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Audience vs Community: What’s the Difference?

Audience vs Community: Why It’s Time to Share the Consumer Love this Valentine’s Day

Flowers? Meh. Chocolates? Building a community with your audience? Now we’re talking. As Valentine’s Day approaches, we’re reflecting on how brands can share the love with their audiences by making them feel like the only customer in the world. Spoiler alert: it turns out offering a 10% discount code on all novelty mugs labelled with ‘his’ and ‘hers’ in a generic swirly font just isn’t going to cut it. *Shudders*

When it comes to fostering that loving community with your audience, you need to do more than just repost the odd Insta story with a cutesy gif. It’s 2023. People want to feel truly valued by the brands they invest in. They want to feel like they’re included in the development journey and nurtured in the way they interact with your team – as well as with the rest of the community.

In this blog, we’ll be covering:

  • What is an audience?
  • What is a community?
  • What’s the difference between an audience and a community?
  • The benefits of having a brand community
  • Examples of successful community-driven brands

The great news is that social media and digital marketing have enabled us to connect with users in entirely new ways. People can feel ‘part’ of your brand simply by visiting your page and tapping that neatly enveloped direct message button – whether it’s to send a love letter of praise, or to ask why they’ve been ghosted by your customer service on Twitter. But there’s a catch. The more brands unlocking these benefits, the harder it is to cut through the noise and make your brand known as ‘the one’.

That’s why adopting a streamlined strategy that speaks volumes is key for optimum social media success. The first step? Understanding the difference between having a basic audience of followers and the value of building a community within which they can better engage with you.

Read ahead as we break it all down for you, along with some examples of brands that have marketing strategies that put even Cupid to shame…

(Alexa, play: Marvin Gaye, Let’s Get It On)

Audience vs Community – what does this mean?

It’s easy to assume that if you have a following of users on social platforms, you’re instantly the heart throb of all the people who consume your content. Are you having authentic conversations with them every day? How quick are you to respond to their messages? Do you feel they’d be willing to forgive and forget any mistakes you make?

If the answer to these questions is no, you may want to have a rethink about ways you can bring the spark back into your customer relationship. That way, you can nurture a more meaningful community to connect with them.

To help you understand what makes an audience and a community, here’s a quick rundown of the definitions…

What is an audience?

In social media terms, an audience refers to a large number of users that follow a brand’s page. While they may be faintly interested in the content, it’s unlikely that they will feel obliged to engage with it – whether through hitting that heart button or sliding into the DM’s. This goes beyond the screen, too. An audience of people aren’t going to be talking about the brand with their friends, or exchanging  thoughts on what’s been shared, simply because they’re not passionate or excited enough about it. It’s passive – albeit pleasant – consumption.

What is a community?

A community is a space where the romance between your audiences can really develop. Think of it as a welcoming hub where like-minded users can connect over shared passions, hobbies, and life plans. It’s also where they can share experiences and things they have learned along the way. Despite not being together physically, they feel like they’re in the same room because of the level of relatability and trust. In many ways, a brand is there to act as the matchmaker – encouraging them to go from initial speed-dating introductions to virtual picnics in the park.

What’s the difference between an audience and a community?

Now you know the basics of what defines an audience and a community, you’re probably wondering what the difference is between them. Gaining a clear understanding of what sets them apart is key for creating a seamless strategy to help you and your audience become ‘one’.

Here’s a few of the main differences between an audience and a community:

  • Unlike audiences, money can’t buy communities – Sure, you can buy 1,000 followers who match your target audience. But communities need to be nurtured and built up over time. You gotta work for them to earn their full support and respect.
  • You talk to audiences, but in communities people talk to you – A good way to tell if you have an audience or a community is to see what the responses look like on your content. Are you simply putting posts out there with little engagement, or are people actively leaving comments, likes, and shares to express their thoughts?
  • Audience is a one-to-many relationship, communities are many-to-many – You may have one person talking to a large audience on social media, making it tricky to maintain a relationship. But in a community, there tends to be a whole team of people on hand to connect with everyone within the group.
  • People in an audience are passive, communities are fully engaged with your content – Whilst the odd ‘like’ might feel good for the social ego, it’s not going to do a whole lot in boosting your brand sentiment. People in communities feel supported by the brand they follow and see it as a safe space to interact with their content. In return, they’re supporting you.
  • When it comes to mistakes, audiences tend to be far less forgiving than communities – Every brand is going to experience the odd tech glitch that stops a discount code from working or post a topical meme with a typo that kills the joke. Happens to the best of us. People in audiences can be brutal in this situation, whereas communities tend to be more forgiving.
  • Audiences are impersonal, whereas communities feel more individual – People in an audience are more passive with a brand’s content, like an email newsletter they signed up for two years ago and still haven’t unsubscribed for, despite never opening it. Communities, however, feel they are treated more as an individual than just another social account.

Take another hazelnut truffle out of that Valentine’s selection box you bought for yourself and take a note of this handy comparison table.

What are the benefits of having a brand community?

  • Develop products and services your audience actually want – When you have a strong community brand strategy, you can ask people what they’d like to see in any upcoming launches. Not only will this make customers feel included in your journey, but it will also mean you’re creating the best possible product to rival your competitors.
  • Boost brand awareness and SEO value – The more consumers know about your brand and what you have to offer, the more people will search for you on Google. Plus, as people start to talk about you more via reviews or forums, your SEO score will indirectly increase. Effortless.
  • Nurture a deeper connection with your audience – Never underestimate the power of having a more emotional relationship with your customers. Talking to audiences as individuals as opposed to another social media icon will enable you to build their trust and support – both of which are highly valuable for enabling business growth.
  • Better customer service, better brand sentiment – Having a community driven strategy means you can reply to customer queries quickly, resolving any issues or preventing a crisis before it arises. Whilst complaints are unavoidable, managing them professionally and genuinely is a sure-fire way to increase your brand sentiment.
  • Build and uphold a loyal customer base – As people in your community become invested in your brand, they’ll start to see you as the ‘go to’. The fact they can reach out to other people for reviews and advice makes their purchasing journey easier, as does the comfort of knowing what product or service they can expect.
  • Enjoy the benefits of ‘word of mouth’ recommendations – Friend recommendations don’t come easy nowadays. With so much choice and access to countless reviews online, consumers are more selective about their purchases than ever before. Word of mouth, however? That’s a form of marketing you can’t put a price on. If you provide high-quality products and services – and have a strong community to prove it – people are more likely to recommend your brand to a friend.

Examples of successful community-driven brands


Beauty brand Glossier has become a ‘cult company’ over the last few years, and all for good reason. Its community grows by the day. From co-creating new products with their customers and using fans as ‘Glossier Reps’, to utilising the power of social along with the hashtag #GlossierGirl to encourage authentic UGC, Glossier has taken the world by storm… and its community is joining in on the journey. With a brand mission to ‘make the consumer feel seen’, this brand does more than just reshare consumer posts. They use them on their global ad campaigns for optimum exposure. Now that’s how it’s done (the fact that it saves on video production costs is a bonus).

Air BnB

Described as a brand that’s ‘built around belonging’, Air BnB has a community that enables hosts from all over the world to connect with each other. This helps them to feel truly part of the apartment rental service’s mission to provide unforgettable experiences for its travel-hungry customers, reinforcing its message that anyone can belong. This sense of togetherness runs through to the Air BnB social channels. What appears to be a constant stream of UGC is in fact incentive for millions of potential new customers keen to book their next trip. Pack your bags.


With over tens of thousands of global stores across the globe, Starbucks is a ‘cup half full’ brand keen to support its ever-growing community. By buying a morning latte stamped with the iconic logo from its baristas (also known as ‘partners’), you’re instantly united with the rest of its customers. By working closely with its suppliers and farmers, everything Starbucks does is about making people feel like they’re part of something so much bigger than a vente mocha. Plus, with loyalty programs and social initiatives available for members-only, those coffee connoisseurs sure know how to add extra shots to their marketing strategy.

Are you ready to fall in love with your marketing strategy?

Now you know everything there is to know about a brand community and why its worth investing in, you might be wondering how to make the first move with your customers. Thankfully, here at Lucre, we’re a team of passionate match makers. Get in touch with to amp up the chemistry and take your brand to new levels.











We are delighted to announce that we have been appointed by Agria Pet Insurance, one of the world’s leading animal insurers. We will be supporting its UK PR and communications strategy covering, from social media to influencer marketing.

Building the specialist pet insurer’s brand awareness and visibility nationally, our strategy will cement Agria as a trusted specialist among pet owners, vets, breeders and animal rescues. We will also deliver expert content via our RICH creative division, and finally – as one of the first insurance companies to be carbon neutral – we will also help Agria hone its commitment and communications programmes regarding sustainability. Learn more about it at Prolific North.

Agria Pet Insurance join our rapidly expanding portfolio of home and lifestyle clients, including Nature’s Menu, Hizero and Kohler Mira, as well as Yorkshire Water and leading leisure airline If you want to learn more about how we can make noise for your brand’s sustainable efforts in front of the right people – get in touch.


With Veganuary in full swing, KETTLE Chips’ exciting new online shop, means it’s never been easier for everyone to satisfy their much-needed crisp fix via the click of a button, regardless of dietary preferences. The brand-new website offers not only bundles of KETTLE Chips’ classic seasonings but also the brand’s delicious range of vegan friendly seasonings, delivered straight to your door. KETTLE is giving crisp lovers the chance to browse the snacking aisle from the comfort of their home and what’s more, all the core vegan flavours are available, meaning shoppers will be spoilt for choice as they explore the wide selection of flavour combinations available from the UK’s number one hand cooked crisp brand.

Whether shoppers are looking to stock up on KETTLE’s renowned vegan seasonings for an up-coming party, want to introduce non-vegan friends and family to the world of KETTLE’s vegan offering, or simply want an excuse to try the brand’s extensive, bold flavour combinations – now’s your chance with KETTLE’s one-stop-shop.

To keep us snacking during Veganuary, the exciting new online shop includes KETTLE’s Vegan Crowd Pleasers bundle, giving shoppers the chance to sample the brand’s range of delicious vegan seasonings, including the award-winning Vegan Sheese & Red Onion, Lightly Salted, Sea Salt & Balsamic Vinegar of Modena and Thai Sweet Chilli seasonings.

If the Vegan Sheese & Red Onion is your favourite seasoning then you’re in luck as it is available in a box of eight and for those who know exactly what they want KETTLE is giving you the perfect opportunity to stock up via its case of 12 sharing bag bundles or 18 single bags

This exciting offering comes after KETTLE Chips announced the launch of its bold new campaign ‘There’s more to KETTLE than you think’. This creative demonstrates a strategic change in direction for the brand, while challenging consumers to stop sleep-shopping in the snack aisle and embrace the entire range of KETTLE Chips seasonings. You can learn more about the amazing range here.

If you need support launching your product, get in touch to learn how we can leverage your sustainability.


We’re delighted to announce that we have been appointed by Cauldron Foods, a leading British plant based food brand, to support it’s UK PR strategy. The win adds to an impressive range of clients amongst our rapidly growing Food & Drink division, examples such as; Stonegate Pub Company, Distill Ventures and The Dalmore.

Cauldron Foods has been creating delicious, award-winning plant based food over 40 years. Headquartered in Stokesley, North Yorkshire, the company offers a wide range of vegan and vegetarian great-tasting products that deliver – above all else – flavour, flexibility, and satisfaction.

We were briefed to deliver creative ideas to announce the fact that, as of January 2022, Cauldron Foods has 100% carbon neutral certification across its full range of products.

Tom Lindley, Cauldron Business Unit Head at Cauldron Foods, comments: “We’re always striving to improve the impact we have on our planet and the launch of our new Korean Bites sees us move our products into the Carbon Neutral space for the first time. We wanted to ensure that consumers were aware of this fantastic development in our journey and were incredibly impressed by the strategic and creative approach pitched by The Lucre Group. Our work together in preparation to launch this Veganuary has been a great partnership and as such, we look forward to an ongoing relationship with them.”

Tamarind Wilson-Flint, Director of The Lucre Group, said: “Plant based is increasingly on people’s radars and as a result, the market has become more and more cluttered. Our campaign concept is one unique to Cauldron Foods and all about communicating their journey from plant based products to planet based products. A perfect alignment with their entire range being certified as carbon neutral and a truly authentic way to ensure it is their name on everyone’s lips. It’s such a wonderful and worthy brand to work with and our results speak for themselves.”

Read the feature on Prolific North here. If you want to learn more about how we can support your brand on it’s sustainability journey, get in touch.

Sustainability Stars in our Specialist Sectors

Rishi Sunak has put his foot down at COP26, announcing that Britain’s biggest firms must play their part in tackling climate change. It’s a bold and brave approach, as it means they’ll need to roadmap their strategy for net zero without hiding behind a greenwash screen, being assessed annually on their efforts. Those that fail to deliver could face sanctions in the form of fines or the removal from the stock exchange – a move to show that he’ll hit them where it hurts if they don’t comply.

This will undoubtedly impact all businesses, but here at The Lucre Group we specialise in key sectors where we have unrivalled expertise and insights. With this in mind, we’ve picked through the press releases that made the cut in both the mainstream, trade and marketing media to share our favourite stories of the sustainability season:





Co-op has long been known for leading the way with its sustainability measures, so it has widely been deemed clever and appropriate for it to take the bold step of ‘rebranding’ six of its store fronts as ‘CO-OP 26’. An impactful image, particularly in Glasgow where the conference is being held, it helped show the retailer’s commitment to radically reducing its carbon contribution and its goal to becoming a Net Zero business by 2040. Read more about it on Prolific North.





Launched a few weeks before COP26, likely in a bid to avoid the sheer volume of sustainable storytelling during the conference, Selfridges shared its commitment to helping to counteract the Christmas wastefulness with a pop-up pre-loved toy shop selling collectables, antique stuffed toys and classic board games. A clever nod to the nostalgic and planet-conscious consumer, the high-end retailer will undoubtedly win on 2 fronts, both in terms of the public’s perception of its commitment to sustainability, plus improve footfall during the festive season. Either way, it’s a bold move from a retailer which has traditionally prided itself on selling the newest and best of everything. Read more about it on Time Out.





The Travel Foundation has used COP26 to announce its role in providing support for a newly-launched Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism. It will be working with the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) to ensure businesses can work towards decarbonisation, adapt to climate change and support ecosystem regeneration. Read more about it on Travel Weekly.





Single-use plastics are one of the biggest plights on our planet, with bottled water being in the inner circle of carbon-emission culprits. However, a revolutionary Swedish water company called Bluewater is tackling this head on. It has publicly appealed to business and world government leaders at COP26 by launching a white paper reviewing the health hazards of chemicals released into the ocean from millions of single use plastic bottles dumped into our oceans and landfills every year. The paper worryingly confirmed that the endocrine-disrupting chemicals found in single-use bottles posed the number one threat to humankind. Read all about it on IT-TECH NEWS.


If your business is seeking an agency that understands how to deliver sustainable campaigns that have meaningful impact, click the link to find out more about our services and complete the contact form for a call back.

Lucre News: Lucre Group cooks up a storm with new appointment

UK-based food tech start-up, Cook My Grub, has appointed The Lucre Group to support its UK PR strategy. The latest account win further strengthens the agency’s rapidly growing Food & Drink division, which already incorporates the likes of PizzaExpress, Distill Ventures, Stonegate Pub Company, KETTLE® Chips and The Dalmore.

Having recently exceeded its initial fundraising target by 150% – raising over £750,000 in just four weeks – Cook My Grub, is expected to shake up the food industry with a revolutionary platform that provides hungry local diners with access to home-cooked food that isn’t available on the high street.

In the last quarter alone, the challenger brand has seen a 300% uplift in orders, 100% growth in customers, and a 200% increase in active users. Coupled with the success of its Crowdcube campaign, the start-up – which is the UK’s leading marketplace for home-cooked food – has unveiled ambitious expansion plans to rapidly scale, building the sales, marketing and operations teams in order extend its reach to other parts of the UK.

Key to Lucre’s strategy will be planning and executing targeted communications in towns and cities across the UK to help drive chef recruitment, app downloads and orders. The Lucre Group will also be supporting the brand with experiential activations later in the year, as Cook My Grub seeks to take its brand to the people, attracting new audiences and growing market share.

The founders of Cook My Grub, Dinesh Patil and Shabbir Mookhtiar, said:

It’s been an outstanding start to 2021 as we seek to build healthier, happier, and wealthier communities across the UK. Having refined our platform and proved our concept, now is the time to accelerate our growth – having the right PR team in place to support us through this next phase is vital. Lucre’s creative team truly understands our challenges and the team’s digital PR and content approach is exactly what we need to help take our offering to new consumers.”

Tamarind Wilson, Co-founder and Director of The Lucre Group, added:

Cook My Grub is an exciting brand on the cusp of exponential growth. Their innovative app. combines talented chefs with consumers seeking restaurant quality food, home-cooked and delivered to their doorstep. What better combination is there? We couldn’t be happier to support these incredibly talented entrepreneurs as they seek to shake up the industry.”

Why Dry January provides great opportunities for brands

Since its start in 2013, Dry January has grown to be an annual event for many households across the UK. 4 million of us took part in 2020, with the number predicted to increase to 6.5 million this year.

Why are so many of us willing to ditch the booze? There’s a financial benefit to going teetotal with spendings of around £16.70 a week. The average Brit spends £868 on alcohol each year. Quitting drink for just one month could save around £72, which is an easy way to claw back some of the cash spent over Christmas.

The reason most of us are looking to dial down our drinking is to improve our health and wellbeing. We’re more aware of illness than ever before, with the COVID-19 pandemic putting the importance of good health into even greater focus. Consumers are now asking themselves how to give their overall wellbeing a boost – and cutting down on alcohol is a big part of that.

Dry January gives consumers the opportunity to try out a teetotal lifestyle, with many going on to limit their drinking throughout the following year. It’s also a fantastic opportunity for brands to showcase their alcohol alternatives and push themselves front and centre of the market.


Low alcohol brands are booming

Research into non-alcoholic trends in 2020 shows sales in the no-and-low alcohol sector have risen by 506% since 2015, with numerous exciting new brands entering the space.

According to Distill Ventures, the world’s first independent drinks accelerator – devoted to building and scaling the drinks brands of the future – 27% of non-alcoholic consumers in the UK are aged 35 – 44, with 35% of consumers listing food and drink as a top interest. This shows brands should consider key demographics when planning their marketing strategy.


Non-alcoholic spirits are dominating digital

Our drinking habits have changed in the last year – understandably, the number of people drinking in bars and restaurants in 2020 decreased as we’ve attempted to recreate those drinking experiences in our own home. Research from Distill Ventures shows non-alcoholic beer and wine drinkers have relied more heavily on supermarkets, whereas non-alc spirit drinkers have preferred to surf the web to make their purchases, using Amazon, speciality websites and brands’ websites directly. At-home consumption of alcoholic drinks has also increased throughout 2020.

E-commerce is booming, and brands are looking to step up their digital strategy to reach wider audiences. A strong brand, effective marketing strategy and sublime execution will undoubtedly help brands grow throughout the coming year.

According to Distill Ventures, creating authentic brand connections with consumers is more important than ever for non-alc brands. The on-premise experience is on hold, so consumers are unlikely to discover new alcoholic or alcohol-free drink brands at a restaurant or by chatting to the bartender. With this in mind, there’s a big opportunity for brands to develop great at-home experiences, through virtual tastings and the like.


There’s still an appetite for alcohol

Despite Dry January being a hit in 2021 so far, there are still plenty of people willing to sip up. Whilst the number of people taking part in Dry January is predicted to have increased, some boozy Brits are doubling down on their alcohol consumption.  Stats show alcohol sales have increased considerably compared to last year. Beer sales are up by 49%, wine sales have increased by 33% and spirit sales have experienced a widespread rise too.

With the pandemic raging and most of us stuck at home, enjoying a drink or two seems like the least of our worries. People would normally spend money on a night out in pubs, bars and restaurants. Instead, they’re spending it in supermarkets and off-licences.

Research from Alcohol Change UK says 1 in 3 people drank more in 2020 compared to the year before, with 1 in 5 becoming concerned about the amount they’re drinking. However, it’s interesting to note that 31% of increasing and high-risk drinkers intend to take on Dry January, compared to just 15% of low-risk drinkers. This suggests we’re becoming significantly more aware of the amount we’re drinking – and as a nation we’re setting out to drink more mindfully.


Here at Lucre, we’re delighted to work with several exceptional food and drink brands. Delivering a marketing strategy that’s on-brand and gets people talking (and tasting) is all part of a day’s work.


We’re excited to see the industry evolve and develop this year. In the meantime, good luck to everyone taking part in Dry January! If you’re giving it a go, why not get in touch on Twitter and let us know how you’re getting on?

Black History Month – the good, the bad and the ugly

October marks Black History Month – a period of awareness that recognises the achievements, culture and historical events of those of African and Caribbean descent. With recent movements such as Black Lives Matter, a spotlight has been shone on racial equality, and many brands have been inspired to show their support for black rights through clever campaigns and content.

It’s safe to say not everyone has got it quite right – we take a look at just some of the brands that have hit the headlines recently – the good and the bad.


The Good:


TikTok, a strong advocate for modern diversity, has promoted Black History Month content on its platform by encouraging users to post content with the hashtag #MyRoots.

The grassroots campaign has so far been viewed by thousands across the world and has encouraged an incredible amount of user-generated content and interaction.

Trevor Johnson, Global Business Marketing Director, TikTok said:

#myroots will honour the contribution made by the black community, the joy our black friends, family and colleagues bring, and look ahead to the future of black talent on TikTok”



The app many see as the grown-up version of Tinder, Bumble conducted research into how the black community thought love was portrayed by the media and within advertising to see if there were any discrepancies. The results came showed that 79% thought that there was a lack of relatable imagery when it came to promotional content and branding.

To combat this, Bumble launched the #MyLoveIsBlackLove campaign, which shared black British voices being interviewed on how they perceive love and what it means as part of their life. The beautiful content featured prominent black figures including model Jourdan Dunn, Olympic Boxer Nicola Adams, and musician and poet ‘George the Poet’.


Royal Mail

In celebration of the achievements of the black community, Royal Mail transformed four iconic postboxes in the UK figure within British black culture and history.

Praising comedian and Comic Relief founder, Lenny Henry, renowned war nurse and British hotel founder, Mary Seacole, footballer and first black army officer, Walter Tull, and cultural artist, Yinka Shonibare, the postboxes were decorated with a QR code that encouraged passersby to read into the individual’s remarkable contributions to the country and to share their stories on their social media channels. The campaign was a great reflection of how experiential and digital PR can work together to successfully raise awareness.


The Black Farmer

A brand based on raising money and awareness of under-representation, The Black Farmer is an online shop providing the best of British meats, cheeses, pies, drinks and more. The founder, Jamaican-born BBC food director and producer Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, started his farm in his 40s because of his passion for the British countryside and British food.

To celebrate Black History Month, Wilfred teamed up with black-owned Bristol brewery Dawkins Ales to create a beer and a cider, showcasing what can be achieved in an industry where there are very few people of diverse ethnicities – a perfect pairing!



We all recognise the power of celebrity endorsement and influencers in today’s media landscape – after all, they play a major role in determining buying behaviours. Sainsbury’s, however, stuck to their guns and demonstrated how their influence isn’t always welcome.

After the supermarket chain announced it would be marking Black History Month in a tweet shared with its 570,000 followers, the brand called for shoppers to go elsewhere if they did not wish to support an inclusive retailer:

We are proud to celebrate Black History Month together with our black colleagues, customers and communities and we will not tolerate racism. We proudly represent and serve our diverse society and anyone who does not want to shop with an inclusive retailer is welcome to shop elsewhere.”


The Bad:

Pure Gym

And then there’s the bad. We couldn’t talk about Black History Month without discussing the recent major mistake by Pure Gym.

The leading fitness facility brand came under fire after advertising a workout entitled ’12 Years of Slave’ which was captioned “Slavery is hard and so is this” on one of its local Facebook pages. Criticised nationally for being ‘tone deaf’ and ‘offensive’, the brand received major backlash and was a prime example that showcased the power of social media. Unfortunately for them, it wasn’t positive power.


Brands have become increasingly conscious about how they are seen to be using these types of movements – steering clear of tapping into the trend purely for financial gain. Instead, those that have come out on top have been brands that are being recognised for responding to, and contributing to, the overall change towards inclusive beliefs and cultures, proving they are acting to make a real difference.

The Rise of ‘At Home’ Hospitality

The pandemic has presented the biggest global crisis since World War Two. Within weeks, industries were pushed into times of uncertainty not seen in decades. But, at a time of crisis comes opportunity. Whilst we can’t avoid the overwhelming destruction that this year has seen, we can find those glimmers of hope watching how brands have pivoted so quickly and adapted their whole marketing proposition almost overnight.


Here we look at some of those hospitality brands who’ve benefited and succeeded through challenging times:


Pizza Pilgrims

Neapolitan pizzeria, Pizza Pilgrims, went from the busiest week in its history to closing the doors on all locations. Almost overnight, brothers Thom and James Elliot created the ‘Pizza by Post’ kit – delivering all the ingredients that people need to recreate a restaurant style pizza at home. For just £15, the dough-throwing bothers have gone on to sell over 30,000 kits since launch.


Pret A Manger

A weekday staple for many throughout the country and, with offices closed, the ever-expanding chain learnt to adapt quickly. Whilst previously avoiding working with delivery third parties, the company has now seen a tenfold growth in this channel since pre-Covid. Viewing the pandemic as an opportunity, Pret were quick to broaden its ‘At-Home’ offering with the launch of some of the chain’s most popular menu items to heat at home.


Patty & Bun

Following in the footsteps of other London-centric operators, burger restaurant Patty & Bun quickly shifted its focus to trialling meal kits for customers to purchase for at-home preparation. Joining forces with suppliers, The Lockdown DIY Patty Kit allowed consumers to recreate the burgers at home. For £25, the kit features four of the signature beef patties, bacon, brioche buns, smoky mayo, cheese slices and homemade pickled and smoky onions.


Dirty Martini

Recognised for the finest cocktails, always freshly prepared, Dirty Martini was one of the first brands in the UK to provide a national service whereby their drinks are freshly mixed in-bar, then frozen for the best possible serve to your door. Made in bespoke batches, the first collection sold out in just five hours. Priced at £22.50 for a bottle which serves four, customers can choose from a selection of classics from the signature menu including the Wild Strawberry Martini, Espresso Martini, Blood Orange & Vanilla Martini, Lychee & Rose Martini and Passion Fruit Martini.

Healthy living at home: The food & drink you need

Being in your own surroundings, healthy living at home can be difficult, especially when lounging around on the sofa and eating junk food becomes all too familiar.

And, with leisure centres, parks and other social gathering areas around us closing their doors, it is important now more than ever to make sure your body is in a fit and healthy state – ready to tackle any sort of illness.

Feeling uninspired and a little stuck trying to decide what to cook at home? Here is some healthy food to always have at home as well as drinks to contribute to a happy and healthy body:

  1. Garlic 

    Garlic has long been used by humans to improve various aspects of health. When looking at the effects garlic has on immunity, several scientific studies show that it stimulates multiple mechanisms in the body, which promotes the production of up to five important types of cells the body makes to drive our immune defences.

  2. Watermelon 

    Besides being a great low-calorie source of vitamins A and C, watermelon contains lycopene, a natural carotenoid which studies have suggested can lower the risk of heart and vascular disease and some cancers. It is also a concentrated source of citrulline, an amino acid that helps your blood vessels dilate and support good blood pressure. It’s fantastic for a refreshing mocktail as we prepare for Spring.

  3. Chickpeas 

    Chickpeas offer a range of health benefits. As an ingredient, they’re high in folate, other B vitamins, several minerals, protein, fibre and even contain omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids. They have shown to reduce levels of bad cholesterol and make for a great addition to any salad and side dishes.

  4. Quinoa 

    Quinoa is one of very few grains that contains enough of all of the essential amino acids that are required to repair and maintain our muscles, blood, enzymes, organs and support our immunity. It’s also high in probiotic fibre to foster good bacteria growth in our gut and is a good antioxidant. Plus, it makes a pretty great meat alternative too!

  5. Green Tea 

    Green tea contains a rich concentration of flavonoids and polyphenols, natural antioxidants that may protect cells in the body. The tea’s antioxidants may also guard against heart disease by relaxing blood vessels, stopping the formation of blood clots that trigger heart attacks and strokes. Green tea also contains fluoride, which strengthens teeth.

  6. Cranberry Juice 

    Research suggests that the anti-bacterial properties present in cranberry juice fight off disease in the mouth and around teeth. Experts say that a component of the juice called nondialysable material (NDM) stops bacteria from sticking to the gums. Alternatively, you can buy nano minerals to keep your body healthy. This is because many nutritionists are wary of fruit juices because of their sugar content, so limit your intake to no more than one glass (six to eight ounces) daily.

  7. Water (obviously)

    Abundant, refreshing, providing everything the body needs to replenish the fluids it loses – humans relied on it as their only beverage for millions of years. A glass of fresh cold water can sometimes be just what you need – it also contributes to healthy skin!

What will the food trends of 2020 look like?

Veganuary really is just the beginning. In 2004, The Guardian published an article that claimed that the ‘developed world’s over reliance on meat would be of the most pressing issues for the survival of our species’.

To some extent, they were right. 350,000 people have signed up for Veganuary so far this month, but Veganuary is just the beginning of a whole new global diet. Whilst a plant-based diet was a radical and revolutionary trend, new threats such as climate change and food shortages mean that it is highly likely that it will become a nutritional norm.

What will the diet of the next 30 years look like? We have compiled some of the latest, greatest and futurist eating trends and rating them based on what we think will be on the table for 2050.


Wow, that is a strong one to kick off with.

I know, but it is not as strange as you might think. Plenty of South-East Asian countries eat insects such as crickets waterbugs and even wasps, which can provide the protein and nutrients that ‘regular’ meat does.

The BBC reported back in 2012 that ‘The Dutch government is putting serious money into getting insects into mainstream diets. It recently invested one million euros (£783,000) into research and to prepare legislation governing insect farms.’ The overall cost to farm insects is substantially less than traditional farm animals and cattle, so it could be an interesting opportunity.

A big problem with using insects is the westernised stigma around not eating a creepy crawly, which is understandable, but insects can be crushed and used, without consumers knowing, as a traditional meat substitute such as in burgers and sausages. Eating a cricket burger would be much more digestible than a whole fried cricket on a plate.

‘Ooo I’d try that’ rating: 3/10

Lab-grown Meat

Also known as ‘in vitro’ meat. Meat grown from stem cells could also be the perfect solution to those who can’t give up the authenticity of a good burger. Plus, the production process emits 96 percent lower emissions than conventional meat and it also uses a drastic amount less water and land space.

A win win then?

Well not quite.

Per pound, in vitro ground beef costs nearly fifty times it’s conventional counterpart – so it is currently no where near the commercial stage and that is before you consider the cost of producing stem cell grown meat at a large scale. However, production and research have only been properly successful in the last decade, so by 2050 who knows what could be possible?

‘Ooo I’d try that’ rating: 9/10


Okay, is this getting a bit ridiculous now?

Bear with us on this. Algae has been used by Sheffield Hallam University as a substitute for salt in processed food. It has been said to give a very flavoursome taste like salt, but of course it contains very little natural salt. Using algae would also aid with global health concerns surrounding high sodium intake, such as strokes and high blood pressure.

The Japanese have been using it for years in salads and other dishes, so we could adopt this interesting ingredient quite quickly. They already have massive ‘algae farms’ that use sea water to aid farming, which is also great for the planet and preserving water, as it just goes straight back to the sea.

Ultimately, to really combat the problems surrounding current food production, we need to change our nutritional norms – it will save us in the long run.

‘Ooo I’d try that’ rating: 7/10

The Fourth Meal: Snacking trends in the UK

We’re a nation of happy serial-snackers. Inspired by the latest diets, trends and tastes, increasing numbers of us are ditching the traditional three daily meals, choosing instead to graze throughout the day. Spending less time at home, we’re looking for mouthwatering morsels to satisfy our broad palates and on-the-go requirements.

Savoury snacks, in particular, are growing in popularity. Last year supermarkets sold 12.3 million extra kilos of bagged snacks. That’s an additional £148.6m, bringing the total market value to over £3.2bn (Kantar 2018). Statistics show that production costs of our favourite traditional bagged snacks have risen (2018 was a particularly bad potato harvest) and with few willing to pay more for these products, brands have been forced to both innovate more smartly and to pay particular attention to health implications.   

Healthy pickings

It’s no surprise that healthy snacks are the category’s fastest-growing segment. As health awareness increases, we’re looking to food producers to create feel-good on-the-go products with robust health credentials.

Traditional processed snacks, loaded with salt, sugar and calories just won’t cut it. We want satisfying snacks without the guilt, which means food manufacturers are under pressure to clean up labels or provide healthier alternatives that don’t feel like a compromise.

The Free-From sector is expected to grow by 18% over the next three years (Euromonitor) and snack brands are chasing for a piece of the pie. Capitalising on the growth of vegan and flexitarian lifestyles, savvy food brands are racing to develop first-to-market plant-based snacks. Innovation is booming in this high demand, in-vogue category, with ready-to-eat beans, seed bars, puffed chickpeas, and egg white chips all appearing on the health snacking market.

Nutritional value is influencing our shopping choices more than ever; brands are responding by replacing empty calories with functional ingredients, such as high-protein chickpea puffs or fibre-rich roasted beans. As a result, snack packaging has become a riot of functional claims in order to justify the price point and influence purchase.

It’s a busy space and the most successful brands help us snack more happily by ticking more than one healthy box.

State-of-the-art snacks

We’re less brand loyal than we used to be and break old habits more easily. Embracing the new, we’re changing our eating habits on a weekly, or even daily, basis. Disruptive start-ups are taking advantage and challenging the snacking status quo with innovative ingredients, textures, flavours and formats that give slow-moving multinationals a run for their money.

Snacks made from ancient grains like amaranth, quinoa and buckwheat are having a long-awaited comeback. They’re a more worthy, nutritionally-potent replacement for their extruded corn predecessors, and they bring more flavour to the party too. Lotus seeds and sorghum deserve a particular mention, as they’re grains which ‘pop’ or puff rather than being fried, and they’re at the forefront of the popped snack trend which is now rivaling popcorn.

Today’s savvy snackers want to have it all, wherever they are and however they want it, for texture as well as taste. The world’s first drinkable crisps were launched earlier this year; pre-smashed for one-handed on-the-go snacking. The rise of ‘The Big Night In’ means more collective snacking on the sofa, and an increased opportunity for shareable formats like innovative XL packaging sizes or dip accompaniments that elevate the snacking moment.

When it comes to flavour we’re rejecting the old-school fake orange cheese in favour of naturally-derived, unadulterated flavours. Wholefoods (2018) predicted sea greens as an emerging flavour profile for 2019, including umami-rich ingredients like water lily seeds, crispy fish skins and sea fennel. Mintel recently reported,

With the growing interest in natural colours, there is room to incorporate vegetables and florals into new snack offerings. (May 2019)

Snacks have become anything but ordinary. Brands that push the boundaries in health, texture, innovative ingredients, formats and colour are reaping the benefits and ending up in our shopping baskets. Comfort-eating will always be important in this category, but as with every other eating occasion, expectations have accelerated and today’s demanding consumers want constant surprise and delight – even between meals.

We love to push the boundaries for the brands we work with. Get in touch to find out how we can do this for you.

Lucre News: The Chips are up for The Lucre Group

Kettle Foods PR win Tamarind Wilson Flint and Rhona Templer Lucre Group

Leading snacking brand Kettle Foods, which is home to the nation’s favourite hand-cooked crisp brand, Kettle Chips, and one of the UK’s fastest growing Popcorn brands Metcalfe’s, has appointed The Lucre Group to be its UK agency.

A six-figure appointment which follows an extensive pitch process, The Lucre Group, encompassing Lucre ‘Search Savvy PR’ and RICH ‘Content that moves you’, will handle PR across the entire brand portfolio.

Strengthening the agency’s food and drink credentials further, Lucre’s remit will span both digital and traditional media with content creation and seeding via its in-house RICH division in support.

With a number of new products in development, a key part of Lucre’s role will be brand and SKU launch to both the trade and consumers, driving awareness, engagement and of course sampling.  Appointed in August, the first campaigns are set to go live in October. In the meantime, work is already underway on supporting the existing range and seasonal variants in the lead up to Christmas.

Kizzy Beckett, Senior Brand Manager, Kettle Brand, said: “Lucre’s love of food oozed from the first meeting and their ethos mirrors our own to make for a perfect partnership. That combined with their Search Savvy approach, which is audience-led but google-aligned, fits perfectly with our strategy. It is an exciting time right now for Kettle Foods with huge investment taking place in our products, factory and people, so The Lucre Group will be a vital partner in helping us to effectively share that via both traditional press and digitally.”

Tamarind Wilson, Lucre co-founder and Director added: “With a wealth of experience in snacking, this latest win is the perfect complement to our existing portfolio of Food and Drink clients. Kettle Chips is a household name and being part of the team, which helps spread the word even further will be a real pleasure. Similarly, being able to work with Metcalfe’s which leads in the fast-growing formats of popcorn, rice cakes and corn chips, will be a true joy for the team.”

9 London Bars Embracing New Venue Trends

There are as many food and drink trends as there are tube stations in London – which means bars, pubs and restaurants are pulling out all the stops to give customers more reasons to visit and come back to their venues.

We’ve identified four macro consumer drivers which encapsulate what’s relevant now, and what will happen next, in the world of food and drink as venues seek ever-more creative ways to engage their customers beyond the menu:

  1. DISCOVERY: “I want my everyday life to be made more exciting and surprising. I delight in specialist and thoughtful details, and I’m a connoisseur of the coolest spots in town.”
  2. EXPERIENCE: “I’m less bothered about material things – I crave original, memorable, all-encompassing experiences that I can share with my friends and social network. More is more.”
  3. LIFESTYLE: “I want it all. One venue should fit seamlessly into my life and serve all my needs at once to keep me entertained. I’m busy and value the best of everything under one roof.”
  4. ESCAPISM: “I want to temporarily leave the real world behind. I want to be carefree and be indulged. I live for adventure, the unexpected, and the surreal.”

The Tour

The following nine bars, spaces and restaurants in Shoreditch capture these emerging trends. They offer great inspiration for future-facing brands looking to capture the market and immerse customers in memorable experiences. Since there are so many visitors from all parts of the world, you can learn a language online to stay on top of the selling market.

  1. Tayēr + Elementary
  2. The Singer Tavern
  3. Platform
  4. Lounge Bohemia
  5. The Green Room
  6. Ninetyeight Bar
  7. Ballie Ballerson
  8. Tonight Josephine
  9. TT Liquor

1. Tayēr + Elementary

Cutting edge mixology made accessible in a steel-clad bar

Why it’s interesting

A minimalist bar and restaurant space targeting affluent diners, with pared-back design and flavour-forward cocktails. There’s no back bar; it’s a modernist kitchen, with clever pre-batch bottles, moveable hexagonal compartments and sleek steel finish. Founded by Alex Kratena (World’s Best Bar) and with Insta-viral food by katsu sandwich supremos TÁ TÁ Eatery, this venue is all about the extravagant understatement: No branding, no garish colours, the concept allows quality ingredients to shine.

What to order: Their daring take on a vodka and ‘Red Bull’ or their one-of-a-kind housemade Aquavit with Mexican mint and yellow Chartreuse.

Key consumer drivers: Discovery and Lifestyle

2. Singer Tavern

A mainstream pub does underground speak-easy with a flourish

Why it’s interesting

The Singer Tavern ticks all the trend-led boxes (cheese plants, a feature ceiling, craft beer) and yet it still feels original. A savvy dual approach makes it a successful day-to-night venue: Upstairs is a light and airy local boozer for the suits of Finsbury Circus, but downstairs is its dark and sultry sister bar. Run by 5cc cocktail bars, it appeals to consumers’ sense of curiosity with low lighting and no signage down the stairs, but it’s accessible and in a commercially astute location too.

What to order: Sample a grown-up bitter aperitivo from their fernet and amaro-inspired menu.

Key consumer drivers: Discovery and Experience

3. Platform

Making gaming less geeky with high-quality pizza and craft beers

Why it’s interesting

Gaming gets a bad rep for being anti-social, but Platform’s video game and e-sports bar and restaurant takes it out of the living room into a cool, social space. Happy Face make the pizza and the minimal but discerning drinks list elevates it further. It’s a grown-up concept for the competitive little kid in us all. Specifically for groups of friends and colleagues, Platform builds relationships through shared food and multi-player games; it is an IRL interface between virtual online gaming and the age-old equation of pizza + beer.

What to order: Specialist Mikkeller Danish beers, like the Sally Monroe Pale Ale.

Key consumer drivers: Experience and Escapism

4. Lounge Bohemia

Molecular cocktails and 70s nostalgia down a hidden staircase

Why it’s interesting

This appointment-only concept is what all speakeasies should be. Tucked behind an ATM on a busy street, Lounge Bohemia has no social media and a minimal website; this exclusivity only adds to the intrigue and draws consumers in. It appeals to visitors’ egos and sense of style. The 70s decor, table service and outlandish cocktails make it feel other worldly: there’s dry ice and plenty of panache.

What to order: ‘Naughty Childhood’ a tasting menu of six theatrical cocktails inspired by sweet treats.

Key consumer drivers: Discovery and Experience

5. The Green Room at The Curtain

Get a taste for the members-only lifestyle in a discreet New York-inspired bar

What it’s interesting

The Green Room is a gateway to The Curtain, Shoreditch’s next-gen member’s club and five-star hotel, as well as being a cool destination in its own right. With marble tables, green velvet seating and polished concrete floors, it’s not going to win on original decor but its exclusive aesthetic meets high-end consumers’ increasing desire to get away from the crowds and live like an A-lister (even if just for one night). Like hot-desk spaces opening up in this area, it’s a great example of a dual use venue that creates revenue day to night.

What to order: The Baby Grand. An indulgent, high-flying cocktail of white rum, tumeric honey and champagne

Key consumer drivers: Discovery and Lifestyle

6. Ninetyeight Bar

A one-of-a-kind tiki bar and underground venue

Why it’s interesting

Cathy has been hosting guests at her bar since before Shoreditch was cool, and it’s still the most original venue on Curtain Road. With an eclectic tiki bar, neon mannequins and a grand piano in a plant-filled atrium, it’s an Instagram sensation without trying too hard. Cocktails are imaginatively served in bespoke glassware with theatre and a sense of humour. Hidden down a spiral staircase and with a maze of rooms stretching to the back of the venue, Ninetyeight Bar appeals to revellers’ sense of discovery and brings in-the-know kudos and authentic kookiness that’s hard to imitate.

What to order: The Curtain Road. A punchy classic cocktail served like a chemistry set.

Key consumer drivers: Discovery and Escapism

7. Ballie Ballerson

A bar filled with balls. What’s not to love?

Why it’s interesting

Taking entertainment to the next level, Ballie Ballerson is the one and only ball pit bar in London. With over one million balls and an impressive cocktail list, this is a full body experience night out. It’s ticketed, and appeals to the generation who are prepared to plan ahead to have a good time. Ballie Ballerson taps into child-like nostalgia whilst still targeting first dates, a mates night out and anyone who wants ‘that’ picture of themselves surrounded by balls, balls, balls.

What to order: You’re A Wizard Harry: A magical smoking potion of rhubarb, rum and lime complete with a red diamond ice cube.

Key consumer drivers: Experience and Escapism

8. Tonight Josephine

Join the ultimate girl gang, and sip a cocktail whilst you’re at it

Why it’s interesting

The sister bar to Blame Gloria and Nikki’s, you could call this a new-feminist bar that targets 20-something women with its unapologetic ‘hot mess’ aesthetic. Only six-months old, Tonight Josephine is totally Insta-ready with kitschy cool bold prints and neon signage. When the drinking culture has historically been so squarely aimed at men, Tonight Josephine is refreshingly permissive, relevant and egalitarian. It’s a bar for people who know what they want, and how to get it.

What to order: A Flaming Zombie: Bacardi Negra Rum, pineapple juice, fire.

Key consumer drivers: Experience and Escapism

9. TT Liquor

A multi-use bar and cinema hidden behind a liquor store

Why it’s interesting

When you want to enjoy the whole night in one venue, TT Liquor is the place to go. It’s a warren of multi-use rooms, with a high-end liquor shop (incredible Vermouth, unusual gins etc), a boutique cinema, a hidden underground bar and a roof terrace – all built into an old police station. Diversification is key to TT Liquor’s success: Movie nights are themed with cocktails to add value to the drinking experience, and workshops in the ‘cocktail classroom’ reinforce their reputation as bartenders in the know

What to order: Figgie Smalls: a short and earthy cocktail of Bushmills, esprit de figues, supermalt and on-trend aquafaba.

Key consumer drivers: Lifestyle and Discovery

If you’re looking to engage your customers in a more creative way through PR, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us or check out our Food & Drink case studies.

Food Waste: One Year On

Today (24th April) marks International Stop Food Waste Day, a campaign which calls for us all to become food waste warriors and raise awareness of the global food waste crisis. It’s no surprise that there is now a dedicated day aimed at educating and igniting change regarding the global food waste epidemic.

The topic of food waste has been discussed and debated endlessly in the media over recent years. Whilst we all know that we should be trying to limit our food wastage by freezing leftovers, measuring our portions, considering what we buy and when, and understanding the difference between ‘best before’ and ‘use by’ to prevent throwing away tonnes of edible food every year, many of us admit to contributing to the growing problem.

According to WRAP’s (Circular & Resource Efficiency Experts) research, compiled by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), it is estimated that approximately one-third of all food produced in the world is lost to waste. This equates to a staggering £20 billion worth of food waste in the UK annually and an average of £810 worth of food being thrown away by the average UK family per year.

Wasting food is not only bad for the environment including the climate, but it’s also having a negative impact on our finances. Equally, hungry mouths are a stark example of the cost of food waste with the FAO estimating that 8.4 million people in the UK struggle to afford a meal, despite the UK wasting billions through food waste every year.

Last year, we addressed the topic of the food waste epidemic at our Lucre round table event (as part of our Insight and Ideas hub, which ensures as an agency we are always abreast of the latest trends and consumer behaviour), by celebrating the Innovative Waste Warriors who are making a difference in the war on waste. There are some real super-heroes who are helping to redress the balance and ensuring that unwanted food is put to good use. As well as championing the people, businesses and charities using leftover food to connect and empower, we also hoped to inspire businesses to look at the way they produce food and what they could do differently.

Fast forward a year from our round table event and we wanted to see what approach had been taken more recently to address the growing issue. The UK’s Government’s approach has been supporting the efforts of individual local organisations through a £500,000 Food Waste Reduction Fund. In an effort to reduce food waste, there have also been schemes such as the Courtaould2025 initiative and ‘LoveFoodHateWaste’ led by WRAP. To accelerate work to achieving the targets set out by Courtaould2025, the IGD (the global food and grocery experts) and WRAP have laid out milestones in a Food Waste Reduction Roadmap.

Despite the targets being ambitious, the UK’s largest retailers, food producers, manufacturers, and hospitality and food service companies have signed up to the roadmap in a bid to halve food waste by 2030 and help to drive down the UK’s annual food waste bill.

This year we will also see the introduction of a £15 million pilot scheme come into play to help reduce waste after Environment Secretary Michael Gove announced that the Government has taken steps to improve their food waste policy. Furthermore, the Government has published its new Clean Growth Strategy, detailing its plan for a low-carbon future for the UK and outlining a target to ban food in all landfills by 2020.

Despite there being some initiatives implemented since our event last year, there is no doubt that huge challenges remain when it comes to food waste concerns and that more schemes need to be put in place to address the epidemic.

Simple steps for a fairer future, by Nick Horbowyj

Today marks the start of Fairtrade fortnight, a time when we put the spotlight on how the food, drink and other goods we consume are produced.

The clue is in the name… it’s about being fair – acceptable prices, decent working conditions, sustainability and better terms for farmers and workers across the developing world.

It has also never been easier to switch to Fairtrade produce, with one of the UK’s biggest supermarkets, Sainsburys, being the world’s largest retailer of Fairtrade products. Of course, many other supermarkets and food retailers also stock Fairtrade goods, which are easily identifiable by the black, blue and green Fairtrade logo. However, did you know that it goes beyond the usual tasty treats of chocolate and coffee? If you’re interested in making your buying power fairer for all, here’s some other areas to consider:

Ethical bling

If you want your next piece of jewellery to have an ethical shine, understand the labradorite meaning. Doing so ensures small-scale miners are paid a fair price, thus giving them financial security. Plus, it means you get something truly unique.

Beauty that’s more than skin-deep

If you want your body butter buying to make a difference, then go for one of the many businesses now opting to make their products with Fairtrade ingredients, such as Fair Squared and Odylique.

Sleeping soundly

What better way to get a good night sleep than safe in the knowledge you’re supporting your sheet suppliers! Fairtrade cotton has taken off with homeware suppliers, so pick up your ethical duvets and divan covers at the likes of John Lewis, Sleep Organic and White & Green.

For more information on stockists of Fairtrade goods, visit the Fairtrade website.

Is frozen and tinned food about to have its day? by Naomi Stafford

News broke last week that in anticipation of a no-deal Brexit, the government has been drawing up plans to stockpile processed foods, should they still have not worked out a way to maintain the free flow of goods between EU producers and the UK.

Some consumers have also chosen to do the same and stock their store cupboards and freezers with more tinned and frozen goods than ever before, helping to put the spotlight on the convenience and affordability of such goods. This does raise the question on whether we should we be eating more tinned and frozen food as well as fresh?

The demise of the weekly big shop

As a nation we have become accustomed to buying fresh produce frequently with supermarkets now offering longer opening hours, and express stores popping up across the country. This means that we have moved away from the once weekly big shop and are stocking up on fresh goods more frequently. More often than not, this fresh fruit and veg is left to rot at the back of the fridge taking a hit on our wallets.

Meal planning in advance

In the past, we wouldn’t have had any choice but to consume more tinned and frozen goods. We were not able to decide on what we felt like cooking on an evening and inevitably pop to the supermarket for missing ingredients, so meals had to be planned in advance. Buying tinned and frozen produce will cut down on the ordeal of the supermarket shop and also make us consider how much food we buy and waste.

Combating the myth

Some people may steer away from canned and frozen food because they believe they are lower in their nutritional content, but this isn’t the case. Canned and frozen food can become part of a balanced diet and is great for when you’re short on time as it offers convenience. There’s a big misunderstanding that canned and frozen food isn’t good for you, but this is not necessarily the case. In the canning process, protein, fat, carbohydrates, minerals and fat-soluble vitamins are maintained. While water-soluble vitamins are heat sensitive and lost during the canning process, in corn and tomatoes the heating step actually brings out more antioxidants – which is good news for us! What’s more, canned and frozen food can sometimes be more nutritious than fresh as it is harvested and canned or frozen at peak freshness.

Cost-effective and convenient

Canned and frozen goods are more readily available than fresh produce and are often a lot more affordable. These days you can find tinned and frozen food at the petrol station when you go to fill up your car, so there is no need necessarily to go to your local supermarket. Perfect for convenience when you’re short on time!

Cutting down on food waste

Buying canned and frozen food can actually help decrease food waste as they have a longer shelf and freezer life than fresh. Just think of the pennies you could save and the positive impact you’d have on the environment. This is a topic we feel passionate about here at Lucre having held a Roundtable event on the matter last year where we celebrated the Innovative Waste Warriors who are making a difference in the war on waste. There are various people, businesses and charities who are using food waste to innovate, connect and empower and we were proud to give them a voice in the hope of inspiring other businesses to do the same.

It is certainly an interesting debate and while we’re not saying that we should all avoid the fresh food aisle in the supermarkets, perhaps we should take a moment to reconsider how we shop.

Food and mood, by Emily Cording

Whether it’s in print, online or through use of social media, it seems everyone wants to offer their thoughts on what we should and shouldn’t be eating.

At times, it can often feel overwhelming trying to work out what is supposedly best, which is why it’s more important than ever to focus on how improving our diet can in turn help to improve our mood, energy levels and mental health.

A recent article by MIND looks to analyse the relationship between what we eat and how we feel by offering some top tips to improve your mood with a healthy lifestyle:

Eat Regularly

Avoid letting your blood sugar drop too low between meals as this can lead to feeling tired, irritable and depressed. Choose to eat foods that release energy slowly and keep you fuller for longer.

Eat the right kind of fats 

Our brains need fatty acids to keep working well, which is vitally important when it comes to productivity. Try incorporating more oily fish, poultry, nuts and seeds into your diet as a starting point, or if you’re a veggie, chia seeds, flaxseeds, edamame beans and other omega-rich, plant-based sources.

Increase your protein intake

Protein contains amino acids which help our brains to regulate thoughts and feelings (although Instagram will tell you it’s solely for ‘gains’) and helps us feel fuller for longer, so as to avoid those pesky mood dips

Stay hydrated

We’re constantly told we should be drinking at least two litres of water a day, and for good reason, as dehydration makes it difficult to concentrate and think clearly. So, drink up everyone!

Get your five-a-day

This advice is pretty difficult to avoid – we all know that a hearty helping of fruit and vegetables gives us those all-important nutrients to keep us physically and mentally healthy.

So, do you agree? Whilst these are all really useful tips, I for one am not sure they’re enough to steer me away from a good old pizza and some chocolate when the cravings arise because after all, what could make you feel better than your favourite food…

A flavour for 2019, by Amy Holt

If there’s one thing we know a lot about (and eat a lot of!) it’s food. From vegans to pegans, the latest diets are constantly changing, and it can be hard to get your head round what is all means, so we’ve put what the experts are saying into something a little more digestible.

The Rise of Veganism

It’s hard to miss the Vegan trend that’s sweeping the nation this year and with nearly three million people in the UK expected to try a vegan diet this year, the country is busting the myth we’re a nation of meat-eaters.

According to a recent study, the UK has just overtaken Germany as the world leader for Vegan food launches, with 16% of new launches being vegan and 34% of consumers saying they’ve cut down on their meat consumption.

The high-street is jumping on the trend, and with multiple launches in January alone, including the Waitrose fishless fish fingers and the infamous Greggs sausage roll, it’s easy to get on board the vegan bandwagon (unless you’re Piers Morgan.)

The Power of Pegan

Even though it’s only one letter change, and you might never have heard of it until now, the pegan diet has been tipped to be one of the biggest food trends of 2019. According to Pinterest, searches for pegan eating are up by a huge 3337%.

So, is it just another diet fad, or something worth paying attention to? In short, the pegan diet combines elements of the paleo and vegan diets and encourages people to eat whole foods that are fresh and organic. It might not be for everyone, but there’s certainly nothing wrong with getting your fruit and vegetable fix.

War on Waste

As people are becoming savvier about food wastage, the food and drink industry is reinventing the wheel when it comes to it.

Whilst 2018 saw the war on the plastic straw, Whole Foods have predicted that 2019 will see an even bigger emphasis on reusing with more shops encouraging customers to be more conscious about their food wastage. M&S is the latest big name to start selling fruit and vegetables free of all plastic packaging in a bid to reduce their plastic waste by 580 tonnes over two years.

Television programmes such as Blue Planet 2 with David Attenborough are also highlighting the devastating impact of plastics on the world’s oceans and raising awareness on a national scale. Brands are tackling the problem head on, with Highland Spring announcing that it will become the first UK water brand to introduce a 100% recycled bottle.

So, have you pledged to cut the plastic this year? What food trend will you be getting your teeth into this year?

Will you be going cold turkey? by Polly Robinson

Traditionally, we’re a meat loving nation. Famously known for our love of fish and chips, Sunday roasts and naming chicken tikka masala our national dish (yes, we really did that) it’s difficult to escape from meals that don’t include a slab of meat.

Yet with trends like ‘Veganuary’ and ‘meat-free Monday’ the amount of meat we’re eating is falling, which have helped a quarter of UK dinners to become free of meat or fish.

Studies have also shown that vegetarians have better overall health and are less prone to heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer and other health problems compared to meat-eaters. With the population becoming more aware about what they’re eating, meat-free days are now a natural occurrence for many.

Today, #WorldVegetarianDay is your chance to celebrate all things veggie.

Whether it’s to improve overall health or just trying to live more conscientiously, millions of people around the world will be giving this day a go, some with the intentions of carrying on.

But what are the main reasons people fail and fall back to eating meat?


A primary factor for people switching back to meat is its convenience. As so many of us have been brought up to view meat as the focus of a dish, we become a little lost when it’s taken out and struggle to replace it. But the most exciting part of becoming a vegetarian is exploring a whole new range of taste experiences. Instead of piling your plate with meat and potatoes, try adventuring into new territory by trying dishes from India, Israel or Taiwan: the countries with the highest rate of vegetarianism. These new flavors and textures will take your focus off what’s missing from your plate and shift to what’s new and interesting


With reports of a third of vegetarians admitting to eating meat every time they get drunk, nights out can quite often be the fall of your veggie streak. However, one of the easiest solutions to prevent this is stocking up on vegetarian alternatives, like Quorn chicken nuggets or opting for a veggie wrap.

“I needed the protein”

Despite so many people giving up meat in an attempt to improve their health, most will return to eating it with reports of “feeling too tired from too little iron” or just “needing the protein.” Typically, this is due to a few simple factors that can be easily solved, beginning with not just assuming something is healthy just because it’s vegetarian. A healthy vegetarian diet is a balanced one, meaning you should consider eating a range of colourful fruits and dark green, leafy vegetables alongside proteins like; tofu, eggs, beans and lentils. When you can, try to avoid processed meat substitutes which tend to be higher in calories, fat and sodium to make a quick meal instead of a nutritious one.

Going cold turkey

Transitioning smoothly from four legs, to two legs, to no legs is the most effective way to switch to a vegetarian diet. You don’t have to stop eating meat all at once, just begin to reduce your intake by slowly cutting out red meat, then white meat and once you’re ready, take fish out of your diet. You can ease the shock of transitioning by allowing yourself to eat pasta, meat substitutes and cheese to make it more pleasant and slowly reduce these as you explore a range of more exciting and healthier meals.

Keeping conversation alive, by James Harris

How is the restaurant industry incentivising conversation?

According to Ofcom, Brits check their phones every 12 minutes and spend more than a day per week online. The report also highlights that the likes of WhatsApp, Snapchat and Skype mean that we’re spending less time talking on the phone.

The report coincides with news from Facebook and Instagram that they’re releasing tools which will limit the amount of time users will spend on their apps. Meanwhile France has gone a step further by banning smartphones and tablets for under 15-year-olds in schools across the nation come September.

So, are we really killing the art of conversation and who’s to gain? Well, despite a third of us apparently feeling stressed without a phone by our side, some savvy brands are riding the media wave perfectly.

Contact Bar and Kitchen in Sydney is now rewarding well-behaved customers that forego their phones with wine, and Drinks Business reports that similar projects in the US and Israel have seen diners offered 50% of a meal.

Will these measures keep conversation alive and will others follow suit? It won’t be long before we find out.

A London summer in the sky, by Alice Kinsey

July is the season where you start day dreaming at your desk about the Italian landscapes of Tuscany, the fan in the corner is barely taking your mind off the sweltering heat…wine, cobalt streets and rose bushes are your next haven but until then, I have sourced some of the most glimmering London rooftop bars to enjoy in this oh-so-beautiful weather. 

Sushi Samba

Acclaimed for its high heights and cocktails, nothing is done on a small scale here. Sipping your Negroni at golden hour will make you believe you are gazing into a Renaissance painting of the twenty-first century: ethereal mixed with industrial architecture.

Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, EC2N.

Sky Garden

Everything is in the name. If you ever wondered what a trip through luscious lands of greenery can look like on the 35th floor, high up between the clouds as pink hues course over the River Thames, then this is your place. Book in advance, buy a bottle with your date and enjoy the serenity that these vibrant gardens and chilled music can give you in an al fresco-like scenario.

1 Sky Garden Walk, EC3M.


French for a beautiful avifauna cage where exotic birds parade around, you can understand this bar’s namesake. A little bit of luxury with added altitude amidst the city’s hustle and bustle, it should be your go-to when needing a little break from it all. Sip on an Old Fashioned whilst taking in the views and a cosy under a blanket when the sun sets over the cityscape.

22-25 Finsbury Square, EC2A 1DX.

Queen of Hoxton

East London Queen of Rooftop bars. Loud music. Great vibes. Chilled atmosphere. You don’t need much more than this.

1 Curtain Road, EC2A.

Rumpus Room at the Mondrian London

Walking into the 1970’s Palm Springs era, you’ll be greeted by St Paul’s Cathedral across the bridge. Following their desert vibes, the cocktail list offers an extensive range of both American and British twists on our favourite classics. A great option after an afternoon gazing at your favourite artists in the Tate nearby.

20 Upper Ground, SE.

Trafalgar St James

Trafalgar St James boasts a vibrant energy and youthful aura, most likely from the bustling streets of the infamous Trafalgar Square just below. With panoramic views of London, you can wind down whilst sipping on sangria after a walk through St James’ park or a trip to the National Gallery.

2 Spring Gardens, SW1A 2TS.

Frank’s Cafe

A cultural car park rooftop hosting unrivalled art in Peckham. This place turns into an oasis the minute it opens its doors in summer.

95A Rye Lane, SE15.

Top student eats, by Louis Walters

As the office’s student placement/designated debt amasser, London can be a tricky one. Work chatter frequently turns to outstanding openings and desirable dining, whilst I’m sure Simon Rogan’s new tasting menu is to die for, I simply do not have the pennies. However, there are still plenty of places where you can have a brilliant nibble, keep your Instagram followers engaged and all without having to plead with your parents for some funding to subsidise your newfound, uber-trendy lifestyle. So here are some top student spots on a budget, and don’t worry Leeds folk, we have you covered as well.

Baba G’s – Brixton, London

Some love it, some hate it, but one thing you can’t dispute about the shipping container mecca that is Pop Brixton is the great food offerings. The stand out for me is Baba G’s and their Indian style burger food. Jalfrezi flavoured lamb and onion bhaji in a seeded bun? Yes, please. Spice-coated chips with a mango drizzle? Go on then. Whether it be a weekend hangover cure or a quick bite before you see that up-and-coming Indie band at Brixton Academy, G’s has you covered.

Caravanserai – Crown St., Leeds

Hidden next to the corn exchange is this colourful hotspot, surrounded by small, independent shops that attract the hippest of hipsters, so bring your A-game. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner through the week, this Ottoman feast is bound to engage the senses, with delicious, visually gripping plates for carnivores and veggies alike. You can order takeaway from a window on the bottom floor, alternatively sneak upstairs to the small seating area, packed with more candelabras and rugs than your nan’s loft.

Beigel Shop – Brick Lane, London

Brick Lane is exhausting, and after a day of posing in front of graffiti and trying on vintage jeans, you are bound to be crying out for something to restore your energy levels. Biegel Shop is the place to go, having served mouth-watering, salt beef filled bundles of goodness for over a century. I would be lying if I said I haven’t purposely cut a night out short and made the excursion, and for less than a fiver, my friends should be completely understanding. The best thing about it is it’s open 24/7, so lace up your Reebok Classics and get yourself down there.

Chida Cantina – Cross Belgrave St., Leeds

Located at the end of a dead-end road, only people in the know make it to this Mexican hangout. Open till late, the bar offers a unique take on some classics, including three different kinds of Margarita, so at least one’s bound to put you on the right track for the long night ahead. With a student hotspot just a few doors down, your new pre-drinks spot is sorted, with drinks and food being very student friendly (cocktails start at £7.50). Also, every six months (ish) a different restaurant takes over the kitchen tenancy, keeping you on your toes for many evenings to come.

Bao – Soho, London

Nestled down one of Soho’s many narrow streets is this thirty-capacity haven. Bao buns are the speciality (clue’s in the name), ranging from duck confit to pork belly with some fab vegan options thrown in for good measure. Individual Bao’s are around the £5 mark, whilst their three-course lunch deal comes in at £15 and more than fills you up. Drinks-wise the Peanut Milk is a real treat and makes you feel young again. Most importantly, the food looks great (perfect for your social media stories), which is all that truly matters at the end of the day – just be prepared to queue.

Belgrave Music Hall – Cross Belgrave St., Leeds

The most famous hotspot in Leeds and full to the brim with students and young professionals, this place has you got your back from dawn till dusk. Spread over three floors, start early with a coffee before moving up to a craft beer or two, paired with a treat from their pop-up burger and pizza stands. The middle floor is an event space, hosting everything from DJ sets to yoga sessions. Finish on the roof terrace with whoever has made it this far, cocktail in hand. No frills, plenty of spills.

Joe Public – Clapham Common, London

Situated behind Clapham Common station, Joe Public is that slice of New York delicacy you have been crying out for, pun intended. This spot does it the old-fashioned way, by the slice, eat in or take away. The free wifi makes it great for a casual drop in on an indulgent Saturday afternoon, whilst its midnight closing time provides a warm hug for that sobering train journey home. My advice? Keep it simple with a chorizo and halloumi slice or two.

Food Waste super heroes, by Vickie Rogerson

Food waste has been discussed and debated endlessly in the media in recent years to the point that maybe we’ve become immune to the detail. We know we should reuse our leftovers, consider what we buy and when, understand the difference between best before and use by dates and maybe donate a few cans to people less fortunate than us when we’re at Tesco.

This is great, but we need to understand the true extent to what food is wasted in order for us to buy that lovely Valentine’s Day meal deal or those perfectly straight carrots. WRAP estimated (it’s impossible to predict an exact number) that annual food waste from UK households, hospitality, manufacturing, retail and wholesale sectors is 10 million tonnes – 60% of which could have been avoided. In total, we waste food worth £17 billion a year which creates 20 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.

Ultimately, the agricultural, manufacturing, supply chain and the retailing system we have developed means we produce more food than we need and a large proportion of this gets wasted.

Our food waste habits are costing us money and polluting our environment but equally, we’re seeing people all around us who cannot afford to eat.  Elderly people dying from malnourishment, children who may only eat one meal a day and food bank use continuing to rise. 8.4 million UK families are struggling to put food on the table, the equivalent of the whole population of London.

But, there are some real super-heroes who are helping to redress the balance and ensure that surplus food is used as a force for good. There’s innovative NPD that is challenging the category leaders, savvy technology that’s connecting waste with communities and people who are using food waste to create partnerships that drive social empowerment.

In our next Lucre Roundtable event, we are celebrating the Innovative Waste Warriors who are making a difference in the war on waste; the people, the businesses and charities who are using food surplus to innovate, connect and empower. Along the way, we hope to inspire businesses to look at the way they produce food and what they could do differently.

Join us on March 1st at St Luke’s Community Centre in London and hear from some inspirational speakers. Email to be added to the guest list.

Lucre’s Roundtable Event – Food Waste

Vegetables: a flash in the pan or here to stay? by Sam Orbaum

That’s a wrap. The first of February is within touching distance; so close you can hear the sizzle of bacon coming in over the horizon. Toast some bread, slop on the Heinz, take a bite and, just like that, Veganuary is done and dusted for another year. Only, it’s not so simple.

Sure, the new year cleanse is coming to an official end, but the clamour for a meat-free-month is suggestive of the direction in which our longer-term eating habits are travelling. Perhaps, a vegan diet is for life, not just post-Christmas.

Whatever the reasons for getting involved in veganism (ethical, health, Instagram…), and whether it’s dabbling or dedication, there’s no doubting that people are giving it a go. And not just in January. Statistics published by the Vegan Society show that the number of vegans in Britain ballooned by more than 360% between 2006 and 2016, making it the country’s fastest growing lifestyle movement. Add in a hoard of part-timers and a popular hashtag – #Veganuary2018 has been used 21,359 and counting on Instagram – and it’s no wonder that brands are taking notice, and action.

From major restaurant chains adding to their vegan options to innovative product development, the last few months have seen numerous initiatives aimed at the growing vegan audience. Pizza Express, Zizzi and Carluccio’s are among the biggest restaurant groups to have substantially expanded their vegan offerings and it would appear that supermarkets are following suit, with the likes of Tesco and Asda announcing new vegan ranges. Where once there was KFC riding the wave of a mock clean eating burger, there are now brands furiously developing meat and dairy free alternatives. Ben & Jerry’s are among the most recognisable names leading the NPD charge, although perhaps the biggest headline grabber will be the vegan ‘bleeding’ burger, which has been announced by Moving Mountains.

With an estimated 52,000 participants this year, initiatives such as Veganuary offer impactful short-term publicity for veganism but the aforementioned developments hint at a longer-term commitment from influential companies too. The tightrope currently being walked is that between a trend and a fad.

We all witnessed the mess made by the Clean Eating brigade, where pseudo-science and marketing fuelled opportunism was exposed and dismantled. There have been missteps here, too, such as the short-lived Marks and Spencer’s cauliflower steaks, but, assuming that brands find the balance between relevance and exploitation, there’s little question that there’s a lucrative market here and that veganism will live long beyond Veganuary.

Do you know your kimchi from your kraut juice? by Lottie Wilkins

Discard deep-fried grasshoppers, step away from the burger, the brunch bubble has burst people, but you Avocado, you can stay!!

Would you like an Instagram optimisation kit with your table for four? What the devil is Japanese Dude Food? Tried fish cooked in vinegar? By the end of 2018, you’ll know all the answers to these questions and more if food trend experts are to be believed.

According to the restaurant consultancy company Baum+Whiteman and as we’ve previously reported, Filipino food is where it’s at this year. Luto, chef Mary San Pablo’s London supper club, is most definitely worth trying – paksiw na isda (fish cooked in vinegar) pork belly Adobo and cuttlefish Pallabok with strawberries, lemon and avocado for dessert, what’s not to love? Filipino street food experts BBQ Dreams in London (@bbqdreamz) and Manila Munchies in Birmingham ­(@ManilaMunchies) are all riding the Filipino fast train to food heaven too.

2018 will be the year of the old bird. 100-day-old chickens (most commercial chickens are slaughtered at 60 days) or gamy cockerels will be viewed as the ‘Pengest Munch’ (thanks, the Chicken Connoisseur). Try HG Walters or The Ginger Pig – both are extraordinary butchers, with fans such as The River Café, Nigella, Gordon and Jamie!

Sayonara, sushi; hello, Japanese “dude food”. Think deep-fried chicken karaage, agedashi tofu and grilled yakitori chicken skewers. Sosharu, Jason Atherton’s restaurant is leading the Japanese “pub grub” charge, lesser mortals are sure to follow. According to the Sterling-Rice Group’s Culinary Trends 2018 report Asian-inspired breakfasts such as jianbing – Chinese crepes smothered with hoisin sauce and filled with egg, are about to land in the UK too. Feeling some Hawaiian flavours? Then poke bowls are for you. Big in America last year, this ‘sushi without the fuss’ is customisable, healthy, delicious and most importantly, an Instagram favourite.

Restaurants including Dirty Bones in Kensington are introducing Instagram optimisation kits (tripods, wide-angle lenses, phone chargers) to help diners snap the heck out of their three courses. However, at the other end of the scale, more are banning phones outright – don’t try and post from St John’s Dining Room, Locanda Locatelli or the Chelsea Arts Club.

Sales of fermented foods show no sign of slowing, as we all feel the benefits of eating more natural probiotics. Though off-the-shelf, little bottles of milky coloured liquid are convenient, they’re not the best source of natural probiotics – fermented or pickled cabbage is. Kimchi is exactly that, hailing from Korea and sauerkraut or kraut juice is pulped pickled German cabbage. In the US, whole supermarket aisles are devoted to spicy kimchi shots and tangy sauerkraut juice. Sounds too healthy? Try a Pickleback instead (whisky with a pickle juice chaser).

Along with this cornucopia of culinary delights, 2018 will also see a rise in Veganism. We welcome wonky veg and we’ll be eating this wonky veg root to tip. We’ll be partial to sip on booze-free bevvies as mocktail mania takes hold. Tacos will be raising their game; breakfast tacos, chocolate tacos, sushi tacos and shaved jicama tacos stuffed with pokē. It’s endless.

Though one of our least favourite food trends is gourmet food for pre-schoolers – we’re all for our little ones eating well, but Fois Gras for four-year-olds? That doesn’t rock our world!

Breakfast Blunders, by Kate Hutchinson

We’ve heard it all before. First, the lecture came from our parents, then we had it from our teachers and now it appears that academics are getting in on the act, too. You know what they say, ‘mothers know best’ and as much as it pains me to say it, they might just be right.

It’s been a hotly debated topic in the world of food, but recent, research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology has found that skipping our morning meal may be linked to poorer cardiovascular health. Scientists are suggesting that breakfast is, in fact, the most important meal of the day – but just how true is it?

No doubt we’ve all been there (I know I certainly have) – we’d rather have that extra five minutes in bed or we’re so focused on finishing a piece of work then before we know it, the whole morning has passed by.

However, the study suggests that those who miss their morning meal compared to those who enjoy a hearty breakfast, are at a greater risk of developing stages of atherosclerosis earlier in life. In other words, suffer from a build-up of fat in their arteries.

Though it appears that it’s not actually skipping breakfast that’s the problem but more what it causes us to eat after, it indicates more about our lifestyle than anything else. Skipping breakfast disrupts our internal body clock, causing us to eat more calories at unusual times of the day. We turn to things such as snacks or excessive eating around lunchtime to counter-act the meal missed earlier that day. But what if we were to indulge in a full English, seven days a week – would that really be better for us than having nothing at all? It’s safe to say I’m dubious, but, if in the interest of science it means I need to treat myself to some hearty breakfasts, I’m all for it.

So, next time you’re too tired to drag yourself out of bed that five minutes earlier in the morning, just stop and think, because it seems our parents might have been right all along – breakfast truly is the key meal of the day.

Is beauty the next big thing in functional food? by Ali Gwynne

Is beauty skin deep? And what does food have to do with it all? Once upon a time, food and drink served the sole purpose of filling your stomach and quenching your thirst, but new research indicates that the food and drink industry may be merging with that of the beauty world as the next big thing in functional food*.

The notion of functional foods was born in Japan in the early 1980s when health officials discovered the link between foods that were developed specifically to promote health or reduce the risk of disease. Strictly speaking, all food is functional, in the sense that it provides the nutrients necessary for survival. But the term “functional food” in use today, conveys health benefits that extend far beyond mere survival. Food and nutrition science has moved from identifying and correcting nutritional deficiencies to designing foods that promote optimal health. Generally, these include foods that contain certain minerals, vitamins, fatty acids or dietary fibre – think probiotic yoghurt, avocado, salmon, brazil nuts, quinoa and the rest of the ‘en vogue’ health tribe.

As interest in this category has grown, new products have appeared and attention has turned to the development of standards and guidelines for the development and promotion of such foods. Whether you’re looking to build muscle, increase alertness or simply support your immune system, functional food has a solution, and while beauty/appearance may not be on the same playing field, it certainly is making waves. The past year has seen a barrage of collagen-based food and drink products hit the market, with hipsters buying collagen infused coffee, ice cream, water and smoothies. There’s even a collagen-added gin aptly named ‘Colagin’, that boasts an ‘elixir of youth’ claim.

It’s not all about collagen though. Local supermarkets are now stocking a whole host of functional food that offer general beauty benefits.  Everything from skin-glowing tea, to youth inducing milk and diet bread are easily accessible to the everyday consumer. Tetley’s Super Green Beauty Tea, which touts healthy hair and skin benefits, is one that springs to mind when thinking about recent on-tend product launches, as are the Niche Co hydrating and illuminating tea range.

If nutrient-enhanced foods aren’t your thing, why not include all-natural beauty boosters instead? Vogue magazine has jumped on the bandwagon with articles dedicated to just the subject. Topping the list are lemons for detoxification, sweet potatoes to fight off the free radicals, beets to halt the signs of ageing, and finally pineapple to soothe inflammation and redness!

As a category, functional food is booming thanks to a growing awareness of the additional benefits that can be found in various food and drink products. The health benefits from eating well are undeniable, but will you be jumping on the beauty-eating trend? They do say you are what you eat…



How to Join the Drinks Revolution, by Philippa Barker

This month our drinks team headed down to Borough Market for the fourth instalment in the Borough Talks series.

Borough Talks are a series of public debates presented by Borough Market, exploring some of the most interesting and important issues relevant to today’s food and drink world.

This session explored the drinks revolution and included a panel of acclaimed industry professionals:

  • Dave Broom: Broadcaster, lecturer and all round expert on spirits and the art of distilling
  • Tony Conigliaro: Internationally renowned drinks creator, founder of the Drink Factory consultancy and three acclaimed London bars: 69 Colebrooke Row, Bar Termini and Untitled
  • Catriona Felstead: Senior buyer at England’s oldest wine and spirit merchant Berry Bros & Rudd and the company’s first ever female Master of Wine
  • Dan Tapper: Food and drink writer and self-taught brewer who launched The Beak nano-brewery three years ago, creating small batches of unfiltered, unpasteurised beers

With fantastic food on offer from market traders and a delectable cocktail created by Tony Conigliaro’s team, the talk provided us with all there is to know about drinks. We’ve put together the key take-outs from the session so you’re in the know, too:


  • We are in a golden age for spirits at the moment with a vast array available
  • Multiple distillery openings are happening every week with new brewing techniques
  • Increasing willingness from consumers to try new spirits
  • Flavour is a key factor

Craft Beer

  • Large companies are hooking onto this from a marketing perspective when they aren’t ‘craft’ at all
  • Genuine craft products are; small, independent, have authenticity and are not prepared to put profit before quality
  • The three leading breweries on app ‘UnTapped’ have:
    • Adept and buoyant pale ales
    • Interaction with customers
    • Breweries on-site which help with profit margin
  • More beers are being increasingly developed specifically to partner with food
  • The UK has more breweries per capita than anywhere else in the world


  • We are seeing a movement towards artisan wines, specifically from South Africa and Australia
  • Wine production is moving towards a natural way with minimal intervention
  • The UK market is increasingly polarised between the mass markets and the £10 a bottle sector
  • Consumers are keen to understand more about the wine and the story
  • More preference for premium and focused wines
  • It’s a great time at the moment for English sparkling wine


  • Tony Conigliaro bases his cocktails on his own stories, of which he then builds the flavour profile on
  • The London cocktail scene is the most diverse and interesting in the world
  • A good and interesting drink provides a talking point in any bar
  • London is full of people from all over the world creating drinks with a variety of global inspiration

Small Brands

  • Create a product that will cut through without being contrived i.e. not a gin with just another botanical
  • Be switched on and creative with social media – it allows direct interaction with consumers
  • A product with local ingredients sell
  • The quality and provenance of a brand is integral
  • A brand with integrity should represent the owner

Filipino cuisine next for 2017, by Holly Green

Pop-up restaurants, endless street food choices and food crazes, there’s always something on the horizon for foodies to look out for. But the next big flavours on our lips should be Filipino and here are several reasons why western palates are apparently ready for the cuisine…

It’s been a long time coming. Award-winning food writer Andrew Zimmern predicted Filipino food would be the next big thing five years ago. Now, even the likes of Vogue magazine agree.

Despite common misconceptions of Pinoy dining, opinions on the food of the Philippines are undeniably beginning to change. In a recent article by Bloomberg, it was reported that searches for ‘Filipino food’ via Google have doubled since 2012, while queries for ‘lumpia near me’ have sharply increased by 3,350 per cent.

Filipino food culture has expanded to include tastes from around the world that Westerners are already familiar with. Elements of Chinese, Spanish, Japanese and Pacific Islander dishes are amongst the most notable flavours.

Since Filipino cuisine is notoriously free from dairy and gluten, this makes it suitable for a variety of dietary needs and health regimes. Meals will fit in especially with the up and coming trend of communal dining and sharing platters considering meals are traditionally enjoyed family style in the Philippines.

However, although top chef Anthony Bourdain agrees that Filipino food is ‘underrated’, certain dishes are expected to be much more popular than others. In fact, Bourdain recommends one of his favourite dishes ‘sisig’, which includes various parts of a pig, as a readily-available, casual dish to enjoy. But will the western world be open to eating pig snout, ear and tongue? We aren’t sure if we’re convinced just yet.

When it comes to PR, global perceptions of Filipino food are very important, especially in terms of tourism which directly affects the nation’s economic success. If countries like Cambodia and Thailand can make munching on insects seem tempting, perhaps we can do the same for the Philippines and its famous ‘balut’ (developing bird embryo) street-food!

Camel milk, anyone? 2017’s crazy food and drink trends, by Shannon Grimm-Berghaus

Here at Lucre, we love food (who doesn’t?) and with it being the year of all things unicorn themed, chocolate ladened and charcoal coloured, there are some certain trends we should seriously be looking out for.

Dairy-free lovers should look past the almond and soy milk – it’s time to think camel. Camel milk is the new superfood which is already widely consumed in Australia – camel milk pannacotta is a thing. The milk contains around ten times more iron and nearly three times more vitamin C than cow’s milk and researchers claim it can help those suffering from dairy intolerances, diabetes and gut and bowel problems. Sounds pretty super to us.

If vino is your favourite tipple, keep an eye out for orange wine and it’s not the Aperol Spritz kind. This ‘fourth wine’ is rich in flavour and its name derives purely from colour – it’s not made of citrus fruits. Normally the wine process involves removing the skin of the grapes however this wine has the skin left on to produce colour. We believe that if it’s good enough for the Ritz, it should be on the must-try list.

Gluten-free eaters can breathe a sigh of relief – more exciting flavours for cooking and baking will finally be hitting the shelves. Though coconut flour and all coconut products are set to continue rocketing, your almond, gluten-free white, rice and potato flours can all be put to one side. Banana flour is made from green bananas making it sweeter in taste and perfect for low-sugar baking and chia flour will become more mainstream this year. Coffee flour (milled from the wasted fruit of the coffee bean) promises more protein, fibre and iron than regular flour but none of the caffeine hit – sorry coffee lovers. Not different enough for you? Give cricket flour (yes, crickets) a try; all the protein, none of the crunch.

The fruit and vegetables on our shelves will start to look a little more interesting, too. Forget breeding dogs, you’ll have snack-sized hybrids instead. Kalettes, kale and sprouts, cucamelons, cucumber like watermelons, will appear in more menus, it’s not all trickery. Kumquats and mangosteen will become more widely used too and kiwi berries (grape sized kiwis you can eat whole) are just a handful of what’ll be making an appearance for 2017.

You’d be forgiven for thinking Heston Blumenthal had been let loose in our supermarkets but don’t be surprised to be picking any of these up in the aisles and into your kitchens, very soon.



Our favourite top 5 summer cocktails by Laura Duncan

Even though it may feel a bit far from summer at the moment with the intermittent sunshine amidst cold and grey weather, you can brighten your day with our top picks for summer cocktails. Where you will most likely recognise or know some very well, others might surprise you by their cheeky twists, and leave you with an idea of what to drink and how to make it yourself.



Being Britain’s favourite summer cup, we obviously had to have the beloved Pimms on top of the list.

As easy as the classic recipe might be to remember (even after a few), you sometimes just need it to be a tiny bit more exciting. So, why not try ‘Pimms PimPom’?


1 part Pimm’s

3 parts Pomegranate



Mix all ingredients in a highball or half pint glass.

Garnish with orange and ripped basil


Mojito Slushies

We bet you thought mojitos couldn’t get any more refreshing than in their original form, but rest assured, mojito slushies not only twist the classic (well known) mojito experience but leaves you feeling well refreshed. Don’t be too eager on these slushies though; finishing a little too quickly could remind you how a good old “brain freeze” feels like.

How to make them yourself? That’s easy – and only takes 10 minutes!


1/2 c. fresh lime juice (about 4 to 6 limes)

1/4 c. agave

1/3 c. fresh mint leaves

Zest of 2 limes

1/2 c. light rum


Mint sprigs and lime wedges for garnish


Add the lime juice, agave, mint leaves, lime zest, and rum to a blender. Blend until smooth. Fill the blender to top with ice and blend until slushy.

Pour into glasses, garnishing each with a sprig of mint and a lime slice.


Piña Colada

Dreaming about bounty beaches, easy days strolling around in just a bikini and sun kissed skin won’t come closer to taste like a Piña ColadaTip: Use fresh pineapple to make it extra tropical!


4 oz. spiced rum

4 oz. coconut milk

1/3 c. fresh pineapple chunks

Splash pineapple juice

2 maraschino cherries

1 c. Ice


Add rum, coconut milk, pineapple chunks and juice to a blender with ice. Blend until smooth.

Pour into 2 glasses.

Garnish each glass with a pineapple chunk and a maraschino cherry.


Aperol Spritz

A traditional Italian “ice-breaker” which during the past few years has made its way into the hearts of the brits and during the summer period become a true challenger to the frizzy Prosecco. And it’s not only for Hackney hipsters in top hats and lion-tamer moustaches but one for mum and dad as well. Best thing is, it’s SO easy to make!


75ml Prosecco (3 parts)

50ml Aperol (2 parts)

Some sparkling soda (1 part)

1 slice of orange

A handful of ice cubes

… and if it’s been a looooong day, add 25ml gin.


Add lots of ice to a large white wine glass, pour over the Aperol, followed by the Prosecco (and gin if using).

Stir once and finish the drink with a splash of soda water and a slice of orange.


Sex on the Beach

As another classic, we couldn’t finish the list without mentioning the famous Sex on the beach. It’s refreshing, it’s fruity and gives you a boozy kick – A fantastic summer cocktail!


1.5 oz. Vodka

0.5 oz. Peach Schnapps

1.5 oz. Orange /or Pineapple juice

1.5 oz. Cranberry juice


Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice.

Shake, and strain into a highball glass filled with fresh ice.

Garnish with an orange wheel.


Finally, as you are now familiar with both the ingredients necessary and how to mix them, why not try all of them? No doubt we’ll be on it as soon as the weekend kicks in!

Foodie Favourites by Ali Gwynne

Where Brits are headed in the culinary world

The results are in and it’s official, we’re a nation of foodies – well, sort of.

Coining the term ‘Culinary Magpie’, the latest Great British Chefs Insight report has shown a real resurgence of food trends from 50-60 year ago, with foodies looking to cook things from scratch, whether that’s jams, chutneys and pickles or the more technical coq au vin, we’re willing to get our hands dirty and give it a go!

The modern-day British foodie’s kitchen contains all the bells and whistles that you might expect from a start-up restaurant. The likes of ice-cream makers, pizza stones and spiralisers have become commonplace and it turns out that around 40 per cent of us own specialist equipment needed for pickling, 13 per cent for brewing beer, and an enthusiastic five per cent curing their own salami*.

When it comes to whipping up a quick, nutritious dinner, foodies steer well clear of microwave or ready meals and takeaways are likely to be sourced from local restaurants as opposed to chain stores. The esteemed foodie has the creativity to throw something together based on whatever they can find in the cupboard, with pasta being the main go-to as it’s easy to create but still delicious, so long as you don’t use a store-bought sauce…

While foodies as a whole are a talented bunch, modesty is not their strong point. When surveyed, 82 per cent said they’re much better cooks than their parents, taking inspiration from books (88%) or online (85%)*. Eating out is another important source of knowledge with the majority recreating what they’ve been served in British restaurants or on holidays abroad. Copy-cat cooking is also on the up thanks to the boom of televised cooking shows such as Masterchef and Great British Bake Off as an adventurous 83 per cent cook dishes they’ve seen on-screen.

The famed Sunday roast is still a fighting favourite for Brits, however foodies have taken a truly global approach to eating. More of us are branching out to try exotic meats such as ostrich, kangaroo, buffalo and crocodile. A peek inside our kitchen cupboards surprisingly reveals more fish sauce than brown sauce along with copious amounts of coconut milk, soy sauce and tinned tomatoes.

Overall, the recent survey from Great British Chefs highlights exactly how the world of food has changed so dramatically from as little as ten years ago, when things like fish sauce and spiraliser machines were housed solely in expert kitchens. We’re hoping to see more unusual ingredients becoming readily available in the next five to ten years with an onslaught of eager, budding foodies to match!



To see or not to see? How our senses affect our relationship with products, by Ryan Lewis

Everybody has heard the old adage “you eat with your eyes” but is it true? In the last month over the course of two very different culinary dates, my girlfriend and I have really put that theory to the test. Firstly, an extremely visual food sensation at Leeds’s only Michelin-starred restaurant The Man behind the Curtain and then eating in the complete dark at London restaurant Dans Le Noir. But which was better? What did I learn about the roles our senses play in our experience of food? And wider afield what does it mean for how brands appeal to all our senses?

“It looks too good to eat,” and the antonym “it looks good enough to eat” are things we’ve all said. Both demonstrate how our perception of food and eating is closely connected to our sight. But when the option to see what you are eating, as I experienced at Dans Le Noir, is removed is one’s experience of food affected? The answer is undoubtedly yes and for me, I’m afraid, it wasn’t for the better. I can conclude categorically that I like being able to see my food and what’s more it increases my enjoyment of a meal.

The contrast between the two meals couldn’t have been starker. Michael O’Hare’s food at The Man behind the Curtain is cosmic in appearance because it resembles a nebula star whereas the experience at Dans Le Noir was cosmic because it was as black as deepest darkest space. However, intriguingly there were similarities. At both meals I didn’t always know what I was eating. At Dans le Noir this was because I couldn’t’ see my food and wasn’t told what I was eating. One had to rely entirely on taste to identify the food, which isn’t as easy as it sounds. At The Man behind the Curtain despite being able to see the food and being given very detailed descriptions of what was on the plate, I still didn’t always know what I was eating simply because the creations were so fantastical. Edible egg shell, for example, blew my fragile little mind.

Food and drink is best enjoyed when all our senses are stimulated. What’s more our relationship between food and drink and senses is well known by brands and frequently exploited. The most tempting treats (those that are bad for us) are always sold at eye-line in the supermarket, coffee shops frequently waft their aromas out on to the street, and how much do you always want a Coke when you hear that pop and fizz of someone else’s can opening? It’s just as important to appeal to all the senses in the language we use when communicating and talking about food and drink. The legendary American salesman Elmer Wheeler said it best “You sell the sizzle, not the steak.”

Appealing to all our senses is essential for all brands. The consumer today wants to have experiences and an emotional relationship with the brands they buy and one way of doing this is ensuring the products and services we use excite all our senses. Brands should consider when appealing to our senses:

Sight – The sense most closely linked to our perception of things. What colours and shapes do customers associate with your brands? What emotions do these evoke? Is your brand recognisable from just its colour, shape, or logo?

Sound – This can easily be conveyed in adverts (Breakfast cereal is sold on sound alone). What sounds and music do customers associate with your brand? Do you have a catchy theme tune or tagline? What sounds do people link to your product? Also, how do people talk about your product?

Smell – The sense that is closest linked to our memories. Smells take us back to childhood or place we once knew. What smells are used in your stores? What memories does the smell of your products evoke?

Taste – This sense is not just confined to food and drink products. If your product had a flavour what might it be? How could taste be incorporated into your brand? If not a food or drink brand what food or drink product would customers associate with your brand?

Touch – The sense that the customer closest links to quality. If it feels good we think it’s good. How tactile is your product? Does it feel better than competitors? Does the customer get the opportunity to feel before they buy?

It makes good sense for brands to appeal to all our senses and they should investigate as many ways as possible to appeal all of them. Based on my two dinner dates I can testify that an experience is definitely better when all your senses are stimulated and excited. Dining in the dark was fun but for me there is definitely more enjoyment in seeing the joy in the face of the person you are with. Call me old fashioned but if I am going on a date with someone beautiful, I want to be able to see them.

White wine in spag bol? Whatever next….by Laura Duncan

There was uproar amongst the foodies this week after TV chef, Mary Berry casually added white wine and cream to her spaghetti bolognaise – even choosing to omit the pasta altogether… Cue Twitter pandemonium with various self-proclaimed foodie experts crumbling under the thought of her ruining this classic comfort dish:

“Just watched a cooking programme where Mary Berry put white wine in bolognaise. Turned it off”

“I can’t cope with Mary Berry’s bolognaise recipe. She used white wine, not red wine. She cooks it in the oven. There is thyme but no basil”

The Daily Telegraph even had the story as one of their “breaking news” pop-ups… it seems she’s caused a stir in the industry…

So, it got us thinking here at the Lucre food and drink towers – who else has come under scrutiny for daring to push culinary boundaries? Albeit, sometimes it’s been for all for the better!


Jamie Oliver outraged Spaniards by adding chorizo and chicken to his paella.

“Adding chorizo to a paella should be an offence”

“No, Jamie. No. Stop ruining a classic”

The tradition Valencian dish includes meat, fish, shellfish, and vegetables but not a whiff of the cured sausage or succulent chicken thighs. People argued, he’s just created rice with stuff… tastes good, though….


Heston Blumenthal has forged his career and created a role for himself as our go-to chef for unlikely flavour combinations (snail porridge, anyone??) yet, his Bacon & Banana Trifle, launched last Christmas didn’t go down too well with the British public… perhaps a bit too far… It certainly left customers crying out for the classic to be served throughout the festive period instead.


Nigella Lawson is famous for recommending we add a teaspoon of marmite to our spaghetti bolognaise in replacement of a stock cube. Love it or hate it, feedback is it adds depth and distinction to your standard ragu sauce


So, some food for thought… should we stick to the classics and follow a recipe to the letter? Or, should we mix it up a bit and pull a Mary by adding some flair and pizazz to our usual weeknight dinners? Think what you like about our favourite bake-off chef, her recommendation, “white or red, whatever you’ve got to hand” certainly sounds like something we can get on board with!


Shrinkflation, Brexit and the Great Weekly Food Shop by Ali Gwynne

Brexit’s here to stay, but what does this mean for the food and drink industry?

According to The Grocer, most households feel food prices have already risen over the last six months, and they’re not wrong as illustrated by the new buzzword, ‘shrinkflation’ – a practice where manufacturers reduce the size of products, but not the price. Towards the end of 2016, many chocolate manufacturers were criticised for their part in shrinkflation with cult favourite, Toblerone, coming under scrutiny for altering the classic shape and size of the product.

With weekly shopping bills set to rise further over the next six months*, almost half of shoppers said they would switch to cheaper own-label alternatives if their weekly food shopping bills rose by 3% – the level experts predict food inflation will hit by the end of the year.

Whether you feel that Brexit and Shrinkflation will affect your weekly shopping habits, we could all benefit by cutting a few pounds off our grocery bill.


Grow your own (herbs, lettuce, tomatoes):

Whether you’re naturally green-fingered, or just fancy the idea of a herb box on your kitchen bench, keeping fresh herbs at home can save you money in the long run when whipping up your favourite dish. If you’re willing to go a step further, then planting lettuces or tomatoes is a good way to go too.


Find own brand products that you like:
When it comes to own brand products, some contain identical ingredients and are even made in the same factory, but it can be a bit hit and miss.  Food critic Martin Isark has set up his own website called the where he has reviewed more than 10,000 own-brand products from all the big supermarkets.


Compare prices before you shop:

We tend to be pretty brand-loyal when it comes to food shopping. Grocery comparison website helps you compare the cost of your basket at various supermarkets, and is a good way to keep on top of your spending if prices do increase.


Make a list:

It may seem simple, but saving money on your weekly shop can be as simple as making a list and planning your meals in advance to avoid any unnecessary purchases!


Weight it out:

It pays to check the price per kilogram when it comes to buying groceries to be sure you’re getting the best deal. For meats with bones however, be sure to look at the cost per serving instead so the bones and fat included in the weight of the item don’t mislead you.


Do your own slicing and dicing.

Don’t fall into the pre-packaged and single-serve trap, as these are easy mark-up territory. It may be slightly more time consuming, but it’s always cheaper to buy the block of cheese or pineapple and do the chopping yourself.



Take a look at our Waste not, Want not blog that looks at ways you can make the most of the food you have at home, rather than discarding it.

Waste Not, Want Not by Ali Gwynne

Cut down on food waste and save money

It’s a common conundrum, you pass the supermarket on the journey home from work, unable to recall what’s in the fridge. Consequently, you end up buying meat, bread and milk that you not only don’t need, but will inevitably have to throw out when it spoils.

Unnecessary food wastage is an issue and as consumers we need to do everything we can to combat it. It’s said that as many as 8.4m families in the UK struggle to when it comes to putting meals on the table – yet alarmingly 7.3m tonnes of food waste still ends up in landfills each year.

The past ten years has seen a surge in the awareness of unnecessary food waste with the help of campaigns such as “Love Food, Hate Waste”, prompting people to rethink the way they shop and cook. Supermarkets have also come under fire to improve packaging so that consumers know when food is no longer edible, and as a result, the government launched a voluntary contract called the Courtauld Agreement between supermarkets and manufacturers as a way of stopping food from ending up in landfills.

So, aside from reducing what goes into landfills each year, what’s in it for you? Throwing edible food away comes at a cost of around £200 per person annually, and £700 for the average family. So, cut your yearly grocery bill down to size by getting a little creative with your meal choices and save more of the food you buy from the bin with the tips below.

1. Stalemate

You’d be surprised to know that stuffing works better with stale, rather than fresh, bread – so if your loaf is more brick than bread, chuck it in a pan instead of the bin! Alternatively create a batch of delicious croutons to top off a Caesar salad, or whip up a toasted sandwich or two.

2. Bring your veg back from the brink

Fridges tend to suck the life (read: moisture) out of fresh veg that naturally has a high water content. Try submerging the likes of wilting carrots, celery, cucumbers, salad leaves, spinach and broccoli in ice-cold water for 30 minutes to spruce them up again.

3. It’s what’s on the inside that counts

Mould on the outside of hard cheeses like Cheddar or Red Leicester can easily be scraped off to reveal their inner beauty, just don’t try it on soft cheeses like Brie as these are inedible once mouldy.

4. An important date

Keep a close eye on ‘best before’ and ‘use by’ labels to prevent food from going bad. Products with short shelf lives such as dairy products are often banished to the back of the fridge where they are easily forgotten. Try keeping these towards the front of the fridge where they’ll be front of mind.

5. Lovely leftovers

Getting inventive with leftover food is one way to save money. It all boils down to thinking before you throw.

-The leftovers from a Sunday roast (if you’re lucky enough to have any!) can be used in curries, soups, risottos and even sandwiches. If you’re willing to go one step further, then a simple bone broth can be made from the carcass, ensuring nothing goes to waste (this can even be frozen in batches for a cheap stock alternative).

-Portion leftover meals into sealed bags and pop in the freezer as ‘ready meals’ for one.

-If you didn’t quite manage to polish off that bottle of wine then the last dregs can be frozen in ice cube trays and popped into stews and casseroles when cooking.

-Get your just desserts! Cut the bruises off old apples and use in apple pies or crumbles, alternatively mash up black bananas and whip up a batch of muffins or a cake.

6. Failing to plan is planning to fail

Meal planning is one of the most effective ways you can save on your food bills. At the beginning of each week take a photo of your fridge, freezer and cupboards so that you don’t end up doubling up on grocery items. That way you won’t shop for things you already have.

Even implementing a few of these tips should help to cut down in the amount of food waste you create, so next time you pop to the shops think about how you can do your part in the war on food waste!

Power of the Plant? By Kristine Østergaard

As referenced in our summary of 2017 food trends, there are a number of food and drink movements which look set to influence our dining decisions over the coming months. But how does a trend manifest itself in our daily lives and in what situations are we exposed to them? Do we explore at home, on-the-go or head out to get a taste of what’s predicted for 2017? And to what degree do we let the media and social hype influence our preferences for the items we consume on a daily basis?

The focus on healthier and cleaner lifestyles has sharpened and consequently triggered a growing interest in vegetarian and vegan products, naturally heightening the demand on such groceries and the number of people following these diets. As a result, supermarkets are continually upgrading their range of products to include the ingredients vital in vegetarian and vegan diets, formerly only found in health food stores or speciality shops. Restaurants are now not only offering vegetarian and vegan options to a higher degree than before, but are using vegetables in ever experimental and innovating ways to make a diet of the ‘powerful plant’ appealing and attracting, even to men and avid meat lovers.

In London, this became very real and present with the opening of the world’s first ever vegan-friendly chicken shop, Temple of Hackney (Seitan), on a rainy Saturday in January. Hundreds of hungry vegans queued in the rain to sample a vegan version of fried ‘chicken’, made from seitan, which is derived from the protein portion of wheat, instead of meat. This might sound a bit dull, but judging the publicity on social media, (“Just had vegan fried chicken from @templeofseitan and it’s the best thing about 2017 so far!”), you’re clearly the one missing out if you haven’t tried this yet.

Vegetarian butchers are popping up across the world and creatively mimicking the meats sold in traditional butcheries, but without containing animal flesh. This is to supply chicken, ham, beef and seafood which purportedly looks, feels and tastes like the real deal but is solely made from plant protein. We’re not expecting traditional butchers to disappear, but plants will certainly gain further power as many are predicting and the vegetarian/vegan diet could possibly become the single biggest movement of 2017.

Surprisingly, or at least to me, choosing to follow a vegetarian or vegan diet also affects your opportunities for drinks to have with your meal. Don’t panic though, you don’t have to juice all your veggies on top of ‘just’ eating them, but for those new to the movement, be aware that many prefabricated drinks include ingredients not suitable for the vegetarian/vegan you. A small number of orange and red-coloured drinks contain gelatin (derived from collagen obtained from various animal by-product) and will be stated on the packing. So, make sure you look out for the vegetarian friendly and vegan trademarks. Regarding alcoholic drinks, it becomes a bit more complicated as some are clarified using protein from animals. To overcome any issues, you can visit barnivore to find out if your favourite booze is vegetarian-/vegan-friendly or if you need to find a new one.

To be honest, even I, a very active athlete in deep need of and truly addicted to chicken, have considered turning my back to current preferred protein sources found in fish and poultry. Why? Because trying out a plant-based diet, sticking to vegetarian dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner has made me and my body feel so much better. Refreshed and light in another way than I have ever tried before. Maybe you should try it yourself?

Ambitious as a change of diet is or can be, it’s only February, so hard to tell whether all this is just an aftermath of the ‘new year, new me’, ‘veganuary’ and other typical trends around New Year, or if it will gradually become a more common way of eating and potentially ‘drinking’, in 2017. Nevertheless, it seems like there’s plenty of opportunity to expose ourselves to the ‘power of the plant’ at home, on-the-go and when going out for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Image courtesy of

2017 Food Trends – What will (should) we eat? by Kristine Østergaard

The beginning of a New Year often kicks off with a ‘new me’ attitude among many consumers. It’s always exciting to see what trends are being picked up and which will be left behind. World leading market intelligence agency, Mintel, has revealed its predictions on the six trends we can expect to see in the food industry for 2017, and here at Lucre we’re excited to see how these will evolve.

In Tradition We Trust – More products will specifically link with the past in order to encourage trust among consumers. Rapid change, unpredictability and a tumultuous world are all circumstances said to make many consumers yearn for food with authentic connections to tradition and history to assure some sort of inherent element of trustworthiness. Consumers will therefore seek comfort from modernised updates of age-old flavours, formulations, and formats.

Power to the Plants – Preferences for natural, simple and flexible diets are said to further expand vegetarian, vegan, and other plant-focused foods. A focus on healthier and cleaner lifestyles will motivate consumers to prioritise fruits, vegetables, grains etc in their diets and reinforce the growing interest in vegetarian and vegan products, as well as how to best reap the rewards of these foods. Following this we will see an acceleration in new products that casts plants in star roles and where technology plays a large part to ensure the ample supply of plant-enhanced food that delivers on taste as well as nutrition.

Waste Not! – This year’s focus on sustainability zeroes in on eliminating food waste. Stigma associated with imperfect produce will begin to fade and the consumer’s acceptance of misshapen fruits and vegetables will improve. Attitudes towards waste will change and give way to opportunities to innovate by using materials that would otherwise have been discarded. Attention will thus be focused around innovations commercialising edible food waste and by-products of juicing and other production processes, as well as promoting the idea that inedible production waste can have an afterlife as compost.

Time is of the Essence – Time investments required for products and meals will become as influential as nutrition or ingredient claims. Time is an increasingly precious resource and the time spent on foods that are fresh, nutritious, and customisable will become a clear selling point. This doesn’t mean food always have to be specifically fast, but that healthy products sharing their preparation or consumption time will become popular and find a way into more homes.

The Night Shift – The late evening is tapped as a new occasion for functional food formulations. Technological advances make it harder for people to “clock out” and generates a need for products providing comfort and relaxation to help people calm down before bedtime in order to sleep better, and efficiently restore the body while they rest. We will therefore see more food products leveraging the tea category’s reputation by using chamomile, lavender and herbs in formulations promoted by their use as part of a pre-bedtime routine.

Balancing the Scales – Health for Everyone! Healthy food is not a luxury. Inequality in healthy products is said to persist as lower-income consumers make up a large part of the worldwide consumer base and are at the greatest risk of a food-related health issue, such as diabetes and obesity. As many lower-income consumers already intent on improving their lifestyle, we will experience a greater focus on the affordability of healthy food and more campaigns and innovations concerned with making it easier for lower-income consumers to fulfill healthier eating ambitions.

There are some interesting trends coming through the food industry this year and we’re looking forward to seeing which ones take off and which comes to a grinding halt.



Source: Mintel ‘Global Food and Drink Trends 2017’ Report

2016 Cocktail trends – Hit or Miss? by Philippa Barker

At the start of 2016, we worked with professional cocktail mix brand, Finest Call and distributor Cellar Trends to predict what we can expect to see rise and fall in the cocktail industry for 2017. With this, the team of drink connoisseurs and marketing professionals highlighted eleven trends set to take the industry by storm in 2016.

1. Back to basics – classic cocktails with a twist

2. Molecular Mixology – gels, foams, powders, atomisers, smoked cocktails

3. Regional inspired cocktails – British Classics, Asian, Caribbean

4. Unique spirits – Pisco, Cachaca, Mezcal, Digestives such as Amaros & Bitters

5. Unique ingredients – vegetables and shrubs, dried and smoked fruit

6. Low calorie cocktails

7. Apertif based cocktails – spirit-heavy cocktails with less fruit and sweet ingredients

8. Disco cocktails – fun cocktails but still high quality

9. Homemade ingredients – gin infusions, barrel ageing

10. Serving vessels – theatre will remain a key trend

11. Rise of premixed cocktails and cocktail solutions


With the year all done and dusted, we took the chance to see what predictions triumphed in 2016:


2. Molecular Mixology – we saw ‘Molecular Gastronomy’ hit the UK food scene a few years ago and only recently did we start to see this tipple down onto the cocktail industry. The Alchemist recently expanded its offering to Liverpool providing drinks bubbling in dry ice, whilst London’s Breaking Bad style bar saw customers step into a chemistry-inspired cocktail lab where they are offered Nitrogen Cavitation to infuse their drinks.

4. Unique spirits – consumer’s appreciation for ‘hand-made’ products is continuously growing and 2016 has seen more artisan products making their way into cocktail menus. Bars such as the Cocktail Trading Company in Brick Lane, London opened recently with a specific focus on unusual and rare spirits from around the world. Like the sound of that? Then ‘APairOTeef’ might be up your street, a refreshing mix of Pisco, Cardamom-pear infusion, white balsamic and sparkling wine.

9. Homemade ingredients – craft has been and will be for a while a key element within the food and drink industry. From the explosion of small-scale breweries to the sourcing of local ingredients, mainstream to independent bars are tapping onto this trend. Only recently did restaurant and bar chain, Missoula, launch their new menu featuring their brand new ‘Steeped’ section offering a fresh selection of premium spirits infused with familiar tastes of Vanilla, Earl Grey Tea and Jasmine.

With 2017 already set to be a big year in terms of food and drink, the enthusiasts here at Lucre are excited to see what there is in store.