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Collective Purchasing does Gluten Free

Since the summer we have been working on a gluten free month for collective purchasing. We spoke with many suppliers and brands who supply gluten free products and spoke with coeliac UK to gain some more insight into life without gluten. We were able to gain some great insight into how to cater for those with gluten allergies.

Weekly Vine


We opted for the month of October to be our ‘Collective Purchasing Does Gluten Free’ month, and wow what a success. We sent a select few of our members a pack in the post with the opportunity to win a hamper of goodies, all kindly donated. There was also some great information supplied by Coeliac UK and we had some product offers! We ran the campaign on twitter, offering one lucky winner a hamper of goodies from the following;

We had over 430 people enter the competition, and we ended up with so many products, we were able to give a runner up prize. So two very lucky twitter followers won so amazing gluten free products! You want to be in with a chance of winning in the future? Make sure you give us a follow!

Product of the week

Throughout the month of October all our products of the week were focused around gluten free, and whilst these are no longer available, keep an eye out for future product of the weeks on our twitter page!

We just want to thank everyone that was involved; and we look forward to doing more awareness months in the future. If you want to find out more about gluten free, check out this blog we wrote – you guessed it, in October!


Gluten Free

Gluten-Free – The facts!

We have all heard of gluten-free diets but did you know 7% of Brits are gluten-free because of allergies or intolerances, compared with 8% who avoid gluten purely for health reasons!

Coeliac, wheat allergy, gluten intolerance – what’s the difference?

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  • Coeliac disease is a serious illness in which the body’s immune system attacks itself when gluten is eaten. This causes damage to the lining of the gut and means that the body cannot properly absorb nutrients from food. Coeliac disease is not a food allergy or intolerance, it is an autoimmune disease.
  • Wheat allergy is a reaction to proteins found in wheat, triggered by the immune system and usually occurs within seconds or minutes of eating.
  • Non-coeliac gluten sensitivity is when symptoms similar to coeliac disease are experienced, but there are no associated antibodies and no damage to the lining of the gut.

Gluten in food

Common Foods That Contain Gluten include Pasta, Noodles, Bread and Pastries, Cereal & Granola and things like stuffing as well as some sauces.

Food shopping

This is by no means an extensive list but is where gluten is commonly found.

Now we know the basics, let’s look at what other, more surprising products contain gluten.

  • Some alcohol
  • Some instant coffee granules
  • Spices
  • Soy sauce
  • Some chewing gum
  • Liquorish

Food Swaps

When looking into food swaps try some of these…

Cereal – Try gluten-free oats or cereal alternatives.

Crisps – although not all contain gluten, try rice cakes or prawn crackers as a safe alternative.

Beer-check the labels, but you can buy gluten-free beer as an alternative. If not stick with wine!

** We recommend checking the labels on everything to ensure **

Check out some of these recipes from a blog we wrote last year!


When preparing gluten-free foods, it is important to avoid cross-contact. Cross-contact occurs when foods or ingredients come into contact with gluten, generally through shared utensils or a shared cooking/storage environment. In order for food to be safe for someone with celiac disease, it must not come into contact with food containing gluten.

Places where cross-contact can occur:

Toasters used for both gluten-free and regular bread


Cutting boards

Flour Sifters

Deep fried foods cooked in oil shared with breaded products

Shared containers including improperly washed containers

Condiments such as butter, peanut butter, jam, mustard, and mayonnaise can become contaminated when utensils used on gluten-containing food are double-dipped.

Wheat flour can stay airborne for many hours in a bakery (or at home) and contaminate exposed preparation surfaces and utensils or uncovered gluten-free products.


bazaar, bottles, business


World Allergy Week 2018

This week sees the start of World Allergy week 2018. Catering for people with allergies can be daunting at first. You may think it is difficult and time-consuming. However, with the correct knowledge and ingredients, you can create a great allergy free menu.

We have dug into our blog archive to find these recipes from 2015, why not try them today!

Gluten-Free Pesto Pasta:

Special Dietary Requirement Recipes


For the pesto: 100g Hazelnuts, 100g Grated Parmesan, Half a clove of garlic, 6 Tsp Olive Oil, One large handful of parsley, One large handful of basil, Juice of 1 lemon, Salt & pepper, Water, Gluten-free Spaghetti, Baby Plum Tomatoes, 1 Courgette (peeled into strips), Optional: Pine Nuts, Optional: Cheddar Cheese (grated).


  • In a blender, combine the ingredients for the pesto and blend well. Add a little water to get the right consistency.
  • Cook the pasta according to packet instructions. Add the courgette strips 2 minutes before the end time of cooking and drain both together. When draining, keep a small amount of the pasta water and put it, along with the pasta, back into the pan. Stir in the pesto.
  • Quarter the tomatoes and add these in. I like to stir in some grated cheddar cheese and a sprinkle of pine nuts for a little-added bite.
  • Finish in a bowl with a little parmesan on the top and a couple of basil leaves.
  • Enjoy!

Raw Chocolate Brownies: (Gluten Free)

Special Dietary Requirement Recipes

Ingredients: 100g (3 1/2oz) medjool dates (stones removed), 50g (2oz) dried strawberries or black cherries, 100g (3 1/2oz) smooth almond or cashew butter, 50g (2oz) whole blanched almonds, 50g (2oz) coconut oil, 1 1/2 tbsp agave nectar, 50g (2oz) dark chocolate, grated, 50g (2oz) dairy and gluten-free cocoa powder, 100g (3 1/2oz) dark chocolate, chopped, 2 tbsp coconut cream, 15g (1/2oz) pistachios (chopped).


  • Put all the ingredients for the brownies into a food processor and blitz until well mixed. Spoon the mixture into an 18cm (7in) square cake tin.
  • Put the tin in the freezer for around 15 minutes, to firm up the brownie mix. Meanwhile, melt together the dark chocolate and coconut cream in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water.
  • Once the chocolate mix has melted, smooth it over the top of the brownies, sprinkle with the pistachios and allow to set in the fridge for 5 minutes. Cut into squares and serve, or store in the fridge for up to a week.

Chicken Goujons (Egg, Dairy and Gluten Free):

Special Dietary Requirement Recipes

Ingredients: 400g pack chicken breast strips or breasts cut into even sized strips or chunks, 3 tablespoons plain flour (or corn flour if Gluten Free), 2 tablespoons oil, 4 tablespoons non-dairy milk, Two ends of a loaf of bread (use any bread you like, Gluten Free if needed).


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C
  • Place the bread in a food processor and whizz until the bread is fine breadcrumbs
  • Put the oil and milk in a small batter bowl and whisk until well mixed and frothy with a stainless steel whisk.
  • Put the flour on one plate and bread crumbs on another.
  • Coat each chicken strip well by rolling it in the flour, then transfer to the oil and milk emulsion and coat well in that too.
  • Place the strips on the breadcrumb plate and coat in the breadcrumbs by turning and patting them on.
  • Place the chicken on a flat stone such as a medium bar pan (you’ll need two of these) or a rectangle stone, and cook in the oven for 25-30 mins until golden brown.
  • Serve with chips or mash, peas, and plenty of sauces for dipping.

Meat Free Chicken a’la King:
Special Dietary Requirement Recipes

Ingredients: 1 box Fry’s Meat Free Chicken-Style Strips, 50g margarine (for frying), 250g punnet mushrooms, cleaned and sliced, 1 green pepper – sliced, 50g margarine, 1 tsp. crushed garlic, 60g maizena flour (mixed in ½ a cup water and ½ a cup milk or try dairy-free milk), 2 tsp. black pepper, Salt to taste, 250ml can fresh cream (or try Orley Whip Imitation Cream), Nutmeg to garnish, Parsley to garnish.


  • Melt margarine in frying pan and cook through Fry’s Strips. Drain and set aside. Fry mushrooms in remaining oil for 2 minutes and add green pepper and sauté for 5 minutes and set aside.
  • Sauce: add 50g margarine, crushed garlic and maizena flour mixture and stir continuously until mixture thickens. In a large pot, add sauce, fresh cream, strips mixture, black pepper and salt and simmer for 2 minutes. Sprinkle Nutmeg and parsley on top.

Schnitzel Vegan Burgers:Special Dietary Requirement Recipes

Ingredients: 2 Fry’s Golden Crumbed Schnitzels, 1 tbsp Margarine, 1/4 Onion, sliced, 2 tsp Olive oil, 2 Bread rolls of your choice, 2 tsp Oil of your choice, 50g Wild mushrooms, 10g Fresh rocket or lettuce, 1/2 Avocado (sliced).


  • Heat margarine in a thick based pan and fry onions until they start caramelising.  Drain and set aside.  Add 1 tsp olive oil to the pan, toast bread until golden brown and set aside.
  • Add 1 tsp olive oil to that pan and sauté mushrooms.  Drain and set aside.  Heat 2 tsp of oil and fry schnitzel until golden brown.
  • Build your burger using the bread, onion, mushroom, schnitzel, fresh rocket or lettuce and avocado.  Serve with a fresh side of salad of your choice.

We Can Source You All of the Ingredients You Need for All of These Recipes! Give Us a Call 01329 236821 to Place an Order and Get Cooking!

Weekly Vine

25th November Weekly Vine: This week find out about Royal Wedding Anniversary, Chocolate or Cheese, Healthy Puds, Black Friday, Stir it up Sunday & lots more!

Happy Wedding Anniversary M’aam

Residents around UK care homes have been fondly remembering the Queen and Prince Philip’s wedding day as the couple celebrated 70 years of marriage this week.

Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth

Many people paid tribute to the Queen and Prince Philip by sharing their own memories of that special day, seven decades ago. From watching the couple’s first appearance on the balcony at Buckingham Palace to the fantastic street parties they held, a selection of care home residents thoughts and memories have been captured in a commemorative film.

Residents in Care UK homes nationwide have reminisced about where they were on November 20 1947 and recalled how the glorious scenes of that cold winter’s day in November took them away from the horrors of the Second World War as Britain adjusted to life post-war.  The celebrations this week mark the c70th wedding anniversary, making them the longest married British royal couple in history! Congratulations guys!

Chocolate or Cheese?

Cheese-loving Britons have narrowly beaten chocolate fans when it comes to choosing their favourite indulgent tasty treat, according to a new report.


Half of British consumers would rather give up chocolate than cheese. When asked if they had to “choose between never being able to eat cheese again or never being able to eat chocolate again,” cheese won the battle! 47% said they would give up cheese with 3% saying they didnt like either. When looking into the regional differences, it seems it is a nation divided. Consumers living in Scotland, West Midlands and the South East and East Anglia are the most likely to say they would give up chocolate. Meanwhile, the South West and Wales, London and the North East and North West were the only regions where consumers are more likely to give up cheese. What would you choose?

Healthy Puds

Bidfood has launched Better 4 Me, a brand new dessert range. It caters to the health-conscious consumer and the increasing demand for vegan and free-from food options.

The consumer trend for alternative diets is on the up. In fact, an estimated 542,000 people in the UK are now following a vegan diet, and the trend for free-from is continuing to grow (54% of the population bought a free-from product in the first three months of 2017!)

Better 4 Me features a selection of desserts under 300 calories (per portion), a range of vegan tarts and a gluten-free Chocolate & Olive Oil Cake, to satisfy diners who want to make healthy lifestyle choices but don’t want to miss out on a sweet treat.

Black Friday

A fairly new trend on the British shores Black Friday has swiftly become one of the biggest fixtures in the British shopping calendar.

architecture, building, commerce

Black Friday is the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States (the fourth Thursday of November). Black Friday has been regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season in the U.S. since 1952! In Britain, it has only been on our calendars since 2010; when Amazon UK started offering deals on the day and other shops followed suit. It is the perfect day to start getting ready for Christmas, which is now just a month away!!

Stir it up Sunday

Talk of Christmas has been buzzing around the Collective office since way back in September! (what can I say. We LOVE Christmas!!) This Sunday (26th November) is officially known as Stir-up Sunday. So put on your apron, gather family or friends and make sure you’re prepared to make your best Christmas pudding yet.

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Stir it up Sunday is a tradition that dates back to Victorian times. The family would gather together to stir the Christmas pudding five weeks before Christmas. The opening words of the Book Of Common Prayer, read on this Sunday before Advent, are ‘Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord’, so the tradition stands that this is the day to get stirring! Read more here.



Eat Seasonably

Eat the Seasons



This lean, game meat has a deep colour and rich flavour. It comes as a haunch, side, saddle or shoulder, filleted into a steak or made into sausage. It teams well with fruit, red wine, robust sauces and hard herbs. Much of the venison produced in the UK is from deer that roam freely; rather than being intensively farmed, resulting in superior meat. Good quality venison is tender, tasty and close textured, which means it’s easy to produce great results using simple recipes. Try this winter warmer from Nigella – Marinated Beef and Venison Casserole and let us know what you think of it!


Other News:

Stay safe in winter with these safety tips for the elderly 

Care home’s elderly record charity Christmas song

Budget 2017: ‘Seize opportunities’ Chancellor fails to mention social care

Experts urge use of salt alternative in food products 

 Price spectrum:

↑ Sugar

↓ Tea

F&E Promo Corner:

Amefa Integral Adapted Spoonamefa-integrale-adapted-spoon

Designed to make eating good food a more enjoyable experience for people with gripping difficulties. The Integral range from Amefa is made with classic cutlery shapes in mind.

Call today for a quote 01329 236821

Stir Up Sunday

Talk of Christmas has been buzzing around the Collective office since way back in September! (what can I say. We LOVE Christmas!!) This Sunday (26th November) is officially known as Stir-up Sunday. So put on your apron, gather family or friends and make sure you’re prepared to make your best Christmas pudding yet.

What is Stir-up Sunday?

It is a tradition that dates back to Victorian times when the family would gather together to stir the Christmas pudding five weeks before Christmas. The opening words of the Book Of Common Prayer, read on this Sunday before Advent, are ‘Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord’, so the tradition stands that this is the day to get stirring!

Image result for christmas pudding free image

Did you know…

  • Christmas puddings would traditionally contain 13 ingredients to represent Jesus and his disciples.
  • It is traditionally stirred (while making a wish) by each member of the family from East to West, to remember the Wise Men that visited Jesus in the Nativity Story.
  • The customary garnish of holly represented the crown of thorns.
  • Adding coins, to the pud was said to bring luck if you found them in your portion on Christmas Day.

Where does Christmas pudding come from?

There is speculation about the origins of Christmas pudding. It is said to have been mentioned first in 1858, in Anthony Trollope’s Doctor Thorne, although its beginnings apparently go back hundreds of years.

In the Middle Ages, a Christmas porridge called Frumenty was popular and maybe a savoury ancestor of the Christmas pudding. The recipe evolved over the years into plum pudding. It contained dried fruits, eggs, breadcrumbs, and beers or spirits to increase its shelf life. In the 19th century, Prince Albert declared his love for the Christmas pudding. He made it fashionable and thus a Christmas staple was born.

Christmas pudding recipes

Easy Christmas pudding

7-cup Christmas pudding

A classic light spiced Christmas pudding – so simple you don’t even need any kitchen scales.

Classic Christmas pudding

Classic Christmas pudding

This is a plump pudding with history…

Chocoholic’s Christmas pudding

Chocoholic's Christmas pudding

A definite crowd pleaser – chocolate mousse hidden by a layer of chocolate sponge, covered with the best chocolate topping we’ve ever tasted.

Send us your pics of you stirring it up on Sunday! Once the Christmas puds have been made, does that mean we can play Christmas music in the office?


The Weekly Vine

Weekly Vine

4th August Weekly Vine: Here is our Weekly Vine. This week you can find out about Ambrosia, rickshaws, inside United Biscuits, singing and dancing to remember youth, a channel 4 documentary & lots more!

Ambrosia turns 100

Now it’s famous for its tinned rice pudding and custard, but Ambrosia (meaning food of the gods) made its name 100 years ago by making dried milk for babies and soldiers during World War One. This year it is celebrating turning 100 by giving away 100 prizes per month on its website. 


Nowadays more than 600,000 portions of Ambrosia custard and rice pudding are eaten in the UK each day, Devon knows how they make it so creamy….

Student takes pensioners out on his rickshaw

Fraser, a student in Scotland, has launched a crowdfunding campaign for elderly cycling tours. He recently uploaded a video of him taking care home residents for a spin which clocked up more than 20 million views.

Fraser spends every spare minute he gets in the saddle, taking care home residents out for trips through the countryside on his trike. The idea came from the Danish movement Cycling Without Age, which encourages older people to ride on rickshaws with the help of volunteer cyclists. One of the people he takes is Mary Duncan, who is 89. She says the bike has given her a sense of her old independence. We all know the benefits of getting fresh air, and this scheme is helping residents get outside. If you would like some more tips on how to get outside when you find it difficult read our blog here.

Inside United Biscuits factory

BBC’s Inside the Factory this week was at Europe’s largest biscuit factory, where they produce 80 million biscuits every day.

Image result for inside the factory biscuits

It followed the production of United Biscuits (part of the Pladis group) famous McVities chocolate digestives; from the arrival of 28 tonnes of flour right through to dispatch. They discover that the biscuits are shaped by a bronze roller costing up to ten thousand pounds. The show also discovers that the chocolate is added to the bottom not the top of the biscuits; meaning we are all eating them the wrong way up.

The show also goes to Nottingham University’s sensory lab, where they find scientific proof that dunking your biscuit improves its flavour and that tea is the best liquid to dunk in. What are your thoughts? Do you agree? Which biscuit is best for dunking? Tweet us today to let us know what you think! If you missed the programme you can watch it on catch up here.


Biker sings to dementia patients to help them remember their youth

Musician, Ric, who uses old songs to help people with dementia to sing again is celebrated in a new short film for BBC 3.

Touching video on how biker and musician Ric Mason visits Alzheimer's sufferers

Singing songs like the Frank Sinatra classic ‘Fly Me To The Moon’, Ric not only helps those suffering from dementia and their carers to relax and enjoy a dance, he also helps them to reconnect with loved ones and remember the good times.

Ric says: “The carers that come with some of the patients have said to me that it almost feels like for that hour they get the other person back. They just want to be able to remember the good stuff and I really hope that the music does some of that for them.”

The power of music is well documented as a therapy for a wide variety of conditions including dementia. People with dementia draw on their memories as a way to cope with situations, and singing can help them. Watch the video here.


Old peoples home for 4-year-olds

This week on channel 4, 10 preschool kids have been invited into a Bristol residential home. With a timetable of shared activities that include crayoning, walks and memory games; the inspiring show reveals just how big of an impact mixing with little ones can have.

Both generations have learnt a lot from each other. One of the residents Hamish, 88, initially declares “it really isn’t possible” for him to be active. He predicted that the whole project will likely be a “total disaster”. But after a few weeks with the kids, he ditched his cane and was playing on the floor with them.

This documentary goes to show that children can really keep you younger for longer. If you would like to watch this on catch up click this link here.

Eat Seasonably;

Eat the Seasons


Peaches are a characteristically fuzzy fruit native to northwest China. They are a member of the stone fruit family and the perfect versatile summer fruit.

Why not try this recipe.


This combination of fresh, ripe peaches and the luscious flavour of Marsala wine make a supremely good summer dessert.

Summer fresh peaches baked in marsala with mascarpone cream

Other News:

Bidfood have gluten free goodies on the menu for this Christmas

Mondelez rolls out Christmas range

Can cutting Gluten be bad for you if you don’t have an intolerance?


Price spectrum:


↓ Plaice

F&E Promo Corner:

Gourmet thermometer – water resistant thermometer with folding probe

This pocket-sized thermometer with hold function can measure temperatures from -39.9 to 149.9 °C with an accuracy of ±0.5 °C or better. The thermometer is available in many different colours. To find out more or to order, give us a call.


Give us a call for more information: 02380 266922

The rise of the Flexitarian and how to cater for them

What is the flexitarian diet?

The flexitarian diet is a plant-based diet with the occasional addition of meat. But what exactly does this mean? Does it mean once a week? Once a day? It’s really up to you. Some flexitarians will have a meat-free meal once a week while others will only eat meat on rare occasions.


A study has found many health benefits associated with being a flexitarian, including better weight management, lower blood pressure, better metabolic health and lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Not only are there benefits to the human body, it can also help the environment. With these benefits, it’s no wonder this diet is increasing in popularity.

With this popularity, comes the need for more interesting meat-free dishes; and this is where we can help! Below we have 5 mouthwatering meat-free dishes that can improve your veggie offerings to your customers.

Smashed Avocado Toast with Poached Egg & Harissa

Smashed Avocado Toast with Poached Egg & Harissa [vegetarian]


This smashed avocado toast with poached egg & harissa makes a wholesome alternative to a traditional cooked breakfast. Fiery harissa is a match made in heaven with eggs. Originally from Tunisia, you can use harissa to perk up a lot of vegetable dishes.  Quick and easy to make you can also serve this Smashed Avocado Toast for brunch or lunch.

Hearty Lentil Soup

Hearty Lentil Soup [vegan] [gluten free] by The Flexitarian


This Hearty Lentil Soup makes a satisfying and super healthy meal. This recipe calls for kale but you can easily substitute for spinach or cabbage depending on what you have available.

Pear, Stilton & Rocket Sandwich

Pear, Stilton & Rocket Sandwich [vegetarian] by The Flexitarian

Creamy Stilton and juicy pear make an indulgent sandwich. Eat with a warm vegetable soup in the winter months; Serve it with a side salad and you have an indulgent treat for the summer.

3 Bean Avocado Salad

3 Bean Avocado Salad [vegan] by The Flexitarian

Filled with healthy proteins as well as beautiful flavours, this 3 Bean Avocado Salad will be a big favourite on your menu. It can not only be ready in 10 minutes but is also really versatile. You can simply serve it on its own or as an accompaniment.

Blue Cheese Mushroom Burger With Caramelised Red Onions

Blue Cheese Mushroom Burger With Caramelised Red Onions [vegetarian] by The Flexitarian

Such a simple yet delicious recipe which is sure to get the thumbs up from everyone. Here the meat-like texture of chestnut mushrooms gives these burgers bite. Low in fat and high in fibre, chestnut mushrooms certainly offer a healthy alternative to meat. Mushrooms being so versatile, you can customise the toppings to suit your own taste. Most cheeses will go well here, so if you are not keen on blue cheese you can use brie, cheddar, goat cheese or smoked cheese instead.

Do you have any must have meat-free dishes on your menu? Let us know by tweeting us @CollectivePurch.




Knorr ‘No Allergens to declare’ Gravy – Product review

Did you know, the UK has some of the highest rates of allergic conditions in the world, with over 20% of the population affected by one or more allergy? (For more information click here) 

Catering for people with allergies can be a minefield; it is not easy creating a dish that caters for all. Chefs need to ensure that there is no cross contamination and so often end up making many different dishes at one time.

When Knorr sent us a sample of their gravy which is not only suitable for vegetarians and vegans, but also has no allergens to declare, we were very excited to try it!

gravyChar, our marketing manager, took the gravy home to try. She has had both good and bad experiences of gluten free products in the past and was a bit dubious about trying gluten free gravy; however she was pleasantly surprised.

‘I really enjoyed this gravy, I had it with sausage and mash and I couldn’t even tell it was gluten free. It was so easy to make, as with other instant gravies, I just needed to add boiling water. I would happily have this again!’

There are so many benefits to this product, from safety to convenience. Having no allergens in means that chefs are able to make only one gravy, rather than separate ones. This not only saves money and time, but also means there is less risk of cross contamination; making the lives of chefs that little bit easier. With prep time being reduced chefs can spend more time on creating more variety in their menus. Another benefit is that only one gravy will need to be purchased and stored. This will save money and space, making the kitchen an easier environment to work in. The fact that it is suitable for both vegetarians and vegans is also a bonus!!


Image result for roast dinner knorr

What Unilever say about their gravy

‘Suitable for all your customers as the gravy is gluten free, suitable for vegetarians and meets UK Department of Health 2017 salt targets. Knorr Gravy Granules make a great tasting gluten free gravy to compliment your most popular dishes. It is quick and easy to prepare. Just add boiling water to the granules and simmer the gravy for 30 seconds.’ Read more here.


We definitely recommend this product and think it makes a great addition to every kitchen! If you would like to find out more call us today on 023 8026 6922

The Weekly Vine

The Weekly Vine

23rd June: Hello from Collective Purchasing! Here is our Weekly Vine. This week you can find out about Care Dine with me, Gluten-Free flours, Orchard Twist, Archers star CBE, National Picnic week, Price of Strawberries & lots more!

Care Dine with me is back for the 2nd year running

How does winning £5000 sound to you? After a successful first year in 2016, Care Dine With Me competition by Kerrymaid is back!

weekly vine


Kerrymaid is looking for care homes that go above and beyond for their residents, with menus that focus on taste, quality and excellent food values. Five finalists will be chosen and visited by a panel of industry experts, where they will be judged during a lunch or dinner service. The winning care home will receive £5,000 to spend on something to benefit their residents. Simply fill in the entry form here detailing what the most popular dish on your menu is, why residents love it and a photograph of the dish, it’s that easy! The competition closing deadline is Friday 28th July. T’s and C’s can be found here.

Best flours to use for Gluten Free bread

You can’t deny it; freshly baked bread straight from the oven smells AMAZING and tastes even better. What if you are catering for someone with a gluten intolerance though? Finding the best flour to use can be tricky:

Weekly Vine

The Gluten-free trend is growing according to Mintel with more and more consumers buying free from products. So you need to make sure you are able to cater for everyone. This website has reviewed legume flours, tiger nut flours and chestnut flours to find the best alternative flour to use. Now everyone can enjoy bread fresh from the oven.

Cider Company launches a new range of sparkling fruit juices

Alcoholic drinks company Armagh Cider Company has launched an innovative range of sparkling non-alcoholic fruit juice drinks perfect for the summer.

weekly vine

Served chilled, Orchard Twist is a healthy refreshing drink. It is totally natural,  with nothing added; no added sugars, preservatives, artificial colours or flavours. It is even 1 of your 5–a–day. The drinks are low in calories, Gluten-free and suitable for vegetarians and vegans. They come in four refreshing flavours; Apple and Ginger, Apple and Rhubarb, Apple and Blackcurrant and Sparkling Apple. Served in a glass bottle these drinks will make the perfect drink for any hot summers day.

Archers actress awarded CBE for raising awareness of dementia

The actress who plays Peggy Woolley in ‘The Archers’, June Spencer,  has been named in the Queens Birthday Honours list this week. She has been awarded a CBE for her help in raising the profile of Dementia through her role in the show and her fundraising efforts. She is the longest serving member of the BBC Radio 4’s soap which was launched in 1951. The show is still very popular with over 1 million regular listeners via the internet. We would like to say massive congratulations to Ms Spencer!

Weekly Vine


Have a Picnic to remember this summer!

This week has been hot, which can only mean one thing – alfresco dining!! What better way to enjoy the heatwave than with a good old-fashioned picnic, especially as this week has been National Picnic week!

Weekly Vine

National Picnic week is over 10 years old and aims to encourage people to get together over a picnic. Picnicking is one of the UK’s most enjoyable summer traditions and is a great way of taking advantage of any open spaces in your local area over the warmer months of the year. So grab your blankets and baskets out of the cupboards and enjoy the great outdoors. For some great recipes head to this website.

UK summer fruit and salad growers are having difficulty recruiting pickers

There is nothing better than some sweet British grown strawberries on a summer’s day (even more so when covered in cream and served with a glass of champagne!!). They are a Great British summer staple, with everyone from young to old enjoying them. However, more than half of the UK summer fruit and salad growers are saying they don’t know if they will have enough migrant workers to harvest their crops this year.

Weekly vine

Many growers are blaming the weak pound, as well as uncertainty over Brexit for the reduction in staff. About 80,000 seasonal workers a year, mainly from Romania and Bulgaria, pick and process British fruit and veg. One in five growers says they already have fewer pickers than they need. Without the pickers, we would have to rely on only imported summer fruits and veg in the future, which could then lead to a 50% increase in prices. First cream prices last week, and now strawberries – they may need to look at something else to serve at Wimbledon!


Eat Seasonably;

weekly vine

The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root vegetables around; a result of its sweet flavour, which means it can be used raw or cooked, in sweet or savoury dishes.

Weekly vine

Try this recipe for the lightest and most enticingly moist carrot cake you will ever come across – just find a good hiding place for it!


 Other News:

Bugs are big business for tomorrow’s snacks, says PepsiCo; 

Elderly married couple reunited in care home in time for 80th wedding anniversary


Robots offer the elderly a helping hand

Price spectrum:

↑ Strawberries

↓ Sugar

F&E Promo Corner:


DeLonghi Pinguino PAC N87 Silent

This is a great air conditioner for small and medium sized rooms – and it has all of the build quality that you associate with the world leader in domestic air conditioning.

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Give us a call for more information: 02380 266922

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The Weekly Vine:

3rd March: Hello from Collective Purchasing! Here Is Our Weekly Vine, This Week You Can Find out About the Ally Bally Bee Project, British Pie Week and a Review of Propercorn!

Not So Free Range After All…

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It’s all over the news! Free Range Eggs… no longer free range! So let’s eggs-plain this… they are just eggs. Laying hens are now being kept in cages whilst the bird flu scare is about. It’s been released that these emergency measures have been happening since December, but only being declared now. By European Union law, if birds have been housed for more than 12 weeks they cannot be marketed as free range. The government is going to review the restrictions in April, when farmers hope the risk of bird flu will be lower because many wild birds will have migrated. Weekly Vine

One of our lovely suppliers have released an official statement on the egg crisis: click here to check it out.

The Ally Bally Bee Project Tackling Dementia Knowledge for Younger Generations:

Dementia is something that society needs to try to understand more due to the amount of us who will develop it in our later years. A problem commonly faced is trying to explain to a little child why their grandparents no longer know their name, or understand who they are. This is where The Ally Bally Bee Project has been born. A children’s book which will educate and inform the younger generations what dementia is and how to cope with being around somebody who suffers from it. You can personalise the book, and order yours online.

You can see who came up with this fantastic idea by, clicking here – the mission of the whole project asks with the question how do you explain dementia to a six year old?”

The Weekly VineTo find out more, click here

Want to keep your bread for longer? Now we can!

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A company in Germany called Deutscheback has announced that they have found the winning element to keeping our bread and baked goods fresher for longer. This is down to a new and improved enzyme system… watch this space (we guess!)

Other News:

Cucumber has been named ‘Flavour Of The Year’ – Click here to find out why.

Sainsburys trialling autism friendly shopping 

Quorn mince with the date August 2017 being recalled over tiny pieces of metal being found, Click here for more.

Tesco official #WasteNotWantNot campaign sponsor now too, joining Unilever.

#British Pie Week Next Week!

Collective’s fav pie recipe that you should totally try out: Lamb and Cheese Pie! 

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Click here for the recipe 

Propercorn Product Review:

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My father was a hopeless cook, but made the best popcorn. Together, we’d spend hours experimenting with ingredients and seasonings, impatiently waiting for each kernel to pop, so that we could try out our latest recipe.

Using these precious memories, I created PROPERCORN.

Since launching in 2011 with my best friend and business partner, Ryan, we have taken great pride in our popcorn, making sure that every pack is both delicious and guilt-free. There shouldn’t have to be a compromise.

“Done Properly” extends far beyond our popcorn. It is our approach to everything we do. Whether we’re designing new packaging, curating our own events or collaborating with artists, our energetic team is always looking to create, in a way that we’re excited by and passionate about.

Done Properly.

I hope you love it,

Propercorn Founder

Propercorn is completely gluten & wheat free, GM free and all the flavours are different and yummy! Check out Collective’s views on each flavour…

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Lightly Sea Salted:

Traditionally the favourite of all popcorn for when you go to see a movie at the cinema, however in recent years it could arguably be said that Sweet & Salty has taken the lead of popularity. Propercorn’s Lightly Sea Salted is definitely the nation’s favourite… and one of ours here in the office! Gluten free, GM free and suitable for vegans… perfect for all with special dietary requirements!

Sour Cream & Black Pepper:

Are you a lover of the traditional cheese and onion crisp? Or crave black pepper? The taste of sour cream and black pepper explodes on your taste buds. A sudden rush of sour cream with an after taste of black pepper.  Once you realise that the onion in the flavouring is in fact spring onion, it becomes very obvious as it’s the sweetest of onions. At only 88 calories for a 20g bag, this flavour would definitely do well instead of your regular bag of crisps on your lunch break with your ham and cheese sandwich.

Worcester Sauce and Sundried Tomato:

This flavour is great to have as a mid afternoon snack, or a side to your lunch. Full of strong flavours, tangy, sweet and as stated on the packet, fiery. 93 calories for this tasty treat is great – we would happily eat a bag every day.

Sweet & Salty:

The nations new-cinema-favourite. Sweet and salty, just as it says on the tin… or packet in this case. Yummy sweetness, combined with the salt in the next mouthful. Definitely up there as a favourite within the office and a must try.

Sweet Coconut & Vanilla:

Fancy a flavour that is unique and exotic? The smell of coconut is great when you open the packet, however the flavouring isn’t as strong as the smell. The vanilla extract is the winner with this product. Sweet, with a touch of vanilla. Perfect with a cup of tea.

Smooth Peanut & Almond:

For all your peanut butter lovers. This is the popcorn for you. Another serious winner in the Propercorn gallery. The almond makes the scent very inviting, but the peanut wins the taste test. Moreish, scrummy and definitely tastes naughtier than it’s whole 120 calories that it actually has!


Price spectrum:

↑ Nuts, Seafood, Lettuce, Milk, Cheese, Courgettes, Sweet Potato, Potato, Banana, Tomatoes. 

↓  Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Cocoa Beans, Rapeseed Oil, Walnuts, Oranges.

F&E promo corner:

Collective Purchasing The Weekly Vine

Here at Collective Purchasing, we also have a Furniture and Equipment department where we can outsource anything you may need. Call us on: 02380266922 to find out more and to place your orders! 

Product of the week:  Athena Hotelware Oval Coupe Plates

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