Ontario-based Canada Bread has announced its UK subsidiary, speciality bread and bagel manufacturer Maple Leaf Bakery UK, has seen a drop in earnings for the first quarter to 31 March, 2009.

National Craft Bakers’ Week is fast approaching and resources for teachers are now available here, for bakers to promote the role of the baker within their community.

 

Costa Coffee’s sales have continued to increase, but meal deals may soon be on the menu as like-for-like growth slows. The company has said it will be developing its food offering with, for example, lunchtime meal deals such as a panini and a cappuccino for £4.95.

There have been mixed reactions from business organisations following the Budget announcement last week. The Food and Drink Federaion (FDF) welcomes a number of the initiatives announced, but the Federation for Private Business (FPB) has said the government is not doing enough to help small businesses.

Caught on the web

24 April, 2009

l The sadly departed author JG Ballard was assistant editor on The Baker in 1956, then the official publication of the Institute of British Bakers and of the Institute of Irish Bakers... tinyurl.com/dgbtpv l Deep Fried Coke is taking off in the States with a calorie count equivalent to 10 slices of bread... tinyurl.com/2jnt7u l A thief managed to steal a spiral mixer in front of craft bakery staff and whizzed it off in his sports car... tinyurl.com/dfl7v6 l There's a 'National pineapple upside-down cake day'... tinyurl.com/d62wlj

Anti-cupcakes

24 April, 2009

And if you've had your fill of cupcakes, meaty or otherwise, you could always try dieting with these low-cal creations made, appetisingly, of cardboard. These cakes are the work of English artist Patianne Stevenson, based in Seattle - see www.patiannestevenson.com

Marzipan knits

24 April, 2009

You are surely dying to know the answer to the question 'how do you combine the twin retro obsessions of cupcakes and knitting in one fell swoop?' Well bait your breath no longer, because the answer lies with marzipan, as witnessed at veganyumyum.com. These cupcakes were baked for - what our American cousins quaintly call - a "Knit Night". They're now more commonly known by trendy types over here as "Bitch and Stitch" evenings.

In the BB Archives

24 April, 2009

The Lister Institute has published the results of experiments with rats, carried out on its behalf by Dr Harriet Chick, who came to the conclusion that ordinary white flour is inferior to wholemeal flour even when the deficiency of protein, minerals and vitamin B1 has been made good through fortification.

It's a time-worn tradition for rock stars to stipulate indulgent treats in their contracts to perform gigs - or "riders" as they're known - and their left-field demands often come to light under headlines like "Madonna insists on 50 cupcakes arranged in shape of her star sign, Leo" (not true, but it's surely a matter of time). Now news has reached Stop the Week that this practice is filtering down to civilians, specifically one retail landlord in New York who has requested a cupcake rider from his bakery tenant.

Meaty creations

24 April, 2009

Barely a week goes by without some tale of cupcake 'envelope pushing', and this week is no different, with US cupcake stories dominating our humble corner of BB.

What's new?

24 April, 2009

Ilapak's latest packaging machines offer several energy-saving features, including greater thermal efficiency of sealing jaws and rollers and the use of energy recuperation systems in the motor drives.

What's new?

24 April, 2009

An easy way of packaging shortbread fingers - one of the trickier bakery and confectionery products to wrap because they are brittle and tend to crumble during the packaging process. The system is based around the Redpack P325 flow-wrapper, which is found in many bakery and confectionery production units.

What's new?

24 April, 2009

Whatever you want, if tailor-made horizontal flow-wrapping machines and automatic feeding systems are your thing.

What's new?

24 April, 2009

Three Fuji Alpha 6

Colour concern

24 April, 2009

James Gibson of cake decorations company Sweet Sensations knows he is swimming against the tide as he speaks up in defence of synthetic food colours in icing sugar and marzipan.

Smooth Sale-ing

24 April, 2009

Despite the fact the recession is impacting the sales of juices and smoothies, bakers can still market these products to their advantage by focusing on trends that remain strong, such as health. The Americans seem to be ahead of the UK on this one, with many bakery and juice bars dotted across the nation, balancing the treat of a sweet pastry with a nutritious juice.

Organic growth

24 April, 2009

Located in the heart of the Cotswold hills in the picturesque village of Shipton-under-Wychwood, specialist independent flour miller FWP Matthews has been putting its money where its mouth is.

Goliath vs Goliath

24 April, 2009

There's nothing quite like a good, juicy dust-up between industry giants to shake things up, is there? Especially when it's between two heavyweights who are about to knock ten shades of - shall we say chocolate brownies - out of each other.

The art of bread

24 April, 2009

Fancy yourself as a bread artist? The non-profit Grain Foods Foundation - set up in 2004 to promote the benefits of grain-based products in the US - has teamed up with charity Feeding America to provide food for those in need. You can create a personalised piece of bread art at no cost by uploading a drawing or photo, or even design your own on the website - breadartproject.com - which also features a walk-around virtual bread art gallery. For each piece of bread art created, the Grain Foods Foundation has pledged to donate $1 to Feeding America. The impressive site also cites the health benefits of bread throughout.

Spice rack: Cinnamon

24 April, 2009

Cinnamon is the dried bark of an evergreen tree that is grown in Sri Lanka, Southern India and the West Indies. It is available in small sticks or ground into a powder. The sticks are usually used to make an infusion, for example warmed in milk for custard tarts.

It can hardly have escaped any baker's notice that cupcakes are big business. One firm that could perhaps be considered a founding member of the cupcake movement is London's Hummingbird Bakery, which has just launched its own cookbook.

People off work through mental ill-health costs business millions every year, but this is the tip of the iceberg compared to the higher costs involved when people at work perform below par through a mental ill-health condition. My eyes were opened to this 'last taboo' subject recently when I was encouraged (in one of my voluntary work roles) to do a 'mental health first aid' course. No sooner had I finished it than TV's Secret Millionaire featured a Barnsley millionaire confessing to having had a 'secret' mental breakdown a few years ago. I had no idea just how much this subject affects the workplace; I just thought stress and depression were the new 'bad back' lame excuse on a sick note. How wrong I was!

Walkers' new premium crisp brand Red Sky has launched a new advertising campaign for Spring. Featuring the strapline 'From Nature's Kitchen', the TV advert consists of various creatures - for example squirrels and bees - working together to harness the ingredients in Red Sky, with the voiceover: "nature works hard so you can enjoy new Red Sky Potato Chips".

German firm Sielaff has launched a new bean-to-cup machine, the Piacere, which is Italian for 'pleasure'. It offers a menu of speciality hot drinks, including espresso, cappuccino, hot chocolate and latte macchiato at the touch of a button.

Warburtons' Tasty options

24 April, 2009

Warburtons has extended its 600g loaf range with two new products - Tasty White and Tasty Grains & Seeds.

The Drury Tea and Coffee Company, which is sharing a stand with The Coffee Machine Company at the upcoming Caffè Culture exhibition in May, is offering visitors a special rental/purchase deal. The show offer, equivalent to 0% interest, is valid on a range of Rancilio machines and ancillary equipment.

Magical mixers

24 April, 2009

Mixer manufacturer Diosna has launched two new products for bakers. The PSPVW Spiral Mixer features special tooling, which enables it to stir, mix and beat in all pastes, batters, creams and butter for the cake-making and dessert industries.

As food-to-go consultants, we often get asked about where you should turn to as a business for new insights or strategies on how to sell more products - from bakers and café owners to independent retailers. Never has this been more important than in these harsh economic times.

Krispy Kreme UK has launched a new patisserie doughnut range, featuring three "luxurious" additions.

Savoury pastry brand Ginsters is to introduce a range of limited-edition pasties later this month. A new Roast Chicken & Bacon Pasty and Steak & Ale Pasty, both 180g, will be available from 26 April.

ISA gets on the Metro

24 April, 2009

ISA (UK) has launched a new display cabinet range, Metro, with chilled, ambient and heated modules.

Fat under fire

24 April, 2009

It wasn't long ago that the baking industry was at war with trans fats, spending vast amounts of time and money on new ingredients, reformulating recipes and changing production processes. The campaign was successful, with the so-called 'killer fat' more or less vanquished from bakery products. But just when bakers might have expected some respite, they are suddenly under pressure to take on another enemy of the arteries: saturated fats.

The second phase of the main EU sugar reform finishes in October. As an independent, non-refining distributor of sugar in the UK, we welcome the reform.

Edible nut pricing

24 April, 2009

Almonds: The Californian almond bloom was good, but there were widespread reports of a late frost that affected a number of countries to differing degrees. This will have impacted on the final crop figure come the harvest in August/September.

As the Soil Association prepares for its processing standards review, two aspects of the relationship between food producers and consumers seem paramount: trust and transparency. The former requires the latter. Food scares in the past 20 years damaged trust in conventional producers and encouraged people to seek organic alternatives, based on honest-to-goodness principles and verified by open standards.

The British Sandwich Association (BSA) has consulted some of the largest sandwich producers and retailers to develop online training courses for improving food safety and hygiene.

Fine food retailer Lewis & Cooper's move into wholesale looks to be paying off after its fruit cakes and biscuits were listed at 11 National Trust shops and retailer Lakeland ordered 11,000 of its plum puddings.

Consumer lobby group Which? has slammed sandwiches from Asda, Marks & Spencer and Subway as containing "shocking" amounts of salt, sugar or saturated fat and is calling for nutritional information to be available at point of sale for all sandwiches.

In Short

24 April, 2009

== Big harvest on cards ==

Meat product manufacturer Parkam Food Group has acquired sandwich and chilled filling manufacturer Freshway Foods after the West Midlands-based company went into administration.

Coffee shops are missing out on sales because they are failing to emphasise the freshness and quality of their sandwiches, accor-ding to a new IGD report on consu- mer attitudes on food-to-go.

In Short

24 April, 2009

== Shortlist revealed ==

The Real Bread Campaign is planning to distribute stickers to consumers for placing on packs of plant bread, warning them against unlabelled processing aids used to make loaves. The labels will first be distributed at the Real Food Festival, at London's Earl's Court from 8-10 May, and will then be available to download.

A traditional bakery opened only last September by the owner of the renowned Hambleton Hall country hotel, in Rutland, is proving so successful that a third shop has opened this month to cope with public demand for its specialist breads.

In Short

24 April, 2009

== Cooplands' donation ==

Cornish bakery Rowe's has revealed that its new Reggae Reggae Chicken Pasty is now outselling its Traditional Steak variety - a first in its history.

West Scotland-based James Allan Bakers has expanded with the opening of two new shops in Partick and Alexandria.

BB's Coffee & Muffins plans to open up to 25 outlets in petrol station forecourts in the UK by the end of next year, after launching the first at a branch of Shell in Middlesbrough last month.

It's not long now until National Craft Bakers' Week, so make sure you get involved and promote your business.

Andrew Jones Pies' two shops have reopened and a new factory has been sourced following a tragic explosion at its factory on Good Friday, which left one man dead.

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