February

Playing the premium card

While consumers have been trading down in many areas of their lives of late, it seems the bake-off breads market has been protected by a layer of recession-proof crust.

A touch of Genius

By offering coeliacs something they'd struggled to buy before fresh gluten-free bread it's not hard to see why Genius triumphed in The Innovation Award category, sponsored by Asda, at the Baking Industry Awards last year. The addition of this loaf to the supermarket shelves meant those requiring gluten-free bread, could actually purchase a loaf, and eat it as it came fresh.

Chocks away

Greggs has started gathering intelligence on overseas markets as it prepares for international expansion. The company is already Great Britain's biggest bakery takeaway operator, with 1,419 shops. But Greggs has plans to launch in other parts of the world in the longer term, says chief executive Ken McMeikan. Speaking to British Baker after Greggs topped the new BB75 league table of bakery retailers, McMeikan says Greggs' expansion ambitions are far from satisfied.

Letters: What is a 'craft baker'?

Let's define why we offer value

Nut store: Hazelnuts

Also known as cobnuts and filberts, hazelnuts are grown in Europe and America. Inside the shell, the nuts are encased in a dark brown, slightly bitter skin. This is usually removed before it is used in cooking. Put them on a baking sheet in a medium oven for about 10 minutes before rubbing in a clean teatowel to remove the skins. They are particularly good if they are roasted before use, but if they are to be used as ground hazelnuts, always allow them to cool down before grinding, as they can become rather oily, which will have an adverse effect on the cake, meringue or biscuit.

In my world

I have long since lost count of how many articles I've read, or presentations attended, over the past 24 months concerning skills levels within the baking industry. The message has always been fairly clear and consistent: the number of people who have core and practical baking knowledge are becoming few and far between and, overall, there is a serious lack of the basic craft skills that underpin all bakery production. Until this is universally addressed, the industry will be heading for Armageddon.

Caramoo tops up flavours

Premium milkshake firm Shaken Udder has added a new flavour to its line-up Caramoo. The new velvety caramel variety joins Top Banana, Strawberry Stash, Chocolush & Shake The Cake.

Zero-residue moth control

Exosect, a pest management solution provider, has launched an environmentally-friendly, zero-residue moth control system for use in food production sites. Exosex SPTab is an organic compliant, non-chemical solution, designed to ensure safe, high-quality food with reduced pesticide residues, said the firm.

Jiffy introduces 'no frills' choice for mobile vendors

Jiffy Trucks has unveiled a new mobile catering van for 2010. The Panino has been designed to appeal to new entrants and smaller businesses in mobile retail catering.

Give your sandwiches fresh appeal

The vast majority of bakeries, cafés and convenience stores offer sandwiches as part of their product range. The sandwich is one of the UK's favourite foods-to-go, with over 60% of customers wanting pre-packed, freshly made or heat & eat.

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