Month: April 2021
Tate & Lyle’s shares fell by over a quarter to 398.75p last week, wiping around £670m from its market capitalisation, after it announced that profits in its sugars division were “sharply lower” than in the comparative period last year.In its third profit warning this year, it said profit margins had been hit by the weak US dollar. If the situation continues the company was likely to reduce pre-tax profits by a predicted £12m.Rising corn costs in Europe will also have “an increasingly severe effect” on profitability from its ingredients division. Sales prices will be increased where possible in order to offset these higher costs, said the company.”The well-publicised increase in European wheat costs further supports our decision to dispose of our interest in the facilities in the UK, Belgium, France, Spain and Italy to Syral, a subsidiary of the [agro-industrial] Tereos Group,” said the statement. “We expect this transaction to close in the next few days. We will then have no exposure to wheat.”
Scottish bakery supplier Macphie has unveiled plans for an ambitious renewable energy plan that will involve cutting its carbon emissions by 2,000 tonnes a year.A new Macphie biomass plant – a massive 1.75 MW boiler fuelled by wood chips – will be the first large industrial biomass process steam plant in Scotland.The firm has made a £1.5m investment in the plant which will supply the heating at its Glenbervie site in the north of Scotland from March next year. It also received a grant from the Scottish Executive’s Scottish Biomass Support Scheme.Chief executive Alastair Macphie said the biomass plant was the first phase of a renewable energy plan that will involve cutting carbon emissions by 2,000 tonnes a year.”We calculated the feasibility of this plant when the oil price was at $65 a barrel, and expected a financial payback within five to six years. Now that oil prices are even higher it’s going to be an even better payback.”The company will turn to green energy sources to meet its fuel needs as it gears up to double the size of its business.Electrical usage has already been reduced by 20% over the last three years. The 600-800kVA of electricity it uses has been predicted to more than double to 1,500-2,000kVA by 2011. “We’ve looked for more sustainable ways of doing what we do because of our rural setting, and they are always the more cost-effective routes,” said Macphie.The new boiler will use 5,000 tonnes of locally sourced wood fuel per year to produce the steam demand for its factory on the 2,000-acre family-owned estate.
Irish bread and pastries company IAWS Group has revealed a 30% rise in half-year earnings and said it expected continued growth due to strong demand.The owner of brands including Cuisine de France and La Brea in the US has fully consolidated the results of US specialty baked goods firm Otis Spunkmeyer, which it bought in 2006. “50% of the underlying profit is coming from the core business growing and 50% is coming from acquisitions,” said chief executive Owen Killian.He said he did not expect acquisitions to make a big contribution to the business in the near future, although the global credit crunch may make them cheaper. “We’ve got strategic gaps we’d need to fill over a period of time in our geography and portfolio and we think we are in a good position to look for opportunities.”
Bettys Café Tea Rooms, based in Harrogate, Yorkshire, has lodged a complaint with the Patent’s Office, after a local company starting selling a cheesey nibble using the name ’Betty’.’Fat Betty Organic Cheesey Nibbles’ have been sold for the last two years by Jonathan Kidd, owner of Cheese & Co, under his Taste of Yorkshire label.However Bettys, which operates six tearooms in the county, is said to have became worried about possible confusion over the product’s name. “We have a responsibility to protect the Bettys name for the future of our business and if we allow one business to use our name, we have to let others use it,” said a spokesperson for Bettys.Kidd told British Baker that his company had trademarked the name Fat Betty – unopposed – in October 2006, but in February 2007, Bettys made an initial complaint. “They have lodged an action to get our trademark invalidated, on the grounds that there will be confusion in the marketplace. We’ve submitted evidence to the Patent’s Office to say we don’t believe there’s a single element of confusion,” said Kidd.Cheese & Co’s Fat Betty nibbles are named after a landmark stone of the North York Moors called Fat Betty.—-=== In Short ===== Charge challenged ==The Freight Transport Association has challenged The Association of Greater Manchester Authorities’ plans to implement a congestion charge in Great Manchester on the grounds that it will have a damaging effect on local businesses. Bakeries operating in the area could see their transport costs rise significantly.== Rural award ==The Old Farmhouse Bakery, based in Steventon, Hampshire, is in the running for the Rural Enterprise accolade in the Countryside Alliance Awards. The awards seek to recognise and celebrate rural individuals and businesses who are ambassadors for both local produce and their communities. The bakery produces traditional recipe breads by hand and in small batches.== Bread in favour ==A survey carried out by EBLEX, the English Beef and Lamb group, found that freshly baked bread was ranked as Britain’s third-favourite taste. Of the 3,000 people polled, Belgian chocolate came out top, with bacon butties coming in second.== Local web drive ==A new website to promote top local and regional food and drink producers has been launched. Localfoodadvisor.com has sections on bakery, meat, fish & seafood, fruit & vegetables, deli, dairy, regional specialities and drink, and features a producer database.== Delice recognised ==Delice de France scooped two awards at the National Payroll Giving Excellence Awards, winning The Best Launch of a New Scheme and The Most Successful Payroll Giving Promotion accolades. Supplier of baked and part-baked frozen bakery, Delice, was praised by the judges for creating a good spirit within the company.
More aggressive sales and marketing activity have helped Coffee Republic reverse a downward trend, according to its latest trading update.Operating losses to the end of August have reduced by nearly 40% compared with the previous year. This was driven by increased franchise income, the success of its Cineworld concession deal and tighter control over head office costs. In the first six months of the year, like-for-like sales were down 0.2%, which the company said reflected a “toughening climate”, while total network sales growth in the UK is now 20%, driven by newly-opened bars.”The board continues to focus on driving the business both in the UK and internationally. Pipelines in both areas remain encouraging, despite the economic climate,” said a company statement.Coffee Republic now operates 195 outlets in the UK and internationally. Of the 184 UK outlets, 19 are company-run, 51 are franchises and 114 are concessions. It has also appointed property consultant Kings Sturge to find another 20 stores in Scotland, to increase its presence there.
The sponsor of National Doughnut Week, BakeMark, is encouraging all bakers to get involved and help raise money for The Children’s Trust.The next fundraising week will take place from 9-16 May, 2009, and will be the 25th anniversary of the initiative, which raises money for specific care, education and therapy for children with multiple disabilities.National Doughnut Week has raised £630,000 in its 14-year history and the aim this year is to raise over £50,000. Each participating baker will have the opportunity to boost profits, involve the local community and media, and raise money for the charity with every doughnut sold. Anyone who registers will receive posters, balloons, collection boxes and PR support, as well as the chance to be promoted on the National Doughnut Week website.To register for the week, email [email protected] or check out the National Doughnut Week website: [http://www.nationaldoughnutweek.org].
Britvic and Pepsico have launched an on-pack promotion across the 7UP range of soft drinks. Consumers can get £10 off their next holiday with Thomas Cook with every purchase, as well as the chance to win a holiday to one of the seven natural wonders of the world.The Natural Wonders on-pack promotion will run from June to October across all 7Up bottles and cans.Each person can enter a maximum of 10 codes, saving them up to £100. For every person that visits the 7UP website, they can enter a free prize draw to win one of four holidays to ‘Natural Wonders’ destinations such as the Great Barrier Reef, Grand Canyon or the Northern Lights. Laura Navarro, 7Up Brand Manager at Britvic, commented: “Perfect for summer, the on-pack will look to build on the success of the 7Up brand, which grew by 8%* (Nielsen Scantrack, MAT, 27 December 2008) last year and is still the fastest growing lemon and lime fruit carbonate in the UK market.”
Lancashire-based Farmhouse Fare has teamed up with Lyle’s Golden Syrup to launch a new luxury syrup sponge pudding.The 500g, family size pudding is one of eight new luxury puddings launched by Farmhouse Fare. The line-up includes two 700g puddings Luxury Sticky Toffee and Luxury Sticky Chocolate; two 500g puddings Luxury Sticky Toffee Apple and Luxury Sticky Gingerbread and Treacle; two 450g puddings Luxury Bakewell Sponge and Luxury Lemon Sponge; and a 600g Creamy Rice Pudding with Red Fruit Compote.”The Lyle’s branded pudding will attract more younger families to the traditional desserts market by combining the best quality sponge with the most well known golden syrup brand, presented in an instantly recognisable pack,” said Nigel Parrott, marketing director at the Daniel’s Group.MRP: £2.99www.farmhousefare.co.uk
The recession has killed off many things banks, bakeries and, erm, very nearly Iceland but try as it might, it has failed to knock the coffee shops off their perch. While Starbucks cut stores and Coffee Republic filed for administration, to hopefully emerge leaner and stronger, Caffè Nero and Costa have sat and watched sales sheets ticking over rather nicely, thank you.”What the recession killed dead once and for all was the notion that coffee bars are in any way a luxury in terms of expenditure,” says Caffè Nero business development director and founding father Paul Ettinger. “We’re here as a necessary part of the British way of life. Our trading through the recession has been absolutely amazing, and it goes to show that people will give up Barbados, they will give up their Aston Martin DB9, but they won’t give up their coffee shop visit.”Not even the economy has stopped people paying £1.40 for a single cookie. How did Nero manage that? “It’s a big cookie, a good product…” says Ettinger. But surely the food team must have been tempted to hit the panic button when soothsayers briefly predicted a gloomy future for coffee houses last year? Ettinger speaks only of the positives. “One good result of the recession was applying that critical eye. We had some cakes in our selection that were big portion sizes. Great value. But was that putting off people on health grounds?”And while the likes of Costa have been tempted into experimenting with meal deals, Ettinger remains unconvinced. “We don’t do meal deals,” he states. “It was easy to panic (due to the recession), and we realised that a £2 sandwich would be a very short-term strategy.”One area where the food team has clearly been frustrated is the slowdown in NPD, with new products becoming ever harder to find. “Five, six or seven years ago, there were lots of things that still hadn’t been done,” recalls Ettinger. “Now, there isn’t that much. If you look at Italian cakes, most of them are not for the UK market at all. They might be different, but you’re not going to sell them. But I’d hate to think that new product development had come to an end.”With a lower product churn than Costa, any new launches have to be spot-on. “In the old days we’d have a cycle whereby every month we’d have a new sandwich or panini, and perhaps three to four different products. But actually, once the customer finds something they like, they don’t want to see it disappear,” he says. This has led to a more considered approach to NPD. “If something comes in, it stays for quite a while. People love our big sellers, such as our chocolate muffin. We’re not going to churn for the sake of churning.””Here, we have three people working on food development, so we don’t have a massive team of people to constantly go out and re-tender,” adds head of food and beverage Neville Moon. He points out that the lead times for the food planning process are sometimes very long. Getting a sample on the table is easy, but getting that product into the stores in six months’ time, with all the staff trained, all the point-of-sale material and packaging done is a lot of work. “Then we have to get the whole commercial team to buy into it, accept we have the right margins and negotiate that can be a long process. For a supplier, it’s not easy,” says Ettinger.Suppliers can ease the process by doing their homework, he says. “You’d be horrified to know how many suppliers walk in and start talking about products that have absolutely no relevance whatsoever to the business. It’s quite incredible. Like an American donut. It’s just not going to work.” Caffè Nero’s food philosophy has always been very clearly delineated, he says: don’t stick in lots of additives and colourants.”Sometimes subtle changes can make someone walk that extra 50 yards,” says Moon. That’s usually the distance from one coffee chain to another and perhaps one reason why one half of the sector has ended a year of recession with an A+, while the other half comes under the ’must try harder’ category.
Dried food supplier Community Foods is looking to increase its foothold in the bakery ingre-dients market with the appointment of a new managing director and the installation of a new fruit-soaking line. Martin Rome, formally of Whitworth’s, recently took up the position of MD and was joined by another former Whitworth’s employee, Joe Erskine, who was responsible for much of the NPD work at bakery level.Marketing director Paul Moore said the London-based firm does not have a high profile as a bakery ingredients supplier, but as part of its objective to supply at least 10% of the total vine fruit market in the UK by the end of 2010, it is looking to double its sales and customer base in the baking industry. Currently, around 50-60% of its £50m turnover is derived from sales in the baking sector. “We do have an increasingly significant business in this field and are determined to expand in this area,” added Moore. “We recently invested in and installed a very modern fruit-soaking line for vine fruits, which allows bakers to improve quality and shelf-life of product using this material.” The firm procures and supplies organic and natural dried fruits, nuts, seeds, pulses, grains and branded health foods. It also sells everyday household items, such as washing up liquid, Fairtrade footballs, footwear and balloons.