Simply the zest

first_imgWith demand for new doughnut flavours, shapes and ideas, Macphie (Glenbervie, Scotland) has launched 5th Avenue Lemon Icing. The icing contains real lemon juice and requires heating in a microwave or bain-marie before use. Alternatively, a pipeable buttercream filling or topping can be created by beating the icing with cake margarine at a ratio of 50/50. The 5th Avenue range is available in 12.5kg pails.Alison Daniels, category marketing manager, says: “The key to doughnuts is freshness, variety and added value. Research shows that 80% of bakery items are bought on impulse – consumers buy with their eyes.”last_img

Starbucks blames profit drop on changes to accounting

first_imgStarbucks has blamed a 6% drop in international profits for the three months to 31 October on new accounting measures.The group announced profits of $117m (£62m) in the quarter, compared to $124m during the same period in 2005.Starbucks said its revenue had risen 22% to $7.8bn for the full year, leading to overall earnings of $564mn, an increase of 14%. Sales at outlets that had been open for at least a year increased by 5%.Jim Donald, president and chief executive, said the fall in profits was due to two new accounting measures. Starbucks delivered “strong operating results”, opening 2,199 stores worldwide, he said.”We opened a record number of new stores around the world, which contributed to strong top line growth, and we enhanced and expanded our product offerings.”There are over 11,000 Starbucks outlets worldwide, including 520 outlets in the UK and Ireland.last_img read more


first_imgPIAB (Loughborough, Leicestershire) specialises in industrial vacuum technology for packaging and processing.The company has a line of C Series hygienic vacuum conveyors for powder and bulk applications, as well as the IC Series of industrial vacuum conveyors, based upon the company’s patented multi-stage ejector technology.Its Automatic Vacuum Management has an integrated control option for highly automated systems.last_img

Face to face with Larry Blagg

first_imgQ Tell me about your own background.A I was born in St Louis in the middle of the USA and grew up in Ohio, which is in the mid-West. I’ve only come to California since my involvement in the raisin industry.I spent 23 years living in Tokyo, Japan. I actually went over there to start a frozen food company for Heinz. We were a chip manufacturer and introduced the Japanese to the wonderful world of fast food.I then set up my own company and was the only non-Japanese person working there. But the good news is that I was one of the two owners, so they could not kick me out. I have always struggled with Japanese. I can speak a little bit, but that’s all.My 16-year-old is struggling with the language right now; she is half-Japanese and she has grown up with the language, but you have to learn 1,600 Japanese and 1,800 Chinese characters to get your high school diploma.It is an interesting country, housing 126 million people in a small space. Q What does your day-to-day job involve?A I am mostly a paperwork guy or I am busy attending trade shows and visiting overseas markets. I have spent some time with the growers in the harvest season and have gone out and picked grapes.You really need to get involved so that you can understand the process completely. It makes you appreciate how hard a task it is. Q What is the freight system like in the US?A The train and track system in the US is very under-developed. We are not big on public transportation in this country, it’s just too much of that independent spirit, I guess.We have a very well developed road system. Part of the excuse I give for gaining weight since I got back is that I never walk any more! I never have reason to.All the raisins produced in the US are within 60 miles of Fresno, and are moved by truck. We ship overseas in rail cars and containerised freight.One of the joys of living in California is that there’s an amazing array of fresh produce. Twenty-five per cent of the US’ fruit and vegetable crops are grown in the San Joaquin Valley. Q What are the issues facing raisin growers in America?A Because our harvest is essentially driven by temporary labour, it is quite difficult to ensure that we have a constant labour supply. There’s an element in the US that wants to shut the borders to immigrant labour, and that’s not going to help the progress of California or any other state.We are really hoping that the government will come up with a guest worker programme, as in many other countries, but the signs are not good.Our US congress has just voted to build a 700-mile wall between Mexico and the US. They have funded enough to start it, but I don’t know if they have enough money to finish it.We have enough things to spend money on, I don’t know if that one is my idea of a great thing. Q California must be a real contrast to JapanA I love the space of California. I like being able to get out and drive around freely; the average speed on the expressway around Tokyo from 8am to 8pm is around 12 miles an hour.I made up my mind several years ago that, if I was going to retire, I would like to retire here. The climate is good; we very rarely have snow and I grew up in very heavy snow country, so I have no intention of going back.I am 61 at the moment. Retirement age was 65 in America but is now moving towards 70. I don’t know when I will retire. I like what I’m doing and, as long as I am contributing, I will continue to do so.center_img Q How have you enjoyed the first year in your new job?A There’s an awful lot to do! It has been great fun and the last year has been incredible.We are spending money in areas that we feel will return benefit to our growers and our industry. We have been out of proportion with our spending, putting a lot more money into bakery.Bakery and confectionery, snacking and dairy are four areas to which I want to devote more attention. We previously had a campaign here in America, called ’Look Who’s Cooking’, that was focused almost 100% behind foodservice.But the foodservice industry only represents about 15% of the total value of raisin sales; bakery is about 34% of the business, so we are now focusing on that much more.That’s for the USA. In other parts of the world, it really depends on the infrastructure. Q What are the trends in raisins at the moment?A We are getting requests for flavoured raisins and, over time, that’s something that will become more popular. But, as of right now, it’s still a small portion of the business.They have mostly been infusing some natural flavour from some of the higher-cost fruit, so that they can help cut the overall cost of the finished bakery product.We are now getting requests for savoury and have heard that cinnamon would be a popular flavour, so I am hoping that we can get one of our producers to put that together. It would be useful for cinnamon raisin rolls. Q Where do you see California Raisins expanding in the next few years?A We just opened an office in South Korea. We had an office 10 years ago, but it was closed. The market is getting stronger, so we think it makes sense to put more effort there.China is also a source of new business for us; it is very underdeveloped at the moment. In terms of developing into any other new countries, we don’t see that happening in the next three years.The first estimate for this year’s harvest was 259,000 tonnes, but that estimate is done before the crop is fully off the vine. A final estimate will be given in January. In 2005, the crop was fairly decent, at 310,000 tonnes.We want to find ways of using raisins in value-added products. We are interested in selling to the fast food market.One of our processors, Sun-Maid, is selling food to Subway and your Jamie Oliver has also helped us; we are making a serious effort for sensible foods for school lunch programmes.We were pleased to see that one of the bakers in the UK is taking a quarter cup of raisins for each muffin, making it a portion of fruit. We are trying to do the same thing here now.last_img read more

Market research service launched

first_imgBakers in the West Midlands can get a competitive edge by using a new free, online market research service called Food Insights.The Heart of England fine foods business website is hosting the service at [] foodinsights, which offers food and drink companies industry reports, analysis and statistics.Funder, West Midlands Food Partnership, urged SME food companies to register. “Having free access to key point summaries of some of the most recent consumer research, across a range of food categories, is a genuine asset,” said manager James Allen.last_img

Charity karting event for bakers

first_imgThe charity karting event, in support of the Baker’s Benevolent Society, and sponsored by Rank Hovis, will be taking place on Thursday 18 September. It will be held at the Daytona Karting track in Milton Keynes between 10.30am and 4pm.The overall winners of the Kart Grand Prix 2008 will be crowned British Baking Industry Kart Champions 2008 and will receive a Rank Hovis trophy to keep for a year. Second and Third place winners overall will receive certificates and medals as well as special prize awards yet to be announced. There will also be prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in the Class 1 and Class 2 categories and an individual drivers champion accolade.Team entry costs £450 with all proceeds going to the Baker’s Benevolent Society. For an entry form or more information please contact: Andrea Lewis, Rank Hovis at [email protected] or telephone 01494 428505.last_img read more

Merchandiser maximises display space for goods

first_imgThe latest version of E&R Moffat’s BK Merchandiser has been designed to offer the maximum space available for the display of chilled snacks and drinks. The self-service display unit features a cascade of cold air to keep food at the desired temperature. It has a refrigerated well, to store products at cooler temperatures, with three shelves above. Ticket holders are also available, as is a night blind. The Merchandisers come in a range of sizes from 900 to 1,800mm in length, but all measure 1,950mm high and are 600mm deep.[]last_img

Shops reopen after tragedy at bakehouse

first_imgAndrew Jones Pies’ two shops have reopened and a new factory has been sourced following a tragic explosion at its factory on Good Friday, which left one man dead.The explosion happened at Andrew Jones Pies bakehouse in Old Leeds Road, Huddersfield, only minutes after the 5am shift had started, causing part of the roof to fall and start a fire.Thirty-seven-year-old baker David Cole was killed instantly and his colleague, 23-year-old Marcus Cartwright, was taken to hospital. The firm’s two shops in Marsh and Brighouse, which were closed following the incident, are both open again.”We have resumed limited production in the bakehouse behind our Brighouse shop, which accounts for about 12% of our normal turnover, and we’ve sourced a new factory in Lockwood, Huddersfield,” said commercial manager, Graham Easby. “We have equipment going in today – ovens, mincers and depositors – and we intend to have up to 75% of our previous production back on line within the next two to three weeks.”Easby said that most of the staff had come back to work and were helping clear the excess machinery from the new factory so it could be cleaned to meet food hygiene standards.The Old Leeds Road site currently has a prohibition order on it and is listed as an unsafe building. The investigation into the cause of the explosion is continuing.last_img read more

Sandwich forum

first_imgFP: To speed up lunchtime sales we now have more multi-deck self service chill units in busy shops.DS: There is nothing wrong with a queue as long as it is only two to three minutes. It gives customers the chance to see what else you have got, but it has got to be dealt with quickly and efficiently by the staff.BA: We recently conducted global food travel research, the largest dedicated study of its kind ever undertaken. Over 1,080 hours of footage were generated, capturing airport behaviour patterns and 1,229 visitors were tracked. The findings provided valuable insights into improving the effectiveness of signage and queuing systems. We also track speed of service through our Mystery Shopper process.MY: All our staff are trained to execute the transaction as quickly as possible and to remind the customer about other items that could go well with their purchase. Our menu boards often depict a selection of meal deals which also helps speed up the decision-making process.—-=== Industry bread-heads ===Fiona Phillips [FP], development director, AuldsDavid Smart [DS], production director, Greenhalgh’sBritta Ashu [BA], brand manager, Upper CrustMichele Young [MY], retail and brands director, BB’s Coffee and Muffinslast_img read more

Fair offers hot tips for bakers

first_imgVisitors to the Bakers’ Fair in Manchester will learn survival tips and ways to reduce salt in products.Presentations at the fair include NAMB chairman Mike Holling talking about how craft bakers can survive on the high street during the credit crunch, while NAMB director Anthony Kindred will discuss salt reduction. Software company Red Black will illustrate the benefits of implementing software in bakery.The free show is from 9.30am to 4pm on Sunday 4 October at the Armitage Centre. For tickets, call 01792 365902 or register online at