Estimated at £718 million in 2017, the UK free-from market has more than doubled in size since 2012. This growth is set to continue, with Mintel predicting sales to be up to a billion in 2022. Concerns about climate change, the environment and animal welfare, along with health concerns in part fuelled by media buzz, has seen veganism and gluten avoidance becoming mainstream.

Andy Piggin and Liz England from specialist foodservice equipment marketing group Pro Foodservice Reps (PFR) break down the figures and examine the risks and opportunities for operators.


Summer Lights, a Team PFR curated collection of tabletop, buffet ware and bar supplies

As dining and drinking move outdoors, we have brought together some of our light equipment favourites to help operators and chefs to match their presentation with 2018 summer trends. This year natural materials and organic shapes are favoured, with monotone neutrals, pastels and vibrant brights. Non-alcoholic retail concepts such as Redemption Bar and Sober Parrot are emerging, with health, nature and simplicity key themes. Veganism and wild foraged ingredients are becoming more mainstream as consumers focus on achieving a balanced lifestyle.

However, often the practical aspects of serving outside in the hospitality industry mean that safety and longevity are essential, especially for larger operations. With consumer preferences moving away from disposables, robust reusable polycarbonate and resin items cater for restaurant, hotel, pub and bar operators who are keen to reduce environmental impact and financial waste. These products are also ideal for contract caterers servicing outdoor events, providing safe, green and economical  alternatives to glass and crockery.

Our light equipment brands are manufactured by some of the most respected companies in the industry, and their design teams work closely with chefs to develop new collections throughout the year which reflect the zeitgeist.

American Metalcraft water bottles

With a vast range of products, and new innovations emerging almost daily, American Metalcraft leads the way in trend setting for the hospitality industry. There are many products that fit the summer outdoor dining brief, and we feel that these unique clear polycarbonate water bottles provide the perfect solution for delivering water and juices outdoors without the risk of breakages.

Barfly by Mercer summer cocktail

Created last year by Mercer Culinary, the Barfly mixology range is for the professional with an unwavering commitment to the art of the cocktail. These barware essentials and accessories are designed to deliver optimal appearance, temperature, consistency and proportion in every glass–with masterful results.

Mealplak summer tabletop buffet

Mealplak offers innovative and functional table and buffet wares designed to withstand the rigours of the restaurant trade. Products are made from Nacryl© , an exclusive, renowned, high quality material, attractive and easy to use. Food friendly and non-porous, Mealplak products are enjoyed for their bright colours, subtle translucent appearance and silky touch.

Mercer barbecue utensils

Hell’s Tools from Mercer Culinary are a range of utensils constructed from specially formulated nylon to stand up to high-temperature applications. A large variety of styles, sizes, and colours are offered to meet all your culinary needs. Ideal for barbecue and grill use, Hell’s Tools are are stain and odour resistant, and incredibly durable.

Revol summer table top

Combining a natural organic feel with tactile surfaces, Revol Porcelaine‘s hand finished products are designed to display food with artistry. Celebrating their 250 year anniversary, Revol’s enduring appeal to globally renowned chefs is testament to the outstanding quality of their products. With a number of collections ideal for summer dining, selecting just three for this article was quite a challenge!

Arborescence channels the forest with its tactile bark finish. Available in muted grey tones as well as white, Arborescense brings nature to the plate. Natural slate has had some bad press recently due to hygiene concerns. Revol has the perfect solution with its Basalt collection; hard wearing, non-porous porcelain that looks just like slate but with all the benefits of culinary porcelain. With authentic shapes and a great colour range, Color Lab table ware is made by hand and then stamped with REVOL’s quality seal. Each porcelain tile is delicately submerged in a bath of enamel, and the natural pigments will reveal their splendor during firing.

Finesse your fine dining Christmas menu presentation

A Christmas meal at a fine dining restaurant is an annual treat for many people, and expectations are high. The presentation of dishes reflects the style of the chef and the restaurant, and is vital to a memorable dining experience.

We have selected products that we feel may give you inspiration for your fine dining presentation.

Revol French Classics brochure>>>

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French Classics Collection Lion Head Bowl in Pepper

American Metalcraft catalogue>>>

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Page 94 Hammered Trays on Swirl Stand

Mercer Culinary catalogue>>>

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Page 71 Curved Tip Tongs

Revol Prestige Collection brochure>>>

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Pop your cork and celebrate Christmas in style

We share inspiration for making your drinks and cocktail parties the talk of the town, with a wide range of innovative bar products from American Metalcraft Inc., Barfly by Mercer  and Revol Porcelaine.

What are the products and where can I find them?

American Metalcraft catalogue>>>

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Glass Chemistry Flasks and Beakers Page 30

Barfly by Mercer>>>

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Gold plated shaker
Heavy Duty Bar Strainer
Fine Mesh Strainer

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Gold plated shakers and jiggers

Revol website>>>

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Crumpled Champagne Bucket

Boost your Buffet – Christmas buffet inspiration mood board from PFR

Create stunning buffet presentations with American Metalcraft, Mercer Culinary and Revol Porcelaine. We’ve put together a selection of tabletop, buffet and cutlery products to help you to boost your buffet style.

What are the products and where can I find them?

American Metalcraft catalogue>>>

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Glass Zipper Jars page 144

Glass Milk Bottle page 145

Galvanised Soup Cans page 151

Ceramic Crushed Paint Cans page 154

Stainless Steel Cause Cups page 198

Carbonised Bamboo Flight Boards page 223

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Vidacasa temperature controlled buffetware from page 26

Mercer Culinary catalogue>>>

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Millennia Bread Knife page 21

Revol French Classics brochure>>>

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Revol French Classics Collection

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