Plant bakery Rathbone Kear is looking at sites to build a new bakery in the next year, following a £1 million investment in its existing estate over the last 10 months.Chief executive Harry Kear said he would like to build the site from scratch if the supermarket Morrisions (the majority shareholder in the company) gives the go-ahead. He told British Baker: “We have the team here that can do it.” Mr Kear said the bakery would be expected to produce 6,000 loaves an hour, and is likely to be located in the south of the country. He commented: “It’s whether we can build another bakery that will give us long-term lower cost and consistent quality of product. There are plenty of opportunities. We are doing some appraisals, but we haven’t yet made a decision. Once we have agreed plans with Morrisons we will go ahead.”The three existing Rathbone Kear bakeries, in Wakefield, Wigan and Middlesbrough, are trading comfortably, Mr Kear said. Annualised turnover is now £35m.The sites were purchased from admininistrators of New Rathbones in May 2005, following New Rathbones’ collapse in April last year. Rathbone Kear spent over £1m in upgrading the sites and around 100 tertiary brands were discontinued in a focus on the Rathbones brand. There are no further plans for major capital spend in the existing bakeries. Mr Kear said: “I have increased specification, with higher grist to the flour, gone to one tin size and made sure all the bread contains soya and fat, which had previously been removed.”He said he decided against bidding for any parts of the Harvestime (2005) estate when the other former Rathbones bakeries went into administration this year. Harvestime’s trade depended on another major multiple, which might not have wished to continue with Rathbone Kear, Mr Kear said.
The consumer of today is persistently seeking homemade characteristics in their desserts, according to ingredients firm Food Design (Hornbeam Park Avenue, Harrogate). It believes that its toffee crumb and butterscotch pieces will satisfy that demand. By blending the company’s dark butterscotch crisp or toffee crumb into a crumble topping, a crispy bite is produced, especially when used in conjunction with oats. When used in baked-off goods, the products release a toffee aroma. The company also does a bake-stable toffee sauce for the top of the tart.
Some 150 participants gained an insight into opportunities to optimise consumer health at an international conference hosted in Copenhagen last month by ingredients supplier Danisco.Among the healthy ingredients discussed were plants used by the holistic Indian healing system ayurveda, beneficial probiotic bacteria and prebiotic ingredients.Four of Danisco’s research scientists presented the results from a series of studies that shed light on Litesse as a prebiotic dietary fibre. “What we can offer is a holistic approach to health and nutrition formulations,” said chair of Danisco’s health and nutrition network Dr Julian Stowell. “We not only offer a key active ingredient, we can also reformulate the whole product from a taste and texture perspective.”
Northern Ireland’s Allied Bake-ries are waiting to hear from the Guinness World Records to see if they have beaten the world record for the largest number of people tossing pancakes.A total of 206 people tossed Kingsmill Giant Pancakes simultaneously for 30 seconds, breaking the previous record of 108. The bakery received support from the Coors Light Belfast Giants ice hockey team.According to Allied Bake-ries Ireland (ABI) it produced 3.1 million pancakes last week to cope with the demand for Shrove Tuesday. “In the past six years, we have been able to treble our hourly pancake capacity,” said MD Alan Hempton. “This year, we estimate that we will produce 4.5% more pancakes than we did in 2007 – which is a lot of pancakes.”To cope with the demand, ABI’s flour supplies from Neill’s Flour Mill in Belfast increased to 96 tonnes, while the bakery’s buttermilk supply from Dale Farm increased to 76,000 pints. Glenshane Eggs in Maghera also supplied ABI with 338,000 eggs.
There are only two days left until the deadline for all entries to the Baking Industry Awards 2010. So if you haven’t sent your entry form in yet, make sure you do it by end of Friday, 21 May!The Awards, now in their 23rd year, celebrate the best of the British baking industry, and are attended by key players from across the industry.They are a great way to showcase your talents and achievements to current and potential customers and industry peers, as well as achieving recognition for yourself and your business.The Awards are open to businesses of all sizes, from a one-shop outlet, to the largest industrial plant manufacturers. Entrants do not need to be a supplier of customer of any of the category sponsors.The list of categories to enter is as follows:* Baker of the Year – sponsored by Vandemoortele* In-Store Bakery of the Year – sponsored by Dawn Foods* Confectioner of the Year – sponsored by Rich Products* Bakery Food Manufacturer of the Year – sponsored by ADM Milling* Bakery Supplier of the Year – sponsored by Sainsbury’s* Celebration Cake Maker of the Year – sponsored by Renshawnapier* The Innovation Award – sponsored by Asda* Speciality Bread Product of the Year – sponsored by Bakels* The Craft Business Award – sponsored by Rank Hovis* The Customer Focus Award – sponsored by CSM (United Kingdom)* Trainee Baker of the Year – sponsored by Improve and the National Skills AcademySo don’t delay, get your entry form in today!For details of all the categories and how to enter go to www.bakeryawards.co.uk. Or email Helen Law on [email protected] or call 01293 846587.
This classic Turkish Pide is easy to produce and quick to bake. Sliced horizontally and filled with meats, salad or cheese, this soft-eating flatbread makes a great deli-style sandwich or an unusual addition to the bread basket. It also tastes delicious sliced and served with dips.IngredientsString bread flour3.000kgSalt0.060kgOlive oil0.060kgSugar0.050kgDried yeast 0.020kgWater2.200kgTotal dough weight5.385kgFinished dough temperature25-27ºCMethod1. Mix all the ingredients on a slow speed for 2 minutes and then 6-8 minutes on fast or until the dough is fully developed. Note: it is important not to have too warm a dough temperature (A).2. Once the dough is fully developed, place it on to a lightly oiled container and cover with plastic. Give a bulk fermentation time of 1½ hours. The dough should be alive and gassy now (B).3. Turn the dough out on to a floured surface and scale to 400g for a large Pide and 150g for a small Pide. Very gently, loosely mould the dough pieces into an oblong shape, being careful not to knock too much gas out of the dough (C).4. Give an intermediate proof of 20 minutes. Cover with plastic to prevent skinning (D).5. Take each dough piece and stretch/coax it out to an oblong shape (by hand) and place into a prepared baking tray, four per tray (600mm x 400mm) (E).6. Once you have the oblong shape, which is almost as long as the width of the baking tray, wash with egg wash made from 1 part egg and 1 part water and dock with your fingers approximately 5-6 times down the length of the dough piece (F).7. Very lightly sprinkle with black sesame seeds or kalongi seeds (G).8. Allow to dry-prove for 20 minutes.9. Place into a pre-heated oven at 250ºC and bake for approximately 9-10 minutes. Make sure you do not overbake or you will destroy the effect of this lightly baked flatbread (H).
Greencore has announced it does not intend to make a revised offer for Northern Foods, following an announcement last week that it was still considering its options.In November 2010, food manufacturers Greencore and Northern Foods agreed on the terms of a recommended merger, which would have seen the creation of one of the largest convenience food businesses in the UK and Ireland.However a counter bid by Boparan Holdings was subsequently backed by the board at Northern Foods over the Greencore deal.In January the boards of BH Acquisitions (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Boparan Holdings Limited) and Northern Foods announced that they had reached agreement on the terms of a unanimously recommended cash offer of 73 pence per Northern Foods share, to acquire the entire issued, and to be issued, ordinary share capital of Northern Foods.Greencore said that, over the past few weeks, it had been working with a partner in order to agree a simultaneous sale of certain Northern Foods branded businesses, which was intended to provide funding and allow Greencore to acquire only the parts of the Northern Foods business with the greatest synergy potential.“This relatively complex structure required a range of stakeholders to reach agreement,” explained Greencore. “However, after substantial investigation, the board has determined that an improved offer could not be concluded on terms which would deliver sufficiently strong returns to Greencore shareholders.”As of 2 March, Boparan had received valid acceptances from Northern Foods’ shareholders in respect of 107,933,805 Northern Foods shares, which represents approximately 23.03% of the existing issued ordinary share capital of the firm.>>Greencore’s food-to-go sales up>>Northern awaits Boparan bid details>>Northern Foods and Greencore announce merger
Hot sandwiches and savouries are an important part of the food-to-go market. But with a limited shelf-life and the crucial factor of temperature, getting the packaging right is vital.Keeping food hot and avoiding sogginess is, of course, the primary purpose of food-to-go packaging. Corrugated card sleeves were adopted by Costa last year for its range of hot paninis and, according to BCP Fluted Packaging, which supplies the chain’s packaging, the corrugated design is drawing attention from many high street bakers interested in offering similar packaging on hot savouries.”The whole food-to-go area seems to be expanding very quickly,” says BCP marketing director Paula Redhead. “Once Costa sets a trend with this kind of product, you get a lot of people wanting their versions of it.” The corrugated card “keeps the product hotter for longer and is also greaseproof-lined”, she says.Martin Kersh of the Foodservice Packaging Association says that, as well as developing products that keep hot food in the best condition possible, packaging firms are increasingly concerned with the sustainability of products. “Our members spend huge resources to provide a product that more than meets environmental requirements,” he says.This can be seen in some of the most recent NPD to hit the market. An ovenable bakery tray made from renewable wood pulp is one of the latest environmentally-friendly launches on the market. Nicholl Food Packaging, which makes the new round tray, says it launched the product in response to customer demand for more sustainable options.BCP is also developing packaging for products stored in heated cabinets. “A lot of bread goes almost rubbery and hard, but if you put the product on a corrugated base, it is lifted off the shelf and that enables you to hold sandwiches in a heated cabinet.”The company also makes corrugated cardboard sleeves, laminated to susceptor material, which enables breads such as paninis and ciabatta to be microwaved and stay crisp. Susceptors are a metallic film laminated to a paper base. “Instead of the bread going soggy, it goes crisp,” says Redhead. “So it allows you to heat up sandwiches in the microwave. Those products have been around for a while in retail such as Rustler burgers and McCain microchips but other companies are starting to look at them now as a means to having food-to-go sandwiches heated up.”Other companies such as RAP also manufacture corrugated packaging for hot savoury takeaways. Hot Rap is lightweight film adhered to a profiled corrugated board. It can be microwaved or put in a conventional oven up to 180°C. The board acts as insulation while holding hot savouries such as sausage rolls or pasties in heated cabinets. Government action Packaging waste is one of the biggest problems dogging the foodservice industry and, in the government’s recent Waste Review 2011, the intention was clear the problem must be tackled. The government is planning to do this through a voluntary scheme modelled on WRAP’s Courtauld Commitment, an agreement between the major supermarkets and food manufacturers. The government readily accepts that the foodservice industry “is a large and complex sector” and, in July, it arranged for a group of ’early adopters’ to attend the Footprint Round Table an event designed for businesses from different parts of the supply chain to identify the implications for a voluntary agreement.John Young, UK foodservice sales and marketing director of Huhtamaki UK, was one of 30 foodservice supply chain professionals invited to take part in the Footprint Round Table. “It is important for large companies like Huhtamaki to be involved with industry events that tackle the issues relating to packaging and waste,” he says.
Premier Foods has announced that it has obtained an agreement from its banking syndicate to defer the group’s forthcoming financial covenant test from 31 December 2011 to 31 March 2012.The firm, which owns brands such as Hovis and Mr Kipling, said the agreement formed part of its discussions about the longer-term refinancing of the group’s debt, and said it confirmed ongoing support from the bank for its business.Michael Clarke, chief executive officer, said: “In recent weeks, we have set out our priorities and made significant leadership changes to strengthen our focus. We are now moving quickly to finalise our detailed growth plans to ensure we continue to build momentum in the business.”He added: “This is an important step towards securing a longer-term financial foundation for the business.”In October this year, Premier announced it was in “constructive discussions” with its banks on the possibility of putting in place refinancing facilities beyond their current maturity of December 2013.“These discussions continue to be constructive and the banking syndicate has confirmed that it remains supportive both of the business and the continued discussions,” said the firm.>>Hovis boss must look at bottom line, say analysts>>New head announced for Premier’s bakery businesses
The UK’s unemployment figures increased to a 16-year high yesterday after another rise in the jobless total.UK unemployment rose by 48,000 to 2.67 million in the three months to December, official figures showed. Women made up two-thirds of that increase and there was a new record in the number of people working part-time who want full-time jobs.According to the Office for National Statistics, the unemployment rate edged up to 8.4%, the highest for 16 years.The number of 16- to 24-year-olds without a job rose 22,000 to 1.04m, taking the unemployment rate in that age group to 22.2%. This figure also includes young people in full-time education who are also looking for work.Minister for Welfare Reform Lord Freud said: “The latest figures show some encouraging signs of stability, despite the challenging economic climate.With more people in employment and a rise in vacancies, it is clear the private sector is still creating jobs.“However, we are not complacent. With more people in the labour market, we know that competition for those jobs is tough and we will continue to make it our priority to find people work.”The jobless figures were released on the same day as the Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, predicted the UK economy would zig-zag in 2012.