UK bread prices stay low in world rankings

The UK remains one of the cheapest countries in the world to buy bread, with prices in London and Manchester on a par with those in Lagos, Nigeria and Bangkok, Thailand.

Mouthing off

"I missed the Mumsnet question about biscuits: the answer is absolutely anything with a bit of chocolate on it, but trying very hard to cut down"

A cake too far?

For last-minute Halloween inspiration, see a great top 10 list of horror cakes here tinyurl.com/yjacvon with recipes and guides. (The 'Kitty Litter Cake', however, may be taking things too far!)

Say it with a cake

Forget Subway's "We've got a Sub for that" and McDonald's "There's a McDonald's for everyone" marketing campaigns, currently doing the rounds. Everyone knows it's the cake baker that has the monopoly on product personalisation no matter how lunatic the customer request. The beauty of this cake lies in imagining the taut conversations that led to its making. See: tinyurl.com/yg8kq2f

Could sarnie be sign of the Apocalypse?

Is the coming of the Apocalypse going to be triggered by some baker Beelzebub? Thus pondered one dumbstruck Fox News host Shepard Smith, who ominously met news of the latest sarnie innovation a bacon and cheese donut burger by saying: "There are signs of the Apocalypse. I mean, you hear about them. This may be one of them."

Nature over science

Britain's billboard owners must love the Food Standards Agency. The wallpaper paste had barely dried on posters urging the public to watch their saturated fat intake by cutting back on biscuits, cakes and pastries when the government agency rolled out a new advertising blitz this month encouraging shoppers to check the labels of bread, pizza and sandwiches for salt content.

Concept success

For long-established bakery chains, the idea of trying something new may seem like risky business, as existing customers will be used to particular products and price points. However, a number of bakery businesses, interested in introducing different and perhaps more premium lines, have come up with new shops to fit their ideas. We look at how two businesses have achieved 'concept outlet' success.

Take time for tea

Ask most customers if they want a hot drink to go with their cake or sandwich and they might be tempted by a cappuccino. A humble tea bag just doesn't have the same allure as coffee, particularly if customers want to treat themselves. And let's face it, there's more theatre around an espresso machine, when you can make a bog-standard cup of tea at home.

Homing in on the harvest

It is the time of year when new wheat crop opportunities present themselves and bakers can benefit from the adroit use of knowledge of the new harvest to achieve effective cost savings on flour and other cereal prices.

Biggin' up the baker

I get by with a little help from my friends" is a familiar phrase. "I get by with a little help from my local regeneration agency" is, perhaps, less catchy. But that's exactly how one start-up bakery has managed to survive the daunting prospect of setting up in one of England's most deprived districts.

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