News round-up 2008

12 December, 2008
Georgi Gyton takes a snapshot of the baking industry's headlines in 2008
Page 18 
== January ==
* Greggs, now headed by Ken McMeikan, comes out on top in British Baker's annual Top 50 bakery retailers list, with 1,368 UK outlets. It beats Subway, which comes in second with 1,020 shops.* Asda cuts artificial colours and flavours from all of its 9,000 own-label products after a 12-month project working with its bakery suppliers.* A strike at Warburtons is averted after a pay agreement is reached with the Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU).* 41 jobs are saved after Kirtons Bakery buys the business and assets of UK Bakeries in Leicester.== February ==* There are massive job losses at the former Bernard Matthews sandwich business, after it is acquired by Kerry Foods - all 250 employees lose their jobs.* A survey by TNS Worldpanel reveals that families are trading up when it comes to indulgence. The research also notes mega trends such as healthy eating, convenience, local provenance and ethical consumerism.* The Cornish Pasty Association (CPA) waits to hear whether Defra will support its application for Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) for the Cornish Pasty.* Seven-outlet firm Bagel Nash announces plans to open another 50 outlets in the next five years.== March ==* Greggs reveals record full-year profits, up 12% on 2006 to £49m. The chain also reveals plans to extend its range of hot sandwiches.* Medway Foods' pastry business is saved, alongside 40 jobs, after senior management takes control of the Welsh firm in a £1m deal.* British Bakels is granted permission to use the US Whole Grains Council's Stamp, for its new Multi-Wholegrain mix, in the first move of its kind.Biggest equipment investment: Finsbury - £2mFinsbury announces plans to invest £2m in speciality bread-making equipment at its United Central Bakeries plant in Scotland, as well as intentions to relaunch the WeightWatchers and Thorntons brands in April.== April ==* Plans to spend £20m on a new bakery and shops in the north west are announced by Greggs, including one at Manchester Airport.The company also appoints a new chief executive, Ken McMeikan.* Head of Costa John Derkach denies rumours there are plans for Whitbread to sell off the coffee chain.* The pressure of global supply issues forces miller Rank Hovis to put up prices. It rises £34.38 a tonne, equivalent to a 55p increase per 16kg bag.* Sayers bakery begins talks with union officials over 150 redundancies. A worldwide escalation of raw materials and energy and fuel costs are blamed.== May ==* The steering group for the formulation of a National Skills Academy for bakery is formed, and is made up of 12 representatives across bakery, supply and industry associations.* Cooks the Bakery completes the acquisition of 120 leasehold stores from the administrators of Three Cooks.* Chris Beaney becomes NA president. George Stevenson is appointed SAMB president and John Lindsay, of BakeMark, is the new ABST student president.* Hallett's Bakers, in Torquay, claims to have made the largest scone ever. At 26kg, it is apparently 700 times bigger than a standard size.* A buyer is sought for Tindale & Stanton after the company is taken into administration.== June ==* A management buy-out is staged, after the Lyndale Group goes into administration, seeing the loss of 450 jobs. A new company Sayers the Bakers is formed.* South Wales-based Best Bakeries is hoping for a management buy-out after going into administration. Meanwhile, 60-shop Ferrari's Fresh, which had been supplied by Best Bakeries, sees 32 of its outlets transferred to new owner, ICD Wales, after the business goes into administration.* Délifrance reveals plans to double its business within two years, following the opening of its new production facility in Leicester.Biggest merger: The formation of AryztaIAWS and Hiestand merge to create the world's biggest maker of frozen baked goods, now known as Aryzta, taking its revenue in excess of E2.4bn (£2.1bn).== July == * Chatwins, based in Cheshire, makes the switch to Fairtrade in all its 20 coffee shops and lounges. It will now serve Fairtrade tea, coffee and filter coffee.* More than 200 staff are made redundant as the Peter Hunt bakery is unable to find a buyer, after its parent company, the Lyndale Group, goes into administration in June.* New York City sees the implementation of the trans-fat ban on food sold in all foodservice establishments.* Around 600 US Starbucks outlets close as part of its "transformation strategy".Biggest health issue: Salt reduction proposalsThe Food Standards Agency (FSA) sets new salt targets in bakery and launches a public consultation on its proposals.== August ==* Hovis reinstates its little loaf, as Premier Foods adds four loaves to its Hovis' 400g in order to capitalise on a "key growth area".* A number of companies, including Greggs and Kerry Foods, oppose plans for Cornish pasties' Protected Geographic Indication (PGI), due to fears it would "limit consumer choice".* Coffee chain Gloria Jeans announces plans to expand its franchise into the UK market from its current nine shops to 150.* Northern Foods reveals plans to close one of its two biscuit plants.== September ==* The Baking Industry Awards took place at the Grosvenor House hotel in London. Among the highlights is Vandemoortele's Baker of the Year award, won by Piero Scacco.* Dave Brooks steps down as chief executive at Finsbury Foods, to be replaced by Martin Lightbody.* Two big names join forces - Campden & Chorleywood Food Research Association (CCFRA) and Brewing Research International (BRI) merge to become Campden BRI.Biggest relaunch: The Hovis brandPremier Foods' relaunch of its Hovis brand gets under way with a massive £15m campaign. Promotional spend is to complement additional investment in capital and recipe improvements.== October ==* The talk of the industry is the government's decisions to deregulate traditional bread weights, with a new European directive to come in next April.* Maple Leaf closes two of its bakeries - in Dunstable and Bedfordshire - due to the worsening economic climate.* Hobbs House Bakery unveils the Behemoth - a 5kg loaf made from its organic Wild White sourdough.* Milanese boutique bakery chain Princi opens its first UK shop and announces plan to open another 10 in the capital in the next five years.== November ==* Associated British Food (ABF) reveals positive revenue growth in its full-year results, with revenue in its ingredients division up 21%.* Craft bakeries are facing a shortage of skilled workers after Eastern European workers continue to leave the UK and return home.Troubled times: Firkins aims to keep goingWest Midlands bakery Firkins is forced to close 20 shops after going into administration. Managing director, Ian Bolderston managed to buy back 30 of the company's 53 stores, from the administrators, saving 200 jobs.== December ==* South Wales-based bakery chain Ferrari's is put into liquidation, follo-wing advice from the company's financial investors.* The Real Good Food Company predicts profit before taxation of around £0.5m in its full-year results to 31 December.* Stephen Hallam, MD of Dickinson & Morris Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe, Melton Mowbray, Leicester, reports pie sales are up 30% on the same period last year.



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