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Merrychef, a Manitowoc Group company, has sponsored the Convenience Retail category at the Menu Innovation Network's inaugural Menu Innovation and Development Awards (MIDAS) 2009.

Category winner, Henderson Retail, is the retail divison of Henderson Group, which owns & operates around 70 spar, Eurospar and Vivo stores in Northern Ireland.

Merrychef's Business Development Director, UK & Ireland, Simon Merrick and Stuart Cordner from Henderson Retail, will join the Menu Innovation Network's five day research and Insight tour of Chicago, including a visit to the NRA exhibition.

Talking about the awards, Simon said:

"Henderson's have recognised the opportunity to bring premium brand names to the convenince food to go market. Partnerships with companies like Tim Horton's and Cuisine De France have been successfully implemented and well recieved."

The Menu Innovation network has recently been created as a vehicle for group menu development managers and group executive chefs to interact and exchange information. The network enables operators to share ideas and discuss issues with their peers to continually improve and satisfy the demands of consumers eating away from home.