Supplier Q&A: Inside...Tilda Foodservice

03/01/2018 - 11:52
In Cost Sector Catering’s series of Q&As with suppliers, we talk to Craig Dillion, head of foodservice at Tilda.

Cost Sector Catering: What are your aspirations for 2018?

Craig Dillon: We want to continue to work with caterers to help them take full advantage of rice, and in particular speciality rice and how it can be used to boost profit margins.

We recently carried out some research – Tilda Foodservice’s consumer insight for September 2017 – which shows that 75% of consumers would opt for ‘a named’ rice versus ‘an unnamed’ rice when given the choice, with 68% willing to pay more for a side of Basmati & Wild rice versus an unnamed rice.

This presents a huge opportunity for caterers to make one simple swap from plain rice to one of Tilda’s speciality varieties – Basmati & Wild, Fragrant Jasmine or Arborio Risotto – and command a higher price tag.

What are your customers looking for in particular, and what advice are you offering them?

We work closely with a number of customers addressing trends as well as special dietary requirements, and we have seen a move towards blended rice, which is in line with the consumer research we recently carried out suggesting that 70% of consumers would choose blended rice over plain rice.

Tilda is in a great position from a health perspective because of its good carb credentials, delivery of slow-release energy, and being full of nutrients.

We’re also lucky because rice is naturally gluten-free, so is a quick and easy swap for caterers that want to ensure they offer gluten-free options to the growing ‘free-from’ audience.

Its versatility also means chefs can cater for these consumers throughout the whole menu. Plus the fact that Tilda is produced at a facility that only makes rice also gives operators extra peace of mind regarding cross-contamination.

What is your bestselling product?

Tilda Easy Cook Basmati is our bestselling product across the board, making it easy for cost sector caterers to achieve perfect rice every time, increase their gross profit and cut wastage in the kitchen. It virtually cooks itself and has all the taste and visual appeal of Tilda Pure Basmati but with improved holding ability and resilience to over-cooking.

An additional benefit is that by swapping a 5kg bag of own-label long-grain rice for 5kg Tilda Easy Cook Basmati rice caterers can provide nearly 20 more portions.

Any groundbreaking promotional activity/NPD lined up for next year?

As a company we’re always monitoring consumer trends and looking to develop products for the foodservice environment. There are a lot of exciting developments in the world of rice and we’re examining ways we can bring them to cost sector caterers, so watch this space.

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