British consumer spending confidence is at its highest recorded level, according to analysts Nielsen.

Trade body the Craft Bakers’ Association (CBA) has raised concerns about the impact of business rates hikes with Chancellor Philip Hammond.

Two Magpies Bakery in Southwold has hit the national press after advertising sausage rolls for £8.17 – a 177% mark-up on the usual £2.95 price tag.

Exports of baked goods including bread rose 11.3% year on year to £117.6m in 2016, according to new figures from the Food & Drink Federation (FDF).

British Baker spoke with Shilpa Agarwal, sales and marketing director for the Indian market, on how food-tech companies are currently thriving in India.

Grocery research organisation IGD has identified the top five trends that will shape the food-to-go market for the future.

Aryzta has announced a top-level management shake-up, with chief executive Owen Killian among a trio of senior figures to leave the bakery business.

The latest consumer spending figures from Barclaycard have shown that, following a lull in December, record expenditure on essential items drove a 4.4% uplift in consumer spending in January. 

Consumer uncertainty following the Brexit referendum made for a challenging financial year, Sayers the Bakers has reported.

Renshaw and Haydens owner Real Good Food has raised prices as its margins come under pressure from commodity price hikes.

Strong food-to-go sales have driven a 9.1% increase in like-for-like revenue at Greencore Group in the 13 weeks to 30 December 2016.

Tesco and wholesaler Booker Group – which includes the Premier, Londis and Budgens symbol groups – are merging to create “the UK's leading food business”.

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.

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.

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