How to cash in on chip week 2012

In times of recession when competing for a share of the consumer pound is so tough, how can operators create a point of difference over their competition and stand out? One way is to take advantage of the many national food days we have in the UK and Chip Week 2012 is coming soon!  

An online survey commissioned for Chip Week* revealed that it is the taste of chips that we consumers love the most, (73%), followed by their smell (20%) and their texture (6%). Couple this with the fact that we love our food more spicy - retail analysts TNS says that over the past 50 years in the UK, spicy foods have become more and more popular as taste buds become hardened to more fiery foreign staples and spicing up run of the mill foods is gaining popularity since hot pepper condiments' sales rose 19% and fresh chilli sales were up 16% - there is an opportunity for any foodservice outlet that serves chips to cash in during this popular week.

James Millward, Commercial Director, McCormick (UK) Ltd; “We have a team that is constantly working on inspirational recipes to encourage the use of our Schwartz for Chef seasonings in new ways. They are great on potato wedges, chips and roast potatoes and feedback from consumers is that they love it! Caterers are in a position to easily replicate this offering, and by not buying pre-made, flavoured chips, can offer so many more choices and increase their cash profit. Our expertise in flavour ensures that the Schwartz for Chef range of seasonings deliver consistent quality, with authentic flavours, that will have customers coming back for more, and not just during Chip Week.”

Schwartz for Chef Seasonings are available in 12 varieties but Blackened Cajun, Piri Piri, Fajita and Smoky Mesquite are particularly good on chips and potato wedges. Packed in a handy sized tub with a shaker lid, it couldn’t be easier; you can simply spice up your offer by sprinkling over your chips prior to serving! You could try offering a ‘cheeky chip menu’ offering different flavoured chips with different dishes or ‘chips with dips’ as a sharing dish as the Schwartz for Chef seasonings make great dips too.

McCormick is currently working with Punch Taverns on a project to highlight just how versatile and simple to use its Schwartz for Chef seasonings are and to demonstrate how pub chefs can improve their margins with a number of recipe solutions. Alan Todd, Catering Development Manager, Punch Taverns; “By working closely with McCormick we have been able to develop a number of recipe solutions that are bespoke to our operation.

Chefs aren’t always as interested in ‘brand credentials’ but more in the practical ideas that a manufacturer can offer. It really is as simple as adding some Blackened Cajun seasoning to a portion of chips and being able to charge up to 50p more for them. In doing so, we add value and appeal to our menus, increase our cash margin, extend our offer and give more choice to the consumer.”

McCormick has produced a recipe booklet specifically for Punch that shows the different ways its menu can be enhanced by using Schwartz for Chef Seasonings. There are costings to show how much additional margin can be made from each dish and the ideas extend from offering chips and spicy dips as a sharing platter to seasoned onion rings, steaks, burgers, chicken wings, mashed and jacket potatoes. Implementation of the project has been launched with a series of road shows that have confirmed that pubs are constantly seeking new ideas that can be implemented easily, and what could be easier than a sprinkle of seasoning over a portion of chips to liven up your menu?


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