With 2020 fast approaching, we cast our eye over some of the bakery stories that have hit the headlines over the past 12 months.
- Allied Bakeries lost its contract to supply Tesco with own-label bread, prompting the business to make a £65m impairment charge against its income. The Tesco deal will end in 2020.
- Tesco launched a meat- and dairy-free sausage roll at its in-store bakeries but stopped short of calling it vegan because it is baked-off in Tesco’s in-store ovens alongside the rest of its bakery range.
- Poppyseed Bakery won the title of Britain’s Best Loaf 2019 with its wholemeal sourdough loaf. It was chosen as a standout winner among 150 entrants.
- The Handmade Cake Company created its first-ever ambient range, which comprised a trio of individually-wrapped products. The NPD targeted consumer needs for on-the-go snacks for different times of the day, according to the company.
- Hollywood actor Robert De Niro starred in a Warburtons bagel advert. De Niro was following in the footsteps of other stars – including The Muppets, Sylvester Stallone and Peter Kay – who have promoted the Bolton-based brand.
- Fine Lady Bakeries was ordered to pay more than £180,000 after waste material from the business entered the local sewer network. The prosecution followed a Thames Water investigation, which discovered uncontrollable trade waste discharges occurring to the foul and surface water sewer systems.
- Premier Foods announced it would be launching a new plant-based brand called Plantastic. The brand would include desserts, cake and soup produced with plant-based ingredients, and would be sourced from a combination of in-house manufacturing and co-manufacturer partners.
- Pret A Manger bought Eat and stated it planned to convert the brand’s shops to vegetarian Veggie Prets. The company said it planned to turn “as many Eat shops as possible” into Veggie Prets as demand for more vegetarian and vegan options grew.
- Allied Bakeries announced it would be ending bakery production at its Cardiff site following the loss of its largest own-label bread contract. The move followed a review of the troubled business after it lost a contract to supply own-label bread at Tesco. Allied also announced managing director Jon Jenkins would leave the business.
- The government announced a new law that would require full ingredients labelling on pre-packaged food. Environment Secretary Michael Gove introduced ‘Natasha’s Law’, which is designed to tighten rules by requiring that foods pre-packed directly for sale, such as sandwiches, carry a full list of ingredients.
- Sainsbury’s vowed to scrap plastic bags for loose bakery items in all stores by September, offering paper bags to consumers instead. It is part of Sainsbury’s plan to cut a further 1,284 tonnes of plastic this year, following existing commitments to remove 1,280 tonnes.
- Warburtons, which reported £20.7m pre-tax profit a year ago, made a £13.5m loss as a result of restructuring costs and falling bread sales. Despite the launch of products including a wrapped bloomer and sourdough Toastie loaf over the period, NPD did not offset the decline in Warburtons’ established core ranges.