The latest Compass Group UK & Ireland's The Idea Works! panels, which included Peros Coffee Lab managing director James Roberts, have considered pizza cones, health drinks and high-protein ice-cream. Lisa Jenkins reports
Matcha Drinks from Vivid is a range of natural green tea drinks packed with antioxidants and a small dose of natural green tea caffeine for a healthy boost.
Matcha refers to the finely ground part of the tea leaf, and Vivid believes it has harnessed the health benefits of this powder to produce healthy fruit tea drinks.
James Shillock, founder and managing director of Vivid, presented on the key benefit of the drinks. He said: "It's the way they help you focus, especially during the after-lunch slump. The three flavours: lime, ginger and honey; grape and elderflower; and pear and rhubarb, have all been popular with our end-users."
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID
JR: This is a crowded market; what are your future marketing plans for the product?
Lots of education on the ground with sampling so people can try its unique taste. We have sponsorship planned and we want to look at the retail and convenience markets.
KA: Would you be flexible with the branding of the packaging? I'm not sure it sells the benefits as well as it could
NV: Does everyone know what matcha means?
KA: Yes. Definitely in the education sector.
NV: Yes. But I would like to see more flavours.
CN: Yes. I'd like this to be one of â¨our 'products of the month'.
Whey Hey Whey Hey, says co-founder Damien Kennedy, is the world's first sugar-free, high-protein ice-cream. It is 100% natural and gluten-free and suitable for diabetics and vegetarians, and in 2013 it received the Virgin Pioneer award.
Kennedy was previously a sports scientist and, together with his business partner Greg Duggan, they set themselves the challenge of creating, manufacturing and distributing a healthy ice-cream.
"We want Whey Hey to be one of the biggest brands in the worldâ¨in 10 years' time," said Kennedy.
The product contains the equivalent amount of protein as one breast of chicken and is currently available in chocolate, strawberry and vanilla flavours.
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID
NV: It tastes a lot better thanâ¨I expected it to - but it does â¨have a slightly different texture.
JR: I think the packaging needs more quality cues - should â¨you be focusing on no sugar instead of high protein?
Maybe, but we want to stay trueâ¨to the high-protein benefits.
KA: Where do you see it working with Compass?
Universities, care homes and the corporate and healthcare sectors.
JR: No. I'm going to say no right now, as I think the packaging â¨needs a lot of work.
KA: Yes. I'd like to work with you â¨on the branding, especially in the healthcare sector of our business.
NV: Yes. I definitely see a market â¨for it as a healthcare dessert.
CN: Yes. Stick to your story and principles with regards to high protein.
The Baeten Vinopolis Draught Wine System Andrew and Glenn Carr of Europe Asia Connection presented the Baeten Vinopolis Draught Wine System. The wine is stored and dispensed from reusable 20-litre kegs through a twin-tap system.
It is dispensed using nitrogen to prevent contamination. Carr said that it provides a lower â¨carbon footprint as it reduces recycling and wine can be shipped in bigger volumes per delivery compared with bottles.
The portable tapping head has an integral cooling unit, or taps can be fixed within an operator's bar top. Sell-by dates are unlimited due to the specialist dispensing system.
The system can be leased or purchased outright with 11 specified wines direct from the company, including a comprehensive maintenance programme.
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID
NV: How are the wines that are included in the package tiered?
They are all mid-market wines, including Sauvignon and Merlot.
KA: Do you have to take the â¨wines with the equipment?
Yes, it's part of the package and we can guarantee the quality this way.
JR: What's included in the maintenance programme?
We will regularly clean the pumps, and fix or immediately replace the compressors if they get damaged.
JR: No. It's not for me - you needâ¨to get a couple of case studies â¨and come back to us with some feedback.
KA: Maybe. It's a good concept. â¨I'm not sure if we would take it on straight away, but come and talk â¨to our sports and leisure teams â¨and get some feedback from them.
NV: No. I think your wine offering needs some work - so it's a no â¨from me right now.
CN: No. I think you need to focusâ¨on 'speed of service' to market it - so for me it's a no for now.
Pizza cones Pizza Cones, presented by founder Dags Hofrats, is a slice of pizza base baked into the shape â¨of a cone and filled with classic pizza fillings. Hofrats cooked the judges a spicy chicken version in just four minutes.
Hofrats calls himself the Pizza Cone Guy and came up with the idea by Googling 'crazy business ideas'.
The shape "allows the customer to enjoy a pizza without the mess", says Hofrat. The equipment, which can be leased or purchased, is already up and running asâ¨a kiosk in Caledonian University. The 24-year-old entrepreneur is achieving sales of 80-120 cones a day at this site.
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID
KA: Have you seen this equipment anywhere else in the UK, Dags?
No - the equipment is exclusiveâ¨to me via the manufacturers.
CN: Can your bakery cope â¨with extra demand if you getâ¨a sudden uptake in orders?
Yes - they can make 60 bases an hour and can hold them for me.
CN: Do you have marketing collateral?
Yes - new customers receive branded Pizza Cone T-shirts and become members of a loyalty/maintenance programme.
JR: Yes. It's worth a shout!
KA: Yes. You need some help developing this, as it's a crazy â¨idea and you're a bit crazy - but â¨it's a yes from me.
NV: Yes. From a chef's perspective â¨it presents lots of opportunities - â¨so yes from me.
CN: Yes. I like the product and â¨I can see it would work well in universities - it's a yes from â¨me too.
Companies submit their concepts via a dedicated website. These ideas are then shortlisted, before the suppliers behind the best ideas are invited to pitch before the judging panel. The panel is made up of three Compass experts - who will differ depending on the proposition - and a guest judge.
David Tester, marketing manager for insight and innovation at Compass Group UK & Ireland, said: "As well as enabling us to keep on top of the key trends our consumers are looking for, we take great pride in helping SMEs bring their products to market, and the mutual benefit that can be enjoyed by both parties."