Atkins diet is back

The low-carbohydrate Atkins diet, which encourages followers to virtually give up eating bread, has been relaunched, with a new book outlining a revised version of the diet and a £200,000 campaign in national newspapers promoting Atkins food products.

Sales of bread in the UK suffered at the height of the Atkins craze in 2003, when it was estimated that up to three million Brits were following the diet, which advises people to cut carbohydrates and increase protein intake.

Interest subsided after health warnings about the diet surfaced in the media, but a new book, entitled New Atkins, New You, aims to revive its popularity by revising the rules of the original Atkins diet to make it more flexible and easier to follow.

To coincide with the book, Atkins Nutritionals has launched a £200,000 marketing campaign to promote its range of low-carb products. Adverts have been placed in national newspapers, including The Times, The Daily Mail and The Observer and PR company Tangerine has been hired to promote the range.

However, the Flour Advisory Bureau criticised the diet. “The New Atkins diet is an attempt to resuscitate a damaged brand; it would appear that ‘new’ Atkins is very similar to ‘old’ Atkins, with the same requirement to avoid carbohydrate in the initial phase,” said a spokesperson.

“Although the new Atkins diet addresses some of the problems associated with the original diet, there is no scientific evidence to support the exclusion of white bread from the diet or to suggest that eating white bread is more likely to be linked with weight problems.”

Earlier this year the British Dietetic Association listed the Atkins diet in their top 10 fad diets to avoid.

Warburtons buys North East Bakery site

Warburtons has announced the purchase of North East Bakery’s former site in Newburn, after the retail and wholesale business went into administration in December last year.

FSA reveals sat fat plans

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has unveiled the first raft of its recommendations for reducing saturated fat and added sugar in bakery products, following its consultation last summer.

Greenfield to leave Jackson’s Bakery

Stephen Greenfield is to leave Jackson’s Bakery in April, having already handed over the role of MD to his successor James Watson, announced William Jackson Food Group.

The search is still on for BBC One bakery family

TV production company Wall to Wall is still on the look out for a baker and their family to take part in a new programme, labelled a “living history experience” for BBC One.

Mouthing off

"There are a lot of things that differentiate us from the other guys out there, and number one is definitely the marketing hook we're provocative. We're speaking to a certain audience or to a certain generation of people. But really, it's an American concept. We're talking about our First Amendment rights here"

Next issue 9 April

lBaking Industry Exhibition

19 July, 1940: War leads to messy cakes

It will be an offence, after 5 August, 1940, to place sugar on the exterior of any cake, biscuit, bun, pastry, scone, bread, roll or similar article, after baking. It will not be permitted to sell or to buy any confectionery of this kind. In an instruction to trade associations, the ministry has made it clear that the prohibition does not extend to the use on cakes of jam, jelly or lemon and other fruit curd. However, buttercream, marshmallow, chocolate, fondant and marzipan will not be permitted. This new order is not a good example of official administration. It will not be permissible to put a half-ounce of marshmallow on a cake, but it will be permissible to put as much lemon curd on a cake as its surface will take, because jam, lemon and other fruit curds are not affected by the order. All these goods make for messiness rather than neatness in decoration.

The tools of psychoanalysis

The apocalypse is not the be-all-and-end-all of what you can predict with a cake oh no. Sigmund Freud would be kicking himself for failing to realise that a cake is also a device to gauge whether a relationship will work or not.

Cataclysmic creations

If you thought the Cake Wrecks blog was the final word in disaster cakes, behold a revelation: a blog that catalogues cataclysms through the medium of cake.

Belvoir's twist on tradition

Belvoir Fruit Farms is launching new pressés, described as having a refreshing 'homemade' taste.

Popular performers

Major brands may well dominate the soft drinks sector, but it is still an evolving market, with changes in preference for flavours and formats. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) recently published its 2010 Basket of Goods and Services for the Consumer and Retail Prices Indexes, and made a couple of amendments to echo current trends: the fruit drink bottle has replaced the fruit drink carton, as the bottle format takes an increasing market share; and a small bottle of still mineral water has been added to represent water in the 'on-the-go' drinks market, to reflect increased spending on bottled water over a period of years, says ONS.

Seeds of growth

There's nothing quite like a recession to throw a spanner in the works or, more accurately, a bug in the Powerpoint chart of a marketer's forecast. Two years ago, it was all about healthier breads. The white bread sector had been toppled from its dominant position in the market, falling behind other bread categories in 2006 on expenditure, prompted by the growth in brown, wholegrain and seeded breads. Last year, it clawed back its top position to become the largest sector amid a backdrop of heavy price promotion and conservative shopping patterns. So is the future all white?

Taking health to heart

Waterfields of Leigh has a two-fold strategy when it comes to healthy breads. While the company offers a range of multiseed and wholegrain products, it has also spent the past two years making its range of non-speciality breads as healthy as possible, without affecting flavour.

Trade snapshot: Richemont Club visit

Dawn van Rensburg, Richemont Club of Great Britain

Popina Book of Baking by Isidora Popovic´ Ryland Peters & Small, £16.99

Isidora Popovic´ 's debut baking book arrives complete with a front cover endorsement from none other Liz Hurley. But don't let that put you off. The Serbian-born Popovic´ is the baker behind the niche Popina brand. Established as a market stall 10 years ago, it has since been sold through higher-end retailers from Waitrose up to Fortnum & Mason the first retailer to spot Popina.

Traditionals with a twist FRuit scones by Fiona Burrell

Scones are the staple of the tea table. Whether served with clotted cream and fresh strawberries or butter and jam, they are an integral part of a very British institution. There are many different varieties of the plain and not-so-plain scone. The recipe for scones is thought to have originated in Scotland and would have been baked on a stone or griddle in a round, before being cut into wedges.

Brand clinic: Statistics and lies

Don Williams, CEO of brand and design consultancy Pi Global, bewails bad statistics

In my world

David Powell, Deputy Master of the Worshipful Company of Bakers and global director innovation/bakery, Rich Products

Delice rolls out products for birthday

Delice de France, which is marking its 25th anniversary this year, is celebrating with the launch of 60 new products for spring, as well as a revamped website.

American take on cakes

The Handmade Cake Company has developed its traybakes range with four new or improved offerings all with a North American influence. Now available are Rocky Road, Chocolate Pecan Brownie, Lemon Drizzle and Granola varieties. The traybakes are pre-portioned into 12 pieces and have a recommended retail price of £1.50-£1.90.

A tribute to nostalgia

Macphie has launched a new Viennese Mix to capitalise on the popularity of small indulgent bakery treats, as well as the trend for nostalgia.

New breads for bake-off

Country Choice has added a Harvest Grain Parisienne to sit alongside its existing White Parisienne. The new 400g baguette, made from a blend of brown flour and malted wheat grain, should be baked from frozen for 12 minutes.

Bakels targets convenience

Ingredients supplier Bakels has added four new product launches and six new and improved recipes to its line-up of cake and sponge mixes, all aimed at increasing convenience for bakers.

Pork Farms in teamwork

Savoury pastry product specialist Pork Farms has teamed up with Peperami and Branston to launch a number of co-branded recipes.

IXIA develops denester

Pick-and-place denesting technology specialist IXIA Packaging Systems has developed a high-performance denester for the baking industry. It has been designed to automatically pick, fold and place U card or acetate pack bases on to a flighted conveyor, ready for filling and wrapping.

Zingy move for McVitie's

McVitie's Cake Company is launching a lemon-flavoured McVitie's Jaffa Cake Bar a first for the brand. The limited-edition cake bar will be available from March and is made with bittersweet dark chocolate, with light sponge and a zingy lemon centre. It will be available for retailers to stock for eight weeks in a five-bar pack with an MRRP of £1.49.

Tyrrells steps into summer

Tyrrells has launched two new flavours of potato chips for summer Garden Herbs and Summer Barbecue. They will both be available in new 40g bag sizes, as well as sharing bags of 150g. The Garden Herbs variety blends basil, thyme, rosemary and oregano, while Summer Barbecue has a "smoky" flavour.

Price positions

Craft baker comparison

Reporting in Training: continued development needed

Matthew May

Dawn strikes major deal with Subway

Cooked and fermented meat supplier Dawn Farm Foods has announced a seven year contract, worth E700m (£631m), to supply Subway's franchise in Europe.

New suet firm targets UK market

A new suet manufacturer has set up in direct competition to industry giant Premier Foods.

Starbucks drives in new motorway outlet concept

Road-users will soon find it easier to pick up a coffee and a pastry after Starbucks revealed plans to open nearly 60 new outlets at motorway service stations and petrol forecourts.

Fraser takes top job at McCambridge

The McCambridge Group has appointed Neil Fraser as its new chief executive, following chairman and chief executive Andrew Coppell's decision to step down from the board.

Greggs plans to maximise quiet trading periods

Greggs plans to grow sales in the traditionally quiet trading periods of early morning and late afternoon as it continues with its plan to add another 600 stores to its 1,400-shop chain.

In Short

GreenPalm raises $4m

Over $4m has been raised so far from the sale of GreenPalm certificates, since the start of the scheme 18 months ago, and there are plans for a European roll-out.

Bakers chosen for World Cup challenge team

Wayne Caddy and Mickael Jahan will represent the UK in The Louis Lesaffre Cup, after winning two categories in the UK national heats at the Baking Industry Exhibition earlier this week.

In Short

In Short

Aldi boost for Welsh bakery

Cae Groes Bakery in North Wales hopes to double its turn-over as business with super-market chain Aldi takes off.

Register now for Doughnut Week offer

Bakers who register now to take part in National Doughnut Week 2010 will get a voucher worth £5 off either a bag of Craigmillar Doughnut Concentrate or a box of Readi-Bake Topped Ring Doughnuts, from sponsors CSM United Kingdom.

Bakers join abolition call on upward-only rents

Bakery retailers are showing their support for criticism of upward-only rent reviews, with calls for the practice to be abolished in the UK.

Firkins closes three shops, but plans six

Troubled bakery chain Firkins is closing three of its stores, just a few months after the chain was bought out of administration for the third time. However, the West Midlands company now trading as Newbridge Bakery is set to open six stores in the region and insists it is trading positively.

Manor faces strike threat

Engineers at Manor Bakeries' Barnsley site have vowed to repeat strike action if demands for a pay rise are not met.

Finsbury sees decline in cakes as habits change

Finsbury Food Group has reported an 11% decline in cake sales in the first eight weeks of 2010, as consumers continue to trade down.

Bullish growth for café chain

Premium café chain Patisserie Valerie is on target to have 125 stores by 2013, with at least six opening this year.

In Short

Independents see strong return to high street

Independent bakers shops are showing an unexpected 6% growth by filling empty sites on the high street.

FSA announces salt reduction progress

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has published commitments from a number of bakery manufacturers highlighting the progress they’ve made with salt reduction.

The document which features commitments from retailers, manufacturers and key trade associations, includes companies such as Burton’s Foods, United Biscuits and Premier Foods.

Marks and Spencer has announced its bread and sandwiches now meet the 2012 salt reduction targets, while PepsiCo crisps now contain 55% less sodium.

Tesco said it has removed 780 tonnes of salt from its bakery category, with 270 tonnes less salt being used as an ingredient in its in-store bakeries.

Burton’s Foods achievements include a 25% reduction in salt in its Jammie Dodgers biscuit brand and all butter shortbread since 2000. The firm said that 95% of its sweet filled biscuits and 98% of sweet unfilled biscuits are already under the 2012 maximum category targets.

FSA head of nutrition, Clair Baynton, said these commitments will be updated regularly to show how the companies’ salt reduction programmes are progressing.

“We are aware that there are increasing difficulties for businesses in continued salt reduction and we welcome their efforts to reduce salt to the lowest levels that are achievable in their products,” she added.

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