Consolidation is inevitable as costs rise, says Cooks chief

first_imgThere will soon be significant consolidation in the bakery sector, the chairman of the UK’s third largest retail bakery chain has predicted.Cooks’ chairman Geoff Peppiatt said that bakers’ rising costs and falling profit margins meant that consolidation in the sector could not be avoided.”It is something that needs to be done. No one can continue without fundamentally changing what they do,” he warned. “I would expect this industry to look very different to how it does now in 12 months’ time.”Peppiatt claimed that depression in the market meant that major investments could not be justified and that firms that both baked and ran shops were not viable.”It is likely to mean the separation of manufacturing and retailing. I doubt whether a vertically-integrated model would survive,” he suggested.Peppiatt said that Cooks (formerly Three Cooks), which does not manufacture, but only sells, was unlikely to try to buy any bakery manufacturing operations.Cooks has around 180 shops in the UK and is third in size behind Greggs and Lyndale Foodslast_img read more

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News round up 2007

first_imgJanuaryl With 1,327 shops, bakery giant Greggs dwarfs its rivals on the high street, both in the takeaway and fast food sectors, topping British Baker’s first Top 50 Bakery Retailers league table.l Private equity firm Vision Capital’s purchase of the assets of Northern Foods’ bakery businesses is approved by shareholders.l Pies and malt loaf baker Oakdale Bakeries, with sites in Doncaster and Wigan, calls in administrators. It is sold to Bakesense in March.l Supermarket bread on sale in London is cheaper than bread on sale in Cairo, Bangkok, Beijing and Manchester, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit. A standard loaf cost 61p/kg in London, ranking 114th out of the 130 cities in the survey.—-=== December ===l Sainsbury’s strikes a unique deal to supply its 360 in-store bakeries with traceable British flour, as part of an initiative to become what it calls “the best baker in town”.l Convenience foods specialist Greencore Group becomes the latest bakery supplier to complain that the unseasonal summer weather and raw material cost inflation have hit its profits in 2007.—-=== November ===l French-based yeast group Lesaffre acquires yeast company GB Ingredients and sister business BFP Wholesale for an undisclosed sum.l Maple Leaf Bakery UK buys Bernard Matthew’s bakery in Dunstable, Bedfordshire.European Bakeries (UK) goes into liquidation as the landlord of its London bakery calls in the bailiffs over unpaid rent.l Speculation mounts that Allied Bakeries is to be sold by parent Associated British Foods, after ABF says it has underperformed over the year.l Celebrity gardener Diarmuid Gavin stars in the latest Morrisons advert, promoting the retailer’s bread and in-store bakeries.—-=== October ===Finsbury Food Group acquires Weight Watchers low-fat cake manufacturer Anthony Alan Foods.l Supermarket Morrisons acquires the whole of the Rathbone Kear plant bakery business, buying out bakery entrepreneur Harry Kear’s 20% stake.l Chester-based P&A Davies scoops the Richemont Club 2007 Trophy at the Club’s annual competition, held at Bakers’ Fair North West. Pictured are judges Steve Gibbons and Kevin Rusden from Milling & Baking, looking at savouries—-=== August ===l Millers and bakers are reported to be going through “hair-tearing” times as wheat and commodity prices soar, including dairy and fats.l The Dutch group CSM, owner of BakeMark UK, acquires Kate’s Cakes for £20.5m plus £12m debt.l Maple Leaf Bakery UK adds to its growing UK empire with the £18.75m acquisition of premium breads supplier La Fornaia.l Sandwich chain Subway hits the 1,000 outlet milestone in the UK and Ireland, moving towards a target of having 2,010 outlets by 2010.Tesco launches its first range of breads with no artificial additives, using long fermentation.—-=== June ===l Cake giant Inter Link suspends trading of its shares on the AIM, following an initial decision by McCambridge to withdraw an offer to buy the company. With £63m debts, shares, once traded at 770p each, were worthless.l European Bakeries, which supplies Aldi and Compass, goes into administration.l Cooplands of Scarborough buys Skeltons from administration in a deal that almost doubles its estate from 43 to 77 shops.Skoda creates a tasty motor, a full-sized replica of its Fabia, made out of cake and confectionery.l Druckers Vienna Patisserie joins forces with Patisserie Valerie after Luke Johnson buys the 42-strong Druckers chain for about £20m.—-=== May ===l Allied Bakeries restructures its UK mainland business into eight regional business units to improve service levels and efficiency.l The Food Standards Agency (FSA) decides to recommend mandatory fortification of baked goods with folic acid, either at the flour or bread stage to ministers, in a bid to reduce birth defects caused by its deficiency in expectant mothers. The FSA is reviewing the situation.l Bread sales go up in value across the board over the last year, apart from the white in-store bakery sector, TNS Worldpanel data reveals. It announces that total bread sales were worth £1.43bn in the year to 25 February 2007, a growth in value of 9% on the previous year.—-=== March ===l Ainsleys of Leeds wins its long-running legal battle over VAT payments on its ciabatta melts and other fresh-baked products, after a High Court appeal is dropped by HM Revenue & Customs.l Hull-based Skeltons, which has 43 shops, calls in administrators on March 27, blaming supermarket competition and a recent significant increase in energy costs.l The bread and bakery products market sees its best year of sales growth in four years in 2006, according to the KeyNote 2007 report. The bread and bakery products market is worth £3.27bn at retail selling prices in 2006, up by 3.1% on 2005.—-=== February ===l Finsbury Food Group buys Lightbody Celebration Cakes, making it the leading player in the premium cakes sector.Premier Foods’ £1.2 billion purchase of RHM is cleared, creating Britain’s biggest food producer and bringing together brands such as Branston Pickle, Hovis bread and Mr Kipling cakes.l Allied Bakeries reveals plans for the “UK’s biggest-ever bakery relaunch” as a £40m turnaround plan gets under way.l A corporate recovery firm makes an asset purchase of Welsh firm Ferrari’s Bakery.—-=== September ===l Premier Foods reveals that profits have halved in its bakery division in the six months to June 30.John Waterfield scoops the prestigious Baker of the Year at the Baking Industry Awards and John Gillespie (pictured with Joanna Lumley) takes the British Baker Special Award.l Country Style Foods buys the former RHM frozen desserts factory in Flint, Wales, from Premier Foods.l Plant bakers report wastage levels between 5% and 20%, due to a poor UK harvest.l New data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveals a 2.3% decline in the number of bakery manufacturers over the last year, while the number of bakery retailers grew slightly.—-=== July ===l Irish bakery group McCambridge buys cake company Inter Link.l Bakesense Bakeries, formerly Oakdale Bakeries, goes into administration for the second time in the year. Administrators fail to find a buyer and 200 jobs are lost.l Flooding hits Gloucestershire businesses badly, amid scenes of panic-buying.—-=== April ===l Asda says its fresh bakery sales are up, following a high-profile advertising campaign, featuring actress and comedienne Victoria Wood (pictured).l MPs start a campaign in Westminster to exclude the UK from EU moves to abolish standard-size British bread loaves.l Sandwich supplier Brambles Foods is sold to Adelie Food Holdings for £22m.last_img read more

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Road closure hits sales

first_imgA North Hampshire baker is planning to seek compensation from Thames Water because the closure of the main road through his village is costing his business £400 a day.Simon Smart, who runs the Bramley Village Bakery with his wife Tracey, said the road closure to install a new underground sewerage system had started in November and was due to last 10 weeks.He told British Baker: “It’s been horrendous. They have shut off half the village, sending people on 15-mile diversions. We are not getting the passing trade and we reckon it’s cut sales by 40%.”The bakery normally sells between up to 500 Christmas cakes over the festive period, but sold only 120 this year. Sales of mince pies fell from 18,000 to 12,000.Smart said he would seek compensation but had noted in the small print of the form that it would be “down to Thames Water’s discretion”.last_img read more

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Tesco: own-label revamp

first_imgTesco has revamped its bakery packaging and displays. The new look, which is being rolled out to stores from this week, covers packaging and point of sale and in-store fixtures and fittings.The revamp will more clearly differentiate Tesco’s standard range from its more expensive products. It will not affect Tesco’s Finest range. Point-of-sale material will communicate the expertise of Tesco’s in-store bakers.last_img

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Apple boost from RDA

first_imgOrganic drinks producer RDA Organic has launched a new range of ’fresh functional superfruit’ drinks.Available in Acai berry, Blackcurrant & Evesse Apple and Blueberry & Evesse Apple, the organic fruit content has been chosen for its high content of vitamins and minerals, as well as its high levels of antioxidants and polyphenols.Each 250ml bottle contains at least one portion of the recommended amount of fruit a day, and also contains the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C.RDA Organic is the first brand globally to use Evesse organic apples, grown in Herefordshire. It has agreed a brand partnership with the growers for the next two years.The RDA product range contains no added sugar, water, preservatives or concentrates, and only uses 100% organic fruit certified by the Soil Association.The new superfruit range is available in Waitrose and Ocado.com and various independent chains.RRP: £1.19 – £2.19[http://www.rdaorganic.com]last_img read more

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Mecaplastic seals deal

first_imgwww.mecaplastic.com Mecaplastic offers a range of sandwich filling and sealing machines, enabling businesses to select the right capacity for their requirements.Size adjustments can also be made on Mecaplastic cardboard sandwich-pack filling machines simply and quickly. The Mecapack 470 and 700 models enable automatic simultaneous adjustment in just 30 seconds.The 470 model is a mid-range machine with a capacity of up to 80 packs per minute, whereas the 700 model has a capacity of up to 180 packs per minute. The machine also uses ’wide edge’ technology, so there are no unsightly white edges on the finished product.last_img read more

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Bakery veteran sets up nut-free cake company

first_imgFormer Avana Bakeries and Memory Lane Cakes MD Mike Woods has set up a new firm making nut-free celebration cakes.The Just Love Food Company, which began production at a 12,500sq ft factory near Black-wood in Wales this month, has already struck a 12-week exclusive deal with Sainsbury’s, which will see cakes in 200 Sainsbury’s stores UK-wide. The branded 7-inch hand-decorated cakes feature a monster or a princess design and will retail in the ambient cake aisle.After the exclusive period Just Love Food will be able to supply other retailers. It also plans to target foodservice markets, such as coffee shops and the health service, with individually wrapped nut-free products, such as cupcakes and brownies.Woods set up the company after struggling to find products on the market suitable for his two children with nut allergies. “One in 55 children has a nut allergy and the larger players find it hard to do nut-free, because their factories handle nuts. My wife and I found it particularly difficult when it came to sourcing birthday cakes, as all supermarket birthday cakes carry warnings that make the products ’not suitable for nut allergy sufferers’,” he said.The business was set up with the help of £150,000 funding from the Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme, secured by Natwest. It also secured £250,000 from Finance Wales, which provides commercial funding for Welsh businesses.Woods said he looked at 32 different bakery sites before settling on the unit near Blackwood. “One of our key requirements was securing a site that had never handled nuts. We looked at some factories that were kitted out for our requirements, but we couldn’t guarantee they had never handled nuts, so we went for a unit that was only five years old and was previously used for storage of non-food items.”last_img read more

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Letter

first_imgFollowing the article in 16 July BB, on organic certification, you either are baking organic, or you are not. It is too easy to make the statement, “we are organic”, but a lot less easy to produce the tedious paperwork, follow the strict procedures and have the discipline required to be certified organic.We started in 2001 with the Soil Association, which we found hopelessly bureaucratic at least in those days. So we switched to the Organic Food Federation and have not looked back. We think the Soil Association’s percentage of turnover fee is anachronistic. We just want them to certify our product. We believe it’s tantamount to the school that gave me my pastry chef diploma then demanding a percentage of my future earnings.Yes, it is a lot of work to be certified organic. Yes, it is time-consuming, but that is simply necessary in order to give the consumer the audited knowledge that there are no nasty pesticide residues, GM ingredients or dodgy chemicals in our products. We would not like organic standards diluted. For us it is worth it, as we believe in the benefits of organics. If you don’t have that belief, and are thinking of doing it just as a marketing gimmick, forget about it you’ll lose the will to live halfway through.Lise Madsen, MD and founder,Honeyrose Bakerylast_img read more

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In Short

first_imgRise for biscuitsSales of biscuits, cookies and crackers has risen by 22% over the past five years to reach a value of £2.2bn last year, according to a new report from Mintel. The research firm predicted the sweet biscuit market would reach £1.9bn in 2011and £2.2bn by 2015.Bako’s challengeBako North Western is to host its second Bakery Challenge on 2 June 2011. Bako NW has also decided to devote an extra day of judging to ’Bakers of the Future’. Bakery students from surrounding colleges have been asked to submit their entries for the Battenberg and Innovation categories. For details, visit www.bakonw.co.uk.Emissions targetThe government’s Department of Energy and Climate Change has proposed a fourth carbon budget, which calls for emissions to be cut by 50% by 2025. Food and Drink Federation director of sustainability Andrew Kuyk said the key to going further with energy reductions will lie in energy market reforms and other electricity supply measures yet to be announced.Couture cake lineLondon-based The Little Venice Cake Company has launched a ’Runway Collection 2011’ range of cakes, including: Gold Leaf Rock and Couture Rose, Firenze White, Painting the Roses Red, Vintage Pearl Rose, and Marilyn designs.last_img read more

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Media reports mislead shoppers over bread price

first_imgHeadline-grabbing government statistics showing bread inflation at nearly 6% do not reflect the real price of a loaf, which has barely risen in the past year despite a massive increase in wheat costs.The Office for National Statistics reported that, year-on-year, bread and cereals inflation stood at 5.8% in May and 6.9% in April statistics that sparked newspaper stories on ’soaring bread prices’.But the price of a white sliced loaf in London increased by just 1% in the year to March, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Cost of Living Survey, while Kantar Worldpanel said total bread prices had increased just 2% during the same period.The discrepancy is due to ONS data covering products beyond bread, including cakes, biscuits, breakfast cereals and pasta. It also does not cover ’two for one’ or ’two for £2’ promotions, even though these have been a key supermarket sales tool in the past year.According to analysts Assosia, the number of bread promotions in supermarkets increased by 40% from 2009/10 to 2010/11, with consumers on average achieving a 29% discount. Meanwhile Hovis’ parent company Premier Foods said that across all grocery categories, 33% of products were bought on promotion during 2010.”There’s a disconnect between what the ONS figures say and what the punter is actually paying for a loaf,” said Edward Garner, communications director at Kantar. “Promotions have been increasing over time, so there’s a gap developing.”Gordon Polson, director of the Federation of Bakers, backed up the view. “Newspaper articles might single out a single product say a baguette that has gone up by 25% but my personal reading of the situation is that, overall, we haven’t seen big price rises.”With bread prices flat and the cost of wheat increasing by over 70% in the past year, the bakery supply chain has found its margins coming under extreme pressure. Meanwhile, total value sales for bread across wrapped and ISB loaves fell by 1.7% in the 52 weeks to 15 May with volumes unchanged (Kantar Worldpanel). Genuine price increases seem likely if, as expected, this year’s harvest is below average and the price of wheat remains high.last_img read more

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