– Artist Sharon Baker, 45, made a life-size model of her own body entirely out of bread for an exhibition in London’s Docklands last weekend. The 5ft 3in model weighed 36 kilos before it was baked at Brooklands College, Weybridge.- Edwards Bakery in Wigan sold blue and white pies ahead of Wigan FC’s Carling Cup Final against Mancheser United in its four shops last weekend. The traditional recipe included beef, potatoes, ham, turkey, carrot, and football-shaped onions for the pie, with blue pastry lid, created by using food dye. The bakery also made blue and white gingerbread men. The final score was 4-0 against Wigan.- Machinery manufacturer Polin is supplied through Brook Food, which is based in Minehead, Somerset, and not Farnham, as printed in last week’s edition. Brook is the sole UK agent for Polin in the UK and Ireland.- The Chancelor will give his Budget speech to Parliament on Wednesday March 22- Patisserie Valerie is to open its 12th shopby Easter, branded Valerie’s Tearoom, in London’s West End. Director Enzo Scalzo said a further two outlets will open in London in 2006.- Stoke-on-Trent bakery Traditional Oatcakes has taken orders from as far afield as Australia and the USA after putting the mixture for the oatcakes on sale on its website.
Managing director David Sanger of Rollover (Slough, Bucks) comments: “Hot dogs were reputedly invented in Germany but they have become an American institution and are an essential part of any US-themed event or promotion. “Hot dogs are one of the top food-on-the-go snacks and Rollover is a leading player in the category. If bakers are planning a US promotion it makes sense to include Rollover hot dogs and call on the best in the business.”Rollover offers an extensive range of top quality German Bockwurst sausages in six sizes. The 38g Large Size and 26g Party Size canned hot dogs boast a two year shelf life, while ambient pouched hot dogs with a six month shelf life are offered in 90g Jumbo, 72g Super Size, 50g King Size and 50g Chicken King Size. Rollover Hot Dogs are pre-cooked and require heating before serving.
Northern Irish baker Irwin’s has been awarded funding from the Irish Central Border Area Network (ICBAN) to develop its range of “smart breads”.Irwin’s intends to use the new £28,000 grant to develop breads aimed at tackling a range of health issues in Northern Ireland. MD Brian Irwin said the baker has already achieved a number of UK and Ireland industry firsts with functional breads – including folic acid fortified breads, added-calcium children’s products, reduced salt breads and, most recently, a low-Glycaemic Index white loaf, with a GI ranking of 39.“With the help of the ICBAN award, we are now aiming to take our capabilities in this area even further – by creating more breads capable of addressing other specific health concerns prevalent here, such as heart disease, in a much more targeted and impactful way,” said Mr Irwin.The ICBAN bursary was made possible through Euro-pean Union funding.
Sugar prices are expected to fall further in 2007, according to the International Sugar Organization’s monthly market report on the world sugar market. However, it said sugar commodities in January were in line with expectations.The report said that world raw sugar prices were expected to continue to fall because of a global glut in 2006/07. The price decreased from 11.42 cents/lb at the beginning of the month to a four-month low of 10.66 cents/lb on 30 January. The monthly average was 10.95 cents/lb, the lowest monthly average since September 2005, according to the report.White sugar values in the second half of the month partly recovered and consolidated at around 15 cents/lb, which resulted in a monthly average of 14.96 cents/lb, down 5% from the previous month.The report said that, in 2007, sugar output in India, the world’s second-largest producer, will hit a new record high and that India alone is providing world production with an additional two to three million tonnes.Sugar production is also expected to grow in Thailand, according to the Thai Sugar Millers Group. China, the world’s third-largest producer, is also heading to a record crop of above 11 million tonnes, compared to less than nine million in the previous season.Brazil’s exports have slowed down, but still remained significantly higher than in the previous crop year and Australia’s raw cane sugar industry is struggling to make a recovery from cyclone and flood damage.
Bread consumption continues to fall, but more consumers are choo-sing branded products, premium loaves and speciality breads, says a new Mintel Bread report.The report shows the decline in bread sales has accelerated (-14% since 2001) to 1.8 million tonnes, while the market grew 14% in value, or 9% in real terms, to £2.1bn in 2006. Mintel forecasts slower volume decline by 2011 of about 9%, while it predicts that the category will grow in value by 11% in the next five years, to reach £2.4bn.This will be fuelled by a continued rise in the popularity of premium bread products and a decline in economy and standard bread.The success of the premium over the standard loaf has bene-fited branded manufacturers as it has helped reduce own-label domination of the sliced bread market, Mintel says.The growth in consumer demand for premium and speciality products still has momentum and NPD in this area has the potential to add value to the market, says Mintel. But increasing costs and product price rises may curtail demand.Price rises in wheat flour – and energy in particular – are being passed onto consumers and Defra estimates that the price of bread-making wheat rose by 10.7% during the 12 months to August 2006. At current prices, the average retail price paid per kilogram of bread has increased by 34% over five years, the report says.Mintel has predicted an even more competitive 2007 between the three leading producers, with Allied Bakeries planning a return to strength of the Kingsmill brand and, potentially, more activity from own-label. This is likely to be fought with NPD and promotions, and could have an effect on prices.Meanwhile, the issue of adding folic acid to loaves is set to remain a hot topic as some bakeries fear that export sales may be affected if they are forced to fortify flour, says the report. The Food Standards Agency will make its recommendation in May.
All are invited to a visit to wholesaler Bako London’s Wimbledon premises, organised by London Region of the National Association of Master Bakers (NA), LASER.Taking place on 12 September, from 2pm, it is described as a “stick your nose where it’s wanted” day, and will start with lunch followed by a tour of Bako’s warehouse.The event is part of a series of functions arranged by the region in the run-up to Christmas. On 27 October, it will hold its annual dinner and dance at the Landmark Hotel in Marylebone, London. And on 14 November at its annual meeting in London, Chris Dabner of the NA will present an update on legislation affecting bakers.
Rising interest rates are a blessing in disguise for bakery businesses, according to Plimsoll’s latest research into the UK bakery market.With more than a quarter of bakery companies in more debt than ever, rising rates could act as a useful “wake-up call”, said David Pattison, senior analyst at Plimsoll.Many bakeries “have been enticed by low interest rates” and the “lure of easy debt secured on rapidly rising property prices, and so have been able to cover up flaws in their business strategies – effectively buying time”, said the report. If they reduce their level of debt and streamline their business models, they may have a future, it said. The report advises struggling companies to take action now before further rises are announced.Rising rates should help bring stability to the UK bakery market, according to Pattison.Plimsoll comprises experts in industry analysis, which help companies to understand their performances and that of their competitors.
Family baker Braces is offering charities, schools and community groups across the south and south-west of England donations to mark its 106th birthday. The Bread for the Community Birthday Fund is offering local organisations, who are unable to benefit from large national funding sources, the chance to apply for a “dough-nation” of £106. Requests for sponsorship must meet a specific need or be used to complete a particular project and not simply go into general funds.Michelle Hughes, head of communications at the bakery based in Newport, Gwent, said: “As a family business, we are dedicated to supporting the community in any way we can. Our birthday community fund has been a successful initiative so far but we would like to see more applications from the south and south-west of England, as we want to spread the funds across our whole distribution area.”To apply for the Bread for the Community Birthday Fund visit www.bracesbakery.co.uk
Upmarket cake shop and café chain Konditor & Cook has opened its sixth outlet near London’s Southbank. Located on Stamford Street, the shop’s layout is inspired by “a new take on the domestic kitchen”, which has been designed to showcase its best-known cakes and savouries.Personalised wedding cake consultations will take place at the shop, and a spokesperson for the firm confirmed that there are still plans in the pipeline to also run baking classes.The shop was designed by architect Kevin Allsop, and aims to create a friendly atmosphere where the division between customers and staff is broken down. There are no counters separating staff and customers and the hob, sink and kitchen paraphernalia is on full view. Owner Gerhard Jenne, who came up with the idea for the shop, said: “People who work from home have access to their kitchens, but need a home office, while those who work in offices also need the relaxed ambience of a domestic kitchen for a good chin-wag and to get their creative juices flowing.”
Global bakery products supplier CSM has reached an agreement to acquire US bakery manufacturer Best Brands for a cash consideration of $510m.The takeover of Best Brands, one of the largest premium bakery manufacturers in the US, would make CSM the “undisputed market leader in the North American bakery supplies market”, according to the firm, with total sales in excess of $2.3bn.The firm said the deal would help strengthen its position in the in-store bakery market a sector it has targeted for future growth.”The acquisition of Best Brands fits our strategic journey, which started in 2005,” said CSM CEO Gerard Hoetmer. “This acquisition will strengthen our ability to deliver organic growth in the North American market, in particular, as we leverage opportunities to grow the in-store and out-of-home markets.”Best Brands achieved sales of $538m in 2009, with around 75% of sales from the in-store arm of its business. Its product portfolio includes laminated dough, cakes, muffins, fillings and mixes. In addition to in-store bakeries, it supplies to foodservice, retail and wholesale customers.The transaction is expected to be completed in March 2010.