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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.

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

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!

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…



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!



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.



Provenance vs Price: The Future of British Food Post-Brexit

This month we held our second Lucre Group Ideas & Insight session looking at the Food & Drink sector. The title was Provenance vs Price: The Future of British Food Post-Brexit. A very relevant topic in the current uncertainty of whether Brexit will be an opportunity or a challenge for food manufacturers, retailers and ultimately, customers.

We held the event in the stunning setting of the National Association of British and Irish Millers which backs onto Green Park in central London and has the Ritz as its neighbour. We invited a host of food industry experts from a variety of businesses, including Iceland, British Pepper & Spice, Sacla, Hellmans, Trealy Farm Charcuterie, Yorkshire Farmhouse Eggs and the Quality Food Awards.

They all came to listen to four speakers who looked at different angles to the British food debate.

Margaret McSorley Walker, a food trends consultant for major FMCG brands and supermarkets including Asda and M&S, talked through emerging British food trends from butter and seaweed to quark and cold-smoked chocolate. We had a personal tasting session from James Swift of his award-winning British Trealy Farm Charcuterie. We were inspired by Fraser Doherty’s story on how he set up SuperJam when he was just 16-years-old and looked at the hard realities of shopper behaviour and retailer strategies from retail commentator, Bryan Roberts.

The consensus was that British food is living through an increasingly interesting, exciting and challenging time. Brexit could offer some opportunities for British food manufacturers as it becomes cheaper to source home-grown products but it’s important to always keep a close eye on costs and pricing. British customers like the idea of British-made food but the weekly shopping bill is still tightly controlled, and shoppers won’t tolerate large hikes in prices.

All in all, it was a fascinating look at the issues surrounding British food and the likely impact of Brexit which is causing a lot of uncertainty, but one thing is certain…we have some brilliant food producers in the UK both big and small, and we should be doing everything we can to celebrate them.

You can see some highlights of the event in this video.





The road to Rio – the impact of the 2016 Olympic Games


Recently the Lucre Group hosted its first ever Rich Ideas and Insights (I&I) event, entitled The Impact of Rio, an examination of how the Rio Olympics will impact the Home & Lifestyle, Travel and Food & Drink sectors.

As the latest addition to the Lucre family, I&I is about keeping our thinking fresh, making sure we’re sharing the latest insights and delivering campaigns with real impact.

Ideas and Insight

As part of this, our regular I&I events will feature expert panels discussing the issues which will affect consumer behaviour, create trends and be written about by media, making sure we stay ahead of the pack.

The Rio Olympics 2016 was the subject of our first event, held at Brazilian bar Floripa in Shoreditch. Including brand and marketing managers, designers, journalists and writers, our 12 experts brought experience and expertise from across home and lifestyle, food and drink, travel and creative thinking.

Influencing everything from colour palettes to fast food


Discussions ranged from how the Olympic Games will influence our paint choices to what will be the next fast food trend to hit the high street (office delivery of real coconut water, anyone?). It was a glimpse of how w,e as consumers, want to be communicated with and how brands can (and will) explore that.


We’ve put together a short film of the event to give you an idea of what happened and some of our predicted insights can be found in more depth here.

If you are interested in hearing more about I&I or would like to take part in a future event, please email or call 0113 243 1117 to be added to our mailing list.

I’ll have a can of chilled rosé wine, please



You know how lots of British blokes like to drink rosé wine but won’t admit it? Well across the pond there’s no such reticence. In 2013, Union Wine’s Underwood cans were launched, and this is year there’s a new offering from The Drop, a California Dry rosé sold in four-packs of 250ml cans and marketed to – no surprises here – millennials – for activities that are traditionally restricted to beer (any ideas what they are, other than watching the football and, er…..?)  Don’t get excited though, it’s only going to be sold in the New York metropolitan area and the Hamptons. Boo. Perhaps their millennials are different from our millennials?

Actually, someone thought of wine-in-a-can quite a long time ago. Francis Ford Coppola’s “Sofia” wine cans caused a minor stir in 2004 and – who else – a winery in Australia was perhaps the first to do so back in the ’90s.

Will it take off? Here at Lucre Towers we love a glass or four of rosé so we’re hopeful.  Apparently rosé accounts for just over one in 10 of the wines we buy, but that figure is likely to increase when men finally admit they like a glass of the pink stuff and don’t care who knows it. Last year the Daily Telegraph suggested that rosé was the “beer of wine” and Instagram going mad for the hashtag #brose (geddit).


The summer’s coming, folks. Get ready to #brose.


Your table is ready…

Dining Table

Kitchen suppers à la Nigella? Tray bake courtesy of Jamie? Forget it. The formal dining room is back and the Home and Lifestyle sector is about to change.

Says who? Elle Decoration, that’s who, and what they don’t know about home and lifestyle isn’t worth writing about. What it means of course is all those people who knocked down walls in favour of open plan layouts, kitchen islands and TV dinners will have to give the builders a bell, and here at Lucre PR our Home and Lifestyle experts think this is a good thing. Because there’s nothing like the return of the formal dining room for creating a sense of occasion to our eating habits.

The impact of such a seismic change in our lifestyles is most probably going to be felt in our consumer purchasing habits. Could this be the return of the ‘family china’ on the wedding gift list of the soon-to-be-betrothed? Will we be buying decanters again and passing the port?  Let’s face it, there’s no point heralding the return of the formal dining room without accepting what comes with it: formal dining.  Which means the return of the dinner party. Less throwing a few chicken thighs in a pan, more five courses and carving the Taj Mahal out of a goji berry.

We might even enter next year’s Masterchef.

The Great Sport Relief Bake Off – episode 2


bake off

For a variety of reasons we  missed the first episode of the Great Sport Relief Bake Off.  Nothing, however, was going to stop us from watching this episode, mainly because of our giant girl-crushes on Victoria Coren-Mitchell (VCM) and Kimberley Walsh. We love Kimberley, and still feel aggrieved on her behalf for being ROBBED of the Strictly trophy two years ago.  ROBBED.

Anyhoo, moving on. Signature challenge? Bake 24 muffins which must be identical.  Jennifer Saunders was very keen that the bakers understood this.  We’d have preferred Jen to appear as AbFab’s Edina, but you can’t have everything.

Blokes were Chris Camara (sports commentator, apparently) and Ed Balls (#edballs). Chris was making sultana (bleurgh) and banana muffins, with a touch of cinnamon. Ed  was making the same, but his had yoghurt in it. Kimberley made strawberry cheesecake muffins because she is a goddess, and VCM made Bloody Mary muffins, involving celery (meh) and vodka (get in). VCM is ace, and should be our best friend and teach us how to play poker.

VCM spent a great deal of time staring worriedly into her oven. Perhaps she should have ditched the muffins altogether offered Paul and Bezza several shots of vodka instead? Everyone knows Bezza likes a drop of the hard stuff.

Judging time. “The muffins should be well-risen, beautifully flavoured, and neither tough nor soggy,” intoned Jen. Chris presented his muffins (no innuendo). Paul looked unimpressed. “They taste like paint.”   Ed’s were more successful. “A pretty good muffin.” Meanwhile, Kimbers’ efforts had sunk, but nil desperandum. “The flavour is FANTASTIC,” Paul announced, ignoring the muffin and looking adoringly at Kimberley’s false eyelashes.  VCM was told her muffins did, actually, taste like a Bloody Mary.

The technical challenge was football pies.  Er, football who the what now? Double crust, filled with mincemeat, onions and peas, with a football “design” on the top, apparently.  Everyone looked taken aback, but carried on gamely whilst Bezza and Paul discussed supporting Liverpool (Paul) and Everton (Bezza).  Nobody had any idea how to make pastry well, apart from Ed, who looked smug. Kimbers read out the instructions.  “Add two egg yolks, and small splash of water.” This didn’t help Chris, however.  “How much is small splash?” Which, when you think about it, is a perfectly reasonable question.

VCM said her eyes watered when she chopped onions, so she put on a huge pair of sunglasses, looking like Roy Orbison in a blonde wig.  Ed pratted about with hexagon-shaped bits of pastry that looked like flowers, not footballs, but we like Ed so we’ll say no more. VCM’s pies looked as pale as a Jane Austen heroine with consumption, because she’d forgotten to glaze them. Chris’s pies looked like roadkill, several days after a rogue Ford Fiesta had flattened the carcass.

Kimberley’s pies had what she described as a “sort of” football on the top, with nice and thin pastry, Chris’s effort was under-seasoned, VCM’s were described as “a nice bake” and poor old Ed’s were under-baked, collapsed, and lacked seasoning. He looked as disappointed as the other Ed just after David Dimbleby announced the winner of the General Election.  Still, a man who gives rise to his own annual hashtag (#edballs) doesn’t care about that kind of footling detail.

He came fourth, Chris third, Kimberley second and VCM in first place. Who would win the whole thing overall?  It was all down to the show-stopper, a three-layered cake representing an extreme sport.  Chris started making an “extreme bodyboarding” cake, becauase riding shallow waves is the most extreme of all the water-based sports. His boarder looked like a corpse on a banana and caused Bezza to giggle uncontrollably.  Kimberley recreated Mount Kilimanjaro in cake form, in memory of her Sport Relief climb a few years ago. It looked sensational.  Ed made a complicated ski jump cake, complete with a fondant Eddie The Eagle and VCM went for a “round the world sailing” cake with, she explained, “the taste of the sea”.  This turned out to be nothing more sophisticated than insane quantities of salt in a blue mess.  “I’ve done a slightly rubbish cake,” she said, ruefully. Stick to vodka and cards, Vic.  That’s a winning combination in anyone’s book.

Lovely Mary was on hand with a smile and just the right amount of praise. “All of them have been baked beautifully.”  In the end, Kimberley won and everyone applauded heartily.  You know why Bake Off is such a success? Because nobody is mean, or needlessly cruel.  Everyone has a laugh, helps each other, and treats it as the good fun it is.  We love it.