Food preparation and presentation equipment specialist Fri-Jado hosted an inaugural customer day at the end of November, welcoming more than 20 professionals from across the retail and foodservice sector.
With a theme of ‘Making Food-To-Go Irresistible’, the day centred around maximising the opportunity of food-to-go and included sessions on global trends, packaging innovation and effective display solutions.
Following a welcome and kick-off from Gary Thacker, director of national accounts at Fri-Jado UK, attendees, including distributors, listened to a session by Fri-Jado chef, Anwar Miah, on street food-to-go ideas. Examining global trends, Miah spoke about how Asian-influences and ‘Instagramable’ foods are crucial to attracting today’s consumer.
Moving to packaging, Benn Ely, from ProAmpac Rap engaged with the audience, focusing on the importance of using the right packaging for the right products. Ely discussed how innovations in packaging design have driven food quality and led to extended shelf life across the sector, explaining that in most cases, packaging is the platform on which to showcase food.
The final session of the morning was by Fri-Jado’s own Tom Van Bergen, R&D product manager and looked at how its patented Hot Blanket technology can offer up to 50% energy savings in the new MDD range working in conjunction with innovative packaging and food to preserve quality, reduce waste and drive sales.
Sampling a handful of the street-food-to-go trends discussed earlier in the day, Miah treated those attending to a fresh lunch, before Gavin Rothwell, director of Food Future Insights, concluded the day with a look at the future of the food-to-go sector. From a focus on convenience, provenance and sustainability, to a look at how the growth of electric vehicles will change the forecourt and service station food landscape, Rothwell gave expert advice and insight on how to adapt for the future.
On the event and seminar sessions, feedback received included that from Delice de France’s hardware manager Nick Bignell, who said: “As a business, we’ve worked with the Fri-Jado team for several years and have always welcomed the expertise that the brand can offer on customer projects. The customer day was a great example of delivering great expertise, allowing us to get a first-hand look at the very latest technology and innovative display solutions from the company.”
While A.F. Blakemore & Son’s head of development Philip Collins said: “A big thanks to the Fri-Jado team for putting on the food-to-go session. The day combined all aspects of the sector, with an insight on food trends, packaging development, display equipment innovation and even a look ahead at the future of the industry from Gavin Rothwell – all in all, a very informative and useful day.”
Fri-Jado’s Thacker added: “We’re delighted with how our first customer day turned out and we’d like to say a big thanks to those attending, as well as to Anwar, Benn, Tom and Gavin for presenting. As the experts in food preparation and display equipment, we are committed to supporting our customers and operators to get the most from their food-to-go offering – coming together for events like this are an essential part of that.”
Following the success of the first customer day, Fri-Jado UK is already planning several more events which will take place throughout 2022.