The next generation of combi ovens has arrived with the launch of the new Henny Penny SmartCombi, available in the UK from equipment supplier ServEquip.The six-grid SmartCombi has a patented Advanced Steam Technology, which provides greater control of relative moisture and cooking climate, giving greater cooking output than 10-grid ovens, says the company.
The ambient life Stuart Chadwick, bakery buyer for ambient packaged cakes with the Co-operative Group, talks to Hayley Brown about indulgence and USPs
Stuart Chadwick has been with the Co-operative Group since 1996. Among other things, he was the buyer for horti-culture for four years and then joined the bakery team as category buyer for ambient cakes last year.He arrived in the bakery department just as his new team was working towards its recent overhaul, as part of a drive to make shops “more exciting” (see British Baker, 9 March, 2007). Co-op research had shown that while shoppers trusted the Co-op, they tended to only buy basics at its shops, not dinner-party and indulgent foods. The Co-op decided to fill in this gap by offering more premium products.”I am responsible for buying ambient packaged cakes,” says Chadwick. “Within this category, I am in charge of ranging, product development and terms for negotiations.”He says that the Co-op sources new products by firstly identifying a gap in their product offering. “Then we will approach current and new suppliers and set up meetings to discuss potential business opportunities. “I am conscious that we should have a good working relationship with our suppliers, based on mutual trust and respect.”This, he explains, is part of the Co-op ethos: “Our aim is to be the UK’s preferred community retailer and, as such, we appeal to a wide cross-section of consumers. However, as we have recently seen a shift in our customers’ needs towards more premium products, we are actively developing more indulgent goods to satisfy this requirement with our new Truly Irresistible premium range.””This year, we have revamped all Co-op own-label bakery products and introduced 15 premium Truly Irresistible bakery lines, which include loaf and round cakes, cup cakes and tarts.”Indeed, new ranges have rolled out in stores throughout the bakery area. In the bread sector, for example, plant bread was reduced and new premium products brought in. “With our current drive on premium,” says Chadwick, “we require quality products with named ingredients and provenance.”The new Co-op Truly Irresistible Pot au Chocolat, for example, is made with Belgian chocolate. Other lines in the Truly Irresistible range of desserts include the Chocolate Chip Muffin Dessert, which has layers of chocolate sponge, Belgian chocolate sauce, chocolate chips and chocolate mousse, topped with white chocolate cream and chocolate curls, Rich Fruit Cake, Chocolate and Brandy Truffle Torte, hand-baked Petit Fours and hand-baked Shortbread Rounds.Shelf space challengeChadwick says that one of the biggest challenges he faces on a day-to-day basis, is shelf space, “and ensuring that we offer a breadth of range across varying store sizes and formats”.”This makes ranging decisions more important and difficult,” he adds “particularly when coupled with the differing regional products that we stock. But it’s also the most rewarding part of my job. I enjoy the development of, and introducing, a new range of products. Delivering a finished product from plan inception to on-shelf delivery is very rewarding, and something I and the team are very passionate about. And I enjoy the buzz of presenting these products to colleagues and customers.”The way the Co-op judges the success of a product is by setting target rates for those products to hit. “The great thing is that we are in a position to be able to trial products and ranges in small numbers of stores,” says Chadwick. “Thankfully, I have never really been disappointed by any products that I hoped would take off. I have not experienced this in the last year and I keep my fingers crossed for our new product launches!””We are also looking to be market-leading in new product development and delivering unique selling points, such as Fairtrade,” adds Chadwick.And he has a message for potential suppliers . “For any bakeries or manufactures wanting to supply our stores, approaches need to be via phone in the first instance, followed up by emails, detailing company structure and financial information.” n—-=== Vital statistics ===WHO: stuart chadwickWHAT: bakery buyer, ambientpackaged cakesWHERE: the co-operative group—-=== What is the Co-op? ===The Co-operative Group has 3,000 outlets in its family of businesses with a turnover of £7.3bn in 2006. This includes the group’s biggest division, Co-operative Food Retail, with more than 1,700 food stores, which had a turnover of £3bn in 2006.
n The Worshipful Company of Bakers is offering bakers an opportunity to attend a two-day course at the Richemont School in Switzerland. The course includes dough technology, speciality breads, production of bakery products, tasting and sampling. The cost, including three nights’ accommodation, is £525. For details email [email protected] or call 020 7623 2223.n A woman provided inside information to help plan a robbery at a bakery where she was once employed and then lied to a court about working there. Vanessa Ponsford, 34, of Edinburgh Road, Norwich, had denied being involved with the robbery at Mr Bunn the Bakers, in Long Stratton, in April last year. The jury at Norwich Crown Court found her guilty of one charge of robbery and possessing a shotgun in the same incident. She is due to be sentenced on August 10.n The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced last week that Sara Lee Food & Beverage voluntarily recalled 27 bread products produced at the company’s Mississippi bakery. The affected products may contain small pieces of metal.n The latest firms to sign up for the Baking Industry Exhibition (BIE) are Autobake, Martins Conveyor Belts, Mono Equipment, Tromp Bakeries, Par Pak and Ziegra Ice Machines. BIE, organised by William Reed Events, will be located with the Convenience Retailing Show from April 6-9, 2008, at the NEC in Birmingham.n A woman recently trapped her hand between two conveyor belts while cleaning machinery at the Warburtons variety bakery in Bolton and was taken to hospital.
Some prices in the dairy industry have effectively doubled since Jan/Feb 2007. As the bakery sector approaches its busiest time of year, dairy supplies have become even more scarce, exacerbated by the seasonal decrease in milk supply.Butter from Eastern Europe, New Zealand, Australia and even the US has been imported to plug inevitable gaps in UK supply, but this appears to now be drying up.No doubt there will be some UK product supplied through the autumn period, but uncertainty over milk supply only serves to prolong strained availability.Private Storage Butter (stocks put aside from the first half of the year) is now available, but UK stocks are insignificant. It should also be remembered that there is zero butter available from intervention stocks this year to supplement availability (against 50-60,000 tonnes sold across the EU in the same period in 2006).World demand for dairy products remains high although at this time of year is being served mainly by southern hemisphere sources. When the seasonal switch to northern hemisphere origins starts to come back in the first quarter of 2008 there will be much debate as to whether the current high prices within the EU will deter international buyers.It remains to be seen how much, or little, is sold on export markets, so predicting prices for the first quarter of 2008 on all dairy commodities is very difficult indeed. However, the demand will definitely be there.August update from Gary Norcott, commercial director of Staple Dairy Products
ADM Milling has announced a flour price increase of £18.20 per tonne. The rise will be effective from 1 September, 2008.Ian Pinner, ADM managing director, told British Baker that the increase was an essential requirement to address the significant rise in costs that had occurred since September 2005, when ADM Milling last sought to recover an element of increased operating costs.He said: “Over the past three years, our business has been faced with ever-increasing operating costs, particularly diesel fuel and electricity, as well as other general operating costs. The efficiency improvement programmes we have implemented have provided some shelter from these costs over the years, but we cannot continue to absorb them into our business.”The price of mineral oil alone has increased dramatically from $60 a barrel since July 2005 to the current price of $145. Subsequently, diesel fuel prices have increased some 50%, which considerably affects the cost of our deliveries.”He continued: “In addition to diesel fuel increases the cost of electricity over the same time has increased by a staggering 240%, with forward prices forecast to be higher still, which has had a dramatic effect on the conversion costs of flour manufacturing.”Pinner said that ADM Milling, with nine mills across the UK, would continue with efficiency improvements “to provide its customers with the highest levels of quality and service”. The increase translates to around 29p on a 16kg sack of flour.Two weeks ago, Alex Waugh, director general of the National Association of British and Irish Millers, said that steeply rising energy prices and other costs had impacted seriously on the grain and milling industries.—-=== In Short ===== Research prize ==Students from across the globe were given the opportunity to present papers and posters about their research at the recent ICC Cereal and Bread Congress 2008, in Madrid. Student Emma Lynch (pictured), from University College, Cork, received BakeTran’s prize for best student poster from Stan Cauvain, director of BakeTran.== More PR for Drench ==Britvic is launching a PR campaign to drive further awareness of its spring water brand Drench. The drinks company is launching the Drench Brain Gym – designed to give the brain a work-out and “enhance mental fitness”. The website – at [http://www.staydrenched.co.uk] – will pick up on the Thunderbirds theme from the brand’s television ad campaign.== Bakery fined ==The owner of Burgate Bakery in Faversham has been fined £7,250 plus costs after Environmental Health Officers found it breaching food hygiene regulations. It was also convicted of nine offences at Sittingbourne Magistrates Court on Monday, 14 July, following an inspection in February this year.== Tony Phillips ==British Baker columnist Tony Phillips has been diagnosed with a brain tumour. Full tests are being carried out this week. Readers are asked not to phone but to send any cards for Tony and his wife, Barbara, to their home address if known or get in touch with British Baker.
In a recent BB we slavered over the wonders of authentic Neapolitan pizza. Well, the pizzas from Naples may be a delight, but the city’s bread will slowly kill you.Stop the Week has previously reported on the Mafia’s moves into bakery in the southern Italian pizza capital, setting up illegal ovens. But a new report last week quantified the problem, citing officials and investigators’ fears that Camorra clans are controlling much of the city’s bakery trade. Even worse, some of the 1,400 unlicensed backstreet bakeries supplying car boot street vendors who sell the bread, could be putting people’s health at risk – echoing the mozzarella tainting scandal that erupted there recently.While the bread is baked in traditional wood-fired ovens, it turns out the fuel is less than traditional: poisonous varnished wood, pesticide-covered nut shells and – this is the most creative example of recycling we’ve come across – exhumed coffins.Investigating local agriculture official Francesco Borrelli said: “Whoever buys this bread is eating dioxins and carcinogenic substances and putting their health at serious risk.”And illegal immigrant workers’ health too; many employees toil in stinking cellars, sometimes in close proximity to toxic waste dumped in fields by the Camorra.So if you’re a local baker and a supermarket or bakery chain opens up next door, just remember: things could be worse.
Bakery supplier Aryzta has seen its revenue increase across all its divisions, with overall group revenue up a total of 31.8%, according to the company’s first-quarter interim management statement.Within its European Food division, group revenue has increased 4.5% and stands at E298.7m (£259.1m).Its Food North American division increased its revenue by 15.1% to E137.4m (£119.2m), and its Food Developing Markets division has seen revenue rise by 8.4% to E4.7m (£4.01m).The company, formed in June this year, through the merger of IAWS and Hiestand, said it has noticed changes in behaviour from consumers on the high street, with the UK and Irish markets in particular, seeing an overall slowdown in growth.However Aryzta chief exe-cutive Owen Killian said the company is focused on meeting the changing needs of its customers.It is expected that Aryzta’s new bakery and innovation centre at Grangecastle will be fully commissioned during the period ended 31 January, 2009.
Costa Coffee has revealed its plans to open another 130 stores in the UK during 2010/2011, although its main focus will be on expanding its international business.The UK chain, which revealed an operating profit increase of almost 60% for the full year to 4 March, 2010, opened 312 net new shops over the year, 188 of which were in the UK, increasing its total network by 24%. The coffee chain also gained 88 Coffeeheaven stores in Central Europe with the acquisition of the Coffeeheaven, which was completed in the final quarter of 2009/2010.Its international focus will be in the key markets of China, India, Russia, the Middle East and Central Europe, according to parent company Whitbread.Sales at Costa increased by 23.4%, with like-for-like sales up 5.5%. The firm said one of the key drivers behind the growth was independent research that showed seven out of 10 coffee lovers preferred Costa’s cappuccino, which Costa subsequently used as a key message in its advertising.Its flat white coffee has also performed well, with over one million sales since its launch in January this year.The firm said its UK growth will come from new high street locations, additional stores in established retail outlets, such as its partnership with Tesco and through bringing the Costa experience to hospitals and universities.Costa currently has 1,600 outlets worldwide.