Glendale Foods Group has reported a 40% year-on-year increase in sales and is planning further acquisitions – a year after it was formed out of the merger between Glendale Frozen Foods and sausage manufacturer Supreme Foods.The Salford-based group said that synergies between the different operations, the concentration of production on to one site, increased buying strength and expansion into new retail and foodservice markets had driven growth.A company statement said that acquisitions “form a large part of current plans for growth” and that it would be “actively seeking partnership opportunities and inviting discussions if there are potential acquisition deals to be negotiated”. The acquisition of some Medway Foods’ production assets in June had enabled it to add dumplings and baked cobblers to its range of food products.Chairman John Mortimer said: “Like every other food manufacturer, we find that escalating prices have impacted considerably on production, storage and distribution costs. Across the industry it’s clear that consolidation and further acquisitions are going to take place, if food suppliers are to survive.”He said the company was “open to discussions with industry producers, as part of the strategy to continue growing our business”.Glendale has recently developed the Great British Pudding Company into a retail brand, with new single-portion consumer packaging and it is now on the shelves of supermarkets, including Tesco, Netto and Booths. Meanwhile, its Concepts food development service has allowed the firm to diversify into catering dishes and cooked meal components, supplying pub and restaurant chains and con- venience meal producers.—-=== In Short ===== Japanese ingredients firm to open in China ==Bakery companies who have opened up in the growing Chinese market will have the chance to obtain local supplies of food emulsifiers, as the Japanese ingredients firm Mitsubishi-Kagaku Foods plans to open up its first factory in China by spring 2009. The company said it would mix emulsifiers with other food ingredients for use in breads and other bakery products.== Price rise survivor ==One country, Paraguay, is actually profiting from the global rise in commodity prices. With its subtropical climate, five harvests every 24 months and huge tracts of wheat-growing land, perhaps it’s no surprise that the landlocked South American nation has gained most from the economic turbulence, according to the International Monetary Fund.== Carrefour’s success ==The forays of French supermarket giant Carrefour into emerging markets are paying off. The world’s second-largest retailer saw its sales in Latin America rise by 41.8% and in Asia by 8% in the first six months of 2008. But it fared less well in France, which accounts for 40% of total sales, as revenue there rose only 1.2% over the same period.== Bars live up to claims ==Research in the US has shown that nutrition bars broadly do what they say on their labels. ConsumerLab tested the nutrient claims of 20 different bars and found them to be accurate. But it also warned of the presence of “unwanted ingredients” including saturated fat, total fat and sugar alcohols. Ted Cooperman, ConsumerLab president, said bars could be a “good occasional source of nutrients… for people on the go” but added that they “vary dramatically in their content”.
Q. What does the British Society of Baking’s annual golf day on Thursday, May 18, 2006 have in common with the British Masters Golf Championship?A.The number 50. The BSB is celebrating its 50th anniversary and has booked the world-famous Ryder Cup Brabazon course at the Belfry to celebrate the event, while The Masters Golf Tour is for professional golfers who have reached the age of 50.The only problem is that the Masters Golf Tour was booked on to the same course at the same time as the BSB! However, it is an ill wind that blows no man to good. The Belfry persuaded the BSB to move and – as a result – golf organiser Keith Houliston of British Bakels has managed to negotiate a great price to host the one-day event.“I can’t understand why the Belfry would prefer the likes of Tom Watson and Sam Torrance when they could have the cream of the baking industry instead,” quips Mr Houliston. “But we decided to play fair and switch our date.” As a result, he has arranged a day’s golf on the Brabazon, a three-course dinner with a guest speaker at a reduced price. is only £99 inclusive, compared to the normal price of £195 for just the golf. “I am confident the day will be a sell-out,” he adds. “It’s a great way for the BSB to commemorate its Golden Jubilee.”Tickets are available to members and non-members from Mr Houliston on 01869 247098 or email: [email protected]
Competitions will be held for trainee and craft bakers at the National Federation of Bakery Student Society’s and the Institute of British Bakers Alliance (NFBSS/IBB) conference in Blackpool.The competitions at the 77th annual conference on 5-6 May at the Hotel Sheraton are open to anyone in training and cover a range of skills. Competitions sponsored by Hovis Granary and California Raisins will also be staged at the event. Craft bakers and students will also have the chance to win the coveted Horton Trophy.Entries must be in before 14 April 2007.To enter, contact Jane Hatton of Brooklands College by email: [email protected] or telephone 01932 797927.
UK supermarket bread remains among the cheapest in the world, latest figures from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) indicate.The data, supplied exclusively to British Baker, indicates that UK supermarket bread is cheaper than that on sale in supermarkets in countries including Bangkok in Thailand, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Lagos in Nigeria and Santiago in Chile. A kilo of bread in a supermarket in London cost 73p, making London the 33rd cheapest city in the world for supermarket bread. And in Manchester, the other UK city in the survey, supermarket bread came in at 66p, 24th cheapest in the world.The survey reveals that the most expensive supermarket in the world to pick up a loaf is in Seoul, South Korea where it costs £2.73 for a kilo.The EIU’s ranking of bread prices in 128 countries around the world was gathered by mystery shoppers in March 2007. Prices are worked out for each city by taking the weight and cost of a typical loaf of bread and calculating price per kilo. Shoppers visit a supermarket, a mid-priced retailer and an upmarket foodhall.The latest survey reveals that the average price of a kilo of bread in London is £1.19, which makes it 72nd on price out of the cities surveyed. But UK bread may be rising up the world ranks. London’s last average price tag, in September 2006, was £1.09.
The Whole Grain Stamp – a nifty little black and yellow food packaging label that has done wonders for the bowels of our American cousins – was launched recently into the UK, in a move that would have our back-page dietician Dr Allinson rolling around joyfully in his grave.Equally chuffed was ingredients supplier British Bakels, which launched the stamp into the UK at the Baking Industry Exhibition in April, on the back of a multi wholegrain bread mix for craft bakers. Supermarket Morri-sons ran with the idea, featuring the stamp on its in-store Multi Wholegrain Crusty Cob bread, made with Bakels’ mix, as a four-week manager’s special, but the promotion has since ended.Since then, however, a problem has arisen. The trouble is that the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) last month ruled against Nestlé featuring portion advice in its cereals advertising, thus fudging the issue on what can and cannot be marketed regarding whole-grain bakery products. A sticking point was Nestlé’s ’On your way to 3-a-day’ message in ads. So where does this leave the fledgling Whole Grain Stamp in the UK?At present, the label features the typical amount of whole grains per serving, alongside the words “Eat 48g or more of whole grains daily”. But this is based on a joint recommendation from the US Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services in the US – not guidance from the UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA).Explaining its ruling, the ASA cited a lack of “consensus of opinion among experts” over the specific quantity of wholegrain food that people should eat on a daily basis. It also said the 3-a-day message caused confusion for consumers, who – some might say – have barely gotten to grips with five-a-day fruit and veg.== UK POSITION ==So where does the UK stand on whole grains? The ASA based its ruling on FSA’s guidance, which pointedly refuses to give a specific recommendation on how much whole grain people should eat. It says: “There is insufficient evidence from epidemiological studies suggesting a beneficial impact of consumption of particular frequencies of whole-grain intake on overall health.”Try telling that to Cynthia Harriman, director of food strategies at the Whole Grains Council, who told BB that the research was stacking up in support of the benefit of whole grains, including from the World Health Organisation. “There is overwhelming research reflected in various government guidelines; country after country is really making a big push for whole grains for the better health of their citizens,” she said.The FSA has commissioned two trials to assess the impact of increased consumption of wholegrain foods on the risk of cardiovascular disease, but an outcome is not expected until late 2009. So until then, there is unlikely to be any movement on wholegrain portion guidance.This is despite a consensus being reached in the US and Canada on the ’three-a-day’ recommendation. The Whole Grains Council – a not-for-profit body set up in 2003 – developed the scheme in the US and it has chimed well with consumers, prompted by wholegrain guidance in 2005 and a clarification in 2006. Sales of whole grains have since gone through the roof.From April, the scheme was showing signs of early momentum in the UK, with upmarket sourdough bread brand La Brea jumping on board (any company can apply for a licence to carry the label for a fee). Now the ASA has confused the matter for manufacturers and retailers. Paul Morrow, MD of Bakels, said: “It was a ruling on advertisements, not point- of-sale materials, but it certainly would be a warning to steer clear of the ’three-a-day message’.”Trading Standards officer David Brown of West Sussex County Council said they would be looking into the issue to clarify where retailers stand. He said: “If the way it’s used is misleading, then it’s got the potential to fall foul of the ASA code or the Food & Safety Act.”== PROMPT ACTION ==Clout from Nestlé Cereal Partners, which is not taking the ASA ruling lying down, could prompt some action from the ASA that would ripple through to bakery. A spokesperson for Nestlé said it is would “commence dialogue with the FSA to establish the basis on which they will recommend the consumption of whole grains and the recommended quantities to be consumed”. And the Whole Grains Council has stated there are no plans to remove portion information from the Whole Grain Stamp in the UK.As for Morrisons, a spokesperson insisted the retailer was not in the business of dictating healthy eating to its customers. “We wouldn’t give customers advice saying they should eat three portions. It’s about highlighting the fact that it’s part of a balanced diet,” she said.This is backed up by Harriman who argued the stamp is used as “shorthand” by consumers seeking out healthy wholegrain foods, rather than as a calculator. “If it ever becomes onerous or requires consumers to do the math, it wouldn’t be successful.”One way around portion claims would be simply to change the marketing emphasis. As Harriman said: “In many ways, the ’eat wholegrain with every meal’ message is more evocative than portion size.”—-=== Government guidelines for whole grains around the world ===USA 3 or more servings daily (1/2 your grains)Canada 3 or more servings daily (1/2 your grains)Australia Eat plenty of cereals… especially whole grainFrance Bread should be preferably whole grain or semi-whole grainGermany Plenty of cereal products… preferably made of whole grainHungary 5-9 units/day of cereals (mostly whole grains)Greece 8 servings/day of “non-refined cereals”Slovak Republic Increase intake of cereals (mainly whole grain products)—-=== Whole grains up in the air ===In 2005, the FDA issued dietary guidelines in the US, recommending that Americans increase their whole grain consumption to at least three servings a day – tripling the average consumer’s whole grain intake. No such guidance exists in the UK from the Food Standards Agency (FSA).The FSA has commissioned two research projects that look at consumption of wholegrain foods and cardiovascular disease risk factors. One of these trials has recently completed and is currently under peer review before finalisation of the report. The other project will not report until the end of 2009.A spokesperson for the FSA said it is too early to determine the likely implications of both pieces of research and whether this would lead to a review of government advice on whole grain consumption. He said: “Depending upon the outcome of the research projects, together with any other published evidence, the FSA would consider whether there was sufficient new information to warrant a review of advice involving relevant independent scientific committees.”The Agency has no current plans for such a review or to change its healthy eating advice on wholegrain foods which, for now, merely encourages people to choose wholegrain foods whenever possible as part of a balanced diet.
The benefits of allowing your pastry to rest are well-known. Just as important is letting your pastry-making wrist rest at the end of a hard day’s work. After all, when it comes to powering up your PC to do your accounts, the rigours of pushing a computer mouse around could tip you over the edge into a nasty case of Repetitive Strain Injury. Thankfully, the Croissant Wrist Rest has been developed to help you tick this health and safety box. It even features a fresh baked bread smell. Sadly, this technological breakthrough was not yet available in the UK at the time of going to press. But gadget websites in America are advertising it for $6. tinyurl.com/6hy5ab
The total amount of wheat milled in the UK has increased by 2.2% for the crop-year to date, according to the latest national statistics released by Defra. The figure for the 43 weeks to 25 April 2009 stood at 5,032 thousand tonnes (tt), compared to 4,923tt for the comparable period last year. However, figures for the four weeks to 25 April, showed the total amount milled fell by 3.4% to 477tt compared with the figures for April 2008.The total home-grown wheat milled in the UK increased by 2.8% to 4,058tt for the 43 weeks to 25 April 2009, but was down by 4.7% to 375.8tt for the four weeks to 25 April 2009. The total amount of imported wheat milled stood at 101tt, up 1.9% for the same four-week period.In terms of flour production, the total amount stood at 4,007.4tt for the 43 weeks to 25 April 2009 – up 3.4%. The crop year-to-date figures show flour production for biscuit-making has increased by 10%, but cake flour and flour for food ingredients both fell, by 4.4% and 14.8% respectively.Total production of bread flour stood at 2,309tt for the 43 weeks to 25 April 2009 – down 1.4% – 1,970tt of which was white flour (-1.0%), 93.9tt brown flour (-13.5%) and 245.1tt wholemeal (+1.4%).
Set in the beautiful and also slightly quirky town of Glastonbury, Burns the Bread has pride of place on the high street, set among shops selling crystals and books on fairies and witchcraft. Yet unlike its neighbours, the bakery has its head firmly in the real world and a honed approach to its business and customers.From charitable showcase evenings, booking accommodation for rain-soaked campers, to pulling customers’ trousers up (I’ll get to this a bit later), partner Terri Petherbridge says the firm goes “above and beyond the call of duty”. Its focus on providing “something more than the customer expects” saw it take away the Customer Focus Award, sponsored by CSM UK (formerly BakeMark UK) at the Baking Industry Awards 2009, last September.The business was established back in 1983, when Robert Burns took over a “pretty run-down” bakery in Glastonbury high street after the previous owners retired. “We ran that one shop for around 10 years,” says senior partner Burns. “Then we opened the shop in Street around 15 years ago, and the Castle Cary shop just over a year ago.”We’ve not been dynamic in wanting to expand, it has been an organic growth,” says Burns. “We’ve never gone out looking for business. All the wholesale business we’ve got has come to us.”The family firm currently has three generations working for it, and is no stranger to the Baking Industry Awards, having entered three years running and in no less than three categories in 2009. Robert Burns was a finalist in the Baker of the Year category, and Petherbridge’s son, Max Stoddart, made it to the last three for Trainee Baker of the Year. “We had won the Customer Service Award 10 years ago, and we hadn’t entered the category since then, so we wanted to ensure we were still at the same standard,” explains Petherbridge.The judges wanted to find out what initiatives the business had that were different in some way. Burns the Bread highlighted its charity bakery visits as its point of difference, and something that is beneficial to all involved. Between October and April, the firm hosts these showcase evenings, once every two weeks on average, in aid of St Margaret’s Hospice. The visit lasts around two-and-a-half hours and brings in groups of around 20 people from far and wide, ranging from the WI, to Boy Scouts and Rotary Clubs. “They come in and have a glass of wine, and we do a Burns the Bread Generation Game. They have a tour of the bakery, and then we make pasties four each which we judge and give prizes for the best; these are vouchers they can use at the bakery. Then we have a buffet and more wine,” says Petherbridge. The business doesn’t charge for the evenings, but asks that people give a donation, normally around £10, which goes to the local hospice. “They take home around £10-worth of goods a loaf of bread, a cake and the pasties they made and they get the buffet as well.”She says she stated on the application form that the showcase evenings are a win-win-win situation: the bakery is spreading the word about its products and its business; the visitors get a nice evening out and a goodie bag; and the charity receives a regular donation.Burns says the company has been running the evenings for over 10 years, but more so in the last five, and has raised thousands of pounds for St Margaret’s. The groups tend to come from a 25-mile radius of the bakery, but there has been a group from Canada and one from New Zealand.Petherbridge adds that one of the amazing things is that the company has never advertised the evenings; all the participants have come through word of mouth, and the bakery already has visits booked in for next year. The judges described its showcase evenings as a well-thought-out, long-term project, which was all about the customer.Another aspect of the business highlighted to the judges was the fact that the company carries out customer surveys once a year, asking for feedback and ideas about products customers would like to see. “And we act on them if we get a number of requests and we realise that it’s something in demand,” says Petherbridge.Moreover, when it comes to being attentive to customers needs’, Petherbridge says she has even helped a lady with a broken arm to pull her trousers up, as they were falling down and she couldn’t pull them up herself. And she has even been known to book accommodation for customers who had been camping when the weather turned bad and were in need of a dry bed for the night.In the year leading up to the award, Burns the Bread achieved Investors in People status, as well as picking up several other awards, including Best West Country Baker, and Best Trainee West Country Baker, won by Stoddart, at the Western Bakery Championships. It even donated its total prize money of around £800 to charity.Training is another area that is very important to Burns the Bread. “We have just put six of our staff through NVQ Level 2 retail, and another six are starting now. A few are also doing NVQ Level 3,” explains Petherbridge. “Training is ongoing. It doesn’t stop when you finish one thing, you learn something new all the time.” She explains that although it is good to recruit someone with the basics, “we have our own ways and methods and we like to train the staff ourselves”. The company also recruits its staff based on personality, as she says you can teach them the skills, but it’s important to have the right character for the job. She says staff retention is high and, interestingly, there are only two employees at the bakery who haven’t been trained there.Positive staff responsePetherbridge notes that the staff’s response to the Customer Focus win has been understandably positive. The bakery manager and his wife and the Glastonbury shop manageress attended the awards, along with Burns, Petherbridge and Stoddart. And she could hardly believe it when the firm was announced as the winner, she says. “I was just ecstatic. It was so nice because my son was there as well, as he was up for an award. One of the girls on our table won one of the big bottles of champagne and gave it to me, so I brought it back and shared it with the girls in the shop.”The firm put posters about its awards win in the shop window and had coverage in the local paper. The actual award is currently residing in the window of the Castle Cary shop.For those bakery companies thinking of entering the Customer Focus Award in BIA 2010, Petherbridge says they need to focus on an area where they are better than their competitors. Ours is a long-term initiative and something that has tangible results. “Just go for it. It’s definitely a confidence boost for the business and confirmation that you’re doing something right.”We try to make our products special, so that they are beyond comparison a totally different product and the customer service we offer is the best it can be,” she says. “The customer is king and they have to come first. If you go the extra mile to give them something more than they expect, and than everyone else gives, then that’s great.” What the sponsor had to say “Burns the Bread held regular bakery evenings, which introduced people to the art and techniques of baking. Their entry submission for this award included numerous customer feedback sheets, included photos and was a long-term project, encouraging many people to try their hand at baking. This was a selfless initiative to develop relationships with all sorts of local groups, with no financial benefit. It was truly customer-focused” John Lindsay, UK country manager and business unit director, CSM (UK) On winning the award “It’s good for local people to know we’re recognised by a national award. And it makes the staff feel good to know that their hard work has paid off” Terri Petherbridge Vital statistics Number of employees: 50Turnover: approximately £1.5mRetail/wholesale split: 75/25Speciality products: Its secret recipe Glastonbury pasty and the Torsy Moorsy a rich fruit cake made with sultanas, pecans, local Cheddar cheese and Somerset cider, which is sold in a gift tin. The recipe has been adapted from an old recipe found by the family when they were renovating the bakery over 25 years ago.Top sellers: Glastonbury pasty the pasty room makes around 1,000 a day. Its muffins and flapjacks sell well, as do its Chocolate Devils, which have a fudge-like texture and contain fruit, nuts and biscuit.
Subway has taken the number one spot for UK sandwich sales according to a report published by the British Sandwich Association (BSA).The sandwich chain’s sales accounted for 60% of the total sales in the entire sandwich bar market according to the BSA, with its overall sales almost £70,000 more than its closest rival, Tesco. “We are delighted to have once again been ranked number one in the British Sandwich Association report,” commented Trevor Haynes, area development manager for the Subway chain. “We are very proud of the strength of the company’s brand, and being recognised as the market leader shows that our customers appreciate our great offering and are returning time and again.”The report, containing data from Kantar Worldpanel, stated that the sandwich market has maintained strong growth over the past year, and has seen further diversification in the location of sandwich outlets, with schools, hospitals and many other institutions finding sandwiches are a popular and healthy option.* Subway was ranked the UK’s second-largest bakery retailer in British Baker’s BB75 league table, published in January 2010, with 1,409 outlets, behind Greggs’ 1,419 shops.
Following the first ever ’disloyalty’ coffee shop card in London last year, the idea is being rolled out to support independents in Lincoln… bbc.in/dVRwy0Anti-Valentine’s Day cookies featuring slogans like “I faked it”… bit.ly/f6nMqm