Champions of Change

thefoodpeople are no ordinary team! We're champions of change and we've been shifting the future of food and drink for 16 years.

From trend analysts and marketeers, to highly experienced chefs, product developers and psychologists, the team is united by an obsession for food and drink.

We're here to power your strategy, brand, innovation and marketing programmes through the trends of today and foresight of tomorrow.

We are driven everyday by our intent to shift the future of food and drink, so that as an industry, we can harness the power of trends to shape a better future for all.

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Charles' food journey

Charles from thefoodpeople

A fourth generation foodie, cooking at his mother's side in the kitchen is where Charles' passion for food began. Hours spent training as a chef led to him winning the title of Junior Chef of the Year. From there, he went to France to learn more, before returning home to take a degree in catering and business.

From high-street restaurants, he moved into new product development at Saxby’s. By the time he left for Grampian, Charles was head of this department, a role in which he would continue, working with, among others, Sainsbury’s. There he met Wayne and the seeds for thefoodpeople were sown. Charles co-founded thefoodpeople with Wayne in 2004.

“The reason that thefoodpeople exists is because we’ve been in your shoes. We know what it’s like; we know it’s not easy generating ideas and identifying trends.”

Wayne's food journey

Wayne from thefoodpeople

Wayne’s journey started at his mother’s side, stirring at the kitchen table. Catering college followed and it wasn’t long before he was working for Raymond Blanc at Michelin-starred Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons. Next came teaching French cookery and running his own outside catering company.

After working in food retailing at Harrods, Wayne spent a number of years developing and managing businesses in the food manufacturing industry. At Grampian, he met Charles. A friendship began and, out of a shared passion, a new business was born: thefoodpeople.

“thefoodpeople have a passion for food. We understand food and have a hands-on knowledge of the food industry. We help our clients find the innovation that makes profit.”

Sarah's food journey

Sarah from thefoodpeople

Sarah was invited to join thefoodpeople in the planning stages of the company to draw on her long career in the food industry.

After a formal classic French chef training and a stint working in Europe, Sarah then worked for the Brassart family as a chef instructor at L'ecole de Cuisine Francaise. After that, she set up a catering company in London cooking for high end parties and fundraisers. Next was a move to food development as a consultant to Burberry, in London.

Sarah has always been a keen writer and fascinated by the history, origins and meanings of food and encompasses this in her role as Director of Trends.

“Trends move so fast: as director of trends, it is my responsibility to provide the first piece of the puzzle, to inform and to inspire.”

Adrienne's food journey

Adrienne from thefoodpeople

Much like a cat, Adrienne has had many lives before returning to her first interest — food. Originally from Cleveland, Adrienne learned to endure snowy winters sustained by her grandmother’s split pea soup and matzoh ball soup from the local Jewish deli. Adrienne’s degree in anthropology and dance eventually led her to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she spent several formative years developing her love of breakfast burritos and building a tolerance for heat from endorphin-producing Hatch chiles.

In 2006, Adrienne traded in the dry heat of the desert for a damper, greener clime when she rerooted herself in London to undertake a Master’s degree in Dance Anthropology from Roehampton University. She now uses this training to investigate how cultural values and histories underpin what ends up on our plates.

Inspired by opportunities that lend themselves to her inquisitive nature, Adrienne has spent a decade supporting and encouraging the work of cookery schools, including Divertimenti and School of Wok. She has helped author several cookbooks and written for a variety of international publications. She has yet to meet a dumpling she doesn’t like.

Amy's food journey

Amy from thefoodpeople

Amy studied Hotel and Catering Management at university but rather than end up in the world of hotels, she found her way to the Catering graduate scheme at British Airways. It was here that she was really introduced to the foodie world by working with top chefs and a serious food enthusiast who helped to ignite the foodie flame in her and kept her on top of all food trends. Having worked across Club World, First Class and Concorde, Amy was ready for a new challenge and moved to work as a product developer at Sainsbury's, working across various departments. Now Amy is bringing her foodie flame and product developer experience to thefoodpeople.

Annie's food journey

Annie from thefoodpeople

Annie’s food journey started with a children’s cook book and some rather ‘interesting’ attempts at recreating the glorious looking recipes on the glossy pages within!

Years later, knowingly a food lover, but curious to understand more about the science of food, Annie studied Food Science at The University of Nottingham, graduating with both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. Her final studies then took Annie to the University of Bath to focus on Science Communication and indulge her love of writing.

During this time Annie experienced wondrous pockets of insight into the food landscape, spending summers working at Northern Foods and landing placements at Marks and Spencer and the European Food Information Council, Brussels.

Inspired, Annie moved into new product development, where she developed her love for the UK food industry, seizing the opportunity to absorb the latest food and consumer trends. Over a decade later, Annie then returned full-circle to The University of Nottingham, taking deep-dives into diverse food and drink categories and delighting in the opportunity to taste the latest culinary innovations.

When she’s not writing for thefoodpeople, you’ll find Annie enjoying family time in the kitchen experimenting with and tasting all things food!

Emma's food journey

Emma from thefoodpeople

Emma’s food journey started when waitressing at her local country pub in her university holidays. As a fussy eating growing up, this job saw her curiously trying weird and wonderful dishes, of which she thanks the head chef for to this day!

After studying Business Management & French at Exeter University and writing essays about the food industry at any opportunity, she soon found herself as a bright-eyed graduate for dairy brand The Collective. Working amongst a food-obsessed bunch, her marketing roles involved launching delicious yoghurt to the UK market and showcasing dairy trends to the retailers.

After a few months of travels and enjoying the street food Southeast Asia had to offer, she hopped over to New Zealand for her next marketing role, whilst enjoying the landscape and a stint working on a vineyard. Now back on UK soil after over 2 years away, you’ll find Emma writing all things food and drink trends as part of the Custom Trends team.

Emma Humphrey's food journey

Emma Humphrey from thefoodpeople

Emma's food journey began at a young age, where she could usually be found sitting on the kitchen countertop assisting as chief taste tester! Her love of food stems from having a mum who is an avid home cook - together, they attended a cooking course where Emma learned how to make the likes of breads, soups, pastries and more. Here, her love of cooking and baking was truly born.

From early memories of 'Ready, Steady, Cook' to 'The Great British Bake Off', Emma loves nothing more than to experiment with new recipes at the weekend. Some of her favourite food memories include indulging in all things pizza and pasta in Italy.

Some of Emma's main passions include writing and digital marketing - so she is very excited to join these with her love of food and drink at thefoodpeople.

Fiona's food journey

Fiona from thefoodpeople

Fiona’s food journey started from a young age. Having grown up on a mixed arable and livestock farm in Lincolnshire, she has always had a deep routed passion for food. Her fascination and intrigue stemmed from her grandmother’s culinary encouragement. From growing her own fresh seasonal veggies to cooking up arguably the best meals in Lincolnshire, these ideal starting ingredients looked destined to bring Fiona a career in the food industry.

With her taste buds then tantalised by travel, Fiona was soon presented with the opportunity to experience exotic cuisines and flavours from around the world. This stirred up her curiosity around both food and people, the perfect recipe for obtaining a degree in Food and Consumer Studies at Harper Adams University.

Roles within innovation, marketing and executive search on both sides of the globe followed, which gave Fiona a firm understanding of the UK food industry and the challenges that it can bring.

As Business Developer and now an integral part of thefoodpeople family, Fiona is delighted to be working with a dynamic range of innovative foodie businesses.

Gareth 's food journey

Gareth  from thefoodpeople

One of Gareth’s earliest food memories involves climbing over the garden wall aged six or seven to bake butterfly cakes with his Aunty Maude (not his actual aunt, but a lovely lady from the northeast who lived in a neighbouring house). A decade later he attended catering college, taking part in national and international competition which led to stints working in the USA and Europe, before enrolling at university at the ripe old age of thirty to indulge his other great interest: writing. After graduating with a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing (and following a brief dalliance with the advertising industry) he relocated to the Lake District, running his own outside catering company whilst taking on freelance copywriting work, specialising in food writing. When he’s not up a mountain or swimming in a lake, he now indulges his inner food geek as a Trend Writer for TFP.

Graham's food journey

Graham from thefoodpeople

Graham was adopted by thefoodpeople in 2007 to help with all things ICT related.

Graham's skills in technology began at the tender age of 7 when he was discovered on the kitchen floor with his mother's toaster in several pieces.

Graham loves food and always enjoys cooking for his family and friends, however he leaves the baking to his wife whose cupcakes are simply to die for! To burn off all the calories Graham enjoys climbing and walking and has travelled as far as the Himalayas in pursuit of a memorable mountain view.

Hannah's food journey

Hannah from thefoodpeople

Hannah’s love of food started at a young age, often found at her mother’s side licking the spoon and absorbing the fundamentals of cooking. An amazing Home Economics teacher and a degree in Food and Nutrition later, Hannah’s food career started within Innovation and Development at Moy Park, initially gaining product development experience, before taking up a position in the Culinary team – a varied role which ranged from generating back of pack cooking instructions and whipping up lunches for customer visits, to delivering sensory training across the business and helping drive internal food culture. It was in this role that she discovered her insatiable passion for food trends, which she wrote about in an internal monthly insights publication.

Always on the lookout for the ‘next big thing’, Hannah is delighted to be able to spend every day at thefoodpeople researching and writing about food, taking her passion to a wider audience.

Holly's food journey

Holly from thefoodpeople

Holly’s food journey began in Somerset, in England’s rural South West. Raised in a family of foodies, some of her earliest memories are of cooking with her parents, helping her mum on the allotment and foraging with her siblings. She attended catering college as a teenager and has worked in Europe and Australia in a range of hospitality roles.

She is fascinated by cultural variation and the ways people live, which has led her to take a number of trips in Asia and Europe. In her free time, she enjoys photography, gardening, foraging, hiking and surfing, as well as looking after her three Boer goats Mary, Donna and Oswald.

Iona's food journey

Iona from thefoodpeople

'My love for food started from a young age with my mum being an avid home cook and multiple family members in the food and drink industry. Each weekend at home would consist of hours of cooking and trying new recipes together. This progressed while growing up, where my fascination with food grew beyond the taste, including the nutrition, and health benefits – leading to me becoming vegetarian at 16. Becoming vegetarian grew my interest in food, and further in the food industry with the rise in veggie restaurants. Later, I went to the University of Liverpool and studied Sociology, which pushed my love for research; whilst moving to a big city enhanced my love for food due to the vast number of independent/veggie restaurants available. In my free time, my hobbies consist of eating out, reading, and travelling’

Jenny's food journey

Jenny from thefoodpeople

Raised in an agricultural community, Jenny grew up in a world of fresh and seasonal food and home-cooked meals. Her first job was for Tinsley Foods, developing vegetable ready meals and sandwiches for Marks & Spencer. From there, she moved to Smedley’s, where she developed salads for the likes of Sainsbury's, Asda and Boots.

Next she joined Bakkavor where, as an NPD Manager, she helped establish a factory that supplied chilled ready meals to Waitrose. As R&D Manager, she met thefoodpeople and she has been writing for foodwatching and contributing to many more of our services since 2006.

Joanne's food journey

Joanne from thefoodpeople

Joanne's background is hotels - growing up in her parents seaside hotel and starting to work there from the age of 17, eventually taking it over. Now years later she has passed on that mantle and was looking forward to lazy days. But! having known Sarah for years Joanne was persuaded to come and run the office using her honed customer service skills to look after all our online subscribers!

John's food journey

John from thefoodpeople

John's love for food started initially with his love of eating. Quickly mastering this he moved on to the cooking bit.

After studying illustration and design at art school he naturally became a chef.

Moving back into the design world, over the next twenty years he built a reputation as an innovative and creative designer in all areas of print media, specialising in brand development, packaging design and advertising. Combining both his passion for food and his evangelical enthusiasm for great aesthetic and functional design, working with the Food People has proved to be his dream job.

As our illustrator it falls to John to add a visual twist to innovation workshops and the ideation capture process.

Kate's food journey

Kate from thefoodpeople

A classically trained chef, Kate has worked in, around or near food for her entire life. As a teenager, Kate spent her weekend and evenings working in her parent’s pub, before studying Hotel & Catering at College to work in conference & banqueting.

Kate moved to Jersey when she got married and raised two children. In 1996 they all moved back to the UK, where Kate continued her work in the world of food and ran a local business, before then running the kitchen at a local delicatessen.

Kate worked in sales for a large food corporation, before becoming a development chef for a local company. Here she worked for over a decade, gaining valuable food development and innovation experience and most importantly, food trend expertise! Her irreversible passion for food has always driven Kate to search for the ‘next big thing’. An avid cook, she is never far from a cookery book, or two.

Kirsty's food journey

Kirsty from thefoodpeople

From tuna and mayo sandwiches at picnics with Mum to the more recent Michelin starred meals with her equally very foodie partner, some of Kirsty's fondest memories are of those with food. Kirsty began her foodie journey whilst at school, always cooking for her family and bringing home meals from her catering class. it was then she knew that the culinary path was for her. She studied catering and hospitality for three years at college before taking a gap year where she then began working in restaurants, hotels and even headed up the day-to-day running of a Sussex wholesale bakery. She then went to study a BA (Hons) degree in Food and Culinary Arts at University of Brighton studying anything from gastronomy to food history and has most recently been working for a specialist cookware retailer as an online coordinator and email marketer and loves nothing more than sharing all her foodie adventures with her colleagues.

Mika's food journey

Mika from thefoodpeople

Growing up in a mixed Japanese-Mexican-British-American household, Mika describes her experience of food at home as, “like one of those street food markets where everything smells amazing and you can never decide what you want to eat”. Her earliest memories are of enchiladas stacked on edamame beans in the freezer, of bacon sandwiches being incomplete without tonkatsu sauce and of Sunday roasts being followed by peanut butter cookies.

Later on at university, studying Archaeology and Anthropology, Mika had the chance to delve deeper into the significance of food and its place in society, expanding her culinary horizons by exploring the rituals, traditions and beliefs surrounding food practices around the world and throughout time. Complementing her academic studies with a myriad of whacky jobs – everything from milking cows to assembling mille-feuilles – Mika’s quest for an interesting and unexpected food story goes from farm to table and beyond.

Natasha's food journey

Natasha from thefoodpeople

A real foodie from a young age, Natasha’s life evolves around food. With a mother who loves to experiment in the kitchen and a Czech father, trying new cuisines has always been a real passion of hers. After studying Food Technology at school Natasha went onto study Food and Nutrition at university. Soon after she got the travel bug and spent 3 summers working in Greece and then travelled South East Asia, Australia, New Zealand and America. Asian cuisine soon became her favourite! Constantly reading about food and new trends, Natasha is never too far from planning what her next meal is going to be.

An active and organized country bumpkin, Natasha recently moved to Devon from the family home in East Sussex where she spent over 2 years working for a boutique food and drink recruitment consultancy. After learning many aspects of the food industry she has embarked on the next part of her journey with thefoodpeople as EA for Charles and the Business Development team.

Olivia's food journey

Olivia from thefoodpeople

With chef parents Olivia's foodie upbringing meant she didn't stand a chance working in anything other than food, although she tried, studying Psychology to Masters level, but the draw of a foodie career proved too much and throughout her time at University Olivia poured her love of baking into writing a gluten free baking blog - Olivia was diagnosed Coeliac aged 10, missed cake so started baking!

Taking a break from studying Olivia travelled around S.E Asia, Australia and New Zealand and caught the travel bug! She is now back in London, revelling in the vibrant London foodie scene.

Ryan's food journey

Ryan from thefoodpeople

Born into a family of home bakers, Ryan was usually at his Granny’s side baking scones, breads and cakes, and was always protective, according to his mum, of every single ingredient in case it fell into the hands of his wee sister Nichole.
Food was always a hobby rather than a career for Belfast-born Ryan, until a job as a fishmonger, and then as a chef in a Thai restaurant sparked the realisation that food should dominate his days.
Undergraduate and Postgraduate academic studies nearly got in the way, and after juggling food marketing jobs and catering, Ryan took the plunge and trained as a pastry chef, leading to jobs in restaurants, food styling, photography, events and restaurant catering, and a brief spell in Bilbao, working with some great brands, innovative companies and exciting chefs.
Ryan now writes about food all day for thefoodpeople, but also keeps the creative culinary flag flying by making his own bean-to-bar chocolate in his spare time.

Sam's food journey

Sam from thefoodpeople

Growing up, Sam’s Mum had only one rule: you must eat whatever you make, which followed neatly into his Dad’s slogan of ‘this family isn’t made of money — put a jumper on. I might as well be throwing fivers into the street.’ And so was the beginning and also the end of the Ketchup Milkshake™ era.

The obsession with cooking persisted — mainly because it meant eating even before the actual meal hit the table — from laying on ad-hoc spreads for malnourished uni housemates, working in professional kitchens, owning a sandwich business and running supper clubs in his 20s and 30s. A shameless omnivore, Sam now uses his eidetic memory to assist thefoodpeople as a Food and Beverage Trends Writer, between scouring London for anything remotely edible.

Scott's food journey

Scott from thefoodpeople

After studying Zoology at Aberdeen, Scott started his professional food journey, in a small restaurant in Sydney. He was immediately fascinated by the science, art and biology of cooking.

He came back to his native Edinburgh and dove into professional cookery and was lucky enough to cook all over the world at restaurants like the Three Chimneys in Skye and Vue De Monde in Melbourne.

After restaurants, Scott went into product development for a fish company, designing products for M&S. During this time, he went back to university to study an MSc in Gastronomy at Queen Margaret University.

Roll on 20(ish) years and since his first day at the stove and Scott’s fascination for food still as strong as it ever was. Now with thefoodpeople, it is his words rather than his knives that do the talking.

Shokofeh's food journey

Shokofeh from thefoodpeople

Shokofeh (or ‘Shak’ to her friends) had a rather unconventional food journey… She was a corporate lawyer in her previous life, before she decided to leave the City to attend culinary school (and pursue her lifelong passion for food, full-time). Upon completion of chef training, Shokofeh spent several years working across the food and drink industry – in addition to working as a chef in various London kitchens, she also worked as a freelance food writer, stylist, recipe developer and restaurant consultant. Her last role, before joining thefoodpeople, was at Marks & Spencer – where she worked as a recipe development chef, in their in-house kitchen development team.

Shak hung up her chef whites in 2017, to join thefoodpeople team as Senior Trend Analyst. But in her spare time, when she’s not busy reporting on food, drink and health trends(!), she can usually still be found cooking up a storm in the kitchen… and when she’s not in the kitchen, chances are she’s working her way through the menu in a restaurant somewhere!

Sophie's food journey

Sophie from thefoodpeople

Half Sicilian as well as English, an obsession with food runs through Sophie’s veins. Raised on pasta and risotto, she would always be helping out in the kitchen, as well as being the family’s most fervent fan of her mother’s cooking.

Her love for food is matched by one for the written word, having studied literature at Oxford and originally trained in journalism, before moving into marketing and advertising. During her five years in a London advertising agency, Sophie handled a range of FMGC accounts – from Coca-Cola to United Biscuits.

During this period, she also wrote about food in her spare time. It was in a restaurant in California that she finally decided to marry up her passions and follow a course in food writing as a career. She now lives between Barcelona and London working for thefoodpeople – and taking full advantage of everything these culinary hotspots have to offer.

Stephanie's food journey

Stephanie from thefoodpeople

Food has always been a big part of Steph's life, from baking as a kid with her Grannie to always enjoying a good meal out. She studied Patisserie and Confectionary at The Manchester College and initially worked in all things sweet and baking until moving into savoury kitchens after a few years. She's worked in London, Manchester and Sydney, at everything from bakeries, cafes, restaurants and street-food stalls, before moving to work in event catering just in time for Covid to shut it all down. With a bit of time also spent managing food and farmers markets in London, Steph has always been keen to diversify her career, and experience as many pockets of the industry as possible.

In her spare time she can usually be found checking out Manchester's amazing food scene, cooking up a feast or feeding leftovers to her very spoiled dog.

Tom's food journey

Tom from thefoodpeople

Coming from a sporting background, Tom has always had a close affinity with food - being that he has always eaten a lot of it! His personal cooking traits were honed in the early days at school where he reveled in after school cookery classes at 'Piglet's Pantry' before becoming a bit more food-savvy after moving to France at the age of 18 to pursue a professional sporting dream of road cycling.

Now living in London, Tom enjoys exploring new hangouts be it sipping coffee, devouring cake or testing the latest street food on offer!