Irish chocolate manufacturer Lir (Lavan, Co Meath) has joined forces with Thomas Lowndes & Co to launch a fresh, new liqueur truffle pack. Lir’s Truffle Shots are a mix of plain and milk chocolate truffles containing five contemporary alcohol brands from Thomas Lowndes’ portfolio that are different to traditional liqueur truffle flavours.The featured alcohol brands appeal to a younger audience and offer a modern, new approach to the liqueur truffle market, says the firm.The brands include: Sourz Liqueur, Sauza Tequila, After Shock Shooter Liqueur, Grand Marnier Liqueur and Jim Beam Bourbon Whisky.
The Netherlands is to launch carbon-based packaging tax, the first of its kind in Europe. The tax will be based on the estimated CO2 emissions produced in making particular packaging.The government announced that the introduction of the new tax will be in January in its 2008 ’Tax Plan: Focus on greening and labour participation’. This is based on an agreement between the country’s environment ministry, local authorities and industry.The money from the tax will form a new fund, called the ’waste fund’ (Afvalfonds), which is designed to help reduce waste in the country. The national government will also contribute E115m (£80m) annually to the fund, as well as a tax on household waste.This follows carbon footprint labelling in the UK, which already appears on products such as Walkers crisps and Boots’ products.The Dutch Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment said in a statement that much more plastic packaging will also be recycled. This will raise the recycling percentage target for plastic packaging from its present level of 20% to 42% in 2012. The result is an annual saving of approximately 210 kilotons of CO2, equivalent to the electricity use of around 100,000 households.A survey conducted earlier this year by the Dutch Institute for Public Opinion and Market Research (TNS/NIPO), by order of the Dutch government, revealed that 91% of citizens were prepared to participate in the separated collection of plastic packaging, in addition to paper and glass.
Cornish bakery Rowe’s is refitting and rebranding its 16-strong chain of shops. The stores will get new fixtures and fittings, and signage will change from WC Rowe to the simpler ’Rowe’s’.Marketing manager Paul Pearce said the move was part of the company’s plans to grow the retail side of its business.Rowe’s has already built up a successful supply arm, manufacturing fresh and frozen products for supermarkets, cafés and food-to-go outlets. Around 70% is supplied to multiple retailers and wholesale, with the rest sold within its own shops. The store openings mark the next stage of its expansion.New shops – based on its flagship store in Falmouth – will be opened over the next 12 to 18 months. Pearce said Rowe’s would expand its coffee offering – an increasingly important part of sales – but would not lose its core traditional craft bakery business.The company has recently expanded into a new format – Pasty Heaven – which focuses on savoury products. Rowe’s supplies frozen, part-baked goods to the outlets.
l What makes a winnerWe visit last year’s Bakery Manufacturer of the Year, Maple Leafl Pizzas & paninisHints and tips to improve your offeringl Dividers & mouldersWe look at the latest bit of kit to beef up your productionl Cash in or kick on?You’ve grown your business, so far, but how do you take it to the next level?
The coffee shop market will continue to grow despite the credit crunch, with new data showing that the number of outlets in the UK increased by 15% in the 18 months to October.According to research company Allegra Strategies, which is due to launch a report on the market next month, the number of coffee chain outlets increased by 657 branches between April 2007 and October 2008 to a total of 3,577 branded stores in the UK.”The downturn in the economy will only have a limited impact on long-term market growth and the total UK coffee market is set to continue to grow for at least the next five years,” said Allegra MD Jeffrey Young, at a briefing earlier this month, entitled Has the Coffee Shop Bubble Burst? “Starbucks and Costa will each reach more than 1,200 units across the UK well before the market is saturated.”The credit crunch is having some impact, however, with 19% of consumers visiting coffee shops less often because of the economic slowdown, according to research from Allegra. But Young predicted that the number of branded coffee shops would exceed 5,000 in the next 10 years, creating a market worth more than £2.5bn, up from the current turnover of £1.5bn.New coffee shop formats will emerge, he said, including branded delis and more bakery concepts.”UK café culture is here to stay,” he said. “The popularity of coffee bars continues to grow. They are important venues, not only to eat and drink, but also to relax, socialise and conduct business meeetings.”Allegra research found that a quarter of UK adults or 11m people visit coffee shops at least once a week, with location the main reason for visiting (63%). Lattes and cappuccinos are the most popular beverages.—-=== Summit draws near ===There is only one month left to register for the Baking Industry Summit 2008, on 27 November, so make sure you reserve your delegate place now. The Summit, which will focus on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), is taking place at One Great George Street, London, and will host a variety of top speakers, including Lucy Neville-Rolfe, executive director (corporate & legal affairs), Tesco.There will also be speakers from Asda, Greggs and Bells of Lazonby, as well as packaging and waste experts who have tackled bakery-based issues head-on and will share their experiences.To book a place, contact Helen Law on 01293 846587 or email [email protected] You can also book online at [http://www.bakingsummit.co.uk]. Ticket price: £225 + VAT.
== Strong Essentials ==Waitrose experienced sales growth of 10.2% according to the latest 12-week grocery market figures from TNS. The supermarket said the success of its Essentials range was a main contributor to the growth, with Essentials bakery sales (units) up 21% year-on-year (lines that have moved into the Waitrose Essentials range), according to a spokesperson for the retailer. Top-selling Essentials products include baguettes, crumpets and English muffins.== Welsh shop reopens ==A former William’s Bakery shop in Wales, which closed at the beginning of August, has reopened as Brutons Bakery. The Glebe Street shop in Penarth was part of the William’s Bakery estate, which included a second shop on Cornerswell Road and the bakery on Plassey Street, all of which were forced to close due to the current economic climate.== M&S man retires ==Barry Stocker retired on the 28 August after 21 years as senior bakery technologist at Marks & Spencer and over 45 years since starting his apprenticeship at Dunn’s of Crouch End. During his bakery career, he worked for the Spillers group, British Home Stores, Tate & Lyle, and was a founder member of AB Ingredients before joining M&S in 1988.== Low-carb diet study ==A new study by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical Center in the US, has suggested that low-carb diets are linked to a negative effect on vascular health. Tests carried out on mice revealed that those on a low-carb/ high-protein diet had higher levels of atherosclerosis, a build-up of plaque in the heart’s arteries and a leading cause of heart attack and stroke.
Two Tameside College bakery students recently had the chance to visit the Barry Callebaut Chocolate Academy in Banbury, after winning an all-expenses-paid trip.Fay Corrigan and Rebekah Simpson won the prize after competing in the California Raisins’ Future Baker Competition 2010, held at the Baking Industry Exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham in March last year. The students had to work as part of a team, and bake in front of a live audience.The students, accompanied by Tameside tutor Lorna Jones, attended the three-day trip last month, and produced items, including chocolate brownies, alongside other delegates.They also took part in the Chocolate Patisserie course, which demonstrated their presentation skills when displaying afternoon tea and counter products, said the college.“The opportunity to visit the Chocolate Academy was a fantastic experience. The course was exceptional and the trip around the factory helped bring the theory to life,” commented Jones.“Rebekah and Fay were nervous working in front of the other delegates at first, but once they started, their baking skills took over and they felt very comfortable.”>>Student embraces time at Richemont
A whole host of bakery manufacturers have signed up to the first phase of the Department of Health’s Public Heath Responsibility Deal, launched today.Health Secretary Andrew Lansley announced more than 170 signatories had put their names to a range of collective pledges, designed to improve the health of the nation, which include: publishing calories counts on menus from September this year; reducing salt levels in food; and the removal of artificial trans fats by the end of 2011.Companies that have signed up to the ‘food pledge’ to include out-of-home calorie labelling include: Pret A Manger, Pizza Hut, and Camden Food Co. Associated British Foods’ grocery division, Warburtons, Burton’s Foods and United Biscuits (UK) are among those signed up to the salt reduction pledge. Meanwhile, the most popular pledge – to remove all artificial trans fats – has attracted commitments from the likes of Fine Lady Bakeries, Samworth Brothers, Subway, Kerry Foods, Burton’s Foods, United Biscuits, Warburtons, Premier Foods and Associated British Foods’ grocery division.Supermarkets including Asda, the Co-operative, Morrisons, Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose have also signed up to the measures.“We know that regulation is costly, can take years and is often only determined at an EU-wide level anyway. That’s why we have to introduce new ways of achieving better results,” commented Lansley.“The deals published today demonstrate the effectiveness of our radical partnership approach to deliver more and sooner.“And it is only the first step. While I’m pleased with the progress we have achieved in seven months and that over 170 organisations have already signed up as partners, we want more organisations to sign up, and also to work with us to develop further collective and individual pledges.”>>DoH pursues initiative on calorie labelling
United Biscuits UK saw profits rise by 10.4% to £218.5m last year, on sales of £1.06bn only 1% up on the previous year.The company, which makes Jaffa Cakes and McVitie’s biscuits, filed its latest accounts to the 12 months ended 1 January at Companies House, which showed that cost-cutting, such as a reduction in corporation tax, helped increase earnings. UBUK made a saving on salaries, as staff numbers dropped last year from 6,492 to 6,169; staff in manufacturing and production fell from 5,457 to 5,199. In February, it announced plans to cut about 85 jobs at its McVitie’s factory in Tollcross, Glasgow.Revenue growth was driven by successful NPD, extensions to priority brands and pricing in the UK and overseas. Its branded biscuit sales accounted for 25.9% of the total biscuit market.UBUK is 90% joint-owned by private equity firms Blackstone and PAI Partners, with the management owning the rest. Last year it was in talks with a Chinese food firm, although the sale reportedly fell through.>>UB and ADM carry Torch for soft milling wheat
United Biscuits is planning to invest heavily in its new McVitie’s biscuits range Quirks. Launching in mid-July, the products have a smooth chocolatey centre, fully enclosed within a crunchy biscuit, designed to attract new shoppers to the everyday treats segment, said the manufacturer. The range will feature three varieties chocolate, double choc and choc & hazelnut all of which will be packaged in a plastic tray and sold in 175g packs at an MRRP of £1.53. The launch will be supported by a £3m marketing and advertising campaign to include TV, cinema, digital and in-store support.