(near Newquay, Cornwall) has rolled out seasonal items, including: a turkey and cranberry pasty, complete with sage and onion stuffing; a hand-raised pork and cranberry pie, made with hot water pastry; and an apple and mincemeat pasty. All three joined Crantock’s existing range of 26 pasties, from traditional Cornish to beef madras.Managing director Nick Ringer said: “Our seasonal specials offer variety to customers and they appreciate the effort we make to change the menu.”
A new report sets out to highlight what it calls “bully-boy tactics” used by some of the supermarkets when dealing with suppliers.Published last week, the research carried out by Grant Thornton, financial and business advisers, claims that eight out of 10 UK food suppliers, including bakery suppliers, expect to see more companies insolvent during rest of this year.Half of these put the blame on supermarkets because of price pressure, excessive power, de-listing or the refusal to re-negotiate prices in light of higher costs.”Failure to act will result in more sector failures,” said Duncan Swift of Grant Thornton’s Food Agribusiness Recovery Group.The report surveyed company directors in the food supply chain. It showed that 64% of suppliers operate without formal contract terms with supermarkets.
Campden & Chorleywood Food Research Association (CCFRA) and Brewing Research Inter-national (BRI) have merged to form Campden BRI, a combined resource for the food and drink industry.The merger brings together 380 staff, and offers a wide range of research and development, technical services, analysis and training activities to the sector.”All clients will benefit from the complementary skills, knowledge and facilities that this merger brings together,” commented Professor Colin Dennis, Campden BRI’s director general. “BRI members will benefit from the breadth of CCFRA’s activities including hygiene, microbiology, chemistry and packaging technology. CCFRA members will benefit from the expertise and facilities that BRI holds in the science and technology of alcoholic drinks.”Its combined business now consists of an extensive food process hall and pilot plant, state-of-the-art laboratories, purpose-built consumer and sensory science facilities and dedicated training and conference facilities.
Ailing US wholesale bread and cake distributor Interstate Bakeries is radically revamping its range to focus on ’natural’ products. The firm, alongside eight of its subsidiaries, recently saved 22,000 jobs after successful financial reorganisation, following over four years in bankruptcy. Based in Missouri, Interstate produces popular American brands such as Hostess Twinkies and Wonder Bread.The new national brand of all-natural breads will be called Nature’s Pride. The bread contains no artificial flavours or colours, no high fructose corn syrup, trans fats or artificial preservatives. It is the company’s first complete line of bread products to be introduced in several years. CEO Craig Jung said it “marks a new beginning” for the company.
Savoury pastry company Pork Farms has decided to discontinue its relationship with Kerry Foods Direct To Store (KFDTS), in a move to build its business through the wholesale and independent network. In support of the brand, Pork Farms is also planning a £2m marketing push this year.KFDTS delivers chilled food from its two national distribution centres in Manchester and Swindon, but the Nottingham-shire firm said its decision not to use the service “will allow retai-lers access to keener pricing and better margins” on its full range. This includes pork pies, sausage rolls, Scotch eggs and slices, which will now be available in Londis, Spar, Palmer & Harvey, Nisa and Andy Snax.Nigel White, general manager at Pork Farms, said: “The independent and wholesale channels are incredibly important to Pork Farms so it’s key that retailers can access our products easily and at great prices. This move also allows us to increase awareness of the brand to consumers alongside some high-profile marketing support this summer.”
== Case for investment == South Wales baking cases manufacturer Chelver plans to invest £150,000 in a bespoke cutting and forming machine, only a month after it was formed from a management buy-out. The new machine will enable it to produce higher quantities of baking cases from the current 600-strong range. == Frozen profits fall == Ready salted crisps are no longer the nation’s favourite flavour, as cheese & onion has now taken the top spot. The market for cheese & onion crisps is worth £256m, according to Mintel research, with sales having increased an impressive 15% in the last two years. == Costa sales up == Costa’s parent company, Whitbread has announced its results for the 50 weeks to 12 February 2009. The coffee chain’s like-for-like sales are up 2% on the previous year, with total sales up 22.1%. In this time, Costa also increased its total number of outlets in the UK by 204, and opened 151 shops internationally. Canada Bread’s frozen bakery division has seen profits fall almost 50%, despite an overall increase in sales for the year. Its frozen bakery division, including Maple Leaf Bakery UK, which owns the New York Bakery Co brand, saw adjusted operating earnings fall by 48.6% to $21.1m, from $41.1m in 2007. US bread prices riseAccording to Reuters (Chicago) news agency, bread prices in the US have risen by nearly 10% since last year. This is despite the cost of the wheat used having fallen 60% from a record high a year ago. Prices have reportedly levelled off in the last few months, but are not likely to fall significantly for the rest of this year. == Top crisp flavour ==
Bristol-based pie maker Pieminister is to launch ‘Big Pie Night’ – a pie menu solution which it claims can help pubs and bars achieve a gross profit of over 60%.The launch will coincide with British Pie Week (1-7 March 2010), and the firm will be giving away free pies, gravy, mash and peas to participating pubs to kick-start the new concept.Pieminister will also be working with participating pubs to promote Big Pie Night with marketing tools including point-of-sale and online promotion.The firm claims some of the benefits of running Big Pie Night as a regular feature include lower staff costs, total consistency and portion control, the need for minimal kitchen equipment, and minimal preparation time. To find out more contact Rachael Armstrong on 07738 087299 or email [email protected] * During British Pie Week, Pieminister will offer all participating pubs 24 pies (six different varieties), as well as 4kg mash, 2kg minty m’peas and 1 litre of gravy for free.
West Cornwall Pasty Co has given its customers the chance to buy its pasties in a frozen format to take away and bake at home. The move comes on the back of customer requests to be able to purchase the pasties to eat when they want.”For some time now, we have been inundated with customers asking for frozen pasties to take away and bake at home, so we’re delighted that this is now possible,” said chief executive Richard Nieto. “And to help keep the pasties frozen for much longer, we have introduced our specially designed insulated freezer bag.”The range of 20 pasties available from the retailer includes the traditional steak pasty, as well as lamb and mint, pork and apple, salmon, and chicken balti.Vegetarian options are also available, for example cheese, tomato and basil and wholemeal vegetable pasties.The pasties will be supplied with full baking instructions and will be available from all of West Cornwall’s 71 outlets.www.westcornwallpasty.co.uk
Robert Ditty took the title of Baker of the Year, sponsored by Vandemoortele at the 2011 Baking Industry Awards last night.This year’s Brazilian carnival-themed event, which took place at Park Lane Hilton, was hosted by well-known TV presenter Richard Madeley.Guests enjoyed a three-course dinner, with entertainment from cabaret act Brazilian Fantasy, before letting their hair down on the dance floor, where band The Real Thing played a selection of their hits, or else at the casino tables.For more on the event and a full list of the winners and finalists, with photos from the night, see the next issue of British Baker, out tomorrow (9 September).See below for a full list of the winners:LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARDWinner: Christopher Freeman, Dunn’s BakeryBAKER OF THE YEARWinner: Robert Ditty, Ditty’s Home BakeryBAKERY SUPPLIER OF THE YEARWinner: Unifine Food & Bake IngredientsCELEBRATION CAKE MAKER OF THE YEARWinner: Terry Tang, Terry Tang Designer CakesTHE CRAFT BUSINESS AWARDWinner: Barbakan DelicatessenCONFECTIONER OF THE YEARWinner: Ruth Hinks, Cocoa BlackTHE CUSTOMER FOCUS AWARDWinner: Monty’s BakehouseTHE INNOVATION AWARDWinner: Bachmanns Chocolate Christmas PuddingIN-STORE BAKERY OF THE YEARWinner: Morrisons, Wincheap, CanterburyTHE RISING STAR AWARDWinner: Mellissa Morgan, Ms. CupcakeSPECIALITY BREAD PRODUCT OF THE YEARWinner: Rosemary & Raisin Loaf, Bachmanns
New National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates have been announced by the government, after it accepted recommendations from the independent Low Pay Commission (LPC).Effective from 1 October 2012, the adult rate (21 years old and over) will increase by 11p to £6.19 an hour. The rates for apprentices have also increased, by 5p, to £2.65 an hour.Eighteen to 20-year-olds will remain at £4.98 an hour, and 16- to 17-year-olds will remain at £3.68 an hour.Vince Cable, business secretary, said: “I believe that the recommendations of the LPC strike the right balance between pay and jobs, and have therefore accepted all the rate recommendations. The LPC has done a good job in difficult circumstances.“In these tough times, freezing the youth rates has been a very hard decision – but raising the youth rates would have been of little value to young people if it meant it was harder for them to get a job in the long run.”