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The JAM Jar

28.03.14

Following Jaime’s trip to Gulfood in Dubai, the JAM team headed to two other fantastic food trade shows this month – the Northern Bar and Restaurant show Northern Bar and Restaurant show round the corner at Manchester Central, and Food and Drink Expo at the NEC in Birmingham.

At The Northern Bar and Restaurant show, we rubbed shoulders with the likes of top chef Michael Caines, Tim Bacon of Living Ventures and Marcello Distefano of San Carlo. The two-day show attracts visitors from across the North West within the foodservice, hospitality and catering sectors, and organiser Thom Hetheringon announced that a record 6,851 visitors attended this year, up 20% on 2013’s show.

From tea, coffee, cake and snacks, to meat, fish and alcoholic and soft drinks, we sampled a whole range of goodies including Brodericks Coffee, Bachata Beer – premium lager blended with Cuban rum and orange, delicious Maple Salmon from DJM Food Solutions, Juzzy Power Lemonade, and the beautifully branded Mr Fitzpatricks vintage cordials.

Over in Birmingham, there were some key trends that really stood out – breakfast on the go, sugar-free, gluten-free and protein-enhanced food and drinks, high-end patisserie and baked goods, premium crisps and spicy savoury snacks, including some interesting hot curry-flavoured banana chips!

Here are some of our favourites from the show:

CC Fine Foods
FUEL breakfast drinks
London Tea Company
Yum Yum Brothers
Dough it Yourself
Ciao Carb
Amira Foods
Edgmond Foods
Howdah Snacks

There were some interesting seminars and debates on subjects such as brand building, pricing, obesity and malnutrition, the breakfast market, food waste, food heritage and predictions for the future of the industry. All in all, a thoroughly informative, enjoyable and filling show!

Here is a photo showing some of the goodies we brought back with us from the very generous exhibitors at Food and Drink Expo along with one of Jaime and Francesca sampling Bachata beer – cheers!

 

21.03.14

The chancellor may have announced a new pound coin at this week’s budget, but here at JAM Towers, another news item has caught our attention, as social media users across the country bared all for cancer awareness.

We’re talking of course about the phenomenon that is the #nomakeupselfie, which hit the headlines on Monday (March 17) and which at the time of writing had resulted in over £1m being spontaneously donated to Cancer Research UK in just 24 hours.

The concept is simple – post a picture of yourself make-up free using the hashtag #nomakeupselfie, and nominate your friends to do the same by tagging them in the snap.

They’re then encouraged to share their own photo, and donate to Cancer Research UK posting your text message receipt as proof of their £3 donation.

And it’s not just women who’ve got on board with the trend – men have joined the crusade too, breaking out the blusher for the #manupandmakeup selfie to donate to Prostate Cancer UK.

Nobody knows where the trend originated from, and as the campaign was not directly generated by any cancer charity, it seems that the photos started simply as a means of raising awareness of cancer using the hashtags #breastcancerawareness #supportthecause.

The absence of donations in the first instance drew backlash from some, with critics questioning the relevance of slap-free faces as a means of raising awareness of a serious cause.

Before the donations began, the The Huffington Post reported that the photos had been branded ‘slacktivism’ and ‘narcissism’ by some media outlets.

Yet despite the criticism it has received from some quarters, one thing’s for sure, this viral sensation is proof of the awesome power of social media to drive awareness and bring people together.

And no matter what your thoughts are on the story, there can be no doubt that this is a simple yet effective way for everyone to get involved in the fight against cancer. Sure, you may not be able to run a marathon, but you can still do your bit. 

Our MD Jaime Gee has kindly agreed to share her own make-up free snap for this worthy cause – even our office dog Maurice got involved!

We’re not quite sure that the sellotape selfie, will generate quite the same public outpouring of support though…

Visit http://www.justgiving.com/cancerresearchuk or donate £3 by texting BEAT to 70099.

 

14.03.14

Runners-up of the world, fear not – you are in great company. Namely, the company of Leonardo DiCaprio, and, after last night’s Golden Hedgehog awards, team JAM.

But there was no moping over bacon sandwiches this morning at JAM towers. Team JAM takes their hat off to all the worthy winners of last night’s awards, and takes comfort in the fact that we can now officially call our team ‘the Leo of The Golden Hedgehogs 2014’. As you can see, the resemblance is quite uncanny…

In keeping with the Oscars theme, see below for our recreation of that famous selfie. It would’ve been rude not to…


(Image – Don’t Panic Events)

07.03.14

In February I was fortunate enough to visit Gulfood 2014, the leading international trade show for the food and drink industry. Held in Dubai, the exhibition is unrivalled throughout the world, boasting a record 113,398m² in exhibition space and 4,500 companies from 120 participating countries .

From products and food service, to beverage equipment and restaurant and café supplies, Gulfood is the mecca of the food and drink industry. And my goodness didn’t it live up to expectations!

With food and drink PR a key specialism at JAM towers, I was excited to visit this renowned event and see what global suppliers had to offer. With sensible shoes as my ally I trawled the many halls in absolute awe.

As a regular visitor to UK based food shows, such as the Food and Drink Expo and IFE (the International Food Exhibition) I thought I’d seen it all. But Dubai doesn’t do anything by halves – the Burj Khalifa is testimony to that.

Dubai-2014

Walking into Gulfood was like walking into Narnia. 16 halls of all singing and all dancing (some quite literally) stands, showcasing some of the world’s premium brands and products. I visited around 20 of the 120 participating countries during the exhibition, sampling everything from Scottish shortbread to Greek olives, and everything in between.

Gulfood

Besides the multitude of samples on offer, visitors were invited to attend various events addressing the latest trends in the industry, including the fifth edition of the Gulfood Awards, the Innovation Gallery, the Gulfood Franchising Conference, the Barista Bonanza and Coffee Council, along with the inaugural Tea House, launched to celebrate Dubai’s position as the largest re-export hub for tea.

Gulfood, and Dubai itself, were absolutely mind blowing. The magnitude of the emirate and all it achieves is inexplicable. You have to see it to believe it.

Gulfood takes place again next year on 8th – 12th February 2015, at the World Trade Centre, Dubai. More details about the show and a list of exhibitors can be found on the website:  http://www.gulfood.com/. We hope to see you there!

06.03.14

It’s not every day you get to meet one of the most famous faces from the Manchester music scene. On the roof of one of Manchester’s best known entertainment venues. With some bees. So the Jammers jumped at the chance to meet Bez when he paid a visit to our client The Printworks this week.

The Happy Mondays maraca-wielding dancer and percussionist is also a keen apiarist (that means he likes to keep bees!) and has hives located on the roof garden of The Printworks.

The management team keep an eye on Bez’s buzzing buddies for him, and along with the team at Manchester Cathedral are leading the way in introducing urban beekeeping to the city centre.

We’re looking forward to spending more time on top of The Printworks over the next few months as they’ve got exciting plans for the roof top plot – and we’ll be sure to take our maracas along to keep the bees happy. Buzzin’!