JanuaryWarburtons announced a £2.5m TV ad campaign highlighting the “family values of the Warburtons brand”, and plans to catch up on expansion in 2005. MD Brett Warburton told British Baker growth had been restrained in 2004 after the arson attack at Warburtons’ Wednesbury plant in January 2004. Warburtons later bought and started refurbishing the former New Rathbones’ Stockton bakery, to extend its capacity in the north of the country.The United Biscuits plant in Carlisle was flooded under five feet of water as Carlisle was cut off by floods in winter storms. UB had spent £7.2m upgrading the site in 2004. The European Union ruled that Saskatoon berries could be imported into all EU countries including Britain. Saskatoons, the first new fruit to the EU for 60 years, are popular in baked goods in north America. The UK Food Standards Agency had previously classified them as a “novel food” and would not allow them into the UK. Allied Bakeries relaunched its Kingsmill Gold range, with new recipes, packaging and advertising, in a bid to increase its share of the premium bread market, from 17% by value. It also relaunched its Burgen Soya & Linseed loaves, marked as low glycaemic index (GI).With GI set to become a big trend for 2005, ingredients supplier Bakels announced the launch of what it claimed to be the UK’s first low-GI bread mix. Its Multiseed mix was targeted at the craft baking sector.Brown bread debuted in Asda’s top-10 best-sellers list on sales volumes over the 2004 calendar year. A 400g own-label wheatgerm loaf was at number eight, up from number 15 in 2003. Hovis Best of Both was at number nine, up from number 11 in 2003. Warburtons Sliced White Toastie 800g was number one, up from number two in 2003.Manor Bakeries announced an £8m relaunch of its Mr Kipling cakes range, with new packaging and six new whole cakes. Some £5m was spent on a TV campaign to highlight the changes.
Police are hunting for a wholesale baker’s van, which went missing twice in a week.The Suzuki Carry van was taken from Knicat bakery in Downham, Norfolk, after burglars broke into the bakery and stole its keys. Two days later, owner Susan Gooding-Lewis got a call from a man in Greenwich, London, saying he had found the van, which had the bakery’s details on the sides. But by the time police arrived at the place where it was spotted, it had disappeared again. The van, which is valued at about £6,000, is registered AP54 TLK. Anyone who sees it can contact PC Howard Elvidge on 0845 456 4567.
Honeytop Speciality Foods is celebrating big sales increases resulting from its new ‘champagne’ naan breads.The speciality flatbread manufacturer came up with what it believes are the most authentic naans on the market, after upgrading production methods. The breads have a soft open texture and irregular bubbling as well as the traditional tandoori baked flavour. The manufacturer, which supplies Sharwoods, has now been granted the licence to sell the customer’s branded Indian breads into new channels in the retail trade. Honeytop has produced Sharwoods’ naan breads for 10 years and will now promote a premium range of Indian breads produced at its Dunstable plant.
Sandwich manufacturer Brambles Foods has been sold for £22 million by NBGI Private Equity.The new owner is Adelie Food Holdings, which is backed by Duke Street Capital. Brambles will run alongside Adelie’s existing sandwich businesses, Food Partners and Buckingham Foods.Richard Morley, NBGI director, said: “Brambles has been a real success story. It has been very rewarding to support an excellent management team, taking a relatively small business at the time of the original buy-out in 2003 and developing it into a major player in its sector.”Brambles manufactures sandwiches, rolls and similar products from its factories in London and Middlesbrough. It has annual sales of around £25 million,The sale of Brambles realised a return of 4.3 times the original cost of the investment by NBGI.
The Work and Families Act 2006 was introduced following government consultation on a range of proposals to help parents balance work and family life. The provisions of the Act intend to address several policy goals:? To help parents take leave to care for their children in the first year? To improve staff morale, retention and recruitment? To support business planning.maternity rightsSo what are the changes? For those with babies born on or after April 1, 2007, there is an increase in statutory maternity and adoption pay. All employees are entitled to additional maternity leave, previously only available to those with longer service, and employers are to be given more notice of employees returning to work following maternity leave.Key changes include:? The extension of the period of Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) from 26 weeks to 39 weeks? The removal of the small business exemption. Employers with five employees or fewer are no longer exempt from a finding of automatic unfair dismissal, where they do not allow a woman returning from additional maternity leave (AML) to return to the same or a similar job? The removal of the qualifying period for AML (26 weeks). All employees whose due date was on or is after April 2007 will qualify for 52 weeks’ maternity leave, regardless of length of service? An increase in the notice period for an employee to return early from AML?The introduction of ’Keeping in Touch’ (KIT) days. Where employee and employer agree, the woman can work up to 10 days without losing her right to SMP? Employers will also be entitled to make “reasonable contact” with employees while they are on maternity leave.The changes listed above represent the first wave of proposed reforms to maternity pay and leave. Apart from increasing the rate of maternity pay, it is the government’s intention to extend the maternity pay period to the whole of the 52 weeks. It is also anticipated that it will introduce a right for fathers to take up to six months’ paternity leave if the mother returns to work after Ordinary Maternity Leave (26 weeks).family-friendly approachIt is wise to have family-friendly policies in place, which not only deal with maternity, paternity and adoption leave, but also time off for emergencies and parental leave. For flexible working requests, employers should process any requests from carers in the same way as they have for those with child-care responsibilities.statutory procedureThe importance of adhering to the statutory procedure cannot be overstated, as the consequences of not doing so can be costly. An employee can challenge an employer’s refusal to grant flexible working at the Employment Tribunal. If a Tribunal finds that the employer has breached the statutory procedure, they can award up to eight weeks’ pay, subject to a maximum weekly amount of £310. In addition, if the Tribunal also finds evidence of discrimination, then injury to feelings awards apply, which can range between £500 and £25,000 but are, in reality, unlimited.? Rob Bryan is an employment lawyer with Darbys Solicitors LLP in Oxford ([email protected])
Stanley Cauvain, Linda YoungWoodhead Publishing, £135This is the sequel to no prizes for solving this poser Baking Problems Solved. Written in a Q&A format, and taken in one sitting, it reads like a bad day at the bakery. A lot of those niggly little problems you have with everyday baking crop up here. For example, when you bake muffins and the tops rise and lean to one side, making them look more like X-Factor’s Jedward than an appealing product, it’s all down to not controlling the heat in the oven and leaving enough space between products and tins to allow airflow. From unwelcome holes in bread to shrinking biscuits, chances are at least one of the issues cropping up here have flummoxed your operatives at one time or another, which makes this book such a fascinating resource.With an unparalleled expertise in the trade, as former scientists at Campden & Chorleywood Food Research Association (now Campden BRI) and current bakery consultants working in the industry, Cauvain and Young tackle the big issues as well. How do you reduce the level of fat in your biscuit recipes? What alternatives are there to sodium chloride in baked products? What are the possible alternatives to chemically based preservatives? And how do you make gluten-free products?There are also answers to those questions that you want to know, but are too embarrassed to ask, like: what are farls and how do you make them? Erm, we did know that. Honestly…
Premier Foods has reported mixed results for it Hovis business, with branded sales up 1.1% but non-branded sales down 26%, for the six months to 26 June 2010.Trading profit for the division was up 50% to £15m, as profitability for the division was increased by cost savings in manufacturing and distribution, in addition to a lower restructuring spend for the period, said Premier.Hovis branded bakery sales increased to £183m from £181m for the comparable six months in 2009. Branded bread value market share increased 1.1pp to 24.5%, while volume market share remained at 24.8%. Sales of its Mr Kipling brand were up from £60m to £62m (+3.3%), while Cadbury Cakes sales fell 3.6% to £27m.Retailer brand bakery sales fell by more than a quarter from £100m to £74m. The firm put the decline down, in part, to a decrease in the retail price of branded goods in the markets in which it operates, which has resulted in consumers trading up to branded products.Non-branded Hovis volumes fell 10.4%, of which 5.8% relates to wheat price deflation, according to Premier. Around 3% of the volume decline relates to “own-label bread contracts which were exited in 2009 to free up capacity for the Hovis brand expansion”, added the firm.Milling sales were also down, falling 18.4% to £80m, from £98m for the first six months of 2009. The majority of the decline is due to bulk flour deflation, according to Premier.Total group sales were down 5.2% to £1,183m. Trading profit fell 6% to £110m, while operating profit was up £40m to £67m.>>Hovis targets debts by closing Wigan rolls line>>Hovis shows a Hearty appetite for oats category
Value sales of pasties have fallen by 3.9%, while sales of sausage rolls have grown by the same percentage, according to the latest data from Kantar Worldpanel.With the exception of pasties, spend was up on all pies and savoury pastries for the 52 weeks to 17 April 2011. Value sales of pork pies increased 2.6%, quiches and flans by 1.8%, and hot pies by 0.4%, resulting in total value growth in the market of 1.1%.Total market volume also increased, by 0.8%. All categories reported a rise in volume sales, with the exception of pasties and hot pies, which saw volume sales fall 2.6% and 1.6% respectively.Andy Napthine, head of marketing at Pork Farms, said the growth in sausage rolls and pork pie sales was definitely a trend it was noticing in the market. “Over the past year, we’ve seen some significant increases in sausage rolls and pork pie sales, as consumers are coming back into the category,” he said.”There have been many promotions in this area of the market, which has seen more consumers buying more, more often.” Napthine said Pork Farms’ sales growth had come from a combination of promotional activity, its recent rebrand, and the NPD work it has done through link-ups with brands such as Branston Pickle.Ginsters brand communications manager Larry File said the firm was also experiencing a rise in sales for sausage rolls and pork pies. “Sales of our sausage rolls in the multiples have increased 24% year-on-year,” said File, adding that the unseasonally warm weather this spring had boosted sales of cold eating products.File acknowledged that there had been a fall in pasty sales, but said that they had not received as much promotional activity as sausage rolls, for example.>>Pastry power
The University of Lincoln has launched a new course designed to grow future talent within the food sector.The Executive MBA for Food and Related Industries was launched at the University’s Lincoln Business School amongst major food sector employers including Bakkavör, Produce World, Princes and QV Foods. It aims to help businesses develop the next generation of industry leaders to succeed within a global marketplace.Phil Considine, senior lecturer at Lincoln Business School, said: “Part of our role as a university is to provide thought leadership and to facilitate knowledge exchange. The MBA is a great example of this – developing new leaders in the sector capable of delivering sustained competitive advantage built on the values of responsible futures.” The MBA is aimed at early and mid-career managers, identified as having strong potential, and will be delivered to groups of delegates from employers, supplemented with an e-learning programme. It was developed from established expertise in executive development at the Business School and food sector education and research at the National Centre for Food Manufacturing in Holbeach.
The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) announced yesterday (23 February) that the government has selected the food and drink manufacturing industry as a key sector in its ‘See Inside Manufacturing’ initiative.Organised by The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the scheme will commence in June and aims to encourage businesses to open their doors to prospective employees.It follows the FDF’s ‘Taste Success – A Future in Food’ campaign, which was launched last year to dispel the myths among young people about careers in food manufacturing. The next phase of the scheme will include more digitally-based activity, such as a Facebook group with an online game, in addition to three food career-focused videos to be launched at The Big Bang Fair in Birmingham on 16-17 March.Melanie Leech, director general at the FDF, said: “We are delighted that the food and drink industry has been selected as one of the key sectors. As part of our 20/20 Vision for Growth, we identified attracting talent as one of the key challenges for our sector if we are to deliver sustainable growth of 20% by 2020.“FDF is already taking action to overcome this challenge with our careers campaign ‘Taste Success’, which is busting the myths around a career in the food industry. Many of our members are already opening their doors to young people. See Inside Manufacturing will build on that work and help many more young people to see a career in food and drink manufacturing as an exciting and smart choice.”‘Taste Success’ aims to help recruit 137,000 individuals into the industry by 2017, with around a third (45,000) needed in managerial roles and professional occupations.