Dawn Foods (Evesham, Worcs) has developed a cake mix that is free of hydrogenated and trans fats. “This mix is great because it produces an old-fashioned traditional teatime cake, while offering bakers the choice of producing a whole range of other tasty treats,” says Dawn Foods’ marketing director Maggie Dagostino.Another addition to the company’s range is a low-fat and low-sodium concentrate to meet the needs of an increasingly health-conscious consumer, says the firm. Developed to make 97% fat-free products and with a sodium content of less than 300mg per 100g serving, the concentrate enables bakers to produce a range of muffins to appeal, in particular, to female customers. Adding flour, sugar and water produces a soft, moist, textured product, with none of the rubbery mouthfeel often associated with low-fat goods, says the company. However, other inclusions need to be fat free so as not to compromise the total fat content of the finished product.A new improved Madeira cake pre-mix is another new offering from Dawn Foods. The Bakers Select cake mix produces a cake with a buttery flavour and moist close crumb structure, says the company. It adds that the mix produces consistently even product with little waste from each batch.“It has also been developed to produce an increased volume, ensuring that the baker can scale a lower weight to achieve the same sized baked product,” says Dawn.The Madeira mix can be used for loaf cakes, slab cakes, fairy cakes and fondant fancies, as well as Madeira cakes. The mix can incorporate fruit and other inclusions.
The new Breakfast Selection from Bakehouse, supplier of breads and pastries for bake-off, is offering three continental favourites in one case – 16 All-butter Croissants, 10 Pain Chocolat and 10 Pain Raisin.All have been declared by Raymond Blanc as: “the best I have tasted outside my own kitchens”, according to the company.The products bake-off from frozen in 20 minutes, offering consumers instant choice. Kate Raison, marketing director at Bakehouse, says: “Bakehouse’s breakfast selection pack is currently the only mixed case of its kind on the market, and offers a convenient solution for retailers faced with the challenge of offering an appealing variety of freshly baked treats where freezer and kitchen space is limited.”She says that the selection has been designed to “reflect sales patterns, ensuring minimal wastage and maximum sales.”
Linx Printing Technologies has launched a new model of continuous inkjet printer, which is capable of reducing solvent usage by up to 40% and delivering additional cost of ownership savings.The Linx 6900 Solver uses a new ink system and specially created ’intelligent’ software. The coder adapts to specific printing conditions by reducing solvent evaporation within the system and adjusts according to the requirements of the code being printed.It features five-line printing at speeds of up to 8.4m/s, an intuitive colour user interface with WYSIWYG display and menu system and low maintenance operation.[http://www.linxglobal.com]
A director of Fosters Bakery has been awarded Yorkshire’s Young Director of the Year at a prestigious ceremony in Leeds. Michael Taylor from Fosters in Barnsley received the accolade at a gala evening at the Queens Hotel on Thursday 4 September, held by the Yorkshire and Humber Institute of Directors (IoD).The award recognises his work and support of the bakery industry and also of local academic institutions. Taylor joined the board at Fosters Bakery in 2004 after running his own company in the North West of England for 12 years. He is also chairman of CenFRA (the Centre for Food Robotics and Automation) in Doncaster, and is also a governor of Barnsley College where he supervises two KTP schemes with Sheffield Hallam University.“Michael impressed us with his relentless pursuit of knowledge and improved systems and his genuine concern for the employees and other stakeholders as well as himself,” said Denis Kaye, chairman of the judging panel for the Yorkshire and Humberside IoD Director of the Year Awards.Taylor added: “I am delighted to receive such a prestigious honour. This award is also recognition of the fantastic contribution Fosters has made to the bakery industry over the years, so I would like to say a big thank you to managing director John Foster, who appointed me four years ago, and all my colleagues at the bakery.”The awards are open to directors, partners and those of similar status, including LLPs and appropriate sole traders, and are designed to recognise the achievement of those in the region.
== l Top 50 update ==We revisit the Top 10 retailers in our yearly list of the biggest high street retailer chains that sell bakery products== l Business Building ==While corporate social responsibility may have dropped down the lists of concerns, we look at how one business has been put back on track by investing in green ovens== l What Makes a Winner? ==Eurobuns, winner of Plant Product of the Year 2008, sponsored by Puratos, reveals the secrets of its success
The low-carbohydrate Atkins diet, which encourages followers to virtually give up eating bread, has been relaunched, with a new book outlining a revised version of the diet and a £200,000 campaign in national newspapers promoting Atkins food products.Sales of bread in the UK suffered at the height of the Atkins craze in 2003, when it was estimated that up to three million Brits were following the diet, which advises people to cut carbohydrates and increase protein intake. Interest subsided after health warnings about the diet surfaced in the media, but a new book, entitled New Atkins, New You, aims to revive its popularity by revising the rules of the original Atkins diet to make it more flexible and easier to follow.To coincide with the book, Atkins Nutritionals has launched a £200,000 marketing campaign to promote its range of low-carb products. Adverts have been placed in national newspapers, including The Times, The Daily Mail and The Observer and PR company Tangerine has been hired to promote the range.However, the Flour Advisory Bureau criticised the diet. “The New Atkins diet is an attempt to resuscitate a damaged brand; it would appear that ’new’ Atkins is very similar to ’old’ Atkins, with the same requirement to avoid carbohydrate in the initial phase,” said a spokesperson. “Although the new Atkins diet addresses some of the problems associated with the original diet, there is no scientific evidence to support the exclusion of white bread from the diet or to suggest that eating white bread is more likely to be linked with weight problems.”
Faced with widespread discounting, bread bakers in Ireland are just about holding their own, according to Bord Bía, the Dublin-based state agency that promotes Irish-produced food. “Wrapped breads have shown some decline in both value and volume in the Irish Republic, but overall the category continues to be resilient in the current marketplace,” says Bord Bía spokesperson Sheila Boylan.Brian Irwin, chairman of Irwin’s Bakery, Craigavon, says: “There seems to be some reduction in sales more in the Republic than in Northern Ireland.”Boylan adds that volume is currently being driven by strong and ongoing promotional activity, such as TV commercials and other promotions from Pat the Baker. “However, there’s some evidence that consumers are trading down, with an increase in private-label sales affecting the performance of brands,” she says. Supermarket groups are responding by slashing the selling prices of branded bread.Bord Bía statistics estimate that the ambient bakery market in Ireland will be worth around E490m (£416m) this year.Over the past two years, bread sales have declined slightly and now account for just over 60% of the bakery market, while morning goods have grown to around 20%. Cakes and pastries are also in decline, with a market share down to under 20%.Branded bread products are challenged by inexorable rise of the two German-owned discoun-ters, Aldi and Lidl, which now have close to 15% of the Irish grocery market. In the Republic, Lidl is selling branded products from Irwin’s, including soda bread, for 89 cents; it is also selling Nimble wholemeal loaves for 69 cents. However, the retailer is also concentrating on its own-brand bread, baked locally and sold very cheaply. Currently, an own-brand thick white sliced 800g pan loaf is selling in Lidl for 55 cents, the same price as in Aldi.Many of the supermarket chains are also discounting bread heavily. Superquinn, for instance, has been discounting an 800g white sliced pan from Pat the Baker from E1.78 to E1.19 (£1.51 to £1.01). Brennans 800g standard sliced white pan loaf has been sold for just E1 (about 85p)in some supermarkets.Further competition comes from Tesco, which is expanding its in-store bakery operations in Ireland. And smaller bakeries are under as much pressure as the large plant bakeries.Irwin adds that smaller pack sizes are becoming much more popular with consumers, to reduce wastage. “There’s a return to familiar tastes and comforts, in uncertain times. Premium products are past tense; consumers want quality at value prices.” His colleague Michael Murphy, commercial director at Irwin’s, agrees:” Price is a big factor and there is a lot of discounting going on, both in Northern Ireland and the Republic” .The four main plant bakeries Brennans, Irish Pride, Johnston, Mooney & O’Brien and Pat the Baker make up the Irish Bread Bakers Association. Declan Fitzgerald, general manager of Pat the Baker, chairs this grouping, but declined to comment on the current state of the Irish bread market.While modest price rises in recent years have driven value growth in the Irish market, households have been cutting back on the frequency of purchases, with a number switching to Aldi and Lidl. But the trade will soon be facing a major challenge: soaring flour prices mean that Irish bakers may have to increase their prices by at least 10% over the next six months.
Cheese ingredients firm Meadow Cheese has launched a savoury glaze that can be applied to pies, sausage rolls and other savoury pastries prior to baking to give a professional finish.Ideal for plant bakeries, the new glaze is a cost-effective alternative to egg-based glaze. The solution is sprayed or brushed onto pastries before baking and acts as a barrier during the cooking process, to help reduce cracking and retain product moisture.Supplied ready-to-use, the glaze has been produced using UHT techniques for enhanced shelf-life.
New research has revealed that cupcakes could be just as addictive as drugs and cigarettes.Findings from 28 studies in the past year, conducted by US scientists, discovered that food sweetened with sugar or high-fructose corn syrup can affect the brains of obese people and compulsive eaters.In one study, individuals were shown pictures of food such as cake and reacted in a way that the chemical dopamine would hit the decision-making area of the brain called the orbital frontal cortex. The same reaction was found when cocaine addicts were shown a bag of the Class A drug.A study on rats also revealed that those fed on syrup developed brain and behaviour changes similar to rodents hooked on morphine.Ann Ashworth, spokesperson and research expert at the British Dietetic Association, said: “It is well accepted that the brain needs glucose, which is obtained mainly from carbohydrates in foods, to work well. This comes from things such as added sugar in cakes, pastries and biscuits. “The bottom line for the baking industry is that both the USA and the UK population are suffering from increasing levels of obesity. A small iced fairy cake can give 115 kcals, whereas larger cupcakes can give at least 233 calories. For many of us there is nothing wrong in having these foods occasionally. However, most people, especially those who are overweight, need to limit the amounts of sugary foods they eat.”Martha Swift, co-owner of Primrose Bakery, dismissed claims made in the research and said: “I don’t think you could in any way class cupcakes as addictive as drugs or cigarettes – and certainly not in as bad a way. I think you can be addicted to sugar but it is much easier to control. “We do have plenty of repeat customers at Primrose and I hope they are addicted to our cakes, but in a good way. I find that the regular customers tend to have a favourite flavour or cake, so they go through stages of having to have one particular flavour on a regular basis, rather than having to eat say 10 of them.”The cupcake boom is ever-growing in the UK, with 2009 sales reaching around £37m and supermarket chain Morrisons selling 200,000 Royal Wedding cupcakes this year.
The UK May wheat futures price is up by £3 per tonne – its highest level since October 2011 – as the recent dry weather in South America takes its toll.According to the HGCA’s latest market report: “Pre-Christmas economic uncertainty has been washed away as dry weather in South America heightens concern for developing crops.”The report, published this week, said that little rain had been seen in parts of southern Brazil for up to 45 days, while Argentina had experienced a prolonged dry period. From 16-30 December 2011, May 2012 LIFFE wheat in the UK gained £10 per tonne, to £154p/t and, at 1pm on 3 January, was up to £158p/t.The HGCA said volatile currencies were expected in 2012, with the main players all trying to devalue to boost exports.• In related news, the total UK wheat crop, from the 2011 harvest, was put at 15.257Mt, down 0.106Mt, according to Defra’s final UK crop production estimate, published on 22 December.