Month: April 2021

  • 2006:THE YEAR AHEAD

    first_imgI’m hoping for a more buoyant economy, encouraging people to spend more, and for that spend to be on premium bakery products, whether they be healthy or indulgent. The issue with the UK food market is that we don’t eat more or less calories depending on the economy – we eat more or less premium. Hopefully, people will spend on that extra bakery treat rather than foreign holidays, drinks or restaurants.The seeds are already sown and the growth will continue in premium quality breads, but more in the wholemeal seeded area rather than in standard whites. We are beginning to see real growth in premium confectionery and we think there will be new products launched in the premium patisserie and dessert areas this year. Products such as super-indulgent banoffee pies and really rich chocolate, caramel or toffee sauces are getting a lot of interest. These would typically be for larger craft bakeries looking to exploit their wholesale or home consumption markets, supplying into retailers.I’d like to see a year free of ‘events’, such as business failures or food safety scares. If we could just have a boring year, I’d be very happy. If I were to be a super-optimist, I would seek a common sense approach on issues such as salt and trans fats, not media hype or retailer rivalry, where retailers attempt to gain a health moral high ground, and which may or may not be based on good science.last_img read more

  • Value rise for bread

    first_imgBread sales have gone up in value across the board over the last year, apart from the white in-store bakery sector, TNS Worldpanel data reveals.The data shows that while brown in-store loaf sales rose by 2.1% to £58 million for the year to 25 February, 2007, white in-store bread sales fell in value by 1.3% to £181.2m. Total bread sales were worth £1.43bn in the year to 25 February 2007, a growth in value of 9% on the previous year, according to the figures. White branded plant bread accounted for 51.6% of sales, worth £736m, up from £686m the previous year. Brown branded bread accounted for 16.5%, or £235m, up from £213m year-on-year.The main driver of growth was average price per pack as the market became more premium, TNS reported. Brown plant bread was largely responsible for this value growth, as customers traded up to seeded variants during the year. Meanwhile, the rolls and baps market – defined as unflavoured bread under 400g – was worth £526m in the year to 25 February.It showed steady growth of 6.8% in value, TNS said. In this sector, the key drivers of growth were consumers buying more frequently and purchasing more per trip, driven by increased promotional activity, said TNS.In-store bread rolls and baps attracted the greatest number of shoppers in the sector, with a total of 37.3% of sales, worth £196.4m. Sales were particularly driven by volume sold on promotion during the summer months.Morning goods’ sales remained static in value, at just over £681m in value in the period covered. Plant wrapped morning goods accounted for 70% of this market, but in-store morning goods sales saw better rates of growth than plant, at 7% over the year.Scones, crumpets and other toasting products, grew through “premiumisation” alone, TNS said, whereas smaller, more novel sectors attracted customers to trial.last_img read more

  • Baked range launch for TV chef

    first_imgTV chef Antony Worrall Thompson has launched a licensed range of baked breadsticks and croutini, now on sale through supermarkets Morrisons, Waitrose and Booths.The new products are manufactured by the croutons, croutini and breadsticks specialist, Bradford-based Trilogy Foods.”My food range is all about the best taste from the very best producers,” said Antony Worrall Thompson, “with nothing unnecessary added and nothing important left out.”The new range contains no artificial additives, preservatives, colours, flavours, emulsifiers or dough improvers.The breadsticks come in three flavours: Garlic & Coriander combined with aromatic klowunji (onion) seeds; Olive Oil, Sea Salt & Rosemary; and Cheese, Roasted Shallot and Red Onion.last_img read more

  • In Short

    first_img== BB’s juicy deal ==BB’s Coffee & Muffins has taken a controlling interest in juice bar, Juice Junction, which has eight stores in Ireland and two in the UK. BB’s plans to incorporate the Juice Junction offer alongside its New Zealand Natural premium ice cream range within its cafés and also plans store openings as a stand-alone concept. The company is targeting 20 existing BB’s stores to take the new brand in 2008.== Clay Oven closure ==The Clay Oven Bakery in Leicester, which specialises in producing naan bread, has been shut down after council health inspectors discovered mouse droppings throughout the building. The city’s magistrates agreed to grant an emergency hygiene order. Bakery owner Nisar Badat did not resist the application to close his business.== Baker bows out ==Traditional baker John Fryer has decided to sell up, 50 years after his family began selling homemade cakes and pastries on Norwich market. Fryer, whose grandfather Stanley started the business in 1957, has sold stall 112 to another traditional baker on the market, Norman Olley. Fryer’s Homemade Cakes and Pastries once had five branches but will now have just one in Anglia Square.== Top tea venue ==Juri’s, the Old Bakery Tea Shoppe in Winchcombe, in the Cotswolds, has been named the Top Tea Place 2008 in the country by the UK Tea Council. Juri Myawaki, 32, who runs the café with her parents, is a Cordon Bleu-trained chef who also makes cakes and scones. The council’s Tea Guild inspectors were impressed by the family’s love and knowledge of tea, strongly influenced by their Japanese heritage.last_img read more

  • Low-cost range for Tesco

    first_imgTesco is hoping for a slice of the action in the discount store market with a new low-cost range, to include bakery products. The supermarket undertook research earlier this summer, quizzing 20,000 people and found that UK consumers’ top concern is price. In response to this Tesco is aim to cut its average shoppers’ bill by £24 per week. A range of 350 new products will be introduced under the Discount Brands at Tesco label. “As customers tighten their belts, they tend to shop around for the best prices,” said Richard Brasher, Tesco commercial director. “Our research shows just how keenly they are feeling the need to watch their budgets.”last_img read more

  • Challenge of the fittest in tough times

    first_imgLast year was a tough year for high street retailers, with the shock demise of iconic high street brand Woolworths perhaps best capturing the turmoil facing traders. Bakery retailers were just recovering from runaway commodity, ingredients and utilities prices at the start of the year, when the economy went berserk as the newly-coined “credit crunch” started to play out in the UK. Property prices plunged, consumer spending predictions were thrown into the unknown and availability of institutional funding dried up.Surprisingly then, the vast majority of the retailers on British Baker’s Top 50 2008 list are still doing good business, as the 2009 list publishes. While some names are missing, there have been few dramatic changes to the status quo – at least not yet.Greggs is number one for the third year running, with 1,403 shops, and Subway is rapidly catching up at number two, with 1,284 in the latest list. Once again, Subway is the fastest grower on the chart, adding 264 outlets to its estate in 2008. Its current rate of growth would see it overtake Greggs in 2009. In fact, Subway development agent James Fleck goes so far as pledging it will have overtaken Greggs by the middle of the year.Scratch the surface and it becomes clear a scrap is brewing to hold on to the mantle of Britain’s biggest bakery retailer. Greggs’ new chief executive Ken McMeikan tells British Baker that Greggs is preparing for a growth spurt of its own, after centralising and streamlining its operations.Although McMeikan won’t commit to numbers, he insists that the changing face of the high street could benefit Greggs. “I believe there is going to be over-supply of bakery units available on the high street in the future and that the rentals market will soften,” he predicts. “People can be driven to acquire shops for numbers’ sake, so I am not setting any targets.”== Standing firm ==The Top 50 includes all types of retailer of bakery products, modern and traditional, from craft bakers to café chains. And the 2009 list features many strong regional craft bakery businesses, with Birds of Derby, Greenhalgh’s and Thomas of York among those standing firm in the face of a recession.Mike Holling, retail operations manager of Birds of Derby, and chairman of the National Association of Master Bakers says Birds has been staying focused, investing by upgrading the machinery at its bakery and continuing to refit stores in a rolling programme.However, the risk of fewer big-name retai-lers drawing people to the high street could have an adverse effect. “We are continuing to work through the most challenging times in the industry that I have ever experienced,” says Holling. “I am under no illusion that things will change soon. But the big question is, what will the high street look like in 2009? With Woolworths closing and fashion houses going into administration, we as bakers need supporting businesses on the high street.”Like Birds, Bolton-based Greenhalgh’s is pressing ahead, despite these uncertainties. It had 54 outlets at the end of 2008, and was continuing to roll out its new fascia across the estate following its recent re-brand, production director David Smart tells British Baker. “These are challenging times; nothing is recession-proof,” he says.”Careful management is the key to prosperous survival and you have to keep your eye on the ball. We’re still meeting our targets and putting on shops. You have to be prudent but keep to your goals.”== Expansion plans ==Like Greggs and Subway, many smaller businesses on the list are pushing ahead with expansion plans in 2009 despite the economic slowdown.At the start of December, Leigh bakers Waterfields bought out of administration the 87-year-old John Pimblett & Sons bakery business, which had 10 shops in Liverpool.The deal took Waterfields’ estate to 49 shops and up to 22 on the 2009 list. Waterfields is realistic about the challenge the acquisition will present and admits it will “take time to bring the new shops in line with the rest of Waterfields”.The Patisserie Holdings business, at 18 on the list this year, also continues to expand, adding both Druckers and Patisserie Valerie fascia sites to the estate. The company plans to add 15 to 20 new sites in 2009.”Current trading is OK but we believe trading in 2009 will be very hard,” managing director Paul May tells British Baker.And Scotland’s Aulds, which currently has 41 outlets, plans to open a number more in 2009, it says.David Jenkinson, managing director of Cooplands in Doncaster, at 16 on the list with 75 shops, says the company will open eight to 10 new shops in 2009, following a £400,000 investment in production equipment in 2008.Jenkinson is optimistic but cautious about the year ahead. “We are not feeling the credit crunch too badly; demand is pretty stable, but it will be a time for caution in 2009. We expect it will be a bit rough, but you have got to continue pushing,” he says.Nantwich-based Chatwins is also steeling itself to face 2009. It currently has 19 shops and joint managing director Trevor Mooney reports that, although trade was going OK in the run-up to Christmas, the true test would be how it holds up in early 2009. “What it will be like in the New Year will be the telling point,” he says.The only new business on the 2009 list is upmarket London chain Apostrophe, which ranks joint 50th with 16 outlets. Managing director Amir Chen, a former banker, says the company is self-funded and plans to open around three to five outlets a year, sticking to the London area. His mission is to “bring glamour” to the cosmopolitan London market. He comments: “Why make customers feel they are in the south of France – why not make the most of this cosmopolitan city we are in?”While many businesses on the list are in a positive frame of mind, among the most notable on the 2009 list is Cooks the Bakery, formed from what was once the 250-branch 100-year-old Three Cooks business, then owned by RHM.Following a few troubled years, Cooks the Bakery now only has 80 shops left, having closed another 18 outlets in 2008.A source at the company, now 14 in the Top 50, is downbeat about the state of play on the high street: “It’s grim. Retail is hard, the economy is hard. If shops are cheap in 2009 we may buy a few, but if not we may have to look at what we have got.”== List of casualties ==For some, the pressures of the high street, and runaway commodity and utility prices, proved too much in 2008. Establishment name Lyndale Group was the biggest casualty of the year when it collapsed last June. It owned businesses including Sayers and Hampsons and had 201 shops when the last Top 50 was compiled.Hours after the administrators were called in a management buy-out formed a new company, Sayers the Bakers. This included 158 Hampsons and Sayers stores, as well as the Hampsons bakery in Bolton.Meanwhile, Lyndale’s swanky 15-shop London chain Maison Blanc had already been sold to Kuwait-based Kout Food Group Company in October 2007.Administrator Dermot Power, from BDO Stoy Hayward, blamed increases in the cost of wheat and utility bills. “One of the reasons the company failed was because of high energy costs – including gas and electricity – and dramatic increases in the cost of wheat,” he said.The 140-year-old 54-shop Black Country chain Firkin, 18 in the 2008 list, has also been in trouble in 2008, falling into administration in November. It blamed rising supplier prices and credit problems following the economic downturn. Emerging from that was the new Firkins Foods, at 26 in the list, which was created by managing director Ian Bolderston to buy its bakery at West Bromwich and 38 of the shops out of administration.Another big name, Ferrari’s Bakery (19 in the 2008 list) is notable by its absence. The troubled South Wales chain was liquidated on 25 November, with its 24 remaining shops closed down. The closure marked the end of a chequered period for what had once been Wales’ biggest bakery chain, with 60 shops.With credit in short supply and with customers watching the pennies, the Top 50 retailers are saddled up for a rough ride in 2009. Many agree that the demise of high street stalwart Woolworths will impact on everyone in 2009.”If Tesco buys those sites we are done for,” says one retailer. “There will be less to draw people to the high street in 2009,” comments another.It is anyone’s guess what the year will hold. But many joke that credit-crunched customers are likely to turn to comfort eating of pies and cakes. So the baking industry should be resilient to economic distress.NB: Travel concessions business SSP, which was sold off by catering giant Compass in April 2006, has revised its figures since the last list was compiled and now registers 526 outlets, 35 fewer than last year, under fascias including Millie’s Cookies and Upper Crust.It explains that these figures relate to the SSP-operated units in the UK and include the Compass and Moto franchises.last_img read more

  • Food in the news

    first_imgThe Food Standards Agency has been warning consumers not to eat certain peanut butter products from the US, due to a salmonella outbreak. There have so far been 474 reported cases across 43 different states. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a list of recalled products including various cookies and chocolate bars. The list includes Middlesex-based company Lärabar, which has recalled some of its own-brand Peanut Butter Cookie flavoured snack bars (51g) and Peanut Butter Cookie flavoured mini snack bars (21g).The Financial Times reported that, while upmarket chains like Starbucks were struggling in the US, with consistently falling sales, frugal consumer spending patterns were benefiting the likes of McDonald’s. This led McDonald’s chief executive Jim Skinner to proclaim, “Our model remains recession-resistant.” He also highlighted growth in the UK and Europe.Sainsbury’s has announced that, from 5 February, it is to stop selling eggs from battery hens. The proposal, which comes in time for Pancake Day, will ensure over half a million hens will no longer be kept in battery cages, claims the supermarket. All of Sainsbury’s eggs will be sourced from farms approved by Freedom Food and will feature the British Lion stamp of quality.last_img read more

  • Thoughtful Bread Company is UK’s green business of the year

    first_imgBath-based The Thoughtful Bread Company received the Green Business of the Year accolade at a ceremony celebrating business start-ups last week.The artisan bakery took the title at the Startups Awards 2010, held on 2 December, at Kensington Roof Gardens in London. The firm produces bread with no additives or improvers. Ingredients including herbs, nettles and wild garlic are either grown or foraged for, bartered by its customers through an innovative scheme in exchange for bread or bought from local independent producers.The bakery was selected as winner by a panel of judges made up of some of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs, including Toni Mascolo, founder of hairdresser Toni & Guy.last_img read more

  • RV Shipments up in January

    first_img RV Shipments up in January IndianaLocalNews Google+ Twitter By Carl Stutsman – February 26, 2020 2 332 WhatsApp WhatsApp Previous articleMan charged with killing teacher in hit and run is given a trial dateNext articleVIP package will be available for opening day of the South Bend Cubs Carl Stutsman With a 2019 dip in RV shipments, the numbers from this January are welcomed new. Manufacturers report a big increase, year over year, of about 29%. January of 2019 was the worst month of the year, seeing a drop of almost 40% from 2018.Officials with the RV Industry association say the biggest increase has been in towables, which is what they were predicting for 2020. They refer to last year’s dip as “normalizing”, but say that numbers from January are a good sign that things are looking solid moving forward.In 2019 September was the only month that saw any increase from 2018 numbers. Twitter Google+ Pinterest Facebook Pinterest Facebooklast_img read more

  • Plans on how to reopen schools in Indiana

    first_img Twitter WhatsApp Pinterest Facebook Google+ WhatsApp Pinterest (Photo supplied/Michigan News Service) (INDIANAPOLIS) — Indiana schools can reopen for the fall semester, with lengthy guidelines from the state for when they do.The Indiana Department of Education says schools should plan on a full 180-day school year, but says school boards can decide to do some or all of it through e-learning. A 33-page list of recommendations suggests thinking about shorter or longer breaks in the semester.Governor Holcomb says schools “can and should” reopen safely under the plan. Family and Social Services Secretary Jennifer Sullivan adds that as research increasingly suggests kids are less vulnerable to the virus, the risks of resuming school are outweighed by the mental health benefits of letting kids see each other again, and giving low-income students access to school lunches they may rely on.The plan acknowledges schools probably don’t have the resources to conduct temperature screenings. But it recommends masks, and orders schools to follow up on the reasons for absences, and immediately report any coronavirus cases to the department and the county health department. Anyone with symptoms, even without a positive test, must stay home for 10 days, and at least three days after a fever breaks.The guidelines urge schools to either close the cafeteria and playground, or stagger the times students are there — the department recommends boxed lunches in classrooms. It also urges schools to break up large classes like choir, band and gym, and hold class outside when possible. And it calls on schools to budget time during the school day for hand-washing and for disinfecting classrooms.The plan discourages schools from giving out awards or incentives for attendance.The department says students should have assigned seats, not only in class but on buses. State Health Commissioner Kris Box says if a student does get sick, that’ll make it easier to trace whom he had contact with.The guidelines advise school boards to budget conservatively, in recognition of the possibility of funding cuts. And the department says schools should think about families’ budgets too, and try to keep limits on lists of required supplies. Facebook By Network Indiana – June 8, 2020 1 597 Google+ Twitter CoronavirusIndianaLocalNews Plans on how to reopen schools in Indiana Previous articleSouth Shore Line to resume regular service on MondayNext articleApproximately 400 Indiana National Guard soldiers return from Washington, D.C. Network Indianalast_img read more