n Hull-based bakery chain AC Skelton & Sons went into administration on March 27, blaming competition from supermarkets and energy costs. Skelton’s has 43 retail outlets and supplies supermarkets, airlines and food service customers. PricewaterhouseCoopers has been appointed administrator. No-one was available for comment as British Baker went to press.n Puratos will demonstrate O-tentic, its new ingredient for making sourdoughs. The event, open to all and free to attend, will be held at Mono Equipment in Swansea on 18 and 19 April. Contact Dave Brimley on 07885 967104 for details.n Pub operator Greene King has teamed up with Coffee Republic to trial a number of the coffee shop chain’s formats at pubs in central London.n Food industry employees said career progression is the most important factor in deciding to apply for a job, in the latest survey by IGD’s Leading Edge, a networking forum. Some 45.6% rated career progression as the main reason for applying for jobs.n Warburtons has launched a Strawberry Swirl loaf priced at £1.45. Available from April to September, it has a strawberry and raspberry swirl, with a crustless end.n Bradford-based film packaging supplier National Flexible’s accreditation has been renewed by the BRC.n Falko Burkert’s bakery in Edinburgh won the judges’ best producer award in the Observer Food Monthly Food Awards 2007.
This week’s issue of British Baker contains a reader research form and I would be most grateful if you could take a few minutes to fill it in. It will tell us what you want to see more of, less of and any new directions you want us take the magazine in or whether you would rather we leave it pretty much as it is at the moment. We really do value your readership and your opinion.I am very fussy about personal details not being passed on and I have been completely assured that they will not be, so thank you in advance; I look forward to receiving your comments about last week’s issue, which I hope has arrived between the postal strikes.Just to prove we do listen, over the years, many people have told me that there is no point in advertising a £150 piece of bakery equipment in the classified section of the magazine, when the classified advertisement can cost more than that. Instead, you had to use catering magazines.So, please do turn to page 28 – and tell all your colleagues to do the same – as we now have lineage ads for new, used or second-hand machinery. Please support this so we can keep it going. If no one uses it, it will have to stop.’Support’ is, in fact, the theme of this week’s Viewpoint and I would like to thank all those who supported our Bakers’ Fair in Bolton last weekend (pg 4). Exhibitors had effective stands and the Richemont Club of Great Britain put on some superb competitions. They made one feel so proud of the talent in this industry – and the Tameside students were fantastic with their entries and enthusiasm. There will be more news and pictures of the Fair in next week’s issue.But I would like to end by asking for your support in one other area. The government has once again shown blatant disregard for small businesses on the tax regime. It is appalling, and just gets worse.Look at the list of measures designed to hit small businesses, detailed by Paula Tallon on page 14. Do they so loathe independent entrepreneurs and businessmen that they sit down and think of ways to penalise them even more? It is merciless. So if you are a craft baker, ingredients or equipment supplier do please support the Forum of Private Business and sign its petition. Details are on page 5.
Northern Foods’ bakery division showed “encouraging signs of recovery”, with fourth quarter underlying revenue up 1.1%, according to the company’s latest trading update.The firm, which owns brands such as Fox’s cookies and Holland’s Pies, said improvements in the bakery operation were part of an ongoing elimination of low-value products, marginally profitable promotions and the termination of unprofitable private- label contracts. A spokeswoman did not disclose which products were being axed, but indicated that certain biscuit lines were under scrutiny.Overall, Northern Foods’ trading performance continued to meet the company’s expectations, with underlying revenue up 3.2%, prices up 2.4% and volumes increasing by 0.8%. The chilled food division also grew strongly: underlying revenue rose by 5.5% and volumes were up 3.4%, with sandwich and salad volumes “well ahead”.The adverse impact of a strengthening euro was reflected in the company’s frozen division which it said had cut profits in its Irish businesses by more than £1.5 million. Chief executive Stefan Barden said: “We are operating in a volatile trading environment with inflationary commodity prices. But we are confident we will continue to make steady progress in realising the business’ full potential.”
Pasty specialist Ginsters has launched a New York-style Steak and Cheese pasty to its Pasties of the World range. The pasty contains West Country steak, New York deli-style mustard and manchego cheese.Head of brand marketing at the Cornish company Andy Valentine said: “New York-style Steak and Cheese means we can use some of Cornwall’s best ingredients as a base before adding the New York flavours.”
== The British Baker Award for Special Achievement ==sponsored by British BakerWinner John Slattery, Slattery Patissier & Chocolatier, Whitefield, Manchester== Baker of the Year ==sponsored by VandemoorteleWinner Piero Scacco, chairman, Montana Bakery, SloughFinalists H George Asher, joint managing director, Ashers Bakery, Nairn, Scotland H Robin Jones, joint managing director, The Village Bakery (Coedpoeth), Wrexham, Wales== The Craft Business Award ==sponsored by Rank HovisWinner The Village Bakery (Coedpoeth), Wrexham, WalesFinalists H Slattery Patissier & Chocolatier, Whitefield, Manchester H Mathiesons Bakeries, Larbert, Central Scotland== Bakery Supplier of the Year ==sponsored by Sainsbury’sWinner W C Rowe, Falmouth, CornwallFinalists H Genesis Breads, Magherafelt, Co Londonderry, N Ireland H Proper Cornish Food Company, Bodmin, Cornwall== The Achievement in Bakery Training Award ==sponsored by Rich’sWinner Jane Hatton, Lecturer, Brooklands College, Weybridge, SurreyFinalists H Henry Jefferies, Assessor/Internal Verifier, Hungerford, BerkshireH Julie Kemp, HR manager, Bells of Lazonby, Penrith, Cumbria== Plant Product of the Year ==sponsored by PuratosWinner Eurobuns – Skinny Donuts, Milton Keynes, BucksFinalists H Memory Lane Cakes – Tesco Chocolate Cake, Cardiff, Wales H Hovis (Premier Foods) – Seed Sensations, High Wycombe, Bucks== The Organic Award ==sponsored by AsdaWinner The Village Bakery, Melmerby, CumbriaFinalistsH Judges Bakery, Hastings, East SussexH Maple Leaf Bakery, Park Royal, London== Celebration Cake Maker of the Year ==sponsored by RenshawWinner Leanne Tang, cake decorator, Terry Tang Designer Cakes, Wavertree, LiverpoolFinalists H Charlotte Feve, cake decorator/chocolatier, The Cake Room, Hessle, East YorkshireH Amelia Nutting, cake designer, Shuga Budz, Tettenhall,Wolverhampton== The Quality Product Award ==sponsored by TescoWinner Jacksons the Bakers – Traditional Steak Pie, ChesterfieldFinalists H La Brea Bakery – Wholegrain Loaf, LondonH Monty’s Bakehouse – Savoury Scoffin, South Godstone, Surrey== Bakery Food Manufacturer of the Year ==sponsored by ADM MillingWinner Crantock Bakery, Indian Queens, nr Newquay, CornwallFinalists H Honeyrose Bakery, London H Pooles of Wigan, Pemberton, Wigan== The In-Store Bakery Award ==sponsored by DélifranceWinner Tesco, Meltham Lane, ChesterfieldFinalists H Morrisons, Laceby, Cleethorpes H Asda, Crewe, Cheshire H Sainsbury’s Camden Town, London== The Customer Focus Award ==sponsored by BakeMarkWinner BB’s Coffee & Muffins, Isleworth, MiddlesexFinalists H The London Bread & Cake Company, Edmonton, London H Monty’s Bakehouse, South Godstone, Surrey
Additional funding to increase the number of adult apprentices in Scotland in areas such as bakery has been agreed.The move follows consultation between sector skills council Improve and Skills Development Scotland (SDS), and will see 400 adult apprentice places offered at food and drink companies. It follows the Scottish government’s decision to remove age restrictions on funding for Modern Apprenticeships (MAs).SDS has agreed to make £750,000 available in the current financial year to fund training costs for those aged 20 or over who are taking MA pathways in bakery and meat and poultry processing. “Last year, there were just 15 MA starts in food and drink manufacturing firms in Scotland,” said Improve CEO Jack Matthews. “This year’s funding covers 656 starters, 417 of which will be adult apprentice places.”
New artisan venture The Welbeck Bakehouse is to start production this month and will offer a range of organic handmade sourdough breads, scones and pastry.The new bakehouse is situated on the Welbeck Estate in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, which has a farm shop, café and gallery. The products, to be baked in wood-fired brick ovens, will be sold at the bakery and from the Welbeck farm shop. Bakery courses will also be run from the estate at The School of Artisan Food.The range of breads will include its flagship loaf, the Welbeck sourdough, a traditional British granary loaf, Polish rye and an Italian ciabatta, and will be made with flour, water, salt and sometimes a small amount of yeast; no improvers, additives or processing aids will be used.Author and Real Bread Campaign founder Andrew Whitley has been a founding consultant for the project.
The parent company of Bake-Mark UK, CSM, has reported increased sales for the second quarter of 2009, but volumes in bakery were down 3% for the first half of the year (H1).The Netherlands-based bakery products supplier announced sales for Q2 were €647.6m (£549.1m) compared to €629m (£533.3m) in 2008. Sales for the first half of the year (H1) stood at €1,283.7m (£1,088.3m), up from €1,247.2m (£1,057.4m) last year.Net sales for its Bakery Supplies North America division were down 3.6% for H1 and sales in its Bakery Supplies Europe division were down 3.5%.CEO Gerard Hoetmer said strategic investments in 2007 and 2008 are showing “increased momentum” and that products that respond to healthy trends in bakery are helping to strengthen the firm’s position in the market.
We all talk about meal occasions, dashboard dining and grazing, but there is a huge opportunity to increase our daily sales by a third. Did you know that 30% of our customers visiting cafés, bakeries or convenience stores are looking to enjoy a snack in between meals? Our colleagues at market research firm him! also tell us that breakfast makes up 9% of bakery sales between 6am and 10am. The majority of customers still want and need to take a break from their busy routines. But how do you capitalise on that? According to him!, bakery customers spend up to £5.26 in one visit, which can relate to three items. Knowing this, all you need to do is make it easy for your customers to link the products together. Ensure your displays are full and fresh for your busiest parts of the day. Introduce parasite units baskets or containers that fit on to front of counters, displays and shelving to merchandise savoury or healthy snacks, multigrain bars, energy drinks, fruit, nuts and impulse indulgent cakes to tempt customers and increase that average spend. It’s so easy for the customer to say “Yes”, when the goods are right in front of them. So what does the perfect snack offer look like? According to him!’s Coffee Shop Report ’09, 54% of the bakery consumers are health-conscious, 31% would like information about calorific and fat content, with a further 23% interested in nutritional information.”But what about bakery?” we hear you cry. Well, those products can be healthy too. For instance, why not introduce a freshly baked cereal bar with a smoothie in a meal deal combination. Moreover, 34% of the bakery customers would consider buying a hot soup, which is a perfect snack to offer with rich seeded breads during the cold winter months ahead. Take a healthier look at your offer and consider how to introduce snack deals, porridge, soups and seeded breads, freshly baked cereal bars, fruit & nuts the list is endless,Finally, to encourage even more customers in, you may want to consider a small but perfectly formed chill-out area and overwhelm your guests with best-in-class customer service, so that, when that snack attack strikes, they’ll take a break with you!
Dutch firm Sonneveld, which produces bread improvers, mixes and release agents, is to become part of Orkla Food Ingredients (OFI) in Norway.Oslo-based firm OFI, which offers a range of bakery ingre-dients, has acquired the shares in Sonneveld Group BV, based in Papendrecht, the Netherlands, including all its subsidiaries.Peter Egginton, sales manager UK, told British Baker the take-over would not affect operations in the UK in terms of the workforce which currently comprises himself and technical sales manager UK/Ireland Martin Churchill.”Initially, Orkla will run the business as an independent within the group, so there won’t be a name change,” said Egginton. “Everything’s still in the early stages, but the plan is that, going forward, Sonneveld will be able to access the entire range of Orkla products, from marzipan to margarines and cake mixes. On the products side, our strength is in bread, bread improvers and release agents and oils, whereas Orkla’s strengths lie more in confectio-nery marzipan for example.”Egginton added that Orkla did not have any representation in the UK, or a strong representation in Western Europe at present “which is why the two businesses are a geographical fit”.Sonneveld Group MD Cees Hack said the new ownership would present new opportunities, “in particular in the patisserie sector”.OFI has subsidiaries in 17 Euro-pean countries and forms part of the Orkla Group one of the largest listed firms in Norway with a turnover of 7bn (£6.1bn).The takeover is subject to approval by the Dutch Com-petition Authority.