RHM group revealed a new “simplified” company structure with three business units in place of the previous four. The new divisions were bread bakeries, cakes and customer partnerships, and culinary brands. Buying was centralised across the group.
Rank Hovis announced it was to close its Felixstowe Docks mill, spreading production around mills in the UK.
Pastry supplier Saxby announced a dramatic restructure, cutting two thirds of its 325 workforce and closing its baked supply side. This supplied lines such as gala pies to supermarket and independent delis. The company said the market had become commoditised and it would focus on the profitable areas of chilled pastry and unbaked goods instead.
Sugar and ingredients supplier Napier Brown confirmed it was in talks with a potential buyer.
Bake-off rivals IAWS and Country Choice both relaunched their flagship brands – Cuisine de France and Bake & Bite, respectively. The make-over included new point-of-sale and packaging.
Warburtons moved further into Wales with a multi-million pound purchase of its 13th bakery – the former New Rathbones plant bakery in Newport. The firm outbid Wales’ Brace’s Bakery.
Federation of Bakers members agreed to extend a pilot of standard-sized bread baskets to 200 Tesco supermarkets. Trials started in October 2004 in 53 Tesco stores.