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The JAM Jar

27.03.15

With food and drink PR a key specialism at JAM, @JaimeGee takes a look at what emerging trends will be hitting our kitchen cupboards in the near future.

All in the name of research, and maybe a little gluttony, we regularly attend food exhibitions in the UK and abroad. Last year I hot footed it over to Dubai to experience Gulfood, the leading international trade show for the food and drink industry. Click here for a little reminder of a very memorable visit.

This month we attended the Northern Restaurant and Bar (NRB) show held here in Manchester and also IFE – the International Food and Drink Event, hosted at ExCel London.

NRB is the largest trade exhibition for the northern hospitality industry, attracting a good variety of exhibitors, along with leading chefs who cook up a storm in live demonstrations. This year’s Chef Live featured no less than eight Michelin stars from across the UK and Spain including Daniel Clifford, Nacho Manzano, Nigel Haworth, Michael Wiganll and Kenny Atkinson. There was even a guest appearance from Manchester United Assistant Manger, Ryan Giggs, who rustled up a sausage. No joke.

The booze quarter seemed a little bigger at NRB this year, with some new brands and drink concepts emerging. A particular favourite was Znaps, a new range of flavoured vodkas presented in stunning bottles.

Coffee remains popular, and rightly so in my book. No coffee, no work! The Broderick’s Coffee stand was fit to burst with coffee lovers keen to sign up to Broderick’s vending services.  Come to think of it, I should really look into installing one at JAM towers. That and Znaps vodka!

NRB

Down at IFE there were over 1,100 companies from 55 countries exhibiting a wealth of goodies, including speciality and regional foods, cheese and dairy, meat and seafood, world foods, bakery and confectionery, ingredients, health and wellbeing, and drinks of all varieties.

All things coconut remains very popular – coconut water drinks, flavoured dried coconut snacks, coconut milk shakes, coconut frozen yoghurts, along with coconut baking products, as an alternative to standard flours and sugars.

Popcorn is still all the rage with some interesting flavours emerging, including my favourite, Tabasco. Jimmy’s Pic N Mix popcorn bar was also a fantastic concept.

On the go snacking is getting rather interesting, with the likes of Whitworths introducing a range of snack packs and shots all under 100 calories. I highly recommend the Toffee Pecan Shot – delicious!

Parents will be delighted to hear that children’s food and drink has some truly solid nutritional credentials. Quinola Kid’s Meals are ideal for busy parents, who don’t want to compromise on the health and wellbeing of their family.

And if you’re looking to get more fibre into your little ones, Nairn’s new Astro Bites will do the trick!

And back to the adults – you must try Smith and Sinclair cocktail confectionery. Delightful little alcoholic sweets!

We PR birds couldn’t resist the lure to freeze, squeeze and enjoy with Köld Cocktails. Frozen Cosmo’, anyone?

And for the ale aficionados, hop on over to Pokertree Brewing Co, who believe there is no love more sincere than the love of great beer. We couldn’t agree more.

Our next outing in search of new trends in food and drink will be this September at Lunch!, the contemporary food to go show. We’ll let you know what to stock up on.

And finally, here’s a childish image taken at IFE. It’s the simple things.

Jaime

 

 

19.03.15

Social media really is a fast-changing landscape (remember when there was only MySpace to worry about?) and this week there was a whole landslide of announcements and updates from the social media giants.

Earlier this week, Facebook updated its rules on what is acceptable for sharing on the social networking site – including clearer guidelines relating to nudity, violence and hate speech. The company has stated that it is not changing its policies, but providing ‘more detail and clarity on what is and is not allowed’. 

Twitter also extended its Twitter rules and banned ‘intimate photos or videos that were taken or distributed without the subject’s consent.’ It’s a positive step to crackdown on the rise of revenge porn, cyberbullying and hate speech.

On Tuesday, Facebook had another announcement to make. It has introduced a free Friend-To-Friend Payments Through Messages. This new tool will allow users to connect a Visa or Mastercard debit card and tap a “$” button to send friends money on iOS, Android, and desktop with zero fees.  Facebook Messenger payments will roll out first in the US over the coming months and could potentially come to the UK in the future. The jury is out on whether the concept will work or prove beneficial to consumers. Let us know your thoughts by tweeting @JAM_Manchester.

To top it off, YouTube is considering the launch of a subscription service for its original content. The new service would include videos from YouTube vloggers and stars that would be produced by YouTube itself (as if Zoella wasn’t already worth enough dosh!)

As a full-service consultancy, JAM offers a specialist digital service and so we’re always monitoring what’s happening online. If you need support with your digital activity, get in touch: anna@jampr.co.uk

13.03.15

Today in the UK is Red Nose Day, and everyone is being encouraged to do ‘something funny for money’ to celebrate its 30th anniversary.

Most people over a certain age have a Red Nose Day memory. Whether it was getting to spend the entire day in your pyjamas, soaking your head teacher with buckets of water or even submerging your body into a bath full of beans.

The day, set up by charity Comic Relief raises money for children and vulnerable adults in the UK and Africa. This year more brands than ever are taking part in the charity push, so we decided to take a look at some of the brand partnerships taking place.

TK Maxx
Since 2005, the partnership with the retail giant has raised a whopping £13.5m. This year sees the launch of special Red Nose Day t-shirts designed by Anya Hindmarch, Karl Largerfeld, Diane von Furstenberg, Henry Holland and Matthew Williamson.

BT
The charity has a long-standing relationship with the telecoms company, with 10p from each call made to the BT Speaking Clock donated. Adding a new twist to this year’s campaign, and encouraging people to pick up and dial, Sir Ian McKellen feature as the voice of the speaking clock throughout March.

PG Tips
This might be the first year that PG Tips has partnered with Comic Relief, however some might be surprised to know that the PG Tips licenses brand mascot Monkey from Comic Relief, with the charity.

For his first ‘official’ foray into Red Nose Day activity, Monkey will be climbing The Shard (London’s tallest building) with the help of rugby star Thom Evans.

Persil
Matching sister brand PG Tips’ efforts, fellow Unilever brand Persil has created four character bottles for its campaign – Penny, Perry, Posey and Percy – and produced a video inspiring people to make their faces funny for money.

Specsavers
A Comic Relief first, Specsavers is donating £1 from every £3 pair of Red Nose Day Comedy Glasses sold. Designed to ‘make your face funny for money’, the campaign has been fronted by Gok Wan and received some favourable TV coverage on BBC Breakfast, Good Morning Britain and Newsround.

Babybel
Perhaps our favourite, Babybel has launched a social media campaign asking fans to ‘become a laughing Babybel’. Donating 25p for every image uploaded and shared to Facebook and Twitter, the cheese brand has pledged to raise a minimum of £20,000 from the activity – we personally think ours looks terrifying!

With more ways to donate and more brands than ever involved, the 30th anniversary for Comic Relief looks set to be its most successful.

Doing something to raise money? Our Account Director and fitness expert @TattooedDaveW is taking part in a six-hour combatathon, but if you want an easier way to donate check out the official donation page for Comic Relief here.

 

06.03.15

This Sunday is International Women’s Day and something tells us this year is going to be a pretty big deal, given all the positive media attention around equal rights for women lately.

#LikeAGirl
Always (feminine product brand) reclaimed the derogatory term, “like a girl” to empower women and prove how strong and brilliant they are. Check out the campaign video and we dare you not to wholeheartedly give it a thumbs up:

#HeForShe
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll remember that glorious speech Emma Watson gave at the UN, launching the #HeForShe campaign. This felt like a big game changer in the feminist movement, and no doubt International Women’s Day will be an ideal time to cast a little throwback spotlight on this. We’ll be keeping an eye on Emma’s Instagram to see if she gives the day a shout out.

#askhermore
We mentioned this briefly in our last post, but Reece Witherspoon took charge of Oscar red carpet conversation, challenging journalists to look beyond her glittery appearance and give some airtime to the more important issues in the world, namely gender equality.

Breaking Through
To mark the day, Manchester City Council has announced a full line-up of events under the theme ‘Breaking Through’. From feminist talks to meditation sessions, more than 22 events are taking place, so be sure to pay homage to the historic affinity Manchester has with women’s suffrage, and get involved

Of course, the original founder of the suffragette movement and Girl Power epitomised, Emmeline Pankhurst was from Manchester and our city continues to produce some of the most inspiring and admirable women across many industries, including PR, creative, communications and marketing.

 

Although the ‘f’ word has definitely made progress in the last few years, and referring to yourself as a feminist no longer implies that you have hairy armpits and an aversion to supportive underwear, there is certainly still a long way to go before we are all freely comfortable fighting for women’s rights.

And since we are talking about banning prejudice towards women, why not give a shout out to all other areas too? To leave you with some warm fuzzy feelings on a Friday, check out this brilliant ad by anti-prejudice campaigners, Diversity & Inclusion called Love Has No Labels. We can’t stop watching it….