Diary Dates

6-10 March 2010

Planning ahead

The Food and Drink Federation's Biscuit Cake, Chocolate and Confectionery Sector Group's annual conference, entitled 'Looking Forward to Sweet Success' will broaden the event's horizon beyond its former technical focus. The conference will focus on a wide range of issues that affect the food industry, including: the impact of the recession, issues surrounding waste and sustainability, and responding to customer pressure.

Food calendar

1-7 Feb: National Salt Awareness Weekwww.actiononsalt.org.uk

My Career

What do you do day-to-day?

EAT secures new chilled distribution

Sandwich retailer, EAT, which BB last August revealed had plans to double the number of outlets from 100 to 200 within three to five years, has revamped its chilled distributions to cope with worries over sudden failures in distribution of products to its stores.

The personal touch

While most people will be aware of the major bakery wholesalers such as Bako and BFP lesser known are the smaller regional suppliers that are making inroads into craft bakery. Walker Humphrey, which supplies esteemed retailers like Bettys of Harrogate and Cooplands of Doncaster, is a case in point.

Delivering the goods

The logistics of integrating two large firms, operating from different sites, can be a real nightmare.

Smoothing the sheets

What's the latest?

Oil fired up

Simply put, Daub makes ovens. The company pioneered thermal oil ovens which, according to research, save 30% on energy costs while producing quality end-products. At its Hamburg headquarters, which employs 85 people, the ovens are built before being exported to Britain and all over the world.

Family fortunes

McDonalds Bakers of Glasgow took a tentative step in a new direction during the 1990s and has never looked back. A traditional family baking business, with 10 conventional retail outlets, the company had made an abortive and almost business-ending attempt to diversify into wholesale during the previous decade. And since it was "getting harder and harder for traditional bakers' shops", according to its MD, the decision was taken to develop a coffee shop and takeaway offering.

On course to succeed

A world of change and only 650 words to sum it up (that's 12 wasted already). You could write a book on the new qualifications framework, its implications and benefits for employers, and how bakery fits in. Instead, here is the slimmed-down, abridged, Dr Atkins version just the protein, no carbs.

Brand Clinic: Passion versus P&L

Brand owners spend their lives trying to increase the size and value of their brands. Of course they do, it's business and what matters most in business is profit and loss (P&L). What can happen, though, when the P&L becomes the primary focus of any company providing goods or services, is that quality of output is compromised. And when the passion is transferred from the brand to the balance sheet, the brand can suffer.

Nut store: Pecans

The pecan tree is indigenous to North America and the nut it produces has a smooth shell, but an appearance like a long walnut inside. Like the walnut, it is high in omega 6 fatty acids. Also called hickory nuts, pecans are best-known as the main ingredient in pecan pie, but can be used in many other baked goods. They go particularly well with chocolate and are a good addition to chocolate brownies, chocolate and pecan pie or chocolate and pecan cookies.

Your say: Letters

As much as I look forward to my delivery of British Baker and have welcomed its change to include much more content that is relevant to smaller, independent bakeries, there is still one matter which I do not understand: what is your definition of "craft baker"?

In my world

If even one, tiny, undeclared enzyme in your body is interested in the future of bread and baking, then your internal buzzer will be going off. This alarm trills louder and louder until answers are found. At the end of last year, I attended the first Rise of Real Bread Conference. A veritable fermenta levain of well-cultured interested parties assembled, a throng of approximately 150 souls, each having parted with £38 or at the very least a whole Saturday, to consider the future of bread.

60-second sales pitch

So what's the product?

A friendly offer means money in the till

So 2010 is here, holiday time is over and no one has any money or do they? For most of us, this is a busy time of year, getting back into the swing of work, which invariably means spending less time with the ones we love. And therein lies your opportunity to capitalise on the 'power catch-up' friends chatting over a coffee and something to eat.

Dotty goes gluten-free

Byron Bay Cookie Company's Dotty Cookie has undergone a New Year makeover. The new-look single-wrap packaging is designed to appeal to those most likely to eat the Dotty Cookies kids. It also highlights that the cookies are free from artificial colours, flavours and preservatives in order to appeal to parents buying them for their children. The new-look packaging, launched successfully in Australia last year, has resulted in a 30% increase in sales.

Warburtons unleashes Tiger

Warburtons has launched two new premium unsliced wrapped loaves on to the market. The new 600g loaves are available in Tiger White and Tiger Brown varieties and have been launched to enable retailers to take advantage of the popularity of in-store bakery products.

Premier targets lunchboxes

Premier Foods is to launch Mr Kipling Oatibakes, designed to cater for the lunchbox market. The new oat-based cakes will be available in caramel, strawberry and blackcurrant variants, and will form part of the fastest-growing part of the lunchbox sector, which is 'non-chocolate', claimed Premier.

RedBlack devises new Touch for bakery shops

RedBlack Software has launched Cybake Touch a new shop ordering software application for bakery retailers.

UB makes more of mint

United Biscuits has relaunched its Penguin Mint biscuit in a new nine-pack format. Following the launch of its Penguin Orange variety in the same format, the stand-alone nine packs have been launched in an attempt to drive further growth in the chocolate biscuit bar sector. Both Penguin Mint and Orange were formerly available in an 18 variety-pack.

Beacon zips up zest market

Ingredients specialist Beacon Foods is expanding its range with the addition of fresh citrus fruit zests. The firm, which already supplies caramelised orange and lemon zest, has invested in bespoke machinery to increase its offering.

Low-GI opportunity

CSM UK has launched a new bread concentrate, for bakers looking to make low-glycaemic index (GI) bread or rolls.


Edible oil prices rose steeply in the last quarter of 2009, driven largely by China buying huge quantities of soya beans from the US, according to Gordon Kirkwood of consultancy Eccelso.

Food in the news

Kraft Foods has laid all its cards on the table with a final bid for Cadbury. The US manufacturer announced details of a recommended final offer on 19 January 2010 the deadline for acceptance is Tuesday 2 February.

Reporting in Know your limitations

I recently read Richard Branson's book, Business Stripped Bare, and found it very refreshing and inspiring.

Foodservice promotions opportunity

Foodservice sales in Europe are unlikely to pick up to 2007/08 levels until 2013, according to a new report by Rabobank. However, as consumers continue to trade down on products, the report suggests the active promotion of meal deals or discounts can help reach out to consumers, who are keeping a tight hold on their purse strings.

Irish bakery products see positive export boom

Exports of Irish bakery products increased by more than 20% in 2009 despite difficult market conditions.

Starbucks into New Look

Starbucks has announced plans to open 30 new stores in the UK by September 2010, following an "exceptionally busy Christ-mas period".

In Short

Hovis brands grow

Hayden's helps RGFC rake in profits

Significant sales growth at The Real Good Food Company's morning goods and patisserie subsidiary Hayden's has helped the firm achieve estimated pro-fits of around 25% above current market expectations.

Plant mince pie sales up as ISBs have tough Xmas

Ambient plant mince pies performed well as sales of in-store bakery (ISB) mince pies slumped dramatically in the run-up to Christmas, in a tough December all-round for the ISB sector.

In Short

Whitworth role

Paris show covers world of bakery

Europain, the major French bakery show, will take place at Parc des Expositions just outside Paris on March 6-10. The show, easily accessible by train from Paris or nearby airport Charles de Gaulle, features an innovations area and four halls dedicated to different subjects.

Bakery pilot course receives thumbs-up

The National Skills Academy (NSA) has hailed the pilot of a new broad-based bakery course, entitled Professional Bakery, a "huge success".

Campaigning baker falls to competitive pressures

Norman Olley, a well-known baker and one of Rick Stein's food heroes, has closed his business in Dereham, Norfolk, after falling sales left him with no choice.

In Short

Big Pie Night

Allergies: 2% affected

A fifth of adults claim they suffer from a food allergy or intolerance, but evidence has suggested less than 2% actually do, according to new research commissioned by the Flour Advisory Bureau (FAB). The report, carried out by the University of Portsmouth, also revealed that over half the population believe wheat allergy is a common illness. Yet confirmed cases of wheat allergies are less common than, for example, peanut, egg or milk allergies. "Those living alone and those aged 35-44 were most likely to report such an allergy," said the FAB.

BIE hunts for the best

The search is on to find the nation's best bakers to represent the UK in the Louis Lesaffre Cup. The 'world cup' of baking pits teams of three bakers, from around 40 countries and five continents, against each other in a series of national and international heats.

Apostrophe struggles to source patisserie in UK

The MD of expanding London bakery café chain Apostrophe is keen to source more products from British suppliers, but says high prices for top-quality patisserie are a stumbling block.

UCB delivers stroke of Genius at Starbucks

Gluten-free bread brand Genius is making inroads into the food-to-go market and will be the carrier for Starbucks' tuna mayonnaise sandwich from mid-February.

BSB sets out plans for AGM and dinner

The British Society of Baking (BSB) will host a four-course dinner, including a talk by well-known BBC sports journalist Garry Richardson, as part of its AGM.

Bread brands continue to up the ante on own-label

The latest figures on plant bread sales suggest that branded bread is continuing to grow at the expense of private-label.

In Short

Edinburgh HQ for JBT

Rumoured pay talks at Peters

Staff at Durham-based Peters Bakery have reportedly been asked to take a 10% pay cut. The firm has been in discussions with the Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) regarding the proposal, but a source at the BFAWU said it was too early to say what the final outcome would be. When asked to confirm whether the talks were about a possible 10% pay cut, he replied: "What you have heard is true."

Noble Foods reveals its taste for Gü

Noble Foods, the largest supplier of eggs and egg products in the UK, has acquired premium chocolate desserts company Gü Chocolate Puds, in a deal reported to be worth £35m.

Charities back CASH in latest anti-salt campaign


GreenPalm first for Burton’s Foods

Burton’s Foods has announced it is the first UK sweet biscuit manufacturer to acquire GreenPalm certificates for 100% of its palm oil usage.

Threats to jobs as Warburtons announces £25 million investment

Warburtons has announced a £25 million investment programme at its Bolton bakery. However the move threatens the jobs of around a quarter of its workforce at the site.

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