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Christmas cake and pud sales 12% behind last year

Supermarket sales of Christmas cakes and puddings – and many other festive favourites – are currently trailing last year’s.

Waitrose uses customer reviews for marketing drive

Supermarket giant Waitrose has launched a new marketing campaign using customer reviews to highlight the quality of its in-store products.

Supermarket sales up, despite deflation

Kantar Worldpanel has revealed that, despite continued deflation of 1.1%, supermarket sales rose by 0.3% in the 12 weeks ending 11 September.

Macmillan launches 25,000 biscuit sculpture

Charity Macmillan Cancer Support is showcasing artwork featuring an entire British skyline made out of 25,000 biscuits in London.

Consumer spending soars to 13-month high in August

The latest Barclaycard consumer spending data has reached a 13-month high of 4.2%, a counteraction from muted growth of 2.6% in July.

Independent success for Topping Pie Company

Yorkshire-based family bakery The Topping Pie Company has seen its sales from farm shops, delis, garden centres and independent retailers double in the last quarter.

Walls under new ownership after American takeover

Shetland-based Walls Bakery has been taken over by American entrepreneur Bruce Gilardi and has changed its name to Waas Bakery.

Asda warned against irrational price war

Bosses from retailer Sainsbury’s have suggested that starting a price war would be not be a logical step forwards for rival retailer Asda.

Tesco ‘wasted’ 119m meals last year

The supermarket chain threw away the equivalent of 119m meals last year, with bread and sandwiches among the most commonly discarded items. 

David Smart: Clean eating is a “cutesy one-liner aiming to sell books”

David Smart, president of the Craft Bakers’ Association (CBA) has claimed the clean eating movement is a “cutesy one-liner aiming to sell books.”

Haydens fined £40k

Wiltshire bakery firm Haydens Bakery, part of the Real Good Food Company, has been fined £40k for safety failings, after one of its workers was injured by a bowl mixer.

Scotch Pie Champ spat as organisers split

Scottish Bakers is to become the sole manager of the World Scotch Pie Championships following a row between the competition’s organisers.

Patisserie Holdings ebitda up 21.3%

Patisserie Holdings, owner of high street bakery Patisserie Valerie, saw ebitda increase 21.3% to £10.6m, and revenue grow 14% to £50m, up from £43.7m in the first half of the last financial year.

10 reasons to enter the Baking Industry Awards

It’s the biggest night in bakery – the event when the whole of the industry comes together.

Online grocery boom worth £8.6bn last year

One in four consumers now shops for groceries online, according to a new survey by Mintel.

Just Desserts expands bakery

West Yorkshire-based bakery and patissier Just Desserts is to increase the footprint of the business by 50%, following a 30% sales growth in the last year. 

Mark Muncey’s blog: Taking Cornwall to Shanghai

In the last of three instalments from Proper Cornish’s marketing director, he travels to Shanghai on a bakery mission – to meet distributors, buyers and agencies.

Costa beset by separation rumours

Whitbread’s shares soared yesterday as takeover and break-up talk was rife around the owner of Costa Coffee.

High street closures at five-year low

New research from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and the Local Data Company (LDC), shows coffee shops led the rise in new store openings last year.

Food sales return to growth despite supermarket price war

The grocery sector reported a 0.5% rise in sales in the four weeks to 28 February, after months of little or no growth, according to Kantar Worldpanel.

Price of gluten-free bread and croissants rises

Mysupermarket.com has analysed the prices of various baked goods over the last year, with many items found to be cheaper, but a few significantly more expensive.

Caption: Jason Tarry, chief product officer at Tesco and president of GroceryAid, pictured on the night.
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Fundraising ball raises over £280k for GroceryAid

Seven hundred people from across the whole of the grocery industry gathered at the Hilton on Park Lane for the annual Diamond Ball last week. 

Caffè Nero roasted for tax avoidance

High street coffee chain Caffè Nero has come under widespread media criticism for paying no corporation tax in the last financial year, despite posting a profit of almost £23.6m.

Ginger Nut production restarted

United Biscuits (UB) has resumed production of McVitie’s Ginger Nuts at its Carlisle factory.

5 things you can learn about Greggs

Greggs' record annual profits off the back of a bold food-to-go strategy gives any bakery pause for thought. British Baker takes a look at the key factors which give the high-street baker its competative edge.

Welsh Hills triumphs at Welsh Business Awards

Gluten-free bakery Welsh Hills has been revealed as joint winner of the Success through Overseas Trade category in the Welsh Business Awards.

Prince of Wales visits Bettys

Bettys’ craft bakery in Starbeck was the last port of call for The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall yesterday. 

Tesco buys Harris +Hoole coffee shops outright

Tesco now has full ownership of its in-store coffee shop business Harris + Hoole.

Real Good Food’s share price falls 20%

Food ingredients and bakery supplier Real Good Food (RGF) saw share prices drop 20% after it warned that profits for the year would not hit market expectations.

Coup de Pates launches two ready-to-use sponge sheets

Coup de Pates, which launched its rebrand of Delice de France last year, has created two new sponge sheets. 

Adelie’s Freshpak acquisition in doubt

Food-to-go giant Adelie Foods agreed in principal to buy sandwich filling supplier Freshpak Chilled Foods last year, but the deal is reported to have been thrown into doubt. 

Michael Portillo makes pasties with Warrens Bakery

Former MP and journalist Michael Portillo was taught how to make the “perfect” Cornish pasty in Penzance, as part of a television series that aired last week. 

Chief executive, Roger Whiteside
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Greggs to offer new gluten-free range

The high street bakery chain, Greggs, is set to introduce a new gluten-free range later this year, the company's chief executive has announced.

Allied Bakeries reports increased sales in challenging times

Kingsmill owner Allied Bakeries achieved a substantial increase in sales volumes for the 16 weeks ending 2 January, “although pricing and margins remain challenging”.

Handmade Cake Company sees profit growth

The Handmade Cake Company, the Berkshire-based foodservice cake business, has reported an increase in operating profit from £1.7m to £2.4m for the year ending 31 March 2015.

Discounters benefit at Christmas amid 0.2% drop in grocery sales

Continuing price deflation meant there was no Christmas uplift for the British grocery market as sales fell 0.2% on last year. But Waitrose, The Co-operative and Sainsbury’s successfully grew ahead of the market. 

Bako Own Label rebrands as Bako Select

Bako, the baking products and supplies company, has rebranded its own-label product line following “extensive customer research”.

Who ya gonna call? – Finsbury granted licence for Ghostbusters

Finsbury Food Group has become a UK licensee for this year’s Ghostbusters film.

Sainsbury's was the only one of the Big Four to post sales growth for the 12 weeks to 6 December
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Sainsbury’s bucks Big Four downward trend

Sainsbury’s was the only Big Four supermarket to show growth for the 12 weeks to 6 December 2015, up 1.2% to achieve a market share of 16.7%.

Warburtons finalises five-year wheat contracts

Warburtons, the bakery giant, has today announced the finalising of new wheat-growing contracts with more than 300 British farmers.

Grocery retailers set for strong Christmas

UK shoppers are expected to spend £20.3bn on groceries over the Christmas period, a 1.4% rise on last year.

Cuckoo's Bakery in Edinburgh launched a range of cupcakes for Halloween
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Bakers say 2015 was best Halloween ever

Bakers have reported that sales boomed over Halloween, with the strongest sales ever this year.

RGF returns to profit

Real Good Food (RGF) has reported a profit before tax of £9.3m for its first half – compared with a loss of £4.7m for the same period last year.

Greencore fined £40,000+ after worker severs fingers

Greencore Food To Go has said it “deeply regrets” an incident last April where a worker had two fingers severed by a mixing machine at its Spalding site. 

Gerhard’s blog: Happy Days

Teaching one of my master classes last week, I conducted a quick straw poll as to who was going to win this year’s Great British Bake-Off (GBBO).

Carrier bag charge comes into force

From today English shoppers will have to pay 5p for plastic carrier bags at the checkout.

Gerhard’s blog: Chocolate fantasies

The Great British Bake Off’s (GBBO) semi-final chocolate theme had me hunting for chocolate in my kitchen. 

John Duffy, chief executive of Finsbury Food Group
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Finsbury shares up on preliminary results

Shares in Finsbury Food Group, the large bakery manufacturer and supplier, rose 25% yesterday after the company announced pre-tax profits had grown by 76% to £11.4m last year.

The past seven days in bakery

Last week was another busy one in the world of bakery – so here’s a round-up of the most read British Baker stories in case you missed them.

Profits and sales rise at ‘transformational’ Finsbury Food Group

Finsbury Food Group saw profit before tax soar by 76% to £11.4m last year, it revealed this morning.

Welsh bakery investigates van speeding incident

Wrexham’s Village Bakery has launched an internal investigation, after a video was released online filming one of its vans allegedly speeding.

Thorntons to exit Stock Exchange

Thorntons has officially requested to be delisted from the London Stock Exchange, in anticipation of its pending takeover by Ferrero International.

Tromp predicts bright future as turnover leaps 10%

The Tromp Group has seen a jump in turnover of around 10% in the year since it joined the Markel Food Group in August last year.

Irish Pride Taghmon site
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Potential deal for Irish Pride Bakeries on cards

It is rumoured that a rescue-deal for Irish Pride Bakeries is under way, after it went into receivership last month.

Bake Off contestant lands recipe deal

Last year’s Great British Bake Off contestant Kate Henry has launched a partnership with fine food company Bennett Opie.

Waitrose sees sandwich sales soar with weather

Waitrose has seen sandwich sales rocket up 11% compared to this time last year.

McVitie's
McVitie's campaign Sweeet friend character give away on TV from today
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UB extends ‘Sweeet’ campaign with cuddly toy giveaway

United Biscuits is giving away 3.5 million cuddly toys from McVitie’s ‘Sweeet’ campaign in the next step of the relaunch that began last year. 

Cornish fudge firm celebrates 50 years

A family-run Cornish bakery celebrated its 50th anniversary at the flagship Padstow store last week. 

The #GBBO phenomenon and big brands

The Great British Bake Off is back and here British Baker looks at how the show has become a social media phenomenon.

Italy complains about “traffic light” food labelling

Italy has complained over the UK’s use of voluntary colour-coded food labels, claiming the system is discriminatory.

Brotform micro-business now in production

Breadstead, a micro-business set up to offer a UK alternative to brotforms and bannetons shipped from overseas, has now produced its first run of baking bowls

Warburtons pulls out of France

Plant bread baker Warburtons has said au revoir to the French bread market – after it decided to stop selling its Le Toastie loaf there.

Shares in Greggs fall after 2012 profits revealed

Shares in Greggs, the high street bakery retailer, fell by 43.5p yesterday - after the City reacted to the company’s fall in profits in 2012.

Sales up, profits down at Grupo Bimbo

Grupo Bimbo, the world’s largest bread baker, saw its second-quarter sales soar by 43.4% from the same period last year.

Bakers keen to support workable VAT solution

The baking industry is keen to promote its alternative 20% tax solution to the government, saying it understands the government’s desire to reduce anomalies and raise revenue.

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