In Focus
MARKETING | Staff Reporter, Australia

What will be the Food Trends of the Future? Sandhurst Fine Food's Mimmo Lubrano tells QSR Media

Sandhurst's Fine Foods Mimmo Lubrano sat down with QSR Media to discuss trends in the industry and why Sandhurst stands out from the crowd. 

QSR Media: Tell us about Sandhurst Fine Foods
Mimmo Lubrano: My parents, Vince Lubrano & Geraldine founded Sandhurst Fine Foods in 1988. Together, with myself and brother Raymond we work together to own and operate Sandhurst. Each family member has their own role and responsibilities and we have lunch together everyday to keep each other informed.

Sandhurst revolves around strong family values that make the company what it is. Sandhurst products are not mass produced, but prepared in a home-style environment. This allows our products to maintain their authenticity and makes the difference when comparing our brand to the others that sit beside us on the shelves.

Our current product range encompasses foods as diverse as olives, semi dried tomatoes, char grilled vegetables, eggplant, pesto and a wide range of Italian made specialties. We also import a large spectrum of Mediterranean and European foods for both foodservice and retail markets such as dolmades, caperberries and chickpeas. This enables us to cater to each of our consumers needs and wants.

Sandhurst Fine Foods continues to grow in both the foodservice and retail markets.
Sandhurst has a HACCP approved manufacturing facility and is the foodservice market leader in Australia, NZ, Singapore, Fiji, Macau and Hong Kong. Some export is already being done in countries like the Philippines and Indonesia and these markets have a great deal of potential for Sandhurst.

In export markets, we have been able to gain leadership in areas due to the complete range of condiments and preserved vegetables (antipasto lines) that we offer to the western style hotel markets, airlines, caterers and restaurant/café trade that shows that western foods – particularly Italian and Mediterranean foods are experiencing a tremendous growth in Asian markets.

QSR Media: What's new at Sandhurst Fine Foods?
Mimmo Lubrano: At Sandhurst our focus is on providing hi-end QSR chains with portion control and reduced fat options. Portion control is a critical concept for our QSR partners where they demand our product to be conveniently sliced or diced in accordance with their needs.

Products such as Semi Dried Tomatoes, Char Grilled Capsicums, Grilled Eggplant are sold sliced in julienne strips or diced according the the needs of our QSR partners.

QSR Media: What are your customers asking for?
Mimmo Lubrano: Our customers want full-taste with no fat and low waste. We have a full catalogue dedicated to low-fat foodservice.

Most of our flagship products such as red roasted peppers, artichokes and the new Fat-free semi dried tomatoes are full flavour without added oil.

They are also sold in portion control concepts such as vacuum bags of 1/2 kilo! Customers want consistency and the Lubrano family seal of approval - we are Italians in Australia making foods to suit the Australian palate!

QSR Media: How have you seen the QSR segment evolve over time?
Mimmo Lubrano: QSR has moved to a quality focus. We don't service the 'cheap' pizza market - we only service the high end QSR salad and pizza chains - those that want consistency and quality and have a client base that is more interested in quality rather than 'deals'.

QSR concepts have been applied to most businesses. There isn't a food business out there that doesn't admire the great systems and procedures that the larger QSR chains have given us.

QSR Media: What do you see as the "gourmet trends" of the future being?
Mimmo Lubrano: Gourmet is a misunderstood concept. The future of the foods we offer is to combine Asian tastes with our strong Italian heritage. We will also see more chains developing in Niche areas - look at Mexican, Italian, Lebanese etc - there are all emerging qsr concepts in those areas as well as emerging concepts for foods such as Wraps, Pide, Pizza, Foccacia etc. I just visited Italy where there is a hugely successful chain called "Rossopomodoro" - Red tomato - they specialise in the highest quality ingredient-based Pizza made to strict Neapolitan traditions. The restaurant is positively addictive!

I would love to see a QSR of this calibre with full service dining come to Australia!

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