F orget 'looks aren't everything'. Forget 'beauty is only skin deep'. And you can forget 'it's what's inside that counts'. In retail, looks are - almost - everything. You could have irresistible bakery products, but if no-one comes into the shop, then no one's going to know.
Holiday park chain Bourne Leisure had just six weeks before the start of last year's caravanning season to reinvigorate the bakery products sold at its 34 caravan parks in the UK.
This apple flan, flavoured with lemon zest and cinnamon, makes a spectacular autumnal dessert. Although very simple, if care is taken with the presentation, it has great visual appeal and can command a premium price.
Food and agriculture group Greencore said its convenience foods division had a difficult second half of the year.
IAWS Group announced this week that group revenue is up 22.5% to €1.9bn (£1.3bn) and operating profit increased 31% to €146.4m (£1bn).
Bakery businesses have just over a month to apply for the 2008 Queen's Awards for Enterprise.
New figures suggest that Warburtons has grown its share of the bakery market in all parts of Britain, taking sales from its rivals' flagship brands Hovis and Kingsmill.
Bakery industry leaders are to address the British Society of Baking's two-day Autumn Conference, from 8-9 October at Coombe Abbey Park Hotel, Coventry.
The baking industry has been urged to support a centre of excellence to plug gaps in UK bakery skills provision.
Bakery company Country Style Foods has acquired the former RHM frozen desserts factory, in Wales from Premier Foods in a deal that completed on Saturday.
New data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed a 2.3% decline in the number of bakery manufacturers over the last year, while the number of bakery retailers grew slightly.
Bakery and ingredients group Real Good Food Company (RGFC) said last week that sales in its bakery division were up 8% year on year, but sales at its Renshaw ingredients division had been slower than expected.
Retailer Morrisons is launching a range of ethnic breads made from scratch in-store, including Jewish and Greek loaves and a Polish bloomer.
n Cakes company Elisabeth the Chef has been acquired by Senoble, a European manufacturer of fresh dairy desserts. Senoble employs 2,300 people and has five production sites in France, one in Spain and one in Slovakia. Elisabeth the Chef employs 1,200 people at three production sites in the Midlands.
Thousands of agency workers will be entitled to greater employment rights following a tribunal that ruled in favour of a group of Polish workers in the food processing industry, saying they should be considered employees rather than self-employed.
Allied Bakeries is restructuring into eight regional business units - it makes a lot of sense, economically and of course environmentally. Supplying more products locally will save on food miles and allow for regional variations (pg 4).
When I was at school, I was sent, one day a week, to Tameside College in Manchester. Everyone at my school had to choose from a list of subjects they wanted to do - for example, bakery, hair and beauty etc. I wanted to do drama, but all the spaces had been taken. In fact, the only course that was not full was bakery and that's how I ended up getting into it.
Award winners celebrated in style with the cream of the UK's baking industry
Associated British Foods (ABF) has announced that it is to acquire 20% share capital of Jordans, the breakfast cereal and cereal bar business.
Anuga, the 286,000sq m international trade fair for food and beverages, is to take place in Cologne, from 13 to 17 October 2007.
Finsbury Food Group said this week that it is ready to look at possible acquisitions, as it posted record results for 2007.
A limited number of places are left on the grid for this year's Kart Racing Grand Prix, an annual charity event to benefit the Bakers' Benevolent Society (BBS).
A very big thank you to everyone who helped make the Baking Industry Awards such a fabulous, fun night - sponsors, finalists and guests (pg 4 and pgs 15-22). John Waterfield won the accolade Baker of the Year, sponsored by Vandemoortele, and I think it made the whole industry proud that such an innovative, quality craft baker, who is up-to-the-minute on everything from new products to waste management, shop design to staff training, walked off with the top prize.
A pie factory in the West Mid-lands, has been fined almost £7,000 this month for poor hygiene conditions.
The cost of petrol is expected to rocket, due to the price of crude oil reaching record levels, pushing up costs for bakery distributors. The price of oil recently broke through the $80 (£40) a barrel for the first time. These price increases are expected to be passed on to road users.
Craft bakers say they put up their prices due to rising costs for ingredients such as flour and butter, following a mixed summer's trading.
'The Tesco Approach to Baked Products' and 'Managing Change in a Family Business' will be among the topics addressed at the British Society of Baking conference in October.
TV chef Antony Worrall Thompson has launched a licensed range of baked breadsticks and croutini, now on sale through supermarkets Morrisons, Waitrose and Booths.
John Waterfield, managing director of Lancashire craft bakery chain Waterfields, scooped the prestigious Baker of the Year prize as British Baker held its spectacular 20th annual Baking Industry Awards this week.
The owner of a bakery infested with flour beetles and covered in mud has been fined £3,700 for breaching food hygiene laws.Maxime Barrowcliffe of the Village Bakery, Magdalen Road, Exeter, was also ordered to pay £1,097 costs by Cullompton Magistrates Court.
This straightforward and reliable cake both tastes good and is low in fat. What more could you want to satisfy today's demanding consumers?
Spring Lane Farm in Mapperley, Nottingham, is a working farm, solely producing products to sell on-site - from free range eggs and vegetables to fresh meat.
Sandwiches might seem a rather stodgy subject for an exciting new launch in a highly competitive market, but that's exactly what Jenni Timony of Doolittles in Co Donegal has done. She started her firm in 2001 and it has since shown 70% year-on-year growth. It now produces about 110 different product lines, including 21 varieties in the firm's original sandwich range, and the newest premium line, Bon Vivant, has just been launched.
Two of the biggest bakeries in Zimbabwe said last week that they were about to run out of flour, adding to bread shortages. Lobels Bread, the country's biggest bakery and Innscor, which runs Bakers Inn, have used up reserve flour stocks.
Allied Bakeries' parent Associated British Foods (ABF) said this week that it was negotiating with customers to increase the price of a loaf.
Immigration officers have arrested six people on suspicion of working illegally at the Rathbone Kear bakery in Wigan, Greater Manchester.
Organisers plan to double the £11,000 raised for charity last year, as Scotch Pie Week returns for its second time in November.
Bakbel Europe's new ¤6m fruit fillings and jam factory near Brussels was officially opened by the minister for economy of the Walloon region in Belgium last Friday.
Up to 211 jobs may go as Fletchers' Sheffield bakery is "reshaped", following a strategic review.
High wastage levels have been reported at some plant bakeries, due to the new UK wheat harvest.
Premium pudding supplier Farmhouse Fare has unveiled a £2m marketing package, including new packaging and a new TV sponsorship deal.
Bodmin-based pasty supplier Proper Cornish has unveiled a £200,000 rebrand, altering its name from Proper Cornish - Real Pasties, to Proper Cornish Food Company.
Swansea-based Lewis Pies is to spend £700,000 on extending its facilities so that they are "large enough to take our expansion plans for the next decade", it said.
n A Czech bread has joined the EU's list of 800 protected local brands alongside delicacies such as Greek feta cheese. The Czech bread "Karlovarsky suchar" has been awarded status as Protected Designations of Origin (PDO) by the European Commission. The bread is baked using water and salt from thermal springs in the Czech spa town of Karlovy Vary. The designation means that only manufacturers based in the specific area and using the specific techniques will be allowed to give their product the protected title.
With a name that works on many levels - well, two at least - this food-to-go chain thinks it has cracked the speedy service formula with wrap-based products. Joint director Stephen Minall and cohorts spent two years tracking consumer eating habits in the UK; they also racked up a few air miles to the USA, Asia and Italy before coming up with an ethnic handheld snack concept.
A traditional small family bakery, situated in the terraced back streets of Kidderminster, Worcestershire, can trace its roots back to 1886 and still uses the same traditional recipes from over 120 years ago. Over the last year, Tony's Bakery has been exposed to a whole new generation of bread lovers, following a listing in celebrity chef Rick Stein's Food Heroes, and profited from the area's emergence as a commuter belt.
Small bakery manufacturers at the show were upbeat amid a backdrop of increasing consumer awareness of food origins and a retailing drive to 'think local'.
In his article 'Let's take training to task' (British Baker, 17 August) Chris North, bakery tutor at Castle College, Sheffield, stated that: "Industry must take charge of its own standards, training and education - not the government. The government... came up with NVQs, none of which are fit for purpose."
Even though the cost of key raw materials, including flour, dairy and vegetable oil products, is rising at phenomenal rates, several of the supermarkets are in the midst of a price war.