JBS (Market Deeping, Peterborough) has introduced a flexible sheeting and curling unit for its Rollmaster range of roll plant. The unit’s horizontal sheeter replaces the conventional vertical unit and is already operational in a customer’s plant in South Africa.According to the company, in-line sheeting and curling, featuring rolls above and below the band, provides simpler operation and improved maintenance access. Greater flexibility is also a feature, as the sheeting rollers can be raised to use the unit as a pinner to make round rolls and baps.Rollmaster plant is a modular system which can be configured to suit individual customers, producing soft, hard and fruited rolls, as well as flat breads, pizza bases and focaccia.
The Real Good Food Company this week said that overall trading “exceeded expectations” last year, although Hayden’s performance, part of its bakery division, had fallen short of predicted levels.According to the group’s pre-close statement, released January 16, the bakery division’s sales were up by 6%. The division includes Hayden’s Bakeries and Seriously Scrumptious, producing chilled and ambient patisserie and dessert products. However, profit was eaten into because of increased labour and overhead costs, it said. Costs were also up as a result of new customer and product introductions.In its first full year under Real Good Food’s ownership, Renshaw’s performance was “in line with expectations” with continuing sales up by 2%. Renshaw makes marzipans, ready-to-roll icings, baking chocolate and jam, supplying cake manufacturers, high street bakers and retailers.Sugar supplier Napier Brown Foods increased sales steadily throughout the year. According to the statement, margins have remained tight, but progress was made on a number of fronts particularly in the retail sales sector and on bagged special sugars.The company expects profit in 2006 to be approximately £9.3m.
Tesco said it had to absorb “significant external cost increases” this year, as it posted a 20.3% increase in annual pre-tax profits to £2.6bn this week.According to the retailer, increased productivity and good expense control enabled it to absorb higher oil-related costs and increases in local business taxes.Core UK sales increased by 9% over the year to 24 February, which Tesco said was boosted by a 40% increase in sales of organic food and the introduction of 2,000 premium lines. In a market in which food price inflation had returned for the first time in several years, driven by higher energy costs and strong seasonal food prices, Tesco said it had invested more than ever in helping to keep prices as low as possible.
Nine members of the Richemont Club of Great Britain, led by club president Trevor Mooney, recently attended the annual meeting of Richemont presidents in Croatia.Ten countries were represented during the visit, which started in Zagreb, where lunch was hosted at a Festival of Bread and Pastry. The meeting of presidents was held that afternoon, followed by a visit to one of Croatia’s largest bakeries, Pan Pek. The next day, the group visited bakery Krka Sibenik in Sibenik, and Dubrovnik was the final stop for sightseeing and a Gala Dinner.The 2008 presidents’ meeting will be held in Manchester next September, with visits to Waterfield’s (Leigh), Slattery’s (Whitefield) and Chatwins in Nantwich.
Last month, the Cumbrian Port of Silloth handled its first direct cargo of Canadian wheat since 1962, on behalf of customer Carr’s Flour Mills. Carr’s operates a flour-milling complex alongside the port’s new dock. The ship delivered 2,526 tonnes of wheat to be used in high-quality bread flour. == Satnav workshop == Yorkshire-based food inclusions manufacturer Pecan Deluxe Candy has invested in upgrading its chocolate-making facility. New equipment will enable it to grow its Fairtrade chocolate range and will enable it to produce intricate chocolate shapes, such as pigs and monkeys. The West Cornwall Pasty Co is branching out from its hot savouries and will be offering cream teas this summer. The UK pasty chain is to launch traditional Cornish Cream Teas in its sit-down/restaurant outlets. It will consist of a scone, an 8oz pot of Cornish clotted cream, strawberry jam and a pot of tea. == Canadian delivery == The rapid growth of discounters tailed off in the 12 weeks to 14 June, according to the latest TNS Worldpanel grocery market figures. Aldi and Lidl saw sales grow 8.7% and 7.5% respectively, which is less than Morrisons (+9.3%) and Sainsbury’s (+8.9%). Tesco’s sales grew 6.2%, while Asda’s went up 8.2%. == Pecan Deluxe Candy develops chocolate == == Discounter slowdown == == Cornish extension == The Freight Transport Association and the Location and Timing Knowledge Transfer Network are to hold a free workshop on Improving Satellite Navigation for Commercial Vehicles in July. To register or for details, see the online form at www.locationktn.com or contact [email protected]
Dear Editor,A Food Standards Agency study, published last week, stated that there was little to no nutritional difference between organic and non-organic produce. Leaving aside the arguments for and against the study, we would like to focus on two overlooked aspects. For us at least, the major benefits of organic are not in comparing what is in organic food (nutritional values), but rather what is not in organic food – pesticide residues, chemicals, e-numbers, artificial colourings etc. The evidence here is pretty much pro-organic.Secondly, as a dedicated organic wholesale bakery, in business for 10 years, we have to adhere to a strict list of what natural, organic ingredients we are permitted to use. Our recipes are uncomplicated; they are the same that have been used for hundreds of years – flour, egg, milk, butter, raising agent – mix, into the oven, done. But we were unable to achieve the same results by automating our process as we do in hand-baking; the machines could not handle the consistency of our organic batters.Customers choose organic products for different reasons, such as taste, quality standards or perceived benefits. We stand by their right to do so.Lise Madsen, MD and founder,Honeyrose Bakery
Economic hardship is failing to quell packaging and labelling innovation, as bakeries, cafés and food-to-go retailers increa-singly seek differentiation in the great high street bun fight.While times are tough across the retail sector, the recession has both boosted and hindered independent operators, with many consumers trading down from restaurants, but others swapping take-out breakfasts and lunches for home-prepared food.For those enjoying a lift in trade from the restaurant exodus, branding has become all-important to compete in a saturated sector ranging from small over-the-counter bakeries to chains such as Starbucks.Manufacturers of packaging and labelling solutions have responded with new ranges of bags, bowls, cups and containers in materials offering greater scope for on-pack marketing, and responding to increasing demand for an upmarket and environmentally aware image.Opinion is mixed as to the impact of the economic downturn on customers’ willingness to pay out the premium applying to ’eco’ packaging, with one trade source claiming the environmentally friendly option can triple costs. However, according to Planglow, trade in environmentally friendly lines is booming. “Packaging sales have soared over the last year or so,” says Planglow marketing manager Rachael Sawtell. “Most of our products are environmentally friendly and we do tend to have a lot of bakers as clients.”Greatest sales growth has come from sandwich and baguette packs, says Sawtell, which are cardboard-based with windows manufactured from plant-based materials such as corn. Most of Planglow’s packaging, which also extends to wraps, salads and beverages, is from renewable resources and is 100% biodegradable or compostable.The case for cardOpting for environmentally-friendly card packaging is worth the investment, according to Sawtell. “Compared to plastic, the extra cost is quite significant, but card is a completely different product with a more premium image, and clients can use it for marketing, adding their logos and information,” she says. “And there is not a huge difference only 5%, over non-biodegradable card packs.”While eco-packaging may run at a premium, “the difference depends on the cost of the materials and how much value the retailer places on the benefits gained/other costs that can be offset,” says supplier Dempson Crooke’s sales and marketing director Paul Laskey.Eco-packaging “is still a very relevant subject to those retailers that are conscious of brand value the image of their business and consumer experience, so it depends on how a business wishes to position itself in its market/location, says Laskey.”There are still a sizeable proportion of retailers who will pay for an eco-friendly packaging product if it reduces cost within their total cost chain or adds value to their business by generating more custom and/or margin.”Within eco-packaging options, Laskey reports a trend towards starch-based plastic alternatives “with some being better than others” and wood and wood derivatives, such as palm leaves in the cutlery and trays sector. “Our core material in our manufacturing plants is paper, where we believe that the benefits of sustainability, recycling and biodegradability are still not promoted or sufficiently recognised,” he says. “We are now starting to use this in conjunction with repulpable/biodegradable barrier coatings and we are finding a growing interest from the retail and foodservice sectors for these to replace plastic-based products or products containing a layer of plastic or other material, which makes them hard to recycle.” Paper-based packaging has the added benefit of being more easily identifiable as recyclable by the consumer, says Laskey.Educating customers on the different eco-options available is vital if customers are to pay more for packaging in the current trading environment, according to Charlotte Packaging director Tony Day. “The initial stages of the recession had a very negative effect on sales of biodegradable packaging due, of course, to the much higher costs involved,” he says. “There is a choice between the biodegradable and recyclable path, and both have creditable reasons for their use.”No single film will answer all the problems encountered when making this choice. Some products require permeability from the packaging and some require a moisture-proof solution. Many more specifics such as oxygen barrier and odour barriers need to be taken into consideration. Seal and film strength can also be an issue.”Plastic recycling also has a part to play, according to the Gloucestershire-based supplier of flexible paper and film packaging solutions. “If any improvement in preventing waste can be made, then we should embrace it, even if it is only replacing one web of a laminate with a recyclable substrate.”Paper is still viewed as an environmentally friendly material that can be supplied in many different guises, he adds, and opens up marketing possibilities. “Whichever path is chosen, it should be advised that, in a very competitive market, branding is extremely important. Letting the public know who is supplying the high street can only be more advantageous to the supplier than remaining a nameless face in the crowd.”
Coconut: Prices remain at reasonable levels. Given the general bullishness across the market and with coconut in increasing demand across a variety of applications, pricing is more likely to rise than to fall.Raisins: Prices should have weakened further than they have, yet origin sellers remain cautious in the hope that more markets are generically firmer than weaker.Sultanas: Mixed messages continue to affect Turkish prices, although the recent trend is firmer than over the past six weeks or so. There are reports that the Turkish crop might “only” be 260,000mt down 25% on last year.Currants: Greek currant pricing remains stable to firm. It is unlikely that we will see any major market weakness, other than for the UK buyers who may see some recovery in sterling should the euro continue to weaken.Apricots: The pricing trend on Turkish apricots for the remainder of this season is looking increasingly “bullish”. The latest figures show that 45,000mt have been exported so far since the start of the crop, with 10,000mt consumed domestically.Prunes: Prune pricing has continued to offer good value, with reasonable availability and UK prices seeing the benefit of the generally stronger sterling over the past few months.l Based on information supplied by RM Curtis
Greencore Cake & Desserts has confirmed that up to 100 jobs could go at its Hull plant after it lost a major contract.Group communications manager Michael Evans said in a statement: “Greencore can confirm that its Cakes and Desserts business is commencing a consultation process with employees, which may result in around 100 redundancies at its site in Hull.”This is part of a restructuring programme that has been made necessary by the loss of a contract with one of Green-core Cakes & Desserts’ major customers.”He went on to say that the company would be working closely with the Unite union, as well as other employee representatives throughout the process, and would make “every effort to help all affected employees find alternative employment both inside and outside the Greencore Group”.Evans told British Baker that he was unable to confirm local media reports in Yorkshire that the contract lost was a £7m supermarket deal.The company employs 800 full-time staff and 200 part-time staff at the plant.
US franchise sandwich chain Quiznos has seen its retail estate in the UK shrink by nearly two-thirds in the past two years, with its store in Crawley, West Sussex, the latest to close down.The number of Quiznos stores in the UK has reduced to just 11, from a high of 29 in 2008. The UK arm of the company, headquartered in Hove, East Sussex, had planned to grow the chain to some 200 stores, but has been badly affected by the recession. “We were hit hard by banks not lending money to franchisees,” said Mehrdad Eshghipour, senior vice-president of operations in the UK. However, he added that a new store in Glasgow was due to open by the end of the month.Quiznos, set up in Denver nearly 30 years ago, has more than 4,500 restaurants in the US.