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Price inflation continues to be a challenge, and for Nicola Davidson, Head of Client Management at Pelican, that challenge means the Pelican Procurement team are constantly looking for new ways to help clients get more from their budget.

Nicola says, “It’s about making sure we are working closely and drawing on our experience so we can share best practices with the rest of the team and our clients. Below are a few recent examples of how we help clients to find savings across a number of categories.


For example, where changes in food or ingredients are proposed, we organise a blind taste test as this is the best way to prove whether the alternative products that offer better value, meet the client’s requirements. We look at product specifications and identify alternative products that can offer clients products that met their needs.

These products are then tested by the client, to ensure there’s no noticeable difference in quality or taste. We did this with one client in the hospitality market, saving them £30,000 a year.


For another education client, we’ve switched their meat from fresh to frozen – that’s saved them £20,000 a year. There was a slight change of process involved, but the switch has made it more convenient, and also made it easier to cope with unexpected issues such as a late delivery. Even with roasting joints, people could not taste the difference.

Disposable and hygiene

We have recently carried out a non-food category review for an education client and analysed product purchases such as paper, hand towels and toilet dispensers, saving them £10,000 a year. We have made a product switch recommendation and reached out to the manufacturers and were able to prove that what looked like a more expensive product actually delivered a lower cost in use.

Another area where we identified savings was to shift to concentrated cleaning products, rather than spray bottles. Simply opting to mix them on-site creates a noticeable saving.

Seasonal produce

We help clients to plan menus around seasonality and ingredients that will be available at lower prices. Unless it’s a high-end restaurant, there’s no need to keep certain items on the menu.”

We’ll help a client design the menu around their next cycle – which could be a few weeks or a few months ahead. In the summer when melons and pineapples spiked in price, we simply advise our client well in advance to take them off the menu. We replaced them with lower-cost alternative fruits – and their customers assumed the menu had changed.

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If you need support with any supply chain issues or challenges you are currently facing, please contact our team on 01252 705214 or

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