TUCO Intelligence report helps navigate challenging times

By Matthew White, Chair of the University Caterers Organisation (TUCO) and Director of Catering, Hotel and Conferencing at The University of Reading

We recently launched TUCO Intelligence, a new series of food and drink trend reports from TUCO. Produced quarterly, the reports are designed to arm buyers with the latest intelligence on trends affecting caterers and anyone supplying them.

The first report finds the last 12 months have been ‘particularly challenging’ for food and drink prices, something we all have first-hand experience of!

It finds food inflation one of the causes, showing it to be at its highest level for many years, with the overall consumer price index for December 2017 at 3%, an increase of 1.2% from January 2017. It predicts price increases across several categories, including a 10% rise on tea, 8p on a can of Pepsi and gin prices to rise in line with demand for premium, as UK gin sales top £1bn for the first time. But it’s not all bad news, the report also helps to highlight produce that will deliver best value over the next 12 months and financially savvy product swaps.

Matthew White

We produced the report as another part of the TUCO toolkit, which aims to help our members mitigate external downward pressures. As a membership organisation we continue to proactively support our members with new initiatives and learning and development opportunities. All in-house public sector caterers are able to join TUCO and enjoy member benefits. Last year, we purchased more than £140m of food and drink for our members, and due to this formidable purchasing power we were able to return more than £10m of savings to our members.

Aside from the financial aspect, our focus is to encourage students to stay on campus and experience the good quality food from our many talented and skilled university catering departments. We’re here to support the learning and development of catering and hospitality teams across the UK, through our many support services including TUCO Academy, TUCO Online and TUCO Research. 

For more info, please visit www.tuco.ac.uk.