Few years ago Small and Blunt did a partner search for Fazer Bakeries in UK. Fazer and Elbar Worldwide came to an agreement for Elbar to act as an importer and distributor partner for Fazer's Arctic thin breads and later to their Finntoast in UK.
Thank you to Fazer Bakeries, Elbar World Wide and Scandikitchen we can all now enjoy a taste of Finland in UK.
We had an opportunity to meet up in London at the Harcourt Pub in a Finnish Food evening organised by the FBCC.
We were kindly asked to do a short prestentation about Finnish food, what are the secrets of it and the current trends.
It was a lovely evening with some Finnis nibbles created by Harcourt's chef Kimmo Makkonen, Napue Gin and Rye Beer by Mallaskosken Panimo.
in co-operation with
Food manufacturing companies taking part in the Finnish Food Innovations visited London in March.
During the three day visit we did retail tours around London shops, listened to speakers about the future food and trends, and also visited teh International Food Exhibition IFE at Excel.
Large baggage to take home full of great ideas and learnings from UK!
The programme is organised by Fennopromo
Finnish Food Innovations YouTube video from the IFE can be found here
Angela from Drunken Dairy speaking to us
Ecobuild is the number one event for forward-thinking professionals in the built environment. It attracts over 33,000 high calibre, senior level decision makers and influencers from architects and developers to local government and major infrastructure clients.
We were in search for some connections for building material product distributors this year. This is part of Finpro’s Innovative Bio products programme where we have a selection of state of art manufacturers of innovative wall panelling solutions that are interested in the UK building sector.
We met with some old friends and made some new friends. All in all a very good day!
Sad to say that we noticed Ecobuild having shrunk in size over the years. Further research needs to be done, where have all the exhibitors gone?
Ecobuild in London 7. - 9. March 2017 www.ecobuild.co.uk
It has been quite a while now that all things "Scandinavian" have been trendy in UK.
Scandinavian design has always had its place in UK thanks to wonderful retailers like Scandium selling quality design furniture and lifestyle items made and designed by old masters and new quirky Scandi generation.
During 2016 at least three new Scandinavian/ Arctic cook books were published in UK cherishing the fresh fish, rye and all things out of the forest. Very popular BBC programme Hairy Bikers helped a lot as they toured around the Baltic Coast in their programme. They visited Estonia, Russia, Finland, Sweden and also northern Norway, even it is not on the coast of Baltic. They had a special moment with the Finnish Army enjoying pea soup on Thursday. Not sure we shall call that a great advert for Finnish food but definitely for the culture.
Danish crime TV series have been extremely popular also starting some fashion trends in UK (Nordic jumpers!)
There has been a lot of talk about "Hygge" - how to "Be Hygge" and how to "Make Hygge" in UK. BUT, since reading the February (2017) volume of the Waitrose magazine where was an article now telling people to forget "Hygge".
It's time to get out and do something. It's nearly spring in UK and being Hygge does not do. It is a lame excuse not to do anything.
The time has come for real “Scandinavian doing and being” attitude. Cool lumberjacks, mountaineers, great outdoors, ice swimming, Nordic skiing and survival by eating fruits of the forest – you name it!
Just put on your Karhu trainers, Halti coat, pack some rye bread and black coffee in your rucksack and seek for an adventure - even a little one. Or would you just rather lay on the designer sofa under you very cosy artisan made blanket?
Get out there, start doing and experiencing things, Arctic is now cool and it is real and the Brits are hungry for it!
Good news for Organic farmers all over the world.
British consumers and still buying into organic products. The market is, and has been, steadily rising over 7% annually. UK organic market is worth over £2 billion a year. Organic food represents around 1.5% of the total UK food and drink market.
More and more new consumers are seeking organic –recent research executed by England Marketing revealed that 39% of shoppers buy organic food on a weekly basis. 80% of all consumers said that they have some knowledge about organic food. Many high street chains like McDonalds, Jamie’s Italian, Nando’s and Pret are including organic products on their menus now.
Recent news also is that a large number of schools are now serving organic food to pupils. The Soil Association says that more than a third of UK schools opt for organic meals.
Also the organic beauty and wellbeing sector grew by 13% to be worth £61.2 million.
More from www.soilassociation.org
We were plased to have S-Group management trainees visiting London in January.
We spent three days looking into UK retail, visiting shops, cafes and meeting with store managers. These delightful future S-Group managers were learning how business is run in UK. They were also expected to take some ideas with them to Finland to be used in their own work.
Thank you to eveyone, it was great fun, great people and special thanks to all UK store managers who shared their passion with us!
Welcome New Year 2017!
It is time to reflect back what has happened with Small and Blunt in 2016.
We have worked with many Finnish companies again to help them to find foot steps in UK finding new friends, partnerships and clients. We have looked into parcel delivery software and at theatre production management system. We did a large LUOVIMO project for a range of creative IT start ups.
We have seen Finnish foods finally arriving into UK distributed by London based Scandi Kitchen. Rye bread – we have missed you!
Our co-operation with Finpro as one of the Evaluated Consultant partners has continued. We wrote two larger reports on “On-line channels for lifestyle products in UK” and “Bio Technology sector in Britain”. Both of the studies are aimed for companies in those sectors that are thinking of coming to the UK or are looking for potential partners and channels in UK. Both of these projects are part of larger scale programmes that Finpro currently runs.
We have worked with retail and food, preparing and executing great study trips to London where it all really is buzzing and happening, especially in retail technology and in food innovation.
This is just few to mention!
We have also had various trips to London to check out new sights, shops, innovations, exhibitions. We have had quite a few walking meetings enjoying fresh air while talking business and planning for the future.
What we definitely have not done enough is having after work drinks!
Have a busy 2017 everyone and keep in touch! And take us out.
Rita & Pikke
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2017!
Rita & Pikke
Three years and counting!
Pikke was asked to join theCass Business School and City University London in September for a term to tell about her experiences in consulting and to help with consulting cases done by the student themselves and to teach business skills to undergraduate students.
She will be back there in there September 2017!
Dah. We really are speechless.
We were immediately asked to participate in an event in Finland to tell what will now happen to the British trade.
If the British Prime Minister does not know, how could we know!
Wait and see it is from now on.
The Queen Elizabets II will celebrate her 90th birthday today April 21.
She will unveiled a plaque marking the start of a four-mile Queen's Walkway at the foot of Castle Hill in Windsor. It connects 63 points of interest in the town, commemorating the Queen's achievement in becoming UK's longest-reigning monarch after more than 63 years in 2015.
City A.M newspaper asked in January some top London Chefs what they thought will be the biggest food trends this year. Here's what they they thought
Restaurants will become more hangouts for evening entertainment. More dining room type of places will open up where people are expected to stay and relax after their meals rather than go somewhere else (Ross Shonhan, Bone Daddies).
Savory desserts. After a huge debate of health issues caused by sugar more savour desserts will be found on the pudding menus. Ingredients will include things like herbs and wood land or coastal teasures like wild garlic, wood sorrel etc (Matt Hill, Down Hall Hotel)
Persian foods garnished with saffron, pomegranates, dried up limes. Middle eastern cuisine is expected to become trendy with its small dishes and plates that are shared among everyone (Jonathan Moore, Waitrose)
Gourmet take aways. Mobile apps like Dine-In and GrubHub are transforming take away business to a total new level. These apps will enable also top restaurants to take their dishes out of the restaurant doors (Allan Pickett).
Snacks will go black. We will be enjoying more and more black food like bamboo blackened brioche buns, squid ink pasta, even charcoal infused water. Burger King Japan got there already by introducing "kuro burger" which is black.
Bakewell tarts. Old fashioned tarts are back infashion with all famous chefs working on with their own twists with this old classic (Allan Pickett, Piquet).
Latin American food taken further as Peruvian food will arrive in to the foodhalls. Also influences and meals from Philippines, Cuba and Hawai can be expected to be seen (Harrods food halls).
Flavoured Spirits. Different types of gin, vodka, rum and tequila will be sold this year as it is all becoming trendy again. Well be seeing new flavours like rhubarb, chillie and toffee in the bars.
Have a very wonderful and tasty food (and drinks) adventure in 2016!
Unemployment rate in UK is currently 5.2 per cent, lowest since the recession 2008. According to latest research, UK is one of the top places in Europe for finding work even the unemployment rate in countries such as Austria, Switzerland and Germany are lower than in the UK.
In the UK, only six per cent of those in work are on temporary contracts. The UK is also above the European average in terms of the proportion of workers who are working part-time who want to work full-time. It is just over four per cent in the UK – above France, Spain and Italy.
The UK also has a relatively low rate of youth unemployment (17 per cent). This compares high with youth unemployment in Spain and Greece, where it is over 50 per cent.
Taking these facts into account, as well as general employment rates, UK is in third best place in Europe in terms of getting of job – behind Estonia and Norway. Spain was bottom of the list, closely followed by Greece.
There is a huge need for digitally skilled employees as UK firms are also looking overseas to fill their tech roles as the domestic digital skills gap is still wide. According to a survey, done by recruiter Experis, of over 1,000 managers, one in four firms are looking overseas for IT talent.
However there’s a big difference across these IT roles, the same survey tells. Development solutions jobs are most likely, at 35 per cent, to be filled internationally, followed by business intelligence and analytics roles at 32 per cent. Information security is almost exclusively in-country, with just 7 per cent of roles being filled overseas.
Two thirds of British consumers would do online shopping from another country if they got better prices.
PwC surveyed nearly 23,000 people across six continents to find out about their shopping habits. The survey found for example that 1000 UK consumers interviewed were relying heavily on social media, using sites like YouTube and Pinterest to help them with decision making.
55% UK residents said that they would buy over internet due convenience rather than just because of better prices, when rest of the world’s 60% of consumers would go for better prices.
Very high 70% of UK consumers say that they will buy good outside Britain on-line within the next year.
Time to ramp up those Finnish web shops?
Time to think before you act? Bringing up a child to age 21 costs an average of £232,000 in the UK.
The figure is more than two-thirds higher than 10 years ago meaning that almost a third of what most parents earn now goes towards raising just one child.
Four out of 10 parents have been cutting their spending on toys and food, but in return there has been increases in education and childcare costs. One in five parents said the increasing costs of raising a family meant they have postponed having more children.
The biggest financial burden was education, which costs on average £74,319 per child – this is a 1.3 per cent increase from last year. This did not include private school fees but did include cost of school uniforms, school trips and lunch.
The largest rise, however, was in childcare and babysitting costs – these were estimated to be £66,113 over 21 years.
Of all the areas in the UK where to rise your child, London is unsurprisingly the most expensive, followed by the South East. Wales is the least expensive, followed closely by the North East and Yorkshire & Humberside.
It is yet again that time of the year when shops fill with hearts, pink items, chocolate, cute teddy bears, champagne, heart shaped pasta - you name it! It is Valentine’s Day of course.
Brits will spend this year on average £45 per person on Valentines which has now become one of the major retail events of the year. According to national statistics residents of the northern city of Preston will spend the most, £53 per person on gifts. The tightest lovers are found in the West Midlands, with Coventry and Walsall spending just £26 on their partners, which is 50 percent less than their northern counterparts.
Valentine’s Day is bigger than Christmas for certain sectors - Britons spent £40.2m on cards for the day last year, averaging £1.86 per person, the highest spend among special occasions, the Greeting Card Association has calculated.
Tesco estimates that it sells more than one million bouquets of flowers for Valentine’s Day each year.
Also restaurants and hotels will cash in on this special weekend. Restaurants will see rise by 14 per cent and both jewellers and hotels will experience a 30 per cent rise in sales.
If you are planning a special meal, all the special places and restaurants get booked first. Restaurants located high up in skyscrapers are popular locations for Loncon love birds and if you have no booking yet it is likely that you have left it too late. All London’s Square Mile’s skyscraper restaurants are already pretty much fully booked for this Valentine’s. Some bookings had been made in September already.
When putting dinner and gifts together Londoners are the most generous lovers in the country, spending over twice as much on each other than the rest of the UK. However Londoners are also most likely to leave shopping till the last minute.
It was estimated that at least £1.6bn was spent on gifts and treats for the occasion across the UK.
This is the day, 1st February, when, according to statistic collected since last five years, most of us in UK will call in sick. And it is costing UK economy millions.
The scientists have come up with a pattern that “the first Monday of February” is always the day when people do not turn up to work. This is will cost as much as £34m to the businesses in wages, lost hours and overtime in 2016. It has become a national phenomenon that this specific day staff takes “unauthorised” leave claiming to be sic. Some come up with even more ridiculous excuses blaming their pets and families for not being able to come to work.
The true reason for this behaviour is most likely mounting debt caused by an influx of post-Christmas credit card bills, miserable weather, commuting in the dark and the long gap between holidays – with the next Bank Holiday in UK (March 25th) feeling a long way off.
So litterally just "not feeling like to work".
Swiss cycling brand ASSOS is opening a new store in London joining the competition with the likes of Tineli, Rapha, Vulpine, Morvélo and their other British competitors. This will be their first store outside Switzerland.
Cycling has exploded in popularity in the UK delivering a windfall for bike retailers and manufacturers in the country. Bike sales jumped two years ago by two thirds. According to the Office for National Statistics, UK manufacturers’ sales of cycles increased to £60.2m by value in 2014 from £35.6m the year before.
According to Halfords, the retail market for bikes, cycling clothing, parts and accessories in Britain was worth £1.4bn (2013) and growing at about 5pc a year. The sports nutrition market is also worth in excess of £320m in the UK and almost £20bn globally.
This year's must have item might be found in your garage or shed.
We could not be more cutting edge if you now dig out your old fashioned turntable and your old vinyls. (If you have not send them off to the charity shop or teh tip)
Old fashioned vinyl sales have crept higher in the last five years and now also major retailers have taken a note. For example large grocer Tesco is now stocing selection of vinyls.
Last year 2015, department store John Lewis announced a 240 per cent jump in turntable sales in the first quarter, compared to the same period in 2014. We also now have a successful Record Store Day in the UK and an official chart for the retro music format. Year 2014 witnessed vinyl LP sales reaching a 20-year high in the UK at 1.29m, according to OfficialCharts.com. This followed seven years of unbroken growth.
In the US, the total value of vinyl shipments was up 52 per cent for the first half of the year, according to the Recording Industry Association of America, a trade organisation that represents the recording industry in the United States. Vinyl accounted for 30 per cent of total physical music shipments by value for that period.
That's real Rock'n Roll!
Hope your have had an excellent year 2015!
It has been a pleasure working with all of you,
Our warmest thanks go to our customers, business partners,
and friends that have kept us going this year.
Just like us, we believe that you are ready for your well earned holidays.
Before you go
Small and Blunt just wants to wish you
a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2016!
Pikke & Rita
(permanently on the naughty list... and loving every minute of it!)