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Established more than 20 years ago, United Coffee Distributors (UCD) is a one-stop shop for a wide range of ancillary products for operators.

From its base in Kent, UCD, a family-run distributor, is known across the industry for the reliable, prompt and friendly service it offers to customers. As a distributor, UCD does not sell directly to operators. Instead it sells to wholesalers who then sell on to their customers. UCD deals with 170 ‘active’ wholesalers in the UK and Ireland, although it has around 300 wholesalers on its books. The company’s portfolio of products includes Routin 1883 syrups, Kool Kup, the neutral cold drink thickener, teas, drinking chocolate, biscuits, chocolates, toppings and sauces, not to mention a whole host of general ancillaries, such as jugs, shakers, thermometers and knockboxes. Sally Sadler, commercial director at UCD, says: “Adding flavour to beverages is both fun and simple – it’s all about adding colour to our lives with a well-deserved treat. Both a convenient and affordable indulgence, drinkable desserts are easily obtainable, tidy and satisfying! Whether sitting relaxing or on-the-go, they are the ‘modern ideal’.” Sally concedes that there will always be connoisseurs who delight in the purity of their beverage, but for the majority we all crave something with another dimension that’s more interesting than free sachets of sugar. With so many syrup brands on the market, Sally has some key advice for operators. “Take care with your choices,” Sally says, “if it’s low cost per bottle there is a reason. Most bottles are one-litre but a few are smaller. Generally low cost per bottle means low concentrate (less flavour more sugar) – so you end up using double and getting a sickly sweet drink, with the coffee hardly discernable! This also means a lower yield. “Then check aroma – oddly aroma is the first thing to

affect taste and with it expectations. Many syrups have an overwhelming highly artificial aroma and not much flavour. The aftertaste should leave a pleasant memory.”

Routin develops new flavours at its laboratory in France

Sally points out that flavoured beverages should balance – low concentrates drown out the coffee taste and aroma in favour of the syrup. What operators need is a balance that gives appreciation of all the flavours and aromas, with nothing unpleasant and no lingering sweetness.

Sally says: “Each portion of Routin 1883 has up to half the sugar of other syrup brands. The sweetness level per pump measure is about the same as a teaspoon of sugar but with concentrated flavour, so straightaway, the beverage is less sweet when using 1883.

“Routin has well over a century of experience producing accurate aromas and flavours – it even has a laboratory! The aromas and flavours are entirely accurate. “Routin develops flavours using natural extracts from flowers, spices, nuts and plants combining them with pure cane sugar and water from the French Alps. Preserved via flash pasteurisation and the sugars rather than artificial preservatives.” Sally continues: “The quality is exceptional and Routin’s mantra is ‘authenticity, purity and intensity’. “So when you consider Routin, UCD suggests you note each pump delivers 8ml of flavour – this is enough to flavour an 8oz hot drink or two pumps for a cold drink (a huge 125 pumps per bottle). “This means each bottle will


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