Since launching in 2012, the Idea Works! has offered small to medium-sized enterprises the opportunity to pitch new concepts to a panel of judges from Compass Group UK & Ireland. The first panel of 2016 was held in January at one of Compass's venues, the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester. Lisa Jenkins joined the judging panel as they made their decisions on the latest set of products
Lee showcased the noodles as a healthy solution for Compass sites in universities, defence sites, schools and hospitals. The pots are delivered via a vending machine with touchscreen technology, which can also collect sales data and client demographics. Damien Lee was joined by Mr Lee's chief executive, Graeme Hossie, marketing executive Ewelina Blachut and brand ambassador Micha Douglas at Bournemouth University, where one of Mr Lee's vending machines is being successfully trialled.
The result The panel awarded Mr Lee's a unanimous'yes' vote, but Mark Green stipulated that the trial would be on a product-only basis.
Georgina Clifford, senior sales manager for Keep Cup, presented the company's range of reusable cups. She spoke passionately on facts about waste: how every minute around the world over one million disposable cups are discarded; and that every year the amount of waste produced from disposable coffee cups could power eight million homes for a year.
She described Keep Cup's business objective - "to lift re-use rates [of reusable cups] to 40% in the 'to go' coffee shop and restaurant environment" - as a way of countering the impact convenience culture has on our society.
Keep Cups come in an assortment of barista-standard sizes with interchangeable parts, are BPA free, dishwasher proof and have a life span of 1,500 uses per cup.
The result This was another unanimous vote from the judges, with Nicky Martin championing the sustainable message.
Honest Frozen Yoghurt
Honest Frozen Yoghurt is low fat with no added sugar and, says Brett and Gavin Fowler, directors of Fulfil UK and Honest Frozen Yoghurt, a lower calorie option.
Honest Frozen Yoghurt is 100 calories per 5oz pot and is made using sugar substitute Stevia. The yoghurt can be served either front or back of house, as a countertop unit or on a cart, where customers can self-serve and add a selection of toppings, giving the customer control over the customisation of the product.
The machine can be purchased or leased and the base product comes in a powdered form to be mixed with natural yoghurt and water.
The result There was no debate on the taste and all four judges agreed the product should go through to trails; however, Nicky Martin stated that this was provided the nutritional statistics and health benefits were checked and revised accordingly.
Kevin Bath, director and co-founder, presented the benefits of Jim Jams' eye-catching jars of healthier spreads. The range includes diabetic friendly and gluten-free chocolate spreads in hazelnut and milk chocolate, which have 83% less sugar than any other chocolate spread on the market.
The jams have 35% less sugar than most other jams and come in strawberry, raspberry, blackcurrant and orange marmalade flavours with about 55% of fruit per 100g.
Bath pitched the products at Compass's school, college and university sites, but was keen to promote the benefits to foodservice businesses with the support of the 'Jim Jam Army', a group of bloggers creating low-sugar desserts on social media.
The result The product attracted a unanimous vote from the judging panel, with no caveats and high praise for taste.
•All four businesses received a 'yes' vote from the judges and will see their ideas trialled within Compass. If successful, the innovation will be implemented within Compass's supply chain.
- Nicky Martin, head of nutrition, Compass Group UK and Ireland
- Mark Green, business development director for vending and 24
- Lisa Jenkins, products and suppliers editor, The Caterer
- Amy Lainchbury, marketing manager EP business, Hospitality Magazine