Pasta King

As students are continuing to learn from home, some colleges have reduced their offering to a simple, basic pre-packed sandwich for lunch to satisfy the appetite of vulnerable learners and the handful of staff on the campus which means that suppliers like Pasta King have been left out in the cold while lockdowns remain in place.

FE News spoke with Mark Stone, CEO of Pasta King, about the current crisis around the provision of food boxes, school dinners and the impact that these are having on his business. Mark said:

“We have the benefit of being able to approach our business with agility and have adapted to the ever-changing landscape by producing individual sized pasta sauce pouches. These can be added to pasta, rice or used for pizza toppings at home.”

The pouches are produced fresh or frozen and come in two of Pasta King’s best selling vegetarian flavours, basilico and pomodoro.

He added: “We have had great interest in our new pouches as school principals want their pupils to enjoy a healthy and nutritious balanced meal and the majority of parents trust the involvement of the principals and teachers in what is being sent home. The pricing fits within catering manager’s budgets and they work in boxes and for those who are receiving free school meals.

“I believe that although things are uncertain at the moment we will come back stronger once lockdown ends as there is a real eagerness to learn on campus and students are keen to get back to college. I believe that eating habits will change in schools too with an uptake in free school meals, thanks to the profile raising by people like Marcus Rashford and with research showing that children should have increased time for lunchbreaks so as to allow time to eat a nutritional lunch to assist their behaviour in class during the afternoon.”

Howard Porteous, Regional Sales Manager for Pasta King, said:

“Before the pandemic we had great working relationships with further education colleges throughout the country and we knew how to appeal to their diners needs.

“For example, when requests began to come in for plant based sauces, we were able to immediately communicate that we’d been making plant based sauces for years. We would see an increase in demand for pasta dishes from students studying eg engineering and sport as they would seek out the nutritional value and calorie burn and, since they’re spending their own money, in the majority of colleges, pricing was key.

“In the past year however, with more and more dining rooms being closed and students distance learning, we have had to reconsider our offering and that’s why we developed our new pouches. They have the added benefit of being labour saving and they are a genuinely healthy option. We’re not just a manufacturer, we’re a caring manufacturer.

“When schools and colleges reopen the pouches will provide a more nutritious option than a cheap ambient pasta sauce in a jar and the individual size is perfect for delivery to school and college kitchens.”

We spoke with Matt Green, Head of Commercial Services at South Devon College, who has witnessed changes like never before. Matt said:

“I am hopeful that we will be back to normality by September and we will take forward some great learnings from the past year, some which we would never have dreamed would be a consideration before. Like how we package cutlery and sachets to minimise touching.

“Pre-COVID-19 we would have prioritised cost effectiveness, quality and customer service but our priorities now and for the future will focus on safety and customer confidence. Most of our staff are currently on furlough and I call them regularly to keep them updated of our plans. Their relationships with the students have been impacted and this can have a detrimental effect on student wellbeing. Essentially before lockdown we were serving our students from what can only be described as triple glazing and the interaction and regularity had gone. Masks, visors, screens – the restrictions were really a barrier to customer service.

“While I believe that some students will be cautious, others will only be too glad to get back to meeting people in the dining room and I want us to be at the forefront of embracing their return.

“Pasta King will very much feature for us as we move forward as it’s simplistic and there’s safety in the compostable pots. There’s minimal touching involved and no sharing, it’s also cost effective and slick. The beauty about Pasta King too is that the allergen information is already there which we will be required to provide when Natasha’s Law comes into effect in October.”

With more than 25 years’ experience of supplying top quality, award-winning meals to the education sector, Pasta King is a trusted supplier to schools, universities and colleges.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

Solvendis added a new event 4 hours

Preparing for an Ofsted Inspection (Zoom Conferencing)

Many providers remain anxious about the introduction of the Education Inspection Framework and the changes which accompany its introduction....

  • Thursday, 17 June 2021 10:00 AM
  • Zoom Conferencing
Solvendis added a new event 4 hours

Preparing for an Ofsted Inspection (Zoom Conferencing)

Many providers remain anxious about the introduction of the Education Inspection Framework and the changes which accompany its introduction....

  • Tuesday, 11 May 2021 10:00 AM
  • Zoom Conferencing
Solvendis added a new event 5 hours

Designated Safeguarding Lead Training (Zoom Conferencing)

A provider’s Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) plays a critical role in its approach to safeguarding its learners, training its staff, providing...

  • Tuesday, 22 June 2021 10:00 AM
  • Zoom Conferencing

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page