Milk Link has launched a dedicated food service division to supply its dairy produce to caterers.
The full product range has been developed to suit catering needs across all sectors from school kitchens to pubs, restaurants and leisure outlets. Key brands include the Bladen range of cheese and butter graded especially for caterers, plus a wide selection of provenance-declared products developed by the company's regional creameries. These include Taw Valley cheddar, Tickler extra-mature cheddar, plus renowned Welsh and Scottish dairy brands Cadog and Lockerbie.
"We've developed our foodservice offering to truly offer something for everyone," explains Craig Dillon, Milk Link's Head of Foodservice. "Larger pub and restaurant groups demand great-tasting, consistent cheese that cooks and presents well. At the same time, caterers are also looking for ‘provenance' brands that add value to their menus."
"By processing our farmers' milk through our own creameries, we aim to provide a sustainable future for their dairy farms. Through their passion and our manufacturing expertise, we're able to produce a well-crafted range of delicious dairy produce."
In preparation for the food service launch, the company undertook an independently commissioned three-month research programme into the usage of cheese produce by caterers in schools, pubs and QSRs.
The In the Kitchen project revealed that cheddar is the second most common ingredient on menus, whilst in QSRs a reference to a cheddar's provenance in the menu descripton can instantly increase the perceived value of a sandwich and justify a price increase.
It also showed that in some primary schools cheese features in up to 80% of all menu dishes yet inconsistent portioning of cheese is causing wastage and affecting the menu's nutritional content.
Milk Link has collated the key learnings from the research project into a booklet, offering guidance on the usage of cheese within primary and secondary schools.