The ICC in Birmingham has been awarded accreditation for the second consecutive year from Food for the Brain – an educational charity which promotes the importance of nutrition in mental health and well-being.
After becoming the first conference centre in the UK to gain the accreditation in early 2017 – pioneered by in-house caterers Amadeus – the team took a new, progressive step to introduce delicious new conference menus specifically designed to support delegates with the challenge of remaining alert, productive and engaged during the longest of days.
The new “Focus Food” menu packs were designed collaboratively with the Food for the Brain Foundation over a period of six months and provide a range of healthy options that help delegates maintain concentration throughout the working day as well as supporting general health.
In the last 12 months, nearly 5,000 have sampled the accredited ‘Focus Food’ menu which features food and drink designed to keep delegates mentally alert by maintaining a balanced blood sugar level. Each course is served at the time considered best for boosting performance and concentration, while portion sizes are controlled so calorie intake is appropriate for that time of day.
David Titman, Food for the Brain Relationship Manager, said: “The successful implementation of the menu, positive feedback from clients and proactive training of staff around the specific benefits of the menu has played a huge part in the ICC being reaccredited for a second year.
“Achieving accreditation status requires that a range of standards must be met across several criteria including the nutritional value of the menu, ingredient quality and cooking methods used. The team excelled across all the areas, achieving a 96% pass rate, when we only require 75%, for the second year.
“We enjoy working with the ICC team and have been particularly impressed with how they have implemented a specific training programme that includes include kitchen staff, front of house and sales staff so they know how and why the menus have been design to get give delegates the best possible nutrition.”
Craig Hancox, Amadeus General Manager for the ICC, said: “We are delighted to have been reaccredited by Food for the Brain, and thank David for the time he has spent with us over the last couple of years.
“Across the industry, there is a growing expectation for healthier foods to be provided at conferences. Delegates are no different to the everyday shopper – they want, and rightly expect, caterers at events to provide healthy options which can accommodate every allergen and dietary requirement.
“We are extremely proud of our “Food Focus” menu and have worked hard to design dishes that embodies both the methodology and nutrition recommended by Food for the Brain but also the philosophy that underlines the charity.
“We have heavily invested in the training of our teams – appointing champions across the business – so they can inform clients and delegates of the benefits of the ‘Focus Food’ menu. The success of the initiative over the last year will see us look into other opportunities in the future such as adapting the menu for galas dinners and creating grab and go lunches for our busy delegates.”