Review of the Year 2018: April to June

With 2019 fast approaching, we cast our eye over some of the bakery stories that have hit the headlines over the past 12 months.

April

  • The Advertising Standards Authority upheld a complaint by the Real Bread Campaign that Pret A Manger misled consumers by suggesting its foods were free from artificial additives.
  • Lidl launched its first permanent free-from range, including thins, rolls and cookies, into stores across England, Scotland and Wales.
  • Iceland removed palm oil from its baked goods range as part of a pledge to end the use of the ingredient in all of its own-label food by the end of 2018.
  • Sainsbury’s and Asda released details of plans to merge, saying the deal would create opportunities for suppliers to develop differentiated product ranges.
  • Renshaw owner Real Good Food sold its Garrett Ingredients business, which supplies dairy, sugar and other food ingredients to UK manufacturers, to Kent Foods Limited.
  • A White Seeded Sourdough Loaf produced by Sussex-based Foodhaven wins British Baker’s 2018 Britain’s Best Loaf competition at the Farm Shop & Deli Show.

May

  • AB Mauri announced it would be acquiring bakery ingredients suppliers Holgran and Fleming Howden from Rank Hovis Milling. The deal completed in July.
  • Private equity firm IK Investment Partners acquired Mademoiselle Desserts. The French frozen desserts and pastry business has manufacturing sites in France and The Netherlands and, in January 2017, acquired UK baked goods supplier Ministry of Cake.
  • Samworth Brothers began consultation with staff over closure of The Brooklands Bakery, which was previously part of the Euphorium bakery business owned by Tesco and was acquired by Samworth in 2016. The site, in Weybridge, Surrey, closes in Augusts.
  • Gluten-free biscuit manufacturer Northumbrian Fine Foods, producer of the Prewett’s range of branded products and own-label goods, was acquired by European own-label firm Biscuit International.

June

  • The Village Bakery announced it is opening a £12m gluten-free factory, which it described as the most advanced gluten-free bakery in Europe.
  • Cheshire-based frozen pies and snacks manufacturer Freshpack entered administration after “a period of difficult trading”. The business continued to operate while a buyer was sought, but ceased trading in July as the search was unsuccessful. The closure resulted in the loss of 70 jobs.
  • Almost 60 products including Tesco and Wall’s lines were recalled by manufacturer Addo Food Group over fears they may contain pieces of metal following “abnormal wear” to a faulty drive belt.
  • Major bakery businesses including Warburtons, Allied and Hovis were forced to make changes to some packaging arrangements and product shelf-lives as a result of a temporary carbon dioxide shortage.

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