Ingredients company Macphie (stand F340) will be exhibiting its range of products and offering visitors the opportunity to preview the latest additions to its portfolio. The theme of the stand is “the vital ingredient 24/7”, inspired by “on-the-go lifestyles and changing consumer trends”. Products on show will include cakes, muffins, cookies, brownies, flapjacks, wraps, pizzas, quiches and soups.
Craft baker Greenhalgh’s is to start rolling out “fantastic new branding” to give its 42 outlets a “fresher look” from next month. Bakery production manager David Smart said the new fascia is designed to give the stores a more modern feel. The “G” of Greenhalgh’s has been blown up to four times the size of standard text, to give the company a clear identifying logo. The new look will take 18 months to roll out across the company’s estate in north-west England, Mr Smart told British Baker.Greenhalgh’s is also planning to open two or more new outlets in the next year, boos-ting store numbers from the current 42. And the company is expanding the wholesale side of its business, which is now 50% wholesale and 50% retail. It supplies supermarkets Asda, Tesco, Morrisons and Booths, convenience chain Spar and companies inclu-ding BHS, House of Fraser and Roadchef.Wholesale sales manager Garry Thew told British Baker the company also has a growing export market, selling to expatriates in countries such as Spain, the Balearics and Tenerife. The majority of this business is meat-based.He noted that, following the recent lifting of the export ban on British beef, the company expects competition to escalate in overseas markets over the next six to eight weeks.With the lifting of the ban, Greenhalgh’s is to start selling products made with British beef in its overseas markets; before, it sourced beef from countries such as the Republic of Ireland, Argentina and Brazil. “Things will change now that we will be using British beef across the range,” said Mr Thew.
Associated British Foods (ABF) is proposing to close British Sugar’s York and Allscott beet sugar factories after the end of the 2006/7 campaign, leaving it with four UK factories.George Weston, chief executive of ABF, said the move will boost efficiency: “We intend ultimately to produce more sugar from four UK factories than we currently produce from six.” ABF also plans to buy the 83,000 tonnes of additional sugar quota available in the UK as a result of the reform of the EU sugar regime. The news follows the consolidation of British Sugar’s Polish operations into two factories last year and an application to acquire 11,000 tonnes of additional sugar quota available in Poland.
Following a drop in pre-tax earnings for 2005/06, shortbread manufacturer Dean’s of Huntly has regained its profit momentum and has improved sales by close to 10% in 2006/07, MD Bill Dean told British Baker.For the financial year ending June 30, profits were likely to be “on a par” with the 2004/05 level of £443,657, while turnover was on course to top £6 million, he said. These figures compare to, respectively, £161,677 and £5.6m for 2005/06. Last year’s reduced profits were due to higher costs of ingredients, packaging, labour and distribution, as well as to the costs of financing a £1m-plus investment in the company’s headquarters, spent on upping the production area at Huntly from 40,000 to 60,000sq ft in a project completed last summer, he said.The company was now building a café, visitor centre and development kitchen – due for completion in August – and was planning to add new office and staff facilities in 2008, he added. Dean said the company was targeting sales of £7m for both 2007/08 and 2008/09, rising to £10m by 2012.Supermarket, independent and own-label sales now make up around three-quarters of the company’s turnover; the gift and foodservice sectors account for, respectively, 15% and 3-4% while exports add a further 5%.Recently, Dean’s has been developing a “Shortbread Biscuit Collection”, aimed at the gift and export markets. Scheduled for launch in New York in early July, the range of “home-style” biscuits will appear in “a new packaging concept”, Dean revealed.
Bookings are now being taken for the Bakers’ Fair North, to be held at Sheffield’s Don Valley Stadium on Sunday 19 October.Entry to the fair will be free for trade visitors, allowing access to a wide range of bakery-related businesses. One of last year’s visitors, John Love, product develop- ment manager at Cooplands of Doncaster said: “We enjoyed the show and got a lot out of it. We bought a cutting machine and looked at a forming machine from Mono, which is now on trial.”To pre-book your pass, register online at [http://www.bakersfair.co.uk] or call 01792 365906.
You are surely dying to know the answer to the question ’how do you combine the twin retro obsessions of cupcakes and knitting in one fell swoop?’ Well bait your breath no longer, because the answer lies with marzipan, as witnessed at veganyumyum.com. These cupcakes were baked for – what our American cousins quaintly call – a “Knit Night”. They’re now more commonly known by trendy types over here as “Bitch and Stitch” evenings.
There has been an “encouraging show of interest” in Ainsleys of Leeds, after the business was forced to call in the adminis-trators earlier this month, with Greggs and Cooplands (Doncaster) among the interested parties.Joint administrator Joe McLean, a partner at Grant Thornton in Leeds, told British Baker the business was “running as normal”. He said it had been an encouraging week, and that staff in Ainsleys’ bakery and shops had taken the news with great resilience, despite hundreds of jobs being at risk. “We are in discussions with some parties… it’s still early, but we are hopeful we might find a buyer.”Greggs said it would be “very interested” in looking at a number of Ainsleys shops. “We could offer a future to somewhere in the region of one in three Ainsleys shops, if the administrators would consider those coming over to Greggs,” said chief executive Ken McMeikan. “Our sadness at the moment is to see other another baker in trouble. We want to see the bakery industry thriving.” Chris Peck, chairman of Cooplands, confirmed that the 75-strong bakery chain was also interested in Ainsleys, but said that it was “early days” in terms of a deal. “Ainsleys has a good name and, geographically, it is within our logistical capabilities, so it would be relatively painless to absorb the company.”The 29-shop firm went into administration on Friday 6 November, after earlier attempts to find a buyer failed. McLean said Ainsleys had been trading in difficult circumstances for some time, with declining retail sales and increased market competition.Ainsleys employs 263 full- and part-time staff, and around 30 temporary workers, across its shops and bakery in Sheepscar, Leeds, and in its van sales operation. General manager James Ainsley said that, along with the Ainsley family and company directors, he wished to acknowledge the hard work and loyalty of the staff, “particularly through the recent challenging times”.
Pinenuts: further hit by the impact of the weak sterling, prices remain extremely high and, given that replenishment from the Chinese new crop is still some six months away, it is hard to see how there can be any major price correction this side of January 2011. Global demand for pine nuts overall has declined at these historically high prices.Pumpkin seeds: the availability of pumpkin seeds between now and the new crop is fast becoming a growing concern; China has now shipped its crop after its domestic requirements, and its new season supply doesn’t arrive in the UK before December/January. Despite the prevailing prices being significantly higher than any historical average for this product, China is to down-scale total production of pumpkin in favour of other better-yielding crops.Sunflower: demand for sunflower seeds is growing in a number of applications, including bakery. Despite a continuing rise in demand, with two key origins of sunflower rather than one the US continues to push China for ’sun seed’ market supremacy and plenty of other countries across Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union producing big sunflower crops for the crushers, prices have remained relatively stable, despite the strong dollar.l Based on information provided by ingredients supplier RM Curtis
Glacéau vitaminwater has launched a strawberry and kiwi variant, called i-focus. It contains Vitamins A, B and C and is available in a 500ml bottle.i-focus is the second new flavour to join the range. The launch will be supported by a marketing campaign entitled ’Show us your vits’.”The vibrant pink colour of the new variant will increase shelf stand-out against the remaining seven colours of the glacéau vitaminwater range,” commented Jason Hood, head of glacéau at Coca-Cola Enterprises. He said growth in the functional stills sector has been led by glacéau vitaminwater with the brand now worth £8m in retail sales.
Cost is the most important factor for consumers when choosing a sandwich at lunchtime, a new survey by YouGov has found.Commissioned by the RSPCA to mark British Sandwich Week, the results showed 51% of adults polled considered the issue of animal welfare important when buying food in general, but the figure dropped to around 11% when it came to the choice of sandwich fillings. Cost (60%), flavour (52%) and appearance (39%) were cited as the key factors in the decision-making process.Over 2,000 adults were surveyed last month, with 64% of respondents stating that it took them less than one minute to choose their sandwich from a shop display. Full-time students were the most ethically conscious when it came to buying lunchtime sandwiches, with 16% considering the use of higher-welfare products, compared to 11% of workers.The RSPCA launched a new campaign, ’Fairer Fillings’, to coincide with British Sandwich Week, from 16-21 May, aimed at encouraging consumers to think about the conditions the animals have lived in, when considering the filling in their sandwiches. “Buying a sandwich with a Fairer Filling can be a challenge. We need our shops to provide more animal welfare-friendly sandwiches,” said Eloise Shavelar, RSPCA farm animal campaign manager.