n Northern Foods’ shareholders voted in favour of the disposal of the firm’s speciality bread, chilled pastry, cakes and flour milling businesses to Vision Capital at an Extraordinary General Meeting this week.
n A poll on our bakeryinfo.co.uk website has revealed that 55% of bakers believe the biggest challenge to their businesses is supermarkets. The second-biggest is energy prices, at 22%, followed by training and recruitment at 19%. The poll was conducted in December 2006. This month, tell us: "What are your customers’ main demands when buying healthy baked goods?" on [http://www.bakeryinfo.co.uk]
n Greggs has said it plans to add more "aspirational" products and Healthier Options to its range. It also pledged to trial innovative trading hours and formats, as well as stepping up its marketing activity. The firm has recently appointed Raymond Reynolds as its first nationwide retail director.
n Cafe chain BB’S Coffee and Muffins, which has 155 cafés across the UK and Ireland, plans to open 20 new stores in 2007. "Our business is performing ahead of expectations and we are actively progressing our expansion plans," said Phil Abbott, MD. He added that, for 2007, BB’s will be introducing a wider range of healthy eating options in muffins and sandwiches, as well as indulgent new products.
n Fletchers Bakeries has launched ’Il Granaio’ - a selection of three Italian breads including panini and ciabatta. The company said that they were launched in response to a 30% increase in the Italian bread market over the last three years.