There were sparkles to make cupcakes shimmer, hand-raised pork pie demos for purists, ovens with small footprints and big clear programming panels, plus a Smart car for smart buyers of a smart new dough processing line. And the latest craze? Let’s hear it for whoopie cakes! Yes, BIE had plenty to interest and entertain, so in the following pages we start to look at some of the new launches and speak to the people behind them.
Ireks brings corn bread to UK bakers
Ireks launched a different-looking corn bread mix, pale yellow in colour. "It’s difficult to promote to bakers, because they don’t know about it," said Ireks’ Maurice van Tongeren, "but it is becoming very popular on the Continent.
"For this reason the mix comes with a full point-of-sale kit and sampling recommendations. It is an alternative to wheat, pale yellow in colour and very nutritious. It contains magnesium, iron, calcium and zinc. It has a small amount of spice and is coated with sunflower seeds," said van Tongeren.
With a 12.5kg mix, bakers receive 50 bread bags, with printed information, so that consumers can learn about the corn bread, making it a talking point. They also receive mobiles, shelf wobblers, window stripes plus advice on how to display the corn bread.
Included in the pack is a ’Try Me’ card, talking about its health properties and enticing custo-mers to ’Try the pure gold loaf with sunflower seeds’.
Van Tongeren added: "It also comes with 10kg of corn pieces that are an optional choice."
The bread itself is moist, with a good crust, not chewy but soft, providing a good eating sensation.
Ireks also showed its mini macaroon mix, which catches the craze for mini strawberry, chocolate and pistachio-coloured macaroons. These were going down very well with visiting bakers and were not too sweet.
Ireks’ new Artisan Roll concentrate can make three different products: hard, medium or soft crust, providing consumers with a choice.
Unifine adds whoopie pies to selection
Unifine unveiled a whole host of new products on its stand at BIE as it focused on the themes of glamour and innovation. Being demonstrated at the show were a range of different ingredients, including gold and silver sauces, gels, sugar inclusions and sprinkles. In line with its theme of innovation, Unifine has developed a new slant on a cupcake, whereby the paper case has been replaced with a chocolate cup. There were several other new products on display, including a range of macaroon products from Odense for example Souffle Macaroons and Macaroon Meringue Roche, which have been developed by Unifine’s chef patissier Graham Dunton.
The firm was also promoting a new Florentine recipe, featuring ingredients such as cranberries and sesame seeds, and launched its own version of the popular new American bakery craze, whoopie cakes, which are comprised of two moist cakes sandwiched with a filling of flavoured mousse cream and then decorated (below).
Costa Coffee has more than doubled its number of outlets to over 1,000 since 2007, and Malcolm Heslop, general manager for travel outlets, told visitors how customer service and transaction times are key to growing a business.
"Of all the reasons that we can lose a customer, research shows us that 70% is down to the service that people receive if they don’t feel valued by the person serving them, they don’t have a reason to be loyal.
"So what do we do about it? Anyone who works for Costa will start to recognise that, to get people coming back, it’s about three things for us: a great cup of coffee; speed of service; and the right kind of behaviour a smile.
"There are three key touch points. Firstly, you have to get across a genuine greeting. Next, if there’s a new breakfast pastry, do team members know about it, what it tastes like, and have they got the ability to sell it? Are they selling-up (drink size), and are they selling-on (an incremental product)?
"Speed is key. People want to grab-and-go. We’ve timed it: One person would be able to serve 37 drinks an hour in conjuction with the transaction and serving food. Put an extra person on and it more than doubles. One example is six orders took 20 minutes with one person; with two people, it was down to eight minutes. It might seem like you’re saving labour, but it’s a false economy. Get the right number of people on to maximise the opportunity."
Tom Chandley takes control
Tom Chandley’s Eric and (pictured) Martin Dyson demonstrated a new controller panel for the firm’s rack, deck and convection ovens. Describing the new panel, Eric said: "It’s very visual, even from a distance. By glancing at it, you can see the position the bake is in.
"Red means the oven is getting to temperature, green means it is ready to go, when products are baking it turns to yellow. It is easy to programme and programmes can be stored." But Eric emphasises that it also saves money: "It turns the ovens off if not used for a predetermined time, say 20 minutes, but as it is solidly built, it will hold temperatures.
"It can save supermarkets over 45% of their running costs, because the controller looks for power from idling decks."
On the ovens front, the Bakefresh oven, manufactured by Tom Chandley, takes par-baked rolls: frozen, ambient or chilled. Eric showed how the operator deposits a box or container full of part-baked products into a hopper, then a belt takes them on to a lifting mechanism, which goes into the oven.
"After baking, the rolls fall into a display box fully baked and are ready to sell. When product levels drop below the sensor, it automatically calls for more products," said Eric. "This keeps up the smell of warm bread, while helping to control production and avoid wastage."
Mono unveils energy-saving ovens
Bakery equipment manufacturer and supplier Mono had a number of new machines on display at BIE. Following two years of development work, the firm has launched its BX Eco-touch range of convection ovens. Technical and sales manager Chris Huish told British Baker that an oven costs the most to run at between zero to 100C. He said that keeping these new ovens in sleep mode at a set temperature, reduces energy consumption by up to 66%.
The ovens have an auto shutdown function which prevents them using power when left on by mistake. It is USB-programmable and features overlapped, foil-fronted solid slab insulation for more efficient heat retention. The ovens are available in two-tray, four- to five-tray and 10-tray formats.
The ovens all have LED oven chamber bulbs which use 88% less electricity and last up to 25,000 hours. Other new features include a favourites menu, a multi-bake facility, allowing four separate bake cycles to run simultaneously, and a seven-day timer to provide automatic control.
Mono’s other big launch was a table-top confectionery depositor. It has a travelling hopper system, which removes the need for a conveyor belt. "Instead of the tray moving, the hopper moves," explained Huish. This enables trays to be loaded and unloaded in the most ergonomically efficient way directly from the front of the machine. It can be used for a whole range of products, including eclairs, cupcakes, profiteroles, meringues, Genoese, Swiss rolls, biscuits and cookies. The depositor requires less than 1m2 to operate and is available in two sizes 400mm x 600mm and 500mm x 762mm. The machine is pre-programmed with 14 different languages and can store up to 96 programmes for quick product recall.
birds’ eye view
Retail and sales manager of Birds of Derby Mike Holling gave a talk in The Theatre on ’Marketing Opportunities with Craft Bakers’ Week 2010’, as well as general tips for running a successful business.
He spoke of the importance of investing in product display to ensure they catch your customers’ eyes. He said bakers need to ask themselves a number of questions, such as: are the bakery counters merchandised correctly? Is the external appearance of the shop in good order? And is the shop fully stocked?
Holling emphasised the need to make sure that point-of-sale material is up to date, ensuring your staff have good product knowledge and reminding them that "they hold the reputation of the company in their hands".
Speaking in his role as chairman of the National Association of Master Bakers (NAMB), Holling said: "We’ve had lots of interest so far, and some encouraging leads. It’s not just about new members, but also about meeting with existing ones and seeing what else they need from us."
He also said there had been a lot of interest in National Craft Bakers’ Week, which the NAMB was promoting on its stand, with aprons, featuring the logo, available to buy.
KernPack goes with the flow
KernPack unveiled its latest flow-wrapping solution at the Baking Industry Exhibition. The new high speed flow-wrapper Tecnopack FP110 can produce up to 1,000 packs a minute. It is being targeted at the confectio-nery and biscuit industry, said national sales manager, Tony Bradley, and is designed to go into the larger industrial bakeries.
The firm, which invited visitors to pre-register for the chance to have a VIP preview of the new equipment, was also promoting the new Tecnopack FP015-Evo, an entry-level flow-wrapper aimed at smaller bakery operations. Bradley said it would suit businesses making the move from manual wrapping to an automated system.
RedBlack’s rental offer
RedBlack Software launched a new pay-as-you-go version of its CyBake business management software for bakers, called CyBake Core. Aimed at smaller bakery operations, the software is available for £125 a month on a rental contract basis.
The core functions of the new software include sales order processing, recipe costing and credit control.
"If a smaller baker expands or needs some of CyBake’s more advanced functions, then CyBake Core can be upgraded to their requirements by our technicians," explained MD Jane Tyler.
CyBake Core comes with a single-user contract, and the package including set-up and training, costs £3,500 or £125 a month for a three-year contract.
Magic Sparkles cake decorations caught many people’s attention. The sparkles come in a huge choice of colours and different size fragments and are completely edible and cuttable. As the name suggests, they are designed to add glitter and glamour to cupcakes, celebration cakes and all types of toppings.
Acting on impulse
Eurowire Containers launched a point-of-display unit for bakers to show their fresh items in front of the till, alongside snacking products, to improve impulse purchasing. "We can do it to any specification that the customer wants and to any colour to blend in. We can also do dump bins and shelving systems," said the firm’s Baz Maan.
The firm handles 7,000 products, from dishwashers to clothing, linen, storage containers, cutlery everything for day-to-day use in a bakery or café.
Dawn shows off product variety
Dawn Foods displayed its new frozen ready-to-finish cupcake bases on its stand at Food & Drink Expo co-located with BIE. National account manager Andy Anderson said it was the first showing of this product at an exhibition and it attracted a lot of interest.
Two options are available double chocolate in a brown paper case or plain sponge in a gold paper case. Dawn suggests finishing them with its range of frostings, available in vanilla, chocolate, lemon, strawberry, and a new flavour coffee.
The firm also introduced a new range of standard tulip muffins at the show. Varieties included very berry with a raspberry filling, chocolate chip, double chocolate, skinny apricot and raspberry, lemon with lemon filling, blueberry, and apricot with apricot filling.
Other recent product portfolio additions on the stand included its new range of ’add water only’ flavoured cake mixes, available in lemon, coffee, strawberry and toffee varieties.
l Dawn also demonstrated its latest products at Bakery Live (pictured). Hierman Eikemper demonstrated the company’s donut mixes several times a day.
Benier displays smart style
Benier’s Flexismart oven contains two small rack ovens on top of a deck oven, with a prover below.
MD David Marsh told British Baker: "It has been very well received by point-of-sale bakers, because of its versatility in a small footprint. Sveba Dahlen has designed the unit, so you can bake and sell in the same space or have it at the back of the shop.
"The ovens feature high-grade insulation and can bake from scratch, giving an even bake, or they can be used for bake-off."
There are 18 racks in total six each in the rack ovens and six on the deck.
Marsh added: "The 400x600 deck oven is a full stone-soled bread oven. Together with the under-prover I believe the combination is completely unique."
Elgar Foods gets its fill
Elgar Foods, which specialises in making pie, cake, muffin and doughnut fillings plus cheesecake toppings, introduced nut-based mincemeats and fruit fillings. The firm numbers Brakes, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Greggs among its customers. Elgar’s Adam Day said: "Our high-quality fillings are cold-processed, using complex starch systems allowing the fruits to keep their natural goodness, colour and flavour."
New products include apricot filling, kitchen-style apple and rhubarb, plus minty raspberry and zingy strawberry.