This year will see the roll out of the new shelf replenishment method, which encompasses the new style bread trays. These are in around 130 Tesco stores and we hope to complete that by the end of the year.
I would like to see the Federation of Bakers get bread on the health agenda. That is a huge prize for us because bread is healthy. What could be our version of the ‘five fruit and veg a day’ strapline? What’s the equivalent for bread? And who could be the iconic person to back that message?
I’d like the reverse effect of Jamie Oliver on chicken nuggets! You only have to look at what’s growing – brown bread, brown bread with bits, wraps, and pitta – and embrace that to get it to a new level.
Do I think there will be more mileage in healthy eating in 2006? I do, yes. But I think there is an education requirement. No doubt, reducing salt is important. But don’t focus everything on that and miss out on other opportunities. Best of Both was a phenomenon a couple of years ago. I would like to see more innovation. We’ve had some categories that have grown really well, and croissants stand out. Someone has to find the next one, whether that’s something like brioche, which has seen big growth in a small area, or by capitalising on the health agenda.
Do I see the balance between own-label and branded changing in the bakery? No, but I see the balance between white and brown bread changing over time. This will probably come from plant more than in-store. If you fast-forwarded a few years you would see that browns, browns with bits and wholemeals will have more space on-shelf than currently.
Sales will drive it.
Having two fewer bread label suppliers, with the initial carve up of Harvestime and the changes with New Rathbones, will create challenges for some people this year. Everybody who remains will have to think about whether their supply chains are as slick as they ought to be. With haulage and energy getting more expensive you really have to look again at your operating model.