The addition of a co-extrusion system to new or existing single or twin-screw lines can help new product development, according to APV Baker (Peterborough).The company says the system can be used to make unusually shaped baked snacks, complemented by exotic flavours and fillings, such as sweet or savoury creams, fruit pastes or chocolate praline. The system’s essential elements are a pillow crimper, cream-feed system and die. The crim-per handles up to eight lanes of product, while a simultaneous cutting and crimping action helps minimise product handling and transfers, which can contribute to surface damage. Different shapes and flavours can be produced simultaneously for variety packs. The modular cream-feed system can be supplied in sizes from two to eight pumps and offers accurate metering of fillings.APV Baker says that die technology is key to the development of new snacks and that retro-fitting new dies during the mid-lifecycle of an extruder can help develop new and attractive brands. One application is the production of new ‘light’ products, using a special die to inject air.
I will never forget coming into work on the morning of September 16 and hearing about the massive fire at Aulds bakery in Inchinnan.I felt a huge shock and, knowing most of the family, I could hardly bear to think how they must feel. I imagine the one consoling factor was that there was no loss of human life. It is the only straw to grasp at in times like that.How do you cope with no building, no work to give to over 200 staff, customers let down – and not just for the day. At the same time your mind is querying ‘why’ and ‘how’ and then, like clockwork, putting into effect a disaster recovery plan, which the insurance company had insisted was previously in place. “Thank goodness they did,” MD Alan Marr told me at the time.Aulds is not the only company to have gone through the ghastly experience; quite a few of you have endured ferocious fires. But at least in this industry, unlike many others, you can ask “who will help see us through supplying our customers?” And local bakers will respond. In many sectors, rivals would rub their hands with glee, but not in the bakery industry, which sees a respect and support not seen elsewhere. Craft baker Peters Cathedral Bakers and plant baker Warburtons would testify to this, having had their share of trauma last year.Aulds and its staff have staged a magnificent recovery, prior to building a new state-of-the-art bakery – they have even attained new business. I hope they will be one of many entrants to Bakery Supplier of the Year, sponsored by Sainsbury’s, our featured category this week in the Baking Industry Awards.I also hope Brace’s Bakery will be another, as the Welsh family bakery expands to the south of England, bringing its good reputation with it.Finally, many congratulations to craft baker Thomas Adam, MD of Oliver Adams, and all his staff, as they celebrate their 150th anniversary. And congratulations also to the new freemen and livery members of the Worshipful Company of Bakers (pg 14) as they celebrate 500 years on the same site and admit ladies to the Livery by Patrimony and Redemption for the first time in the company’s history. Might the very gentlemanly British Confectioners Association one day follow suit and admit talented ladies?
Asda has revealed that “active health” lines, such as prebiotic breads, are driving growth of its speciality bread range and outstripping market growth rates.Figures provided to British Baker by Asda show a 389% growth in sales of its active health products across the year, to £1.4m. Asda’s figures compare to market growth rates – based on AC Nielsen Scantrack data taken over a 52-week period, ending 30 December 2006 – of 109% on active health breads, to £13m. Asda also revealed that sales of seeded breads were up by 29% to £16.3m in 2006. And organic bread sales growth was 60% to £1.3m. Average growth in the organic bread sector was 25.3% over the year to £26m and seeded breads were up by 30.4% to £133m.Debbie Woodhouse, buyer of Asda’s bought-in bread, predicted that breads with benefits of natural goodness and health would continue to have strong growth. The retailer has launched four new products into this area: Healthy 12 grain, Wholegrain and Oats, Omega 3 and Prebiotic bread.Meanwhile, Waitrose said that it was looking to introduce more speciality breads. “We don’t want to turn into a chemist,” said bakery buyer James Dickson. “If you put in a known entity, such as oats, people know what you are talking about; if you add Omega 3, they are not so comfortable about it.”The Co-operative Group also plans to stock more healthy breads from next year, as it overhauls its bakery section (see BB, 16 March, pg 6). It hopes to introduce an organic bread and a range for coeliacs.l See Speciality Supplement, free with next week’s issue.
New employer’s packQ. Having been a single-handed sole trader for a number of years, I feel I know the trade well enough now to expand and take on staff. My initial forays into the world of PAYE, NICs, working families’ tax credits and the like have left me wondering whether I will ever be able to cope. Any suggestions?A. You can find out all you need to know by getting a special ’New Employer’s Starter Pack’, a weighty, but extremely useful collection of leaflets, specimen forms and information on all aspects of income tax.The star item in my view is a booklet called Paying Someone for the First Time. It tells you, in very simple language, what to expect as a new employer and how to orga-nise a hassle-free first pay day.The pack is free and can be obtained via the Inland Revenue orderline (tel: 08457 646 646) or from your local Business Advice Centre (look under HM Customs & Excise in your local phone book).Misleading advertisementsQ There has been a lot of talk about the authorities clamping down on ’misleading’ and ’comparative’ advertising. As I’m shortly to begin a regional publicity campaign, please explain the meaning of these terms and what will happen to me should I step out of line.A Very briefly, an advertisement can be misleading if it contains a false statement of fact, creates a wrong impression, makes a promise when there is no intention of keeping it and is, in other ways, something of a ’con job’.An advertisement is ’comparative’ if, either explicitly or implicitly, it identifies a competitor or goods or services offered by a competitor. The trouble arises when, among other offences, it is misleading or takes unfair advantage of the reputation of a trademark or trade name.Several bodies, including the local trading standards service, will take court action where necessary, but to read up on the topic, you can get an interesting free fact sheet from the Office of Fair Trading, tel 0845 722 4499 7211.Selling the premisesQ Like many of us, I am continually in debt to the bank and would do a lot to reduce – or preferably get rid of – my overdraft. A bank official suggested, off the record, that as I own my business premises, I could sell them to raise cash and then agree to pay rent over a set period. Is this really an option?A Sale and leaseback is a popular way of unlocking the cash in property, and would give you the advantage of getting the bank off your back while allowing you to continue trading without disruption.However, don’t rush into this without thinking hard and taking professional advice. You may well be able to cock a snook at the bank and be free of paying interest, but the rent you will have to stump up could well be equal, if not more, than the bank charges!In addition, there will be service and possibly other expenses to pay under the terms of the lease and you will have to get consent to any alterations you may wish to make, inside and out.longer holidaysQ There are moves afoot to give workers increased holiday entitlements. If these are made law, will we have to give extra paid leave to part-timers?A The proposals are that all workers currently entitled to an annual leave entitlement should benefit, and this includes the type of wor-kers you mention. It is planned to increase this in two stages, rising from 20 to 24 days on 1 October this year and from 24 to 28 days a year later. n
The owner of a bakery infested with flour beetles and covered in mud has been fined £3,700 for breaching food hygiene laws.Maxime Barrowcliffe of the Village Bakery, Magdalen Road, Exeter, was also ordered to pay £1,097 costs by Cullompton Magistrates Court.n Gent’s pie shop and bakery in Standish, Lancashire, has warned that parking restrictions outside its premises may force it to close. Malcolm Gent said Wigan council’s decision to install double yellow lines would put off customers and damage local business.n The HGCA is to hold a Grain Market Outlook conference, on 9 October in London, exploring global and domestic markets and assessing what is to be expected in the coming months, as well as tackling the impact of EU policy, biofuels and climate change. “Recent events have highlighted the important place that the cereals sector holds, in terms of both human food and animal feed,” said Alastair Dickie, HGCA’s director of crop marketing.n Morrisons is launching Halloween cakes and biscuits free from artificial colours and hydrogenated fats. Products include gingerbread and shortbread bats, scary fairy cakes with different Halloween designs, including ghosts and skeletons, and Morrisons’ Halloween mini muffins.n The Organic Trade Group, whose members include Waitrose, has accused the Food Standards Agency of failing to consult properly over new guidance for parents on the side-effects of E-numbers. A letter sent to FSA chairwoman Dame Deirdre Hutton said the FSA was not making full information available to parents.
More aggressive sales and marketing activity have helped Coffee Republic reverse a downward trend, according to its latest trading update.Operating losses to the end of August have reduced by nearly 40% compared with the previous year. This was driven by increased franchise income, the success of its Cineworld concession deal and tighter control over head office costs. In the first six months of the year, like-for-like sales were down 0.2%, which the company said reflected a “toughening climate”, while total network sales growth in the UK is now 20%, driven by newly-opened bars.”The board continues to focus on driving the business both in the UK and internationally. Pipelines in both areas remain encouraging, despite the economic climate,” said a company statement.Coffee Republic now operates 195 outlets in the UK and internationally. Of the 184 UK outlets, 19 are company-run, 51 are franchises and 114 are concessions. It has also appointed property consultant Kings Sturge to find another 20 stores in Scotland, to increase its presence there.
The Real Good Food Company’s (RGFC’s) two principal businesses Renshaw and Napier Brown Foods are to amalgamate. The London office of RGFC has already closed and consolidated in Liverpool alongside the renamed renshawnapier.Renshaw is a leading manufacturer of marzipans, fondants, ready-to-roll icings, baking chocolate and jams, while Napier supplies sugar, including Fairtrade and organic.Stephen Heslop, CEO of RGFC, told British Baker: “There will be a small number of redundancies but having a flatter, more manageable structure means that we will be more efficient, with added flexibility to meet both current and new customers’ needs.“Over the next 12 to 24 months we will invest and innovate to broaden our customer offering.“We are really excited,” he added. “renshawnapier will be stronger and more focused. We will have just the right mix of skills, blending our traditional skill set and quality service with a dynamic and innovative team.”
Shoppers, bakers, millers and farmers are being urged to join the crusade for wholesome loaves by becoming members of the Real Bread Campaign. Its new national membership scheme costs £20 for individuals and £50 for businesses and offers discounts and benefits.Project officer Chris Young said: “This is the chance for everyone who cares about the state of bread in Britain to add their voices to the unified cry for Real Bread that is better for us, better for our communities and better for the planet.”Members get four issues of quarterly magazine True Loaf, a membership card offering discounts, access to the members’ area of the Real Bread Campaign website and Real Baker-e, an online community where members can find and share supportive advice, ideas and information, along with invitations to Real Bread events.Discounts include a free eco bag, giving 10% off bread from Gail’s London bakeries, baker’s dozen loyalty cards for free loaves at The Old Farmhouse Bakery and Tigh Fuine, and discounts from bakeries such as Cinnamon Square and Cotton’s Craft Bakery.Further benefits, tailored especially to bakeries and other businesses, such as training courses and support materials, will be added next year.Supported by the Big Lottery Fund (which is contributing £240,000 over four years), the Real Bread Campaign encourages the increased production and consumption of Real Bread and opposes “questionable industrial substitutes”.The scheme is being launched with a competition to find Silly Loaf Song titles such as ‘Loaf and Let Die,’ and ‘Another Little Pitta my Heart’. The winning entry received @RealBread on Twitter between 14-30 September will receive a year’s free individual membership.
ourcing on eating outTogether with healthy eating, food industry executives believe that local sourcing will have the greatest impact on menu development over the next three years, according to a new report by Allegra Strategies. Recent data, published in Eating Out in the UK 2010, has revealed that 50% of consumers asked indicated local sourcing was the most important sustainability initiative for foodservice operators, such as coffee shops and sandwich bars, to engage in.The research, carried out between April and June 2010, showed that service was another key factor in consumers’ decisions about where to eat with 78% rating the quality of service as highly as the food in determining choice of venue.The report estimated that the value of the UK ’informal eating out’ market had grown by 1% to reach £40.5bn in 2010, following a 0.8% drop in 2009, with coffee shops and sandwich bars holding a £6.9bn share of the market. Despite consumers trading down and reduced visit frequency, the report predicted that, over the medium- to long term, people would eat out more frequently, with the market set to reach £49bn by 2015.Lunch is still the most popular meal eaten out-of-home, found the report, with around 27% of consumers having at least one lunch meal out a week. Young adults (18-to 24-year-olds) were found to eat out around 3.3 times a week, while the over-65s ate 1.2 meals out of home on average.
CSM (UK) is offering a ReadiBake Mini-Bite Grab Bag, which can be filled with its range of mini-bite options, including Rocky Road chocolate treats, brownies, shortbread and flapjacks.The bags can feature a single variety or a selection of the thaw-and-serve mini-bites, chosen by consumers. The bags are free to bakery retailers, upon request, with each order of mini-bites.”As 51% of the UK population are now buying into the mini-bite category it is clear there is profit potential in this developing category,” said CSM.