UK 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.
The Bengals are one of six winless teams left in the NFL heading into their Week 5 matchup against the Cardinals (0-3-1), and first-year coach Zac Taylor is the second Cincinnati rookie coach to start 0-4 with the team. Sam Wyche went 0-5 in 1984, but the Bengals ended up 8-8. That path won’t help this year’s team.In fact, the 2019 Bengals need to go in the other direction. It’s time to tank for Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. The Bengals have two choices: Either aim for Tagovailoa now, or wait for Lawrence in 2021. The problem with the latter is that more teams likely will be in the hunt for the Clemson QB.If the Bengals do what they’ve been doing and let another opportunity to draft a star QB pass them by, they will continue to be a bystander in the division for the next decade.Draft Tagovailoa and be in the mix, instead. Tua is worth itThere has been a lot of nit-picking of Tagovailoa since Alabama’s 44-16 loss to Clemson in the College Football Playoff championship game last year, but he will be the best QB prospect in the 2020 NFL Draft if he decides to leave college.Tagovialoa has 6,320 yards with 77 TDs and 8 interceptions and a career passer rating of 202.8 with the Crimson Tide. Granted, that’s with a first-class group of receivers, but at least he has reps throwing to future NFL players.Tagovailoa’s completion percentage has shot up to 76.4, and he is an improvisational playmaker out of the pocket. He can work well with the skill-position players Cincinnati already has.There is no reason for the Bengals not to take the chance on Tagovailoa if they have the opportunity.A real Bengals rebuildThe Bengals have lacked direction since their 18-16 loss to the Steelers in the AFC wild-card game on Jan. 9, 2016. Cincinnati is 19-32-1 since; the only teams that have been worse are the Cardinals (18-32-2), 49ers (15-36), Jets (14-37) and Browns (10-41-1).Those other teams have QB plans now with first-round picks such as Murray, Darnold and Baker Mayfield. After trading for Jimmy Garoppolo a couple years ago, San Francisco is the only remaining unbeaten team in the NFC. The Bengals got a first-hand look at that in their 41-17 loss to the 49ers in Week 2.NFL POWER RANKINGS:Bengals have competition for No. 1 pickIt’s time for Cincinnati to make the same move. Drafting a first-round QB would incentivize its need to rebuild the offensive line. The Bengals’ last Super Bowl team in 1988 was anchored by Hall of Famer Anthony Munoz and All-Pro guard Max Montoya. Boomer Esiason was a three-time Pro Bowl selection behind a solid offensive line.The Bengals drafted David Klinger with the No. 6 pick in 1992, and the Steelers sacked him 10 times in his debut that season, not unlike their 8 sacks of Dalton last week. You need to protect the QB, especially a first-round pick.So keep Dalton for another year, groom Tagovailoa and rebuild the offensive line. It can be done. That would set a real course for what Taylor wants to do as coach — if he is the right coach for the Bengals. It will not just be a continuation of the end of the Marvin Lewis era.Impact on the AFC NorthTagovailoa is among the Heisman Trophy front-runners this season, and he could join past winners in Mayfield and Lamar Jackson in the AFC North. More importantly, the Bengals drafting Tagovailoa would block the Steelers from getting a chance at him. Pittsburgh doesn’t have a first-round pick in 2020 right now, but this is the same, aggressive franchise that traded up to get Devin Bush in 2019. NFL MOCK DRAFT 2020:Bengals miss out on Tua, draft different QBYes, Cincinnati has other areas that need addressed, namely an offensive line that has allowed 4.8 sacks per game this season. QB Andy Dalton has taken 19 sacks, and the only QB who has taken more, Kyler Murray (20), will be on the other sideline this weekend. If the Bengals lose to the Cardinals, then 8-8 isn’t going to happen.But landing Tagovailoa could happen. Here are all the reasons that should be Cincinnati’s goal.Most other winless teams don’t need TuaThe Cardinals, Redskins and Broncos drafted QBs within the first two rounds of the 2019 NFL Draft. The Jets have Sam Darnold.The Dolphins are the Bengals’ biggest competition for Tagovailoa at this point, and that’s the team Sporting News has taking the Alabama QB in our latest mock draft.That might depend on whether Josh Rosen improves this season, or if Miami is willing to wait another year and make a run at Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence.The end of the Dalton eraDalton will be a free agent in 2021, so the Bengals could do what the Giants did with Eli Manning and Daniel Jones this year. They would keep Dalton in 2020 and shift to the next QB either during the season or by 2021.The Bengals pulled that off in 2003 after they took Carson Palmer with the No. 1 pick. He sat behind Jon Kitna the entire 2003 season (another 8-8 year) before taking over the starting job in 2004. By 2005, Cincinnati was 11-5 and winner of the AFC North.Dalton has been the starting QB for the Bengals for nine seasons, and he has led five playoff runs, one of which was cut short by a season-ending thumb injury. Dalton has a 68-54-2 record as starter, but he has been stuck in QB purgatory for a few seasons.It’s time for the Bengals to move on.
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