Inside … Nisbets

Inside … Nisbets
09/02/2017 - 12:02
In Cost Sector Catering’s series of Q&As with suppliers, we talk to Heather Beattie, brand manager at Nisbets

Cost Sector Catering: What have been the challenges for your business?

Heather Beattie: One of the current challenges we’re facing is the change in the way in which schools are now choosing to purchase equipment from us. There’s been a notable decline in seasonal purchasing – spending according to the school calendar/term-time, when budgets need to be spent by, and a move towards continual spending throughout the year instead.

Brexit seems to have already impacted on the way in which schools are now doing business. Rather than choosing to deal with several suppliers to purchase different products, an increasing number of schools seem to be looking to source all their equipment from just one supplier.

What are your bestsellers?

The Olympia Kristallon range is our bestseller when it comes to primary schools, especially the melamine plastic tumblers. Available in four bright colours – blue, green, white and red, the tumblers are popular with younger children.

The plastic food compartment trays, also in the Olympia Kristallon range, are another item regularly sold to primary schools as they help with portion control, which not only helps meet school food guidelines but also assists with meal planning and managing budgets. The trays are also available in a choice of five bright colours to appeal to primary schoolchildren.

What advice are you offering customers?

The use of colour-coded products can prove highly effective within an educational environment, particularly in primary and secondary schools. Our Vogue colour-coded serving utensils allow school caterers to effectively manage portion control, with each coloured ladle designed to hold a different capacity – from 1oz to 8oz.

Serving exact portions within schools is guaranteed to make stock management and meal planning easier, and is essential for managing budgets. This useful strategy also helps caterers follow the strict nutritional guidelines that are in place within schools.

An increasing number of schools are also starting to purchase products collectively, and it’s common for Boroughs to buy products together to secure the best prices.

Are any emerging trends influencing your portfolio?

The current trend within secondary schools seems to be to purchase products that have more of a bistro-look and feel, items such as the APS breadstation breadbox for example, which is a bestseller, as well as the APS buffet range.

Within higher education the trend for greener, more sustainable products seems to have grown this year, and, as a result, our Vegware range is a popular choice. Comprising hot cups and soup containers, food cartons and sandwich bags, the range is completely compostable and can simply be disposed of along with other food waste – preventing the need for a separate waste stream. With sustainability being such a key issue, using products that adhere to this message is therefore particularly important within this sector.

What are you wishing for in 2017?

Maintaining the strong relationships we’ve built with schools is of utmost importance to us, so we’ll continue to try and offer the best value wherever possible. We understand and appreciate the increasingly tighter budgets that primary and secondary schools and colleges are constrained by, so we’ll always try to offer the best advice about which of our products can meet their requirements while offering best value.

In 2017 we’ll continue to ensure that our product range meets the changing requirements of the education sector by actively listening to the needs of our customers.

Copyright 2017 Cost Sector Catering
Dewberry Redpoint Limited is a company Registered in England and Wales No : 03129594 Registered Office:
John Carpenter House, John Carpenter Street, London EC4Y 0AN, UK, VAT registered, number 586 7988 48.

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