n The Food Standards Agency and the British Sandwich Association (BSA) are working on a set of industry guidelines for sandwich manufacturers and sandwich bars, due to be published next year.n Police are investigating an elaborate hoax e-mails were forged between Asda and Tesco bakery department workers, which appeared to show the two supermarkets collaborating to fix the price of bread. An employee from bakery supplier BakeMark has been arrested. BakeMark said it will co-operate with any police investigation. The News of the World revealed the scam.n Retail baker Greggs will open its first airport shop in Scotland in Glasgow Airport in September. It is investing £150,000 in the site.n The British Transport Police (BTP) is offering a £5,000 reward for help finding two people who robbed an Upper Crust bakery at Watford Junction station. The robbery took place at 7.20am on 17 July, when two masked men overpowered a member of staff and forced her to open the safe.n Some 112 guests attended last month’s National Dried Fruit Trade Association Annual Review (NDFTA) event in London, supported by California Raisins. Martin Rome of Whitworths stepped down as NDFTA chairman, with Roby Danon of Voicevale taking over.n Foodservice giant 3663 has won a supply contract for 334 Pizza Express outlets from Woodward Foodservice.n Melton Mowbray pork pie baker Dickinson & Morris has won a Guild of Fine Food Great Taste Gold Award for a second year running.
Walkers Shortbread chairman Peter Simpson has stepped down to be replaced by new non-executive chairman Michael Walker of financial public relations company Broadgate Marketing. He is not related to the Walker family that owns the business. Simpson stays on as non-executive director.The move comes as part of succession planning at Aberlour-based Walkers.Nicky Walker becomes production director and, in time, will take over many responsibilities from his father Joseph, who has been in sole charge of production since joining the company in the 1950s, the firm said.Nicky’s brother Richard has been appointed technical director while David Edwards has joined the company from Scottish & Newcastle as financial director.
Carluccio’s, the Italian restaurant and delicatessen chain, has announced that, for the 16 weeks to 13 January, turnover growth was up 18%.In an annual trading update statement last week, the com-pany said Christmas trading was firm and in line with the board’s expectations, but added: “Conditions are undoubtedly more challenging than a year ago.”Carluccio’s bakery range includes ciappe Ligurian bread, bruschettine al rosmarino, sandoliva olive grissini and baci di dama – traditional Piedmont biscuit kisses. Although the board believes that consumer spending will become tighter, it remains positive about the trend towards eating out.The company’s minimum five-store opening target for the 2008 financial year is on track, with two Carluccio’s opened since the year end. These were at Stratford-upon-Avon and Spinningfields, Manchester.The company’s contractors have completed its third site, in Heathrow airport, Terminal 5, due to open at the end of March 2008. An extra two sites have already been secured and announced for the 2009 financial year: the first in Leicester and the second in Bristol.The company now trades from 34 locations.
So seldom in these trying times can one find an authority to turn to for tips on how to keep one’s “excretory organs” in fine fettle, so thank heavens for Dr Allinson’s ageless advice. Incidentally, we’re guessing that the august physician had yet to launch his own bread brand when he offered this comment…On keeping a healthy “downstairs”: “We must supply our bodies with proper food, in proper quantity, at stated intervals, keep up proper combustion by pure air and by exercise, and see our excretory organs are in good condition. Make your bread at home if possible; it is sure to be better and cheaper than that bought.”
Real Food’s ground-breaking format reflects the focus given to food standards – in particular, provenance and sustainability. It is both a trade and consumer show, with a dedicated trade day on Thursday 24 April. Tickets for the dedicated trade day cost £20 (including VAT), which includes the entrance fee, the gala evening, complimentary producer sampling of ingredients and workshops. Bakery exhibitors include De Gustibus, Flour Power City Baker and The Flour Station.
Wetherspoons is to use Kate’s Cakes brownies in its Chocolate Brownie Sundae. Kate’s Cakes has supplied the pub chain with its individually wrapped Chocolate Brownies for the last four years, which will now feature on the dessert menu. The pudding will consist of two brownies, topped with Belgian chocolate sauce and served with icecream and cream.“We chose them for their homemade taste that comes from using only the best ingredients,” said Mark English, food buyer at Wetherspoons, who went on to say the dessert is proving popular with diners so far. Other brownie in the Kate’s Cakes range are Pecan Brownie, Gluten-Free Chocolate Orange Brownie and Brownie Point.The company bake in small batches using free range eggs and avoiding GMO foods, additives and artificial flavourings and preservatives. The Kate’s Cakes range includes loaf slices, flapjacks, muffins, cookies, traybakes and whole cakes in addition to the brownies.
McVitie’s Cake Company has launched a range of mini croissants, featuring a chocolate or strawberry filling.The croissants expand on McVitie’s morning goods range, until now consisting only of waffles. They can be eaten straight from the pack, or warmed in the oven. The mini croissants have been designed to capture spend from consumers who have missed breakfast or who want a snack on-the-go.Mike Benton, marketing controller at The McVitie’s Cake Company, commented: “People are finding that their lifestyles are becoming increasingly busy and it is more difficult to find the time to eat breakfast. The launch of these mini croissants provides consumers with the perfect solution for a quick breakfast or snack on-the-go.”The products will be available from May in packs of seven and the launch will be supported by in-store promotional activity.’’RRP: £1.19 www.unitedbiscuits.co.uk’’
The in-store bakeries (ISB) seem to have Viennoiserie and Danish wrapped up this year. The Danish pastry category is worth £45m and is growing by 10.4% (IRI 52 w/e 5 September 2009), year-on-year, making it the second fastest-growing sweet bakery sector in ISB behind a resurgent muffins category, and outstripping croissant sales. In contrast, Warburtons’ recent Bakery Review pointed to a 20% drop in wrapped Danish pastries value.Andy Clegg, head of bakery at Morrisons, says there has been no great push on promotions, but sales are soaring nonetheless. “We’re seeing a small growth in packaged croissants,” he says. “But ISB Viennoiserie has seen a market growth of 6% and we’ve got a growth of 38.9% (Nielsen, 12 weeks to 10 October), mainly driven by ISB croissants. Both the Bakery and Cake shop at Morrisons are performing beyond expectations this year.”So why is Danish, in particular, performing so well? “There is more promotional activity in Danish than croissants, but it also comes back to affordable treats, which people want at the moment and which is really helping ISB in general,” says supplier Bakehouse’s brand manager Claire Warren. “NPD has been a little more cautious, but people still want to see new things out there and it’s really important to deliver that to help grow the category.”We’re seeing more NPD being generated than in other categories, such as Danish crowns with seasonal flavoured fillings, which helps maintain interest in the category. Traditionally, Danish pastries are popular with men and older consumers but lighter flavoured variants, such as lemon Danish, which is new to the category, are being aimed at younger consumers.”Commoditised goodsWhile wrapped sales have suffered, another casualty has been the coffee shops. Costa Coffee’s head of food Beverley Phillips says the success of sweet pastries in the ISBs has, in effect, “commoditised” them for consumers. “You can walk in and get the product, which makes it more accessible, but less special to buy in a coffee shop,” she says. “What we have to find now is a product that brings back the customisation and out-of-home special feeling, because a croissant, for example, is almost a commo-ditised product. That’s why sales aren’t growing in the coffee shop market. We need suppliers to premiumise that category for us again to make it different from the in-store bakery.”
Comas showed the latest compact Tartomatic 1000 pie line at Iba. As well as a small footprint, this machine for making traditional pies and tarts can be fitted with additional tooling to make quiches, cheesecake and Scotch pies. The fully automatic Tartomatic, which measures just over 1m2 produces up to 3,000 pieces an hour depending on product size which varies from 75mm to 300mm in diameter.The company also showed a new conveyor, the LT 600, made of heavy-duty stainless steel plate. In addition, Comas displayed a co-extruder with conveyor, gauging system, and guillotine for the production of filled smooth mix cookies with two or three flavours.
By Max Jenvey of Oxxygen Marketing Partnership, a strategic business agency, specialising in the bakery, foodservice and convenience retail sectorsSummer is finally here, and even though the sun may not be shining, your customers’ minds are totally focused on that all-important summer holiday. Top of mind is how they are going to fit into their summer wardrobe and look good on the beach or by the pool.Of course, the gym beckons, the diets start and herein lies your opportunity: what better way to increase your sales of speciality breads and sandwiches than with an emphasis on healthy eating?Our colleagues at research firm him! tell us that 40% of bakery customers know they want a sandwich, but make their final purchase decision in-store which means the breads and fillings play a huge role in their selection process. So what type of sandwiches are they buying? Him! says that 18% buy traditional sandwiches and rolls, 14% prefer something a little more exotic, such as paninis and speciality breads, with only 3% looking for wraps.So what are some of the most important considerations for customers when choosing their sandwiches and bread carriers? Top of the list is availability, at 30%; if it ain’t there, they can’t buy it. And interestingly enough, 50% of customers tell him! that, year-on-year, their local bakery or coffee shop has exactly the same range.One of the UK’s leading Harley Street nutritionists Yvonne Bishop-Weston says: “Between 50% and 98% of nutrients are lost by turning grains into white bread and, of particular interest to women, 76% of iron is lost in the process.”So it’s a well-known fact that brown and seeded breads are better for you, but with stats like these the real question is, ’What are you waiting for?’Adapt your offer, not only by shouting, ’Viva Wholegrain!’ through your window, but also with seasonal variations on fillings. Remember it’s summer, so keep it light and tasty, not forgetting to promote those nutritional benefits.Look, for example, at the emphasis food giant Nestlé places on whole grains within its cereal range. If you, as serious bakers and sandwich-makers, take note, the short-term ’grains’ are all to play for!