IMA Food Equipment (St Albans) says bakers increasingly need dividers that can handle “challenging” doughs, such as ciabatta, focaccia, Scottish rolls and gluten-free doughs.The company supplies equipment from Bertuetti Compact Systems of Brescia, Italy, which is regularly used to divide ciabatta and other types of doughs.The company’s latest development is the SV200/300 – a universal divider for hard or soft dough, leavened or unleavened, plain or with inclusions such as olives and sun-dried tomatoes. The dough is loaded onto an infeed belt (25-30kg), which leads to a variable thickness roller unit and then into a patented inlet feeder that controls the dough, stress free, into the cutting unit. A linear cutter divides into one to seven (depending on size required) and through to a guillotine-type cutting unit. Electronic setting of the weight and speed are standard together with automatic correction of the valves in relation to thickness and desired weight. The exit belt can be used for discharge onto baking trays with automatic tray loader, onto further moulding machines or simply to a table by hand. The optional moulder can produce French sticks, long rolls and long loaves at a throughout of up to 3,500 per hour.
Month: April 2021
? Rhubarb is actually a vegetable. It is only known as a fruit due to its most common use in cookery? Rhubarb is indigenous to Asia and has a long history within the use of traditional Chinese medicines? In the UK, an area called the Rhubarb Triangle, encompassing Wakefield, Leeds and Morley, is infamous for its rhubarb production? There are approximately 60 species of rhubarb? Rhubarb is a popular constituent of GI diets. It is low in carbohydrate, high in vitamins and is also thought to speed metabolism and aid weight loss? Rhubarb can be used to make wine as well as more common recipes such as tarts, crumbles and jams? In former days, a common sweet for children was a tender stick of rhubarb dipped in sugar
Appletiser is extending its UK product portfolio with the introduction of a sparkling drinks range called Fruitiser.The drinks, made from 100% fruit juice, come in three flavours – Pomegranate & Raspberry, Mango & Mandarin and Apple & Dragon Fruit – is free from preservatives and artificial colours and has no added sugars.The launch will be supported by a £1m marketing investment, including press advertising, PR and an “innovative bike sampling campaign” over the summer.Appletiser marketing manager Sally Marshall said: “Like Appletiser and Peartiser, the Fruitiser range will be a stylish, adult alternative to alcohol, but will instead target a younger audience of women between the ages of 18 and 30.”Developed especially for the UK market to be the younger sister of Appletiser, the range of fruit combinations will be the perfect accompaniment to food.”RRP: 79p (275ml) £2.15 (750ml)[http://www.cokecce.co.uk]== Ocean Spray branches out ==Ocean Spray is to launch a new ’on the go’ version of its cranberry juice drinks and plans to enter the smoothie market.The company, owned by the Cranberry Growers’ Cooperative in the US, has also revamped the packaging across all drink, sauce and snack products. All carry the strapline “helps protect you inside”.The single-serve juice drinks, to launch in July, contain 125% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C, plus an 80mg serving of health-promoting compounds called proanthocyanidins.The new range includes Cranberry Classic, Cranberry Classic Light and Cranberry & Raspberry flavours.The company will also launch a new range of one-litre not-from-concentrate cranberry smoothies, plus a new dried cranberry snack product called Craisins. The initiatives will be backed with a £5.5m TV and press campaign.RRP ’on the go’: 79-99p (250ml)[http://www.oceanspray.co.uk]== Smoothie pair for Boost ==Boost Drinks has launched a new range of smoothies.Two flavours are available initially – Mixed Berry and Orange & Mango. Both are ambient goods so they don’t need to be refrigerated during transportation or storage, and have a longer shelf life than traditional smoothies.The smoothies are 100% natural, with no added sugar or artificial additives, and are fat-free. Boost’s managing director Simon Gray said: “The launch of our smoothie is an important part of our strategy moving forward and will be a key member of our growing family of functional drinks.”The company already has a range of energy and sports drinks.RRP: 99p (250ml PET bottle)[http://www.boostdrinks.com]== Oasis goes Extra Light ==Adult juice drink brand Oasis is launching another Extra Light variant. Oasis Peach Passionfruit Extra Light, made with all-natural colours and flavours, has been on the market since April 14. The range will be supported with a £3.5m media campaign.Coca-Cola head of marketing Anita Huntley said that trends towards healthier products were working in favour of the range.There are now two products in the range, as Peach Passionfruit joins Summer Fruits flavour.[http://www.cokecce.co.uk]
The importance of reducing packaging waste was highlighted by a companies including Tesco and Asda, at the Baking Industry Summit, on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), held on 27 November.Tesco is keen to reduce packaging in bakery as part of the company’s overall target to reduce packaging by 25% by 2010.”We are on track in bakery and have already reduced it by 11%, by for example, reducing the thickness of bread bags as well as changing the cutter size so those bags are smaller,” explained Lucy Neville-Rolfe, executive director (corporate and legal affairs), Tesco.Packaging for cakes will be a particularly important focus for Tesco over the coming year, she added.Huw Edwards, supply chain director at Asda, said that bakery manufacturers could do more to reduce packaging on products. “We’ve reduced packaging in bakery by 18%,” said Edwards, which equates to 870 tonnes a year of packaging that won’t end up in landfill.
Greggs chief executive Ken McMeikan said his top priority is to “simplify the business” to better prepare it for expansion. The comment follows his initial review of the business since he took over in August.Greggs also released its latest trading update, showing total sales for the 25 weeks to 6 December 2008 up by 6.6%, with like-for-like sales up 3.8%. The firm now has over 1,300 shops.McMeikan said he is confident in the business’ potential for future growth, particularly in the south of England and the north west. He said: “As a cash generative business with no debt, we are in a strong position to weather the current downturn and exploit opportunities for future growth.”Greggs will also continue its move into locations away from the high street in order to “serve its customers at work and as they travel” and will continue to rebrand its Bakers Oven shops as Greggs in a move towards a single fascia throughout the UK.
Cake and dessert supplier Elisabeth the Chef has added a number of new cartoon character licences to its portfolio. Batman – in a new bright cartoon format – joins the line-up in a bid to capitalise on a new light-hearted animated series, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, which hits TV screens at the end of March.The company has produced a 7” Genoese sponge cake coated with sugar paste and filled with buttercream and strawberry jam.Stephanie Fournat, licence product manager for Elisabeth the Chef, said: “We are planning to reflect the feel of the new animated series and target our product at a much younger audience by producing a cake in brighter colours, and making the packaging much more fun for kids by providing a game on the back of the pack and logo stickers on the cake band.”Meanwhile, the company has developed a range of products carrying children’s character Noddy, in time for his 60th anniversary. A new TV series launches towards the end of April and the character has been signed in a deal spanning all Elisabeth the Chef products, including celebration cakes, desserts and chilled bakery goods.
There’s seemingly no end to the number of online outlets for lovelorn lonely hearts these days. And so we welcome the emergence of GlutenFreeDate.com, “a social networking site for gluten-free singles and single coeliacs”. The American site is “100% free” and was created to give wheat-free restricted dieters the opportunity to meet others who follow a similar diet and lifestyle. The community offers shared pics, e-cards, forums and a video service. Not that we would belittle food allergy sufferers whose cause has been leapt on by celebrity bandwagon jumpers and self-diagnosing home medics, but should they be encouraged to breed? Won’t they spawn a generation of cake-dodgers, and is this a future we’re prepared to accept? “Check out what all the buzz is about at GlutenFreeDate.com!” it proclaimed. Well, we tried, and the website had mysteriously been pulled down. The work of rogue bakery-based hackers, perhaps?
Ashers of Nairn has always been recognised first and foremost as a retail baker, with its shops accounting today for some 80% of total sales. However, the other 20% of its turnover drawn notably from wholesale and the gift sector has provided welcome insulation against seasonal or recession-related swings in retail returns.Formed in 1877 and now employing 130 people, the company has 12 shops (including five coffee shops) which are located mainly along the Moray Firth coastline, from Inverness in the west to Buckie in the east. Nine of the shops are run under the Ashers banner, while three, in Elgin and Lossiemouth, retained the Smillie The Baker name, after the firm was acquired by Ashers in 2007. While all the retail outlets bake-off a certain number of products, such as savouries, most are brought in fresh from the bakery every day.”We are just under an hour from our furthest shop so we can manage and service them effectively,” explains current Scottish Bakers president Alister Asher who, along with his brother George, has been joint-MD of the Nairn family firm for almost two decades.White rolls, sausage rolls and Scotch pies spearhead the company’s sales. But its extensive range also includes other savoury products, as well as confectionery. Its cherry ring a large Danish with a fresh cream filling and topped by four half cherries is a particularly popular line. The company has also raised sales as well as a smile with the launch of Kilted MacGingers gingerbread men, complete with sugar icing kilts.Spreading the sales load beyond its shops, Ashers supplies bread and rolls to three Tesco stores in the region, as well as numerous fresh products to hotels, garages and convenience stores. It also operates a van service, taking fresh goods to offices and industrial estates in Nairn and Inverness, and makes biscotti for Glasgow-based coffee specialist Matthew Algie.Perhaps the most significant diversification from the company’s retail core, however, came in 1999, with the launch of three whisky cakes, each containing a distinctive 15ml shot of either Highland, Island or Speyside malt. Winners of the Scottish Gift of the Year Award in 2000, the cakes have found favour with tourist outlets, delicatessens, hamper companies and Waitrose.A few years later, three liqueur cakes were added to the range of products targeted at the gift market: Irish Coffee; Apricot & Peach Schnapps; and Chocolate & Grand Marnier. These duly won best UK product at the 2007 Gift of the Year Awards.Another milestone was marked in 2002 when the Princess Royal opened Ashers’ new 13,500sq ft production hub on the outskirts of Nairn. The company took the opportunity to update and upgrade its equipment as part of a process that has continued right up to the present. For example, a new Koma retarder/prover was installed in early March this year and has already shown its worth in “achieving the right temperatures over the right time”, according to George Asher. Meanwhile, a new cutter is planned for the Rondo line “which will allow us to do a couple of new savouries”.One of the next landmarks for the firm could well be the proposed construction of a Sainsbury’s supermarket right opposite Ashers’ bakery on the other side of the A96. Although the store is likely to offer competition for the company’s two shops in Nairn, its very existence “might give us some sales opportunities”, Alister Asher observes.Plans for the future include: refurbishing several of the firm’s shops; introducing EPOS into the retail outlets “for better control of product and wage costs”; and developing its niche lines, notably the gift cakes. Baker to baker: best practice tips Is promotional activity important to you? “Yes. Entering and winning awards has brought us a lot of positive publicity, while a presence at exhibitions has also proved beneficial. For example, we do the BBC Good Food Show at the end of November and we sell a lot of whisky and liqueur cakes, mainly to members of the public looking for Christmas presents. “Plus, for the last two years, we have been rebranding our packaging and shops because, after acquiring Smillies, we needed something that tied them all together and created the right impression.”How do you manage your product range? “When we bring in new lines, we will often drop off ones that don’t sell so well. Although we still have a fairly wide range, it doesn’t pay to have six of this or eight of that, because of wastage, controlling the quality and the production implications.”What key changes have you introduced in your coffee shops?”When rebranding, we changed from waitress to counter service. It means fewer staff and fewer instances of customers leaving without paying. Service is quicker, so people are more likely to come in, and they know they won’t have to wait for the bill before leaving either.”What advice would you offer other companies in the industry?”Belonging to an association like Scottish Bakers, you can learn a lot from being with other bakers for example, about how they run their businesses and by swapping recipes. You get a lot more out of doing that than reading any book.” Business boost from gift-sector cakes Ashers’ decision to launch a range of whisky cakes just over a decade ago has provided a boost for sales at otherwise relatively slack times of the year. “There is a sales peak in September and October for Christmas buying, when the bakery would otherwise be quieter,” explains Alister Asher. “And there’s another peak around March time, as tourist outlets order in for the summer.” Another advantage is that the cakes can be made at times of the working day when the pressure on the production department is less acute, he adds. The whisky cakes not only have a long shelf-life of six to 12 months, but also “improve with age”, according to Asher. “The whisky is added afterwards to make sure it doesn’t bake out and so it takes time to equalise throughout the cake.” This equalisation process is one of the main reasons why the company has not deviated from its 180g format; a move into different sizes would also result in additional storage, production and logistics issues, he notes. “We will probably continue to develop the whisky and liqueur cake range,” he says. “That is our niche. They are not huge volumes, but we can dictate our margins to a greater extent.”
The wholesale prices of key bakery ingredients, such as butter, cream and skimmed milk powder, are on the rise as demand puts pressure on supply.According to data from DairyCo, December milk deliveries in the UK showed a year-on-year growth of 2.3%, but much of the extra milk is being converted into cheese, rather than butter and other dairy products. In the first 11 months of 2010, UK output of cheese rose by 3.2%, whereas butter only rose 0.6%. As a consequence, the wholesale price of butter rose significantly in January, up from £3,000 per tonne the month before to £3,200. This compares to £2,700 per tonne a year before.Skimmed milk powder (SMP) saw a rise from £1,900 in December to £1,950 in January. A year earlier, SMP was trading for £1,750 a tonne. Meanwhile bulk cream prices also saw an increase hitting £1,470 a tonne, up from £1,450 a month earlier and £1,130 a year before.DairyCo said that the markets were anticipating further increases over the weeks ahead for butter and SMP.In the EU, butter prices increased by between E100-200 per tonne in January, while SMP and whole milk powder prices rose by a similar amount.
An artisan bakery from Bath is celebrating the publication of its first book. Bread Revolution was written by Duncan Glendinning, founder of the Thoughtful Bread Company, along with head baker Patrick Ryan.The firm is marking its third birthday next week and Glendinning said the book was a compilation of observations from its shop.An advocate of the Real Bread Campaign, Glendinning said he hoped to encourage more people to take up home baking or seek out artisan bread. He added the plan for the Thoughtful Bread Company in the next few years is to “cement our reputation in Bath and Bristol and potentially further afield in the south west as one of the leading artisan bakeries”.