Retro food lines for nostalgic dinners

Christmas starts early for 3663. Having started its work in early January, it is now ready to announce the details of its 2011 Christmas range.

It includes nearly 700 products and 3663 has introduced more than 70 new ones, including meat dishes, vegetarian options and desserts.

Angela May, marketing manager for 3663, says: “Consumers are looking towards ‘comfort’ dining, with many retro lines increasingly popular as people embrace food and drink that stirs up a sense of nostalgia. People look to the familiar, but they also want a slightly different slant to keep things interesting.”

New for 2011 is 3663’s 12 Days of Christmas own brand range, with each of the 12 products individually taste-tested and quality approved by a panel of food lovers.

The range includes a selection of menu options, from Chicken Stuffed with Roquefort Cheese and Fig, to Chocolate Caramel Salted Torte, providing a variety of different choices that aim to add a point of distinction to menus.

May also comments that 3663’s wine arm, ViVAS, is helping with Christmas dinners. “Clients are not only looking for fantastic pricing, products and service, but that extra sparkle that separates their offer from the rest. This could be as simple as adding a glass of bubbly or Prosecco at the start of a meal and a dessert wine at the end.”

3663 says that its promotions last year generated more than pound;2m worth of savings to customers and this year it is providing even better value to help take the pinch out of Christmas. Its research has led to promotions focused on customers’ most popular menu choices. Deals include giving away free stuffing or pigs in blankets with every two easy carve turkeys and two free cherry cheesecakes with every blackcurrent cheesecake bought.

3663 customers can also benefit from Safari points in its loyalty programme. Points earned can be redeemed against a choice of items, including high street vouchers, iPods and DVDs. May says: “As a great reward for their loyalty, last year, our customers earned nearly 75 million Safari points over the festive period.”

Christmas dinner isn’t just about the food and 3663 has a range of Christmas crackers, tableware and party packs to help outlets provide the finishing touches to their Christmas meals. Following customer feedback four additional cracker designs have been added.

May says: “First impressions are so important in creating the right festive atmosphere. We have added even more luxury crackers and matching tableware to meet the increase in demand for more premium products from our customers. This will also help add value and create a sense of occasion, which are so important in giving consumers a memorable experience. Along with our selection of value tableware and crackers, we have something in our range for every budget.”

One of the new crackers added by 3663 is its eco-friendly Christmas cracker that is made from 70% recycled material and is fully recyclable.

May adds: “Unquestionably, it’s a challenging market out there and our customers’ margins are constantly being squeezed. However, our detailed research will ensure we deliver everything they want for Christmas. Our teams are on hand to work with customers on everything from portion sizes to cooking methods and menu design to plate presentation ideas.”

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