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The Food Practice Ltd update...and about time too!!

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Autumn 2012…

It’s been a long time since we posted our news so here is 24 months news in a nutshell…quite a large nutshell!!…


The M&S Director of Innovation set us a fabulous brief in November 2010, which was to develop and work on a pilot initiative for a new deli counter in 6 trial stores. We received the brief in November 2010 and completed in September 2011...a year’s hard work. It was a first for The Food Practice Ltd. We had never worked on a project where we were not only developing products, (nigh on 100) but also weaving in the whole counter design, (all the counters had to be built and in the case of Stratford and the Olympic city Westfield centre..the whole site had to be built!!). We were developing hardware for display as well as training 6 sets of new staff on an initiative that was completely new for M&S. "Oh but they have tried deli counters before",  you cry...yes, they had tried Delis before, (we had been there the first time round when we were baby Product Developers in buying teams!) but none like this one! We loved it! We worked with a fabulous M&S team and an equally fabulous supplier who gave it such commitment that we could not have done it without them..we even ended up making a film about it for rolling out the deli into more stores...never have Harriet & I had to learn scripts and talk to camera! All extremely exciting as well as foodie heaven and whilst we cannot say too much for sake of confidentiality...we were very pleased with the results...


As Christmas 2011 approached we thought we would get a breather but M&S gave us a fab little project on "minimum credible range" and for those of you out there who know what we are talking about...its an interesting one that! We also had the pleasure of working with old friends EPC (English Provender Company) on a Christmas trends & direction for innovation well as Victoria Cakes on a small cake mix project...phew...time for a rest...had a couple of weeks off over Christmas and then up and at it in 2012!


In late December the iconic Daylesford Farm Organics contacted us and asked us to come in for a briefing on a food-to-go project, which we completed in May 2012 launching it into the Daylesford stores in Nottinghill, Pimlico & Selfridges...again a first for us whereby we were working with the central farm in Kingham and with each kitchen in each site to produce the fresh, daily food to go products for the retail counters, merging retail & food service.


We were then asked to work with Blue Earth to help a supplier in the States to develop a concept range for Fresh & Easy in California. A hard job but someone had to go out to LA and work on it! Actually, when I say we went to LA...we don’t mean Beverley Hills…we actually went to offices, supermarkets and a fish factory...mmm it wasn't Hollywood but it was extremely interesting and we worked with a great bunch of people.  Loved seeing all the US stores again..really spent a good time in them and studying them...(we are becoming retail nerds I am afraid!). A great strategic & ranging project as well as a huge input into our knowledge bank of retail USA style. Again..we have to be so careful re confidentiality that we cannot tell you about too much we actually did but again...we were pleased with the results and we are only ever pleased if the client is pleased. 


We have also been working in our beloved Norfolk with some local farmers on projects from poultry to popcorn...just because we love Norfolk...they pay us a bit too but it certainly keeps us sharp working with start up ideas and on a local scale. Sometimes this is harder work than working with the big companies. There is less budget, less resource and the success of the project is more reliant on just us and what we can deliver. 

Our friends at Daylesford in beautiful Kingham and London have asked us to help them again and we are currently working with Booker, the wholesalers, (another first for The Food Practice Ltd...but it would seem that good retail practice applies...with a few wholesale amendments).


We are looking at a few "firsts for The Food Practice Ltd" which should prove interesting. Tune in next quarter to hear how they all went..! 

Take care all and hope the year to date has been a good one. Here is to a good Autumn and an even better Christmas 2012! (Hope all the Healthy eating; Valentines; Easter; Mothers day; spring launches are all put to bed too!)...

A & H x