Gulf opportunity beckons to UK bakers and confectioners

A RECENT report published by Food from Britain (FFB), the market development consultancy for British food and drink companies, suggests there are significant opportunities for UK bakery and confectionery producers in the Gulf States.

UK bread ranks among cheapest

SUPERMARKET bread in London was again among the cheapest in the world, latest half-yearly figures from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) suggest.

Genesis gives an Irish welcome

Northern Irish craft bakery Genesis ran a “Welcome Home” promotion over the

Cuisine de France in brand push

Bake-off supplier Cuisine de France is to air a new regional TV commercial to raise awareness of its in-store bakery offer.

Ambitious Rich Products makes £1m investment

Rich Products says it has invested £1m at its bakeries, including the former David Powell bakery in Fareham, as part of a plan to become the UK’s leading supplier of premium baked goods.

HGCA conference

The Home Grown Cereals Authority (HGCA) will look at opportunities for suppliers in the foodservice and retail sectors at a conference in London on February 9. Entitled ‘Where to Harvest – Foodservice or Retail?’, it will be held at The British Library Conference Centre.
Marco Bertacca, MD: heritage in bread
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Bread back in focus as Bakemark restructures

BakeMark UK emphasised its commitment to bread ingredients this week as it announced a restructure, following a six-month strategic review.
A special presentation of the pretzel to the Pope
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Bakery designs pretzel for Pope

A GERMAN bakery has patented a Pope Benedict pretzel, in honour of the new head of the Catholic Church, the Bavarian Pope Benedict XVI.

Greggs ‘controlling costs’

RetaiL baker Greggs complained of rising energy costs as it reported flat like-for-like sales performance over the Christmas trading period, in a statement last week.

Harvestime saga continues

HARVESTIME (2005) administrators are still in negotiations over the future of its bakeries, particularly the site in Walsall, which is still trading.

Administrators move in at M Firkin bakery chain

Administrators hope to make a quick sale of Mid-lands independent bakery chain


Products currently on retailers’ shelves, which claim to be low fat, can actually be anything up to 17% fat and consumers can feel misled, says ingredients manufacturer Cereform (Northampton).

Functional fare for Food & Bake

Fayrefield FoodTec (Crewe, Cheshire) will be exhibiting its new range of healthier ingredients and mixes for cakes, breads and morning goods at Food & Bake at the NEC in March.

Scots given a heart and brain boost

Scottish bakery firm Black’s of Dunoon (Argyll) has recently launched a range of breads made from O’mega Bread, a 50% mix from specialist ingredients company Zeelandia (Billericay, Essex).

Serve up healthier teatime treats with pre-mixes

Dawn Foods (Evesham, Worcs) has developed a cake mix that is free of hydrogenated and trans fats.

Serve up healthier teatime treats with pre-mixes

Dawn Foods (Evesham, Worcs) has developed a cake mix that is free of hydrogenated and trans fats.

Healthy cake sales soar, says Anthony Alan

Sales of WeightWatchers cakes grew by 38.1% in the year to July 2005, according to TNS figures, says Anthony Alan Foods (Barnsley, Yorkshire), which supplies the cakes under licence.

Sugar replacer goes prebiotic

Danisco Sweeteners’ (Redhill, Surrey) Litesse polydextrose can be used to replace sugars and some fats in baked goods.

Sodium slashed in baking powder

Baking powder supplier Kudos Blends (Kidderminster, Worcs) has developed a new range of low-sodium and no-sodium alternatives.

BakeMark UK put to the GI test

“Consumers are starting to follow the principles of low-glycaemic index (GI) eating, cutting high-GI food intake in favour of low-GI foods that raise blood glucose more slowly to maintain constant energy levels,” says BakeMark UK’s (Wirral, Merseyside) trade marketing manager David Astles. “The message that carbohydrates are good for you is finally hitting home.”

ADM reduces trans fats with non-hydrogenated alternatives

ADM Speciality Oils & Fats (Koog aan de Zaan, the Netherlands) has extended its range of low trans fat products to provide a healthier variation to traditional fats in bakery, confectionery and frying applications.
Seeds of success: Gordon and Janet Nicholson
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Time to add as well as subtract

Healthy eating is a key driver of innovation in baking, but new product developers have tended to cut salt, sugar and fat, rather than add ‘functional’ ingredients that deliver specific health benefits.
Tony Phillips is past president of the NAMB and is (allegedly) retired from running Janes Pantry with 10 shops in Gloucestershire
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A simple country baker

Another year is over and we have survived. In fact, to be truthful, we have had a pretty good year, so we have a warm glow of satisfaction that we can soon give a good proportion of the little money we have made to the politicians to waste!


Acrylamide, which is formed in low-protein, high-carbohydrate foods cooked at high temperatures, could become a health issue, particularly with well-fired breads. The World Health Organization is now looking at it. There is a feeling that the research that is being done will show that very high levels of acrylamide intake will be classed as cancer-inducing – a geo-toxic in the same class as Sudan 1.
Scott Liddle
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Looking ahead to 2006 I think the challenge will be the same as the last couple of years, which is that suppliers will be driven by the retailers.
‘There is an opportunity for the craft industry – trends are going in our favour’ RONNIE LEGGETT
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There was a very positive view reported in British Baker recently from Investec that consumers value premium plant bread and I think that applies to baked goods generally.


I’m hoping for a more buoyant economy, encouraging people to spend more, and for that spend to be on premium bakery products, whether they be healthy or indulgent. The issue with the UK food market is that we don’t eat more or less calories depending on the economy – we eat more or less premium. Hopefully, people will spend on that extra bakery treat rather than foreign holidays, drinks or restaurants.


We manage the buying for Subway’s franchises in the UK, Ireland and Germany.


As far as prices go we have been hit by fuel and electricity charges, but I think most members of the industry made a price adjustment upwards to cover that. So I think they would be fairly stable for the next 12 months.
‘We’re disturbed by the outrageous increases in water and gas rates’ KIRK HUNTER
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There is a culture of training within the baking industry and we want to build on that in 2006. The SAMB is very active on training – we’ve got a couple of hundred youngsters on Skills Seekers and Modern Apprenticeship schemes, and up to 900 adults in our European Social Fund Programmes. It is very pleasing to see that level of commitment from the industry.
David Smith
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We hope to stimulate government ministers, civil servants and local authorities to recognise the importance of small shops on the high streets. We use the term ‘high street’, but it could be a suburban shopping centre, a village or small shops
Teresa Lindley
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The cost of utilities such as energy and fuel, and their potential impact upon pricing, will be the key challenge for our supply base and ourselves in the year ahead. This has only begun to emerge as a major issue over the past few months but will inevitably snowball.
‘We want to see sensible proposals on salt when the FSA issues its revised targets’ GORDON POLSON
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There is almost a merging of the FoB’s and the Flour Advisory Bureau’s public relations work under the Vitality Eating System. That is our response and initiative in terms of a promotion similar to ‘five-a-day’. We’re setting out how people can eat sensibly with a balanced diet that includes bread products. There is going to be more emphasis and work done in promoting this system in 2006.
‘I would like to see bread on the health agenda. That’s a huge prize for us’ Tony Reed
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This year will see the roll out of the new shelf replenishment method, which encompasses the new style bread trays. These are in around 130 Tesco stores and we hope to complete that by the end of the year.
David Roberts
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Look ahead for 2006

David Roberts, chairman, plant bakery Frank Roberts and Sons
Sylvia Macdonald
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It’s not a good start to the New Year if you are one of the 400 people who face the uncertainty of losing your job at the Harvestime (2005) plant bakery, Walsall, as the saga lurches from one crisis to the next.
L-R: Trevor Mooney; Ian Stuart, Teresa Lindley; Mike Holling.
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Retailers reveal Christmas trading performance

Bakery retailers have reported a “good” to “satisfactory” Christmas despite a “terminal decline” in sales of traditional Christmas lines such as Christmas puddings.

Bakels benefits from Multiseed Concentrate

Bakels is starting an advertising campaign in consumer magazines, highlighting the benefits of seeds in bread.
Paul Griffiths, chief executive
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Inter Link claims number one own-label cake slot

Cake supplier Inter Link Foods claimed it is now the UK’s number one own-label cake company and said it has set its sights on Europe, as it posted a 51.8% hike in half year turnover to £67.2million this week.

Medway takes time to settle down business

A three-month review is under way at new company, Medway Foods, the business formed from a £7m management buyout (MBO) of four of Canterbury Foods’ pastry and food ingredients plants.

Asda awards own-label bread contract to RHM

Asda has transferred own-label business worth an estimated £10 million a year from Allied Bakeries to RHM Bread Bakeries.

Birds of Derby opens new format

CRAFT baker Birds of Derby has opened its 50th store, a trial of Birds’ Expresso unit.

Which? criticises bulked-up sandwiches

Consumer group Which? has condemned some major retailers for bulking up chicken in sandwiches after analysing the contents of 26 lines.

Harvestime bakery: can Walsall survive?

Administrators were working against the clock to save Harvestime’s Walsall bakery as British Baker went to press. A rescue deal is being prepared with the company’s management. This will allow Harvestime to keep trading for two weeks, while a sale is finalised. Australian investor Ian Allen, who bought Harvestime (2005) shortly before it went into administration, is not thought to be involved.
(L-R) Lucy Atherton, Jo Balchin and Alison Green
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Proper Cornish unlocks potential

Bodmin-based pasty company Proper Cornish has joined a new recruitment scheme, exclusive to Cornwall, which helps graduates get jobs in local businesses.

Spooner invests in pilot tunnel

Spooner Industries (Ilkley, West Yorkshire) has completed its investment in a pilot tunnel oven at its head office. The high performance tunnel oven will enable customers to carry out tests and trials.

Big chill at new UK plant

Frozen cookie production at a new UK plant is benefiting from high-volume refrigeration plant supplied by Eurotek (Aylsham, Norwich).

Mixing it up with BakeMark cakes

The Craigmillar range from BakeMark UK (Wirral Merseyside) includes the Rich Celebration Cake Mix, which can be used in traditional and sheet cakes.

Lower TFAs in margarine

BakeMark UK (Wirral, Merseyside) supplies a wide range of non-hydrogenated fats and margarines. These enable food manufacturers to develop baked goods containing lower levels of trans fatty acids (TFAs), says the company. Consumer awareness of the potential health benefits of cutting TFA consumption is driving current demand, adds the firm.

Flexible wrap at a stretch

Limpet Tapes (Huntingdon, Cambs) has introduced the SIAT Paklet range of semi-automatic stretch wrappers. They are designed to meet all packaging requirements and also offer the flexibility to be upgraded to meet changing demands, says Limpet.

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