Welsh bakery Brace’s is to drop its ‘Brace’s…Bread for all Seasons’ slogan and launch the tag line ‘Where Premium Quality is the Standard’, as part of a tranche of marketing activity.Marketing director Scott Richardson said the Brace’s brand needs to “move with the market”. He commented: “Premium quality is always something our customers have associated with Brace’s, so it is a natural progression for us to include it in our new strapline for 2006.” Brace’s vehicles and marke-ting material will be amended with the new strapline. And the last advertisement using the ‘Bread for all Seasons’ slogan, which launched in March 2003, will be shown on ITV this month, featuring Welsh cakes. Mr Richardson said: “The ‘Bread for All Seasons’ strap-line was a very successful marketing vehicle for Brace’s. It proved to be a great sales tool. Although it has served us well, we are aware that our brand needs to continue to move with the market and be very much consumer-driven.” Brace’s is also launching new packaging on its brown loaves, with different colours on wholemeal, brown and malted grain loaves, depicting fields of wheat. This design has been chosen to emphasise the “natural goodness of Brace’s brown range”, Mr Richardson said.Brace’s white bread packaging is also scheduled to change in early Spring. Meanwhile, Brace’s will start supplying eight Somer-field stores in the Isle of Wight this month, as well as stores across Bristol, Portsmouth and Southampton.Mr Richardson said: “We are delighted to be supplying Brace’s products to the Isle of Wight for the first time. We are keen to expand our geographic reach into the south of England.”
Pantheon Catering Equipment (part of Monarch Catering Equipment and Crompton Direct, Bolton, Lancashire) has added a plug-in pie warmer to its new Pantheon range of light to medium-duty back-bar and counter-top snack equipment.The warmer has four adjustable easy-clean shelves and glass sliding doors. Temperature monitoring comes through a thermostatic display. It is available at £199 or through a leasing scheme of 24p a day.
The 2006 International Conference of Dried Grape Producing Countries was held in Monterey, California last month. Representatives from countries, including the USA, Turkey, Greece, Chile, South Africa and Australia, swapped information on harvests, production and marketing at the event.Of particular relevance to bakers is the supply of sultanas and Thompson seedless raisins. These have decreased 19,100 tonnes or 2.7% from the previous year due to slightly smaller Northern hemisphere crops. Statistical analysis showed that the availability of fruit had decreased by 2.6% as world stocks carried into the new season decreased slightly from an already low base. The conference was satisfied that the world supply was in line with demand.The supply situation with currants is less balanced with Greece, USA, South Africa and Australia reporting average crops but increased stock levels starting this season. However, the head of the Greek delegation, Andreas Kouniniotis, advised that promotional support was being considered to fund a programme to build consumer demand throughout the EU.The conference also discussed the alleged health benefits of dried grapes. Dr Julie Jones, Professor of Food Safety & Nutrition at College of Saint Catherine, stated that one half cup of dried grapes equals one serving of fruit and vegetables per day.Further steps were taken to set up an international dried grape council with a permanent executive board and secretary.
Getting older has few compensations; bits and pieces you never knew you had start to ache and a great deal of time is spent between the doctor’s surgery and the chemist, getting prescriptions for ailments that I’m sure they had never even invented when I was young.Another consequence is that younger people often ask me what is the most important thing I have learnt over the years about business. It’s a difficult one to answer, but I think my response would be: “Stop, take time and don’t rush into things so fast.”a cautionary taleWhen I was young, I spent a great deal of my time solving problems that never ever came about.One example I can give is as follows. On one very good shop of ours, we have a lease that can be broken every seven years, at the rent review time, if the leaseholder wishes to develop. But if they do so, they have to pay to remove us to another site. Well, their agent phoned me to say they were thinking of developing. Years ago, that would have been a signal for me to start rushing around like a lunatic trying to find alternative sites, spending an enormous amount of time planning for a potential move, and engaging in all-round concern.Instead, I said to my staff: “Wait, do nothing and see what they come up with, as we shall have plenty of time. And don’t waste any time worrying about a move. Spend your thinking time improving what we have, not worrying about what might happen.”Well, as you may have guessed, it never came about. Yet how often have we all sought and found answers to problems that never came about?qualification cynicismWhenever I am told this or that qualification is modern and rele-vant, it usually makes me think it may well not be worth the paper it is written on. For example, when someone is being interviewed for a job, we ask them: “Where did you last work and what did you do?” Never have I asked or heard anyone else ask, “How many NVQs do you have?” Yet we spend a great deal of time and money teaching people to collect NVQs.There has to be an alternative, but I freely confess I don’t know what it is. All I do know is that I don’t see the sense in doing something that doesn’t work.It’s rather like the huge number of CCTV cameras now around; knowing that there are policemen sat in offices watching me getting mugged on CCTV doesn’t make me feel any more secure. The thought might cross my mind, but would it not be better for me if they were actually on the beat, stopping me getting beaten up? Zero tolerance is considered confrontational in this country. That could be why I feel so much safer walking in the centre of New York, Chicago or many other American cities.mixed messagesThe UK government apparently agreed with the death of Saddam
T hese are dark and difficult days for Inter Link (pg 4). Many of us were delighted to see it soar on the AIM listings to a height of £7.70 and now, those same shares are virtually worthless.Commissioning problems at its new distribution centre have played a major part in its downfall. But there is rarely just one contributory factor. If you look back over recent years, other companies like Inter Link, assembled under one umbrella from a group of disparate entities, run into difficulties as they rationalise, consolidate and bring their assets up to scratch. Heavy new factory investment is required to meet modern food industry standards, with efficient new distribution systems to match, because woe betide anyone who deli- vers late or inaccurately to a supermarket. Then, operating and accounting systems have to be harmonised and upgraded, again requiring experienced management expertise, often in short supply at companies constructed through a string of small-scale deals.Finally, excess acquisition borrowings have to be managed down, while funding higher investment and servicing debt – not easy when margins are under pressure from higher energy costs and rising commodity prices. With high debt levels, success can so quickly turn on its head if profits go sour and, sadly, it did. It will be sorted. Inter Link chairman Jeremy Hamer talks straight. He is totally realistic and I have no doubt he will secure the best outcome, and soon.Elsewhere, the long-awaited Whole Foods Market American supermarket group has opened in upmarket Ken-sington, London, charging £4.99 for a sandwich and £34.99 for a seven-inch pie. Would you pay it? Yes, if you could afford to live in Kensington, but elsewhere? Hmmm!Nearby, our home-grown Marks & Spencer has responded by trialling a new-look bakery and patisserie, with pavement prize offers of fresh fruit to draw in the punters. It was a success! And Waitrose has announced plans to open an ethical, organic and wholefood-style store in Marylebone, London. So Whole Foods is facing strong British competition. It will be interesting to see how trading settles down when the novelty has worn off.By way of light relief, this week we look at the ’Cake with Brakes’ (pg 16)! And could sawdust pellets be the oven fuel of the future (pg 23)? Quite possibly so.
West Cornwall Pasty Co is branching out from hot savouries and will be offering cream teas this summer.The UK pasty chain is to launch traditional Cornish Cream Teas in its eat-in restaurant outlets. It will consist of a scone, an 8oz pot of Cornish clotted cream, strawberry jam and a pot of tea.“We are extremely proud of our Cornish roots and have been looking at expanding our ange of traditional Cornish products, as there is a clear demand for them from our customers,” commented Richard Nieto, chief executive for the firm.West Cornwall Pasty Co is the biggest food-to-go pasty retailer in the UK, with 57 stores, and is the 19th biggest bakery retailer on store numbers in the country, according to British Baker’s annual league table of bakery retailers.
Point of sale material is now available for you to display during National Cupcake Week, which takes place from 14-19 September.The aim of the week is to draw customers’ attention to the everpopular bakery treat and the range of recipes and toppings available, and to tempt new and existing customers into your shop to try them. An A4 and A3 poster, with space to add your own text, will be available to download from bakeryinfo.co.uk from today. The National Cupcake Week logo will also be available to download, so make sure you print them off and post them in your shop windows to generate consumer interest and promote the week.British Baker will also be sending out a branded poster on August 28 to bakeries and cafes who subscribe to British Baker, to help them market the event. This will coincide with an on-going PR campaign to drive awareness of the week in the national media.
These premium Easter-themed cakes use Macphie’s Genoese Mix and 5th Avenue icing and offer a high profit margin.ToppingSugar and chocolate sprinkles1. Mix 500g Chocolate Genoese Mix and 70g margarine for 1 minute on a slow speed. 2. Add 200g water and mix for 1 minute on slow speed, scrape down, mix for a further 4 minutes on medium speed.3. Deposit 50g of batter into paper cases Bake for 20-25 minutes at 150C. Cool before icing.Topping1. Beat 300g 5th Avenue Chocolate Icing and 100g margarine on medium speed until light and fluffy (approximately 5 minutes). 2. Using a star nozzle, pipe a swirl on top of the cupcakes. Finish with chocolate eggs and chocolate curls or flaked chocolate to create bird’s nest effect. Ingredient cost per product unit: 17pRRP: £1.20-£1.50 per unit
Ingredients manufacturer Unifine invited British Baker to its Ingredients in Action workshop at Squires Kitchen.Graham Dunton, Unifine’s chef patissier, discussed the Dawn Foods acquisition along with new product development for 2012 set to revolutionise the bakery and food manufacturing industries.Music: Pasadena by Emerald Park (Creative Commons licence)YouTube link: http://youtu.be/5wBC9W_zRcQ
The Worshipful Company of Bakers has organised a prestigious course at the Richemont Bakery School in Lucerne, Switzerland.Taking place on 3-4 October, the Worshipful Company has collaborated with the Richemont Bakery Department to host a two-day course in English on confectionery and special breads. In addition, attendees will have the opportunity to tour bakeries, patisseries and cafés in Lucerne on 5 October.Christopher Freeman, from the Worshipful Company and director of Dunn’s Bakery, said: “In the past five or six years we have tried to organise a course abroad, usually at the world-renowned Richemont Bakery School, that is spoken in English.“We wanted to widen the appeal of the course content as much as possible, rather than offering such a narrow field of skills and training. It gives delegates the opportunity to do something different, helps broaden their skills and meet a wide spectrum of people from the industry.”The Worshipful Company and the Association of Bakery Ingredient Manufacturers (ABIM) are also offering three places on the course, with the ABIM Award, Pierre Scacco Award and the Joseph Travelling Award for mature applicants who feel the training abroad would benefit their career within the UK bakery industry. Successful recipients of the awards will benefit from an expenses-paid trip to Switzerland for the two-day course and bakery tour.The cost of a place on the course is £1,375 (plus VAT), which is inclusive of flights from a designated London airport, tuition fees, course book, and four night’s accommodation. Fees are payable in advance with the application.To apply or to book a place on the course, contact the Worshipful Company by email on [email protected] or Kerry Upham on [email protected] Alternatively, contact Christopher Freeman on 07776 480032 or email [email protected] date for applications is 3 May, with interviews taking place on 15 May at Bakers’ Hall in London.