the rules of attraction

first_imgWhen I was at school, bakery and catering were never subjects promoted to young people. On the other hand, office jobs were, and there was more of a push to become an academic. We need to go back in time and offer the opportunity to gain skills used in practical jobs, such as bakery.My dad was a baker, but living with that at home is very different to working in an in-store bakery environment. I study at Tameside College and have an apprenticeship at Morrisons, which means I am getting money for the work I do, I am being trained and there will be a job here when I finish the course. There is always someone to help – both at college and work – and I can ask any questions I like.My training involves a week’s theory at college, followed by about five weeks at the job, where I am assessed on a list of tasks. I’ll spend another week at the course and so on. I’m now going on to do another course in patisserie.Whether college training and on-the-job training in the bakery are suitable depends on the individual. For me, the theory and also background knowledge to practical work is useful and interesting. We get to understand the ’science bit’ behind what we do on a daily basis. But it very much depends on each person.Since I won the Student Baker of the Year award, Tameside college has decided to do a case study on me to inspire other bakery students. I study alongside 60 other Morrisons apprentices from different outlets, but I’m the only student at my branch.We didn’t visit other bakeries, which I would have liked – maybe because my course is part of the Morrisons apprenticeship, I’m not sure if other students get the chance. I would also like to visit ingredients suppliers to see how contents are put together before they come to the bakery.Most staff are male and it can be a little off-putting. When interviewed, the fact that I would need to lift heavy trays and work long hours was brought up. That can discourage young women going into the profession. It doesn’t matter whether you are male or female – bakery is a great business.In the future, I hope to progress to a management position, my overall aim is to become a bakery tutor so I can help and encourage young people like myself to develop within the baking industry.What would I say? I like the satisfaction of producing a quality product bought by customers every day. You see the end result, make a difference and every day is different. nlast_img read more


first_imgn Northern Foods’ shareholders voted in favour of the disposal of the firm’s speciality bread, chilled pastry, cakes and flour milling businesses to Vision Capital at an Extraordinary General Meeting this week.n A poll on our website has revealed that 55% of bakers believe the biggest challenge to their businesses is supermarkets. The second-biggest is energy prices, at 22%, followed by training and recruitment at 19%. The poll was conducted in December 2006. This month, tell us: “What are your customers’ main demands when buying healthy baked goods?” on []n Greggs has said it plans to add more “aspirational” products and Healthier Options to its range. It also pledged to trial innovative trading hours and formats, as well as stepping up its marketing activity. The firm has recently appointed Raymond Reynolds as its first nationwide retail director.n Cafe chain BB’S Coffee and Muffins, which has 155 cafés across the UK and Ireland, plans to open 20 new stores in 2007. “Our business is performing ahead of expectations and we are actively progressing our expansion plans,” said Phil Abbott, MD. He added that, for 2007, BB’s will be introducing a wider range of healthy eating options in muffins and sandwiches, as well as indulgent new products.n Fletchers Bakeries has launched ’Il Granaio’ – a selection of three Italian breads including panini and ciabatta. The company said that they were launched in response to a 30% increase in the Italian bread market over the last three years.last_img read more

RHM and ABF up into global top 10

first_imgRHM and Associated British Foods (ABF) have been named as the ninth- and tenth-largest bakery companies in the world in 2006.Hovis and Nimble owner RHM, now owned by Premier Foods, took €1.33 billion from its bakery operations last year while ABF made €1.31bn, despite its relatively small bakery division – just 16% of the firm’s business.A new report – Key Players in the Global Bakery Industry – from industry analyst Leatherhead Food International shows Japan and the US dominate the global bakery top 10 list.Japanese company Yamazaki Baking is the world’s largest bakery firm, with an estimated bakery turnover of €3.76bn in 2005/06, while US food groups who do not even specialise solely in bakery take up most of the other positions. Kraft Foods is the second-largest baker, making €3.0bn, – bakery accounting for just 15% of the company’s overall business.Some 14 of the 30 firms profiled are headquartered in Europe, with Danone the seventh-largest bakery business with a €2.02bn turnover.last_img read more

SAMB discusses industry pressures

first_imgAt the Scottish Association of Master Bakers conference, which took place over the May Bank Holiday weekend, Stanley Smith, convenor of the SAMB technical committee, told delegates that pressures in the industry had changed in 2007 from being legislation-based to being supermarket- and industry-led.Smith cited nine different methods of labelling compliance, published by the Scottish FSA, including traffic lights. That was “too many”, he said.Meanwhile, supermarkets were pressing for more salt reductions while a big initiative by the Scottish Department of Health meant that all schools will be subject to a complete review of health.Schools, children and food scientists will all examine the school diet and it is likely to result in a change in food law, with the support of the Scottish Executive (cabinet) and the Scottish FSA, he said.While the origin of meats had come under scrutiny, it now looks likely that the origin of fish will follow the same path. Both may have to be labelled with proposed ’country of origin’ legislation.PackagingPast president Ian Terris, of Wm Stephens bakery, said there was more and more legislation coming from the EU on packaging and labelling. He asked if there was any impending legislation on restricting packaging?At the moment, none is evident in the UK, but Alan Stuart, of Stuart’s of Buckhaven, commen-ted that Germany had passed a law stating that dumping bins had to be at the doors of all supermarkets so customers could dispose of any excess packaging.More cloutGeorge Stevenson of Mathiesons asked how the SAMB could obtain more clout in dealing with the EU government. Kirk Hunter, chief executive of the SAMB, replied that the SAMB, the SNP and the new Scottish Executive wanted to strengthen direct links with the EU and would be working actively with other Scottish associations so that there was one united voice.Minimum WageThe latest increase in the minimum wage next October will be limited to 3.2%. As differentials had been narrowed, there would only be three grades in future. There will be summer discussions with the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (USDAW) and wage negotiations will follow.A questionnaire will be sent out shortly to members on the working agreement.EMPLOYMENT LAWOver the year the SAMB said it had seen a growth in employment law questions from members.Particular attention had been paid to advising members about new age discrimination laws.The membership expressed its thanks for the “expertise of law advisor Fay Sommerville” particularly over the age discrimi- nation legislation, which, they noted, could have profound implications for the industry.l More news from the SAMB conference next weeklast_img read more

Rising fortunes

Over 500 craft bakers across the UK took part in the 15th National Doughnut Week, which is expected raise more than £35,000 for The Children’s Trust, a charity which provides special care, therapy and education for severely disabled children.This year the week ran in May and its sponsor, BakeMark UK, provided individual craft bakers with enough free doughnut concentrate to make more than 900 doughnuts. “National Doughnut Week is first and foremost a means to raise valuable funds for the children,” says David Astles, trade marketing manager for BakeMark UK.”It’s great for bakers to be able to help local children throughout the UK and really make a difference to their lives. Since the first National Doughnut Week took place in 1992, we’ve raised more than £550,000 for charity,” he adds.BakeMark UK has five core product areas, including bread ingredients, cookies, cake mixes, value-added doughnuts and soft icings. It supplies craft, industrial, in-store and foodservice bakery sectors. The Bromborough site covers a total of 18 acres, only 50% of which contains buildings.As part of CSM, a global bakery ingredients business worth more than €3bn (£2.2bn) with companies across Europe and North America, BakeMark UK has benefited from significant investment since 2001 through acquisitions and manufacturing equipment. In 2004 BakeMark UK became the new name for Arkady Craigmillar, Caravan Brill and cookie manufacturer Readi-Bake. The acquisitions and mergers took place alongside a strategic review of company operations.A shake-up at the start of last year saw the creation of a bread focus division, directed by Derek Kemp. He says: “It’s the aim of the company to re-establish its position as number one in this market; our heritage is in bread, so this is where we shall focus our attention.”Since the bread focus division was formed, BakeMark has developed a range of four new products under the Arkady brand, launched this month, including White Plus – a high-fibre concentrate for white bread. “This product makes a soft white bread with the goodness of brown. It offers craft bakers a strong competitive edge in today’s health-conscious market,” says Kemp.”It is essential for bakers to have the opportunity to respond to their customers’ needs, which is why we have also developed a low-GI bread base mix.”The new Seeds ’n’ Grains Concentrate has a low GI rating of 50, compared to a standard white loaf, which has a high GI rating of 70. It includes sunflower seeds, linseeds, pumpkin seeds, malt, oats and fibre-rich maize and wheat bran.”A low GI diet has been linked to reducing heart disease, preventing the onset of Type 2 diabetes and helping weight management,” adds Kemp.The new bread focus division has also created two new improvers since it was set up last year. The Pear Health Choice contains 30% less salt, 38% less fat and 26% less sugar than the standard improver. The RKD Clean, also launched this month, is a dough conditioner that has less of the additives associated with traditional improvers and is free from preservatives and emulsifiers.”Consumers are really wanting healthier, clean label products. In a sense, the baking industry has allowed supermarkets to dictate the price of bread and that’s devalued it. That’s why I applaud bakers who demand higher prices for quality products.”As well as creating the bread focus division, BakeMark also invested £2m in a glazed doughnut plant. “As part of its commitment to research and development, the company has invested in new doughnut production technology,” says Vera Malhotra, head of marketing, BakeMark UK.Following the success of its Smarties donuts, BakeMark is now also making Nestlé-branded ring doughnuts, including Rolo and Toffee Crisp.In terms of future developments, says Peter Brun­ton, manufacturing integration manager, Bake­Mark UK is investigating the technology involved in tempering butter and fats. “New tech­nology may help speed up this process, allowing greater flexibility in production, reducing manufacturing times and improving end product quality by ensuring the fat or butter is at the optimum consis­tency before being incorporated into recipes.”n—-=== Timeline ===1996 Arkady Craigmillar is formed when British Arkady and Craigmillar merge1990-96 Changing customer demands sees £15m investment at the Wirral site, turning from fats to bakery ingredients and frozen products2000 CSM, a global supplier of bakery ingredients, acquires Arkady Craigmillar2003 Arkady Craigmillar acquires Readi-Bake, maker of American-style cookies (based in Milton Keynes)2004 Arkady Craigmillar and Readi-Bake are renamed BakeMark UK but the names Arkady, Craigmillar and Readi-Bake remain alongside Bon Vivant and Caravan Brill as its five key brands.BakeMark UK operates from three sites: Manchester, Wirral and Milton Keynes2004-05 The Wirral site removes hydrogenated fats from its internally made products2005 BakeMark acquires licences for Toffee Crisp, Rolo, Milky Bar and Yorkie bakery products2006 £2m investment in glazed doughnut plant read more

California Raisins’ innovation competition

first_imgCalifornia Raisins is inviting bakers to take part in its 2009 Innovation competition. It aims to find the most innovative new products that have been created using California Raisins, California Raisin paste or California Raisin juice concentrate.The product can be anything at all as long as it contains California Raisins. The winning business will receive thousands of pounds worth of advertising for the product, as well as free PR for the company.For an entry form or further information please contact the California Raisin Administrative Committee at [email protected], or visit closing date for entries is the 31 March 2009.last_img

At the show…

first_imgDCA Kerry will be showcasing the exciting new Sanomat fresh cream machine, which has the dual innovations of being a self-creaming system as well as being self-cleaning. “It basically aerates fresh cream and does away with manual, open-bowl mixing,” explains Robert Forster of Kerry. “Historically, cream machines have tended to be a bit complex in terms of cleaning and disassembly. With this, you just press a button and it cleans itself. That means it’s got applications from traditional bakery right through to coffee shops where fresh cream is being used.”If you’re looking to develop or change the packaging you use, then bakery packaging specialists Reynards will be on hand to guide you through the options. “We’re looking to get new and existing customers on to our stand to show them our new products and how they can use them in their businesses,” says Reynards’ Ian Bennett. On its stand, Reynards will be launching new cardboard pack sandwich containers, as well as promoting its catering packaging such as coffee cups. “Everybody is trying to make cost savings right now, so we’ll be exploring the alternative packaging options available to visitors,” he says. “We’ll also have sustainable and environmental packaging on show and we’ll be looking to promote that.”Bakery Conservation Systems will be on site, showcasing the benefits of its retarder/provers, blast freezers and refrigeration. UK manager Richard Lyon says, “Some of our equipment is big, so it would be daunting to bring it all to the show. Instead, we’ll be able to talk through what we do and what we’re all about. I’ll be presenting what we can offer bakers with regard to retarder/provers, freezers, blast freezers and cabinets – all tailored for the craft bakery market, so it’s well worth coming along to have a look.”Renshaw’s Nicola Hemming says the cake decoration ingredients expert will be displaying novelty designs with commercial, eye-catching appeal, and incorporating Renshaw’s Regalice and marzipan. “There will also be sweet treats, free sampling of marzipan and luxury chocolate sugarpaste available on our stand,” she adds.Visitors to the fair will get a free cake and tea or coffee, courtesy of refreshment sponsor Dawn Foods, which will showcase lines from its Adore and Sweet Bakery Snacks ranges. “This is a great regional event, as decision- makers visit the show to make their final buying decisions for 2009 and we are making sure that everyone who attends is refreshed and ready to do business,” said Dave Roberts, Dawn Foods’ national accounts controller UK. “With tea or coffee and one of our sweet bakery products, visitors can take time to recharge and plan their day.”Rank Hovis will be sponsors of the Bakers’ Fair North stage area, which, this year, will include HR advice from a top lawyer, plus live bakery and sandwich-making demonstrations (see below).As well as offering a wealth of valuable business advice, the stage will also host the Richemont Club of Great Britain’s annual prize-giving, following the competition held during the fair. Furthermore, you can pop along to the Rank Hovis stand to speak to representatives about its extensive range of flours and the latest products and applications, as well as gleaning advice on harvest and pricing.California Raisins will be demonstrating the many bakery applications of raisins and raisin products. A spokesperson says, “Relatively new and unknown, raisin paste or juice concentrate made solely from 100% natural California Raisins, will not only add flavour, colour and texture, but can also significantly extend shelf-life to various baked products.”Jiffy will be showcasing its range of food and snack delivery trucks. Its latest model, the Jiffy Mezze truck, will be on display outside the main hall. The truck has an increased stock-holding capacity and has all the latest, improved LED illumination, with additional safety and security.Make sure you drop by British Baker’s stand to be in with a chance to win a mini TV. Legal buff Ray Silverstein will also be on hand, after leaving the stage, to give visitors advice on aspects of employment. There will also be a special subscription offer available on the day, so be sure to ask a member of the team for details.—-=== THE VENUE ===Don Valley Stadium offers a variety of function spaces and team-building areas indoors and out, together with a variety of seminar rooms. Ample free car parking, good accessibility for other parts of the UK, and excellent motorway access, make it an ideal venue for access.== By Car ==Leave the M1 motorway at junction 34 (Sheffield Meadowhall). At the roundabout follow signs A6178 city centre & Attercliffe. Go past Meadowhall shopping centre on your right. Keep straight on this road. Pick up local signs to Attercliffe & Don Valley Stadium and Sheffield Arena. Go past the stadium to traffic lights and turn left. The VIP entrance and stadium car park is the second road on the left. Reception areas are located at both ’C’ & ’K’ doors.== By Bus ==A large number of bus routes serve the stadium from the Sheffield Transport Interchange. Route numbers include: 2, 69, 130, 287.== By Tram ==Sheffield’s multi-million pound light rail system has a dedicated stop within 100 metres of the stadium. Trams connect to the stadium from various locations in the city, including the city centre & Meadowhall.Don Valley Stadium, Main Reception (C) DoorWorksop Road, SheffieldSouth Yorkshire S9 3TL[]—-=== THE STAGE AREA, ===supported by Rank Hovis, will show you how to take your sandwich trade to the next level. Mark Owen of food ingredients experts Leathams will demonstrate how to boost sales for mornings, lunchtime and beyond, using innovative ideas and ingredients. BB columnist Wayne Caddy and baker Richard North will also be on hand to demonstrate how to make a wheat-sheaf, as well as answering your baking questions. Any legal queries? Then ask BB’s employment expert Ray Silverstein, who will be on hand to offer free advice.last_img read more

Consumer watch How do we get customers to spend more?

first_imgSeventy-seven per cent of coffee chain customers are drinking their purchase in the outlet. Those who spend 15 minutes in a coffee chain spend £4.78 per trip on average. However those who spend more than four times longer – at least an hour – only spend 10% more or £5.22 on average.So how can customers who spend four times longer not spend, materially, any more money? Are they taking the Michael? Or there is another theory?Many customers in coffee shops are working on laptops or taking a break during shopping, for example. Inevitably they will have valuables with them – a laptop, handbag, briefcase, or bags of shopping. And it is human nature that customers do not want to leave these valuables, while they queue up once again to order another drink or something to eat.Our national psyche is often that Brits feel guilty about only buying the one drink in the coffee shop and most would be likely to buy another cup or perhaps something to eat – but they are not going to risk having their valuables stolen to get up and order. This is where staff can really help to drive sales during quiet times of the day – by simply offering table service.There is also a huge opportunity to upsell other food and bakery items to customers. Of those buying either a hot or cold drink only half are buying food items. So they might start feeling hungry if they have been sitting down for an hour. Staff should not only ask if customers would like another drink, but also say, for example, “Would you like try some of our delicious banana cake with your coffee?” Or, more simply, coffee chains could offer lockers for people to store their belongings, so they can relax without worrying.last_img read more

Reporting in

first_img== Alex Waugh Director-general, Nabim ==Working with schools can be fraught with difficulties, as branded businesses such as Cadbury have found in recent years. The National Association of Master Bakers is therefore to be congratulated on the recent success of National Craft Bakers’ Week and the link with schools. The difficulty is to sustain this, and here can help. This is a website developed by nabim, the Federation of Bakers and the HGCA over the last two years. It includes a huge range of worksheets, lesson plans, videos, whiteboard activities and podcasts for teachers and students to draw on. The site is designed with teachers in mind, with clear guidance on age suitability of the activities and careful links to the curriculum.Additions to the site in the first part of 2009 included a range of new materials linked to the government’s ’Licence to Cook’ programme, which is designed to encourage the uptake of cooking and baking in schools and becomes compulsory in 2011. In the next year, we will be developing training sessions so that teachers can gain confidence in delivering lessons in home-cooking and baking, which helps both teachers and pupils understand the essential simplicity and goodness of bread. They all say how useful they find the site and how much they enjoy the varied activities that demonstrate the workings of our chain from field to bakery. Site visitors have grown by 25% over the last 12 months, but still, too few teachers know of its existence. Please urge everyone involved in, or linked to, the baking sector to encourage schools to make use of this great and growing resource.last_img read more

Bako goes Solo on salt

first_imgBako North Western says it has devised a product which it hopes will help bakers comply with the FSA’s salt reduction targets for 2012, without having a detrimental effect on products. Solo, an all-natural sea salt that contains 60% less sodium than ordinary salt, is enriched with magnesium and potassium. Bako claims that bakery product trials using Solo have shown no significant differences in aroma, loaf volume and symmetry, grain or