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International Stress Awareness Week 2nd- 6th November 2020

Managing Stress and Mental Health Issues

Woman in White Shirt Showing Frustration

Stress and Mental health have never been more important than now; especially with Covid 19 and the ever-changing world, we live in!

It’s not just businesses that are struggling to adapt to these new challenges, but individuals too.

Pre pandemic, roughly 1 in 10 adults suffered from some form of depression. In June of 2020, this had doubled to 1 in 5, with many of those people saying they felt stressed or anxious.

The International Stress Management Association [ISMAUK] is a registered charity and the lead professional body for the workplace and personal Stress Management, Well-being and Performance.

They promote sound knowledge and best practice, nationally and internationally; with International stress awareness week being an initiative they have been running for some time now.

ISMAUK promotes sound knowledge in the prevention and reduction of human stress and is an advocate of best practice in the field of stress management. With branches in 6 countries, ISMAUK has a global reach and hosts an annual highly popular Stress Management Conference which attracts internationally recognised speakers from both Government and Industry.

22 years of raising awareness

International Stress Awareness Week was created in 2018 to raise awareness about stress prevention, following the establishment of Stress Awareness Day in 1998.

Person Holding Note with Be Kind Text

International Stress Awareness Week has developed as a major annual event focusing on stress management. This years event will broch upon some of these subjects….

  • Experiences people have with mental health challenges and what can be done to help them
  • How employers are responding to mental health issues and what can be learnt
  • Campaigning against the stigma associated with stress and mental health issues
  • The role of stress management professionals in alleviating stress, with practical and proven techniques for building resilience
  • What further actions need to be taken in the light of the pandemic and possible changes in future working practices
  • Ensuring that those suffering from stress know where to go to seek advice

New for 2020

Person Writing on Notebook

International Stress Awareness Week 2020 will be the first-ever to be held online; due to covid.

The Summit will offer guidance on stress management, mental health and employee wellbeing. A prestigious line-up of experts will debate, inform, and advise on every aspect of these vital subjects.

Being run online over 5 days with 5 different themes, this is one online event you should not miss.

What can you do?

There are many ways in which you can support your staff with their wellbeing and mental health. Here are a few suggestions….

  • Giving them access to apps such as headspace.
  • Rewarding them, making them feel valued.
  • Duvet days – letting them have days where they can not come into work, no questions asked.
  • subsidise gym memberships
  • Support leaflets from charities such as Mind
  • Offering access to fruit and healthy snacks
  • Be there and be approachable.

Have you got any further ideas? Let us know!!!

National Curry Week

The 22nd National Curry Week takes place from the 5th to 11th October 2020.

This year has been a difficult one, so why not get involved and talk curry instead of Corona! Whether you go out, get takeout or host your own curry night you would be ‘madras’ to miss it!

History of Curry in Briton

Although curry is an Indian dish modified for British tastes, it’s so popular that it contributes more than £5bn to the British economy. Hence it was hardly surprising when in 2001, Britain’s foreign secretary Robin Cook referred to Chicken Tikka Masala as a “true British national dish”.

First taste

If Britain taught India how to play cricket, India perhaps returned the favour by teaching the British how to enjoy a hot Indian curry. By the 18th century, East India Company men (popularly called ‘nabobs’, an English corruption of the Indian word ‘nawab’ meaning governors or viceroys) returning home wanted to recreate a slice of their time spent in India. Those who couldn’t afford to bring back their Indian cooks satisfied their appetite at coffee houses. As early as 1733, curry was served in the Norris Street Coffee House in Haymarket. By 1784, curry and rice had become specialties in some popular restaurants in the area around London’s Piccadilly.

Assorted Powder Lot

First cookbook

The first British cookery book containing an Indian recipe was ‘The Art of Cookery Made Plain & Easy’ by Hannah Glasse. The first edition, published in 1747, had three recipes of Indian pilau. Later editions included recipes for fowl or rabbit curry and Indian pickle.

By the 1840s sellers of Indian products were trying to persuade the British public with the dietary benefits of curry. Curry also gained popularity as an excellent way of using up cold meat. (Turkey curry anyone?)

Cooked Food in Bow

Curry houses

In the 1940s and 1950s, most major Indian restaurants in London employed ex-seamen from Bangladesh. Many of these seamen aspired to open a restaurant of their own. After the Second World War, they bought bombed-out chippies and cafes selling curry and rice alongside fish, pies, and chips.

They stayed open after 11 pm to catch the after-pub trade. Eating hot curry after a night out in the pub became a tradition. As customers became increasingly fond of curry, these restaurants discarded British dishes and turned into inexpensive Indian takeaways and eateries.

Blue Harp Decor on Brown Wooden Table

After 1971, there was an influx of Bangladeshi immigrants into Britain. Many entered the catering business. According to Peter Groves, (founder of curry week) “65%-75% of Indian restaurants” in the UK are owned by Bangladeshi immigrants; and today there are more Indian restaurants in Greater London than in Delhi and Mumbai combined.
(find out more on the history of curry here)

History of curry week

The very first National Curry Week took place in October 1998 and was founded by the late Peter Grove; a journalist who had fallen in love with curry. His vision was to drive awareness and appreciation of the Indian restaurant industry, whilst also raising funds for charity.

To this day National Curry Week honours this vision with its three core objectives:


Show me the curry (houses)

It has been an incredibly difficult year for everyone, not least for the hospitality sector and our beloved curry houses. More than ever, they need your support and your custom. So whether you’re eating in or taking away; to keep calm and curry on supporting the Great British curry house. Use this website and its interactive map to find your nearest curry house.

Platter of Foods

Don’t feel like heading out?

Due to the current situation you may not feel like heading out to a curry house, but that doesnt mean you cant still take part!

Order your favourite dishes from your go-to takeaway and enjoy an evening of eating, drinking and curry conversation. Or show off your kitchen skills and cook up a curry feast! Create a menu that showcases the cuisines from around the different Indian regions, or use the National Curry Week recipe book to recreate signature dishes from some of the top UK Indian restaurants.

Put on a potluck spread

You could even put on a potluck spread – ask each guest to bring a different dish to the party and you can all tuck into a range of fantastic food! – But remember the rule of 6!!!


Curry week is not about all the wonderful herbs and spices, it’s about raising money for those that are on the poverty line! One in nine people suffer from chronic hunger because they don’t have enough food to it.

The majority of these people live in very remote areas of Asia and Africa, without the means or opportunity to speak out and change their situation for the better.

Curry for Change

Find Your Feet and Health Poverty Action are the UK charities behind Curry for Change, and they help vulnerable rural families to build a future free from poverty.

Find Your Feet and Health Poverty Action help families grow more food so they don’t go hungry, earn an income so they can provide for their families, and access vital information on nutrition and health.

So how can you help? –  these restaurants donate at certain times in the year to the two charities – if local to one why not visit. Or you can buy a herb and spice kit from the same site to help.

How can we help?

Stuck on menu ideas? Need knowledge or tips on how to pick the perfect spices? Need some serving dishes for your event? We can help you! Just email to see how we can help you!

World Alzheimers Day

What is World Alzheimer’s Day?

World Alzheimer’s Day is an international campaign to raise awareness and highlight issues faced by people affected by dementia. It’s an opportunity for people and organisations to demonstrate how we can overcome these issues and help people live well with dementia.

Globally, dementia is one of the biggest challenges we face, with nearly 50 million people living with dementia worldwide. To tackle this global dementia challenge we all need to work together and to collaborate and share best practice with one another.

What can I do on World Alzheimer’s Day?

This World Alzheimer’s Day Alzheimers society have chosen to challenge stigma and grow the global Dementia Friends movement. You can help by becoming a Dementia Friend, or – if you’re already a Dementia Friend – sharing what it is to be a dementia friend with friends, family and colleagues.  Make sure you get involved on #WorldAlzheimersDay conversation on twitter!

What is Dementia?

The word ‘dementia’ describes a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. These changes are often small to start with; however they soon become severe enough to affect daily life. A sufferer may also experience changes in their mood or behaviour.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, but not the only one. The specific symptoms that someone experiences will depend on the parts of the brain that are damaged and the disease that is causing the dementia.

Photo of Head Bust Print Artwork


A person with dementia will have cognitive symptoms (to do with thinking or memory). They will often have problems with some of the following:

  • day-to-day memory – for example, difficulty recalling events that happened recently,
  • concentrating, planning or organising – for example, difficulties making decisions, solving problems or carrying out a sequence of tasks (such as cooking a meal),
  • language – for example, difficulties following a conversation or finding the right word for something,
  • visuospatial skills – for example, problems judging distances (such as on stairs) and seeing objects in three dimensions,
  • orientation – for example, losing track of the day or date, or becoming confused about where they are.

Breaking the stigma

Families affected by dementia are facing an illness that’s often frightening and debilitating. They shouldn’t also have to deal with ignorance, thoughtlessness and cruelty from the people around them.

Dementia isn’t a joke – and people affected by it deserve to be treated with understanding and respect. 

How we help

As a company who looks after the spending for hundreds of care homes on a daily basis; We fully support ways to improve
the quality of life for sufferers. We are all also dementia friends. If you need to find out more about dementia friends, click here!

Trusted suppliers

We work with the likes of Care shop, Countywide, Andway and Blueleaf who are all specialised in the dementia field. Not only do they supply medical goods, but they supply items such as memory boxes and games.

1950S60S Mix Reminiscence Box With Memorabilia Pack

Food moulds

As part of our offering, we can source food moulds through our furniture and equipment department. A fairly new concept within the UK care home, a silicon food mould will transform a dementia patient’s plate. Making meals more visually pleasing, appetizing and helping residents to dine with dignity. Read more here…


Dementia friendly crockery

Equipment to help support residents with dementia is the perfect way to promote independence. We provide a  wide range of tableware that does just this.

 “Eating three times a day is something many of us take for granted but just think how difficult mealtimes can be for many people with disabilities; we believe the right tableware can be a relatively simple way to ensure your guests get the nutrition they need as independently and safely as possible”. Bidvest Catering Equipment.

For prices or further information, email

World Egg Day

Eggs have been described by nutritionists as nature’s large vitamin pill – a mineral cocktail; they contain many of the essential vitamins and minerals required for a healthy diet.

Packed full of goodness; from vitamin A and B12, right through to choline, vital for nerves and muscles to function correctly.  Eggs really are a wonder food, in 100% natural packaging.

Egg-traordinary facts

Did you know……

  • Eggs are the highest quality protein you can purchase
  • The yolk contains a natural source of vitamin D (which many brits suffer a deficiency in)
  • The yolk colour depends on the diet of the hen
  • The older the hen the larger the egg
  • large eggs contain roughly 70 calories and 5g fat – making them very nutritional indeed!
  • A hen will lay roughly 300 – 325 eggs a year and it takes between 24 and 26 hours to produce one single egg
  • Eggs are second to only mothers milk for human nutrition, making it a very healthy choice
  • Eggs age more in one day at room temp, than they do for one week in the fridge!

World egg day

World Egg Day is celebrated every year on the second Friday in October; with this years being on Friday 9th October!

Whether you celebrate World Egg Day every year, or this will be your first time, make sure that this year, you get cracking and help to make this World Egg Day the biggest and the best ever.

Egg-citing ideas

To celebrate world egg day why not try one of our cracking ideas below

Omelette making

Did you know the fastest omelette maker in the world made 427 two-egg omelettes in 30 minutes? American Egg Board’s Howard Helmer, is the Omelette King; he holds three Guinness World Records for omelette making.

Why not host a friendly competition? How many omelettes can you make in 30 minutes, or who can make the quickest omelette – whatever you do you will have some eggcellent fun!


We all loved doing the egg and spoon race when we were younger – so why not hold an egg festival! Egg and spoon race, balancing the egg, egg throwing, painting the eggs and egg recipe contests? Finish the day with some smashing egg food (think omelettes, eggy bread, dippy egg, egg custard tarts – it really is such a versatile food!!)


From egg hoppers in Sri Lanka to Scotch eggs in the UK, the egg is a staple food in many countries. Check out this list of how eggs are eaten around the world! Huevos rancheros from Mexico is one of my personal faves! Corn tortillas are topped with fried eggs, salsa, beans, and avocado. Why not create a menu with egg dishes from around the globe!?

However you celebrate world Egg day – we are sure you will have a smashing time! Don’t forget that if you need any help with sourcing your daily foods (including eggs) we are here to help! Just give us a call, or contact us on

one final note……

How do you know if a chef is mean?

He beats all the eggs.

Easing of Lockdown – The new Norm

Saturday, July the 4th 2020; the day pubs, cafes and restaurants could reopen in England after a long three months closed due to Covid-19.

Whilst this is great news for businesses, it poses new challenges for business owners that may never have been faced before.

Social Distancing

It is advised to stay 2ms apart, but if you cant 1m will suffice. However many smaller businesses may not be able to conform to this restriction. Small cafes, pubs and eateries that have tables close together are having to half their capacity in order to reopen. This is leading to a loss of ambience, identity and atmosphere that customers may associate with some of the businesses; as well as, reduced income from fewer people being allowed in. One way to combat this is for you to start, or continue, offering takeout services, or increasing seating outside.

This, of course, has its own problems; the added cost associated with purchasing more seating for outside, the need for containers for food and drink to be supplied as a takeaway and added cleaning costs can be daunting for business owners. Using single-use plastic is not great for the environment, and you may not be aware of the alternatives available if you have never needed to use them before. Luckily, there are many options available for all concerns. There are budget options for furniture and more environmentally friendly options for takeaways. We have been able to help customers save money on disposable consumables as well as seating and furniture for outside. If you are interested in how we can help – email to find out more.


Of course, the safety of the staff is important, but it is also imperative the welfare of customers is considered too. There are many items on the market that are helping to keep both staff and customers safe. From sneeze guards to visors; Face masks to hand sanitiser. There are numerous things available to purchase in order to help with the reopening. We can help advise and source these if you wish as it may be a daunting experience due to the sheer number of products being sold.

There are some other things that can be done to help; suggest the use of card payments over cash, limiting menu choices to help kitchen staff run more efficiently, and having plenty of sanitising stations around the premises (more is better!!) Implement one way systems and ensure cleaning is done more frequently. The Government are also asking to take names and numbers of customers for track and testing. This GDPR compliant visitor book is ideal for venues to use to record visitors details. 

Running a tight ship

Due to social distancing, some staff may not be able to return to work immediately. They may be shielding, or simply not be needed currently. To help run more efficiently there are many options. As mentioned before reduce the menu size to reduce stress in the kitchen. Opt for frozen items as this leads to less wastage. Shop locally, as this will not only help support other businesses but also reduce the number of miles your produce is travelling. And opt for things that make your life just that little bit easier like pre-sliced rolls.

Engage the local community

Whilst times have been tough for businesses like you, consumers may need some encouragement to come back and part with their cash. Costa has given away free coffees to all those that have the app – whilst we are not suggesting every business can afford to do this, offering a welcome back discount will go a long way to bringing the customers back!

Give Back

Throughout the pandemic, key workers have been working hard to either keep us safe or to keep the country going. One way to boost a businesses profile is to hold some form of a charity event to highlight the appreciation we as a nation have for these people. Host an NHS themed event, raising money or providing free items to NHS staff. This will not only be good for the charity but will bring together a sense of community.

The good news is though, you are of course not alone. Every business is having to go through all these changes, and customers are learning to adapt. It may be a slow process, but this will soon become our new norm. We hope you all stay safe and if you have any problems with food supply, housekeeping issues or need any PPE/furniture – then contact us today!

Infection Control

With the heightened awareness of infection control due to Coronavirus, we thought we would give our top tips to control infection in care homes.

Managing infection control in care homes isn’t just best practice: it’s the law. Preventing the spread of infection in care homes basically comes down to knowledge about hygiene practices and a commitment to put those practices into action.

It’s key that all staff understand what leads to infection and how they can prevent the spread of it. The latest government guidelines make it clear that hygiene is a priority for care homes. The standard of hygiene in any care home will be reflected in its CQC rating.

Cleaning in care homes

The main aspect of infection control in care homes is to carry out thorough and regular cleaning. This makes sure that residents have a safe and infection-free environment. Providing proper cleaning training is essential to work towards better infection control in your care home.

Personal protective equipment

Care staff have a lot of touch contact with large numbers of residents during their work. If you work in a care home environment, protective equipment can greatly limit the number of germs that are picked up on your hands. Personal protective equipment includes Isolation gowns, face protection, masks, goggles, face shields and respiratory protection. It is vital to ensure all of your staff are provided with the correct protective equipment.

adult, building, business

Safe handling and disposal of chemical waste

Your care home should have a written policy on waste disposal. This provides guidance on all aspects, including special waste, pharmaceuticals, and cytotoxic waste, segregation of waste and an audit trail. This should include colour coding of bags used for waste. For example, you could use yellow bags for clinical waste, black bags for household waste and special bins for glass and aerosols.

Hand Hygiene

We all know that washing your hand properly is the number one way of stopping the spread of infection. However, you must ensure all of your staff are demonstrating best practice when it comes to this most basic of hygiene habits.

Close-up of Human Hand

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has set out very specific guidelines for when and how care home staff should wash their hands, and they also offer free resources including instructional posters and reminders to stick above basins.

The WHO advises that care staff wash their hands in five circumstances:

  • After touching a resident
  • Before touching a resident
  • After touching a person’s surroundings
  • Before carrying out cleaning procedures
  • After any risk of body fluid exposure

Hands should always be washed with soap and water at these five key points, or at any other time if they are dirty.

We are able to sit with you and see if we can help save you money on all your housekeeping needs. Read this blog that we have written about how we can help!

Give us a call today on 01329 236821

How can you be more environmentally friendly from the kitchen?

When it comes to grocery shopping people are beginning to think differently. Price is not the only key thing we as a nation are thinking about; we are also starting to be more conscious of how the product was made and the impact it may have on our planet.
So what are we doing, or what can we do to be more environmentally friendly?

Avoiding food waste  

Food waste is a key contributor to climate change. Everyone from major hotels to Joe blogs at home has a responsibility to do as much as they can to combat food waste. Change has already started happening as many consumers have started taking steps to avoid food waste and to become more environmentally friendly. Places such as the trash café here in Hampshire saves food from going to landfill sites. They rescue food from shops that would otherwise be thrown out and people can donate money (or time/skills) for these items. Each week I get a hamper of food that would have otherwise been binned, I pay £10 for a large bag of food and that’s my week’s shop done! The idea is to feed bellies not bins!

Although this may not work in a commercial setting due to best before dates and rules and regulations – you can still avoid food waste. Plan meals and only buy what you need. Think about serving sizes – more is not always best. And finally, use up leftovers; (bubble and squeak anyone??) here are some epic leftover recipes.

Recycling more rubbish 

With the growing awareness around plastic pollution, many brits are thinking more and more about how they can recycle more effectively. Companies are also looking at how they can make their packaging more environmentally friendly. One company is Vegware; Vegware packaging is made from plants using renewable, lower carbon, recycled or reclaimed materials. They are designed to be commercially compostable with food waste, where accepted. Compostables are a practical solution for single-use food-contaminated disposables. This allows the foodservice to achieve its sustainability goal. To find out more visit their website.

Avoiding single-use plastic 

Over 8 million tonnes of plastic waste enters the ocean every year, equivalent to a full garbage truck every second!  Much of that waste is single-use plastic items like bags, bottles, straws, cutlery, food packaging.  This goes beyond remembering your reusable cup at costa and taking a water bottle with you. It’s thinking outside the box. Straws, toothbrushes, food packaging and plastic bags.; They are all culprits.

The charge for carrier bags has had an impressive impact. In a study by Cefas they revealed there has been an estimated 50% reduction in plastic bag marine litter. That equates to a massive 9million plastic bags taken out of circulation! Why not start by investing in re-usable or more eco-friendly straws, rewarding those that do bring their own cups or even using food wraps or reusable pots to cover food to save using cling film.

For more tips check out this website! If you would like some ideas of products that can help you use less single-use plastics email and see how we can help you!

Meat-Free Mondays #MFMCountMeIn

Healthy eating is all about having a balanced and varied diet, so your body gets all the goodness it needs to keep you looking and feeling great. We love to experiment with new recipes and new ways of cooking here at Collective Purchasing. With veganuary hot in the press at the moment, we wanted a challange! However we didn’t think we were quite ready to go full vegan, or even give up meat altogether; That is when we decided to try Meat Free Mondays!

Meat-free dinner

Meat eater or not you have probably already heard about Meat Free Monday; but you are not sure why or even how you should get involved. Never fear, Collective Purchasing are here to give you a helping hand!

Originally ‘Meatless Monday’ started out as a public health awareness campaign designed to improve general health in the population. This was done by encouraging everyone to moderate their intake of meat by having a meat-free day every week. Fast forward to now and it has gathered more momentum; with celebrities such as Al Gore and Paul McCartney championing its cause. Today, it’s not just a health campaign but also aims to raise awareness of environmental issues associated with eating meat.

Sciencey bit

‘Scientists agree that we need to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere by 80% by 2050 to have a chance of avoiding catastrophic climate change. This is an enormous challenge, which no single action will achieve; the government and individuals need to work together. It is often difficult however for individuals to identify ways in which they can have a real impact. Having a Meat Free Monday is a simple way for individuals to significantly reduce their emissions.’ ( )

Climate Change

Meat industry

‘The meat industry is a major source of climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions, mostly methane and nitrous oxide:

– On a global scale, the meat industry generates nearly 1/5 of the man-made greenhouse gases that are accelerating climate change; more than the entire transport sector. Livestock accounts for 9% of global CO2 emissions, 37% of methane and 65% of nitrous oxide emissions.

– Methane is 21 times more powerful than CO2 and nitrous oxide is 310 times more powerful than CO2. Methane remains in the atmosphere for 9 to 15 years; nitrous oxide for 114 years on average and is 296 times more potent than CO2.

– In the EU livestock production is responsible for 15% of GHG emissions; in the UK it is responsible for about 8.5%.

– Meat and dairy products make up a third of humanity’s protein intake, and demand is growing fast. In 2000, global meat consumption was 230 million tonnes per year; by 2050 it is expected to reach 465 million tonnes. More livestock means more greenhouse gases.

( ttps:// )

One Planet – No Planet B

Go Meat-Free

By simply having one day a week plant-based, you will be joining thousands of people committed to combat climate change. It is also healthy to partake in meat-free Mondays, as it will encourage you to try new foods.

Below are some simple hints of how you can go meat free.

  • Use meat substitutes: Quorn, tofu, tempeh or seitan
  • Use more veggies, whole grains, pulses, eggs, cheese and legumes;(including pinto beans, navy beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils, peanuts, and black-eyed and split peas).
  • Prepare veggies in a different way to add variety, texture and increase vegetable intake; e.g create vegetable spaghetti or ribbons using a Spiralizer
  • Try making vegetarian quiches, tarts, curries, soups, stews, wraps, couscous, rice, and pasta dishes

Tis the season to be jolly….. and creative!

Christmas is a mere two weeks away. Its the time of the year when the decorations come out of the loft; you go shopping for the perfect gift and stress about how little time you have. How about this year, instead of going out into the hustle and bustle of the high street you create your own Christmas craft at home. You could make a unique decoration that you bring out every year or even a one of a kind gift for someone special – whatever you decide, your masterpiece will be a real showstopper!

Not sure what to make? We have compiled the perfect list of ideas. Take the pressure out of Christmas and get crafty with Collective Purchasing! These ideas are great to do together, young or old. So bake (or buy!) some cookies, pop on some Christmas music or a festive film and get your creative juices flowing!

art, artistic, arts and crafts



These decorations are simple yet fun to make. Simply paint some lolly sticks and glue them into snowflake shapes and hey presto! Instant chic decor!

awesome 54 Cheap and Creative DIY Christmas Decoration Ideas You Should Try for Your Home

Candy Wreath

With a load of acrylic candy canes, make this mouth-watering wreath to hang on your door. Santa will know just how to find you!

With a load of acrylic candy canes, make this mouth-watering wreath to hang on your door. Santa will know just how to find you! Get the tutorial at At the Picket Fence.

Terracotta Christmas Tree

Clay pots make this Christmas tree decoration easy and fun, especially when topped with a bright red star.

Clay pots make this Christmas tree decoration easy and fun, especially when topped with a bright red star. Get the tutorial at Life is a Lullaby.


Sock Snowman

Rice, socks and rubber bands are the keys to creating this adorable winter friend.

Rice, socks and rubber bands are the keys to creating this adorable winter friend. Get the tutorial at Ciao Mama.

Reindeer Jar

These cute jars will do all the talking. Start by coating Mason jars in glitter and then transform them into reindeers, snowmen and Santas.

These cute jars will do all the talking. Start by coating Mason jars in glitter and then transform them into reindeers, snowmen and Santas. Get the tutorial at Crazy Little Projects.

Sweet treats

None of these takes your fancy? Move on into the kitchen and give the gift of food! We all know the way to peoples heart is through their stomachs!!

Peanut butter fudge

This homemade fudge recipe makes an easy sweet treat or a stunning edible gift.

Peanut butter fudge

Peppermint Creams

These easy, homemade version of the retro classic make delicious Christmas presents.

Peppermint creams

Chocolate fridge cake

no-bake cake that’s perfect for making with children. You can also pick and mix the fillings to suit your taste.

Chocolate fridge cake

Make sure you send us photos of your creations. If you need any stock in order to create these festive delights don’t forget to give us a call!

Taste of Christmas

On 22nd October 4 members of the Collective Purchasing team ventured to the Hilton at the Ageas bowl in Southampton to attend the Bidfood winter food show.

Going inside

Upon arriving Burt’s crisps, Honeybuns, proper corn and Cadbury greeted us! We indulged in some tasters (the Jim bean BBQ crisps from Burt’s crisps and all of the gorgeous gluten free goodies from Honeybuns were delish!) and took full advantage of the samples being handed out!

The main room

We then headed into the main room where there were loads of suppliers including;

  • The Snaffling Pig company, who think the humble pork crackling is AWESOME. Their obsession has led them to launch a range of frankly delicious porky based items! On their table they were showcasing their piggin’ awesome advent calendar which we were very excited by! We also received a bag with a selection of flavours to take home and enjoy. These tasty snacks would make a great addition to any business looking for a more unique savoury snack!
  • Innocent smoothie, who had a game of ‘smoothie pong’ set up; which of course we had to have a go on. We were given a selection of their new smoothies ‘Innocent Plus’ to try; a rainbow selection of juices, packed full of goodness and vitamins. They also have a wide selection of other drinks including dairy free options and coconut water. Perfect for the more health conscious customers out there.
  • Moving Mountains® have created the most impactful food inventions of the century; plant-based meat that requires less land, water and produces less greenhouse emissions than what comes from producing a regular portion of animal meat. Moving Mountains® products are popular meat substitutes not just for vegetarians and vegans; but for flexitarians who have mixed feelings about their overall meat consumption. With texture so akin to animal meat, their mouth-watering meat substitutes converted us to their products!


Of course, as it was a Bidfood food show there was plenty of offerings from them. All four of us made a beeline for the dessert section and were treated to numerous options. After we headed to the next stand where they were showcasing their vegan and gluten free selections for Christmas. It was here we discovered Banana Blossom; a plant based protein is also known as ‘banana heart’. It is a purple skinned flower, shaped like a tear that grows at the end of a banana cluster. Traditionally used in south-East Asian cooking, it is now been seen as a fish substitute. They explained that this is because of its chunky, flaky texture. Although we didn’t get to try it; it was interesting to hear about it and I am sure we will see more of it in the future!

Whilst there we also had a great chat the guy from Simply Puree; a leading manufacturer of texture modified and specialist diet meals for the healthcare sector. They were showcasing their dishes for patients with swallowing difficulties, which in a care setting can be quite common. Click here to read a blog we wrote on puree food last year.

The dishes come in varying levels of texture depending on the residents needs. Ranging from level 6 which is soft and moist and can be broken down into pieces with a fork; all the way to level 3 which is a pureed food consistency, and requires no chewing. It was really interesting to chat to the company and see some of the examples of dishes that our customers use.

The day

All in all it was a great day, in which we got to try some amazing food and potentially create some lasting relationships. Being able to experience the range that Bidfood is offering for Christmas and the range of products they sell year round means we are able to pass that knowledge onto our customers; hopefully encouraging them to try new products. Thank you to everyone we met and spoke to.