A merry Christmas to all our readers! and British Baker would like to wish you a fantastic Christmas and a very prosperous new year!

Welsh bakery wins award with Shane Williams pie

A life-sized pie of international rugby player of the year, Shane Williams, who plays for Wales, has been named as one of the best PR campaigns of the year by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.

Small shops warned of 2010 commodites rise

Small shop owners have been warned that the cost of running a small business is set to rise sharply next year, sparked by rising commodity prices.

Premier Foods announces first TV sponsorship for Mr Kipling

Premier Foods has entered into a high profile TV sponsorship for the first time, with the announcement that cake brand Mr Kipling will be sponsoring the 2010 season of All Star Mr & Mrs on ITV.

Next issue 15 January

lThe BB75
Building on our annual Top 50 league tableof bakery retailers, BB will review thewinners and losers in bakery, sandwich barsand coffee shops on the high street
lEaster lines
It's time to start planning for the first big seasonal sales boost of the year. So what canyou sell to make you stand out from the crowd?
lThe year ahead
'Tis the season for analysts' wild and wackypredictions on the trends for 2010, but whatdo they mean for bakery?

In the British Baker archives

19 December, 1902: a moment of peace
Ere another issue is in the hands of our readers, the joybells that awaken so many happy memories will have rung out upon the December air, and another Christmas will be added as a pearl to the string of time. Many years ago, we first offered our Yuletide greetings in these pages, and many of our friends have accompanied us through the sunshine and darkness. We all lead busy and active lives. So each year Christmas, in its freshness, comes to afford a rest from labour, and to give an opportunity of recognising the deeper things of life. It is but momentary, the storm and the stress will break in again and work has to be renewed, and the ordinary duties, strenuous or monotonous, have to be taken up. But the great lesson of Christmas teaches us that even the struggles bring the consciousness of strength. It also gives us the privilege and opportunity of wishing all readers of British Baker a bright and joyous Christmas.

Caravan carry-on

Our lingerie story should convince you that British Baker is a broad church. And so it is that we extend a hand oh why hold back, have a kiss, it's Christmas! to our new friends at Practical Caravan magazine.
Stop the Week spotted a story online about a competition that the mobile-dwelling bible ran in association with Lakeland, to find the best caravan-shaped cake. The competition was launched in September alongside a feature on "how to make the perfect caravan cake" (see pic above).
Vital business info for cake baking readers, we thought, so we got in touch. "'Perfect' may have been a bit strong for my caravan cake...," caravan-writer-cum-cake-baker Alyson Warnock at Practical Caravan told us. Nevertheless, she added, they received an astonishing 100 entries off the back of it, "most of which made my cake look very amateurish."
A harsh self-critic, I'm sure you'll agree. And if you don't, then surely the winning competition entry has attained caravan cake perfection (see pic right).

Bra-faced cheek?

Winning by a nose in the final furlong to snatch the 'Letter of the Year' title is the following missive, received this week by email.
Open-minded types that we are, we weren't ruling anything out. "Pray tell, how do you envisage working with us?" we asked, intrigued by the possibilities opening up before us.
"Thank you for your fast reply," came the answer. "Can you offer product reviews? Another option we could consider would be to run a prize giveaway/competition with you? For your site, in particular, I thought you might be interested in working together to promote a new range of maternity lingerie we are about to take on Cake Lingerie. We thought we could try to brainstorm a fun way to promote it with you? Please let me know your thoughts."
If that tantalising prospect isn't reason enough to renew your subscription next year, we don't know what is. In the meantime, while we scratch our heads to find a way to make this kinky cake crossover work for you our valued reader your ideas and suggestions are, as ever,

Never too late to automate

The baking industry has traditionally prided itself on its artisan production methods, usually portrayed by television commercials showing the baker's lad on his bicycle, delivering fresh bread or a loaf gently rising in the oven. However, the multi-billion pound bread and morning goods market now delivers an estimated 12 million loaves and packs every day in the UK, and producing that quantity requires a far more state-of-the-art approach.
Many smaller British bakers have yet to come up to speed with modern production solutions. The apparent reluctance to adopt new technologies in some quarters mirrors many sectors of the UK food industry as a whole. Even major bakery manufacturers, who already employ higher levels of automation, can benefit still further from the innovative methods now available for boosting productivity.
It was to overcome this scepticism about the capabilities and benefits of flexible automated processes and solutions in the UK food industry that CenFRA, the Centre for Food Robotics and Automation, was founded. In contrast to the UK, the food manufacturing industry in Europe embraces automation and robotics at all levels. Even the craft bakers who dominate the Continental market rely on automated processes, so CenFRA's primary aim was to close that technological gap.
Many bakers are aware of basic automation, such as mixers, depositing systems and conveyors, but some find it difficult to think 'outside the box'. Issues such as factory space, concerns that automation is not cost-effective for small runs or fears that switching to robotics could compromise the quality that hand-crafted products provide are all cited as reasons not to engage. Yet CenFRA says these fears are unfounded and, to encourage and enable greater take up of automation, has developed discrete event simulation systems to demonstrate the advantages without the need for physical mock-ups, which can incur significant costs. CenFRA's engineers can draw up a "virtual" map of the baker's set-up, using highly advanced software and can then highlight prospective areas for improvement, while identifying any potential or unforeseen obstacles and influences created elsewhere in the client's manufacturing process as a result of these changes.
Traditionally, bakeries have been labour-intensive, fed by the many workers choosing to come to the UK to seek work, particularly from within the eastern region of the European Union. But there is an increasing trend for foreign workers to return to their homelands, and despite a backdrop of rising unemployment in the UK, many of these places remain difficult to fill.

A taste for pizza

Think of pizza and you'll automatically think of Italy which is why the Kaak Group says it has turned to the land of pizza, pasta and Chianti as inspiration for its pizza lines.
The only difference between Kaak and the traditional Italian pizzeria is that the company's pizza expert Italian company MCS based in the north of the country has designed plants that can produce up to 15,000 pizzas an hour.
MCS is considered to be one of the world's leading specialist companies for pizza lines. The reasons for success are its expertise, built over a number of years, and the fact that each line is designed and developed on a bespoke basis.
Says Maurizo Tabarelli, head of MCS: "The type of plant we commission depends on the end-product and the intended sales and distribution channels fresh or frozen pizza, sheeted, cross-sheeted dough, pizza crusts in trays or directly pressed on the belt and sometimes even a combination of methods. No matter what the customer's needs are, we supply the equipment and the tech-nical know-how."
Core parts of the product range are pizza plants, a wide range of automatic provers with swing trays, as well as the cyclotherm ovens from the Bakemaster series. The ovens, which heat the baked products with radiated, as well as convection, heat, are modular in design, allowing easy selection of the baking area, number of burners and burner performance.
Any type of wire mesh belts, hinge plate belts and, in particular, natural stone plates, are available. The stone plate supports are moved with heavy-duty chains located laterally on high temperature-proof ball bearings.
This oven is suitable for baking almost any kind of baked goods, from traditional bread (hearth-baked) to all types of panned bread, hearth rolls, small bakery items on trays, all kinds of fine bakery wares and even most pizza types, as the oven can reach a baking temperature of up to 300°C. Pizzas can be baked in one to two minutes.
The company also cuts down on dough handling and mess by pressing pizza crusts directly on to the oven belt before baking. This avoids the need to sprinkle flour on the dough during make-up. A light film is applied to the belt, the pizza crusts are pressed at a temperature of almost 100°C and they do not stick.

D-day for Lallemand

If you've read the papers recently you'll have seen lots of stories stating that many of us do not have enough Vitamin D. Prior to the 1800s, people spent their lives largely in agricultural communities, working or playing outdoors, with the main source of Vitamin D being the sun. The ultra violet rays in sunlight naturally convert cholesterol in the skin to Vitamin D. This is the most important source of Vitamin D for people.
The only significant dietary sources of Vitamin D are oily fish and fortified products such as margarine and breakfast cereals. For people living in countries far north of the equator, such as Iceland, who get less sun, dietary sources of Vitamin D such as oily fish are important for health and wellbeing.
But times have changed. Now we are often in bakeries, offices or cars. Many of our foods are fortified, because processing takes out natural goodness. Breakfast cereals are commonly fortified with iron, niacin and Vitamin D, among others. And here's the rub: flour is fortified, too, but bakers never shout about it on the pack. It was a point made forcibly by Scott Clarke, bakery director of Tesco, at this year's Federation of Bakers conference. Breakfast cereals compete with bread, he said, but Kellogg's and others make their cereals sound healthier. Bakers, he pointed out, are missing a vital sales trick.
But with Vitamin D now in the spotlight, Lallemand, which owns Britain's biggest yeast-making plant based at Felixstowe, formerly GB Ingredients, has pioneered a way to give yeast itself natural Vitamin D by treating it with ultra-violet light. The yeast will be available in normal block, cream and instant dried formats.
But why is Vitamin D so vital? It's because deficiencies are said to contribute to osteoporosis, some cancers, especially breast, colon and prostate and a weaker immune system. The amount inherent in all Lallemand's yeast is at least 30 IU (international units) per 100g serving of bread, which is enough to ensure a necessary level but nowhere near enough to exceed the safe upper limit of 2,000 IU recommended by the EU scientific experts even if you do spend a lot of time outdoors, eat oily fish or take a multivitamin supplement.
So who is Lallemand and why have they pioneered the new yeast? Lallemand UK MD Dr Mike Chell explains that the company is a major worldwide yeast supplier, which invests many millions in plants and research. "After the EU Commission took a keen interest in all yeast acquisitions across Europe, Lesaffre GB Ingredients' then owner agreed to sell the company.
"Lallemand was waiting in the wings to buy GB," he adds. "Our Felixstowe plant is one of only two yeast plants in the UK and is the biggest. We supply both the UK and Ireland. The company is set to benefit enormously from all Lallemand's international R&D and expertise."

Muffin tops

Breathe a sigh of relief with that headline, we're not building up to a discussion on what might poke out above Kerry Katona's trousers, but rather the more palatable proposition of cake muffins being one of the top performers in the cake market over the past year.
Given that it's a pretty mature category, valued at £64m, why has it seen a 20%-plus spurt over the last year? It's largely down to the huge increase in opportunities to purchase, says Mike Benton, marketing controller at McVitie's Cake Company. McVitie's has developed the branded muffin market to the point where it has the top four muffin SKUs in what he calls the "eat now" market Galaxy, Mars, Jaffa Cakes and Choc Chip Muffins in that order and has a 51% share of the total branded muffin market. One way it has differentiated in an increasingly commoditised category is by injecting a filling and topping with chocolate.
"The growth and expansion of the multiple grocers, local, express and travel outlets plus the growth of café culture within the UK and all outlets offering muffins as a staple item, has led to the growth of the muffin market," he says. What's more, the number of varieties on offer continues to expand, often with seasonal variations, "all leading to increased awareness of muffins within the UK market", he adds.
Strong growth has also come from the coffee shop sector, says Simon Cannell, head of bakery at foodservice wholesaler Brakes, which led with a range of five tulip muffins when launching its La Boulangerie bakery division earlier this year. "We've seen phenomenal growth on those and they've been our most successful range since launch," he says. Many of those muffins have gone into high street department store coffee shops and contract catering. "We know that the coffee shop market is outperforming the rest of the industry anyway, but a lot of the reason why ours have done so well is because they are flow-wrapped, so they've got a four-day shelf-life from thaw. They've also got good visual characteristics."
So is this boom something that is being reflected in craft retail? "It is, yes they're certainly going in the direction of becoming one of our top sellers," says Neil Wood, head of retail sales for 16-shop and bakery wholesaler Wright's, based in Crewe. "We're very proactive in introducing new products and people's eating habits are changing from some of the traditional lines to something that's a bit new. Muffins have been so well advertised by the likes of McDonald's, that it's a product that fits into the marketplace nicely."

End of a decade

That was the year that was. The deepest recession in history, unprecedented industry interference from the food regulator, a series of big name chains toppling like dominoes not to mention a glut of biscuit-related scandals (more of that later), and well, looking back, it could have been a lot worse. In fact, over the course of the year, the number of good news stories among bakery retailers and manufacturers far outweighed the bad, which goes to show it wasn't all doom and gloom.

The proof is in the pastry

When it comes to pastry, Pidy may not be the most recognised name in the UK, but this looks set to change as the Belgium-based firm embarks on expansion this side of the channel. Based in the once war-torn town of Ypres, the company already produces pastry products in as many sizes and shapes as you could imagine, so you might think NPD could pose a problem but you'd be wrong.
Pidy, an acronym for Patisserie Industrielle Dehaeck Ypres, is an independent family business, set up in 1967 by the late pastry baker Andre Dehaeck , the father of current chairman Thierry. While working at the family bakery and patisserie, he secured his first business customer when approached by a lady from Gant, who had a wine and cheese shop and was interested in selling his pastry products to complement her offering. He also discovered a market for gift-packs of unfilled pastry, which were purchased by tourists visiting the battlefields surrounding Ypres. Enquiries from wholesalers then started rolling in, and the business grew and grew, with the company's first production unit created in a bakery of only 520sq m.
A series of acquisitions and a number of years later, Pidy now produces over 300 million pieces per year, from its three production sites in Ypres, Halluin in France and Inwood, USA.
Foodservice has been its core business since it began in the 1960s, but Pidy also manufactures ready-to-fill pastry products for sectors including manufacturing and industrial; contract and event catering; cash-and-carry; and retail. It produces six different types of dough: puff pastry, shortcrust dough, choux buns, sponge dough, pâte à foncer (the French version of a basic pie dough, but with an extra-fine texture) and croustade.
For the production of its puff pastry Pidy uses both the French and Dutch method of production. With the French method, the fat is placed between the layers of dough, whereas with the Dutch method the fat is mixed with the dough and then layered. As an example of output, the Ypres factory produces approximately 29,500 pieces of its 4.5cm sized bouchées similar to a vol-au-vent an hour.
Pidy already has a presence in the UK, with ambient products in Brakes, its biggest foodservice customer. It also supplies Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Harrods, Waitrose, Délifrance and Spar. But the firm isn't as well represented on the high street and has put the wheels in motion to change this.
Recently appointed UK general manager Robert Whittle says the firm sees an opportunity to increase its presence in high street bakeries, patisseries and cafés. "We're also looking to talk to the likes of Pret A Manger and Starbucks in the UK and Europe," he adds. Whittle's aim is to double the firm's overall growth in the UK over a period of two years, which will involve expansion in the majority of the markets in which it operates, not just bakery retail.
The majority of the sales thrust in the UK bakery and café sector will be through targeted product launches. These have been designed to address problems such as lack of time, space and skilled staff, as well as the view that sales are often made based on the visual appeal of products. Pidy has already launched easy-to-use kits, such as Tarto Presto. This contains pastry tartelettes and crème patissière, which can be combined with fruits or chocolate, for example, to create eye-catching "window candy", says Whittle.
Pidy is hoping to introduce other kits as well and Whittle says plans are already afoot, although "still under wraps", to join forces with partners in the industry. "We see an opportunity to increase our presence in independent bakeries by working with partner companies, such as Unifine, to get our products to that market," he explains.
Chairman Thierry Dehaeck says that "finding skilled staff is getting to be a nightmare" and that products such as Pidy's pastry cases can be promoted as "a perfect substitute for a handmade product", leaving the baker time to concentrate on the filling and presentation.
"We can also offer frozen dough to the UK bakery sector, as we now have adequate storage facilities we haven't had the capability to do this before," says Whittle, adding that the firm is currently in talks with Brakes about distributing its frozen range.
Dehaeck says that although the company has competitors, when comparing individual types of pastry, there are no other companies that have the 'all-under-one-roof' claim. "Pidy is at an advantage as it manufactures such a variety of products," he adds.
Moreover, the company certainly hasn't been resting on its laurels when it comes to innovation. With around 30 new product launches in the last year, and plenty more to come, how does it come up with new ideas? "Question everything this is the most important thing," answers Dehaeck. To rethink and optimise the original idea, to reshape any shape and to apply trends proactively, are key parts of Pidy's new product development. But it's not enough just to sell the products, you need to sell the ideas to go with it, adds Dehaeck.
Pidy likes to be ahead of the game. "We are focused on quality and customer-driven thinking. We always try to be proactive," explains corporate sales director Robin Van Oudenhove. For example, the firm introduced products containing non-hydrogenated fat around two years ago, despite that fact it isn't a necessary requirement in Belgium, he explains. Areas the company is now looking at include low-fat and gluten-free options. "If we can have a production facility ahead of a competitor in terms of trends, then we're at an advantage," explains Dehaeck.
Recent innovation includes the creation of a vol-au-vent that keeps its crispiness without needing to be reheated; a tart with a vegetable coating that stops it going soggy and allows users to prepare finished products in advance; and canapé products such as mini-cones and 'spoonettes' an area Dehaeck says is seeing real growth in the UK. However, in one case, its recently launched edible coffee cups needed to come with a warning. Oudenhove explains that at a trade show in Dubai, a gentlemen decked out entirely in white took a bite out of the pastry cup before he had finished drinking the coffee and ended up wearing it instead.
The family aspect of the business is very important to Dehaeck, who says the secret to keeping your staff happy and retaining them is by listening to what they have to say. And as some of his employees have worked at the company for over 25 years, that philosophy appears to be working.

New Year's resolutions... or revolutions

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.
Following the festive parties, drinking, late nights and early mornings at this time of year, there is one New Year's resolution that almost everyone wants to keep: losing those extra Christmas pounds. So how can you, as bakers, retailers and café owners support your customers with their diet resoltuions? Why not focus on a programme of support so consumers can avoid the 'guilt trip' around eating bakery goods and food-on-the-go.
Add healthy and balanced elements to your range, such as oatmeal cookies, yoghurt with cereals, dried fruit and nuts. Customers still want to eat breakfast, lunch and the usual snacks, but with losing weight in mind, they are looking for a more balanced alternative. Our colleagues from market researcher him! say 67% of health-conscious female customers "take away" their lunch or snack and, during their visit, 55% choose a sandwich. Try offering a wholemeal chicken pesto sandwich for instance, which has no fattening mayo.
New Year is also a time when everyone starts to think of ways of saving money. So combine your healthy choice offer in great-value meal deals and make your customers aware of them through effective communication, clearly visible from outside your store. Make sure your promotions stand out at key decision points within your store as almost 30% of our customers remember promotions and meal deals from the last time they visited (him! Food-to-go report, 2009).
Meal deals can include a wholegrain bar and for those who can bake on-site there's nothing easier than creating your own: choose nuts, seeds and berries, bound together with brown sugars or honey. To seal the deal, why not include a healthy fruit juice or smoothie, contributing to your customers' five-a-day!
Oxxygen would like to wish you a very happy and safe festive season.

Enzyme targets quality

Novozymes has launched a new fresh-keeping enzyme that aims to improve bread quality and extend shelf-life. Novamyl Pro, which follows on from Novozymes' existing product Novamyl, is a new maltogenic amylase preparation, which claims to offer improved crumb softness, elasticity and moistness.
"What is great about Novamyl Pro is that it works exceptionally well in lean recipes with a basic formulation," commented Thomas Erik Nilsson, global launch manager at Novozymes. "This fits perfectly with consumers' desire for clean-label bread."
In a consumer preference test, carried out by the firm, over 60% of the participants, who tested three different 'everyday' toast-breads for a week demonstrated a clear preference for the loaf made with a high dosage of Novamyl Pro, it claimed.

Cornish firm plays it cool

Independent English firm Daymer Bay has launched a new range of iced teas, available in peach, lemon and mango flavours.
The company, which takes its name from a stretch of sandy beach in North Cornwall, focuses solely on producing iced teas. The tea is sourced from Sri Lanka, where a penny for every bottle sold supports the local orphanage Singithi Sevana. The tea is then blended in the West Country and distributed in Cornwall by Chaffins Foodservice, and by JJ Foodservice to the rest of the UK. The teas are free from preservatives and artificial additives.
Additional flavours will also join the product line-up following the company's research into consumer preferences.

Boost your Omega 3

Limagrain Céréales Ingrédients has launched a new Omega 3-rich ingredient, LimaLin, made from wheat flour and linseed flour, which can be used in a range of bakery products.
Marketing manager for nutrition Walter Lopez said: "With just 5g of LimaLin, bread, cookies or cereals become a source of Omega 3. For pastry, using LimaLin increases softness in mini-cakes, while fat reduction becomes possible in cookies or biscuits."

Bakels drives multi-seed

Ingredients supplier Bakels is to launch a consumer campaign for multiseed bread in January. The theme is 'Multiseed bread tastes great and it's great for helping to control your weight', and the campaign will be supported by posters, shelf talkers and stickers.
Consumers will also be directed to a special website, which is sponsored by Bakels, and contains information about low-GI diets.
"Our annual consumer campaigns are very popular with bakers who see them as a great way of driving sales," commented general manager Ade Abass.
To take part in the campaign, bakers should either place an order for Bakels Multiseed through their representative or nominated wholesaler and then contact the company on 01869 356400 or email for their kit.


Cocoa pricing hits 25-year high
The price of cocoa hit a 25-year high this month, with LIFFE March 2010 price, reaching £2,256/tonne. The International Cocoa Organisation (ICCO), said one of the main reasons for the price rise is three consecutive years of supply deficit. "For the current cocoa year (October-September) there has been uncertainty surrounding supply this is the main reason behind this price rise," said ICCO's senior statistician Laurent Pipitone. However, he noted that fears of another supply deficit are by no means substantiated.
"We've had a good start to the harvest," said Pipitone. But he added that the ICCO expects supply will tail off quite early in the period from January-March in the Ivory Coast and Ghana, which produce around 40% and 20% of the world's total cocoa, respectively. "Depending on the extent of the decline, the price could sustain this current high level or possibly even increase. We also expect demand to increase this year compared with last year."
According to the Financial Times, the price of cocoa is at its highest level since February 1985. It is feared the global market could face a supply deficit for the fourth year in a row, due to disease affecting yields in the world's largest cocoa producer, the Ivory Coast.
According to LIFFE, the price of cocoa has risen by more than £600 in the last 52 weeks up by around 37%.

Food in the News

According to The Telegraph, a survey commissioned by pudding maker Matthew Walker has found that only 41% of those asked will be having roast turkey for their Christmas dinner, with beef, lamb, chicken, goose and duck all increasingly featuring on the festive menu.
The London 2012 Organising Committee has pledged to serve 'the best of British' food during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Committee says it will source all dairy products, beef, lamb and poultry from Britain. Bananas, tea, coffee and sugar will be Fairtrade and traditional British cheese such as cheddar will also be British. Chosen caterers will also include the London 2012 commercial partners Coca-Cola, McDonald's and Cadbury, who will provide the only branded products on sale. According to the BBC, 20% of the food would be supplied by these three companies.
According to research by Dr Xiao Ou Shu, of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, USA, eating soya foods may help prevent breast cancer from returning. The study showed women with the highest consumption of soya foods, had a lower recurrence rate.
Cornish sardines have been given EU protected status for their quality and regional identity and join the likes of Melton Mowbray pies and Stilton cheese in the Protected Food Names Scheme.

Reporting in Ingredients need to pay their way

Paul Catterall,
Training and bakery manager, Campden BRI

Rowe's set to grow Asda concessions

Cornish craft bakery chain Rowe's has announced it is set to open a further two concessions in Asda stores in the south west.
"On the back of the success of our Rowe's branded concession within Asda, St Austell, we are set to open two new concessions at the Asda stores in Plymouth and Falmouth," confirmed Paul Pearce, director of marketing.
Rowe's first concession opened in July this year, and was Asda's first in-store savoury bakery concession. "We will be recruiting approximately 20 new staff members in total and we anticipate opening in the Plymouth and Falmouth Asda stores in the early part of 2010," added Pearce. "Rowe's is delighted to be continuing to expand our partnership with Asda and we're looking forward to working together at both new locations."
Rowe's has supplied breads, cakes and pastries to Asda in the West Country for the past 15 years. It also supplies frozen unbaked savouries nationally for the retailer's in-store bakeries and cafés.

Baguette Express gears up for rapid expansion

Sandwich chain Baguette Express is set to expand rapidly next year after awarding master franchises in Greater London and Greater Manchester, and signing 20 franchisees in locations including Cardiff, Birmingham and Blackpool.
The firm currently operates 57 stores in Scotland and England, but hopes to double this number in the next year, as its new master franchisees in Manchester and London, appointed in September and October respectively, begin to open new stores. The company's third master franchisee in the north east, who was appointed last July, has already opened three outlets in Newcastle, while negotiations are under way to award a fourth master franchise in another region of England.
Baguette Express is also recruiting franchisees directly, with deposits taken for 20 locations, including two sites in Birmingham, Cardiff, Preston and Blackpool. These are expected to open within the next six months.
"With the master franchises in place, we are confident we will see rapid growth in those areas next year. Our first store in Greater London in Harlow is already up and running and we will open a second in Camden in January," said business development manager Jim Stewart. "Hopefully by the end of next year we will have 120-130 outlets."
Based in East Lothian, Baguette Express plans to rival Subway and Greggs on UK high streets by building an empire of more than 300 franchised stores over the next five years via a network of 11 regional master franchisees. Turnover stands at around £15m. The stores, which sell baguettes, rolls, paninis, wraps, sandwiches, salads and baked potatoes, are supplied by two large foodservice distributors and are targeted at young professionals, students and office workers.

In Short

Genius development
West Lothian-based United Central Bakeries plans to roll out 18 new products under its gluten-free fresh bread brand, Genius, next year. Listings have already been agreed with supermarkets for launches at the end of January. Genius recently won a Gold Q award at the Quality Food Awards.

Costa's green moves
Costa Coffee has announced the proposed acquisition of European coffee and sandwich chain coffeeheaven. It revealed it would offer 24p for each coffeeheaven share, in a deal worth around £36m. The coffeeheaven group operates 90 coffee shops in Central and Eastern Europe, including 62 shops in Poland. Costa's total sales increased 6.7% in the third quarter, beating the 2.4% growth it registered in the previous quarter.

Peter's premier slice sales rocket

Peter's has seen its overall slice sales rise by 60%, following the launch of its Premier Slice Range in November. The firm said the range has "smashed sales targets" and has increased the sales of its slices in Tesco stores across Wales by 108%. "This is the most successful product launch we've ever had and proves that the time we spent perfecting the recipes and packaging to appeal to a wider audience has paid off," said marketing director James Osgood.
The range features eight varieties, including Spicy Chicken Fajita and Chilli Beef, and is designed for eating on the go.
The firm said sales of its existing slice ranges are also up by 52% this year.

Warrens sees Christmas pud exports take off

Warrens has seen orders for its Christmas puddings rocket, as the value of the pound against the euro has dropped further still. The Cornish firm which only exported around 500-600 Christmas puddings in 2008 has seen this figure leap to an estimated 4,000-5,000 for 2009.
Its seasonal export of puddings includes an order for more than 2,000 from a Dutch company Taartje met een Hartje that Warrens made contact with at the recent Iba show in November, resulting in a deal worth £6,000.
Product development manager Jason Jobling said the increasingly weak pound is a key factor in the recent rise in orders from abroad. Warrens exports its puddings to several countries, including Australia and America. Jobling said that orders often come from areas that house large numbers of ex-pats. He explained that a lot of UK miners emigrated to countries such as Australia and South Africa, when the tin mines closed in Cornwall. As well as Christmas puddings, Warrens exports its pasties to Ireland and Battenburg cake to America.
Simon Waring, MD of export consultancy group Green Seed, explained that bakery export figures are very healthy overall. "In the last six months, figures have been the most positive we've ever seen," he said.
In October this year, the Food and Drink Federation announced that exports of sweet biscuits were up 12.4% to £95.2m in the first six months of 2009.
"Generally the environment is very positive and a lot of that has been fuelled by currency rates, but also, UK businesses are seeking more international customers," said Waring. "Bakery has always been an area that has under-exploited its strength internationally, so there are still big opportunities for biscuits and cakes, for example."

In Short

Lees dilemma settled
Lees Foods has reached a settlement with the former directors and shareholders of Patisserie UK, which will see it receive approximately £225,000. In June this year Lees announced it would be taking legal action against the people from whom it bought Patisserie UK a specialist bakery business that went into administration in March 2009, after its major customer Costa Coffee, which accounted for 75% of its sales, switched to another supplier.

FDF firms 'on track' with emissions

UK food and drink manufactu-rers have reduced their carbon emissions by 19% equivalent to one million tonnes since 1990, announced the Food and Drink Federation (FDF).
As it launched its progress report for the second year of its Five-Fold Environmental Ambition, the FDF said its members are "well on track" to achieving their goal of cutting CO2 emissions by 20% by 2010, as well as being on target to meet its long-term target of a 30% reduction by 2020.
Among its members is Premier Foods, of which the Hovis arm has purchased 187 new vehicles that meet the new Euro emissions standards. Hovis has also worked on optimising its vehicle fill, with a 13% volume increase in products carried saving 1,679,037 miles annually.
Burton's Foods has conducted a full-scale water investigation across its sites, relative to the tonnes of product baked. By the end of the year, the com-pany expects to have saved around 73,000m3 through greater efficiencies.
United Biscuits has also been working to save water and, last year, achieved a 17% reduction. Its ultimate goal is to achieve a 25% reduction by 2020 compared with 2007 usage.

Brooks joins Bakin' Boys as they target multiples

The Fabulous Bakin' Boys has ambitious plans to double sales in the next three to five years by ramping up sales with the major multiples.
Dave Brooks, previously chief executive of number-two cake player Finsbury Food Group, told BB that he had been brought on board as a non-executive director to help the flapjack, muffin and cupcake company increase annual sales from around £23m to between £40-£50m to account for around 5% of the cake market.
"The last five years have seen the company move from being predominantly foodservice to predominantly retail, with Morrisons and Tesco as its main customers," Brooks said. "To reach the kind of sales figures we're talking about, we will need to increase volumes by targeting the big four."
Brooks added that the company is looking to improve the productivity of its two production lines at its bakery in Oxford, and could potentially install a third line to make products outside its current core ranges.
Gary Frank, who set up Fabulous Bakin' Boys in 1997, said: "We're delighted to have Dave on board at this exciting time. His expertise will play an important part in helping us to achieve our long-term growth plans."
Last year, Fabulous Bakin' Boys bought its supplier Fabulous Bakin' Boys Manufacturing (FBBM) out of administration, after the firm said it struggled to cope with growing demand. Despite the similar name and being located next door to the Fabulous Bakin' Boys, FBBM was actually a separate company.
Brooks, who is also chief executive of Sussex County Cricket Club, plus a non-executive director at Feel Good Drinks, was chief executive of Finsbury Food Group from 2002 to 2008, having previously joined Memory Lane Cakes in 1997.

Muntons to spend £500k on NPD plant

Muntons has unveiled plans to open a £500,000 Centre for Excellence, at its headquarters in Stowmarket, in January 2010.
The investment, which includes a purpose-built factory, will become the focal point for the firm's innovation and new product development. The centre will feature an NPD kitchen, sensory testing room, bakery, micro-brewery and winery, and will enable the firm to reduce the cost of NPD while getting products to market faster.
Muntons' technical sales support manager Jonathan Pritchard said the centre would greatly improve the firm's ability to proactively develop new pro-ducts and grow its business.
"We will be able to produce development samples internally at lab scale, rather than relying on third-party or full-scale plant trials, which means we can cut the turnaround time of NPD projects significantly," he added.

In Short

Honeyrose accredited with BRC Grade A
Organic bakery Honeyrose has gained BRC Grade A accreditation and has seen record growth in the last quarter of 2009.
Marketing director Adrian Apodaca said it was the first time the firm had presented itself for BRC accreditation, which has been part of the strategic plan over the last two years. The firm bought and refurbished an old cement factory, converting it into a production facility and offices, all with BRC accreditation in mind, explained Apodaca. The £2m investment increased capacity by 400%.

Wetherspoon expansion offers promise for bakers

Bakery suppliers to JD Wetherspoon are looking forward to a surge in orders after the pub chain announced it will open 250 pubs over the next five years, taking its total number of outlets in the UK to nearly 1,000.
Wetherspoon plans to invest £250m and create 10,000 jobs in the expansion, which will lead to increased orders for muffins, brownies, ciabattas, paninis and baguettes. "Food is a massive part of the Wetherspoon offer, worth £260m a year. Increasing the estate by a third will increase food sales by the same amount," said a spokesman. "The bakery side of things is a big market for us."
Wetherspoon sells around 18,000 muffins a week, 26,000 paninis and 25,000 ciabattas or baguettes. Total annual sales of these three bakery categories is estimated to be at least £9.5m.
Bakehouse, which supplies Wetherspoon with stone-baked ciabattas and multigrain baguettes for its sandwiches, has seen sales with the chain increase by 30% this year, according to Nicky Cracknell, national account controller for foodservice.
"Both breads have performed really well and have been extended into seasonal and limited-edition products, such as a meatball marinara ciabatta and traditional ploughman's," said Cracknell. "The news that Wetherspoon is expanding means things certainly look healthy for the future. We are currently working on another bread line for them, as well as developing their offer in airport locations."
Wetherspoon is holding a strategic meeting with all its suppliers this week to discuss its purchasing strategy and future growth plans.
The group's new pubs will be located across the UK, inclu-ding sites in Sheffield, Livingston, Leominster, Otley, New Malden, Liverpool, Haverfordwest and Newcastle.

D&G looks to broaden customer base in 2010

D&G Food Group, the company set up to buy five McCambridge bakeries earlier this year, plans to expand the business' customer base in 2010 after reviewing operations and improving efficiency.
The company, which is headed up by former Roberts chairman Graham March and operations director David Fearnley-Brown, acquired Aldreds the Baker (Derbyshire); Queen of Hearts (Oxford); Husseys (Berkshire); Tredinnick Fine Foods; and West of England Bakeries (both Devon) from McCambridge last June.
Since then, the owners have closed the Husseys bakery and have worked to improve production at the remaining sites, said Graham March, while ditching its original plan to develop each bakery as a centre of excellence for individual product categories. Aldreds has recently been awarded A-grade BRC accreditation and the company plans to work towards BRC status at its West of England facility.
"Now we are sorted out on the operational front, we aim to improve volumes across the sites by targeting extra markets," said March.
Queen of Hearts and Aldreds will look to develop new products for coffee shops, he said, while future BRC status will help West of England target supermarket local sourcing schemes.
The four bakeries currently produce a mix of bread, confectionery and savouries.

Lallemand pioneers new yeast with Vitamin D

Yeast-maker GB Ingredients' owner Lallemand has pioneered a new yeast, which it says should help bread compete against breakfast cereals.
The new yeast, available from January, is a natural source of Vitamin D. This vitamin has recently been hitting the media headlines, with health experts saying that many Britons do not consume enough.
Bakers using Lallemand block, cream or instant dried yeast will be able to state on bread packs that the bread 'is a natural source of Vitamin D'.
Managing director of Lallemand UK Dr Mike Chell told British Baker: "This is a breakthrough pioneered by Lallemand. It will provide an excellent marketing platform for bread.
"The Vitamin D in the yeast is not an additive or enrichment; it is brought about by a natural ultra-violet action on the yeast, making the bread 'a natural source of Vitamin D'.
He continued: "Cereal manufacturers make great front-of-pack claims that their cereals are fortified with minerals and vitamins, including Vita-min D. But bread, too, con-tains nutrients."
White and brown flour is fortified with calcium, iron, thiamine and niacin, but this is not actively promoted by the baking industry at present. At the Federation of Bakers Conference earlier this year, Scott Clarke, category director for bakery at Tesco, said: "I would hold up the cereal industry as a potent example for driving consumption. Are we proactive enough in the baking industry? You should talk more about the positives."
The EU recommendation for children and adults is five micrograms or 200 IU per day. The UK recommends 10 micrograms for over-65s.
Two slices or 100g of bread made with Vitamin D yeast will provide 15% of the recommen-ded intake.
l For a full interview with Lallemand, see page 24.

BakeMark UK takes on new identity

BakeMark UK is to change its name to CSM (United Kingdom) from 1 January.
Gerald Hoetmer, worldwide CEO of CSM, said: "The name change reflects our local and global corporate identity. It capita-lises on our position as worldwide leader in the industry, showing our ambition to use our combined strength as a group. CSM has the size to drive essential global strengths, such as innovation, without losing focus on local operations and local needs."
John Lindsay, UK country manager and business unit director, told British Baker: "CSM is the largest supplier of bakery products worldwide. The name change is a very positive move as it further indicates our firm intention to work closely as a leading member of the group."
Lindsay added: "Increasingly, British bakers are inventive and open-minded; CSM (United King-dom) is now ideally placed to develop pan-European and American trends through working with our CSM counterparts worldwide and sharing information on initiatives and innovations exclusively with our customers."
The name change will not affect UK and Irish operations or the firm's current product brands, such as Arkady bread ingredients, Craigmillar confectionery ingredients or Readi-Bake frozen and ambient bakery products.

In Short

Waitrose's frozen line
Waitrose will launch a range of frozen bakery products, including par-baked croissants, pains au chocolat and rustic baguettes, as part of a major overhaul of its freezer aisle at the end of January. Other new frozen products will include pies, cakes, biscuits and desserts. In other news, Waitrose has announced that it will use only Certified Sustainable Palm Oil in its own-label products, including cakes, patisserie and pastry products, by the end of 2012.

ABIM set to help BBC for bakery show

Following an approach from the BBC, the Association of Bakery Ingredient Manufacturers (ABIM) has agreed to get involved in a new television series The Great British Bake-Off to be screened next year.
The series will follow 10 passionate amateur baking fans who will compete in a 'bake-off' contest to be crowned UK's Best Amateur Baker. ABIM is to contribute some of its expertise in the field. The programme is currently in the early stages of production and the BBC has said it will begin filming in May 2010.
As well as the competition element of the 'bake-off', the programme will also look at the history of baking in Britain.

CASH criticises retailers on high festive salt levels

Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH) has slammed supermarkets, coffee shops and sandwich chains for selling Christmas bakery products that contain high levels of salt.
The pressure group, which argues that salt is responsible for raising blood pressure and increasing the risk of strokes and heart disease, surveyed 87 products in seasonal ranges. These included sandwiches, salads, pies and desserts.
The highest salt product found on the high street was the Christmas Full Works Sandwich from EAT, which contained 4.2g salt per portion, over two-thirds of the daily maximum salt intake for adults.
Other sandwiches with high salt levels included Marks & Spencer's Three Wise Sarnies (3.07g), the Co-op Festive Triple (2.6g) and Subway Chicken and Stuffing (2.5g).
CASH was also critical of some sweet treats, pointing out that a Costa Christmas Chocolate cake had 0.94g salt per portion the equivalent of nearly two packets of crisps.
"The huge level of salt seen in some of the products is particularly shocking when you consider that many children may be eating these products," said Katharine Jenner, nutritionist and CASH campaign manager. "To offer new high-salt options on the menu, when the nation is trying to reduce its salt intake, is quite simply irresponsible."

Memory Lane tightens production as sales fall

By Sylvia Macdonald and Georgi Gyton
Production is to be cut at Finsbury Food Group's premium cake business Memory Lane Cakes, as sales continue to fall in the recession.
The bread, cake and morning goods manufacturer said production at the Cardiff business is likely to be cut from seven to five days a week. A consultation with employees is currently taking place on changes to shift patterns, with 95 jobs out of Memory Lane's 1,000-or-so staff at risk. This represents 4% of Finsbury's total workforce of 2,500.
Memory Lane is the leading manufacturer of the UK retailers' premium own-label cake ranges.Martin Lightbody, chairman and major shareholder at Finsbury, told British Baker: "There is a general decline in cake sales, including premium, and we have been at the forefront of premium, especially celebration and upper-tier cakes.
"The number of products sold on deals this year increased dramatically, so we have been looking at cost-cutting over innovation. We must show our customers that we can produce excellent products again."
He continued: "Our strategy is going to be to innovate for the future. In the industry I would like to see a general improvement in quality available to consumers, while affordable to our customers. We shall continue to look at opportunities to keep us competitive."
The job losses and changes to shift patterns are only being made at Memory Lane's Cardiff site, "not company-wide".
A spokeswoman said: "In the current economic climate, the firm believes this is a necessary step to safeguard the long-term employment of as many staff as possible, while ensuring that the company continues to work efficiently in providing high-quality products. Finsbury is committed to full and complete consultation with the affected employees on this matter and will aim to deliver improvements to factory operations, while keeping job losses to a minimum."
In Finsbury's November trading update it announced that "sales in its larger cake business had declined by 6% in value", slightly ahead of the overall market decline of 4%.
An analyst at stock-broking and advisory house KBC Peel Hunt said that the share price had gone down quite aggressively in the couple of days following the announcement, from around 24-25p to 20p, but had now flattened off.

Coffee kiosk firm Puccino’s enters administration

Coffee kiosk and cafe operator Puccino’s Ltd has gone into administration, following the sale of leases for 43 of its units to Puccino’s Worldwide. Its 29 remaining units ceased trading immediately.

UK coffee shops set to grow despite recent casualties

The UK coffee shop sector has remained resilient in recession despite a number of key players having gone into administration, but slower growth is forecast for 2010, according to a new report.

Festive season prompts bakery donations

A raft of baked goods are to be donated to charities for the homeless, as the festive season puts people in a giving mood.

Craft bakery Hobbs House has teamed up with FareShare, a national charity based in Bristol, which tackles the issues of food and waste poverty, so that its unsold loaves go towards the cause.

CASH criticises retailers on high festive salt levels

Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH) has slammed supermarkets, coffee shops and sandwich chains for selling Christmas bakery products that contain high levels of salt.

Finsbury to cut production at Memory Lane

Production is to be cut at Finsbury Food Group’s premium cake business Memory Lane Cakes, as sales continue to fall in the recession.

The bread, cake and morning goods manufacturer said production at the Cardiff business is likely to be cut from seven to five days a week.

CASH criticises retailers on high festive salt levels

Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH) has slammed supermarkets, coffee shops and sandwich chains for selling Christmas bakery products that contain high levels of salt. 

The pressure group, which argues that salt is responsible for raising blood pressure and increasing the risk of strokes and heart disease, surveyed 87 products in seasonal ranges. These included sandwiches,
salads, pies and desserts.

The highest salt product found on the high street was the Christmas Full Works Sandwich from EAT, which contained 4.2g salt per portion, over two-thirds of the daily maximum salt intake for adults.

Other sandwiches with high salt levels included Marks & Spencer’s Three Wise Sarnies (3.07g), the Co-op Festive Triple (2.6g) and Subway Chicken and Stuffing (2.5g).

CASH was also critical of some sweet treats, pointing out that a Costa Christmas Chocolate cake had 0.94g salt per portion – the equivalent of nearly two packets of crisps.

“The huge level of salt seen in some of the products is particularly shocking when you consider that many children may be eating these products,” said Katharine Jenner, nutritionist and CASH campaign manager. “To offer new high-salt options on the menu, when the nation is trying to reduce its salt intake, is quite simply irresponsible.”

Rowe’s set to grow Asda concessions

Cornish craft bakery chain Rowe’s has announced it is set to open a further two concessions in Asda stores in the south west.

“On the back of the success of our Rowe’s branded concession within Asda, St Austell, we are set to open two new concessions at the Asda stores in Plymouth and Falmouth,” confirmed Paul Pearce, director of marketing.

Rowe’s first concession opened in July this year, and was Asda’s first in-store savoury bakery concession. “We will be recruiting approximately 20 new staff members in total and we anticipate opening in the Plymouth and Falmouth Asda stores in the early part of 2010,” added Pearce.

“Rowe’s is delighted to be continuing to expand our partnership with Asda and we’re looking forward to working together at both new locations.”

Rowe’s has supplied breads, cakes and pastries to Asda’s in the West Country for the past 15 years. It also supplies frozen unbaked savouries nationally for both the in-store bakeries and Asda Cafés.

Rowe’s set to grow Asda concessions

Cornish craft bakery chain Rowe’s has announced it is set to open a further two concessions in Asda stores in the south west.

Bakery firms help FDF reach carbon reduction targets

UK food and drink manufacturers have reduced their carbon emissions by 19% – the equivalent of one million tonnes – since 1990, announced the Food and Drink Federation (FDF).

Konditor & Cook opens new Southbank outlet

Upmarket cake shop and café chain Konditor & Cook has opened its sixth outlet near London’s Southbank.

Located on Stamford Street, the shop’s layout is inspired by “a new take on the domestic kitchen”, which has been designed to showcase its best-known cakes and savouries.

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