Sealed Air

first_imgPackaging specialist Sealed Air (St Neots, Cambridgeshire) has introduced an innovative form of resealable packaging to the UK bakery sector. Sealed Air’s Easy Open reseal bags have a built-in recloseable feature, using pressure-sensitive tape to create an easy-open, easy-close package, which provides product containment and protection. Allied Bakeries is already operating five of the Easy Open applicators for its flowpack lines. ’’People prefer packages that are easy to open,’’ says Sealed Air’s operations manager for the shrink packaging division, Colin Lovering. “With continued heavy investment among food producers, who are striving to meet consistently high consumer demand and increased expectations, Easy Open Reseal is the next logical development for packaging in this sector.”last_img read more

General Mills acquires Saxby

first_imgGeneral Mills UK has bought family-owned pastry supplier Saxby Bros, to run alongside its Jus-Rol business.General Mills claimed it could supply both the capability and the resource to develop Saxby’s business. It said that by combining the expertise of the two companies and focusing on the needs of the consumer, it would be able to grow the total market.Saxby manufactures at a factory in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, although part of that site has been moth-balled since 2005, when it went through a major business restructure. The company axed more than two-thirds of its workforce at that time as it moved out of the baked supply side of its business to focus on more profitable chilled pastry and unbaked lines.Jus-Rol, which was acquired by General Mills in 2001, has also seen significant investment in recent years at its Berwick factory, installing new production lines, spiral freezers and automated packing equipment.last_img read more


first_imgn Bakery chain Greggs plans to trial keeping shops open until the early hours to tempt people coming out of pubs and clubs. The company said in a statement: “Late night opening will offer a new opportunity and we intend to trial the concept in a number of locations, starting with the Sunderland area.”n In the latest poll on British Baker’s [] website, some 36% of respondents said they believed freshly made sandwiches were the best way to draw customers into bakery shops, followed by friendly staff and hot drinks, both at 20%.Seating and toilet facilities were seen as the most important factor by 9% of participants, followed by quality drinks (4%) and internet access (2%).n Subway has announced it will roll out deep-dish-style personal pizzas to its 13,000-plus sites in the US, after years of in-store trials. The company is to start installing high-speed commercial ovens across its US estate.n Latest research from Mintel shows sales of chilled desserts, like cream cakes, cheesecakes and trifle, have increased by 40% since 2001, to reach just over £390 million in 2006.n Portadown based Irwin’s Bakery scooped the Excellence in Marketing Achievement accolade at the 2007 Belfast Telegraph Northern Ireland Business Awards.n Will readers who know James Thomas Foreman please contact British Baker on 01293 846 591. Known as Jim Foreman – ’the man with the bowtie’ – he worked in the industry for over 40 years for firms including Betabake, Wonderloaf, British Arkady and SRS Puratos.last_img read more

New firm offers European craft

first_imgA start-up company, The Cotswold Food Partnership, is targeting supermarkets and craft bakers with new ranges of bake-off artisan and functional breads.The company has sourced its range from European craft bakeries in countries including Holland and Germany and it also has a manufacturing partner, the BRC-accredited Scottish craft baker Fords the Bakers, Lothian.Carl Le Neveu, founder of the company, told British Baker: “There’s a gap in the market – the consumer demand is there, but the products aren’t readily available.”The functional breads on offer will include a white loaf with all the nutrition and fibre of a wholewheat, and a ’hearty’ loaf, developed with the Dutch Heart Foundation. And on the Continental breads side, Le Neveu said high-quality artisan breads were on offer.He added: “The UK’s demographic has changed dramatically over the past decade. For example, there are three quarters of a million Polish workers in the UK. We’re talking to major retailers about offering breads such as Polish Rye on a regional basis.”The primary target for the part-baked frozen breads is in-store bakeries said Le Neveu, but the company is also developing a range of mixes for the craft bakery sector.last_img read more

19 July, 1935

first_img“A Surrey correspondent takes us to task in the ’Mind of the Trade’ because we expressed the view, in this column last week, that bakers do themselves and their craft an injustice when they make play on the words ’home-made’.It is a fact that some bakers do pander to the public, especially to womenfolk, by deliberately producing crudely finished goods in their bakehouses and featuring them as ’home-made’.They are, in so doing, giving it forth that in their opinion the general ’home-made’ standard of cake-making is higher than the average standard of the trade.If they had seen, as we did, a piece of heavily fruited cake made recently from excellent ingredients by the kitchen staff of a lady’s country house, they would not have wanted to boast about ’home-made’ cakes !”last_img read more

Bhs Coffee Lounge format rolls out

first_imgBhs has announced plans to introduce bake-off at its growing chain of upmarket in-store coffee lounges.Retail director Tony Brown told British Baker that the department store chain currently has 13 Coffee Lounges in shops nationwide, after starting trials of the concept last summer.It plans to open a further 40 concessions by Christmas, with all new outlets offering bake-off ranges, including breads and a variety of other baked products, Brown said. The 13 existing sites would later have a bake-off area installed, he said.The company’s target is to build an estate of 130 Coffee Lounges in the next 18 months, he explained.He said the Coffee Lounges, which sell a range including Fairtrade bean-to-cup coffee and sandwiches made in store, were proving very successful with customers.He said: “The Coffee Lounge format has been a huge success, it makes more per square foot than merchadise does, although of course you would not have a 30,000 sq ft Coffee Lounge!”Bhs worked closely with key suppliers for the format he added, including Churchills Handmade Sandwich Company, based in Nottingham.The retailer created the new concept with its nine huge “home” interior furnishings megastores in mind, looking to operators such as Costa Coffee and Starbucks for inspiration.But it then realised that the format could be introduced in its standard department stores. It has an estate of 185 stores nationwide.last_img read more

Reporting in

first_img== Terry Sharp Head, Baking & Cereals Processing Department CCFRA ==There is an old joke. A managing director is telling his human resources department that times are hard and there will be no money for training. Cut to a year later and he is saying that business is much better, doing very well and, as a result, there is now no time for staff training. This may sound familiar.The National Skills Academy (NSA) for Food & Drink Manufacturing has recently formed a steering group for the bakery sector. Their aim – to organise the provision of training, at various levels, to our sector – is laudable. Network providers (including CCFRA) and champions are being identified and enlisted by the NSA, and an increasing number of firms are turning their thoughts to participation. This is good news and should be encouraged at every level.Yet we also have to consider the other side. No amount of good planning and organisation will, in itself, ensure take-up of what is offered and attendance at training events. The contract is between those that offer training and individuals and companies that have the need for it.There is a view that it is becoming increasingly difficult to attract delegates to events. However good the programme, it is getting harder to persuade people to give up their time to attend.Why? Because they have short-term priorities that have to be met, so training can wait. The challenge is to persuade those working in the baking industry that what is on offer is so valuable that it should be their first priority. We can only achieve this by clearly defining the benefits that training can bring to the workplacelast_img read more

Start-ups: hiring your first employees

first_imgMost start-up businesses begin with one person who has an idea. But the workload soon takes its toll and it becomes clear that, in order to grow, you need to hire staff.But where do you start? In my case, I invented the recipes, baked the cakes, decorated the cakes, sold the cakes and everything in between. I needed someone with a certain level of skill, the ability to work independently and flexibly and, almost more importantly, I needed someone I could trust. Then the big question where do I find them?Fast-forward a year and I now have six fabulous members of staff who have grown alongside me and weathered the many bumps along the way. I trust each one of them implicitly and I know they would do everything in their powers to help our company continue to grow. But how did I get to this point? Consider my top tips for hiring staff in a small business:l Get in contact with HMRC immediately. You need to register as an employer and make sure your paperwork is in order.l Look for your staff in the right places. I want to find people who are already passionate about my cakes, so I only advertise on my website, Facebook and Twitter sites. Passion can often be more important than experience.l Trust your instincts. You have to work with this person you need to like them, but they need to understand you are their boss.l If you pay minimum wage, you will get minimum commitment. Paying a reasonable wage will ensure a much smaller staff turnover.l Be clear what their duties are. If you need them to stand at a mixer and make icing for eight hours a day, let them know early on.l Identify what jobs you can ’give up’ to the other person, but understand delegation will be very hard at first.l Don’t hire people who say they want to start their own business why train your future competitors? Ensure all your staff sign contracts and confidentiality agreements.l As the company grows, allow long-standing staff to grow with it they put in the time doing the grunt work, now utilise this experience and train them to manage newer staff members.l If you were planning on hiring someone to work two days a week for you, why not hire two people to work one day each? So if one doesn’t work out you won’t be left entirely stranded.l Realise that no one loves your business as you do. This is their job, not their life.Remember, your staff can be your most important asset or your biggest liability. Be rigorous when hiring, pay them a fair wage and always treat them like gold.last_img read more

Irwin’s scoops Sainsbury’s deal

first_imgIrwin’s Bakery in Portadown has announced a deal to supply Sainsbury’s in Northern Ireland with its pancakes and soda farls, as part of the retailer’s new core range of ’By Sainsbury’s’ own-label products.The contract, worth over £250,000 a year to the Northern Irish bakery, will see its products sold in all 13 Sainsbury’s stores in Northern Ireland. Irwin’s already supplies the supermarket with four million products a year, and the new deal looks set to strengthen this relationship, said the firm.Michael Murphy, commercial director at Irwin’s Bakery, said: “We are particularly proud to be producing traditional local products, such as pancakes and soda farls, for inclusion in the ’By Sainsbury’s’ range.”David McMahon, Northern Ireland fresh and frozen buyer with Sainsbury’s, added: “The ’By Sainsbury’s’ range, now being launched in Northern Ireland, is an important part of our business and we are glad to be working with Irwin’s to deliver these popular local breakfast goods.”last_img read more

Possible early Costa demerger, says analyst

first_imgSpeculation surrounding the possibility of Costa Coffee demerging from the Whitbread Group is mounting, according to a City analyst.It comes as the coffee chain announced the appointment of Chris Rogers, the group’s current financial director, as the brand’s new managing director on Tuesday (3 April). He will replace John Derkach, who is due to step down from his position on 1 August to join UK restaurant business Tragus Group as chief executive.A spokesperson from Deutsche Bank AG, Filiale London, said: “This move is likely to prompt two responses: relief that he is not leaving Whitbread and speculation that Costa is being lined up for demerger. We have written extensively that we see Costa remaining with the group for some time, so shareholders can benefit from the significant growth expected from the plan to double the estate size by 2016E.“We have an EBITDA forecast of £175m for that year, and if demerger was a near-term option, why is the managing director leaving? We see an early demerger of Costa as potentially limiting the realisable value from the Costa growth plans for investors.”Speaking of the current MD’s work at Costa, the representative from Deutsche Bank added that Derkach has managed to more than triple sales and quadruple profits.Ahead of the company’s 2011/12 financial results, to be announced on 26 April, the City analyst said: “At Costa, we are looking for 26% top line growth, and with margins forecast to rise +75 bps, we are focusing on EBITDA of +35%. We estimate EBITDA should reach £97m in the year just ended.”last_img read more