookery School in Norfolk has recently introduced Chocolate Workshops for corporate clients. These sessions include a chocolate demonstration followed by a hands-on workshop. Also included in the package are lunch, recipe sheets and chocolate truffles to take home.

For more information on corporate cooking courses please visit our website.


Parents chose junk food in search of an easy life

According to a recent survey, eighty per cent of children are given unhealthy food such as chocolate and crisps in their lunchboxes.

The study, by children’s food expert Annabel Karmel, also found that around seventy per cent of children prefer fruit to unhealthy snacks such as sweets, biscuits and fizzy drinks. The three most popular snacks amongst children were crisps, cheese and fruit.

Twenty per cent of parents admitted to giving their children sugary breakfast cereals rather than more healthy alternatives such as wholegrain cereal or porridge.

Ms Karmel explained that whilst most parents begin the day with good intentions, during busy periods they may choose the easy option and give their children food which is unhealthy.

Almost fifty per cent of the one thousand parents questioned demonstrated that they are health conscious by using tactics such as hiding vegetables in their children’s pasta dishes.

Other tactics employed by parents include; offering vegetables in the form of finger food, offering vegetables in a puree form and bribery with a sweet snack as a reward.

According to the study, children’s least popular vegetables are mushrooms, spinach and broccoli.

Around fifty percent of children claimed that spaghetti bolognese is their favourite dish although this differed between regions. Only thirty two per cent in the North-East claimed it was their favourite compared to fifty two per cent of children in the South East.

Twenty five per cent of children in the United Kingdom are classed as either overweight or obese. This represents the highest rate in Europe and Government figures suggest that the problem will get worse. It is expected that by 2025, forty per cent of people in Britain will be obese.

Cookery School News

Scottish Retailers Make Fruit And Vegetable Pledge

In a move designed to tackle Scotland’s obesity crisis, eight of the largest food retailers, including Asda and Tesco, have signed a commitment to encourage customers to eat more fruit and vegetables.

The voluntary agreement has been arranged by the nation’s retail consortium and has been supported by the Scottish government. The retailers have agreed to implement up to six different initiatives.

They could choose to ensure that the price of fruit and vegetables remain affordable. They might also add more fruit and vegetables to their own branded products such as ready meals and soups.

Another of the initiatives the retailers can opt to strategically place displays of vitamin rich avocados and apples, in place of chewing gum and chocolate, to promote impulse buying.

They may also choose to ensure that a selection of ready-to-cook, pre-prepared vegetables is available to buy.

The other retailers that have pledged their support are Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Boots, Morrisons, The Co-operative and Sainsbury’s.

The Scottish Sports Minister, Shona Robson, welcomed the commitment that retailers have shown. She explained the by helping consumers make informed decisions about the benefits of eating fruit and vegetables, the commitment by the nation’s retailers can really help to improve diet and combat unhealthy weight.

It is hoped that the growth in the number of cookery schools offering cookery courses will also play an important role in helping to tackle the problem.

A spokesman for the Scottish Retail Consortium explained that the pledge that stores are making will impact how the promote, prepare and price fruit and vegetables. The affordable and practical steps should help customers to eat healthier diets.

The latest figures produced for the Scottish government suggest that almost sixty per cent of women and over sixty five per cent of men in Scotland are classed as overweight or obese.