viewpoint

first_imgThis week’s huge rise in flour prices of around £68 per tonne is unprecedented (pg 4)! It will have major impact. The baking and milling industries are not prone to drama and, though I do understand when bakers are sceptical of any flour price rise, the combination of circumstances is unique.We have been warning about impending price rises in flour for some time, particularly in our June 29 and July 6 issue lead stories and last week, when Lewis Wright, head of wheat trading at ADM, laid many of the reasons on the line.The millers are using words such as ’horrendous’ about increases in wheat costs, describing the situation as ’critical’, and ’very serious’. One of them said: “We are buckling under this situation. The prices have to be passed on”. Another said; “I’m petrified, looking at the UK weather forecast on top of all this.”I can tell by the tension in their voices and choice of words that this is a situation without precedence.Often in life, it is not one factor but a combination that causes an end result. In this price rise, it is precisely that: reduced plantings, increased demand, two years of weather extremes, rising demand for bioethanol fuel, rising costs in manufacturing. In all, it is forecast to put around 6p to 10p on a loaf. But as our bread prices chart on pages 14-15 shows, we are still among the cheapest in the world – and that should not be forgotten.Food in general has hit the headlines again this week, with price rises and health to the fore. We have seen announcements about how obesity does not discriminate between rich and poor (pg 6). There have also been warnings about the increase in Type 2 diabetes, currently costing the NHS £10m per year, and there have been demands for a ’fat tax’, of VAT on cakes and biscuits. Though rejected for now, this, like the London congestion charge, could make a reappearance a few months or years down the line.The NA’s Gill Brooks-Lonican dismisses the idea of a fat tax most aptly of all (pg 4), stating that cake and biscuits are a treat, moderate amounts of cream, butter and sugar (all natural products) are good for you and that the government should bring back more school sports. Amen to that!last_img read more

Bakery goods in fine spirit

first_imgA number of festive bakery products have been developed using branded alcohol from culinary alcohol supplier Thomas Lowndes – part of Beam Global Spirits & Wine Inc. Tesco is now using Courvoisier VS Cognac in its Finest Mince Pie range, while Asda uses the same product in its Extra Special Christmas Cakes, made by Finsbury Food Group. “The addition of a well-known brand like Courvoisier gives the product something special,” said Ellie Procter, buyer for Asda.McVitie’s is now using Grand Marnier in its Christmas cakes, while Marks & Spencer uses the brand in its Mini Christmas Puddings. Other products include a Christmas Melt in the Middle from the Serious Food Company, with Courvoisier VS Cognac, and a Mincemeat & Grand Marnier sponge pudding from Waitrose.[http://www.thomaslowndes.com]last_img read more

Rough times for smoothies

first_imgStocking smoothies has been a no-brainer for the past few years. Led by the phenomenon that is Innocent, sales of the drinks grew 424% in value between 2003 and 2007, and 552% in volume, according to research firm Mintel.As a drink that ticked the health, convenience and taste boxes, shoppers lapped it up – despite the hefty price tag. In fact, by 2007, there were more smoothies drinkers among the British population than non-smoothies drinkers.But this year, all that has changed. The smoothies market has gone into freefall on the back of tighter consumer spending and, in the past few months, sales have been on the slide – even for Innocent. According to data from TNS, sales of smoothies in convenience stores and independents have more than halved year-on-year: sales value slumped to £250m and volume to 108m litres.While accurate data on performance in the foodservice sector is more difficult to come by, anecdotal evidence points to a similar, dramatic turnaround, according to those in the industry. Smoothies are seen as a premium product, a treat. In the current climate, people will still treat themselves, say experts. So, why hasn’t this been the case for smoothies and what does it mean for the chiller cabinet?Growth in the smoothies market has largely been driven by small to medium-sized enterprises, which have been more fleet of foot, adapting to trends and identifying niche selling points within the market. As Don Williams, CEO at brand consultancy, Pi Global, explains: “While money is cheap, the niche guys can afford to charge a premium.” However, in the current climate, even the most die-hard fans of Innocent, for instance, may try cheaper own-label products.”Innocent was built on a trend and, by their very nature, trends get replaced by another trend. When a trend becomes ’everyday’ the big-boys see dollar signs and start attacking the more niche brands with similar and often ’me-too’ offers at more real-world prices,” says Williams. Given the economies of scale enjoyed by the likes of Tesco, this isn’t a surprising situation. But what can a small café or bakery do to sell products at more ’real world’ prices?One option is to look at making smoothies to order, on the premises. These offer higher margins and provide the shopper with a more economical option – a win-win. The downside of this is that smoothies take time to make. Plus, there’s the waste to think of.However, that’s if it’s fresh. What about using frozen fruit? In a product synonymous with health, the use of frozen ingredients may seem risky. A couple of years ago, perhaps it would have been. But consumer attitude towards frozen food is changing. A number of companies now provide pouches of frozen fruit for the smoothie trade and many are confident that their product can weather the economic storm that has hit their bottled cousins hard.”The market for smoothies made from sachet solutions is growing,” says Paul Ford, MD at ProJuice. “We’re not affected by the pre-bottled solution – we’re actually taking share from them, as more and more outlets are listing fresh smoothies on their menus.”Timely investmentFord points to the fact that frozen sachets take “30 seconds” to prepare, require no front-of-outlet chiller space, have no waste and can be kept for two years. Investment in a smoothie machine is, of course, a prerequisite, but now is the “perfect time” to be thinking about it, argues Ford. “People often think that winter time is the worst time to be setting up a juice or smoothie bar, but the New Year is the perfect launch time,” he adds.The winter may traditionally be a tough time for smoothies, but January often bucks the trend, with people keen to get their five-a-day fix as conveniently as possible. How the smoothies are marketed, in shop, can be the difference between success and failure, however. “Do a special for the New Year and call it a Body Cleanser or Detox Special. Put it on a blackboard and make it seem quirky and people will be interested,” says Ford.Lucy Coleman, customer services manager at Love Smoothies, agrees. Love Smoothies sells 12 different smoothie ’sachets’, each offering around 2.7 of the recommended five-a-day; the range includes some products specially created for the winter months, including Beat the Bluesli and Winter Warrior. For Coleman, merchandising is key. “We spend a lot of time perfecting the products and always offer as much marketing material as possible,” she explains.Meal deals take the hassle out of lunch. The price point will, of course, depend on the customer base, but the ’buy a sandwich and get a smoothie for £X’ meal deals also work well. In January, the general trend will be for healthy sandwiches and salads, combined with smoothies and juices. But within that, men and women will want different things, explains ProJuice’s Ford. Women will be after light salads and smaller sandwiches, with smoothies based on fruits like mango. But there’s also an opportunity to target men, who have traditionally bought fewer smoothies than women. “For the men, keep it healthy, but make the sandwiches bigger and get fruits such as acai in the smoothies, which is good for energy levels.”The range of juices and smoothies now available is extraordinary. JP Juices was set up to totally focus on Fairtrade/ethical juices and smoothies. The main products relevant to bakers and sandwich shops are the JP Orange and Apple Juices, both of which are 100% Pure Juices in 500ml PET Bottles, with a retail price similar to a 500ml Coca-Cola bottle. JP Juices has found that, particularly for a lunchtime drink to go with a sandwich, it is a popular choice. The juices are ambient and do not need to be stored or transported chilled, but are best sold from a chiller. They are made from concentrate which means that the water is evaporated off in the country of origin and then water is added back at the time of production, resulting in a lower carbon footprint as ’water’ is not being transported across the Atlantic.”We believe in simple terms. Customers appreciate good-tasting Fairtrade and ethical food products that are also competitively priced and this is what we try to achieve with our customers,” says Tim Kearns, director, JP Juices. The firm, which also offers 200ml bottles, as well as one-litre Fairtrade orange and apple versions, supplies both direct to bakery chains and also through foodservice wholesalers in the UK.JP Juices has also developed two chilled short shelf-life smoothies in 250ml PET bottles, expected to launch early in 2009. “The products not only offer bakers an ethical product but also a commercially sound proposition to help build their revenues,” says Kearns.With the broad choice available, there’s no reason for the smoo-thies and juices market to feel quite so blue about the future. Sales may be falling at retail level, but there’s plenty of opportunity, crea-tivity and sales left in foodservice for the right products.—-=== Fresh squeezing more sales ===While the success of the smoothies market lies in ever-wilder flavours and tastes, for juices it’s all about tradition. Step forward, orange and apple juice. Both are traditional favourites and, even at the premium, freshly squeezed end of the market, can cost 60% less than a smoothie. As such, freshly squeezed juices have enjoyed surging sales in the past year, albeit from a very small base. Andrew Ovens, group marketing manager at Johnsons Juice Co, gives his tops tips to ensure your juice sales keep up with that trend:1) Timing: orange juice is a morning drink, whereas apple is drunk in the afternoons, or with lunch. So, don’t be afraid to change the balance of orange versus apple just before the lunchtime rush.2) Colour: people shop with their eyes, so don’t have three juices of the same colour; create a rainbow effect.3) Variety: you don’t want any more than three juices and three smoothies in the chiller because otherwise you could end up with out-of-date stock. Have two flavours you stick with and swap the other, depending on the time of year/customer base.4) Size: don’t rule out 500ml; people see it as more economical and sharing is a big trend.5) Deals: meal deals are an excellent way to drive sales and keep your customers happy in terms of price and convenience.last_img read more

What winning meant to us

first_img“When you win something, my first feeling is for the staff, as it’s fantastic for them, but my second is for the two companies that didn’t win. Everyone did a fantastic job and we were very proud to be nominated, and to be recognised for doing a good job. However, it’s all very well saying that we’re the best, but now we’ve got to carry on being the best – I use it as a bit of a motivating tool.”- Alan Pearce, managing directorlast_img

Continental shift

first_imgA high-street shop with a retail front-end and any of a variety of eat-in options could be dismissed as ’neither fish nor fowl’. It can also prove to be something of a phoenix for a business that is marking time.High-profile examples of bakery-led retail with eat-in tend to be in London, with its higher-spending tourist custom. But the combination is also working with principally residential clientele from Cornwall to the Clyde. As London’s Milanese-style café Princi and French-inspired Paul chain demonstrate, basing a business around specific national cultures in baked goods can help build a strong identity. The Italian piadina has also been used as the basis for takeaway and eat-in outlets.For a chain busy establishing new outlets, the business model may not be an obvious one. Boulangerie-patisserie outfit Apostrõphe has a thriving takeaway business, explains MD Amir Chen. But from breakfast to early evening, it also functions as a café, offering everything from porridge to soups, salads and exotic sandwiches on organic bread. So far, he has snubbed night opening.As Chen points out: “If you don’t sell alcohol, late opening is of marginal interest. And a licence would have a lot of implications for planning our sites, staff training and so on.” Because Apostrõphe’s products, baked from scratch in each shop, can largely be defined as “daytime goods”, he adds, late opening is doubly inappropriate.For another chain, Le Pain Quotidien (LPQ), eat-in and evening offerings have become more important as the business has developed. Today, the direction taken by the UK franchise-holder Village du Pain differs markedly from that followed in the original Belgian business, by offering hot meal options.”At first, the plan was not about having hot food,” says Clare Sheppard, who has helped manage the UK business since it launched just three years ago. “It was about supplementing the bread, as in Belgium, with tartines, soup and quiches. But we found that, in England, that wasn’t enough.”That ’not enough’ is double-edged. As she explains, sites in central London, in particular, are so expensive that turnover needs to be maximised. But at the same time, for the evening trade, there is a widespread expectation that a hot menu will be available.That said, each site has its own peculiarities and limitations. Village du Pain targets upmarket residential, business or tourist areas, with different customer profiles and patterns of demand in each. The idea is that the various types of location balance each other out over the course of the day and the year.At LPQ’s original Marylebone store, the business is limited by A1 planning use (see panel), offering small meals such as soup and quiche. But the Royal Festival Hall and Wimbledon branches (both with A3 use), for instance, offer full evening menus. The shops are licensed, and even where the menu is more limited, wine-and-bread can offer an alternative evening trade, she adds.Available space is another factor determining the type of operation, with the company putting its ideal size at 80-100 seats.Apostrõphe underlines the benefits of opening cafés rather than full restaurants. “Rents are typically much higher for restaurant-type sites,” says Chen. The busy takeaway business means that the additional income that larger meals would provide is not so important. The size of the kitchen can be another concern. “We’re not cooking, so we don’t have issues with huge extraction systems,” he says.Rather than seeing operational issues or even space as the primary potential obstacle to the development of eat-in, LPQ brings the entire question back much closer to home. Sheppard singles out the quality of the bread as the single most important criterion. As she puts it: “Our whole concept hangs on that.”For the UK franchise, this means bread part-baked (65%) in the Belgian central bakery, shipped over frozen up to twice a week and then baked-off in each branch for the remaining 35%, says Sheppard. Loaves range from rye, multigrain and walnut to baguettes.Of course, a small, single-site business making its first move into eat-in may be limited by use or licensing restrictions. It is also likely to be looking for growth in manageable stages. This is the case with Glasgow-based Tapa, an operation that includes both the Tapa Bakehouse and the Tapa Coffeehouse, founded by husband-and-wife team Robert Winter and Virginia Webb.As with LPQ’s Belgian founder, the bakery base for Tapa began with frustration at the quality of baked goods available, and a determination to do better by bringing production in-house. Says Winter: “Our key selling point is that everything is organic. We even make our own buns for our veggie burgers.” Tapa is also part of the Slow Bread campaign. But he adds: “Demand for organic baked goods soon went well beyond our own needs. And the fact that we were out to make the best coffee in Scotland got lost.”The bakery has a café attached, but when the couple set up their separate Coffeehouse a few months ago, they had bigger ideas. “We provide a wide range of meal options, from light snacks to as big a meal as you can eat,” says Winter.The menu stretches from sweet potato gratin to linguini with seafood and smoked haddock fishcakes. “But there’s always going to be bread of some sort on the side,” he adds. Tapa is currently applying for a licence for the Coffeehouse, although for now it is bring-your-own.The business has ’organic’ credentials in more senses than one: the Bakehouse swallowed up the shop on one side, then on the other – though this second wall could not come down.The café can seat around 35 including outdoor seating, while the Coffeehouse has 65 covers. There are no immediate plans for expanding the seven-year-old business further. “We don’t believe in running before we can walk,” says Winter. Currently, the couple employ around 30 staff, including managers.Could we see more shops twinning over-the-counter sales with all-day dining, based on German or Polish bakery, for instance? If so, it would be good to think that high-quality, distinctive bread could, as Tapa and LPQ say, be the crucial factor in their success.—-=== Business use ===The 1987 Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order sets out the following classes of use for business premises in England:l A1 Shops – including sandwich barsl A2 Financial and professional servicesl A3 Restaurants and cafés – restaurants, snack bars and cafés selling food and drink for on-premises consumptionl A4 Drinking establishments – pubs, wine bars and so onl A5 Hot food takeaways – selling hot food for consumption off the premises.A1 businesses will always need to apply for planning permission to convert to any other type of use, while conversion in the opposite direction does not usually require permission.last_img read more

In Short

first_img== Reduced sat fat ads ==United Biscuits has launched an advertising campaign to highlight the achievement it has made in reducing saturated fat in its McVitie’s Digestives, Rich Tea and HobNobs brands by 50%. The campaign will run for eight weeks.== Bakery for sale ==East Lothian-based wholesale business Trusty Crust Organic Bakery is up for sale, including a fully equipped bakery and delivery vans. The owners have said it would suit someone starting up, as it has an established customer base. It is certified organic (UK4) and full support is available from East Lothian Economic Development. Interested parties should call: 01875 341098.== Beacon lights up ==Ingredients specialist Beacon Foods has passed its British Retail Consortium (BRC) audit with distinction. MD Edward Gough said he hoped achieving this standard would help the company attract new business and reinforce its commitment to food safety and quality.== Delice tart delights ==Foodservice supplier Delice de France has won bronze for its Spinach and Goat’s Cheese Savoury Tart at the British Frozen Food Federation Awards in the Best New Meat Free/Vegetarian Product category. It is supplied frozen, ready-to-bake and is made using shortcrust pastry.== Gluten-free lessons ==Delicious Alchemy and The Springboard Charity are inviting bakers, chefs and front-of-house staff to their first Gluten-Free Masterclasses on Friday, 4 September 2009, at Westminster College, London. The classes will focus on preparing gluten-free meals and afternoon tea. Call 020 7497 8654 or visit www.events.springboarduk.net for details.last_img read more

Jamie Oliver’s head baker teams up with Real Bread Campaign

first_imgTo mark National Apprenticeship Week (1-5 February), the head baker at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant in London has teamed up with the Real Bread Campaign to highlight the importance of bakery apprenticeships. Fifteen offers young people, who are in need of a helping hand, a chance to transform their lives and realise their own potential through the experience of learning to work in the restaurant business.As part of a 12-month chef apprenticeship scheme run by Fifteen, each apprentice learns basic breadmaking with the NVQ 2 qualifications they take at Lewisham College. The apprentices also have the chance to spend three weeks with Rankin to build on their experience and knowledge, with the next group of apprentices due to start on 8 February.Fifteen’s Kenny Rankin said: “There’s so much you can do with the apprentices. You can teach them the basics but there’s also the Swiss and French style bakery that’s invaluable learning. Baking is such a dying art and is one of the oldest and most important skills we can teach the apprentices.”The bakery produces traditional Italian-style breads, such as ciabatta and focaccia as well as more unusual breads such as Zopf – a Swiss-style knotted bread. It also hopes to diversify the varieties in the future, as well as broadening its training. Rankin will share his knowledge of artisan bakery with Real Bread Campaign’s project officer, Chris Young. He will learn about the art of baking bread using the same techniques and developing the same skills as Fifteen’s trainees.To find out more about Fifteen, visit www.fifteen.netlast_img read more

Household spending falls – especially on food

first_imgHousehold spending in Britain has fallen at an unprecedented rate over the past three years, an economic study has claimed.In a study of the last recession, the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) also said there were marked changes in the areas people cut back on compared with previous economic downturns.Food purchases were significantly lower in the last recession, due to higher food prices, along with lower spending on holidays, alcohol and eating out.Household expenditure fell by 5% in real terms between 2008 and the first quarter of 2009, when Britain was last officially in recession, but unlike the previous two downturns, in 1980-81 and 1990-91, spending has still not recovered to its pre-recession levels.last_img read more

September 25 designated Stryker Like Day, commemorated with limited time IPA

first_img WhatsApp (Photo supplied/103.9 The Bear) September 25 is officially proclaimed Stryker Liker Day in the City of Mishawaka, in honor of the late Ron Stryker. Stryker was a beloved radio host and program director at 103.9 The Bear for 17 years before his death in September 2019.“The city of Mishawaka is famous for the people who work and live in the Princess City.  Today we will honor the life of one of those special people, Ron Stryker,” said Mayor David Wood, during the announcement of the proclamation.103.9 The Bear partnered with Bare Hands Brewery in Granger to create a Stryker Liker IPA, which will be released during a party at Bare Hands at 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25. The limited release beer will be available on tap and in 4-packs for carryout, and in stores all over Michiana for a limited time thanks to support from Mossberg & Company. A portion of the proceeds from every 4-pack sold will benefit the Faith Mission of Elkhart and Center for the Homeless. All adults 21+ are invited to attend.In addition to his work at the station, Stryker was the Public Address Announcer for Notre Dame Men’s Basketball. He was also an avid hockey player, playing locally for years in a men’s league. He was also a huge fan of the Chicago Cubs and Blackhawks. When Stryker wasn’t working, he was in his garden or spending time with his family, who he loved deeply. By 95.3 MNC – September 24, 2020 0 387 Pinterest IndianaLocalMichiganNews Pinterest Twitter Google+ Facebook Twitter Facebook Google+ September 25 designated Stryker Like Day, commemorated with limited time IPA WhatsApp Previous articleMan killed in moped crash near Ironwood & Auten Road roundaboutNext articleBeware scams targeting Amazon customers in Indiana 95.3 MNCNews/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel is your breaking news and weather station for northern Indiana and southwestern Michigan.last_img read more

16-year-old boy shot and killed in South Bend

first_img Google+ WhatsApp Google+ 16-year-old boy shot and killed in South Bend Twitter Pinterest IndianaLocalNews Twitter A 16-year-old boy was shot and killed in South Bend.The shooting happened just before 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 17, in the 200 block of N. College Street in South Bend.South Bend Police were called to the area to investigate a “Shot Spotter” activation.Shortly thereafter, officers were told an individual had been shot and was located inside a vehicle that had stopped in the 1000 block of N. Brookfield Street in South Bend, IN.When officers arrived in the 1000 block of N. Brookfield Street in South Bend, they found a male individual who had sustained gunshot wounds. Although officers at the scene rendered aid and summoned medical personnel, the male was pronounced deceased at the scene.South Bend Police Department officers secured both the shooting scene located at the intersection of College and Orange Streets and the scene located in the 1000 block of N. Brookfield Street.The St. Joseph County Metro Homicide Unit is currently handling the investigation.The male who died at the scene has been identified as Fredrick L. Williams, 16, of South Bend.Anybody with information is asked to contact the St. Joseph County Metro Homicide Unit at 574-235-5009 or Crime Stoppers at 288-STOP.(Photo supplied/ABC 57) Facebook Previous articleColder weather means increased danger due to space heatersNext articleElves For Elders Still Serving Community At Safe Social Distance Jon ZimneyJon Zimney is the News and Programming Director for News/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel and host of the Fries With That podcast. Follow him on Twitter @jzimney. By Jon Zimney – October 18, 2020 0 821 Pinterest Facebook WhatsApplast_img read more