News, Blogs & Events
Take a look at some of the latest developments happening at Lucas. In this, our News & Events section you will find a collection of recent news articles and a list of up and coming events.
|Product Evaluations & Roadshows / Exhibitions & Events
|Tues 26th March
National Craft Butchers – Spring Roadshow & BBQ Competition
Eastwood Hall, Mansfield Road, Eastwood, Notts NG16 3SS
|Sun 28th April
MK Butchers Show
Unit F, Hill Barton Business Park, Mushroom Rd, Clyst St Mary, Exeter EX5 1SB
|Sun 12th May
Scottish Craft Butchers Trade Fair
Dewars Centre, Perth, PH2 0TH
|Sun 19th May
Dalziel Butchers Show
Yorkshire Event Centre, Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate HG2 8NZ, UK
Curious About Curing?
As a butcher, there are three real benefits to curing your own bacon:
1. You control the quality
2. You control the quality
3. You control the quality
Get the message? We can’t stress enough the importance of creating your own high-quality cured meats and particularly, for the purpose of this missive – your own bacon.
Supermarkets and high street chains are full of bacon in nice shiny plastic packets, but how does the customer know the provenance of that bacon? By curing your own bacon, you will know exactly where the meat came from and can vouch for its high quality. By using Lucas Cures to cure your bacon, you will know exactly what ingredients the cure contains and in what quantities. And again, you’ll know you’ve used the best quality. That reassurance and knowledge is vital to today’s discerning consumer and may give you the edge over your competitors.
Lucas Easicure Dry Cures are best sellers – chosen by retail butchers throughout the UK. They’re award-winners – selected by the most experienced judges in the most respected competitions. Most importantly, though, they’re loved by consumers and let’s face it, you won’t get a better recommendation than that.
If we still haven’t convinced you and you’re still unsure about the possibilities for curing your own bacon, we’ve produced a demonstration video to help you out. Have a go and let your customers do the deciding. We’re certain you won’t look back and your curiosity will certainly be satisfied.
Lucas Kitchen – Sauces of Inspiration...
As a retail butcher, it can be hard to compete with big high street brands – particularly in the area of kitchen-ready meals. However, this sector of the market is estimated to be worth in excess of £4bn per annum in the UK, so it’s certainly not something that should easily be ignored. If a butcher has simple preparation facilities and space on the counter, then the introduction of kitchen-ready must surely be considered.
There’s a huge array of meals on offer in supermarkets, deli’s and of course, butchers, but how does one stand out in this crowd? The answer has to be predominantly through quality and creativity. However, it’s not always easy to achieve those two things whilst keeping your kitchen-ready meals competitively priced.
At Lucas we work hard to ensure that the mixes in the Lucas Kitchen range are of the best quality, whilst being affordable. Arguably, a good kitchen-ready meal begins with a really top-notch base sauce that has just the right texture, looks appealing and tastes delicious. Once you have that element right, the addition of other quality ingredients – meat, vegetables, spices, garnish – can only result in a high-quality, tasty kitchen-ready meal that customers want to buy again and again. That’s why in the past few years, we’ve worked hard to create Lucas Kitchen Sauces that are beautifully well-balanced and that can form the base for a huge variety of meals.
Take our Lucas Kitchen Tomato Sauce Mix for example. It’s rich, red colour and glossy texture mean that it looks fantastic, but it has the added bonus of being exactly right for a wide choice of dishes that are especially good with pasta. That said, a delicious bolognaise, or chilli will work equally well on a baked potato for a take-out meal. It’s also perfect for vegetarian meals – an area in the kitchen-ready meal market that even now, butchers can be reluctant to pursue. It must be remembered that a customer visiting the butcher may have a meat purchase in mind, but it’s important to cater for those family members that are following the ever-growing trend for vegetarian, or flexitarian eating.
Lucas Kitchen Bechamel Sauce is another extremely versatile product, as is our Pie Gravy Mix. Imagination is key, but butchers need fear not, as the Lucas technical team has already done much of the creative thinking around this lucrative area.
Flavours that were once considered “exotic” or “unusual” are now the norm and should not be ignored either. Lucas Kitchen Korma and Madras Curry Sauces look and taste authentic, whilst being suitable for a variety of meats, or again, make fabulous vegetable curries quick and easy.
Choosing one base sauce that can be used for a wide variety of dishes is cost-effective, fast and profitable. Any retail butcher who needs a “Sauce of Inspiration” should visit the Lucas Ingredients website today and we promise you won’t be disappointed!
Lucas Kitchen – Beat the January blues with a bit on the side...
No, we’re not suggesting you leave your partner, don a hipster hairdo, take up yoga and leave the country – we’re suggesting that you can use the quiet post-Christmas period to start experimenting with some super-profitable kitchen-ready side-dishes!
Lots and lots of butchers are choosing to make kitchen-ready main meals using Lucas Kitchen ingredients, but not everyone is recognising the opportunity presented by side-dishes. It’s all about making life easy for your busy, busy customers: And what could be easier than buying sausages, a couple of chops, or a pie and then picking up a tray of delicious, flavoured Mashed Potato at the same time? Or how about some Creamy Potato Gratin, or Cauliflower Cheese?
The Lucas team has coined the phrase “Mash in a Flash” to describe our superb Potato Topping Mix. This incredibly versatile mix looks and tastes like fresh mashed potato, but takes only minutes to prepare. It’s amazing what you can do with mash and of course, it’s an incredibly popular and well-liked dish on the British menu. Mash represents a brilliant opportunity to use up trimmings too – smoked bacon and leak mash is a tasty accompaniment for a whole host of dishes from stews to joints, cutlets to sausages.
Lucas Kitchen Bechamel Sauce Mix works really well with cheese – especially a strong cheddar – to create a rich and creamy cheese sauce. Along with side dishes, why not prepare a pot of cheese sauce that your customer can simply take home and heat up? The sauce will make a great dip, a topping for jacket potatoes, cheesy chips, or can be mixed with other vegetables at home for even greater variety. The profit from each pot will soon add up and will provide a boost during a generally low period.
We all know that upselling works: How many times do you get asked if you’d like to add something to your order in countless shopping outlets? However, butchers don’t have too many opportunities to take this approach. The addition of side-dishes changes all that, as every time a customer buys a main – be that a kitchen-ready meal, a piece of meat, a pie, bacon, or anything else you sell, your customer can be offered that extra dish – and you can make that extra profit. It’s easy, quick and effective.
There’s also the opportunity to create “bundles” and special promotions featuring side-dishes… For example, buy a whole chicken and get a reduced-price side-dish; buy your bangers and get a free mash. Any cuts of meat that you need to move quickly can be pushed out this way, with a positive result for you and your customer: you move stock and they get even greater value.
All Lucas Kitchen mixes can be frozen, so you can make batches of side-dishes during the quiet, dark days of January. Introduce your customers to new tastes and introduce your own “signature” sides. You can boost your profits and your reputation by being creative and innovative and who knows, you might even have fun doing it at the same time. Better still, your Lucas Kitchen bit on the side certainly won’t cause any trouble!
Christmas is Coming? - Lucas has the Cure!
Whilst many of us may be filled with dread at the prospect of Christmas being just around the corner, as a retail butcher, you’ll be filled with delight: Delight at the opportunity that Christmas presents to make some significant year-end additional sales.
Cured products never fail to be popular at this time of year and home-cured meats are more popular than ever. The notion of “artisan” and “home-made” food continues to attract consumers and whilst those words are often accompanied by a higher price tag, there’s no doubt that customers are prepared to spend that bit extra for something special for impending family celebrations. There’s further opportunity to expand into the highly profitable “charcuterie” area as customers seek more exotic and speciality meats.
10 years ago in the UK, consumers did not even know what “charcuterie” was, but now they actively seek out British versions of these traditionally continental meats. To support butchers in producing high quality charcuterie meats, Lucas has developed a number of recipes, including those for Black Treacle Bacon, Pastrami and Pancetta.
Many butchers, even now, are daunted by the prospect of preparing their own cured meats, but they need fear not, especially when it comes to dry curing. At Lucas, we’ve developed a great range of cures, including Easicure mixes for dry curing bacon and hams, cover pickles for the traditional curing of tongues, gammons and hams, along with pump cures for a quicker manufacturing process. All Lucas cures are easy to use and better still, we’ve filmed a number of demonstration videos that guide you through the process from curing simple bacon, to making the afore-mentioned Pastrami, Pancetta and Black Treacle Bacon – all of which make great first steps into the lucrative home-cured and charcuterie areas.
Flavour is vitally important, of course and as consumers look for high quality traditional bacon (you can make this with Easicure Traditional Dry Cure), they are also keen to try new flavours. The desire for Smoke and Sweet products continues to be extremely popular and Easicure Sweet Dry Cure and Easicure Smoke Dry Cure fit the bill perfectly.
There are additional benefits to home-curing too: Bacon trim is delicious in bacon burgers, scotch eggs and quiches. And if you’ve introduced some of the new varieties, you can make them available in these other products too. After all, little waste means big profit!
Identify the correct Lucas Cure for you...
Bring on the Bangers!
What with UK Sausage Week, Halloween and Bonfire Night all happening at the end of October/beginning of November, it’s got to be a good time to be selling sausages.
UK Sausage week, running from the 29th October to the 4th November has grown in popularity year-on-year as more butchers and retailers get behind the initiative. Last year saw radio, TV and press coverage of the event, much of it with its focus on independent retail butchers and their contribution to improving the humble British sausage.
Whilst there’s great virtue in making really traditional varieties of sausage like a classic Pork, Lincolnshire, or Cumberland, there’s also a fantastic opportunity here to do something different. And “Different” doesn’t have to mean “Difficult”, as any butcher using Lucas sausage mixes and seasonings will know. We’ve done a lot of work in the past few years to develop flavours of sausage that appeal to a new audience of customers, particularly with the introduction of more “exotic” varieties and most recently, with the launch of our “Smokehouse” range.
The saying goes “There’s no smoke without fire” and that’s surely the case with our Smokehouse flavours! Smokey Maple & Chilli, Smokey Chipotle & Sea Salt, Smokey Paprika, Butchers Classic Smokey BBQ and our original Hickory Smoke mixes all have profiles that include smoke, sweet and chilli in different combinations. Over the Summer, these mixes have proved incredibly popular, particularly with younger customers, so there’s every reason to think they could be extra-popular on Bonfire night.
A further opportunity lies in the creation of new varieties of sausage that can be promoted independently, or as a butcher’s “signature”. Many of our customers have come up with their own successful combinations and following this, we’d recommend “Hog Roast” sausages, which feature a really delicious blend of Lucas Butchers Classic Pork & Apple sausage mix and Butchers Classic Red Onion & Sage sausage mix. If you’re not keen on making a double-batch of mix, it’s easy to put a new twist on an existing favourite: we’ve tried adding apricot pieces to our Butchers Classic Moroccan Sausage Mix for a more fruity end result and that works really well and a little lime zest added to Butchers Classic Chilli & Coriander Sausage Mix gives it some extra “zing”.
Our last word for the moment on the sausage subject has to be about up-coming trends and the continued desire for new flavours (recent research showed that 80% of consumers said they would like to try new sausage flavours). Again, that might not be as hard as it sounds: try using a different meat for a standard sausage to produce something entirely different. Chicken, beef, lamb and turkey can all be contenders. Click here for our Meat Selection Chart.
New trends coming through are for fruity, smoke or smokey, “Kickin’ hot”, hot ‘n’ spicy and “from around the world”, which means that if you stick with Lucas, you can be confident you’ll have it covered!
The Pies Have It!
Evidence from all over the UK shows that the humble pie began to enjoy something of a renaissance in 2018 and this trend continues at a pace. This success in no small part is being enjoyed particularly by “artisan” producers and by the introduction of new flavours in both pies and pasties.
Here’s where you, the retail butcher, can really make the most of the trend. When customers buy pies from independent butchers: be they traditional pork pies, pasties, or even sausage rolls and quiches, they’re often looking for home-made and hand-crafted products. Moreover, many customers are prepared to pay a premium for a quality pie, so, here definitely lies an opportunity for any butcher with the space and simple equipment needed to produce delicious pies on the premises.
Those butchers who already make their own pies and bakery items can still do more by being creative with flavours and flavour-combinations, as well as trying different meats. That’s where Lucas can really help, as the experts in the Lucas Kitchen like to experiment! Some of the combinations they’ve found to work really well include Pork Pies made with Pear and Stilton Cheese, or how about Pork Pie with Roasted Red Peppers & Mozzarella Cheese? More successes include, Pork Pie with Wholegrain Mustard, Pork Pie with Caramelised Red Onion and Red Wine, Pork Pie with Mature Cheddar and Onion. And with Christmas just around the corner, Pork Pie with Turkey and Cranberry, Pork Pie with Date and Apricot (soaked in Port), or Pork Pie with Apples and Sultanas (soaked in Madeira). Phew! – that’s a lot of pork pies and any one of them could become your “signature” pie that will help you stand out in this growing sector.
As well as producing exceptional traditional mixes and seasonings for pies and pasties, there’s an excellent Pie Gravy mix, a Quiche Mix and the more unusual, Tikka Pasty Mix, which can be put to good use in other pies. As we’ve demonstrated, it’s often the case that the addition of simple ingredients such as cheese, vegetables and herbs can transform a pie into something sensational. But of course, like any good food, it’s vital to start with quality, well-sourced ingredients that are reliable and safe. Butchers will find plenty of inspiration, ideas and recipes on the Lucas website.
So, those in favour, say “Pie”!
What’s Cooking in the Lucas Kitchen?
One of the greatest challenges facing a retail butcher, is how to maintain a balance of tried and trusted products alongside introducing new products that will keep customers interested. Whilst it’s important to ensure that customers can buy their old favourites, it’s vital to inject fresh ideas into a business to ensure it doesn’t stand still. The popularity of kitchen-ready meals continues and it’s here that a butcher can gain an edge by tapping into this market that is estimated to be worth around £2 billion per annum in the UK.
Lucas Kitchen includes a range of complete mixes that enables butchers to develop a selection of kitchen-ready meals quickly and easily. They’re designed for small batches, so a dish can be produced to test the market and see how customers respond. It’s a great idea to introduce a theme of the month, with the focus on a particular country, or perhaps creating meals that feature sausages, or maybe add a weekly side dish. Always encouraging customers to buy more from the butcher than from their local supermarket or deli.
There are eight essential mixes in the Lucas Kitchen range that will form the basis of a huge variety of meals. From pasta with meatballs to chicken korma, cottage pie to quiche, there’s a recipe to suit pretty much every occasion. The team at Lucas doesn’t stand still ether, so new dishes featuring the basic mixes are being added regularly. And for those butchers who are less confident, Lucas has created a number of "How-To" videos demonstrating the best way to use the mixes. There’s no shortage of ideas on the Lucas website www.lucas-ingredients.co.uk with a host of recipes and hints available.
Those butchers who already feature kitchen ready meals using Lucas Kitchen mixes find that these sales add considerable value to the business: for example, trimmings can be used to make quiches and even vegetarians can be catered for as a side line. New flavours can be introduced into the dishes and enticing displays can be created using vibrant sauces sprinkled with fresh herbs. The opportunity is there for the butcher to get really creative and to gain a reputation for having superb “signature” dishes that are simply not available elsewhere. All leading to repeat customer sales, which is positive for business and of course, those all-important profits.
The Lucas Kitchen range also includes mixes for pies and pasties, but more of those in the next blog!
NEW! Lucas Smokehouse – Sensationally Tasty!
Lucas Ingredients has now unveiled its complete “Smokehouse” range of mixes for retail butchers, with fantastic burger mixes, superb sausages, a delicious dry cure for bacon and a really amazing Rub.
Sausage Product Recipes
Burger Product Recipes
Salt and Pepper Rub
Easicure Smoke Drycure
For a free sample complete the Contact Us form, or call Lucas free on 0800 138 5837.
We are delighted to announce a new addition to our Butchers Classic Range of sausage mixes.
NEW! Butchers Classic Moroccan Sausage Mix - 20459266
Pack Size: 5x567g
Lucas is delighted to be sponsoring Team GB British Beefeaters at the Butchery World Championships taking place in Belfast in March 2018. The British Beefeaters team includes six of the best butchers from around the United Kingdom.
NEW! Smokehouse Sausage Mixes from Lucas
We are very pleased to be able to introduce 2 new sausage mixes that will fall under our new Smokehouse range.
20468038 - LUCAS SMOKEY CHIPOTLE AND SEA SALT SAUSAGE MIX
20468023 - LUCAS SMOKEY PAPRIKA SAUSAGE MIX
Both are packed 5x567g.
For a free sample complete the Contact Us form, or call Lucas free on 0800 138 5837.
NEW! Smokehouse Burger Mixes from Lucas
We are very pleased to be able to introduce 2 new burger mixes that will fall under our exciting new Smokehouse range.
20457193 - LUCAS TENNESSEE BURGER MIX
20457241 - LUCAS LOUISIANA BURGER MIX
Product Recipes | Display Tickets
Consumer demand for smoke flavour is unwavering, growing year on year and across category! When it comes to burgers, we know consumers crave the ultimate American BBQ taste experience, but without the hassle. With this in mind, we created burger mixes with delicious smoke flavour that will help you stand out from the crowd and meet your consumer’s needs! Both are in a 8x340g pack.
For a free sample complete the Contact Us form, or call Lucas free on 0800 138 5837.
NEW! Gluten-Free Cracked Black
Pepper Sausage Mix
Thanks to Lucas, gluten-free no longer means taste-free! This new Gluten-Free Cracked Black Pepper variety is a complete sausage mix that is bursting with flavour. The sausages have a great visual appearance too, either raw or cooked, with just the right amount of real cracked black pepper pieces.
Like all Lucas complete sausage mixes, the new mix is easy to use – needing only the addition of meat and water and works equally well with pork, chicken, beef or even venison. It has a great texture and will appeal to any customer seeking a gluten-free option that’s a little bit different.
The new Gluten-Free Cracked Black Pepper sausage mix is of premium quality and comes with the consistent and reliable performance that retail butchers would expect from Lucas.
Free samples of the new mix are available to retail butchers by completing the Contact Us form, or by calling Lucas free on 0800 138 5837.
Click for Product Recipe
Introducing 4 Fabulous NEW Flavours...
The Lucas Butchers Classic range of complete Sausage Mixes has become extremely popular and well established, but the team at Lucas knows that in this business, you can’t stand still if you want to stay ahead! Now they’ve come up with four new flavours that are absolutely right for today’s customer taste preferences.
The new flavours are Mustard, Caramelised Onion & Balsamic Vinegar, Garlic & Herb and Red Onion & Sage. Each mix is very easy to use, needing only the addition of meat and water and of course, complies with all the Lucas standards for top quality and consistency of performance. Each mix features a good depth of flavour, combined with great visual appearance: there are real mustard seeds; real dried onion pieces; real rubbed herbs in the different varieties. As with all Butchers Classic sausage mixes, they are also MSG free.
To help butchers make a choice, Lucas distributors are stocking the new varieties, so you can have real confidence when you add one or more to your existing range. It’s always a good idea to keep things fresh and interesting! There are now 20 varieties in total, so you can be sure to find something contemporary or traditional to suit pretty much everyone.
Click here to view recipes and product details...
Lucas Cures – A Profit Opportunity for
The new Lucas Cures range includes a variety of wet and dry cures, pump and cover pickles, that have been developed specifically for the retail butcher. They’re easy to use and ideal for creating tasty “home-made” bacon, gammon, ham, pastrami and cooked meats such as corned beef and tongue. To find out more about the range click here. Choose the right Lucas Cure for the right job – click here to find out how!.
from the Lucas Kitchen
Butchers Classic Pork Pie Seasoning!
Super-tasty, lower salt pork pie seasoning is no longer “pie in the sky” with this new product from Lucas Ingredients. The new recipe Butchers Classic Pork Pie seasoning replaces the current Lucas Kitchen Pork Pie Seasoning and butchers can rest assured that it’s a great improvement all the way. It has excellent texture, no MSG and complies with the FSA salt recommendations, so it’s absolutely ideal for today’s customers.
Lucas – Lorne Sausage Mix!
The Lucas Lorne Sausage mix is based on a traditional Scottish recipe, bursting with flavour and with delicious notes of nutmeg, mace, pepper, pimento and coriander. It’s ideal for beef and/or pork recipes and as it’s a complete mix, just needs the addition of meat and water. Lorne sausage is made in a square block, that’s sliced for cooking. Simply place the finished mix into a square mould to create the tastiest block of sausage meat.
Click for Product Recipe
Butcher's Classic Pork Sausage Mix
A delicious sausage mix bursting with traditional spices of nutmeg, ginger, pepper, herbs and onion to bring a unique new flavour to your range. Contains no MSG. Contains breadrusk.
Click for Product Recipe