March

Planning ahead

Subtitled 'Whole Grain Products: the Holy Grail for Health Conscious Consumers?', this conference at Newcastle University aims to explore the use of wholegrains and their role in nutrition, health and food manufacturing. The aim is to contribute to current debates by policy-makers, such as EFSA and the FDA in the US, on ways to promote wholegrain use, legislate on associated health claims and establish workable definitions of whole grain and wholegrain foods.

Diary Dates

== 15-18 March ==

On the ball

There's no better symbol of how the world has been turned on its head than the jammy doughnut. At the beginning of last year the poor old ball doughnut was in a sorry state. Sales had been declining for several years, with sexy young newcomers such as iced ring doughnuts, making all the running. It looked like the jam doughnut's best days were behind it.

The wholegrain truth

The breakfast cereals industry was quick to fully capitalise on the potential for marketing the health benefits of wholegrain. In contrast, bakery is only now truly catching up, with a glut of wholegrain wrapped bread launches in recent months.

Welsh wizards

Despite the fact that the founders of The Village Bakery in Coedpoeth, North Wales, came from a plant background, the business was founded on craft ideals and principles. These have always been important to the company and no doubt played their part in the company scooping the Rank Hovis-sponsored Craft Business Award at last years' Baking Industry Awards.

Trainee Baker of the Year

Are you a baker training at college or with a company? Are you a keen apprentice? Are you a company with good trainees who deserve recognition? Or perhaps you are a bakery trainer with some outstanding students, whom you feel should be noticed.

The Customer Focus Award

In today's challenging trading environment, simply meeting customers' expectations is not enough - we need to surpass them," says John Lindsay, who is country manager and business unit director at BakeMark UK.

The Craft Business Award

The focus of this award is not about size of operation or number of shops, but about product excellence, enterprise and ideas, says UK miller Rank Hovis, which is proud to once again sponsor The Craft Business Award in 2009.

The Innovation Award

Innovation is the lifeblood of any industry - and the baking industry is no exception. This is why Asda is pleased to support the newly launched Innovation Award, which recognises the companies that are driving the sector forward.

celebration cake maker of the year

Renshawnapier is proud to continue its support of the industry by sponsoring Celebration Cake Maker of the Year once again.

bakery supplier of the year

Successful partnerships between suppliers and customers are vital in driving the baking industry forward. To help encourage and recognise the strong relationships that have been built in the sector, Sainsbury's is delighted to once again sponsor Bakery Supplier of the Year.

bakery food manufacturer of the year

ADM Milling is delighted to sponsor Bakery Food Manufacturer of the Year for the seventh time. This year, we are looking for businesses that represent all corners of the food baking industry. Whether they are businesses that have grown from traditional craft bakery roots to become excellent specialist bakeries or large bakery manufacturers with a strong market presence - all are encouraged to enter.

the achievement in bakery training award

The Achievement in Bakery Training Award is open to individuals and companies that have either initiated or been involved in successful training programmes. The award is once again sponsored by Rich Products, a leading provider of premium, indulgent frozen and ambient bakery products. Entrants do not have to be a customer of Rich's to apply.

baker of the year

Matching the high standards set by least year's entrants to the Baker of the Year category will be tough, but sponsor Vandemoortele is sure that the industry's top bakers will rise to the challenge.

a celebration of talent

In these challenging times, it is more important than ever to recognise the passion and hard work of Britain's best bakers and bakery companies. Times may be tough for some, but we must not forget that there are still a huge number of highly successful people and businesses in the baking industry, producing top-quality products at affordable prices.

Lucozade stays Alert to stimulus

Sports and energy drink brand Lucozade has repackaged its latest offering, Lucozade Alert, into cans to bring it more in line with consumers' perceptions of mental stimulation drinks.

Garlic gets a snack attack

Black garlic is the latest health-giving product set to take the snacking and ingredients markets by storm. The garlic is aged and fermented in a process that turns its bitter white cloves into soft, sweet, black segments, which are completely odourless. The resulting sweet chewy pieces can be snacked on, as well as cooked, and maintain all of garlic's health benefits.

Toffee joins Craigmillar line

BakeMark UK has introduced a new Extra Moist Toffee Cake Mix to its Craigmillar cake mix portfolio.

La Pizza points to pockets

La Pizza has launched a range of Tascas - folded soft bread pockets - which can be used to create sandwiches with a difference. The manufacturer of frozen part-baked pizza bases, dough balls, tear-and-share garlic bread and speciality breads has introduced three new items: Ceasar Tasca, containing cracked pepper and an Italian cheese topping; Red Onion Tasca, containing red onion pieces; and a Plain Tasca, which can be used for a range of fillings.

ADM springs into action for flour

ADM Milling is offering a spring promotion on its Harvester flour, as well as updating its logo and marketing material. Customers will be able to purchase 13 bags of Harvester flour for the price of 12.

Consumer watch How do we get customers to spend more?

Seventy-seven per cent of coffee chain customers are drinking their purchase in the outlet. Those who spend 15 minutes in a coffee chain spend £4.78 per trip on average. However those who spend more than four times longer - at least an hour - only spend 10% more or £5.22 on average.

Pain Delice offers Polar experience

Polarbröd, which translates as Polar Bread, is a Swedish company that produces bread from within an area of the same name in the Arctic Circle. Distributed by Pain Delice, the bread is promoted on healthy credentials, but the company said it does not compromise on taste.

Bakehouse homes in on burger buys

Bakehouse's new Gourmet Burger Bun - designed to hold a fresh 4-8oz burger - has been developed to capitalise on increased consumer demand for premium fresh burgers.

Brakes develops savoury tastes

Brakes has added two new products to its savouries and pastry portfolio. Brakes 8-inch Giant Sausage Roll is a ready-to-bake flakey pastry roll containing chopped and shaped pork. Featuring a laddered pattern, which ensures the pastry rises and cooks more evenly, the sausage rolls are available in packs of 40.

Fruit pricing

Coconut: Origin coconut prices have eased over the past 1-2 months, although these declines have been largely offset by the stronger dollar. Demand for coconut should pick up in the run-up to Easter.

Report

The latest National Statistics on UK milled wheat and flour production, from Defra, revealed an increase of 2.9% in the total wheat milled in the UK, for the crop-year to date (starting July 2008), compared to figures for the 2007/08 crop year.

Reporting in Long live local competitions

Where have all the bread and confectionery competitions gone? Down in Kent we still run a county competition each year to find the Champion Kent Baker. The Western Region has been running bread and confectionery competitions for many years. Both competitions are well-supported by bakers from all over their areas.

Consumer tracking

Wheat-free bakery products are more commonplace in Australia than the UK, according to the latest Austrends 2009 Trade report, and there are good growth opportunities available. The report, published by the Australian Trade Commission, provides insight into how Aussie food and beverage producers are delivering innovation within key trends in the UK market.

Aryzta blossoms with half-year health

Aryzta has announced a healthy performance in its half-year results. Adjusted profit rose by 14.6% within its food division with underlying revenue increasing 6% for the six months to 31 January 2009.

Bakers asked to sign petition on late payments

Bakers are being urged to sign up to an online petition calling for an end to late payments. If enough people sign up, it is hoped the government will introduce industry standard contractual payment terms, ensuring that all companies pay suppliers within 28 days.

In Short

== Costa sales up ==

Welsh move for French bakery firm

French bakery PV France is moving to Wales after out-growing its Merseyside factory in Kirby.

Premier plans further push for Hovis brand

Premier Foods has said it will continue its Hovis marketing push in a bid to cement the brand's turnaround.

In Short

== M&S meal deal ==

Tchibo plans new coffee offer

The German-owned Tchibo chain of coffee shops, which is pulling out of its 51 high street retailing sites and 100 shop concessions in Sainsbury's and Somerfield, told British Baker at Café+ that, in three to four months' time, it would launch a new coffee service to bakery retailers. Tchibo, based in Epsom, Surrey, will provide its piacetta ground coffee, together with equipment and pods (small, fully equipped counter units) and larger fully equipped counters, to bakery and café retailers.

Supplier shows off serve-overs

Equipment and products supplier Country Choice was promoting its serve-over format at Café+ as part of its Bake&Bite Café concept.

Warburtons set to tackle the foodservice sector

Warburtons, which was exhibiting at the Convenience Retailing Show from March 1-3, revealed to British Baker that it is targeting the foodservice sector for the first time, working with FusionFSM, a firm that offers a strategic service for suppliers interested in entering the market.

In Short

== Sayers staff thanked ==

Bagel Nash slows plans for growth

Bagel Nash has scaled back its expansion plans, as the credit crunch bites into the sandwich market.

Samworth gains £4m M&S deal

Leicester-based Samworth Brothers has won a £4m order to make loaf cakes and cupcakes for Marks & Spencer.

The Bread Factory doubles capacity

Doubling its sales has prompted handmade speciality bread and cake producer The Bread Factory to build a new production facility. The wholesale baker, which has been baking breads and morning goods for more than 17 years, needed more space after sales rose in the last two years.

Your chance to shine, as we launch BIA 2009

British Baker is delighted to announce the launch of the 2009 Baking Industry Awards, to be held on Tuesday 8 September at the Park Lane Hilton in London.

FSA pushes major chains on health

Major sandwich shops and coffee chains have announced commitments to produce 'healthier' products as part of a wider project by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) targeting food outlets.

In Short

== Change of venue ==

FoB event

The Federation of Bakers' annual conference will take place on Wednesday 20 May 2009 at the Dorchester Hotel, London. The speakers in the morning session are John Cridland, deputy director-general of the CBI; Dr Susan Jebb, head of human nutrition research from the Medical Research Council; and Scott Clarke, bakery category director at Tesco. A panel debate will include Jebb and Clarke, along with Paul Molyneux, quality director of Hovis, and NFU president Peter Kendall.

Patisserie UK folds after losing Costa contract

Lees Foods' Patisserie UK subsidiary has been placed into administration after attempts to sell it as a going concern proved unsuccessful.

Greggs remains resilient, despite decline in profits

Growth plans for Greggs, the UK's biggest bakery retailer, are still on track, despite taking a hit on profits due to cost increases and a withdrawal from Belgium, CEO Ken McMeikan revealed to British Baker.

Reporting in Don't over-play the value deals

Price is the big issue on everyone's mind these days - but are we really doing the right thing in cutting everything to the bone?

Pork Farms changes distribution

Savoury pastry company Pork Farms has decided to discontinue its relationship with Kerry Foods Direct To Store (KFDTS), in a move to build its business through the wholesale and independent network. In support of the brand, Pork Farms is also planning a £2m marketing push this year.

French bakery company makes UK debut at IFE

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