"If you take away one idea from a demo, it pays for the trip," patissier John Slattery told delegates at the NAMB conference last weekend. The stand-out gold nugget was if not the incredible margins that can be made from making confectionery versions of fast foods how to make a little go a long way.

By using a simple, low-cost base of a round chocolate Rice Crispie cake, Slattery, the inspirational genius behind Manchester’s Slattery Patisserie & Chocolatier, showed how new ideas can fizz off in different directions, from confectionery burgers to chocolate "lasagne" and "garlic bread". What’s more, he revealed that quirky novelty products can surprise you by becoming a mainstay of a range; the cakey burgers remained a strong seller, six months after launch and beyond.

l For a full report, see the next issue of BB.