IRISH Pride, one of Ireland’s leading plant bakeries, has won a contract to supply the Irish Defence Forces, writes Ann Marie Foley. The deal, to feed over 10,500 army, navy and air force personnel, is worth E160,000 (£109,342). Irish Pride and another local bakery, Hickey’s, will supply around 90,000kg of bread to 21 military bases between December 1, 2005 to November 30, 2006. Products to be supplied include white and wholegrain sliced pan, soda bread, batch bread, bread rolls (brown and white), and French bread sticks.Hickey’s bakery in Clonmel, Co Tipperary, is to supply the local barracks there and its 40 personnel. Previously, the milatary’s bread had been supplied by the two same companies, but also by Gallaghers.Irish Pride is part of the IAWS group. It has three bakeries and produces over one million loaves of bread per week.
The widely known Sadie Chandley, who founded the Manchester-based oven manufacturer Tom Chandley with her husband Tom, has died aged 97.She took an active interest in the business until very recently and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1994. Sadie and Tom set up the business in April 1944 with a workforce of six.After Tom’s death in 1968, Sadie carried on running the business and was the driving force behind its growth.Managing director Eric Dyson said: “Mrs Chandley was a remarkable lady with a drive and enthusiasm matched by a thoughtfulness and care for every one of her employees. With her husband Tom they were a formidable team that took all the challenges of building a business head on, an attitude that Mrs Chandley continued after Tom’s death. She will be sadly missed by us all.”
He may be long gone, but his wisdom lives on. If only he’d been born a century later to guide us through the tough times, we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in right now…On tackling over-eating: “In Germany a person begins with eating a pound or two of grapes with bread and increases the quantity of grapes until he can eat half a dozen or more pounds during the day. Of course very little bread is eaten as more grapes are taken. This is a famous cure for obesity and diseases due to high living.”
Are you planning a store expansion strategy? Want to corner your market? This is the tale of how Howard Schultz, Starbucks’ guru, did quite literally that, en route to achieving his modest target of 40,000 outlets (scarily, the company claims it’s still on track to hit that).The former housewares salesman, having bought up the fledgling chain in the late 1980s, had his eureka moment in 1991 when he opened a second Starbucks, yards away from an existing store. Reasoning that he could draw in thousands more customers simply by making his store a few steps more convenient, he opened one on the opposite corner of a busy intersection in Vancouver. An outlandish idea for what was then still considered a niche product – premium bean coffee sold at a price – Schultz’s gamble paid off, with queues around the block for both outlets. It’s a ploy that’s proven spectacularly successful: today there’s even a Starbucks in Guantanamo Naval Base in Cuba.Clark traces the world’s revived obsession with coffee culture, from its early roots in Ethiopian culture, right through to the sharp decline in coffee consumption by the 1960s, as the big brands cheapened their product with poor-quality beans, to coffee’s slow revival at the hands of a few passionate bean enthusiasts from the 1970s.But if you thought café culture in the UK was something new, think again. In 1652, London had just one coffee house, but by 1700, it had more than 2,000. It was quickly superseded by tea, partly due to the poor coffee quality, with commentators of the day branding it “essence of old shoes”, with a flavour reminiscent of “dog or cat’s turd”.
What’s new?A range of two, compact electric convection ovens – the KF620 and KF412 from Katermart – suitable for bakers, coffee shops and sandwich bars.What’s so special about it?Both ovens can be plugged into a 13A socket, so none of that three-phase special power requirement rubbish. Just plug & play! And both are small enough to sit comfortably on a standard worktop, so you don’t have to rearrange your shop layout.What’s the biggest benefit to bakers or caterers?You want more? OK then. The smaller oven (the KF412) is perfect for baking croissants, sandwiches, pizzas and other breakfast items, while the larger oven (the KF620) can warm up pizzas and croissants.So explain the techie stuff.The KF412 weighs in at 25kg and has a temperature range of between 50°C and 300°C, using fan circulated air. Supplied with two trays and two grills, it has four shelf positions, indirect humidification, a lateral hinged door, enamelled steel cooking compartment, and an interior light.The slightly larger, but still compact KF620 weighs in at 35kg. It too uses fan-circulated air, has an enamelled steel cooking compartment, interior light and four shelf positions. It also includes a 120-minute timer and four trays.Bottom line, will this save cash or make more money?Both! At just £599 for the KF412 and only £549 for the KF620 you’ll get all the credit without the crunch! Also, those little 13amp plugs will keep your energy usage to a minimum.For further information call Katermart on 0845 872 5000, or visit the company’s new web site at [http://www.katermart.co.uk].
It’s not just British holiday-makers accustomed to flashing their cash on the Costa Brava that are crying into their bottles of San Miguel. The dramatic fall in the value of the pound just before Christmas, which saw it reach close to parity with the euro, is also worrying news for bakers in the UK, who are surprisingly reliant on their Continental cousins for equipment, ingredients and packaging.Between November and January, the value of sterling against the euro fell from £1.25 to close to parity – a 20% drop – before plummeting to 94p (as of 23/01/09). This is part of a longer-term decline, which has seen the pound crumble from a high of £1.50 against the euro in January 2007.Such steep falls cannot be absorbed by importers forever and the price of European goods have either already gone up or are likely to increase over the next few months. One importer of olive oil, olives and sun-dried tomatoes for speciality breads said that it would institute a 10-15% price rise in January because of the currency situation.Meanwhile Norbake, which imports machinery from Europe, has already raised prices by 15% over the past year, accor-ding to sales executive David Charlesworth. “We have to review prices all the time. The euro has gone up by so much that we have to pass it on,” he said.To give an idea of how the decline in sterling has affected prices, a new four-deck Mondial oven from Italy would have cost £11,500 two years ago; the list price today is £14,995. However, if the value of the pound were to bounce back, Norbake would bring prices back down, said Charlesworth. He also expected an increased uptake of refurbished machinery, which is a third to 50% cheaper than new.This was a tactic recently employed by artisan bread producer The Bread Factory in Hendon. Co-MD Tom Molnar was planning to buy a new mixer, oven and stainless steel tables from European suppliers before Christmas, but opted for second-hand equipment from UK companies instead. “Between November and December prices went up by around 20%, so we bought used machinery in the UK instead,” he said.Molnar was also bracing himself for a 5-20% rise in the price of speciality ingredients, such as olives and olive oil, in the coming months. “The weak pound is shaking things up,” he said. “When you see a 20% hike in the price of something, it motivates you to look around. We are trying to source more from UK producers.”Premium on packagingBrad Vine, general manager of London wholesaler and retailer Exeter Street Bakery, has also seen price rises caused by the falling pound, particularly in packaging. “Paper bags and cardboard boxes went up by 15-20% in December and we are planning to shop around in the new year,” he said.At French flour importer Moul-Bie, director Michel Nguyen said all importers are under “big pressure”. “We’re not putting prices up for the time being, but whether this is sustainable, we don’t know,” he said. “There has been a 30-40% fall in the pound [in the past two years] and it’s difficult to absorb that long-term.”Moul-Bie is able to keep prices as they are in the short-term partly because a good harvest in Europe last year has resulted in lower grain prices, said Nguyen. The fall in oil prices has also helped.Those lucky importers that forward-bought euros before the sudden drop in sterling are also protected in the short term, but at some point they will have to face up to the unfavourable exchange rate and decide whether to agree further long-term currency deals or buy from week to week.”The big debate is how far in advance to buy – three, six or 12 months? There is a problem with visibility – nobody knows what is going to happen next,” added Nguyen.While the future is hard to predict, it seems safe to say that the days of cheap foreign holidays are a long way off.
William Reed Business Media (WRBM), which publishes British Baker, has launched the Food and Drink Logistics (FDL) Show in response to demand from the market. It will run alongside its set of market-leading trade shows, including the Baking Industry Exhibition, taking place at Birmingham’s NEC from 21-24 March 2010. The new FDL Show will provide a unique and dedicated platform for companies involved with warehousing, palletised transport, third party logistics, supply chain solutions and many other areas to showcase their products to top-level decision-makers from the food and drink sectors.This market in the UK is worth some £12bn a year and forms around 10% of food and drink companies’ total spend. For information on exhibiting please contact Daren Rose-Neale on 01293 610355 or [email protected] information on visiting please contact Sarah Corbett on 01293 610235 or [email protected]
Greggs plans to grow sales in the traditionally quiet trading periods of early morning and late afternoon as it continues with its plan to add another 600 stores to its 1,400-shop chain.The retail bakery is developing a range of new products designed to attract more customers on their way to and from work, following the success of its new sausage and bacon breakfast rolls, said chief executive Ken McMeikan as he revealed solid results for 2009.Over 500,000 of the breakfast rolls, which retail for £1.29, were sold in the first four weeks of their launch in 1,300 stores last month. Coffee sales have also benefited from a £1.99 deal for a hot drink and breakfast roll.”The early morning and late afternoon are quieter periods for us. We’re looking at increasing the amount we offer for breakfast. We also see an opportunity in the take-home market. Right now, less than 2% of our sales come after 5pm, but there’s a whole workforce on the move at that time, travelling home,” said McMeikan. “From a low base, coffee is 34% up in the first 10 weeks. We have one million customers but we are only selling 30,000-40,000 coffees a day. That’s a growth opportunity.”Greggs’ preliminary results, for the 53 weeks ending 2 January 2010, saw a pre-tax profit of £48.8m, up 8% on the previous year. Sales were up 4.8% to £658m, with like-for-like sales up 0.8%.The bakery chain has budgeted capital expenditure of between £45-£50m for 2010 as it starts to implement its plan of adding a further 600 outlets to its portfolio of 1,400 shops. Funds will be spent on opening 50-60 new stores in 2010. Work will also begin in the second half of the year on new replacement bakeries in Penrith and Newcastle.
As organiser of National Cupcake Week, BB is always on the internet scanning for quality cupcake merchandise. Instead we found this jaw-droppingly bizarre t-shirt at www.cafepress.co.uk.If that’s where cupcakes come from, we want nothing more to do with them.
Orchard Valley Foods’ Secret Ingredients line is targeting larger firms as well as home bakers.Since launching last year, the range has mainly been supplied via the company’s website, secret-ingredients.com, to bakeries and home users. But demand from wholesalers and the foodservice sector has prompted OVF to release many lines of the Secret Ingredients range to its bulk supply portfolio.Mini mallows, caramels, nonpareils and mini chocolate beans are among the products available in the 1.1litre re-sealable and reusable tubs.National account manager John Young said: “The bright and eye-catching decorations, along with flavour- and texture-enhancing inclusions add value and important aesthetics to in-store baked goods, consistent results to foodservice products and also stand out nicely on a wholesaler’s shelves. The tubs can be supplied boxed-up in multiples of 12, making storage easy.” The products have a shelf-life of up to 12 months.