Pork Farms has become the first major retail brand to display the British Lion egg products mark on-pack.
Warrington-based company Windsor CakeCraft has seen its internet sales increase 2,300% as the credit crunch encourages consumers to decorate their own celebration cakes.
Northern Foods announced a “strong performance” in its Bakery division in its full year results to 28 March 2009.
Customer: "So it'll be either you or Joanna Lumley running the country next?"
l Conference report From farmers to hoteliers to chip shop owners to bakers, two eccentric entrepreneurs have the SAMB conference in the palms of their hands
5 January, 1941: BB nearly burns
As a big fan of ex-BB columnist Dan Lepard, Stop the Week was amused to see a scuffle break out between him and Matthew Drennan, editor of Delicious - a magazine he contributes to (or should we say, has done) - on his Guardian baking blog.
The truth of the phrase "you've got to be in it to win it" has never been more cruelly exposed - at least in the world of bakery - than it was last week at Bako London's showcase event to mark its 50th anniversary.
Environmentally friendly packaging is not only a good way for your business to 'do its bit', but can also act as a selling point for goods, as consumers become increasingly aware of their benefits. But are eco-only packaging companies better than generic companies that offer sustainable options as part of their range?
The market for small treats has benefited as recession-hit consumers seek comfort in cakes. "Consumers still appear to have a taste for small cake products," says Michael Evans, communications manager for cakes giant Greencore. "Tubs of mini cake rolls, bars, flapjack bites and the like are still fairly prominent in retailers' fixtures, with almost 90% of households buying small cakes, partaking on average 15 times a year," he says. Indeed small cakes make up the largest sector of the £1.3 bn ambient cake market, standing at £464m and growing at 6.6% per year. "Promotional activity has inevitably helped generate some of this growth," he explains.
Benier - how do you pronounce it? Well, it's not 'benny-er', though many of us may have thought so. It's more like 'ben ear' and MD David Marsh has a useful way of helping customers and hapless journalists remember. He says we should just think of the phrase 'bin 'ere, done that!' and it works! Just try it.
As craft bakers, along with other independent retailers, you may be feeling the pinch. Cost-cutting is important and, at times like these, it seems an easy option to stop spending time or money on marketing and publicity. But this would be a mistake. Your customers, the consumers, are also feeling vulnerable and uncertain of what lies ahead, so now is the time to communicate with them through all means available. You must reassure them that they still get the best value for money and quality from their local craft baker.
Following on from BB's sandwich forum in 8 May issue, we ask:
Ginger has been used in British baking for many years in gingerbreads, ginger cakes, parkins and ginger snaps. Although you can occasionally use grated fresh root ginger in cakes and biscuits, ground ginger is more generally used and, in some recipes, the flavour of ginger can be increased and enhanced by adding crystallised or preserved stem ginger.
By Daniel Stevens, introduced by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Tom Herbert is a fifth-generation baker and director of Hobbs House Bakery, a multi-award-winning craft bakery, based in Gloucestershire
Dorset bakery Honeybuns has launched its new range of cookies at the Caffé Culture exhibition. The products include polenta and ground, toasted almonds and are free from gluten and refined sugar.
Alleggra Foods has launched a premium-style crème cake mix for retail and craft bakers.
A new company Print Delicious is having huge success with its edible chocolate images in Ireland. The company, based in Bray, Co Wicklow, is marketed as "the creative chocolate printing company" and was inspired by the Chocolography Technology company in the US.
Foodservice supplier Brakes has expanded its portfolio of mini savoury buffet items, with seven new canapés, developed as a twist on traditional British recipes. Varieties include Brakes Mini Cottage Pie, a shortcrust pastry case filled with minced beef and onion gravy, topped with a rosette of Cheddar and chive mash.
Summer is just around the corner, which means it's time to review your beverage and snacking offer. As you know, when the sun shines, our sales are often affected and not always to our benefit. So let's explore a 'weather friendly' menu.
German vending machine manufacturer Sielaff has come up with an environmentally friendly way to return and recycle PET bottles and cans.
Sussex bakery chain Forfars has reduced costs and man-hours after introducing the Toshiba B-SV4D compact desktop printers and Solo software from KTEC to print labels. With label formats stored on the printers, the time-consuming manual labelling process was replaced by printing on demand. The KTEC solution is USB-based, so any changes to the label formats or prices can be sent from head office on a memory stick, for download directly to the printer on site.
The Handmade Cake Company has launched a new range of tray-baked Cake Squares.
Competitions, karaoke and camaraderie were just a few of the ingredients that went into an eventful May Bank Holiday weekend at the Alliance of Bakery Students and Trainees' (ABST) conference in Torquay.
Close to 2,000 jobs could be at risk in the Irish Republic baking industry as supermarkets sell bread at big discounts. Jobs under threat are in production, distribution, van sales and among shop staff. And at least one major plant bakery is at risk of closure.
Pine nuts: The problem of shorter supply out of China has been exacerbated by the ending of any volumes being allowed to be imported from neighbouring former Soviet Union states, leaving China stranded, with insufficient stocks to meet its existing and new forward demand. We would advise manufacturers to reverse any new product development involving pine nuts, as supply will be tricky at best. Any forward contracts into the UK trade will be a nightmare to fulfil and it may end up cheaper to buy a retail pack off the shelves than to buy a bulk container from China.
Consumers are in favour of a single front-of-pack (FOP) labelling scheme, according to the results of a research project by the Project Management Panel, commissioned by the Food Standards Agency.
Hovis has continued to build its market share, according to Premier Foods' interim results for the 16 weeks to 25 April 2009.
European frozen bakery sup-plier Lantmännen Unibake has increased its share in Bakehouse, and now has a majority stake in the bake-off supplier.
The National Minimum Wage will rise to £5.80 per hour from October this year, for workers aged 22 and over, the government announced last week. This is a 7p increase per hour on the current rate of £5.73 - a rise of 1.2%.
Swedish bakery company Peter's Yard, which opened an upmarket bakery and coffee shop in Edinburgh last year, has moved into wholesale in the UK for the first time with a range of traditional Swedish crispbreads.
Inflation on the price of baked goods is running well below the food industry average, as retai-lers look to hold prices on staple products such as bread.
== Tesco's Genius move ==
== Employee cleared ==
The NAMB has opted to go with the Scottish Association of Master Bakers (SAMB) training providers, based on workplace training, delivered by accredited industry tutors and assessors.
Anthony Kindred of Kindred's Bakery in Surrey told members at this year's NAMB conference that the Food Standards Agency (FSA) wants bakers to reach 2010 salt targets of 1.1g salt per 100g of bread. At his bakery, the FSA took a test loaf, analysed it and said that, whereas many bakers based salt on flour weight, they wanted it based on dough weight. Tests are still at the research stage.
At the National Association of Master Bakers (NAMB) conference in Bournemouth last week, both the Irish president Patrick Smyth and Scottish president George Stevenson congratulated the NAMB on its most successful event in many years.
Four more café chains have agreed to work with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to promote healthier eating through their shops.
Celebrity chef Raymond Blanc has returned, after a long absence, to spearhead a major relaunch of the Maison Blanc patisserie chain.
== Greggs' sales up ==
Craft bakers up and down the country are gearing up for National Craft Bakers' Week, with special promotions and bakery tours for schoolchildren planned.
Upmarket cake shop and café chain Konditor & Cook plans to open its sixth outlet in London in the autumn, which will also offer baking classes and wedding cake consultations.
The Carbon Trust has seen a record uptake for its unsecured interest-free loans for energy-saving investments in the last three months, after funding from banks dried up and the Trust relaxed its lending criteria.
UK oven manufacturer Double D Food Engineering has been acquired by US food processing equipment supplier JBT Food- Tech, for an undisclosed sum.
Country Style Foods plans to double capacity for artisanal breads at its Grimsby factory after investing in a giant new stone bake oven that can produce up to 4,000 loaves per hour.
Don't forget to send in your entries for The In-Store Bakery Award for the chance to shine at this year's Baking Industry Awards. The deadline is 1 June, so don't delay, get your forms in now. To download entry forms visit bakeryawards.co.uk or contact Helen Law on 01293 846587 or email email@example.com.
By Patrick McGuigan
As we now all know, the credit crunch has developed over recent months from a phenomenon mainly affecting the banking and capital markets, to a full recession, impacting on every aspect of the economy. As a lawyer specialising in food transactions, it is clear that 2009 will be a very difficult year for mainstream corporate finance activity.