Russell Finex (stand J130) will feature two new units that complement its range of powder sieves and liquid filters.The Russell 3in1 Sieving Station has been engineered to include a fully integrated screw conveyor. By combining the screening and movement of powders the process is simplified, removing double-handling and increasing productivity.The stand-alone 3in1 combines three features designed to aid good manufacturing practice: a low-level sack-tip platform with dust hood and integrated dust extraction system; a Russell Compact 600 Sieve; and a magnetic trap. These sieve and remove impurities from the bagged ingredients while protecting operatives from the potential health hazards caused by dust inhalation.The integrated and fully enclosed conveyor moves material through a hygiene break or onto the next processing stage without the use of collection bins or wheeled containers. Russell Finex will also be exhibiting its new 502 Eco Filter – the latest addition to its range of Eco Self Cleaning Filters. The 502 model has been re-engineered to provide greater benefits to liquid food processors. It eliminates contamination from liquids in a clean and simple fashion without the mess and environmental impact
Organic food company Duchy Originals is to open its first bakery on 14 June producing new ranges including organic Cornish pasties and sweet and savoury tarts and flans (British Baker, 28 Oct. pg 6).The Cornish bakery, which was originally scheduled to open in April, will sell mainly to Waitrose and Budgens, and has been discussing a deal to supply Sainsbury’s, said a Duchy Originals spokeswoman. The bakery’s initial range will include steak and cheese & onion pasties; bacon & cheese and cheese & onion flans; and chocolate, lemon and fruit tarts. The plan is to double production within two years, in part through the addition of pastry products. Duchy Originals declined to give details of initial production capacity. The initial workforce of 14 will include 11 people on the two production lines. The bakery will use some ingredients sourced locally, including meat for pasties from local butcher James Kitto. It will also use some ingredients, including preserves and bacon, sourced from the suppliers of other Duchy products, a spokeswoman said. The Duchy Originals Foods Bakery in Launceston, Cornwall, is owned by the Prince of Wales’ estate, which up to now has subcontracted production of all its food and drink products to suppliers including La Fornaia and Walkers Shortbread.Duchy Originals was set up by Prince Charles in 1990 to sell oat biscuits to fund his charitable foundation.
Real Good Food Company (RGFC) is selling its Five Star Fish division to British Seafood for £35 million.This sale leaves the company with bakery, baking ingredients and sugar companies. These include Hayden’s Bakeries, Seriously Scrumptious, Renshaw and Napier Brown Foods.RGFC said this week that it aims to grow both through acquisitions and organically.In 2003, RGFC acquired Hayden’s Bakeries and Seriously Scrumptious and, the following year, acquired Grimsby-based Five Star Fish.The fish company supplies value-added, prepared frozen fish to the foodservice sector. It deli-vers to 100 customers nationwide and employs approximately 200 people.RFGC also acquired Eurofoods in 2004, trading as Coolfresh Distribution, but closed it in 2005, when it bought Napier Brown Foods and Renshaw.
Tuesday 2 OctoberAfter 28 hours of travel to LA via Orlando, I finally make it to LA to meet up with Steve McCaughey, the latest recruit to the new product development team at Rich’s UK. The purpose of this lightning trip is to learn some lessons from Rich’s US associates to help us with new product development back in the UK.The supermarkets in America are fantastic! They really know how to maximise fridge and freezer space. The bakery counter in Von’s supermarket was a visual treat. Next we make our way to Sprinkles Cup Cake shop in Beverly Hills. Inside the tiny outlet, the variety of cupcakes on offer is astounding. There are coconut shreds on red velvet bases and orange and lemon flavours with white chocolate sprinkles to name just a few. We have to get a variety to sample, so opt for the box of 12 assorted varieties, which sets us back a staggering $48 (almost £24).Wednesday 3 OctoberI leave LA at 10am and board a five-hour flight touching down in Orlando and it’s 6pm. Time to finish a presentation for Tesco – thank goodness for broadband. I wonder what time it is back in the UK? I work out it’s 1pm, but that means I’ve been up since 2am UK time… now the jetlag is really starting to set in.Thursday 4 OctoberI have dinner with colleagues ahead of the Rich’s International Division Research and Development conference. This gives me a chance to meet the colleagues from eight different countries with whom I will spend the next four days. The focus for this year’s conference is on packaging innovation and minimising the impact of commodity price increases.Friday 5 October7am and it’s a visit to the Bad Ass Café to check out the breakfast products on offer. 7.15am and there’s still no sign of anyone opening up. The store next door tells us this is the first time in five years that the Bad Ass Café hasn’t been open before 7am. They must have known we were coming! We decide to visit Starbucks instead.I return to the workshop for a full day of discussion, including a session dedicated to reviewing the impact of commodity price increases on our products. The final session of the day allows us to review packaging innovation within Rich’s.There are some truly innovative concepts from our internal sources, some of which look set to revolutionise the market. But I’m sworn to secrecy at this stage!Saturday 6 OctoberIt’s product showcase day. This is a great opportunity for each of the regions to present their latest successes. Toppings and icings are core to Rich’s business worldwide and this is our first chance to taste all the reformulated HVO and GM-free toppings and icings, which will be available to our UK customers from January 2008.Next, our colleagues from French Meadow bakeries show us some fantastic products including their award-winning hemp seed bread. Mexico sample the Rosca de Reyes, a soft, sweet bread topped with sugared fruit, with six baby Jesus toys hidden inside. The product is superb and the concept of sharing the Rosca and finding the hidden surprise really brings the team together.As I reflect on the day I’m amazed at how diverse taste buds are around the world but how common the business challenges are that we all face.Sunday 7 OctoberMy mission today is to find new and innovative packaging for the key products we sampled in Saturday’s session. We split into two teams to tackle the IBIE exhibition, looking for solutions to the packaging challenges we discussed. After three hours of meeting potential suppliers we write up our findings. For me what stood out most was the biodegradable Environmentally Responsible Packaging from Barrington Packaging Systems Group.Monday 8 OctoberAn opportunity to explore the show at leisure. From an innovation point of view, it is quite disappointing. As my first bakery exposition, the overall feel of the show leaves me with the impression that it lacks a clear focus. The exhibitors are enthusiastic and helpful, but I’m not convinced that I’ll ever get the samples I requested. However, from a new starter’s point of view, I get a great overview of the industry.Tuesday 9 OctoberA visit to Whole Foods, Panera Bread, Charlie’s Bakery, The Dessert Lady and The Grand Floridian resort at Disney. The main objective is to compare and contrast the product offerings to gain inspiration for new product development (NPD). The Dessert Lady is undoubtedly the highlight of my day. These delicious, indulgent cakes are lovingly handcrafted and the salon where the wares are displayed is an opulent theatre of velvet and gold. Artisan pictures adorn the walls and I could easily spend the rest of the afternoon sipping one of the hundreds of wines on offer in the dimly lit enclave while indulging my way through the menu. If this café were in London there would almost certainly be a waiting list. This is a true dessert experience.We move on to what is billed as the highlight of the day – afternoon tea at The Grand Floridian resort. The choice of teas is fabulous and the cakes are exquisite: little choux pastry swans filled with raspberry cream cheese and miniature carrot cake topped with marzipan carrots. However, after The Dessert Lady it feels like second-best.Arriving back home I reflect on what I’ve learnt. Rich’s prides itself on innovation, so I was surprised that much of the NPD from exhibitors at IBIE consisted of licensing brands, including the forthcoming Golden Compass film or children’s cartoon favourites. While such products do play a large part in keeping the sector fresh and generating sales, I couldn’t help but feel that some bakery companies need more true innovation, as opposed to reinvention, if they are to maintain consumer interest in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has published its third progress report on the proposals going forward for the nationwide Scores on the Doors (SotD) scheme. But it said agreements have been difficult to reach and further discussions are needed.At a meeting on 21 July, the UK-wide SotD Steering Group and its Working Groups were unable to agree upon “how the top tier of the six-tier national scheme should be ‘mapped’ from the numerical score derived from the intervention-rating scheme at Annex 5 of the Food Law Code of Practice”. The Group also reached a stalemate on how the concept of ‘broad compliance’ should be ‘mapped’. “In the light of this, the Group has referred these issues back to the FSA for a decision.”The FSA said the decisions were difficult, due to the complexity of the issues and polarised views of key stakeholders.Further discussions are to take place and it is hoped that decisions will be reached in September.For more information and the chance to share your views, visit www.food.gov.uk.
Scottish bakers feel unfairly targeted by the Food Standards Agency in Scotland (FSAS) which reports that consumers have not reduced their salt consumption in the last five years.Scots are eating nearly 9g per day on average 50% higher than the recommended 6g per day, according to new research similar to a previous Scottish survey in 2006. The FSAS highlighted bread as a major source of salt in the diet, but said firms such as Macphie of Glenbervie had worked hard to reduce salt.Alan Clarke, chief executive of Scottish Bakers, said craft and plant bakers in Scotland were concerned the report did not reflect the good work done to comply with the Food Standards Agency’s 2012 voluntary salt target for bread 1g of salt per 100g of final product. “Once the consumer has added butter, or a spread and a filling, the amount of salt that is consumed can be much higher than that contained within the bread itself,” he said.Macphie of Glenbervie technical director Fraser Hogg said: “Plant bakers have done a lot already to reduce salt levels and to comply with the voluntary guidelines and many bakers who use concentrates, premixes and preparations are producing products that already meet the latest FSA recommendations.”Scottish Bakers’ president Lewis MacLean, of MacLean’s Highland Bakery, added: “This report does not highlight other food categories, including takeaways, soups and sausages… as having a major impact on salt consumption levels. Since the FSA brought it to our attention, the whole industry has taken measures to reduce our salt levels.”An FSA spokeswoman said: “Bread is not necessarily high in salt, but because we eat a lot of bread, it contributes a lot of salt to our diets.”
Following her achievement as runner-up in the latest television series of The Apprentice, Greggs’ Helen Milligan has been named the new head of retail for the south east region. Previously the executive assistant to CEO Ken McMeikan, Milligan will now be responsible for over 200 shops and around 2,500 staff.Milligan said she was very grateful for being given time off to take part in the TV series, and thanked both Greggs staff and customers. “I am really excited to have been given this fantastic promotion and I’m looking forward to leading the south east team in my new role,” she said.Greggs’ finance director Richard Hutton told British Baker: “Helen has a bright future ahead of her at Greggs. She’s certainly a real talent, and we will be putting that to good use.”Milligan triumphed in all bar one of the tasks on the show, but was pipped to the final post by entrepreneur Tom Pellereau, who became Lord Alan Sugar’s latest business partner.
Retail bakers planning to get into the festive spirit by decking their shops with gaudy tinsel and putting their Best of Christmas CD on repeat actually run the risk of alienating shoppers.That is according to new research by Nancy Puccinelli, associate fellow at Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford. She found shoppers who are feeling stressed by Christmas may avoid stores that revel in the festive season.An expert in the psychology of marketing, Puccinelli found that consumers in bad moods will avoid salespeople who are overly positive and upbeat, as well as retail outlets holding celebrations. The contrast between consumers’ negative feelings and the atmosphere in the store actually makes them feel worse and less willing to purchase. “There are a number of things that retailers can do to overcome this phenomenon and improve the consumers’ shopping experience to produce more satisfied customers who spend more, and to foster greater long-term loyalty,” said Puccinelli:These include toning down the décor by replacing bright reds and golds with more muted blues, silvers and white. Retailers should also consider playing classical music rather than overtly festive songs such as Slade’s Merry Christmas Everybody.
RedBlack Software, the leading bakery IT specialist, has launched a brand new shop profitability module for its flagship CyBake 3 business management solution.It allows bakers to monitor the performance of their individual retail outlets on a monthly, weekly or daily basis. The CyBake bakery management system already controls the process of purchasing ingredients, recipe formulation and production and then on through to packaging, ordering and eventual shop delivery for every line-item. The software tracks accurate costs for every product throughout this cycle. CyBake’s new Shop Profitability module processes these accurate cost-per-sales, together with outlets’ overheads and wastage figures, plus sales data fed directly from shops’ EPOS till systems.RedBlack Software director William McIlroy said: “I have always been acutely aware of the need for this information and had difficulty getting it during my time as a bakery director. Now that I am working with RedBlack, it has been possible to produce this functionality within CyBake and I know that our customer base will value it. The new module allows you to easily monitor the performance of individual shops. This information can be used to identify where you are generating cash and to motivate staff to act in ways that will improve profitability.”