Visit Wales - Food Tourism News - September 2017

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Welsh produce is being eaten up!

The latest Wales Tourism Business Barometer results show that a strong majority (87%) of businesses that serve food and drink to their customers say that they offer Welsh produce.

This is great news for Welsh food and drink with businesses offering customers a wide range of welsh produce including meat, milk, eggs, alcohol, vegetables, baked goods, seafood and soft drinks. Self-catering operators also state that their guest welcome packs include Welsh food and drink, with notes or labelling highlighting the Welsh produce.

Comments from the industry include “Offering these products is something that helps Wales stand out, while supporting the local economy” and “It gives visitors a sense of place – people want to try the local produce when they visit an area – it’s important for tourists to try local produce and to know where the food comes from”.

Welsh food and drink showcase at Llandrindod Wells

As part of the Wales Tourism Summit on the 18th May, Visit Wales and Food and Drink Wales hosted a showcase of Welsh food and drink products with tastings. Held at the Metropole Hotel in Llandrindod Wales, the showcase ran for 2 days with tourism and hospitality businesses invited to drop in on day 2 with a view to developing Welsh food and drink offerings on their menus and within their businesses.  Around 120 delegates attended and enjoyed a fantastic Welsh produce buffet served by the chef at the Metropole Hotel.

The Showcase displayed over 200 Welsh food and drink products, with a range of categories including Welsh Cheese, Welsh beers and wines, ciders and spirits, non-alcoholic soft drinks, snacks and bakery, confectionery, preserves, speciality meats and much more. Also showcased were ‘free from’ products, foodie gift products and welcome pack ideas.

Advisors were on hand to present the brands and offer tasters with 1-2-1 sessions available to discuss the Visit Wales grading scheme, Tourism Investment Support Scheme and menu advice. 

Further showcases will be held around Wales during 2017 / 2018.

Food Tourism Toolkits

There is more we can do to encourage tourism and hospitality businesses to not only use welsh and local produce, but also to shout about it – not just on menus and through word of mouth but also on web-sites and printed material.

To help we have developed four simple to use toolkits to improve your food offer and visitor experience.

  • The Food Tourism Toolkit – aimed at all businesses offering food and drink, this provides hints, tips, sample menus and best practice advice.
  • The Welsh Breakfast Toolkit – more tips and hints on offering a great welsh breakfast with sample menus.
  • The Promotional Toolkit – aimed at food and drink groups or networks promoting a local area’s food and drink, this helps with planning and improving food tourism in your area.
  • The Festivals Toolkit – festivals and events are important to the tourism economy in Wales – this toolkit will help with planning and improving your event.

Year of Legends – tell us about it!

Have you introduced a new recipe/menu for your visitors to link with the Year of Legends - are you offering a new dining experience or product with a story behind it?  Are you telling visitors about it on your web-site?

We would love to hear your food and drink stories, unique to you and your customers! Whether it’s fun or serious, email us your story and we will share some on social media.

Here are some great examples of legendary food and drink and a dining experience –

  • The Dead Canary cocktail bar in Cardiff has a new drinks menu inspired by the Welsh folklore tales of the Mabinogion. The cocktails are designed to take guests to another worldly Wales full of wizards and dragons.
  • The VisitSwanseaBay website focusses on legendary food and drink, gives information about the local culinary legends and suggests places to eat and drink
  • Carmarthenshire’s website invites visitors to experience its legendary food and drink and follow the Carmarthenshire Cake Trail.
  • The Wickedly Welsh Chocolate Company web-site tells the story of the company, the people that work there and what they make.  Visitors can experience the chocolate making by taking a factory tour and can then buy the chocolate.
  • Llaeth y llan – the Village Dairy tells the story of how Gareth Roberts and his family have produced superb yogurt from their farmhouse since the ’80s. Plenty of hard work and perseverance has helped create beautifully Welsh yoghurt that people throughout Great Britain love eating!.

Pop up Dining

Diners were recently treated to a legendary dining experience at a pop up restaurant set up at the Top of Moel Famau in Mold.  Located within the Clwydian Range in North East Wales, Moel Famau is the highest hill and provided spectacular views for dining.

Jointly organised by friends Caroline Dawson, who runs outdoor catering company Fodder in the Field, and Kate Richards, owner of The Shepherds Hut on Moel Famau, the event on 14 July drew in food lovers hoping to sample the culinary delights made with locally-sourced produce. This included hay cooked local Welsh lamb, vegetables from the Vale of Clwyd and local honey cake for dessert with Chilly Cow Ice Cream; all washed down with North Star Gin and Hafod Ale

Another event, Dinner and Dens, aimed at families, was held on Friday 4th August when diners and children were given their own den making kits and encouraged to embrace their sense of adventure while enjoying some delicious locally sourced food and drink.  The meal included Welsh jacket potatoes with Halen Mon oak smoked local beef chilli – reared 3 miles away from the forest.  The dessert offering at this event was homemade brownies with Chilly Cow Ice Cream which the children could enjoy sat in their dens!  

Protected Food Name Status for Welsh Products

Wales currently has a total of 14 products that have been awarded European Union Protected Food Name Status, with 5 receiving the status in 2017:

  • Traditionally Reared pedigree Welsh Pork
  • West Wales Coracle caught Salmon
  • West Wales Coracle caught Sewin
  • Welsh Laverbread
  • Traditional Welsh Perry and
  • Traditional Welsh Cider

Other products that have protected status are Anglesey Sea Salt, Conwy Mussels and Pembrokeshire Early potatoes.

Using these legendary products on your menus will give you a great story to tell your customers. Read more.

Year of the Sea Roadshows

Visit Wales will be on the road in October for a series of roadshows to explore how you can work with us on the Year of the Sea in 2018.  A showcase of Welsh food and drink with a Year of the Sea theme will also be available throughout the day. Find out more and book here.

New Llandudno Tourist Information Centre

Lesley Griffiths, Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs has officially opened the new Llandudno Tourist Information Centre which, as well as promoting local attractions and tourism businesses and booking day trips for visitors, is now offering a range of local food and drink in its retail offering.

The Cabinet Secretary Lesley Griffiths said, “I’m very pleased to officially open the new Tourism Information Centre in Llandudno which is an excellent example of the tourism and food industries working together. Our Food Tourism Action Plan targeted exactly this type of approach and being able to buy and taste local food in this facility demonstrates the quality and diversity of Welsh food to local, national and international investors.” Find out more.

Welsh Seafood makes waves at ’Food Oscars’

Four members of the Welsh Government-backed Welsh Seafood Cluster has received prestigious Great Taste Awards.

Great Taste, organised by the Guild of Fine Food, is the acknowledged benchmark for fine food and drink. It has often been described as the ‘Oscars’ of the food world. This year, Welsh sauces, sea salt and, for the first time ever, Welsh shellfish all made the shortlist of producers who have received 3 stars, 2 stars and 1 star. Read more.

Skills News –

Business Wales Start Up Workshops

Business Wales are running a number of start up workshops for individuals looking to learn the skills needed to run a Business. The Starting a Business: Taking the Plunge workshops are aimed at individuals who have never run a business before and give people the chance to look at whether running a business is right for them. Topics covered include - writing a business plan; raising finance and financial planning; marketing; legal aspects of running a business; intellectual property; USP (unique selling point); tax.  The workshops are free of charge to individuals looking to start a business in Wales. Find out more and book a place by visiting the Business Wales Events Finder or call 03000 6 03000.

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