Big chill at new UK plant

first_imgFrozen cookie production at a new UK plant is benefiting from high-volume refrigeration plant supplied by Eurotek (Aylsham, Norwich). The line at Rich Products’ plant in Hartlebury, Worcestershire, includes a new, made-to-measure, Eurotek spiral freezer and refrigeration plant. This can handle a range of product sizes and weights at a maximum speed of around 2,000kg an hour. Rich Products transferred its frozen cookie production from Holland to the UK last year – a move that has enabled it to better serve major clients such as Tesco. Eurotek MD Roger Smith says: “The spiral freezing system offers exceptional flexibility. It can handle large volumes and is well suited to handling product such as cookies, which have been deposited onto sheets of paper.”Constructed entirely from stainless steel, the horizontal airflow spiral freezer is easy to clean and maintain, with a variable speed belt, says Eurotek.last_img read more

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Lighter muffins

first_imgAnthony Alan (Barnsley, Yorkshire) has developed a ‘healthier’ muffin under the Weight Watchers range, for which it holds the licence.The range includes double chocolate chip, fruity blueberry and lemon and sultana vaieties. The muffins are available in four packs or individuals (mini muffins in 12s and triple packs). The firm claims that sales of its Weight Watchers cakes grew by 11.6% for the year to January 1, 2006, and account for over 50% of sales of low-fat cakes in the UK.last_img

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Chocolate supplier Barry Callebaut expands in Mexico

first_imgChocolate and cocoa product manufacturer Barry Callebaut has opened a new chocolate factory in Mexico, strengthening its position in the North American chocolate market. The factory, based in Monterrey, will enable an annual production of around 100,000 tonnes and will act as a gateway between the company’s Central and South American markets. It will be Callebaut’s third largest production facility worldwide and cost approximately USD40 million.The firm said the new factory is “paramount” to its global expansion plans and “underlines the company’s commitment to the Americas”. The factory has been designed to manufacture industrial chocolate – liquid and moulded – in addition to compound. Full capacity is expected to be reached within five years.“Our new chocolate factory in Monterrey, Mexico, will enable Barry Callebaut to move closer to its growing customer base of multinational and local food manufacturers in this region,” commented chief executive officer, Patrick De Maeseneire. “Chocolate confectionery in Mexico is expected to grow on average by 6.5% per year in value terms over the next five years. These growth projections make the Mexican market a very attractive investment for Barry Callebaut.”The Zurich-based company operates eight chocolate and cocoa factories in the Americas and is present in 26 countries.last_img read more

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Uniq sees profit turnaround

first_imgConvenience food group Uniq is back in the black after increased food-to-go sales helped steer the business back to positive sales growth. In its fourth quarter trading update the firm announced that food-to-go sales were up 11.5% for the 13 weeks to 26 December. “Consumers responded well to the swift changes in our product range to deliver better value and innovation in key categories,” according to the company statement.Its Northampton business benefited from “new sandwich volume” with Marks and Spencer, worth £15m per annum, however this was partly offset by the loss of a “significant proportion” of its airline business, when British Airways announced its decision to reduce food services on short haul flights.Its desserts arm saw sales rise 0.4%, and it achieved a good Christmas performance, reversing the negative growth reported in the previous two quarters.The food group made the decision to dispose of its French, German, Polish and Netherlands business units earlier in 2009, to become focused solely on the UK convenience market.last_img read more

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Top judges for 2010 cupcake competition

first_imgLeading UK cake experts will judge entries for Britain’s Best Cupcake Baker 2010, part of the build-up to National Cupcake Week, running from 13-19 September.They are: John Slattery, Slattery’s Patissier and Chocolatier; Chris Bachmann, Bachmann’s Patisserie and Chocolate Creations; and Eric Lanlard, Cake Boy. Organised by BB, the contest welcomes entries from cake specialists, craft and in-store bakeries. Entry deadline is 16 July.The top prize is £1,000-worth of bespoke cupcake cases from sponsor Chevler and a £300 voucher for a specialist cake decoration or chocolate class at Slattery’s Patissier school.See www.nationalcupcakeweek.co.uk more details.last_img

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Grants to plug a gap

first_imgSmall firms have been turning to business grants as a secondary source of “free” money while bank funding remains hard to find. Specialist grants database GRANTfinder says enquiries from small businesses about how to secure grant funding have risen by a third in the past year.The first challenge is working out what is on offer and where the firms are most likely to be successful. The European Union offers an array of grants, as do the government, local and regional agencies and authorities. There are also many specialist grant providers, particularly for green projects. Government-funded Business Link provides advice, while many local papers publicise details of funds available.Firms should focus on the desired outcome when applying for example creating or retaining jobs, or improving local amenities. Some funders will want to visit your organisation and speak to staff.Another option is to use a specialist grants consultancy service. According to Chris Smith, joint managing director of Fuel technology company G-Volution, based in Bath, Somerset, the company used PNO Consultants of Wilmslow, Cheshire to help it find relevant grants. The £1m turnover firm, which employs 10 people and won a £40,000 Shell Springboard Award in 2008, last year secured £70,000-worth of funding through the Carbon Trust.The past couple of years have been difficult for businesses, so if there is money available and people are willing to help, then it makes sense to make use of it. But there is a real skill to applying. Some of the language can be hard to interpret.And small firms often fail to recognise that grants rarely provide 100% of the funding.Firms that don’t stick to the reporting requirements laid down by the grants body risk losing out on claiming the full grant available.last_img read more

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Asda own-label products now Chosen By You

first_imgAsda has relaunched its entire range of 3,500 Asda own-brand products under the new name Chosen By You (CBY).The entire range accounts for between £8bn-£9bn-worth of annual sales and is the most significant food development programme in Asda’s history, said the retailer. The new range will feature 516 bakery lines, which will be rebranded to CBY by the end of September, including 65 new CBY bakery lines and 104 redeveloped lines, said the retailer. These include a chocolate orange mega muffin, Mediterranean bread, red pepper pesto and chicken baguette, ultimate steak pie and lemon daisy cupcakes.The retailer has invested £100m in benchmarking, testing and reformulating products, over the past nine months, to improve their quality.Asda carried out taste tests on more than 40,000 people across the UK at “secret events” in 45 different locations. Each CBY product was tested by a minimum of 50 consumers in a single location.last_img read more

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Move to modernity

first_imgMost people in the industry have always referred to the National Asso-ciation of Master Bakers as the NA. With the organisation entering its 125th year in 2012, it looks certain to drop the ’MB’ for good in a bid to update its image. At a time where locally sourced, crafted products are in the ascendancy, how does National Association of Craft & Artisan Bakers sound?That was the suggestion of National Doughnut Week organiser Chris Freeman, of Dunn’s of Crouch End, who proposed a name change at the recent NAMB AGM in Blackpool. “The press is all about artisan and craft in all sorts of different fields. The word ’master’ puts off some people,” said Freeman, who was also chosen as president-elect. “We also have the problem when you put the words ’master’ and ’baker’ together and say them too quickly… we all know what it sounds like. We need to move away from this and project a more modern image.”While the NA consults its members over the name change, it reported back on a busy year and it has never been more active on the PR front, getting involved in a raft of television productions that are doing wonders for the profile of baking. It has also listened to members to shift the date of National Craft Bakers’ Week, which, this year, will coincide with the harvest festival.”Following consultation with our members, this event will now take place from 19 September,” said chairman Mike Holling. “The aim of the week is to allow independent craft bakers to promote themselves and make the consumers more aware, to build a customer base. We have also retained the services of Dame Kelly Holmes, who will be the face of National Craft Bakers’ Week, making that link with the Olympics.”The objectives of the week will be to:l raise the awareness that products are baked that dayl promote craft skillsl encourage community baking and enterprisel showcase craft foods made with passionl support traditional values over the mass marketl and, most importantly, increase footfall into high street bakers’ shops.Once again, there will be a co-ordinated programme of bakers going into schools and children’s visits to bakeries, so if you’d like to get involved this year, contact the NA.Rarely has the need for the craft bakery sector to promote itself been more acute, with challenges coming from all angles. “We’re all fully aware that the economic outlook is challenging, due to the squeeze on consumer spending and the effects of high commodity prices,” reflected Holling. “This coupled with extreme weather conditions in November and January make the economic recovery fragile.”Throughout the year, the association has written to the government to promote our concerns regarding the Localism Bill, to protect the high street, where most of our members trade. We need to see the rejuvenation of the British high streets we need vibrancy and strong footfall.”There was news of a revamp of the NA website to make it more user-friendly. “A great deal of thought has gone into making it easier to navigate, to be more up-to-date, and to offer more information at your fingertips,” said Holling. “It also gives us the opportunity to develop our online shop, with links to our suppliers. More importantly, we’ll be able to offer links to our bakery members’ websites, Twitter and Facebook.”With CEO Gill Brooks-Lonican set to retire next year, Holling reassured delegates that succession planning was under way. “The board are very much aware of this and are working towards a timetable of the end of 2012,” he said. “As you will know, it is very difficult to replace staff with the wealth of experience that our chief executive has got. If any member has a view with regards to the job description or profile, send it to the NAMB, marked for my personal attention.”Meanwhile, treasurer Chris Beaney reported that the NA’s finances were “in a healthy condition”, and subscriptions remained frozen for the fourth year. Chairman of Trustees Graham Nash urged people to make the most of an oft-overlooked resource: the NA’s Benevolent Fund: “If anyone knows of anybody in the baking trade who is in distress or in need of help, we have the funds and we are willing to look at anything. There are a lot of people out there who are a little too proud to ask for help, so please let us know.” Presentations Is bakery nutrition an oxymoron?”We shouldn’t consider that bakery and patisserie are at the fringes of things, like five-a-day fruit and veg messages, any more,” Kevin Binns of Puratos told delegates. “As an industry we’re right at the centre of this. We need to take care that we recognise that. Taste and nutrition are not mutually exclusive they go together.”He said that bakery was well placed to capitalise on digestive health trends. “I don’t believe we can do much around probiotics in bakery,” he said. “But at Puratos we’re doing some research into prebiotics the functional fibres that feed the good bacteria in your gut to introduce functional fibres into bread in the next year to 18 months.”It’s interesting for us as an industry to note that fibre is recession-proof,” he added. “People understand fibre, they recognise it, put it at the top of their list and won’t forego on price.”He offered a top tip to tap into healthy product labelling by way of Weight Watchers’ recently introduced online points calculator. “I know some retailers are using this calculator to put Weight Watchers’ points on to their packaging,” he explained. “It’s not endorsed by Weight Watchers, and they say that on the packaging, but it’s a great way to inform consumers and help them with weight management. I thought that traffic light calorie labelling would put me out of job because people wouldn’t eat cake again. Actually, it had a different effect: once people understood the calories in a product, they could manage their diet around that and it didn’t do the industry any harm. Providing information is nothing to be frightened of.”Indulge me”With the escalations in cost this year, it’s going to be one of our toughest years yet,” said speaker John Slattery, of Slattery Patissier & Chocolatier. “We have to try very hard and we cannot rely solely on our craft skills. We need to look at what customers want from talking to them. We work on a very short development chain; we can get it in the shop the same or next day and our customers like that. We also need to learn from our competitors, the chains and supermarkets, because they spend huge amounts of money on research.”One such example is staying on-trend with products such as cupcakes. “I was very slow on the uptake with cupcakes and we didn’t start doing them until the middle of last year. I wasn’t sure it was going to last. I was wrong. We decided to make six distinct flavours, slightly bigger, between a cupcake and a muffin. They work well for us and we’re selling steadily 150 a week at £2.65, which is a good price for a bun!”Success is all about maintaining choice in the bakery, but finding lean ways to produce a wide range of products, he urged. “It’s better to make up to quality rather than down to price,” said Slattery. “We’ve created a range of 18 tarts that we make every day. We pale-bake pastry cases and, for example with a treacle tart, we make a treacle filling that keeps in the fridge for several weeks and bake it off. We may only sell three of those a day, but it’s easy to make and it has a two-day shelf-life.”last_img read more

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Show you care, with a bagel

first_imgNew York Bakery Co has launched a limited-edition heart-shaped bagel in the run up to Valentine’s Day.The bagels will be available for free exclusively through its Facebook page – www.facebook.com/newyorkbakery – from today (Wednesday 1 February).For their chance to win one, consumers are being asked to describe why a heart-shaped bagel would make the ideal gift for their Valentine in no more than 30 words.For Halloween last year, the firm launched a limited-edition Pumpkin-y bagel, which was also only available through its Facebook page.last_img

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Indiana Dunes crowds described as “overwhelming” during holiday weekend

first_img Twitter Facebook Pinterest WhatsApp By Network Indiana – May 27, 2020 0 471 Google+ Pinterest CoronavirusIndianaLocalNews Twitter Previous articleMore than 250,000 Hoosiers may need help paying rentNext articleMore people from Michigan making trips into Indiana Network Indiana Facebook (“Indiana dunes vs lake michigan” by Valerie Everett, CC BY-SA 2.0) (Network Indiana) Indiana Dunes beaches were packed with people this holiday weekend.On Sunday, thousands lined the Indiana Dunes beaches by noon. In the parking lots, most of the license plates were from Illinois.John Aierre Anderson, a supervisory ranger of the Indiana Dunes National Park, said his team expected the rush but that managing those large crowds during the coronavirus pandemic was overwhelming.Anderson and his team did their best to remind people of the social distancing guidelines while on the beach that stretches 15 miles across the Dunes state and national parks. Indiana Dunes crowds described as “overwhelming” during holiday weekend Google+ WhatsApplast_img read more

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