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Archives for: April 21, 2021

New Master of the Worshipful Company of Bakers

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first_imgAlan Willis (pictured far right) became the new Master of the Worshipful Company of Bakers at the annual Election Banquet, held at the Mansion House in London last week. Nearly 300 members and guests, many from the baking industry, saw the Beadle, Anthony White, remove the chain of office from past master Michael Bellis in readiness to present it to his successor. Mr Willis, formerly of National Westminster Bank, has been a prominent member of Baking Excellence since its inception several years ago. The organisation helps raise funds and publicises the need for bursaries to bakery students, which in turn funds study tours.last_img

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Tesco vows to ride the health wave

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first_imgTesco’s bakery sales are now worth £1bn a year and are growing 14% annually, bakery director Tony Reed has revealed.Speaking at the British Society of Baking’s spring conference in Birmingham this week, Mr Reed said bakery turnover has almost doubled from £600m since he took over almost five years ago. Growth is being driven by new formats such as Tesco Express and Tesco Extra.As he took to the podium in his last function, having stepped up to become operations director for Tesco’s northern superstores, Mr Reed said without Tesco’s growth over the years the bakery market would have at “best been flat” and “would probably be in decline”.In his presentation, Mr Reed identified five drivers of Tesco’s bakery offer – convenience, health, responsibility (eg clean labels), value and indulgence.Healthy eating is becoming an increasingly important driver of sales, Mr Reed told delegates and Tesco needs to “ride the health wave”. Tesco saw an 8% decline in white bread sales over the past year, with wholemeal bread sales growing 16%. Tesco will “follow the money” on this trend, he said, and “go after wholemeal and bread with bits”. To this end, it is to increase space allocated to these lines in its stores from July.Mr Reed predicted: “In three years time wholemeal sales will overtake white, at this rate.”And he suggested that cakes and morning goods recipes such as croissants may need to be altered to reflect this “massive change in eating habits”.Mr Reed told suppliers he saw organic as a big growth area, on the back of the health debate. He commented: “People see organic as healthy. It is a big priority for us. But we have got to get the prices down.” Tesco has yet to find a new bakery director.last_img read more

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RTS Flexible Systems

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first_imgRTS Flexible Systems (Irlam, Manchester) a provider of integrated robotic and automation systems for the food industry, has developed a solution for picking and packing food products into variety packs.The system can also be adapted to cope with changes in pack configuration due to the introduction of new flavours or ’limited-edition’ offers.The solution was originally developed for a chocolate biscuit manufacturer. It used RTS’ PixCell TM technology to combine the speed and flexibility of 120-cycle per minute, vision-guided robots with RTS VIP TMline balancing software and RTS-developed gripper designs.According to David Bradford, RTS managing director: “We were able to achieve significant cost savings by replacing a complex and repetitive manual operation to pack multiple product variants with an automated solution.This significantly increases throughput and reduces line downtime. It has the advantage of improved quality control, and there are benefits for hygiene and personnel health because of the reduction in human intervention.”last_img read more

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Briefs

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first_imgn A night-shift worker has died after an incident at a Warburtons’ bakery in Bellshill, Lanarkshire. Police found Stephen McArdle lying outside the unit at 4.40am last week. The 26-year-old victim, of Coatbridge, was rushed to Monklands General Hospital in Airdrie. A spokeswoman for Warburtons said: “We are deeply saddened that one of our employees has died.” Police are investigating.n Leicester-based Geary’s Bakeries has applied for planning permission for a new bakery near its existing premises. The site is expected to be complete in two years, and will be “one of the most modern in the UK”, chairman Charles Geary told British Baker. All staff and production will relocate to the new premises. Geary’s wholesale business supplies customers including the Co-op, Aldi, Tesco and Greencore.n Premier Foods’ £1.2 billion takeover of Hovis bread owner RHM is scheduled to be completed today, March 16.n British Baker has launched an online poll to find out what bakers think attract people to their cafés. Go to [http://www.bakeryinfo.co.uk] to vote and to access a wealth of information on the baking industryn The national minimum wage is to rise by 17p from £5.35 to £5.52 an hour from October 2007. The rate for workers aged 18-21 will rise by 15p to £4.60 an hour, while workers aged 16 and 17 will get a 10p rise to £3.40 an hour.n The Village Bakery Melmerby’s Fairtrade Christmas Puddings raised some £2,000 for an Oxfam project in Honduras.last_img read more

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Williams Refrigeration

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first_img(King’s Lynn, Norfolk) has launched a new cook-chill capability in partnership with sister Aga Foodservice company, Eloma, and is offering guidance and advice on implementing cook-chill systems for all types of situations for bakery.Cook-chill systems are designed to provide increased flexibility in the kitchen, while ensuring that food safety guidelines are met. The system involves the preparation and cooking of food, followed by rapid chilling or freezing and storage at controlled temperatures. The food is then regenerated before service. The system is safe and easy to use, provided all HACCP guidelines and EU legislation are correctly followed, says the firm.last_img

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Younger shoppers key to high street bakers’ future

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first_imgHigh street bakers need to target young consumers, adapting range and approach, to ensure long-term survival, according to new independent research supplied exclusively to British Baker.Currently, retail bakers have a loyal but ageing and low-spending customer base, says the report from Management Horizons Europe, commissioned by ingredients supplier BakeMark UK.The typical customer in a retail bakery falls into the over-50s age group, visits once a week (74%) and buys something every visit (94%), with an average spend of £2.85.Those aged 18-30, who often fall into the ’cash-rich, time-poor’ bracket and are willing to trade up to high quality, convenient products, account for just 21% of customers.The findings, based on exit surveys, one-to-one interviews with bakers and discussion groups, suggest that bakers need to develop more food-to-go ranges, speciality breads, healthy breads, innovative shop interiors and promotions.’Eat now’ lines were considered crucial to attracting younger consumers, with 89% of younger (18-24) consumers surveyed saying they would eat their purchase from the bakery immediately, while older customers were more likely to take it home.The report says sandwiches are now bakeries’ most profitable line and that bakers have 20.2% of the sandwich market.Consumers surveyed had a high opinion of sandwiches from the local bakery. Many said they would also welcome the opportunity to select from chiller cabinets displaying freshly made sandwiches.Meal deals were popular among lunchtime shoppers, yet 76% of people said they did not see any special offers or deals in their local bakers – underpinning a perception that bakers do not always offer value.Bakers also need to improve their in-store advertising to ensure consumers take advantage of deals – and encourage repeat business, the report suggests.The research found that bakers are shying away from putting a premium on prices, despite superiority in freshness and quality. Those that have, often find a positive reception. One baker noted: “People will pay twice the price of a supermarket for my product.”last_img read more

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KK sales down

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first_imgIn the US, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, reported an 11.7% revenue decreased to $103.4m for the third quarter ended 28 October, 2007, despite the closure of 17 factory stores, 12 US domestic stores and 25 franchises. Third-quarter sales decreased approximately 2.6% from the third quarter of last year, while the net loss was $798,000, compared to a loss of $7.2m in the comparable 2006 period.last_img

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Uniq turns profit in UK but suffers overall loss

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first_imgUniq, the European convenience foods group, returned to profitability in the UK, according to preliminary company results for 2007. However, the group’s overall pre-tax losses stood at £44.1 million after significant items, including restructuring costs.Overall group sales for the full year were up by 2.9% to £736.1m.Uniq said its Northampton operation continued to lead the way in terms of “customer intimacy and innovation”. It supplies Marks & Spencer and airline caterers with sandwiches, wraps and other food-to-go items.The sale of St Hubert, the French spreads business, and the Belgian salads operation, for a total of £288m, allowed the firm to pay off its bank debt.The firm admitted progress in Northern Europe in the second half of 2007 had been disappointing, with a 2% decline in sales. Chief executive Geoff Eaton said: “Our progress in 2007 was delivered in the face of increasingly harsh economic circumstances, which have continued into 2008.”last_img read more

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Warburtons opens Kent depot

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first_imgWarburtons is opening a depot in Paddock Wood, Kent.The depot – Warburtons’ 13th – will help its bakery in Enfield, north London, to distribute its wide range of bakery products to the region’s local supermarkets. Warburtons’ Southern Regional Business Development Manager Kevin Ainley described the opening as “vital to our expansion plans, as it allows us to deliver fresh, quality loaves direct from bakery into the hands of our customers”.last_img

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Sweet bakery goods enjoy buoyant exports

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first_imgUK exports of cakes and sweet biscuits increased significantly in 2008, according to the latest report by the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), as the low value of the pound made UK products more competitive overseas. The data, supplied by Leatherhead Food International, showed exports of UK biscuits shot up 15.3% to £203.9m and cakes were also buoyant, up 12% to £156.5m.Canada, Australia and The Netherlands were some of the biggest importers of sweet biscuits, seeing export growth of 35.7%, 38.9% and 26.7% respectively. Fifty-seven per cent of all UK cake exports were to Ireland, up 5.8%, and cake exports to The Netherlands and France rose by 25.5% and 34.7% respectively.Following an upturn in its exports in 2008, United Biscuits has launched its McVitie’s Digestives brand in France for the first time. Four products will be available – McVitie’s Original, McVitie’s Chocolate, McVitie’s HobNobs, McVitie’s Caramel – and marketing support will kick off this month. The brand saw the most growth in Saudi Arabia (+25%), Greece (+23%) and Australia (+18%), achieved through a variety of measures, including customising the McVitie’s range for individual overseas retailers, raising awareness through TV advertising and successful promotions, said a spokesperson for the firm.Berkshire-based Handmade Cake Company has also noticed its export orders have been ramping up. “Exports are an increasingly important part of our business – we have certainly noticed that the recent decline of sterling versus the euro has made our cakes an even more attractive proposition to potential customers within the euro zone,” said sales director Simon Law. “In the past month, we have made our first delivery to one of Europe’s largest catering companies, based in France.”Bulgaria and Poland have also both significantly increased their imports of bakery, cakes and biscuits, by 302.2% and 225.7% (£3.6m) respectively.last_img read more

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