Teal (Birmingham) supplies a range of hot water handwash units that require no water supply or drainage and that can be used anywhere with a mains electricity supply. Portable versions for use in vehicles are also available.The company says its products are an instant way of meeting the new food hygiene regulations (enforceable from January 1), which state that all food businesses are required to provide handwashing facilities for staff. Its Handeman unit provides enough hot water for 10 handwashes at the touch of a fingertip tap. The fully-automatic, slim-line polyethylene unit stores both clean and dirty water and can be mounted on a wall or used from a vertical location on a vehicle.
(West Sussex) has launched new packaging for Higgidy. The pies are packed in rich, dark-coloured boxes, with contrasting illustrations and copy in pink and blue. Development director and co-founder, Camilla Stephens, said: “The charming illustrations by Mark Beech animate the packaging, creating a narrative of the finest kitchen cupboard ingredients. The pies fill the individual portion boxes to capacity, and their golden baked toppings are visible through a window, designed to mirror the pie’s pastry fluting.”
A biodegradable material that looks and performs like standard OPP film has been launched into the UK by NATIONAL FLEXIBLE (Bradford). Now being trialled by several bakery/sandwich firms, early indications show that it provides a lightweight, competitively-priced clear film for flowrapping retail products. Tests show that it breaks down to carbon dioxide, water and biomass, leaving no toxins.
n Irish firm Johnston Mooney & O’Brien has won a E2m contact to provide fresh bread to the Irish Defence Forces.n The Co-operative Group plans to switch all its own-brand teas to Fairtrade and stop selling eggs from caged hens. The company started stocking Fairtrade food products 10 years ago and produces Fairtrade mince pies and Christmas puddings.n Coffee and bakery chain Dunkin’ Donuts plans to open in Shanghai this spring, as part of a push into China.n Honeytop Speciality Foods, UK producer of ethnic breads, has been working with Marks & Spencer to relaunch a range of premium naan breads for its bakery category. Honeytop will supply a range of premium naan products to the retailer, including large plain naans, large garlic and coriander naans and mini plain naans.n Asda has pledged a 25% reduction in packaging on own-brand products, including bakery. The retailer claimed that this would bring £10m savings for its customers.n The Campden and Chorleywood Food Research Association (CCFRA) is to provide three-day bakery Masterclasses for Tesco’s in-store bakers. The classes are designed for managers of the retailer’s 470 scratch bakeries. The first classes of this kind were held at CCFRA in November 2007. A further 27 courses have been planned for 2008-09. See Meet the Buyer, pg 18.
A new flavour has been added to Extreme Beverages’ Bigberry drinks range. Bigberry Raspberry and Mango Smoothie is made from 28 pressed raspberries, six chunks of mango, five slices of banana, one pressed apple and two freshly squeezed oranges. The smoothies are made from 100% fruit and contain no additives, preservatives, artificial colours, or added sugar.Unlike other smoothies, Bigberry drinks do not have to be kept refrigerated and will stay fresh for up to six months. The other flavours in the range are Acai and Strawberry and Pear & Pineapple. The company has also relaunched its 100% recyclable bottles with a new paper label.RRP: £1.75 – £2.49[http://www.bigberrydrinks.com]
Tesco and Warburtons have been quick to take advantage of a relaxation in approach to bread sizes by Trading Standards Officers (TSOs), ahead of a change to the law next spring.Both are launching loaves that fall outside the standard 400g-multiple formula. Local authority co-ordinator LACORS has confirmed that, while the law is not yet in place, it has ordered TSOs not to prosecute any firm making non-standard bread unless they are defrauding the public.Current laws, which date back to the Bread Acts of 1822 and 1836, state that bread weighing more than 300g must be sold in multiples of 400g – hence the bakery standard of 400g and 800g loaves. But a European directive, to be implemented next spring, will relax the tight controls on bread sizing.Tesco has been quick off the mark to capitalise on the situation, launching a 600g loaf and 1,000g loaf within its in-store bakeries. Tesco’s bakery category manager Neil Franklin said more innovation will follow.”This provides us with a number of other opportunities, although I wouldn’t want to give our competitors an insight into what we’re planning. We think this is the right thing to do for the customers and they seem to be responding well to it.”Asked whether Tesco was in discussions with plant bakers such as Warburtons on stocking non-standard loaves, Franklin said: “There’s an opportunity for bread weight deregulation through the whole wrapped bread sector. At the moment we’re going into in-store bakeries because that gives us a greater degree of flexibility, but we are exploring other opportunities.”Other supermarkets are taking a more cautious approach. Andy Clegg, bakery director of Morrisons, which has plant bakeries geared up to manufacture in traditional sizes, said there was no rush to follow suit and consumers would need “a long period of education” before they understood the changes.”We will always look at what the market is doing and react accordingly,” he said. “It’s early days and you cannot just wipe out 700 years of history and expect customers to understand it. We’re about evolution, not revolution.”Both Asda and Waitrose said they had no immediate plans to launch non-standard loaf sizes.Warburtons is the first plant baker to take advantage of the law change, with the launch of a 600g loaf range in mid-October.Gordon Polson, director of the Federation of Bakers, representing the plant sector, said that now the law is almost in place, “I wouldn’t be surprised if people want to take advantage of it.”Jonathan Brace, operations director for Brace’s Bakery in south Wales, expressed concern at the situation.He said: “I think a range of different sizes will lead to a great deal of confusion for consumers. For example, a 300g loaf in packaging may look the same as a 400g loaf on shelf but customers may not realise the weight difference and end up paying more.”Other manufacturers may rush into producing non-standard loaf sizes but we have no immediate plans.”Sam Wells, production director at Hobbs House Bakery in Chipping Sodbury, Bristol, said the law change could open up business opportunities, such as selling chunks of larger loaves, priced according to weight.—-=== In Short ===== Fire at Sayers Bakery ==The former Sayers Bakery in Norris Green, Liverpool was severely damaged by fire on 28 September in a suspected arson attack. Firefighters arrived at the bakery just after 8pm and it took 13 fire crews to control the flames. Merseyside Police said the fire had started in multiple locations. Forensic officers will now conduct an investigation. The bakery has been closed since June, when Sayers’ parent company, Lyndale Group, was put into administration.== Action group plan ==The National Association of Master Bakers (NA) is hoping to create an ’action group’ with the hope of redressing certain perceptions of the craft baking industry. A statement from the NA said: “In recent years the craft bakery sector has come under pressure from many fronts. This has led to many companies struggling and a poor perception of the industry to customers, government and potential employees.” The action group will plan a campaign to persuade consumers to support the independent craft baker.== Yorkshire spice ==Henderson’s Relish, a spicy Worcester sauce, is the new flavour launched by Yorkshire Crisps. It is the first time Henderson’s 100 year-old sauce flavour has been available to buy outside Sheffield. Yorkshire Crisps produces hand-cooked crisps, that are free from MSG, artificial flavourings, colourings, preservatives and GM ingredients.== Smaller biscuit packs ==United Biscuits (UBUK) is launching McVitie’s biscuit assortments, Victoria and Masterpieces, in smaller pack sizes. The Victoria biscuits will be launched in a 250g format, and Masterpieces will now be available in 175g packs.—-=== Bread weights and the law ===European directive 2007/45/EC on nominal quantities, which will be implemented into UK law on 11 April 2009, will repeal the previous laws relating to food weights.While it is technically still illegal to sell-non standard sizes of bread, businesses will not be prosecuted for it.Local authorities co-ordinator LACORS has advised Trading Standards against prosecuting businesses for offences relating to prescribed quantities in the run-up the the law change. “A caveat to that is they will prosecute anyone who is defrauding the public,” a spokesman for the Local Government Association said.The move by the European Commission has been fraught with controversy since it was first proposed in 2004. Last April, MPs signed an early day motion, calling for a rethink on moves to end the standard British loaf, citing concerns about consumer clarity.
== What’s new? == To reflect our Swiss heritage, all-natural ingredients and premium positioning, the look and feel of the Mövenpick brand has been rebranded. We’ve also introduced two new flavours: Ricotta & Pink Pepper and VSOP Cognac ice creams. Ice cream is refreshing and versatile, and a growing number of outlets sell additional lines to capitalise on out-of-home consumption. Ice cream is so popular, it can prove a profitable additional revenue stream. == Why should bakery retailers and cafés serve ice cream? == Mövenpick offers 28 flavours, including classics such as Strawberry, Vanilla Dream and Swiss Chocolate, along with our more exotic range, such as Grapefruit & Orange sorbet and Crème Brûlée ice cream. However, we go beyond the desserts concept, with savoury products such as Balsamic Vinegar sorbet. == Why choose your ice cream over your rivals’? == Our product comes in 5-litre and 2.4-litre tubs priced at between £12 and £15. Each offers approximately 24 100ml scoops, so a minimum 70% POR is there for the taking. == Bottom line, how much cash will this make? == == What’s so different about your product? == We pride ourselves in offering outlets a unique product with a significant point of difference. Our specialist sales team advises customers on advertising and POS support, pricing guidelines, menu and recipe creation, as well as freezing solutions.
The Hovis Scholarship Award has been given to Gabrielle Baxter from Tameside College, who will get the chance to obtain first-hand bakery experience working with industry professionals.The scholarship, created by Rank Hovis, is awarded to one student a year for an all-expenses-paid learning experience. Baxter will start work at Southampton Mill, which specialises in flour testing and milling. She will be assisted by Christopher Foxall, a representative from Premier Foods, during her scholarship, which will see her travel around the UK, visiting bakery institutions including flour mills, testing centres, local independent bakeries and larger chain bakeries.The trip concludes at Holgran, Lichfield, where Baxter will learn about healthy food production.
When originally asked to write a series of articles for this publication, one of the expressions I would have bet I would never use was “I agree with a proposed European Union rule change.” What is more, in this instance, I would encourage them to bring it in as quickly as possible.Many of you will have read in your recent weekend newspapers about how old bakery (and other food items) products can be when sold as “fresh”. The title of the article in the Sunday Times was indeed “Ah, the just-baked smell of year-old bread”. I don’t intend commenting too much on the Mail article as it did not seem factual, with lines such as “ascorbic acid is a preservative/mould inhibitor” and “bread spends 10 days on a supermarket shelf/or at home”. All I would add is that it is disappointing that they couldn’t get the basic facts right, as it devalued the gist of the article, which was generally good.The Sunday Times article was brought about by a European Information Regulation, published on 11 February, that if a bakery product has been frozen, when presented for sale it should be labelled as “defrosted”. It gave various examples of how products sold from a supermarkets’ instore bakery may have been “flashed off” instore or as with many muffins, cookies, etc just defrosted with no heat applied.I should state here that I am in no way against par-baked products indeed I regularly purchase them. But I am able to make an informed judgement, knowing that the shelf-life will be reduced, having been in the oven twice. For my taste, some of these products are often better than those “scratch”-baked, as they will have been produced in a much slower process with some sponge dough, then wood-fired or stone-baked, for example. Surely this should be about informing the consumer and letting them decide what they wish to purchase.It was disappointing to read the British Retail Consortium’s opposition to this increased clarity, claiming: “It is not a question of retailers wanting to keep customers in the dark, but if you start listing what products have been previously frozen, is that going to confuse the customers?”Well excuse my cynicism, but confusing customers is exactly why packs of defrosted muffins, scones, cookies and so forth are displayed with scratch-baked breads and rolls. So the consumer has absolutely no way of knowing what has been baked, flashed-off or defrosted.I also wonder if this doesn’t create a superb opportunity for craft bakers to shout from the rooftops that their products have been made and baked fresh that day and should justify a premium price.
With customers having to work right up to Christmas there are huge opportunities for bakers and retailers to provide full-size or miniature ’to-go’ products for the busy consumer who either does not have time to make their own or wants an impulsive treat.Christmas cake and pudding, for example, which need from a few weeks to a few months to mature are significant sales generators over the Christmas festivities. A way to capitalise on this demand is to incorporate them in a festive impulse offer, which can be used to entice customers in-store.Consider introducing a mince pie or gingerbread character and tea or coffee deal to help attract shoppers to your business. In addition, providing ever-popular limited-edition seasonal varieties of coffee and tea, such as gingerbread latte, can encourage the customer to come in from the cold.Boxes of premium assorted chocolates or impulse chocolate treats are further products to consider introducing over the Christmas festivities. While some might argue that chocolate treats are direct competition to higher-margin baked goods, premium chocolates purchased on impulse as gifts or an indulgence can add incremental sales.The introduction of seasonal sandwich fillings, such as turkey and stuffing and roast beef and horseradish, plus sauces such as spiced cranberry or caramelised red onion chutney, will provide a change to the traditional year-round offerings. During the season, special-edition pasties, crisps and other snacks are also popular additions to the range.At Christmas, product ’provenance’ is even more important because customers are either indulging themselves or purchasing treats for loved ones. If you are a family-run bakery, make sure that this is highlighted on your packaging; customers see quality and assurance in this. The supermarkets do it, so why don’t you?