April

Chevler responds to increased demand

Chevler has announced it is to introduce a new production planning system, in order to cope with soaring demand for its baking cases and muffin wraps.

Costa to continue UK expansion

Costa Coffee has revealed its plans to open another 130 stores in the UK during 2010/2011, although its main focus will be on expanding its international business.

The UK chain, which revealed an operating profit increase of almost 60% for the full year to 4 March, 2010, opened 312 net new shops over the year, 188 of which were in the UK, increasing its total network by 24%.

The coffee chain also gained 88 Coffeeheaven stores in Central Europe with the acquisition of the Coffeeheaven, which was completed in the final quarter of 2009/2010.

Its international focus will be in the key markets of China, India, Russia, the Middle East and Central Europe, according to parent company Whitbread.

Sales at Costa increased by 23.4%, with like-for-like sales up 5.5%.

The firm said one of the key drivers behind the growth was independent research that showed seven out of 10 coffee lovers preferred Costa’s cappuccino, which Costa subsequently used as a key message in its advertising.

Its flat white coffee has also performed well, with over one million sales since its launch in January this year.

The firm said its UK growth will come from new high street locations, additional stores in established retail outlets, such as its partnership with Tesco and through bringing the Costa experience to hospitals and universities.

Costa currently has 1,600 outlets worldwide.

US machinery firm sets sights on UK

US machine supplier United Bakery Equipment (UBE) is on a mission to crack the UK market. The automated slicing and packaging equipment specialist plans to raise its profile after installing its first high-performance UBE band slicer at a leading UK plant baker.

Peter Wallin, director of UK partner Habwood Technical Solutions, admitted that a previous version of the machine had struggled to cut softer British bread, but said this had been rectified. “Build design has changed and it now cuts really efficiently,” he said.

The firm will embark on a tour of the major bakers in Britain and Ireland in a bid to convert bakers. “We’re very confident that it will prove successful, as the two people who have trialled the machine, have bought it. UBE fully recognises the importance of the UK market and is determined to make further inroads.”

UBE’s 90-75 band slicer provides smooth, even slicing and is ideal for the British market, according to Wallin.
“Slices are smooth and uniform because the 90-75 moves loaves through the blades at a slower penetration rate. A major benefit is that blades will last between three and four weeks rather than a typical 24 hours.”

The machine sells for between $220,000 (£144,336) and $300,000 (£196,815) depending on the options.

Costa to continue UK expansion

Costa Coffee has revealed its plans to open another 130 stores in the UK during 2010/2011, although its main focus will be on expanding its international business.

Sonneveld takeover

Dutch firm Sonneveld, which produces bread improvers, mixes and release agents, is to become part of Orkla Food Ingredients (OFI) in Norway.

Don’t delay, enter BIA today!

Make sure you get your entries in for the Baking Industry Awards before the May 7 deadline. The Awards, now in their 23rd year, celebrate the very best of the British baking industry, and are attended by key players from across the industry.

Ex-bakery boss faces foxy dilemma

If you've ever wondered 'is there life after bakery?' then the answer on last week's evidence is 'yes' if you're BB's favourite bakery-boss-turned-sports-impresario and a 'no' if you're the uppety fox who's stepped into his crosshairs.

Mouthing off

"In the four weeks of the World Cup, blokes tend to get a bit obsessed with football to the extent that they don't look after their partners. The idea is that in the week before the World Cup, we're saying 'ladies, make sure you get your oats'. What we mean innocently by that is you get to eat oat bread during the course of that week..."

29 August, 1902: Greedy baker

Probably few more preposterous excuses have ever been given than that which was raised at the Birkenhead Police Court this week, where a baker was charged with having stolen a large Genoa cake, the property of his employers.

Political blunder

The moment the starter gun was fired on the general election, Stop the Week dusted off its binoculars to commentate on an eagerly anticipated political race of the campaign: the first politician to claim a bakery-related gaffe.

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