January

viewpoint

Bread prices have at last begun to rise, but this mainly reflects the mammoth increases in flour and energy prices. Our world poll on bread prices (pg 4), collated by the Economics Intelligence Unit, is up to date for September 2006. The places on the chart showing the price of bread in London and Manchester make shameful reading!

Snacks add bite to the market

A new snacks brand - The Funky Snack Company - is being launched by Chaucer Foods (Hull). The brand's first products include a range of bite-sized toasties, which are shaped like mini toast and are available in both sweet and savoury flavours, including strawberry jam, cinnamon & raisin, marmalade, Worcestershire sauce, cheese & pickle and bacon & brown sauce. Marketing director Richard Brewer, says: "The toasties are ideal snacks for both adults and kids and great as food-on-the-go or in lunch boxes. They are high on taste but low on guilt and contain significantly less fat than many crisps and corn snacks. When we unveiled the range at a leisure exhibition, the brand's wacky logo attracted plenty of attention and the products themselves are recognisably different."

Belcolade

Belcolade, the Belgian chocolate from Puratos (Buckingham, Bucks), has re-launched its website, [http://www.belcolade.com], making it more user-friendly and interactive.

Butt Foods

Butt Foods (Nottingham) has launched a Bread Bowl, which is sturdy enough to hold soups, chilli and curry, and yet soft and tasty enough to eat.

Délifrance UK

French bakery manufacturer Délifrance UK (Wigston, Leics) is continuing to extend the grab-and-go market with the launch of four ranges of added-value ranges including sweet pastry baskets, filled croissants, filled brioches and a unique deep swirl of French croissant pastry. Délifrance UK's marketing controller Lucy Pickersgill explains: "The market for new and innovative snacks to eat on-the-go is constantly evolving, with consumers demanding more choice and variety in Continental morning goods and more fruit-based alternatives to meet their five-a-day intake. We are continuing to develop our traditional Viennoiserie recipes for the British market."

Greenhalgh's

Greenhalgh's (Bolton, Lancs) has just launched its new range of savouries, jointly developed with top Indian chef Bishal Risaily, head chef at Victoria's India in Longridge, Preston.

Livwell

It is thought that up to 45% of us may suffer from food allergies and intolerances. Livwell, (Hull) the gluten-free brand, has spent four years improving its bread range and has taken to Europe to source equipment.

Dawn Foods

dawn foods (Evesham, Worcestershire) is promising a breakthrough for bakers with the launch of its 'just-add-water' Choux Pastry Mix. Once baked, it can then be filled with fresh cream or Dawn New England Frosting and finished with Dawn Spread 'n' Gloss to make classic éclairs and choux buns.

Kluman & Balter

January is the time of year when most consumers are looking towards healthy products to kick-start their New Year. Bread is a low-fat food, packed with vitamins and minerals, including calcium, iron, folic acid and B vitamins, says Kluman & Balter (Waltham Cross, Herts).

Steenbergs Organic

Steenbergs Organic has relocated its organic spice, herb and seasonings activities to a new purpose-built building, which uses 100% green energy.

Bakehouse launches handy three-in-one breakfast box

The new Breakfast Selection from Bakehouse, supplier of breads and pastries for bake-off, is offering three continental favourites in one case - 16 All-butter Croissants, 10 Pain Chocolat and 10 Pain Raisin.

Baking behind bars

Baking pink birthday cakes modelled on My Little Pony is not what usually springs to mind when thinking of pastimes of adult, male prisoners. Yet this does not seem to faze prisoners at Lindholme's category C, medium security prison, which also holds prisoners serving life sentences.

Cheap ranking for UK bread

T he UK is the world's bargain basement for bread according to new figures from the Economist Intelligence Unit, supplied exclusively to British Baker.

At least we can dream...

Well another year is over and we have survived, but it has been one of the most difficult years we've had for a very long time. While our year ends on 31 January, by the look of it we shall be lucky to have put on more than a 2-3% increase on last year on a like-for-like basis.

Fighting to save Ferrari's

You would be hard put to find somebody who has lived in South Wales in the past 75 years who has not heard of Ferrari's.

Post bag

I am writing to thank Mark and Sally Biggs from Biggs Bakery in Littlehampton for their kind generosity and for making it a very special Christmas for William and his seven friends in Hawthorn house at The Children's Trust, a national charity providing care, education and therapy for children with multiple disabilities and complex health needs.

George Saunders

George Saunders,

Des Benson

Des Benson

International activity

Organisers of Interbake China 2007 - one of Asia's largest international bakery exhibitions - say that Western expertise is very much in demand in the country, whether for machines, production, product design or packaging.

Irish use 'superfood' campaign

Wholegrain bread is being promo-ted as a 'superfood' across Ireland by food safety body Safefood.

Tesco breads grow

Tesco's bakery sales are ahead of budget and up year-on-year, category manager Andy Brocklehurst told British Baker this week.

viewpoint

In the past 25 years, the face of retailing across this country has changed completely. In have come the big supermarkets and out have gone the local community shops - bakers often being a typical example. And I see nothing in the preliminary report from the Competition Commission that will change anything one iota (pg 8).

Liquidation for Pat-A-Cake shop

A Pat-A-Cake bakery and sandwich shop in Workington, has been put up for sale after the business went into liquidation last year (British Baker, 1 December, 2006) .

Gordon Polson, director, Federation of Bakers

The move in Brussels to abolish national legislation on prescribed quantities for pre-packed products, such as bread, was a hot topic for bakers in 2006, and will continue to be so this year.

Interest hovers around Ferrari's

Administrators say "a number of serious, interested parties" have come forward as potential buyers of Welsh bakery chain Ferrari's, which called in administrators on 18 December.

MPs back bill for local communities

A Sustainable Communities Bill, which sets out to protect high street retailers, was backed by 175 votes to 17 at its second reading at the House of Commons last week.

Ingredients watch

A major trend in the industry will be increased satiety, making the consumer feel full for longer. By increasing the amount of soluble and insoluble fibres in bakery goods - with such products having a low glycaemic index - energy is released slowly and steadily, helping to control appetite as well as cholesterol levels.

NA takes tough decision to close training section

The National Association of Master Bakers (NA) board of directors met in London last week and decided to close its training section, possibly affecting five assessors.

Regional bread winner selected

Suffolk baker Mark Felgate was named as "The Nation's Tastiest Baker" of regional bread as part of the eighth Farmhouse Breakfast Week celebrations this week.

Organic flour crisis

Organic wheat prices have hit an "historic high" as a supply crisis combines with soaring demand.

NA throws its weight behind Baking Industry Exhibition

The National Association of Master Bakers (NA) has given its support to the Baking Industry Exhibition, which takes place from 6-9 April, 2008, at the Birmingham NEC.

FoB reveals conference line-up

The Federation of Bakers' (FoB) seventh annual conference will be held on 16 May, with a variety of high-profile speakers.

Vision Capital realigns Northern Food purchases

Vision Capital has ordered a shake-up of former Northern Foods' bakery businesses, after its purchase of the assets was approved by shareholders on 15 January.

Briefs

nSTOP PRESS: Women can halve their risk of breast cancer by eating a diet rich in wholemeal bread and wholegrain cereal, according to new research. The Leeds University study, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology this week, tracked the eating habits of more than 35,000 women over seven years.

Unifine Food & Bake Ingredients

The bun spice formula from Unifine Food & Bake Ingredients (Milton Keynes, Bucks) is three times as strong as the average liquid spice, claims the firm. Quality Bun Spice enhances the flavour of fruit in specialities such as hot cross buns, Bath buns, teacakes, fruit loaves and tea breads. It also banishes that bitter aftertaste often associated with spice concentrates, says Unifine.

Macphie

Macphie of Glenbervie's (Stonehaven, Kincardineshire) market research shows that, consumers are keen to try new flavours in hot cross buns, with apple and cinnamon, lemon and raisin and chocolate versions all making an appearance in the market last year, as well as mini versions for children, and hot cross bun loaves.

Zeelandia

Specialist ingredients manufacturer Zeelandia (Billericay, Essex) offers a range of custards, including Roma Cold Classic, to create trifles and Easter gateaux.

Kluman & Balter

Bakers can use Kluman & Balter's photocake decorating system for Easter cakes. Images of rabbits, flowers, eggs or other Easter themes can be transferred from a PC to a special printer that uses coloured, food-safe ink to print onto sugarpaste sheets, which can be placed directly onto the cake. Kluman & Balter (Waltham Cross, Herts) also supplies basic cake pre-mixes, chocolate drops, shavings, curls, marzipan blocks and specialist glazing gels for Simnel cakes.

Gb Plange UK

With Christmas over, the next treats to appear on bakery shelves are hot cross buns, according to Gb Plange UK (Runcorn, Cheshire).

Bakehouse

With chocolate being a hit at Easter time, Bakehouse (Bagshot, Surrey) has developed the Triple Chocolate Danish, with a filling of soft, dark chocolate with white and milk chocolate drops, encased in a traditional plait of flaky Schulstad Danish pastry and topped with real chocolate pieces.

Dawn adds to mix with Easter recipe

Sweet bakery and ingredients specialist Dawn Foods (Evesham, Worcestershire) is offering an Easter recipe, using its Baker's Select Carrot Cake base, as an alternative to the traditional fruit cake recipe.

BakeMark's

Cheshire-based BakeMark's (Wirral) Easter lines range includes a number of versatile, easy-to-use products.

ADM Milling

(Brentwood, Essex) the independent flour miller, offers bakers a range of premixes, concentrates and toppings, for producing Easter goods.

DIY icing set to add profit

Do-it-yourself cake decorating is already a big hit in the USA. Now, new company Cake Décor, based in Glasgow, is set to capitalise on this growing trend in the UK.

Yes, chef!

Over-worked, obsessed by details and prone to fits of temper, chefs have a fearsome reputation thanks to the on-screen antics of Gordon Ramsay. So you might think selling bread to top restaurants is a nerve-wracking affair for a baker. Turn up with something that doesn't match the head chef's lofty expectations and there's a good chance you'll be sent away with a flea in your ear or at least a stream of invective.

Marching into the limelight

Last year, Bolton-based Greenhalgh's set in motion ambitious plans to rebrand and expand its retail estate. Production director, David Smart explains that traditional bakeries like Greenhalgh's are facing increasingly tough competition from modern fast food chains and cafés, such as Starbucks and Caffè Nero, making modernisation and product innovation essential.

A formula for convenience

As with many things in life, size isn't everything. While the behemoths of the baking industry will naturally take up the lion's share of shelf space in multiple retailers, opportunities are opening up for small regional operators to supply at a local level.

Better-for-you bakery

With the countdown on to 2010, when the new Food Standards Agency (FSA) guidelines on salt levels begin to bite, and with retail giants continually shifting their marketing stance on additive-free, non-GM or low salt, bakers are under constant pressure to keep up with changing demands.

SIAB ready For Verona

This year SIAB, the Italian bakery exhibition, comes around again, following the three-year agreed rotation with Europain France and IBA Germany.

Commodities - flour

Flour cost rises of over 25% will result in a 10% increase in bread prices in the Republic of Ireland (approximately 10-17 cents loaf), according to the Irish Bread Bakers Association (IBBA), which represents the major plant bakeries in Ireland.

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