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Making the BIBAs Finals

We previously announced that we had been shortlisted for the interview stage of the 2022 Be Inspired Business Awards (BIBAs). We were shortlisted for two categories: the Global Business of the Year, and the Green Business of the Year.

We can now announce that we made it through that stage and are now officially a finalist in both categories.

The interview stage entailed giving a 20 minute presentation, followed by a 35 minute Q&A session in which the judges asked detailed questions about various elements of our presentations.

The winners of each category will be announced at the awards evening itself, which will take place on 16 September at the Blackpool Tower Ballroom. More details can be found on the BIBAs website.

BIBAs finalist 2022

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Doughnuts in the News

In September last year, our collaborative project with Bobby’s Foods won the product Launch of the Year category in the 2021 Retail Industry Awards. The original news item can be read here.

In the months that have followed, our work together has gone from strength to strength. In 2021, the award was given for the Classic Mini Rings but, since then, we and Bobby’s have introduced the Apple & Raspberry Jam-filled doughnut. This has also been a big hit, as the company reported in a recent press release.

A news article about the launch appeared in Forecourt Trader magazine on 1st June. It can be read here.

In it, Bobby’s notes that “these perfect little doughnuts, packed in a neat plastic cup, are perfect for convenience retailers and on-the-go consumers.”

The company’s national sales manager John Lucas, added: “We very quickly established that any retailer who sold Mini Ring Doughnuts in their store saw solid incremental sales in their ‘food to go’ section. We are looking forward to seeing the outcome that this fantastic new addition will bring them.”

The Apple & Raspberry Jam doughnuts are sold in cartons of five.

Bobby’s Foods specialises in supplying local stores and other outlets, including convenience stores, forecourts, newsagents, off licences, holiday parks, universities, theme parks, pubs and hotels. More information can be found at www.bobbysfoods.co.uk/where-to-buy.

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Tesco 2022 Business Update Event

On Thursday 9th June, a team from Simply Doughnuts attended Tesco’s 2022 Business Update event in London. The event was a great opportunity for suppliers – their senior management, accounts teams and strategic sales and marketing staff – to learn about Tesco’s latest innovations and priorities.

Group CEO Ken Murphy (pictured right) spoke about Tesco’s vision and core purpose, while Ashwin Prasad, Group Chief Product Officer (pictured left) identified opportunities for growth and further innovation.

The event also afforded an opportunity to meet with key personnel after the presentations. We took the chance to talk with both Ken Murphy and Ashwin Prasad, and to learn about how Tesco is seeking to help consumers with ongoing cost-of-living pressures.

It was good to hear that there is a continuing emphasis, within Tesco, on sustainability and the minimisation of food waste. These are priorities that we very much share, and on which we have been making great progress in recent months.

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Celebrating the Jubilee

On Saturday 4 June, Blackburn Youth Zone held a special Open Family Fun Day to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

To help the festivities along, Simply Doughnuts donated 70 cartons of fresh doughnuts. All proceeds from the sales went to support the work of Blackburn Youth Zone, which provides facilities and services for young people aged 5-25.

Posting after the event on social media, organisers said “We would like to say a special THANK YOU to Simply Doughnuts for donating the doughnuts for our Jubilee Family Fun Day! We appreciate it and the doughnuts were super yummy!

“We were delighted to support the event,” said Simply Doughnuts MD, Shiraz Master. “Our organisations have a lot in common besides being based in Blackburn. We both support the local community, we both won Queen’s Awards in 2020, and we both wanted to support something fun and memorable for the Jubilee.”

The event was a great success and saw a huge turnout. Photographic highlights can be seen here on YouTube.

Visitors to the Jubilee Family Day
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Shortlisting for 2 Awards (BIBAs)

On 30 May, the hosts of the 2022 Be Inspired Business Awards (BIBAs) announced that Simply Doughnuts had been shortlisted for two categories: Green Business of the Year, and Global Business of the Year.

All entrants’ submissions are scored before the shortlisting decisions are made. In her notification email, Babs Murphy, chief executive of North & West Lancashire Chamber of Commerce wrote to say that, for each category, we were “one of the top-scoring businesses who have made the shortlist.”

 

Green Business of the Year

Our shortlisting in this category reflects a host of new initiatives over the last year, including:

  • Investing in new plant that requires less water and produces less material waste
  • Diverting 100% of waste from landfill
  • Reducing road miles through supply-chain and logistics improvements
  • Developing new packaging that requires less plastic
  • Further extensions to product shelf-life

 

Global Business of the Year

We made the final this year on the basis of our recent successes in developing new export markets in Europe and the Gulf States. We are now supplying a number of well-known retail chains and we’re committed to expanding our overseas markets further, throughout this year and beyond.

 

The BIBAs

This year’s finals will take place on 16 September at the Blackpool Tower Ballroom. More details can be found on the BIBAs website.

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Hiking Group ‘Doughnation’

On Sunday 15th May 2022, we supported Muslim Hikers with a donation of doughnuts for its 130-strong group of walkers. They were climbing Cadair Idris in the Snowdonia National Park in North Wales.

The group hosts organised walks in North West England, North Wales and elsewhere, and has a steadily growing membership. It promotes diversity, physical activity and an appreciation for the great outdoors, so we were naturally pleased to help.

Athlete, mountaineer and group founder, Haroon Mota thanked us for “the delicious post-trek treats” and provided the accompanying photographs.

More photos, together with  details of the group’s forthcoming walks, can be found on its website and social media platforms. (The group’s Twitter page also includes a video of the doughnuts being handed out to the walkers as they arrive back.)

The walkers at the summit of Cadair Idris

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Simply Doughnuts Wins Sustainability & Ethics Award

On the evening of Thursday 5 May, members of the Simply Doughnuts team attended the ‘Made in the North West Awards’ at the Lowry Hotel in Manchester.

We were finalists in the Sustainable / Ethical Manufacturer award category so we were naturally delighted when the judges announced Simply Doughnuts as the winner.

Our operations manager Evita Dambrauska took to the stage to accept the award trophy, together with PA / administration manager Fatima Raja.

Fatima thanked the judges and explained that we have always made waste minimisation a cornerstone of our operations. She explained how our products’ long shelf-lives help to minimise waste, and some of the many ways in which they can help retailers to reduce their carbon footprints.

She also noted that Simply Doughnuts was continuing to set a good example in terms of its commitment to diversity, and helping people from disadvantaged backgrounds to develop their employability skills.

Further details can be found in our previous article announcing our original shortlisting for the award.

Made in North West - winner's logo

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Special Jubilee Packaging

To commemorate the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, the country’s longest-reigning monarch, we have introduced new, special edition packaging for some of our best-known products.

Pictured, for example, is the new-edition label for our popular Classic Mini Rings, temporarily re-styled as our “Jubilee Mini Rings.”

“We’ve enjoyed introducing the new Jubilee packaging,” said Simply Doughnuts managing director, Shiraz Master. “As the recipient of a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2020, we feel a definite connection with Her Majesty the Queen and we’re keen to play a part in celebrating her amazing achievement. No British monarch has reigned for longer. This is the first time in history that the country has witnessed a Platinum Jubilee, so it’s a genuine once-in-a-lifetime occasion.”

The special edition packaging should start to appear in supermarkets and other retail venues throughout May.

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Shortlisting for Waste-Reduction Award

On 27th April, we received notification from The Grocer Gold Awards that Simply Doughnuts had been shortlisted as a finalist in the Waste Not Want Not category.

The award celebrates companies that have made important progress in reducing waste – whether that waste takes the form of food, ingredients or other materials, or commodities such as energy and water. In all these areas, we have made great strides this year.

Amongst others, our achievements have included diverting 100% of waste from landfill, reducing waste dough, using less water, and saving energy through the use of more efficient heating and lighting systems in the factory and offices. We’ve also reduced road miles by a considerable margin and introduced new initiatives with our supply chain partners that involve using bulk reusable containers.

The entry process was rigorous. We were quizzed about our company-wide waste-reduction strategy, the thinking behind it, the actual solutions we’ve employed and how the plan was executed. We also provided a quantitative analysis of our many waste-saving efforts, and details of our plans for the future.

“We’re delighted to be a finalist in this category,” said company MD, Shiraz Master. “We’ve made big investments and we really have worked incredibly hard to cut waste very successfully across the whole company. To have those efforts recognised is really important, and all the more so because we’re in such impressive company. Other finalists include major retailers like Tesco and Iceland – companies that are pressing forward with really ambitious resource-efficiency projects of their own.”

The Grocer Gold Awards will be held on Tuesday 14th June 2022at the Guildhall in London.

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Doughnuts at the Movies

We may only be a few months into it, but 2022 is proving to be a big year for Simply Doughnuts. For example, we’ve recently opened up a number of important new export markets, including Germany and several Gulf states. And interestingly, the opportunities aren’t just restricted to major supermarkets, distributors and wholesalers.

A potentially exciting new sector for us is the cinema concessions market. We’re seeing growing interest here – and with good reason. Supplied in convenient re-closable cartons, our fresh doughnuts are low on mess, great for sharing and ideally suited to the needs of hungry movie-goers.

Commercially, too, they’re very well suited to the needs of cinema-based food retailers. As ever, their long shelf-lives are a big advantage. They minimise food-waste risks and, because they require neither refrigeration nor heating on-site, they enable retailers to make valuable savings on energy and staff time. They can be displayed at ambient conditions and require minimal preparation; making them a simple “pick up and buy” option.

Helpfully, the cartons also fit very neatly into the cup-holders that many cinema chains fit to their seating, so they could hardly be better suited to the demands of the market.

It’s a market we’re actively looking to develop so watch this space for further news.

Doughnut carton on a row of cinema seats