Week on a Plate

The week digested: Sainsbury’s carbon neutral pledge and the top 50 gastropubs

Catch up on the food news from 27-31 January, including Just Eat’s multi-million pound deal with McDonald’s and Greggs’ new vegan product range.

31 January 2020

Sainsbury’s makes 2040 carbon neutral pledge

Following in the footsteps of Tesco and Asda, Sainsbury’s has announced it will spend £1bn to help the supermarket chain become carbon neutral by 2040. The net zero pledge means Sainsbury’s will be a decade ahead of the target made by the UK government, with the investment being used on extensive plastic and food waste reduction initiatives.


UK’s top 50 gastropubs revealed

Estrella Damn released its annual rundown of the country’s top 50 gastropubs this week, with the Harwood Arms in Fulham achieving the top spot for the first time. The list, which is now in its 11th year, is compiled using hundreds of votes from food writers, critics and gastropub chefs. The Harwood Arms is London’s only Michelin-starred gastropub and pushes last year’s winner, the Sportsman in Kent, into second place.


Greggs’ rolls out vegan doughnut

Following the success of its vegan sausage roll and steak bake, Greggs continues to expand its plant-based product range, with a blazed ring doughnut their latest addition. The dessert food is now available at more than 2,000 stores at a price of 60p each, or two for £1, and in a review from the Metro was described as being “pretty tasty… but it doesn’t really taste all that different from the original.”


Love is in the air

Valentine’s Day is now only a few weeks away and retailers and foodservice providers are adapting their products and menus accordingly. Heinz and Fortnum & Mason have partnered to launch Tomato Ketchup Truffles – chocolate balls filled with a blonde chocolate ganache and tomato sauce. It’s not the first time the two companies have teamed up having launched Heinz Baked Beans chocolate truffles last year.

Barry Callebaut ramps up UK investment

Chocolate and cocoa manufacturer Barry Callebaut has pledged to invest £24 million in its UK facilities, with the Swiss group set to increase production capacity at its Banbury site by 25% over the next two years. Barry Callebaut said the UK remained its biggest market in Europe and wanted to “anticipate the demands” of its customers.

Tesco recalls more than a dozen Cow & Gate products

Tesco has recalled thousands of jars of Cow & Gate baby food jars following concerns some of the products may have been tampered with. Fifteen products, for children aged seven months and over, were recalled in total, although a joint statement from Cow & Gate and Tesco said no other baby foods had been affected.


Just Eat to deliver McDonald’s in multi-million pound deal

The UK public will no longer rely solely on Uber Eats to get McDonald’s delivered to their door after Just Eat announced it had become the fast food company’s “second exclusive delivery partner”. The partnership will begin later this year in the UK and Ireland and comes after Just Eat announced it had struck a delivery tie-up with Greggs earlier this month.


Sales at McDonald’s gather pace

In other McDonald’s news, the fast food chain announced its fastest sales growth in more than a decade in 2019, increasing 5.9% year-on-year to surpass $100 billion. Consolidated revenues were relatively flat compared to the previous year at $21 billion and shares closed up 1.9% at $214.44 in New York on the day of reporting.

“Through the execution of our Velocity Growth Plan, we once again served more customers the food they crave, marking three consecutive years of global comparable guest count growth,” McDonald's president and CEO Chris Kempczinski said.


Miso and soy sauce lauded for health benefits

A study from the British Medical Journal has found that eating fermented soy products like miso, tempeh, natto and soy sauce could help people live longer. According to the research, which looked at the diets and health of nearly 100,000 Japanese men and women, those men who ate at least 50.2g per day of fermented soy were 10% less likely to die compared to those who ate the smallest amounts.

New Michelin guide sparks controversy

The latest edition of the Michelin guide has found itself embroiled in controversy after a leak revealed it had downgraded the world’s oldest three-star restaurant. The late chef Paul Bocuse’s Auberge du Pont de Collonges lost its third star which it had held since 1965 – a decision defended by Gwendal Poullennec, head of the Michelin guide. “We obviously understand the emotion that the loss of a star can provoke, but there is no exceptional treatment,” he told Agence France-Presse.

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