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.

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