Rise of the Food and Drink Centre as an Innovation Powerhouse
A multi-million-pound food and drink innovation centre is fulfilling ambitions to become a powerhouse of support to the food and drink industry. The Food WorksSW has proved a game changer for over 130 food and drink brands with established and new businesses all benefiting from the use of outstanding facilities and resources.
The Food and Drink Forum, which operates the facility on behalf of North Somerset Council, is now inviting more people to get in touch if they have a concept that could become the next shooting star of the food and drink industry, saying it can help turn good ideas into viable and scalable propositions.
The only centre of its kind in the south west, The Food WorksSW is based in the heart of the Weston-super-Mare Enterprise Area, less than 30 minutes from Bristol, and is in close proximity to Junction 21 of the M5 motorway. It has state-of-the-art facilities including five product development kitchens which are available for flexible short-term contract hire for food and drink businesses of all sizes to test, develop and manufacture their products – prices start from just £96.90 per day (inc VAT).
A team of food industry experts are on hand to help businesses navigate their way through a range of food disciplines – from new product development, and quality assurance hygiene, to food safety and efficiency. The Food WorksSW provides a solution to help transform concepts into saleable and profitable products.
Business support begins with a free one-hour consultation with industry expert Zoe Plant, New Product Development and Innovation Manager, who says: “We encourage everyone to come along and talk to us. We work closely with businesses, tailoring our support to their needs, and making sure their concepts are commercially viable. If you don’t get in touch, you’ll never know, and you’ll always wonder whether your product would have worked.”
Gelato, salsa, kefir water, vegan cheese, deli items, brownies, chilli sauces, high protein cookies, frozen ready meals and curry dishes are among the products which have been developed at The Food WorksSW. Established brands including Hullabaloos Drinks, Trethowan Brothers, Butcombe Brewery, Hoots Sauce, Sunbird Kitchen and the Field Doctor have all benefited from using the centre’s facilities and support. Many chefs also regularly use the venue to develop their menus.
Jasper Prickett, head development chef at Butcombe Brewery and the Liberation Group, comments: “I am a big fan of Food WorksSW – we’ve used their space to hold both central training sessions for our pub chefs and cook-offs where our managers gather so they can sample various dishes.
“We also use The Food WorksSW to develop new dishes. They have all the kit I need to create new ideas without having to go to do that work in kitchens belonging to our pubs and disturbing their teams.
“Having this facility on hand is a major benefit for us, not just as a place for me to create new dishes and be able to work out their cost – I can also have up to 120 people come in. Added to that the location, geographically, works very well for us.”
The Food WorksSW also offers readily accessible meeting spaces, including fully equipped conference rooms, and a business lounge for hire. The business lounge and coffee shop is open to all businesses and offers a free space to utilise for networking, informal meetings or as an alternative workspace, with free secure WiFi and parking.
For more information on how The Food WorksSW can help you and your business, visit foodworks-sw.co.uk, or to stay up-to-date follow @foodworks_sw on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.