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.

Put to the test

When Conservative leader David Cameron visited Cotswold miller FWP Matthews to see the company's new facilities and learn about a partnership with French miller Moul-bie, he was a little surprised to be asked questions by British Baker (see panel opposite page). Yet in a short, but wide-ranging conversation, he answered willingly.

Naturally Nero

The recession has killed off many things banks, bakeries and, erm, very nearly Iceland but try as it might, it has failed to knock the coffee shops off their perch. While Starbucks cut stores and Coffee Republic filed for administration, to hopefully emerge leaner and stronger, Caffè Nero and Costa have sat and watched sales sheets ticking over rather nicely, thank you.

Fit for purpose: Part 4 - for the love of location

If we were to believe the overused adage location, location, location, we often assume that this is critical to success, but how important is it? When the high street was the hub of every town, location was important and people would purchase their weekly provisions from local retailers because convenience was king, bread, bacon and broccoli all easy to find and simple to purchase.

Spice rack: Cumin

Cumin is a spice that is used in many countries around the world, but in particular in India, The Middle East, North Africa and Mexico. It is also added to some European cheeses.

In my world

Dip, coat or drizzle

KeyChoc has launched new processing machines, designed to appeal to bakers and patissiers.

Stiletto cuts to free-from

Mrs Crimble's free-from range has been refreshed to offer a wider range for consumers and to create a more uniform brand identity. Owned by Stiletto Foods, the free-from foods brand now includes light cheese crackers in Rosemary and Onion, Sun-dried Tomato and Pesto and Original Cheese flavours, as well as its more traditional products, such as frozen apple and rhubarb pies. The newest addition to the range is Mrs Crimble's fresh gluten- and wheat-free bread, available in both seeded and white varieties. The full range comprises cakes, biscuits, corn and rice cakes, baked snacks, bread, pastry and muffin mixes.

Mama's plans for winter

National Cupcake Week's overall recipe champion Mama's Cupcakes has launched a new winter range, including its competition-winning Black Forest variety a chocolate sponge laced with kirsch and glacé cherries.

Bring back the great British tea

By Max Jenvey of Oxxygen Marketing Partnership, a strategic management agency that focuses on business and brand development within the bakery foodservice and convenience sectors

Peros aims for One World

A new Fairtrade bakery range, One World, has been launched by ethical foodservice distributor Peros. It comprises: traditional flapjacks; chocolate chip flapjacks; fruit flapjacks; large Eccles cakes; chocolate brownies; chocolate chip shortbread; toffee muffins, lemon muffins, chocolate muffins and blueberry muffins.

Delice moves to gluten-free

Delice de France has worked with Fayrefield FoodTech to develop a gluten-free bakery range. Delice said it has seen the category develop, to include not just coeliacs, but consumers who choose to eat gluten-free, due to other health benefits.

Hovis adds flour

Rank Hovis has launched a new flour variant Hovis Multiseed which has been developed to meet growing consumer demand for seed and grain products. A blend of seeds and wheatgerm, the new variant is suitable for the production of tinned or handcrafted breads and rolls.

Iba extends large welcome

It was back in the 1960s when Roger Daltrey of The Who first belted out the classic "I can see for miles". It's the sort of song that pops into your head walking round Iba, the world's biggest bakery show.

Is the FSA 'full of it'?

Salt is yet again top of the agenda at the Food Standards Agency (FSA), with bakers seemingly obliged to stand in a continual firing line. Its new campaign encourages shoppers to look at the labels of foods, such as bread, sandwiches and pizza, and buy those with the lowest salt content.


According to a new IGD report, consumers will continue to be more careful about spending money in the future even once the effects of the recession have worn off. More than half (54%) said they would be more careful, whereas only 5% said they would be more frivolous, and 39% didn't think their habits would change.

Dried fruit pricing

Coconut: It is generally thought there is potentially less of a price downside on coconuts than a larger upside. Demand is also thought to increase as prices, helped by the weaker dollar, have improved.

Reporting in Education opportunity

For such a successful and progressive industry, we experience surprising difficulties in connecting up with the education sector to sell careers in baking. Among teachers, pupils and parents, the level of knowledge about what we offer in careers is abysmal. A great deal more work needs to be done but bakers and our suppliers cannot shoulder it all.

Hovis sees surge in branded breads

Hovis has seen its sales rocket by over a fifth, according to Premier Foods' third-quarter results.

Export sales window for UK bakeries

Europe's flourishing coffee shop market could represent a lucrative new export opportunity for British bakery companies well versed in supplying the demanding UK market.

Challenging fluctuations on cocoa and sugar prices

Cake and biscuit manufacturers are having to contend with wildly fluctuating sugar and cocoa prices, with little sign that the situation will stabilise in the coming year.

In Short

Aspin to the rescue

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.

In Short

Bako golf day

Alternative to sodium sets off bakery debate

The launch of a new sodium alternative has sparked a debate on the use of potassium chloride in bread.

In Short

LASER targets guests

Fine Lady sets its sights on the north

Fine Lady Bakeries has announced plans to build a £20m bakery in Newton Heath, east Manchester.

Bakers fear impact of revalued business rates

Bakers fear a business rates hike will put even more pressure on their already precarious fortunes.

Which? research supports calls for salt reduction

Consumer watchdog Which? said its recent consumer taste test of wholemeal bread showed it was possible to cut salt levels in bread and still deliver good flavour and texture.

Blackfriars spends £1.2m

Leicester-based flapjack, muffin and cake producer Blackfriars Bakery has invested £1.2m in moving to a new 36,000 sq ft factory, which will enable it to improve efficiency and develop a raft of new products for major customer Holland & Barrett.

Greggs plans new bakery to back up retail growth

Greggs plans to build an additional bakery in the south of England to support the proposed opening of 600 new stores.

Speedibake's fresh deal

Norbert Dentressangle, which took over Christian Salvesen in 2007, has been awarded a two-year temperature-controlled storage and distribution contract with baked goods manufacturer Speedibake. Part of Associated British Foods, Speedibake is one of the leading producers of own-brand bakery products for the UK retail and foodservice sector. With turnover of around £70m, it employs 600 people at two bakeries in Yorkshire and specialises in US-style muffins, traditional ball doughnuts, baguettes, garlic bread and speciality breads.

Sainsbury's gets nearer to 100% British flour

Multiple retailer Sainsbury's has announced that it is "on course" to be the first retailer to use 100% British flour in its own-label sliced bread.

FSA returns affirmative on folic acid fortification

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has reaffirmed its recommendation that bread or flour should be fortified with folic acid after considering updated information on folic acid and cancer from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN).

In Short

Biscuit exports up

Greggs plans new bakery in the south

Greggs plans to build an additional bakery in the south of England to support the proposed opening of 600 new stores.

FSA reaffirms recommendation on folic acid

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has reaffirmed its recommendation that bread or flour should be fortified with folic acid after considering updated information on folic acid and cancer from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN).

Breakthrough for bread shelf-life

A breakthrough method to increase the shelf-life of bread by up to 14 days has been licensed to food ingredients company Puratos.

South Shields bakery buyout

South Shields firm JW Rae Bakers has been rescued from liquidation by a division of Sunderland-based Monument Foods.

Wrights unveils trial store

Wrights has unveiled a prototype flagship store and retail brand in Stoke-on-Trent, which the firm hopes will broaden its appeal to consumers.

Less salt, more taste?

A Nottingham company claims to have discovered a way of modifying salt, to provide more taste from smaller quantities.

Eminate Limited’s product Soda-Lo 20 could potentially help bakers achieve lower salt targets in their products without compromising on taste, it is claimed.

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