Food industry confident of meeting Olympic challenge

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Frank roberts, Olympic games, Summer olympic games

The London games promise to give an Olympic boost to UK food and drink manufacturers
The London games promise to give an Olympic boost to UK food and drink manufacturers
Food and drink manufacturers are predicting that the London 2012 Olympics will give the industry a big boost – provided effective plans are put in place.

Stuart Borthwick, director of operations at Frank Roberts & Sons bakery in Northwich, Cheshire, said the tournament could cause a huge spike in demand for bread. “The figure of 9M extra visitors to London during the games is being banded about.

900,000 extra loaves

“The effect this could have on bread consumption is subject to some debate – 9M people eating two rounds of toast in hotels could mean an extra demand of 900,000 loaves of bread! This side of the equation is a bit more fluid but we are anticipating uplift in demand.”

However, he said he was confident Frank Roberts would be able to meet the rise in orders, because of the timing of them. “From our perspective this would fit in with a seasonal decline in demand we see each summer as people go on holiday and schools close for the summer so we certainly wouldn’t anticipate any supply difficulties.”

Frank Roberts supplies bread to several corporate hospitality; foodservice and event catering firms with contracts to support Olympic events and Borthwick said they had been involved in organisational discussions for some time. Volumes and timings of orders had yet to be confirmed, but he added: “We understand this will be finalised during January.”

Coca-Cola prepares team in Vancouver

Meanwhile, Coca-Cola Enterprises has confirmed that it sent a hand-picked team of employees to work at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver in 2010 to look at logistics for the event. “The team was picked from roles as diverse as sales and marketing to logistics and operational managers,” ​said a CCE spokeswoman.

“Malcolm Plow, venue operations director for the Coca-Cola London 2012 Olympics shadowed his counterpart in Canada. The rest of his team got stuck into the hard, on-the ground jobs of supplying Olympic spectators, athletes and employees with drinks.

“Although each Olympic Games will be different, with a different set of requirements, the Winter Games were a springboard for Coca-Cola’s planning for London 2012,” ​said the spokeswoman.

“The Olympic Games offers a strong opportunity for retailers to increase sales so it’s important to get the soft drinks offerings right.”

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