Breaking Into Tesco

This week sees the finale of the series that offers
the nation’s most ambitious cooks the chance to
turn their signature recipes into products fit for the
shelves of Tesco. Over the past weeks, 20 hopeful
amateur chefs have met with their mentors and
tested their new dishes on the public. The
products featured in the series have ranged from
left-field concepts like ‘soup in a bun’, to more
traditional fare such as meat pies and some hearty
British faggots. Now the winners of each round
face off in a gripping final to see which of their
products will win the competition.
Last year, Tesco broke the £46billion revenue
barrier, taking one pound in every seven spent on
UK high streets. This year, the supermarket giant is
giving a group of amateur cooks an unprecedented
opportunity – to share space with market-leading
brands on the shelves of Britain’s biggest retailer.
The item that will stake a claim in this multi-billion
pound industry could be a simple homemade dish,
but there is only one contract up for grabs.
As the 20 contestants have battled it out over
the last few weeks, they have been guided by two
experts at the top of their game. The first mentor
to help the contestants in their bid to create a
successful product is Allan Leighton, one of
Britain’s most formidable businessmen. Allan
began his illustrious career at Mars before going
on to turn around the fortunes of Asda, later
becoming President and CEO of Wal-Mart
Europe. He is currently chairman of the Royal Mail
Group plc. The second mentor in the series is preeminent
chef and award-winning restaurateur
Simon Rimmer.
Throughout the series, viewers have been given
the opportunity to see exactly what goes into
creating the food we buy – from perfecting the
concept to testing the feasibility, sourcing the
ingredients, refining the recipes, facing the Tesco
taste-test panel, scaling-up for mass production
and ultimately filling the supermarket shelves.
Supermarkets pour thousands of pounds into
developing the products they sell in a process that
can take years. However, these amateurs were
given just two weeks to learn the trade and prepare
a pitch to be delivered to Tesco’s retail
powerbrokers. Along the way, the products have
been evaluated by two Tesco food developers –
Stephanie Bacon and Nicky Gorman, who have
tried to provide realistic and constructive feedback.
After listening to the experts’ advice, the
contestants carried out their own research and
refined their products, before going up against
the real Tesco testing panel. The final task for the
remaining contestants in each heat was to pitch
their ideas to the Tesco buyers – powerful
business executives responsible for deciding
what food the nation buys.
This week sees the winners of each heat go
head-to-head in a final showdown. It has been an
eye-opening experience for all of the cooks, but
only one of them can win the contract and break
into Tesco. Which one has a killer product that is
good enough to take its rightful place on the
supermarket shelves?

This series offers the nation’s most ambitious
cooks the chance of a lifetime – to turn their
signature recipes into winning products fit for the
shelves of Tesco, the largest supermarket in
Britain. Every week, four hopefuls meet their
mentors and test their new dishes on the public.
The products featured in the series range from
left-field concepts like ‘soup in a bun’, to more
traditional fare such as meat pies and some hearty
British faggots.
Last year, Tesco broke the £46billion revenue
barrier, taking one pound in every seven spent on
UK high streets. This year, the supermarket giant
is giving a group of amateur cooks an
unprecedented opportunity – to share space with
market-leading brands on the shelves of Britain’s
biggest retailer. The item that will stake a claim in
this multi-billion pound industry could be a simple
homemade dish, but there is only one contract up
for grabs. As the 20 contestants battle it out over
the coming weeks, they will be guided by two
experts at the top of their game.
The first mentor to help the contestants in their
bid to create a successful product is Allan
Leighton, one of Britain’s most formidable
businessmen. Allan began his illustrious career at
Mars before going on to turn around the fortunes
of Asda, later becoming President and CEO of
Wal-Mart Europe. He is currently chairman of the
Royal Mail Group plc. The second mentor in the
series is pre-eminent chef and award-winning
restaurateur Simon Rimmer.
Viewers are given the opportunity to see exactly
what goes into creating the food we buy – from
perfecting the concept to testing the feasibility,
sourcing the ingredients, refining the recipes,
facing the Tesco taste-test panel, scaling-up for
mass production and ultimately filling the
supermarket shelves.
Supermarkets pour thousands of pounds into
developing the products they sell in a process that
can take years. However, these amateurs have
just two weeks to learn the trade and prepare a
pitch to be delivered to Tesco’s retail
powerbrokers. “You’re going to hear things you
don’t want to hear,” warns Simon Rimmer. But
before Simon can help his protégés perfect their
recipes, the products are evaluated by two Tesco
food developers – Stephanie Bacon and Nicky
Gorman, who are happy to provide realistic and
constructive feedback.
Having listened to the experts’ advice, carried
out their own research and refined their products,
the contestants go up against the real Tesco
testing panel to learn if their creations meet the
industry’s high standards for retail development.
At this point, the weakest product and contestant
is eliminated.
The final task for the remaining contestants is to
pitch their ideas to the Tesco buyers – powerful
business executives responsible for deciding
what food the nation buys. It has been an eyeopening
experience for the cooks, but this is only
the beginning of a long, hard journey if they are to
successfully break into Tesco.

This series offers the nation’s most ambitiouscooks the chance of a lifetime – to turn theirsignature recipes into winning products fit for theshelves of Tesco, the largest supermarket inBritain. Every week, four hopefuls meet theirmentors and test their new dishes on the public.The products featured in the series range fromleft-field concepts like ‘soup in a bun’, to moretraditional fare such as meat pies and some heartyBritish faggots.Last year, Tesco broke the £46billion revenuebarrier, taking one pound in every seven spent onUK high streets. This year, the supermarket giantis giving a group of amateur cooks anunprecedented opportunity – to share space withmarket-leading brands on the shelves of Britain’sbiggest retailer. The item that will stake a claim inthis multi-billion pound industry could be a simplehomemade dish, but there is only one contract upfor grabs. As the 20 contestants battle it out overthe coming weeks, they will be guided by twoexperts at the top of their game.The first mentor to help the contestants in theirbid to create a successful product is AllanLeighton, one of Britain’s most formidablebusinessmen. Allan began his illustrious career atMars before going on to turn around the fortunesof Asda, later becoming President and CEO ofWal-Mart Europe. He is currently chairman of theRoyal Mail Group plc. The second mentor in theseries is pre-eminent chef and award-winningrestaurateur Simon Rimmer.Viewers are given the opportunity to see exactlywhat goes into creating the food we buy – fromperfecting the concept, to testing the feasibility,sourcing the ingredients, refining the recipes,facing the Tesco taste-test panel, scaling-up formass production and ultimately filling thesupermarket shelves.Supermarkets pour thousands of pounds intodeveloping the products they sell in a process thatcan take years. However, these amateurs havejust two weeks to learn the trade and prepare apitch to be delivered to Tesco’s retailpowerbrokers. “You’re going to hear things youdon’t want to hear,” warns Simon Rimmer. Butbefore Simon can help his protégés perfect theirrecipes, the products are evaluated by two Tescofood developers – Stephanie Bacon and NickyGorman, who are happy to provide realistic andconstructive feedback.Having listened to the experts’ advice, carriedout their own research and refined their products,the contestants go up against the real Tescotesting panel to learn if their creations meet theindustry’s high standards for retail development.At this point, the weakest product and contestantis eliminated.The final task for the remaining contestants is topitch their ideas to the Tesco buyers – powerfulbusiness executives responsible for decidingwhat food the nation buys. It has been an eye-opening experience for the cooks, but this is onlythe beginning of a long, hard journey if they are tosuccessfully break into Tesco.

This brand new series offers the nation’s most ambitious cooks the chance of a lifetime – to turn their signature recipes into winning products fit for the shelves of Tesco, the largest supermarket in Britain. Every week, four hopefuls meet their mentors and test their new dishes on the public. The products featured in the series range from left-field concepts like ‘soup in a bun’, to more traditional fare such as meat pies and some hearty British faggots.

Last year, Tesco broke the £46billion revenue barrier, taking one pound in every seven spent on UK high streets. This year, the supermarket giant is giving a group of amateur cooks an unprecedented opportunity – to share space with market-leading brands on the shelves of Britain’s biggest retailer. The item that will stake a claim in this multi-billion pound industry could be a simple homemade dish, but there is only one contract up for grabs. As the 20 contestants battle it out over the coming weeks, they will be guided by two experts at the top of their game.

The first mentor to help the contestants in their bid to create a successful product is Allan Leighton, one of Britain’s most formidable businessmen. Allan began his illustrious career at Mars before going on to turn around the fortunes of Asda, later becoming President and CEO of Wal-Mart Europe. He is currently chairman of the Royal Mail Group plc. The second mentor in the series is pre-eminent chef and award-winning restaurateur Simon Rimmer.

Viewers are given the opportunity to see exactly what goes into creating the food we buy –from perfecting the concept, to testing the feasibility, sourcing the ingredients, refining the recipes, facing the Tesco taste-test panel, scaling-up for mass production and ultimately filling the supermarket shelves.

Supermarkets pour thousands of pounds into developing the products they sell in a process that can take years. However, these amateurs have just two weeks to learn the trade and prepare a pitch to be delivered to Tesco’s retail powerbrokers. “You’re going to hear things you don’t want to hear,” warns Simon Rimmer. But before Simon can help his protégés perfect their recipes, the products are evaluated by two Tesco food developers –Stephanie Bacon and Nicky Gorman, who are happy to provide realistic and constructive feedback.

Having listened to the experts’ advice, carried out their own research and refined their products, the contestants go up against the real Tesco testing panel to learn if their creations meet the industry’s high standards for retail development. At this point, the weakest product and contestant is eliminated.

The final task for the remaining contestants is to pitch their ideas to the Tesco buyers – powerful business executives responsible for deciding what food the nation buys. It has been an eye-opening experience for the cooks, but this is only the beginning of a long, hard journey if they are to successfully break into Tesco.

Monday 17th March at 9pm on five

This brand new series offers the nation’s most ambitious cooks the chance of a lifetime – to turn their signature recipes into winning products fit forthe shelves of Tesco, the largest supermarket in Britain. Every week, four hopefuls meet their mentors and test their new dishes on the public. The products featured in the series range from left-field concepts like ‘soup in a bun’, to more traditional fare such as meat pies and some heartyBritish faggots.

Last year, Tesco broke the £46billion revenue barrier, taking one pound in every seven spent on UK high streets. This year, the supermarket giant is giving a group of amateur cooks an unprecedented opportunity – to share space with market-leading brands on the shelves of Britain’s biggest retailer. The item that will stake a claim in this multi-billion pound industry could be a simple homemade dish, but there is only one contract up for grabs. As the 20 contestants battle it out over the coming weeks, they will be guided by two experts at the top of their game.

The first mentor to help the contestants in their bid to create a successful product is Allan Leighton, one of Britain’s most formidable businessmen. Allan began his illustrious career at Mars before going on to turn around the fortunes of Asda, later becoming President and CEO of Wal-Mart Europe. He is currently chairman of the Royal Mail Group plc. The second mentor in the series is pre-eminent chef and award-winning restaurateur Simon Rimmer.

Viewers are given the opportunity to see exactly what goes into creating the food we buy – from perfecting the concept, to testing the feasibility, sourcing the ingredients, refining the recipes, facing the Tesco taste-test panel, scaling-up for mass production and ultimately filling the supermarket shelves.

Supermarkets pour thousands of pounds into developing the products they sell in a process that can take years. However, these amateurs have just two weeks to learn the trade and prepare a pitch to be delivered to Tesco’s retail powerbrokers. “You’re going to hear things you don’t want to hear,” warns Simon Rimmer. But before Simon can help his protégés perfect their recipes, the products are evaluated by two Tesco food developers –Stephanie Bacon and Nicky Gorman, who are happy to provide realistic and constructive feedback.

Having listened to the experts’ advice, carried out their own research and refined their products, the contestants go up against the real Tesco testing panel to learn if their creations meet the industry’s high standards for retail development. At this point, the weakest product and contestant is eliminated.

The final task for the remaining contestants is to pitch their ideas to the Tesco buyers – powerful business executives responsible for deciding what food the nation buys. It has been an eye-opening experience for the cooks, but this is only the beginning of a long, hard journey if they are to successfully break into Tesco.

Monday 10th March at 9:00pm on five

This brand new series offers the nation’s most ambitious cooks the chance of a lifetime – to turn their signature recipes into winning products fit for the shelves of Tesco, the largest supermarket in Britain. Every week, four hopefuls meet their mentors and test their new dishes on the public. The products featured in the series range from left-field concepts like ‘soup in a bun’, to more traditional fare such as meat pies and some hearty British faggots.

Last year, Tesco broke the £46 billion revenue barrier, taking one pound in every seven spent on UK high streets. This year, the supermarket giant is giving a group of amateur cooks an unprecedented opportunity – to share space with market-leading brands on the shelves of Britain’s biggest retailer. The item that will stake a claim in this multi-billion pound industry could be a simple homemade dish, but there is only one contract up for grabs. As the 20 contestants battle it out over the coming weeks, they will be guided by two experts at the top of their game –one of whom is pre-eminent chef and award-winning restaurateur Simon Rimmer.

Viewers are given the opportunity to see exactly what goes into creating the food we buy –from perfecting the concept, to testing the feasibility, sourcing the ingredients, refining the recipes, facing the Tesco taste-test panel, scaling-up for mass production and ultimately filling the supermarket shelves.

Supermarkets pour thousands of pounds into developing the products they sell in a process that can take years. However, these amateurs have just two weeks to learn the trade and prepare a pitch to be delivered to Tesco’s retail powerbrokers. “You’re going to hear things you don’t want to hear,” warns Simon Rimmer. But before Simon can help his protégés perfect their recipes, the products are evaluated by two Tesco food developers –Stephanie Bacon and Nicky Gorman, who are happy to provide realistic and constructive feedback.

Having listened to the experts’ advice, carried out their own research and refined their products, the contestants go up against the real Tesco testing panel to learn if their creations meet the industry’s high standards for retail development. At this point, the weakest product and contestant is eliminated.

The final task for the remaining contestants is to pitch their ideas to the Tesco buyers – powerful business executives responsible for deciding what food the nation buys. It has been an eye-opening experience for the cooks, but this is only the beginning of a long, hard journey if they are to successfully break into Tesco.

Saturday 1 – Friday 7 March at 9:00pm on Five

Chef and food writer Simon Rimmer is one of the mentors on Breaking into Tesco. Simon is the owner of Greens, an award-winning vegetarian restaurant in Manchester. He also presents ‘Grubs Up’ for ITV and is the in-house chef on BBC2’s ‘Something for the Weekend’.

How did you become involved with this project?
“Bizarrely I’m in the midst of doing a similar project myself with a food manufacturer. I was also in the midst of discussing television projects with Five, so when this came up, I thought it would be great idea to get involved.”

Do you think it important that the public develop an understanding of food production?
“No, not necessarily, although I think they’ll be surprised at how thorough food production is. People in food production really care about taste rather than just money. Yes, profits are important, but I was impressed by the level of intensity on even the simplest of dishes. I think the viewers will be too.”

As a chef, was it difficult for you to keep your distance from the contestants’ efforts?
“Hugely! I’m not only a chef, I’m also a control freak! However, I had to let them make some mistakes rather than guide them in a completely different direction. They need to have ownership of their own product otherwise it would just become something that I devised.”

Were you impressed by any of the products?
“Yes, lots of them. My three favourites were ‘Fruit Freezies’ (frozen fruit coated in yoghurt), Malaysian noodles and faggots.”

What were the strangest suggestions that you encountered?
“There was one girl who got knocked out early on who produced ‘Dog-and-Human Muffins’ – tasted awful, hardly surprising!”

How does cooking in a professional kitchen compare to mass production?
“There are similarities, especially when developing recipes. However, a development kitchen has to be far more precise –a gram of salt here, a gram of spice there. Professional restaurant kitchens have wider parameters. We’re dealing with fresh and different produce every day and a piece of meat or fish that needs slightly less seasoning one day might need slightly more the next.”

Supermarkets have been in the news a great deal lately. how do you feel about their dominance of the marketplace?
“It’s all about striking a balance. My passion is with local producers, good animal husbandry and the way crops are grown, and some of this does get incorporated into what supermarkets do as well. Not everything supermarkets do is bad. They get a lot of stick when a lot of what they do is actually quite good, and they also do source from quite a lot of small producers.”

Do you have any other television projects in the pipeline?
“Yes. Aside from Breaking into Tesco, I love filming ‘Something for the Weekend’ every Sunday on BBC2. My new show, ‘Recipe for Success’ also airs from March 3 on BBC2. I’m also about to film my fifth series of ‘Grubs Up’ for ITV, which is a real labour of love for me as it’s about regional food and producers. There’s some other really exciting projects in the pipeline too, one manoeuvring slightly away from food – I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a commission.”

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