Month: April 2021

Finsbury cake deal

first_imgFinsbury Food Group’s purchase of Lightbody Celebration Cakes will make it the leading player in the UK premium cakes market, it claimed this week.The premium bakery group announced this week it had agreed to buy Lightbody business, which saw £46m turnover in the year to April 2006, for £37.5m, subject to shareholder agreement at a meeting on 22 February.Finsbury chief executive Dave Brooks told British Baker he and Lightbody’s MD Martin Lightbody had been “talking seriously” over a possible deal over the past year.Lightbody will become strategic development director of the enlarged group from May and have a 28.1% stake in it, making him its largest single shareholder. Seven existing directors will have a combined 18% stake. The remaining 54% of shares are on the Alternative Investment Market.Finsbury’s philosophy on the Lightbody business was: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, Brooks said, but Finsbury does plan to make an estimated £2m savings through synergies.It plans to close its California Cake bakery in Coatbridge by the end of the year and move production and staff to Lightbody’s premises in Hamilton. And Brooks said the commercial team would be ratonalised, to give supermarkets one point of contact for Finsbury Cakes – across its Memory Lane, Campbells Cakes, and Lightbody divisions.He said: “With the acquisition we will have a scale where we can drive our premium agenda with all our major customers. This really is a partnership. It creates the leading player in the premium end of the UK cake market and the number one celebration cakes supplier.”He said that the deal would also give a “fantastic boost” to Finsbury’s children’s cakes business. Memory Lane Cakes has the licence to use the Nestlé brand and Lightbody has the Disney licence, as well as a Thorntons licence.Martin Lightbody told British Baker he decided to sell his 100-year old family business because being part of the enlarged Finsbury group would offer significant opportunities for growth. He commented: “I am looking forward to taking my development team to Finsbury and getting stuck in to new ranges. We are playing with the big boys now!”An analyst hailed the latest deal as “sensible”. He said: “Martin Lightbody has a cash exit, and what sounds like a roving role at Finsbury and you have a logical enlarged group of scale at the top end of the cake market.”last_img read more

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Fazer buys Russian bakery

first_imgFinland-based Fazer Group has taken a majority stake in Russian bakery OAO Volzhky Pekar.The company hopes to double Volzhky Pekar’s €32m turnover in five years, profiting from the booming bakery and snacks markets in Eastern Europe. Fazer Russia plans to increase production by 50% to 75,000 tonnes per year, focusing on fresh bread and pizzas.Fazer already has operations in Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, the Baltic and the UK.last_img

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Going the extra mile

first_imgFoodservice supplier Brakes is increasing its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activity with a set of environmental and social programmes.Brakes, which is a leading supplier to caterers and food-to-go outlets in the UK and France, has launched a new brochure and web-based CSR area to highlight the importance of the community and environment to its business.Its brochure, ’Our Environ­ment & Social Responsibility’, focuses on topics including energy consumption, fuel usage, recycling, ethical trading, sustainability and traceability.Frank McKay, group chief executive of Brakes, says: “It is important to demonstrate the responsible manner in which we go about daily business. We have developed this brochure and web-based site to give those who wish to know about our business a greater insight into how we do things.”The brochure states that Brakes will begin by becoming a much more conscious energy user. Brakes claims that in 2006, energy consumption was reduced by one million kWh through a combination of campaigns, staff training and operational changes. By November 2007, Brakes estimates that 95% of the company’s energy will be provided via renewable sources.These resources will include using biodiesel, a sustainable fuel made from plants, in deli­very vehicles to reduce green­house gas emissions. Brakes has also introduced minimum-order drops, avoidance of congestion routes and double-decker vehicles that can carry bigger loads, thus reducing fuel consumption.By recyling and reducing packaging on products and by re-using water in a circulation system for washing vehicles, Brakes hopes to to achieve ISO14001 accreditation – an internationally recognised standard for environmental performance. The accreditation is awarded to companies that comply with current leglislation regarding the environment. To achieve this goal, Brakes is working with the Carbon Trust and with its own staff to meet targets and improve environmental awareness.The brochure out­lines ethical trading as an important factor in achieving environmental and social responsibility. Ethical trading standards put forward by Brakes are being used to maintain relationships within the organisation and with suppliers. Brakes is also encouraging suppliers to operate in a way that minimises impact on the environment by using Fairtrade-branded products.In another attempt to boost social responsibility, Brakes has also asked suppliers to redeve­lop its own-brand products to contain less fat, sugar and salt and no hydrogenated oils.last_img read more

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Warburtons fibre boost

first_imgWarburtons is kicking off a national promotion of its wholemeal range this September, in order to give the nation a ‘fibre boost’. It is also launching a mini online drama called ‘The Seeds of Love’ featuring its Seeded Batch Loaf.Warburtons’ Fibre Provider campaign follows on where its 2007 campaign, ‘Are you getting enough’ left off. Its aim is to raise awareness of the importance of fibre in peoples’ diets. The Nation’s Fibre Provider is running across its wholemeal range, and emphasising its recently launched Wholemeal Fibre Boost.The campaign will incorporate press ads, a sampling roadshow and the launch of a microsite www.fibreprovider.co.uk. The website will offer tips from a health expert as well as recipes and a fibre intake monitor. “The viral mechanic for the ‘Seeds of Love’ campaign is a first for Warburtons and allows us to engage with our target consumers of women aged 35-64 in a more interactive way,” said category manager, Katie Rowson. ‘The Seeds of Love’ mini drama series can be viewed at www.bitesizedpassion.co.uk. The campaign will be promoted on-pack, via a viral email and on-line.last_img read more

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Piero Scacco scoops the ultimate accolade at BIA

first_imgAt Monday night’s Baking Industry Awards, Piero Scacco won the coveted Baker of the Year title.Sponsored by Vandemoortele, the accolade was presented to Scacco in front of a packed room of more than 800 members of the baking industry, assembled at London’s Grosvenor House hotel for the biggest annual event in the industry’s calendar.Scacco sold his baguette business in 1992, after decades in the industry, and settled down to retire. Finding retirement “boring”, he started all over again, setting up Montana Bakery in 1998. Scacco, who has secured listings with Waitrose and Marks & Spencer for his ambient, chilled and speciality breads, said: “I am over the moon! This is the ultimate accolade for my staff.”Sponsor Adrian Roberts of Vandemoortele said: “Piero has tremendous craft skills, and has developed and maintained a business that is making products of the finest quality. His attention to detail is outstanding, and not only does he support and develop his own staff, but he is always looking to put something back into the industry.”Other winners revealed by host Kate Thornton at the glitzy Las Vegas-themed bash included Cornish business W C Rowe, which was named Bakery Supplier of the Year, sponsored by Sainsbury’s. Managing director Alan Pearce said the award was a boost for Cornish passion, pride, ingredients and products. A second Cornish firm, Newquay’s Crantock Bakery, scooped Bakery Food Manufacturer of the Year, sponsored by ADM Milling. Crantock’s national sales manager Leigh Loomes said: “You could say this is the cherry on top of the pasty for us.”Jane Hatton, bakery tutor at Brooklands College, said she bagged The Achievement in Bakery Training Award, sponsored by Rich’s, after convincing the judges of the value of college training to the industry. “I showed the difference between training in industry and training within a college establishment,” she said. “I likened it to an allotment in that I nurture people. Then I send them out to specific parts of the industry. To win was fantastic.”The Village Bakery, Melmerby impressed the judges by following though on its organic credentials, with marketing manager Lindsay Kilifin collecting The Organic Award, sponsored by Asda. She said: “The Village Bakery is a brand of integrity, founded from a real passion for organic.”Leanne Tang, who scooped Celebration Cake Maker of the Year, sponsored by Renshaw, beamed: “I’ve been a cake decorator for three years, but I really didn’t expect to win.”l Winner and finalist profiles, pgs 14-28. Full report, 3 October.An “elated” Jane Jackson, from Quality Product of the Year winners Jackson the Bakers said: “It will mean a lot to our staff and our customers. We’ll definitely be entering again next year.”—-=== British Baker Award for Special Achievement ===John Slattery, of Slattery Patissier & Chocolatier, was lost for words when he was presented with the British Baker Award for Special Achievement. Slattery won praise for building up a successful business, with clients including celebrities Wayne Rooney and wife Colleen. Judges also admired his willingness to share his expertise with other firms and help host events for organisations such as the International Richemont Club.Speaking in front of the assembled guests at the BIA08 at Grosvenor House, Slattery (pictured right with BB editor Sylvia Macdonald) pledged his award to everybody working at the firm. “I’m gobsmacked. Getting this award means all the people at Slattery’s getting the award,” he said. See also John Slattery profile, pg 15last_img read more

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New mixer causes a stir

first_imgPantheon has developed its new heavy-duty PM20 Planetary Mixer. The body of the machine is made from solid metal and die-cast aluminium, while the 20-litre mixing bowl and beater, whisk and dough hook are all made from stainless steel. It is powered by a 1.1kW motor and features three speed settings.An enhanced version – the PM20-MC – is also available, and has an additional connection outlet for Pantheon’s MC Mincing Attachment (sold separately).The mixer’s dimensions are (w)500mm x (d)600mm x (h)780mm and it weighs 107kg. It comes with a 12-month parts and labour warranty.[http://www.pantheonce.co.uk]last_img read more

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Say it with a cake

first_imgForget Subway’s “We’ve got a Sub for that” and McDonald’s “There’s a McDonald’s for everyone” marketing campaigns, currently doing the rounds. Everyone knows it’s the cake baker that has the monopoly on product personalisation no matter how lunatic the customer request. The beauty of this cake lies in imagining the taut conversations that led to its making. See: tinyurl.com/yg8kq2flast_img

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Park Royal Innovation Centre opened

first_imgA food and drink innovation centre has launched in London, with bakers high up on the priority list for business support.The Park Royal Food Innovation Centre, at Dephna House in north-west London, offers free technical, business and marketing support to food and drink production SMEs in London.However, places are limited, so companies are being urged to apply now. To qualify, businesses need to be London-based, have 250 or fewer employees, have been trading for more than a year, and have revenues no greater than €50m (£44.7m).Prior to the opening, a study mapped the types of food and drink businesses based in Park Royal and surrounding areas. It found that, of the 870 businesses in the area, bakery was the largest single-category food product. It also highlighted the need for support for SME food and drink production companies with regard to a number of areas, including: production, resource efficiency, training, facility management and design. To apply contact Sally Fowler on 020 311 02319 or email: [email protected]last_img read more

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Rising to the challenge

first_imgSt Anne’s College was the venue for The Rise of Real Bread Conference a place where the Gandalfs and Aslans of all baking things, philosophic and prophetic, gathered.Sheila Dillon, presenter of BBC Radio 4’s The Food Programme, chaired the proceedings and kicked things off by rhetorically asking “Why does bread matter?” I’ll now paraphrase the rest of the day and Dillon’s answer: it is the staff of life and essential to health; the Chorleywood Process was a scientific triumph, but belongs to the era of processed food that also includes MRM (mechanically reclaimed meat) and water-injected meat, she said; and if we can start by getting our bread right, we stand a chance with the rest this latter assertion followed by enthusiastic hand-clapping.The baton was then handed to food writer, historian and Sunday Telegraph food columnist Bee Wilson, who told us that, from a historical perspective, the 40p loaf she held up was very odd a sad example of a loaf, made with bulk fermentation and mechanical kneading. Why is no one punished for this ’bread’? she asked. Her assertion was that good bread is dependent on the people who make it and, traditionally, bakers would have cut a signature mark into their loaves, both for traceability and as a badge of honour.Vision of the futureOver to Bread Matters author and co-founder of The Real Bread Campaign Andrew Whitley aka the Boil on the Bum of Big Boy Bakeries who opened with a vision of a future where everyone would be within walking distance of real bread. Whitley answered his own question, “What’s so good about real bread?” by exclaiming that it is a question met with gross indifference. The notion of real bread is a difficult one, but is fundamental to gaining a better food culture. Indeed, the state of bread is a matter of social justice and public health.Inspiration of the day went to the real bread bakers, who are the cavalry of the battle to bake better bread for Britain. Ground is being won in communities, quiet as a dough rise, but equally enchanting and fulfilling. We witnessed the testimony of Dan and Johanna McTiernan of The Handmade Bakery, based in Slaithwaite near Huddersfield, who proved how the community bakery model could work with great bread, little capital and no waste! Allowing the community to have control of how its bread is produced is empowering and gives people ownership of the bread baked for them.Sooo, what to do? Biologist and author of Feeding People is Easy, Colin Tudge, gave us six action points: take food very seriously; be a good consumer; invest ethically; promote community and supported agricul-ture; have trust for real farming; and become a farmer.The clarion call was for action: petition government to lift punitive laws and promote the things that support the rise of real bread; fund research into the differences in real and commercial bread; bring together the good and real food movements, initiatives and groups, while also maintaining diversity.The feeling was we must catch up with Europe. We must find real bread’s part in addressing this country’s annual £6bn obesity problem. And finally, we need to find a Jamie Oliver-style baker with street cred and real bread to champion the cause.The conference bore witness to great ideas, encouraging anecdotes and learning from our shared and magnificent heritage. The stomach punch of negative realities can be eschewed in the celebration of real bread.last_img read more

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Ginsters goes after the snack and share market

first_imgGinsters aims to drive forward growth in the snacking and sharing occasion with the launch of new savoury products in time for summer. The Cornish firm has also made further investments in automation at its Lynher bakery in Callington in order to increase production at the site, and has just completed the commission of a Schubert pick-and-place machine an investment of £1.2m.Head of brand marketing Andy Valentine said the bakery was due to hit total capacity of a record four million units per week, in the next couple of weeks.With the aim of invigorating the ’pie and savoury snacks’ category, Ginsters has initiated a full strategy review of the category and has already identified ’snacking and sharing’ as the biggest occasion predominantly driven by pork pies, said customer marketing controller David Bacon.The new products are very much targeted towards the impulse sector. Launched at the end of April, the line-up comprises: two-pack snack Original Cornish pasties; two-pack Mini Ploughmans Pork Pies; two-pack sausage rolls; and a Sweet Chilli bar, made using British pork sausage meat and a bespoke sweet chilli sauce. A Meat Feast Slice is also available, containing smoked ham, pork, beef meatballs, pepperoni, chicken and cheese in a tomato sauce.Brand communications manager Larry File said Ginsters would be evolving the 2008/09 message of local ingredients in 2010 and that the firm expected to buy a record £12m-worth of fresh ingredients from local farms this year. Ginsters has also just launched its biggest on-pack promo 100 Days of Summer, teaming up with the Merlin Entertainments Group to offer two-for-one vouchers for attractions including Alton Towers.last_img read more

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