Health white paper

The government’s public health white paper, published this week, avoided detailed strategies on food pending the outcome of Responsibility Deal consultations currently taking place. Agreements on "further reformulation of food to reduce salt" are expected in the New Year, while it noted that "food containing fruit or vegetables with other types of food" should be added to the 5-a-day licensing scheme.

First Café On outlet

French-trained chef Loretta Liu has announced plans to open her first Café On outlet in London in early 2011, following the launch of her patisserie brand this autumn. Café On currently sells its products, including macarons, croquembouche, eclairs and sables, at food markets across the city, as well as direct to high-end specialist retailers.

Maison Blanc service is commended

Patisserie chain Maison Blanc has been named among the top five brands that deliver the best customer service in the UK. The survey by the National Skills Academy Hospitality looked at factors such as warmth, welcome, personality, staff product knowledge, training, perceived value for money and customers’ likeliness to recommend.

VAT plea refused

Innocent has been on the losing end of a court case over the VAT charged on its smoothies. The firm, part-owned by Coca Cola, challenged its tax bill, arguing its smoothies were a "liquefied fruit salad", rather than a "beverage". The company claimed it was unfair that the government charges 17.5% VAT on Innocent’s 100% fruit juice smoothies, when a bowl of the raw ingredients are not subject to VAT.