Retail bakery plans

Entrepreneur Luke Johnson is to open a number of new Gail’s Artisan Bakery and Patisserie Valerie outlets in the UK next year. The Telegraph reported that, at a recent conference, he announced plans to open 50 new outlets across his venture capital firm, Risk Capital Partners’ restaurant and retail estate.

Urban Eat reaches out

Sandwich brand Urban Eat plans to launch a new social media campaign targeting consumers via Twitter, Facebook and a new website. The brand was initially targeted at university students, but Food Partners now aims to broaden its appeal by hosting various competitions and promotions online in the coming months.

ABF on profits track

Associated British Foods (ABF) the parent company of Allied Bakeries and AB Mauri has reported it is on track to turn out profits in line with earlier predictions. However, the group warned that interest expenses will be greater in its second half as a result of higher-than-average net borrowings.

Kantar’s grocery data

Kantar Worldpanel said grocery sales rose by 4.5% in the three months to 4 September 2011 compared with a year ago, but prices rose by 5.3% and indicating volumes fell for a third month in a row.