INGREDIENTS supplier Bakels has expanded its pro-duct development department, led by new head of product development Gary Gibbs.SCHWAN has closed its Global Cake Company frozen desserts factory in Bridlington, Yorkshire, after failing to sell the plant. Some 200 staff have lost their jobs, and an assets-only sale to a mystery third party is now being negotiated.The plant has had three different owners in less than five years. Schwan took it over in March 2004.THE government’s annual Expenditure and Food Survey for the fiscal year ending 2004 showed 21.1% of weekly bread expenditure is in outlets other than large supermarket chains. The survey indicated the average weekly spend was £1.50 in large supermarket chains and 40p in other outlets. BAKERY sales were up 0.3% to £3.08 billion in the 52 weeks to the end of December 2005, according to IRI figures. Total grocery sales were £54.22bn.TESCO is to roll out “Guide-line Daily Amount” labelling across its own-label bakery range by the end of the year.CAKE supplier Elisabeth the Chef has launched a Doctor Who-branded Dalek celebration cake, designed to appeal to boys aged 7-14. Packaging for the Genoese sponge cake contains a sound button, which, when pressed, says “Extermi-nate” in Dalek style. The cake, priced at £7.99, includes a Doctor Who game on the pack.
The first ever Caffè Culture show was held last week at London Olympia, with a handful of bakery suppliers in tow hoping to capitalise on the UK’s growth in coffee shops.Cookie specialist Byron Bay Cookies said there were “imminent” plans to start manufacturing in the UK to reduce costs, having imported from Australia for five years. “My job is to find a good artisan baker that understands about quality, with whom I could license products,” said European manager Stephen Hodgetts. With further forays into Europe planned, using the UK as a hub, the firm’s European turnover would rise from £1.5m now to around £5m over the next two years, he forecast. “We’ve gone from a handful of cafés to the 800 that now buy our products,” he said. “We’re quite aggressive and we’re doubling our turnover each year.”Caffè Culture was Kate’s Cakes’ first exhibition since its major rebrand last year, (British Baker August 19, 2005, pg 9). MD Steve Greenhalgh said its sector-specific focus was a big draw. “Many food shows have become fragmented and diluted – a muddle of food and machinery,” he commented. “But this is the first exhibition focusing on coffee shops so it is very relevant to us.”The cakes supplier was launching a range of wrapped cookies and muffins at the show. “We’d seen a gap in the coffee sector, where we are one of the main suppliers,” said Greenhalgh. “The main focus this year will be pushing our brand.”With the majority of business coming through retail outlets, such as Waitrose, Selfridges and independents, £2m-turnover Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding Company, based in Flookburgh, Cumbria, was exploring new growth areas, including export. “Cartmel has an ideal product for cafés and restaurants,” said operations manager Charlotte White. “People are becoming more discerning about the quality of foods in the catering industry and that’s why we’re here.”Livingston-based Paterson Arran launched its new cookie concept for foodservice, Café Brontë – a range of luxury cookies and shortbread bars. The concept offers a unique packaging format, which conveys style, luxury, and high quality, says national account development manager Jerome Wright. “We wanted to be able to show the product’s craft baked look clearly through the film, but also to have a chic-ness and a self-standing display system.” Cookie company Otis Spunkmeyer was there to launch its new Supreme Bars – a frozen puck that is baked-off in moulds to give a squared bar appearance. “It’s another extension of our product range,” said sales manager Darren Phillips. “At the moment we only supply cookies and muffins but we’re moving into the fresh baked cake bar market.”
n Full-time student bakers are being encouraged to enter a new competition that showcases their bread-making and confectionery talents using California raisins.Organised by the California Raisin Administration Committee, first prize in the competition will see the winning team taken on a trip with the famous Richemont School. Second prize is kitchen equipment for the student’s college and third prize is a California Raisins product.The competition will be held at Thomas Danby College, Leeds, on 23-24 March 2007. For more information contact Dee Cassey on 020 8741 8513 or e-mail [email protected] A colleague of the Fine Lady Bakeries worker stabbed to death outside the bakery in Banbury has been charged with his murder. Shahid Rehman worked with the victim Imran Shah. Shah suffered multiple stab wounds at about 2.30am on 27 November in the bakery’s car park and was pronounced dead soon after.n Foodservice supplier Brake Brothers is being prepared for a stock market listing in the first half of next year and could be valued at up to £500m, according to newspaper reports.n A survey of more than 1,400 people undertaken on behalf of the Home-Grown Cereals Authority has revealed an “alarming lack of knowledge” surrounding wholegrains. Over 30% of people failed to recognise a granary loaf as a wholegrain product, although 59% did know that wholegrains can help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Premier Foods said it expected to hit its 2008 profit targets despite a decline in branded sales in the second half of 2007.Christmas trading was satisfactory across the group and was led by the cakes and customer partnerships businesses, said the company.The main cost pressure over the year came from increases in the price of wheat. Premier said bread price rises and cost savings had helped to offset the effect of more expensive raw materials. Profitability had also been enhanced by the progress of the rationalisation plan with two factory closures in 2007 and seven more planned in 2008-2009. Second half sales were up 3%, while sales over the full year should be 1.6% higher.The cakes and bread bakeries divisions were the best performers with sales gains of 7% and 6% respectively. By contrast branded business fell by 8%.Premier Foods CEO, Robert Schofield, said: “We foresaw raw material and packaging inflation led by wheat but also affecting dairy, fruits and vegetables. Whilst these additional costs have had an impact in the second half of 2007 we have recovered a large proportion of these cost increases through pricing and cost savings.”
The deadline for entries to the Baking Industry Awards has been extended to Friday, 16 May.The awards, now in their 21st year, recognise the achievements of companies and employees and reward innovation. Winners will be announced at a glitzy dinner at London’s Grosvenor House hotel on 15 September. An entry form is on page 27 or see [http://www.bakeryawards.co.uk].l The new-look British Baker is to be unveiled at the Baking Industry Exhibition on April 7, at 3pm on Stand G28B. Please join the team as we launch the bigger and brighter British Baker.
Peter’s Food Service and London brewer Fuller’s have teamed up to launch a steak and ale pie a new addition to Peter’s Regency range. The pie, which features a blend of Peter’s pastry and Fuller’s London Pride ale, has been development over the past few months and was launched at the Fuller’s brewery in London last week. It will be available from delis and major retailers throughout the south of England and Wales.Peter’s makes more than 180 million pies, pasties and sausage rolls each year.RRP: £1.09[http://www.petersfood.com]
Starbucks Coffee Company and food and drink concession specialists, SSP, have announced a partnership agreement to open more than 150 Starbucks stores in prime travel locations across Europe, over the next three years.Starbucks will give SSP licensing rights to the Starbucks brand across key European travel markets, covering both railway and airport locations, which in some segments, including the UK, France and Germany, will be exclusive. The agreement also enables Starbucks to further realise its intent to increase its international store growth.Commenting on the agreement, Howard Schultz, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Starbucks, said: “It provides us with a strong platform to further expand the Starbucks brand across Europe. SSP’s experience and leadership position gives us great confidence that together we can deliver the unique Starbucks experience to more travellers in Europe.” Andrew Lynch, chief executive officer, SSP, said: “SSP has been operating in travel locations in Europe for over 60 years; this experience and our insights into travelling consumers’ needs and behaviour, coupled with Starbucks’ unrivalled stature as the world’s leading coffee brand, is a formidable pairing.”
The plunging value of sterling against the dollar and the euro, combined with a decline in UK wheat quality, may put a stop to the recent falls in flour prices.The pound has fallen in value by more than 20% compared to the dollar in the past month, from around $2 to $1.54. Against the euro, sterling has suffered similarly heavy losses, falling in value from E1.43 at the beginning of the year to around E1.20 last week.According to Alex Waugh, director-general of Nabim, the falls could push up wheat prices. “Imported bread wheat, which accounts for around 20% of the UK market, is priced in US dollars, while UK wheat prices are underpinned by the euro because of the Common Agricultural Policy,” he said. “At the same time, British wheat quality has suffered because of heavy summer rain.”The HGCA said analysis of British wheat had shown low protein levels, while wheat harvested later in the season had high moisture content and was of variable quality. HGCA crop marketing director Alastair Dickie said the economic crisis had undermined the price of milling wheat, which had fallen from a high of £200 a tonne in March to £135-£140 a tonne this month.Both Nabim and the HGCA expect currency turmoil to be more of a challenge than EU proposals to reintroduce import duties on cereals, to safeguard European farmers from falling grain prices. The duties were suspended last December in response to record prices and tight supply. The EU hopes raising import duties to keep the price above E155 a tonne will help ensure European farmers can earn a reasonable living.
Krispy Kreme UK has launched a new patisserie doughnut range, featuring three “luxurious” additions.The new Coffee Swirl doughnut is filled with a smooth coffee crème and iced and decorated with a chocolate spiral and mocha bean. The Belgian Chocolate variety is filled with Belgian chocolate, hand-dipped in chocolate icing and topped with a white chocolate fan. And the Black Forest doughnut has a cherry filling and is topped with a maraschino cherry and chocolate shavings.The range will be available until 10 May 2009, in all Krispy Kreme stores and Tesco in-store cabinets.RRP: £1.45www.krispykreme.co.uk
Warburtons has extended its 600g loaf range with two new products – Tasty White and Tasty Grains & Seeds.Tasty White is a soft white loaf, while Tasty Grains and Seeds is a white loaf with a mix of seeds as well as malted wheat flakes, sunflower seeds and brown linseed.The packaging for the range has been revamped, with the addition of a wheatsheaf image on all packs to create a consistent identity and maximise stand-out on shelf.Sarah Miskell, category director at Warburtons, said the new products will “provide consumers with the same quality expected from Warburtons, but with a great choice to suit their needs”.The launch will be supported by a marketing campaign, including national television advertising in May, following the launch at the end of April.www.warburtons.co.uk