Anchor Butter, from Arla Foods, is celebrating its 125th birthday with a massive £4m spend, starting with a TV campaign that is on air for four weeks from the end of May through to June.

Borders Biscuits and Macphie of Glenbervie were both honoured in the 2011 Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards, hosted last night.

The late entry deadline for the Baking Industry Awards is today (Friday 27 May), so make sure you get your forms in.

Greencore has grown its sandwich sales ahead of the market as its Convenience Foods division achieved ‘constant currency’ sales growth of 4.3% in the half year to 25 March 2011.

Lees Foods has broken through the £1m pre-tax profit barrier for the first time, thanks to production efficiencies and increased business in the foodservice sector.

Fats and oils from waste pies, sausages rolls and pastries are being extracted to make bio-diesel in a project that is expected to be rolled out across the UK.

More than 200 jobs will go at Burton’s Foods’ Moreton site following the announcement it is to shut down the biscuit site.

Sandwich manufacturer and distributor Food Partners has teamed up with wholesaler Palmer and Harvey in a deal that will see Food Partners' Urban Eat range of sandwiches, snacks and salads offered to around 8,000 independent convenience stores in the UK.

Lancashire-based firm Farmhouse Biscuits plans to extend production with a new 29,000sq ft unit at the site of a former mill as sales of its gluten-free biscuits continue to grow.

Late entries for this year's Baking Industry Awards are being allowed till the end of this week, so make sure you get them all in by Friday 27 May.

British Baker's publisher William Reed Business Media has announced that Bakery@Foodex is to be a new element of its well-established biennial Foodex show.

Both large and small sandwich producers were honoured at the British Sandwich Industry Awards last Thursday (19 May), with Greggs taking home the top gong.

Allied Bakeries has rejected claims that supplies of Kingsmill bread will be affected in the West Midlands region, after distribution and transport workers at its West Bromwich site voted in favour of industrial action.

Fife-based bakery S M Bayne has added five shops to its estate, moving it into the top 30 in the BB75 table of bakery retailers, by store number.

"We are in a highly competitive business, where long-term volume and value growth is a challenge," said Federation of Bakers (FoB) chairman Mark Fairweather at the organisation's annual lunch on 11 May.

It has added a premium cachet to products for decades, but producers of goods labelled as using ‘Belgian chocolate’ could be dealt a blow by proposed EU country-of-origin labelling (COOL) regulations.

Cake attack

20 May, 2011

The BBC's Daily Politics show last week baked a cake to mark a year of the coalition government being in office. As John Prescott whizzed by the cameras, one reporter asked what the former deputy prime minister thought of it, only for Prezza to mutely shove his hand through the cake, to the shock of said hack. Punching voters is one thing, but such grievous acts of aggression against a baked good cannot be tolerated. Stop the Week is demanding an inquiry into the matter.

AOL beat Stop The Week to an exclusive interview with Sesame Street's Cookie Monster the baking industry's number one ambassador of biscuits to pre-schoolers to clear up some of the myths behind the monster. Does he bake his own? Of course, and to a family recipe dating back generations. And how does he like his cookies? "Crispy on the outside and a little bit chewy in the middle". One question was presumably dodged: how do we tackle the problem of childhood obesity? huff.to/jz2HY4

Next issue: 3 june

20 May, 2011

lHot pies and savouries

Muck spreading

20 May, 2011

Our cultural highlight of the month comes courtesy of the Home Grown Cereals Authority, whose Grassland and Muck 2011 event and no, we're not talking about Glastonbury is shaping up to be the must-be-seen-at society function of the season. Farmers are invited to bring along a manure sample with them to this special celebration of slurry in May. The first 25 farmers to bring along a sample will qualify for free muck analysis. Get in line we've already got our tent pitched at the entrance (the bucket's staying outside).

Mouthing off

20 May, 2011

"We're determined to maintain the bakery's reputation for producing the best Chelsea buns in the world. They'll be ridiculously sticky and ludicrously fruity weapons-grade buns"

As cupcakes continue to permeate society, the vogueish baked treat celebrates its entry into the 'chick lit' arena. Sue Watson's opus Fat Girls & Fairy Cakes is about a fictitious TV producer Stella Watson, who is "over-worked, overweight and under fire," having been "put out to pasture on a religious gardening programme complete with a nervous vicar, his nymphomaniac wife, and 22-stone Britney wannabe gardner, Gerald". Gripped already? Having always found comfort at the bottom of a mixing bowl, Stella decides to go into professional cupcake baking, discovering that "when the going gets tough, the tough get baking". Our pre-release copy has bumped Dostoyevsky from the holiday bag, but you'll have to wait for its cunningly timed launch, during National Cupcake Week, 12-18 September, to find out more.

Stop the Week salutes British Baker 'Reporting in' columnist Jim Winship, who last week starred in BBC1's long-running current affairs satire Have I Got News for You.

The two key elements to producing a top-selling chocolate product involve creating an initial temptation and, after that, the fulfilment of the expectation. You simply will not succeed unless both these elements are addressed before you begin. So before you order in any chocolate or start working on recipe development, sit down and think about what will tempt your typical customer and what flavours, textures and appearances will have them ordering it again and again.

Marketers and packaging designers at the ready! If you're currently making anything resembling a "luxury Belgian chocolate cake", then be prepared for the latest European labelling edict, which could give birth to a whole new cake category: the "luxury Belgian-chocolate-cake-manufactured-using-cacao-blended-from-multiple-origins-including-Ghana-Indonsesia-Togo-basically-wherever-we-can-get" it.

Every food-based business has big waste disposal and recycling issues to consider and bakery is no exception.

A case study

20 May, 2011

The haunting sounds of the Last Post played out to an audience of all ages at Ypres, Belgium, is a moving tribute to those who died on the First World War battlefields. The ceremony takes place nightly at 7.30pm watched by a large crowd of locals and visitors, some of whom are invited to place wreaths.

Custom-made craft

20 May, 2011

Joe Hall is acutely aware that times are tough for bakery retail outlets, and he knows his business has to change with the times, or pay the price. It's not about pride, but survival. As managing director of Halls Food Group it is his job to make sure the business adapts and the successes keep coming, such as its win at the Baking Industry Awards 2010, when the firm took home The Customer Focus Award, sponsored by CSM (United Kingdom).

A stainless steel push button dispense boiler with an optional electronic locking device is the latest Instanta counter-top hot water boiler.

United Biscuits (UBUK) has reformulated its Jacob's Club biscuit range, which now has a significant increase in chocolate content, as well as a new packaging design.

The Aures Group's latest version of its integrated, vertical-concept EPOS equipment is the Galéo 200. Its fanless and vertical design makes it particularly suitable for the tough conditions in catering, takeaway and food outlets.

Huhtamaki has introduced a new design to its premium quality disposable paper food-to-go range.

New look healthy water

20 May, 2011

Britvic and PepsiCo UK are to relaunch their functional water brand V Water under the new SoBe soft drinks brand.

A new range of cake making accessories from US cake superstar Duff Goldman are now available in the UK through RB Distribution. Founder of Baltimore, USA's Charm City Cakes, Goldman also stars in a show called Ace of Cakes, shown in the UK on the Food Network, Sky channel 262.

Country Choice has launched a new mini Cheese & Onion Roll, following the success of its mini sausage roll and mini pasty.

Artisan Biscuits and The Fine Cheese Co have launched two new parallel ranges of crackers called 'Toast', which are 60% composed of fruits, nuts and seeds. Toast for Cheese comes in three varieties, each containing a fruit, a nut and a seed, and each developed to complement specific cheeses. For example, the Cherries, Almonds & Linseeds is recommended for blue cheeses; Dates, Hazelnuts & Pumpkin Seeds is suited to creamy cheeses; while Apricots, Pistachios & Sunflower Seeds is said to be ideal with delicate goats' milk cheeses.

Northern Irish bakery Irwin's has launched a Muffin Loaf onto the market. Developed using the same taste of Irwin's muffins, the new product comes in a sliced loaf format, and claims to be the first of its kind to hit the shelves in Northern Ireland. The bakery says it is ideal for toasting, using in sandwiches, or enjoying with egg and bacon for breakfast.

Macaroons made easy

20 May, 2011

Unifine has launched a booklet titled French Macaroons, which features more than a dozen ways of using its French Macaroon Mix. Sold under the Sucrea brand label, the mix can be used alongside a variety of other Unifine ingredients, to make products including Raspberry Finger Macaroons and Chip & Dip Lemon Sticks. The free booklet comprises recipes, methods and storage instructions.

Ulrick & Short has developed a new tapioca-based ingredient, which it claims can help bakers produce cookies that will not only stay fresher for longer, but will also meet consumer demand for lower fat products.

The Scottish Bakers' annual conference at Peebles this past weekend, May 13-15, saw some historic entrances and exits.

Report

20 May, 2011

Cost is the most important factor for consumers when choosing a sandwich at lunchtime, a new survey by YouGov has found.

Edible nut pricing

20 May, 2011

Almonds: May's 'subjective' estimate has been announced as 794,000mts, which, if correct, would be another successive record crop. However, there is still some way to go before the start of the harvest from August. At present, almonds remain the cheapest nut, after peanuts.

FDF director of food safety & science

Gluten-free bread brand Genius is to launch in the US after signing a deal with an American gluten-free bakery manufacturer and distributor.

In Short

20 May, 2011

Wedding cake wishes

In Short

20 May, 2011

Small pie firms dominate awards

In Short

20 May, 2011

Plug for Welsh pasty

It has added a premium cachet to bakery products for decades, but the term 'Belgian chocolate' could be compromised by proposed EU country-of-origin labelling (COOL) regulations.

Private equity firm Risk Capital Partners has acquired "a large stake" in North London artisan bakery Bread Ltd, and has announced plans for the future growth of its wholesale business The Bread Factory, and Gail's bakery and café estate.

Firkins Bakery has closed its production bakery in Blacklake, West Bromwich, with more than 40 workers made redundant, but its 33 shops will stay open.

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