Consumer watch

first_imgWhen it comes to shopping, I prefer to support the independent trader where possible.When I was a kid, you really had a choice of bakers. You were greeted with your name or asked what mum or nan had sent you there for – there was a real sense of community.But with the increase of supermarkets and chain stores, the marketing gurus trick us, the consumer, into thinking we have a choice!A glance in any supermarket will quickly reveal that one brand of tea bags is made by the same company as another leading brand or baked beans, soap powder, and so on.So I like to go into my local bakery and buy convenient goods – for example on my lunch break. I tend to go for prawn or smoked salmon in brown bread or a white roll with cheese pickle, tomato or onion.My first choice of hot savoury has got to be a Cornish pasty, but sometimes I go for sausage rolls; it is just based on how they look or what mood I’m in.I tend to buy fresh crusty rolls when we have soup or stew and supermarket, wrapped, sliced bread for toast or sandwiches.When it comes to cakes, the Danish pastry is probably my favourite of all, but I’ve not had good one in years. It seems as if they are mostly made in a factory type environment and lack freshness. I also like muffins – especially blueberry muffins – custard tarts and Bakewell tarts, and it would be great if bakers sold apple pie with custard or ice cream.Wayne Wheeler, Crawley, West Sussexlast_img read more

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McCambridge on turnaround track

first_imgIrish bakery McCambridge revealed it has weathered the twin storms of commodity price rises and disgruntled creditors, as it continues to turn around former troubled bakery giant Inter Link Foods.Giving his first interview since being appointed chief executive of McCambridge in February, Gavin Cox, who joined as finance director last year, told British Baker that, nine months after acquiring Inter Link out of administration, the business was back on track.McCambridge’s pre-Inter Link turnover was around £35 million, but the acquisition has seen this figure leap five-fold, and is estimated at £175m for 2008. Now the plan is to break the £200m mark within three-to-five years.”That’s how we see ourselves growing: through current markets; new markets, including foodservice; and by developing the business through organic growth, rather than acquisition,” said Cox.He added that, following record commodity price rises, the business was taking steps to protect itself on pricing. “We’re trying to offset [cost rises] by buying better and mitigating it internally. We have to take a view on what the commodities markets will do. But if commodities fall outside certain bands, our prices will have to change.”Action has been taken to overhaul logistics, replacing the central distribution system that caused problems for Inter Link, in January this year. Meanwhile, a new management team has been working to appease the 1,640-strong list of creditors, after Inter Link built up debts of £63m.Chief operating officer Martin Davey said: “What tends to happen, when you buy a firm out of administration, is that you’ve got a not-very-happy supply base. Now, everybody is back on credit terms. We’ve widened our supply base, and we’re looking harder at keeping costs down.”l See the next issue of British Baker for a full interview.—-=== McCambridge at a glance ===McCambridge was established in its current guise in 1985, but has a history of food production and retailing dating back to 1945. Since 1999, it has undergone 10 acquisitions – three in Ireland and seven in the UK. The latest of these was Inter Link Foods in July 2007, which made it the second-largest cake manufacturer in the UK. It now has 20 bakeries and employs some 1,600 staff.last_img read more

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Hot prospects

first_imgPurchasing an oven is not a straightforward process. It’s rather like buying a house, or a car – you need to have a look at quite a few, always want to buy ones that are more expensive than you can afford and, once you’ve made your purchase, you hope you won’t need to do it again for a long time.An oven is a real investment for a bakery business but, with the cost of energy rising, not to mention the impetus for businesses to become more ’green’, a wood-burning oven could become an increasingly popular option, not just on environmental but also money-saving grounds.Manufacturer The Bread Roll Bakery, based in Darwen, Blackburn, had the UK’s first wood-burning rack oven installed just before Christmas and is to have another installed imminently. Bakewell Ovens supplied the oven, which runs on wood pellets. These are made from natural woodchips and held together by the wood’s natural lignin, released during the pellitising process due to heat and compression, making them 100% natural.The oven itself is described as a “sustainable and ethical alternative”, and can also save bakers a huge amount in running costs. Alexander Fleck, managing director of The Bread Roll Bakery, explains that he had been within hours of signing for some gas ovens, when someone approached him with information about wood pellet ovens and he had a sudden change of heart. “The price of the ovens was about the same, but in terms of the cost of running them, you save around 60% on your fuel costs with the wood pellet version. I even spoke to one baker who had saved 70%.”Fleck says it produces a mellower and more even bake and only requires a few extra minutes maintenance per week. “It does produce ash, but this is minimal and can be used as a fertiliser for your garden,” he says.The oven is thermostatically controlled, so when it’s up to temperature, it stops feeding the pellets. There is also the flexibility to change it to a gas burner in half an hour if you run out of wood pellets.Buying an energy-efficient oven is not necessarily more expensive, and even if the outlay is greater, the money saved in energy costing means the payback period is relatively short and, from then on, you are saving money. Oven supplier Interbake suggests that the annual bill for an equivalent oven using electricity is around £20,500, whereas with a pellet oven it’s more like £7,600. However, Interbake MD David Dunne points out that the drop in the value of Sterling has had an impact on the take-up of the energy-efficient ovens it supplies. “In the last six months, the cost of the ovens has increased by 25%, due to the devaluation of the currency against the euro.”Interbake currently acts as agent for Italian manufacturer Trezza Forni, distributing its Steam Tube Deck Oven, which also uses a wood-pellet burner. “The whole concept with this type of oven is that it’s a very mellow bake and the burner heats refractory material, more or less like brickwork inside a furnace, and the furnace heats steam tubes that run throughout the baking chambers,” says Dunne.However, as the ovens are Italian, they are priced in euros and, due to the volatile currency fluctuations of late, Dunne says that, in one instance, it actually cost them money to sell one of these ovens. The company sold the machine for £56k, but, as it was manufactured abroad and had a 12-week delivery time, by the time the transaction went through, the currency fluctuations meant it actually cost Interbake money to sell it. The firm has now added a clause to orders, which states the quote in the currency it will be purchased in, based on the current exchange rate.In terms of financing new ovens, there are several opportunities for bakers. Fleck managed to secure a grant from his local council on the premise that the new oven would increase efficiency, up production and, within two years, enable the company to take on extra staff. The Carbon Trust also provided him with an interest-free loan to cover the rest. (The Carbon Trust offers interest-free loans to businesses trying to do their bit – up to £200,000 over a four-year period, but bakers need to approach them before they purchase their new bit of kit.)Wood-pellet ovens are not the only variety that can save bakers money on energy bills, however. Hamburg-based manufacturer Daub, handled by Benier in the UK, offers Thermal Roll ovens, which are currently used at bakery retailer Birds of Derby. The bakery houses four of these ovens – two specifically for rolls and small breads and two for large breads, including bloomers.The ovens, which take three racks each, use the Daub Thermal Oil heating system, whereby the oil is heated in a unit outside the oven and is then distributed through a series of radiator plates above and below each shelf in a rack oven.”The racks slide in around the radiators to give radiant baking to the products. So they can be used to bake products normally baked in deck ovens, as well as those products baked in conventional rotating rack ovens,” says Benier managing director David Marsh.Temperatures do not drop significantly when the oven is emptied or loaded and the oil has a heat capacity 2,600 times higher than hot air, reducing baking time and, in turn, energy costs by up to 25%.As Dunne says, there is a definite market for energy-efficient ovens, but the follow-through from interest to purchase has something of a drag factor, only exacerbated by the current financial climate.—-=== Case study: BIA winners go energy-efficient ===Those businesses that are building on their good fortunes by expanding their operations are putting energy-efficiency top of their wish lists. Jacksons the Bakers, last year’s winner of the BIA Quality Product Award, sponsored by Tesco, has opened a brand new facility in Chesterfield, and kitted it out with Mondial Forni ovens, featuring DOE energy-saving technology. It uses them to bake everything from morning goods and confectionery to its award-winning Traditional Steak Pie.Explained simply, Jacksons’ 32-tray oven contains 25 elements in each deck. Energy is flashed to each of the elements in a staggered fashion, so they are effectively off for up to 33% of the baking time, while offering the same bake heat. This figure can be adjusted downwards to say 20-25% if you are baking large tinned bread, which requires a bit more oomph; alternatively, you would simply raise your baking temperature to compensate, from 240?C to 260?C, and leave the oven configured to the 33% energy-saving setting.The first decision was whether to opt for gas or electric, says David Charlesworth of UK agent Norbake. “We compared the kilowatt rating of the DOE system fitted to the same oven fuelled by gas or electricity, and looked at the cost of gas against electric. We found there was still a 30% saving with the gas ovens and we decided to go with that.”If you opted for smaller ovens, such as 12-tray capacity, they could be set to a maximum of 25% energy saving. The Mondial Forni Ovens also have segmented glass doors, to cut down on heat-loss when opening, compared to a solid door.last_img read more

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Ireland holds off on folic acid

first_imgIreland’s food safety body has advised against the mandatory fortification of bread with folic acid.The implementation group on folic acid fortification said there would be no benefit to public health, because food manufacturers were now adding it to dairy spreads, fruit juices, milk, yoghurts, soups and cereal bars.England’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) now has the results of two studies looking at the effect of folic acid on cancer and heart disease, and is likely to make its recommendation following a committee meeting in June. It had previously agreed flour should be fortified, before being encouraged by the chief medical officer to consider more studies.However Alex Waugh, director general of nabim, said: “The two food bodies do talk and it may be that they sit down and have a discussion later in the year, but at the moment the tide is turning against inclusion in England and Ireland.”Ireland’s national committee on folic acid fortification had recommended in 2005 that all bread should be fortified with folic acid on a mandatory basis. However, the implementation group found that women of child-bearing age now received 30% more folate in their diet, due to voluntary fortification across the food sector. This was coupled with a reduction in the incidence of neural tube defects from 1/1.5 to 0.93 per 1,000 births during that time. It also pointed to preliminary and inconclusive data, which suggested a link between high levels of folic acid and certain cancers.Alan Reilly, chairman of the implementation group and deputy chief executive of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, said the potential link between excessive folic acid intake and cancer was “inconsistent and inconclusive”, adding that new data was likely to be available later this year. The Department of Health in Ireland is considering the report.last_img read more

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In Short

first_img== Greggs’ sales up ==Greggs’ latest figures showed total group sales were up 5.2% for the 19 weeks to 9 May. The bakery retailer also saw like-for-like sales grow 2% in the same period. It “enjoyed a successful Easter” having sold over 2.3 million hot cross buns so far this year – a 10% increase on 2008.== Pork Farms job risk ==Pork pie manufacturer Pork Farms is seeking voluntary redundancies for up to 90 of its 300 employees. The Nottinghamshire-based firm said the job losses at its Queens Drive factory were a necessity, due to the adverse effects of the recession and a change in working practices. The company is now in a 30-day consultation period.== Healthy Cake award ==Among the winners of Food Matters FreeFrom Food Awards was The Healthy Cake Company’s organic gluten- and dairy-free carrot and raisin cake, which won the FAIR trophy for the best FreeFrom Food 2009. Genius gluten-free bread (see page 10), won The Innovation Award for the best new free-from product for 2009.== M&S in retro move ==Marks & Spencer has launched a retro range of food and drink products this month to celebrate its 125th anniversary. They include the first pre-packed cake range sold in M&S, featuring 12 flavours, including cherry Madeira, Battenburg and the Swiss roll.== Ultimate closure? ==Sandwich firm Ultimate Foods, based in Wiltshire, has indicated it may have to close, as it is no longer economically viable. The company, which runs the Gibsons factory in Devizes, entered into a 30-day consultation period earlier this month. Ninety-five staff work at the plant.last_img read more

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Price positions

first_imgCraft baker comparisonTo compare the prices of craft bakers is a near impossible feat, so we have looked at the mean price of various key items to see how prices have changed on average in the last year.The price of a large white loaf has dipped from £1.40 to £1.30, while a large wholemeal loaf has fallen from £1.48 to £1.35.Jam doughnuts have increased in price on average from 53p to 55p. A chicken sandwich has also dropped from £1.95 to £1.73, while a standard-sized sausage roll has remained the same price on average, at 78p. A packet of Walker’s Crisps has risen significantly from 41p to 55p, while a regular coffee has fallen in price from £1.01 to 85p.The coffee chainsCoffee shop pricing has remained largely static since January 2009, with only small fluctuations in prices across the top four chains Costa Coffee, Coffee Republic, Caffè Nero and Starbucks.Focusing on take-away prices, the price of a regular cappuccino fell by 10p at Coffee Republic between January and March ’09 to £2.30. Starbucks has upped the cost by 5p, Costa is still charging the same, whereas a cappuccino in Caffè Nero has fluctuated from £1.95 to £2.10 and is now £2.The price of a blueberry muffin has fallen from £1.70 at Coffee Republic in Jan ’09 and £1.45 at the other chains, to £1.40 at Coffee Republic and Starbucks and £1.50 at Caffè Nero.Caffè Nero has dropped the price of its plain croissants from £1.20 to £1.10, while Costa increased its price to £1.25 in March 2009, and then brought it back down to £1.15. A chicken salad sandwich at Coffee Republic has increased by 10p to £2.95 and by 15p in Starbucks to £3.30. Nero has dropped its price by 15p to £3 and Costa by 5p to £3.05.Supermarket prices The price of a Warburtons Toastie (800g) has remained relatively stable, selling for £1.29 across Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Asda for most of 2009. Its price dropped in Sainsbury’s and Tesco to £1.24 in March and May ’09 respectively.Despite a price spike mid-year, Kingsmill’s Great Everyday loaf (800g) remained at £1.22 across the major supermarkets for 2009. In July, the price crept up to £1.33 in Morrisons, Tesco, Asda and Waitrose, whereas in Sainsbury’s it went up to £1.39. By February 2010, it had fallen across the board to £1.19 in Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Waitrose and £1.14 in Tesco and Asda.Hovis wholemeal medium sliced (800g) was £1.24 across the big five in March 2009. It dropped to £1.22 in Morrisons in July, before going back to £1.24 in August. It was available in Tesco for £1.14 in November, and £1.22 in Asda in the same month. By February 2010, it had fallen in price to £1.22 in Tesco and £1.19 in the other supermarkets.Since it was first tracked in August last year, a 400g pack of McVitie’s Milk Chocolate Diges-tives fell by a few pence at Tesco, Morrisons and Waitrose. But from February 2010 the cost is up across the board to £1.39 in Tesco, Asda and Morrisons, £1.37 in Waitrose, but has dropped 2p in Sainsbury’s to £1.24.last_img read more

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BSB event tackles industry challenges

first_imgThe invention of the Chorleywood Bread Process (CBP) was a “watershed” moment for bakery, delegates were told at the BSB conference.Stan Cauvain, director and vice-president of research and development at BakeTran, said the innovation of CBP continued to be relevant 50 years on and was gaining traction in areas of the world where it had not been previously used.Cauvain, who worked at the Flour Milling and Baking Research Association (now Campden BRI) at Chorleywood for 25 years and then spent 10 years as the director of cereals and cereal processing at the Campden & Chorleywood Food Research Association, said: “When the stone called the CBP was thrown into the pond, it spread ripples across the world. It was a watershed moment for the baking industry and its importance cannot be overstated. If they are not operating it [CBP] then they are thinking about opera-ting it and this includes countries like China and India.”Ironically, despite being mainly used in the plant bakery sector, Cauvain explained that it had originally been thought CBP would also be of use to the craft sector. Another key element of the process was that, compared to the older bulk fermentation method, the CBP could use lower protein wheat, and produced bread at a much faster rate.Although CBP is sometimes maligned, Cauvain explained that the sandwich industry of today owes much to the process. “The introduction of CBP did a very vital thing. It made us think differently about our bread. Love it or hate it, you cannot ignore the impact of CBP,” added Cauvain. CBP provided something “for every consumer” he explained, saying, “If you want real bread, fine you can do it,” and he added that CBP was something that should be “celebrated” by the industry.Also at the conference was Andrew Curtis of the European Snacks Association, who gave a talk on acrylamide, outlining how the organic chemical compound a known neurotoxin and genotoxic carcinogen was discovered in 2002 and what the industry can do to combat against it. He also told how an industry “toolbox” has been developed and is available for businesses that want to identify potential acrylamide mitigation tools (see also Reporting In, page 11).Curtis, scientific and regulatory affairs manager at the European Snacks Association, said there were three steps to reducing acrylamide in foods that formed the basis for the “toolbox”. These included assessing the risk in; raw materials selection; recipe and product design, process design and in final preparation.During the raw materials selection, food manufacturers should choose materials that are low in sugar potato and low asparagine cereal, said Curtis. He explained that avoiding the use of additional reducing sugars or ammonium groups would also be of help during the recipe design. During process design, said Curtis, bakers should review the potential for enzyme pre-treatment, optimise the time and temperature profile and avoid the generation of other undesirable compounds. A revision of the “toolbox”, which was produced by FoodDrinkEurope (formerly known as the CIAA), came after an EFSA monitoring report that was launched in April.Dr Chun-Han Chan, a senior scientific officer at the Food Standards Agency (FSA), was also on hand to give bakers and industry members an insight into allergen management from a UK regulator’s perspective. She explained how Commission Regulation No.41/2009 EC puts in place compositional criteria related to the claims ’gluten-free’ and ’very low gluten’ for foods that have been specifically manufactured to satisfy the particular nutritional requirements of people who are intolerant to gluten, and for foods that are naturally free of gluten. The limits come into force on 1 January 2012. Chan said there were 14 allergens that affected the public and there had been 482 allergy incidents reported since 2000. In 2010 alone, there were 79 allergy incidents and 34 allergy alerts, said Chan. She added that the aim of the FSA was to establish a tolerable level of risk for the consumer zero risk was “not an option”, she said. And she added that the government department’s role was also to ensure that analytical methods were fit for purpose.From the retail perspective, John Waterfield, managing director of Waterfield’s gave a valuable insight to the state of the high street. He criticised what he labelled as “a lack of joined-up thinking” by a glut of local autho-rities. He said that car parking or rather a lack of cheap, affordable spaces high street rents and the threat of supermarkets were to blame for the decline on the high street. Despite the economic climate in the north west, Waterfield said the consumer was “still willing to pay more for our product”. A study tour of the US had taught him that bakeries should dare to be different, he added: “Don’t compete, but differentiate.” Competition class Wayne Caddy, head of baking at the School of Artisan Foods, also gave a talk and a video demonstration on some of his award-winning ideas. Caddy, who also runs his own bakery consultancy, was part of the UK team that entered the Bakery World Cup earlier this year. He discussed how the team worked to develop the ideal recipe and production process in order to enter a traditional baguette to the standard required for this international contest.For more details, see Caddy’s video presentation on the production of a baguette at BB’s website www.bakeryinfo.co.uk.last_img read more

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Gov. Holcomb signs order to speed delivery of goods to stores

first_img Google+ WhatsApp Facebook Facebook CoronavirusIndianaLocalNews the toilet paper aisle at the Mishawkaa Walmart was nearly wiped out on Thursday, March 12, 2020. (Jon Zimney/953MNC) Finding stores out of toilet paper and cleaning supplies?Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb has signed an executive order to lift regulations on commercial vehicles transporting goods to retailers, some of which are running short on supplies.Drivers of commercial vehicles, including those who deliver food, goods and items to Indiana businesses for purchase or use by Hoosiers as well as delivery of items for emergency preparedness, are limited by in the number of hours they can work in a single day.The executive order waives those regulations. By 95.3 MNC – March 14, 2020 0 188 Gov. Holcomb signs order to speed delivery of goods to stores Twitter Twitter Previous articleMan accused in deadly shooting at America Legion Post in South Bend sentencedNext articleMayor Mueller send questions to special prosecutor in charge of Eric Logan shooting 95.3 MNCNews/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel is your breaking news and weather station for northern Indiana and southwestern Michigan. Pinterest Pinterest Google+ WhatsApplast_img read more

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Paycheck Protection Program launches today, offers relief to small businesses

first_img Paycheck Protection Program launches today, offers relief to small businesses Previous articleIndiana families to receive maximum SNAP benefits during pandemicNext articleISDH: 102 now dead from COVID-19, 3,437 confirmed cases Brooklyne Beatty By Brooklyne Beatty – April 3, 2020 0 467 WhatsApp WhatsApp Google+ Pinterest CoronavirusIndianaLocalNewsSouth Bend Market (“The Fall of Madoff” by frankieleon, CC BY 2.0) The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) launched Friday, and will offer some relief to small businesses throughout Indiana.Indiana bankers warn Hoosiers that the application volume will be extremely high, and to be patient.“Sheer volume won’t be the only reason the program will take time,” said Indiana Bankers Association president and CEO Amber Van Til. “Financial institutions are in the process of reviewing guidance released late Thursday evening from federal agencies and regulators as they prepare to counsel their customers on the Paycheck Protection Program. Even with the latest guidance, the emergency program remains unclear with less than 12 hours before the program is scheduled to begin.”The IBA recommends small businesses do the following right now, as they wait for their application to be processed:Talk to your lender. If you are experiencing or expect to experience cash flow problems, contacting your lender is the critical first step.Plan for the next 3-6 months. Look ahead, both in terms of a potential lengthening of the pandemic and also in how you will handle recovery and re-opening of the business if you are currently closed.Be ready to produce required information for your application. Don’t panic and draw on lines of credit unnecessarily. The IBA recommends keeping lines of credit intact until you absolutely need to access them.Have patience.You can find the PPP application form here.center_img TAGSapplicationsIBAIndiana Bankers AssociationPaycheck Protection ProgramPPPreliefsmall business Facebook Pinterest Facebook Twitter Twitter Google+last_img read more

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Face mask ordinance extended until September 7 in St. Joseph County

first_img Google+ CoronavirusIndianaLocalNews Pinterest Previous articleElkhart County to issue mandatory public face mask orderNext articleIndiana has a lack of school nurses ready for the coming school year Jon ZimneyJon Zimney is the News and Programming Director for News/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel and host of the Fries With That podcast. Follow him on Twitter @jzimney. By Jon Zimney – June 29, 2020 2 1014 Google+ Twitter Face mask ordinance extended until September 7 in St. Joseph County (Photo Supplied/Indiana State Prison) It was due to expire on July 4, but with no vaccine or medication to prevent or treat COVID-19, health leaders in St. Joseph County have extended their face mask ordinance through Sep. 7.The revision is basically to keep doing what’s already happening:Any business establishment open to customers shall make alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol readily accessible at the entrance and in proximity to hightouch surfaces.A face covering over one’s nose and mouth shall be required for any persons entering an enclosed public space or place of business, unless such persons have a medical exception indicating that a face covering is ill-advised for health reasons, or the face covering prevents the persons from delivering or receiving services. The face covering shall be worn at all times when physical distancing of at least six feet cannot be maintained.Health leaders say taking measures such as frequently washing hands, physical distancing and wearing face coverings are the most effective ways to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Twitter Facebook Pinterest WhatsApp WhatsApp Facebooklast_img read more

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