What is the secret of making successful double chocolate-chip muffins? Bakery specialist Kluman & Balter (Waltham Cross, Herts) says it has the answer – good quality American-style ingredients and a foolproof recipe. As well as supplying the Multifoods Creme Cake Base, which makes muffin batter, and three types of chocolate chips to add to the mix, the company stocks other muffin ingredients, and helps with customers’ ideas and recipes, it says. “Over the years trans-Atlantic travel has become commonplace and consumers know exactly what an American muffin should taste like,” says Danny Kluman, commercial director. “It’s vital to get not only the ingredients but also the recipes absolutely right.” Both of which the company says it can supply.
A new company providing natural food ingredients to manufacturers has been launched.Naturis (Slough, Berks) will provide ingredients to enhance the health benefits of products. Among the functional ingredients offered by Naturis are insoluble fibres, probiotics, prebiotics, proteins, vitamins, minerals and omega-3s.Head of marketing and strategy for Naturis, Markus Smet, says: “I am very excited about the launch of Naturis. This is a time when people are becoming more concerned about the ingredients that go into their food and manufacturers are responding to that. Naturis can help manufacturers meet their customers’ expectations and demands for more healthy, natural products.”Naturis is a division of the newly formed ACI Group, which was previously called Allchem International.
It is thought that up to 45% of us may suffer from food allergies and intolerances. Livwell, (Hull) the gluten-free brand, has spent four years improving its bread range and has taken to Europe to source equipment.The Livwell range now includes tasty wheat, gluten- and milk-free seeded batch loaves, baguettes, naan, pizza bases, muffins and rolls. All are bench-marked against the best brands of non gluten-free bread. Livwell also produces wheat-, gluten- and milk-free cakes, pies, pancakes and cake bars.
Supermarket campaigns to encourage cash-strapped shoppers to abandon brands in favour of own-label products are failing in the packaged bakery category. Branded products are outstripping retailer ranges.Value sales of branded pro-ducts in packaged bakery, which includes plant bread, morning goods and ambient cakes, but excludes in-store bakery, grew 8.3% in the 12 weeks to 22 March, according to TNS, compared to a 1.9% fall in private-label sales. Branded bread grew in value by 8.7%, compared to just 2.7% in own-label.This performance by branded bakery products bucks a wider trend that has seen shoppers ditching brands for cheaper own-label products. Sainsbury’s recently announced that its Switch and Save campaign had helped grow year-on-year sales of its Basics products by 60% in the last quarter, while Tesco also promotes own-label alternatives to branded products online.Sainsbury’s bakery development manager Matt Pizzey told BB: “The market has traditionally been dominated by Warburtons, Allied and Hovis – brands people trust. Bread is a comfort food, so people naturally look for products they have confidence in.”Edward Milner, head of category management for Hovis, said that plant bread sales had also been helped by more people making sandwiches at home. “Shoppers are buying branded because they want the best quality they can have from a homemade sandwich,” he said.Sara Reid, marketing manager at Rank Hovis, added: “People are going back to trusted brands because they know what they’re getting. It’s not just about price, it’s about value for money.”
The National Minimum Wage (NMW) will rise to £5.80 per hour from October, for workers aged 22 and over, the government has announced this week. It is a 7p increase per hour on the current rate of £5.73 – a rise of 1.2%.For 18- to 22-year-olds the rate will increase by 6p to £4.83, and by 4p to £3.57 for 16- and 17-year-olds.Gill Brooks-Lonican, chief executive of the National Association of Master Bakers, said the increase “won’t do craft bakeries any good at all”, and favours a freeze on wage increases during the recession. “So many bakeries are really feeling the results of the recession; it’s absolutely crazy,” she added.The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has also said an NMW freeze would have been more helpful for businesses. “We pressed for a freeze to the minimum wage because of the severity of the downturn and the daily loss of jobs,” said director general of BCC, David Frost.“We are pleased that the increase is only a modest one, and it shows that the Low Pay Commission and the government have largely understood the seriousness of the situation.”The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) however, has welcomed the hourly rate change. John Cridland, CBI deputy director-general, said: “This moderate increase recognises that many businesses are struggling, and helps protect jobs at a time of rising unemployment.”From October 2010, the top NMW rate will be extended to include 21-year-olds.
Kampffmeyer Food Innovation has developed a clean-label binding system for the cold preparation of tomato sauces. No cooking is required, which means the sauce remains pulpy and fresh and retains its consistency, said the firm. It is also suited to automatic dosing processes.Purabind Pulp consists of physically treated wheat flour fractions and is suitable for all tomato sauces used in ready-to-eat pizza, deep-frozen pizza, pizza baguettes and filled pastry pockets, for example.www.kampfmeyer.com
A new online salt calculator has been launched to help craft bakers reduce the amount of salt in their bread and reach government salt targets within six weeks.The tool been designed by the to help bakers calculate the level of salt in a finished product, which would also enable them to work out how close they are to meeting the 2012 Food Standards Agency (FSA) salt targets – 1g of salt per 100g of final product. It is simple to use and only requires the baker to enter the amount of flour and salt they are using in a recipe.It has been produced following research carried out by the FSA, the National Association of Master Bakers and Norfolk County Council, which looked at how feasible it would be for the craft industry to reduce salt in bread. The research identified recipe changes “that would allow the production of bread in line with the salt targets”.The recipes were tested in commercial craft bakery premises, in various locations and using a range of different breadmaking processes. The findings indicated that these recipes were easy to achieve and acceptable to consumers.“Research also showed that bakers can reduce the level of salt in bread by 25% over six weeks and customers will not notice the difference,” according to the FSA.A guide to salt reduction in bread is also available to use alongside the calculator.>>TSOs to test salt levels in craft bakery breads>>FSA announces salt reduction progress
United Biscuits (UK) is to launch a rewards scheme for its McVitie’s brand biscuits. McVitie’s VIP Club will offer consumers the chance to claim tea break treats, using a unique code, or to build up a collection of points in order to claim larger rewards. The firm claims it will be the first-ever consumer biscuit collect and reward scheme.The scheme will run across 360 million packs of McVitie’s biscuits, including McVitie’s Digestives, Jaffa Cakes, Hobnobs and Penguin, in its first year, with the VIP Club packs available from 16 August.Each pack will feature a code which the consumer can input at www.mcvities.co.uk/vipclub. The ‘tea break treats’ include discounted magazine subscriptions, designer tea pots, kettles and digital radios as well as McVitie’s branded merchandise.The new reward scheme is part of a £2.5m marketing campaign by the firm, which includes a TV advertising campaign, consumer PR, the launch of a new McVitie’s website and point-of-sale activity.“The promotion is designed to cement McVitie’s association with the tea break, encourage consumers to choose McVitie’s over other brands and, above all, give fans and loyal buyers of McVitie’s guaranteed rewards for them to enjoy,” commented Sarah Heynen, marketing director of sweet biscuits at United Biscuits.
The Ocean Spray Ingredient Technology Group (ITG) is to have its products listed in the Bako North Western portfolio.Its sweetened dried cranberries (SDC), suitable for use in products such as tiffins, flapjacks, cookies, muffins and bread, will now be available in a 3lb bag.The SDCs were presented at Bako’s Seasonal Showcase last month, where bakers could try the cranberries in various baked goods and pick up point-of-sale material, plus a free copy of Add Cranberries, Add Value a guide to baking with SDCs.Ocean Spray SDCs are highly process-tolerant in baking applications and resist moisture migration and colour-bleed, said the firm.
Colchester-based desserts and cakes company Indulgence Patisserie was awaiting a decision on planning permission to develop a new £1.2m production facility opposite its current site, as British Baker went to press.If permission is granted, the new 20,000sq ft site would begin production in 2013, operating alongside the company’s current 10,000sq ft factory. The expansion would help boost the company’s current turnover of £6m to £12-£15m by 2014, said MD Angus Allan.Initially, the company had planned to develop a smaller £250,000 site, but Allan said the company was growing so rapidly that it required even more space.”Our sales year-on-year are up 30%,” he said. “The new site will be more efficient and productive, meaning we can produce greater volumes for existing customers and develop new products for new customers, both at home and abroad,”Around 25% of Indulgence’s sales come from exports, with its frozen cakes, gateaux and cheesecakes dispatched to countries including France, Belgium and Australia. In the UK, the company supplies retailers and foodservice markets with branded and own-label lines.