The leading 20 companies in the UK baking industry are strenghtening their grip on the market, according to a new survey from Plimsoll Publishing. In the last four years they have increased sales by 50%, improved profits by a massive 150% and raised staff levels by 28%, it says.The leading 100 companies now account for 92% of the market by turnover, up from 87% four years ago, according to the report. However, within the 100, it is only the top 20 that are poised for growth.In contrast, Plimsoll senior analyst David Pattison believes 60 firms have their work cut out to get their principal business on a firm financial footing, while 20 companies are facing financial distress where the safest option would be a period of consolidation. And that consolidation could cost up to 4,600 job losses, says Pattison.These 80 businesses have increased sales by only 13% in the last four years. In that period profits have fallen 1% and staff numbers remained flat. Plimsoll’s top 20 is seen as primed for further growth, with the potential to put market share well beyond current performance.
Dawn Foods (Evesham, Worcs) has produced a range of part-finished sheet cakes that can be thawed, finished and partitioned, allowing bakers to make their own mark on the finished product. The new sheet cakes are available in two flavours – carrot cake and chocolate brownie – and can be used as celebration cakes as well as cake portions. The cakes enable bakers to produce a range of sweet bakery treats from just one product without adding to the complexity of their production schedule, as they only require finishing and decorating. The chocolate brownie sheet cake is packed with chocolate chunks, while the traditional carrot cake contains carrots, raisins and aromatic carrot cake spices and has a moist close crumb.
“There’s no doubt about it. People’s views of packaging are changing,” says Mark Barthel (left), special advisor on retail innovation for the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), which aims to reduce packaging and food waste, and encourage recycling.”As retailers, bakers and their customers become increasingly aware of their environmental footprint, the economic and environmental opportunities presented by packaging innovation are becoming increasingly apparent.”He continues: “Packaging optimisation – the process of designing out unnecessary materials – is one area of focus. Less materials mean lower material costs, less packaging for customers to dispose of and the saving of precious space in landfill sites. Often, it also reduces energy consumption. Not surprisingly, interest in packaging optimisation is gathering pace, as more retailers commit themselves to packaging reduction targets.”WRAP’s retail team was formed to work with the industry to reduce the amount of packaging and food waste that ends up in household bins.The Courtauld Commitment, made with food manufacturers and larger bakery producers, seeks to reduce the 6.2 million tonnes of food thrown away by UK homes each year. In late 2006, Northern Foods joined up to the agreement.”Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the impact that their lifestyle choices and purchasing decisions have on the environment and are looking to the products they buy to help them reduce their environmental footprint,” added Barthel.
Cereform’s (Northampton) new “fruity” muffins include Rhubarb and Custard and Fruit Salad. They are made using natural flavours, while trans fats and hydrogenated fats have been eliminated.At the same time, Cereform has introduced another new muffin recipe at the opposite end of the spectrum, the Montana dark chocolate muffin. This can be spiced up with the addition of a small amount of chilli, suggests the company.
Marks & Spencer is trialling a new bakery format in the shadow of the new Whole Foods Market superstore, in Kensington, London.The new-look ’Bakery & Patisserie’ department is among a number of innovations at its Kensington foodhall. It has a visible bake-off area behind a long chiller cabinet. A range of specialist loaves, such as sultana and hazelnut or five-seed golden wholemeal, are offered, under the slogan ’The art of baking …taste the extra time and care we take’. There is also a racked section dedicated to organic breads, as well as the standard plant range.The bakery and patisserie range includes chilled cakes and tarts, for example strawberry tiramisu for £6.99 and specialist patisserie. Fresh cream lines, such as fresh fruit individual pavlova at £1.75, are offered.
Convenience foods specialist Greencore Group is selling its 50% shareholding in Irish miller the Odlum Group to Origin Enterprises, giving Origin total control.Subject to Competition Authority approval, Greencore will receive a cash payment of €35m (£23.5m) from Origin on completion. Origin will assume the portion of outstanding Odlums’ net debt, currently attributable to Greencore (approximately €10m [£6.7m]). The sale will generate an exceptional profit of about €23m (£15.5m) for Greencore.David Dilger, Greencore chief executive, said: “The sale comes at a time when Odlums is embarking on a programme of mill modernisation. The disposal will enable Greencore to concentrate on development.”
The method of making savoury snacks by folding the corners of a square of puff pastry over towards the centre of the filling is well-liked by the smaller baker. Two bakers have reported that the filling for a tomato tart sells well with this, is cheap and easy to make and produces good profits.Ingredients / %Ripe tomatoes and/or tinned tomatoes in juice in whatever proportions you wish / 100Sugar / 5Onion / 10Olive oil and herbs of your choice Sausage roll alternativesSausage rolls are one of the best-selling savouries, but attempts to put anything other than pork sausage into them are less than inspired. So why not try these? Method1. Cook over a low heat until reduced by at least 50%.2. Adjust the taste with salt, sugar and a little vinegar.3. When cold, spread on a puff pastry base, top with centre-cut slices of fresh tomato and bake in a hot oven. The trimmings from the tomatoes go into the conserve. Chicken and corianderIngredients / Amount / %Dry white bread / 120g / 9Single cream / 120ml / 9(Or a mix of whipping cream and milk or vegetable cream)Melted butter / 100g / 7Salt / 20g / 1White pepper / 5g / 0.3Fresh coriander or Porter’s fresh coriander in oil / 200g / 1Minced chicken / 1kg / 73 MethodBeat the bread and cream to a soft paste and blend with the other ingredients. This should be like a soft pork sausage roll filling, so adjust with fine breadcrumbs or milk if needed. Minced beef or lamb with onions and curry seasoningIngredients / %Minced onion / 15Breadcrumbs / 10Whipping cream or meat stock / 10Minced meat / 65Curry paste to taste with a little salt and pepper.
The Finsbury Food Group has strengthened its operations in the ‘free-from gluten’ market with the £8.9 million acquisition of Yorkshire Farm Bakery (YFB) and A&P Foods. YFB is a major manufacturer of gluten-free breads as well as rolls and cakes and is located on a freehold site in Hull. A&P shares the same site and produces gluten-free premixes for YFB, as well as United Central Bakeries, also part of the Finsbury Group.Both businesses have been acquired by Finsbury from the Arnett family, three of whom will remain involved. Finsbury has created a new trading company, Livwell, and £4.8m will be paid on completion, with the remainder payable in stages, with a final payment of £2.5m in July 2010. Finsbury group, chief executive Dave Brooks told British Baker: “Yorkshire Farm is the biggest UK supplier of free-from with sales approaching £10m in the UK gluten-free market so this is an excellent opportunity.”In a statement issued by the company Brooks said: “The UK retail market offers huge scope for growth, as more and more consumers choose a wheat-free diet, and the UK medical prescription market brings new opportunities.“There is significant scope to develop a stronger export business, as awareness grows in Europe. These businesses fit our acquisition criteria and are further evidence of our confidence in our market positioning and trading performance.”The Arnett family was among several entrepreneurs to sell to listed companies and therefore avoid punitive capital gains tax rates. CGT taper relief was replaced at the start of the financial year by a flat rate of 18%. Combined YFB and A&P sales in the year ended March 2007 were £7.3m, with forecast sales for this year expected to be no less than £8.5m. The acquired net assets are valued at £3.66m.
Tyrrell’s Potato Chips has launched a seasonal variety – Garden Herbs. The launch blends four classic herbs – basil, thyme, rosemary and oregano – to give “delicately balanced yet flavoursome” crisps.Tyrrells is also releasing regular seasonal favourite Summer Barbecue in time for the warmer weather.Tyrrells grows its own potatoes and turns them into crisps at its farm in Herefordshire. The crisps are packed in a 150g bag.[http://www.tyrrellspotatochips.co.uk]Darling Spuds has launched Sour Cream with a hint of Mexican Chilli crisps. The crisps are the fifth flavour in the range which also includes Sea Salt; Sea Salt and Modena Balsamic Vinegar; West Country Cheddar, Leek and Pink Peppercorns and Fire Roasted Jalapeño.RRP: 65p[http://www.darlingspuds.co.uk]== Cookies with a conscience ==BakeMark UK is extending its Better For You Cookie range with the introduction of two new variants. Launching this month, Strawberry & Yoghurt and Chocolate & Orange cookies have 65% less saturated fat than a standard milk chocolate cookie, have added fibre and 22% fewer calories. They are available in a bake-off format for retailers and foodservice outlets.The company has also added a range of American-style muffins to its bake-off range.RRP: n/a[http://www.bakemark.co.uk]== Pringles adds pocket pitch ==Procter & Gamble is rolling out two products this month – Pringles Pocket Pack and Pringles Rice Infusions Bite Size – to take advantage of the single-serve market. Rice Infusions Bite Size will be available in Cheese & Onion and Sweet BBQ Spare Rib flavours. The Pocket Pack will be launched in Original and Sour Cream & Onion flavours and promoted with a multimedia marketing campaign.RRP: 37p[http://www.pringles.co.uk]Paterson Arran has launched five new “dunking” bars under the Café Brontë has launched Ginger Snap, Fruit Shrewsbury, Oat & Raisin, Choc Chip & Orange and Double Choc Chip. Each 30g Dunking Bar comes individually wrapped in distinctive black packaging, with a clear window showcasing the product’s home-baked appeal.The bars are baked to a unique recipe and are GM-free. They are made from nut-free recipes and are suitable for vegetarians. They are available in mixed cases of 30 bars of each variety. The Café Brontë range is now available across the UK.RRP: n/a[http://www.paterson-arran.com]—-=== Campaigns ===== Our round-up of the latest ad campaigns, from Kit Kat to Cadbury ==== Kit Kat gets girly ==Kit Kat has hooked up with five-strong girl group Girls Aloud to promote its Senses chocolate bar. The link-up will see the band front a TV and print ad campaign for the wafer and praline chocolate bar. The campaign will include a full marketing programme including headline sponsorship of Girls Aloud’s Tangled Up tour in May and June.== Sporty move for Highland Spring ==Bottled water producer Highland Spring has teamed up with games giant Nintendo and tennis sensation Andy Murray to launch an on-pack promotion. From May 2008, consumers will have the chance to win Nintendo Wii games consoles, as well as join the tennis professional Andy Murray, for a Nintendo Wii tennis match in Roehampton.== Cadbury’s really trucking ==Cadbury has unveiled its latest ad campaign for Dairy Milk. Airport Trucks – the follow-up to the drumming gorilla – tells the story of the first-ever airport truck race in history. Queen’s anthem, Don’t Stop Me Now, accompanies the ad. Cadbury’s marketing director Phil Rumbol said: “The production is set to make unlikely stars out of the humble airport trucks.”
The ancient concept of leavened dough dates back at least to the Egyptians, writes consultant baker Wayne Caddy.Throughout the centuries, the craft of fermentation has developed into a science and ultimately into a convenience to reflect our busy lifestyles.Today, the majority of commercially produced breads are derived from straight dough, which requires considerably less fermentation. The result is less flavour.This campagne recipe is based on a long fermentation. I use the recipe for students through my training workshops. The great thing about the recipe is the simplicity and depth of flavour gained through the long fermentation.A student that had never made bread before made the Campagne baguettes in the picture.Campagne Recipe (Makes 20)French T65 flour2,400gDoves Farm rye flour300gMarriages manitoba flour300gSalt60gFresh yeast12gLight malt flour30gWater1,800gTotal4,902gMethod Weigh ingredients accurately and place into mixer. Develop dough on a spiral mixer on slow speed only for at least eight minutes. Dough temperature around 22ºC Place into a lightly oiled lidded container and refrigerate for at least 24 hours Remove the dough container and allow to recover at ambient for at least two hours Tip the dough onto a workbench and hand divide to 240g. Allow to rest for at least 10 minutes The dough is then rolled into a cylindrical shape with intensely tapered edges (350mm length) Make sure to give the proving tray a good dusting of cornmeal or rice cones before setting baguette on the tray. This will allow for easy transfer from the peel to the oven when proved Place in the prover at 22ºC, relative humidity 65% for at least 40 minutes or until fully proved Using a knife or razor cut three to four diagonal scores Transfer to a baker’s peel and place directly on the stone sole of the oven. Add a little steam. Bake temperature 230ºC for 18-20 minutes. Open the damper after 12 minutes.Useful linkswww.fwpmatthews.co.uk www.marriagesmillers.co.ukwww.dovesfarm.co.ukwww.muntons.comFor further information or bespoke training, contact Wayne Caddy, The Essential [email protected]