An unnamed business has made an approach to acquire Fox’s Biscuits.

Greggs says its “growing strength” in food-to-go has contributed to a 4.2% hike in like-for-like sales through its company-managed stores in the past year.

Irwin & Sons back in profit

06 January, 2017

Northern Ireland-based bakery Irwin & Sons returned to profit in 2016 after reporting a loss the previous year.

Growth in its own retail outlets has driven a strong performance by Bristol-based pie chain Pieminister in the past year.

Ginsters owner Samworth Brothers has acquired West Cornwall Pasty Co (WCPC) from private equity investor Endless LLP, British Baker has learned. 

Boparan Holdings, parent company of Holland’s Pies and Fox’s Biscuits owner 2 Sisters Food Group, has reported an 11.9% rise in operating profit to £19.8m in the 13 weeks to 29 October.

FRP Advisory has been appointed as administrator to Wigan-based biscuit manufacturer Rivington Biscuits Limited.

A number of bakery associations are among a list of 30 food representatives that have signed an open letter calling on the government to reassure EU workers about their right to work in the UK.

UK baking mix supplier LFI Tollblend Ltd has been acquired by French business Lesaffre.

Real Good Food is to ramp up activity targeting amateur bakers after identifying them as a growth market.

Belgium-based Delacre said Ferrero had completed the acquisition of the Delacre and Delichoc biscuit brands from United Biscuits. 

Swansea-based Panini Ltd is to supply every state-run hospital and school in Wales in a new contract worth £5m.

Patisserie Holdings-owned Patisserie Valerie is rumoured to be in talks to buy the Maison Blanc chain.

The Worshipful Company of Bakers has elected Patrick Wilkins as its new Master.

Starbucks and Upper Crust operator SSP has secured an agreement with Paul Hollywood to open a new bakery concept called Knead.

Sales at Patisserie Valerie owner Patisserie Holdings have topped £100m for the first time as the business continues to grow its chain of bakery stores and cafés.

FDF director general Ian Wright has said an effective partnership between the industry and government has “never been more important”.

FDF seminar for SMEs announced

16 November, 2016

Small and medium-sized food and drink producers (SMEs) can receive guidance on sugar reduction, labelling and claims at an upcoming seminar run by the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) and Leatherhead Food Research (LFR).

Premier Foods is to extend its Cadbury range with Cadbury Choc Tarts following another strong performance from its cakes division.

Convenience food business Greencore – which describes itself as the largest sandwich manufacturer in the world – is set to ramp up its US profile with the acquisition of Peacock Foods.

Belfast-based Ashers Baking Company is exploring further legal options after a judge last month ruled against the business over its refusal to make a cake supporting gay marriage.

A focus on innovation has helped fresh prepared foods manufacturer Bakkavor grow revenue across the group in its third-quarter results.

Doncaster-based craft bakery business Cooplands has been saved in a pre-pack administration deal.

ParcelHero, an international courier specialising in UK-US deliveries, says Donald Trump’s presidential victory could be good news for UK businesses that trade regularly with the US.

Consumer spending rose 5.5% year-on-year in October, the highest growth since Barclaycard began publishing data on consumer finances in 2011.

Britain's biggest crisp brand Walkers is set to increase prices of its products by 5p as a result of the pound weakening.

Fox’s Biscuits and Goodfellas pizza owner Boparan Holdings has reported a positive branded divisional performance with Q4 like-for-like sales up 3.2% to £91.1m.

Morrisons – which was crowned In-store Bakery Retailer of the Year at the Baking Industry Awards in September – has reported its fourth consecutive increase in like-for-like sales.

Grilled cheese street food operator The Cheese Truck has smashed its crowdfunding target of £100k after an investment of more than £50k in less than 24 hours.

Global ingredients supplier Tate & Lyle has seen a strong first half, boosting its expectations for its full-year results.

FDF holds Exiting the EU event

02 November, 2016

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has held a landmark Exiting the EU event with former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg among a number of key speakers.

Chocolate giant Barry Callebaut Group said it bucked a difficult trading in Europe to grow sales of its products to food manufacturers.

Matthew Verity, business unit director, chilled and bakery at Kantar Worldpanel UK, addressed the recent British Society of Baking (BSB) Autumn Conference.

Mondelēz brands Oreo, Ritz and Cadbury Dairy Milk have contributed to the multinational's organic sales increase of 1.1% in the third quarter.

High street stores have taken a major hit, with PwC research produced by the Local Data Company finding that 15 stores closed every day in the first six months of this year.

The New York Bakery Co has steadied its sales and has cut its losses during a strong year.

Paul Shattock, food and drink sector specialist at commercial insurer the National Farmers Union - trading as NFU Mutual - has reminded manufacturers of the importance of risk management to avoid product recall issues on a global scale.

Shoppers searched for groceries on their smartphones 11% more in Q3 2016 compared to the previous quarter, according to Google and the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

Sales of artisan food have helped smaller and medium-sized manufacturers to grow profit margins to 6.8% of turnover over the past year, according to research by law firm EMW.

Costa’s total UK retail sales rose 10.1% in the first half of 2016/17 amid total revenue growth for Whitbread of 8.1% to £1.6bn in the six months to 1 September 2016.

Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural affairs Andrea Leadsom has published the UK Food and Drink: International Action Plan from 2016 to 2020 – outlining the encouragement for export growth in the baking industry.

Luxury chocolatier and retailer Hotel Chocolat has recorded a massive increase in profits for the year to 26 June 2016, thanks to a focus on the dark side.

Liberal Democrat politician Nick Clegg has warned that UK food prices will see a steep hike if the government opts for a hard Brexit and leaves the Single Market.

Bakery and catering company Peyton and Byrne has gone into administration following the loss of contracts at London’s Kew Gardens and the British Library.

Samworth investment pays off

18 October, 2016

Leicestershire-based Samworth Brothers, maker of Ginsters pasties and Soreen malt loaf, said in a trading statement its investment in staff and facilities had paid off, with revenues topping £900m.

Increasing productivity and profitability across the agricultural supply chain will be essential following Brexit, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) has warned.

Burton’s Foods - producer of brands including Maryland and Jammie Dodgers - has said it lost share in the sweet biscuits market in 2015 after refusing to participate in aggressive category price cuts.

The total food-to-go market is set to rise by an average rate of 4.4% over the next three years, according to MCA.

Consumer confidence levels have reached a record high, according to Barclaycard, which revealed that UK consumer spending rose 3.6% in Q3.

Members of the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) have revealed in a survey that concerns are mounting within the food and drink sector and confidence is becoming more fragile.

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