Review of the Year 2018: July to September

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

July

  • Wheat and butter costs continued to rise and put pressure on bakery industry margins, prompting Finsbury Food Group to describe the increases as ‘unprecedented’.
  • Adelie Foods’ accounts revealed it had lost £28.8m in the 18 months to 30 September 2017 – when it rationalised its manufacturing and distribution operations
  • Cornwall-based pasty and pastries supplier Crantock Bakery shut with loss of more than 100 jobs. Crantock had been in business for almost 30 years, originally supplying pasties from a small shop in the village of Crantock and later moving to a site at Indian Queens near Newquay.
  • A mum and dad thanked staff at the Village Bakery who helped deliver their baby. Dad Matt Cooke was driving pregnant partner Margaret ‘Mogs’ Edwards from their home to hospital when her waters broke and she realised she was going to give birth at the entrance to the bakery in Minera, near Wrexham.

August

  • Aryzta announced plans to raise €800m in capital as part of plans to strengthen its presence in the frozen bakery market. The move followed a profit warning in May and the announcement of plans to reduce costs over the next three years. The plan was agreed by shareholders in November.
  • McErlain’s Bakery – producer of the Genesis Crafty range and own-label cakes and breads – was sold to Paul Allen, CEO of Tayto Group, as a private investment by him and his family.
  • Aulds placed its retail business into liquidation to focus on its wholesale and production operation. The move resulted in the closure of 18 retail stores, with the eight remaining sites continuing to trade.
  • Scientists produce a detailed description of the genome – the genetic make-up – of bread wheat variety Chinese Spring, a breakthrough that could result in more consistent dough and longer shelf lives for baked goods.

September

  • Finsbury Food Group acquired free-from bakery manufacturer Ultrapharm. The deal had a total reported cost of £20m. Finsbury said it was delighted to have secured such a valuable strategic acquisition that presented the group with a significant opportunity to access an exciting and high-growth marketplace.
  • Jacksons opened its ‘state of the art’ £40m bakery in Corby, creating 50 new jobs. The facility was designed specifically to make bread for sandwich manufacturers and foodservice customers, and can produce 10,000 loaves of sandwich bread per hour.
  • Pret A Manger tells inquest it would make “meaningful change” following the death of 15-year-old Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who died in July 2016 after eating a Pret baguette containing sesame, to which she was allergic. Pret later pledges to list all ingredients on its freshly made lines, and hired former Food Standards Association boss Tim Smith to chair a food advisory panel.
  • British Baker’s 2018 Baking Industry Awards honoured individuals, innovative products and inspirational businesses including Paul Rhodes of Paul Rhodes Bakery (Baker of the Year); Warrens Bakery (The Craft Bakery Business Award) and The Village Bakery (Free-from Bakery Product of the Year and Outstanding Contribution to the Baking Industry)

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