December

STUDENT DIARY

The NFBSS/IBB Alliance is organising a series of training workshops which are open to any one following a recognised course in bakery, either college or work-place based.

INSIDER

Although my grandfather ran a bakery, the industry didn't appeal to me at first, and I joined the RAF when I left school before taking a job as a security guard at Asda in Dudley. A vacancy came up in the bakery department as a trainee baker and I originally took it because it meant working longer hours.

Pritchitts

(Bromley, Kent), a Lakeland Dairies company, makes cream which can be used on Christmas desserts.

Culinare

Sil-Pin by Culinare (Farnborough, Hants) has launched a colourful collection of silicone rolling pins and pastry rollers with zinc alloy-coated handles for the traditional baker; a "Soft Grip" design for the baker-in-training; and, for the professional baker, the Baker's design, which has no handles.

Livwell's

For the growing number of people whose bloating and lethargy is affecting their quality of life, Livwell's Christmas offering includes wheat-, gluten- and milk-free Christmas cake with icing and marzipan, a two-pack of Christmas puddings and four mince pies that are also egg-free.

Crantock Bakery

(near Newquay, Cornwall) has rolled out seasonal items, including: a turkey and cranberry pasty, complete with sage and onion stuffing; a hand-raised pork and cranberry pie, made with hot water pastry; and an apple and mincemeat pasty. All three joined Crantock's existing range of 26 pasties, from traditional Cornish to beef madras.

Dawn Foods

(Evesham, Worcestershire) has developed a seasonal Christmas recipe card, using standard Dawn Foods mixes.

Délice de France

(Southall, Middlesex) has introduced several varieties of filled pastries and pies.

Cuisine de France

(Stone, Staffordshire) is offering several festive treats. The Shortcrust Pastry Mince Pie is a fully-baked, thaw-and-serve pastry case, filled with mincemeat.

News review of 2006

JANUARY

Better by design

Gordon Ramsay has described Mich Turner as the "Bentley of cake baking" - high praise from the Michelin-starred chef who is notoriously difficult to please.

Tiffin settles into Asda role

A degree in biology is probably not the first qualification you look for when recruiting an in-store cake buyer or even the fact that the applicant likes to play rugby.

A day in the life of...Stuart Beattie

10.30am

OFT reviews Premier/RHM deal

The Office of Fair Trading is considering whether Premier Foods' proposed acquistion of RHM should be referred to the Competition Commission (British Baker, 8 December, pg 4).

Greencore sales up

Greencore's sandwiches, cakes and quiches businesses have performed particularly well over the last year on the back of new products launches with a premium focus, it said last week.

International activity

Eastern Europeans are developing a taste for upmarket coffee judging by the results of British-owned coffee chain Coffeeheaven.

Viewpoint

This is our last issue of 2006 and I hope all of you are having a busy and prosperous Christmas period.

Stock system links factories

Glisten Confectionery has installed a new integrated stock, warehousing and distribution system linking its two factories in Blackburn and Skegness.

Ford bids to take Caffè Nero private

Caffè Nero's chairman and CEO Gerry Ford has made a £225m bid to buy-out the coffee shop chain, which is yet to be agreed by shareholders.

Kart Grand Prix raises £2,500

The Cookie Crew swept to victory at this year's Bakers' Benevolent Society Kart Grand Prix, which raised £2,500 for the charity.

Quiznos to grow on the double

US-style sandwich chain Quiznos Sub plans to double its number of stores in the UK in 2007.

Sainsbury's Scottish shops get their Just Desserts

Cake company Johnstone's Just Desserts has won a listing with Sainsbury's in Scotland for its new Luxury range.

Trend watch

Trend-spotters from the Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD) have predicted 10 key trends that will shape the fast-moving consumer goods industry in the New Year.

Flour prices rise again as wheat costs spiral upwards

ADM Milling is to put up its prices on all flours by £21.25 a tonne from January 15.

RHM's piece of festive cheer

RHM reported a "significant improvement" in its cakes division in its interim results this week.

Court appearance in stabbing case

Fine Lady Bakeries employee Shahid Rehman has appeared at Oxford Crown Court charged with the murder of colleague Imran Shah.

Folic acid wins favour

The baking industry is braced for a debate about who picks up the bill, after experts recommended flour be fortified with folic acid this week.

Warburtons ads to go national

Warburtons is to launch its first ever national TV advertising campaign as part of a £20m marketing investment in 2007.

Packing a punch

According to a recent report, Attitudes Towards Ethical Foods in the UK, conducted by consumer, media and market research supplier Mintel, three-quarters of British people believe that they have a duty to recycle. Julie Sloan, senior market analyst at Mintel says: "People in Britain today are clearly moving towards more ethical lifestyles and are starting to realise that their actions have consequences. In such a climate, many companies may be hoping to improve their profile by projecting a more ethical stance."

Paul learns UK lessons

Calling your company a 'start-up' when you've got the wallop of a 300-strong homeland army of shops buttressing your advance into a foreign territory may stretch the definition of the phrase somewhat. But this is how French bakery chain Paul sees its foray into the UK retail bakery market.

Our new arrival... www.bakeryinfo.co.uk

Your new gateway to the baking industry, the bakeryinfo.co.uk website will offer a selection of the bits of both magazine titles, while also providing a sneak preview of upcoming news and feature exclusives.

Face to face...

Q How have you enjoyed the first year in your new job?

THE STATE OF THE NATION

Often, I feel the country is going mad, continually trying to buy on price, rather than on quality.

RHM Fact Box

RHM is a leading UK food manufacturer, with annual sales of over £1.5bn and over 15,000 employees at approximately 50 locations in the UK and France.

Premier's path to top

Premier's £1.2bn takeover of RHM came as a surprise to many investors, but the company has demonstrated an appetite for iconic British brands in the past.

Longer life on the double

A double-wall packaging system that prolongs the shelf-life of part-baked bread and reduces the quantity of additives required for its preservation has been awarded patents in the UK and France.

viewpoint

T he merger of RHM with Premier Foods (pgs 4,12) will create a massive new food company. It's early days, but at the moment it looks a great fit with enhanced buying power. What if, perish the thought, milling and baking go a bit pear-shaped? Because they are the sectors feeling the pressure most from increased grain costs on the one hand and supermarket price pressures on the other.

Reporting in

For decades, organisations in the industry have given awards, bursaries and scholarships to people in baking to enable them to develop their full potential. When every large town had its local bakery college, and the lecturer was well-known to the local baking community, persuading young workers and students to apply for these opportunities was relatively simple.

Bakery sales boost IAWS

IAWS has reported an "excellent" performance for its financial year ending 31 July 2006, with pre-tax profits up by 14.6% to ?123.5m (£83.3m). Group revenue was 10.6% higher at ?1.557bn from ?1.408bn.

Greenwood targets training at banquet

Over 200 people attended the Worshipful Company of Bakers' annual election banquet last week at the Mansion House in London, where Anthony Greenwood was elected as the new Master. He was presented with the chain of office by outgoing master Alan Willis.

Ingredients watch

As we are all aware, some parts of the baking industry are still diminishing.

Shoppers support small shops with Wedge card

Specialist stores such as bakeries are closing at an alarming rate, but a new type of loyalty card could halt the slide.

Premium growth drives Finsbury

Year-on-year sales at Memory Lane Cakes are up 3.3% and have risen 15% at speciality bread producer Nicholas & Harris after 20 weeks of Finsbury Food Group's financial year. All the growth at Memory Lane has come in the latter half of that period, after a quiet summer.

Single qualification for N/SVQs

NVQ and SVQ qualifications for the food and drink industry are being replaced by an umbrella title: N/SVQ Food Manufacture.

William Reed reveals Baking Industry Exhibition plans

Research conducted after this year's NEC shows resulted in a clear majority of exhibitors saying they wanted British Baker and publisher William Reed to run a bakery show for the industry.

Scotch Pie Champion named after charity success

This year's Scotch Pie Champion is Keith Stuart, production director of Fife's RT Stuart bakery and butchery chain.

Briefs

n Full-time student bakers are being encouraged to enter a new competition that showcases their bread-making and confectionery talents using California raisins.

Premier's RHM plans

Innovation and investment were promised by Premier Foods after it took over RHM, which comprises milling, bread and cakes businesses, for £1.2bn this week.

Dawn adds flavours to frostings line-up

Dawn Foods (Evesham, Worcestershire) has announced that it will now offer a full range of frostings, with the addition of three new flavours: chocolate, strawberry and lemon. Dawn Foods is launching the full frostings range in response to research among the bakery and foodservice sectors and their customers, which shows that, when it comes to sweet bakery products, consumers are demanding novelty and variety, visual appeal and satisfying taste delivery, said the firm. No artificial colours are used throughout the range.

Drink up!

While the public are already aware of the benefits of smoothies as a healthy and nutritious food, King Parrot Foods (Liverpool) has come up with a twist on the concept - a smoothie that they say is even healthier and contains more vitamins than other types of smoothies. King Parrot Smoothies are sold frozen, with frozen fruit, juice and fat-free yoghurt. They are less than 1% fat and provide a minimum of two of the five portions of fruit a day. The ingredients are frozen in prime condition, says the company, and kept in that state, so there is no deterioration. They have a 12-month shelf life.

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