Maltster Muntons has secured £25,000-worth of fun-ding through the Home Grown Cereals Authority’s Enterprise Awards to enable it to export malted wholegrain flakes to the US market.Stowmarket-based Muntons’ export sales manager Clive Bole said: “This is an exciting move for us because, with these wholegrain flakes, we are launching a totally new product into the US bakery market. We are confident that their health benefits will make them a popular choice with the North American consumer.” Meanwhile, chairman of HGCA’s market development committee Julian Gibbons said: “Muntons has identified a gap in the US bakery market for their flakes, and will be ope-ning up new export opportunities as a result.”
Vegeterian food manufacturer Wholebake faced a challenge when it needed to handle multi-packed products, including flapjacks and high-energy bars, in a new packaging format.The company’s mix of automated and traditional bakery means that production capability can range from short runs to 40,000 bars a day, and it therefore required a flexible machine that could also cope with high volume.So it turned to Leeds-based PFM Packaging Machinery to find a solution for this latest dilemma. PFM recommended its Swift flowrapper and this has now been installed at the Wholebake site, based in Corwen, North Wales.FAST MOVERThis latest piece of equipment can operate at up to 100 products per minute and has allowed the company to bring the new multi-packed packaging, previously contracted out, in-house. The move has allowed Wholebake to upgrade its packaging and has resulted in substantial savings in labour costs, says PFM. As well as operating at high speed, the Swift flowrapper also provides ease of use with accuracy and reliability, claims the firm.Wholebake, initially formed in 1984 in a small farmhouse kitchen, now employs 25 staff and operates from a 15,000sq ft factory with two production lines. Previous purchases from PFM comprised a PFM 50 flowrapper, supplied and installed in April 1989, and a PFM Hurricane flowrapper, installed in March 1997.VEGETARIAN DEMANDWholebake’s products are approved by both the Organic Food Federation and the Vegetarian Society and are available in retail stores nationwide including one of the UK’s leading supermarkets. The company prides itself on installing the best possible technology to handle the ever-increasing demand for healthy vegetarian meals and snacks.Founder and director Steve Jones says: “I would certainly recommend PFM. We have again received very good service, with a cost-effective solution that perfectly suited our flowrapping needs.”Responding, PFM’s sales and operations director, Chris Bolton says: “The flowrapper purchased by Wholebake is an extremely versatile, compact and reliable machine, capable of running at a higher speed than many of its market rivals, so it was the perfect choice to meet the company’s requirements.”The Swift flowrapper is just one of a range of over 40 machines from PFM including multihead weighers, horizontal and vertical form fill and seal packaging machines. n
Bakery ingredients suppliers are being hit by export restrictions designed to counter the recent foot-and-mouth disease outbreak.On 6 August, the European Commission imposed a restriction on exports of animals susceptible to foot and mouth, as well as derived meat products, milk and by-products, to EU member states and third countries.Association of Bakery Ingredients Manufacturers (ABIM) executive secretary Steven Birrell told British Baker that members were being hit by red tape when applying for dairy export certificates. Members were finding it particularly difficult to export to countries outside the EU.He said: “Some have been experiencing delays with the administration and processing of export certificates which, in certain cases, has resulted in goods bound for Europe being delayed. ABIM has been assisting its members by liaising with the relevant authorities. It seems you have fewer problems exporting beef than bakery ingredients at the moment.”Pukka Pies MD Tim Storer was not anticipating any problems with exports. He said: “There are administrative implications. One has to be forthright in situations and understand the requirements. Nothing will stop us getting our products to customers overseas.”The Food and Drink Federation said: “In an emergency situation it takes time to get procedures in place. Now, things should be speeding up for manufacturers.”British exports of meat and dairy were worth £1.48bn in 2006, according to government export agency Food From Britain.
Some 1,190 Japanese customers queued in Tokyo for more than two hours last week to get into a new café-style eatery, serving sandwiches and croissants with vegetable soups from McDonald’s.The premises in the capital’s Shibuya ward is one of 15 McCafés set to open in Japan – some of them within McDonald’s traditional burger restaurants – serving breads, desserts and nine kinds of coffee. McCafé also offers 15 kinds of pastry priced at ¥100 (43p) and heats the bread for those eating in.Eiko Harada, CEO of McDonald’s Holding Company (Japan), said he hoped the new stores would reach out to older customers as well as the chain’s target clientele of families.McDonald’s has 3,800 hamburger branches in Japan and is the leader in the Japanese foodservice industry. Its rivals are Starbucks and the Doutor Coffee Company.
The UK cakes market has enjoyed positive, though slowing, growth over the past five years, but the shape of the market is changing.In 2006, sales of small cakes, cake bars, pies and tarts were worth £670m, 62% of the total UK ambient cakes sector (Key Note Biscuits & Cakes report). By 2007, this had risen to £715m, or 65% of the total sector. Sales of large, whole cakes, pies and tarts, meanwhile, declined.Key Note says the trend is caused by the growing number of smaller households, more staggered eating times and the tendency to eat ’on the go’, rather than buy large cakes for sharing.Since the end of the 1990s, more products have become tailored to the eat now market, Key Note says. Single-serve packs of small cakes and biscuits have been developed for impulse buying, lunchboxes and other ’on-the-go’ occasions. Individually-wrapped items are now standard for many brands of small cake.The trends are being reflected right through the baking industry, from manufacturers and craft bakers back down the chain to equipment manufacturers. Tristan Hunt, marketing executive at Somerset-based Pullins Bakers, says there’s definitely more demand for single-serve packaged cakes and slices. Pullins supplies a wide range of products for the wholesale trade and is actively pushing further into individual cakes and slices. Last year, the firm launched a range of mini cakes which have proved popular with retailers, says Hunt. And it plans to increase its individually-wrapped cake lines to cater for demand.== Changing lifestyles ==Hunt says the increasing popularity of single-serve and snack cakes and slices is likely to be a result of people’s changing lifestyles. “People are busy and they are also more health-conscious; they don’t necessarily want a whole cake,” he adds.Kevin Pearce, bakery manager at Cheshire-based Chatwins, says younger bakery customers are more interested in flapjacks, fudge brownies and similar products than the slab cakes favoured by Chatwins’ older generation of customers.Slab cake sales have seen a steep decline in recent years, Pearce says, and while the bakery plans to repackage and relaunch the range, he believes the issue is generational. “Younger customers want to eat the cakes on the go, rather than taking them home to eat.”Proper Cornish – which started out as a pasty specialist and has recently moved into the biscuits and cakes market – launched a range of traybakes last year, which are supplied to bakery retailers, cafés and foodservice outlets via the wholesale trade. Mark Muncey, marketing manager, says snacking and eating on the go are trends that are having a marked effect on sales.Proper Cornish is now launching a range of individually-wrapped and branded slices, both to cater for demand and also to increase brand visibility.Market driversBritish Bakels also says convenience – and health – will continue to be one of the key drivers of the baking industry. The company commissioned an exclusive research report from Leatherhead Food International (LFI).LFI’s report says: “Cakes are inherently convenient, particularly single-serve and individually-wrapped products, which continue to drive market growth at present.” The report also notes that single-serve cakes account for half of the cakes market, and it quotes TNS Worldpanel data for 2006/7, which found cake slices had grown by 18%, while cake bars were up 17.2%.Bakels’ managing director Paul Morrow says the trend is very much down to changing eating habits, rather than specific health concerns. LFI’s report backs this up, pointing to snacking and lunches on the move as key drivers of single-serve cake sales. Fourteen per cent of lunchboxes now contain a cake, it says.The trend is filtering down to equipment suppliers, too. At the recent Interpack exhibition in Dusseldorf, machinery manufacturer Ilapak’s sales director Mike Butler told British Baker that its customers are increasingly asking for machines that can wrap and pack smaller items such as slices and other individual cakes. The UK’s café culture boom is a major contributor to the sales spike, Butler thinks.But the rise in popularity of single-serving cakes and slices does not necessarily signal the death of the whole cake market. Key Note says: “Portionability will remain an important factor for biscuit and cake products. The convenience of wrapped, single servings is becoming increasingly important as average household sizes continue to fall. However, there will also be counter demand for biscuits and cakes for sharing occasions.”
Warburtons is relaunching its Traditional Breakfast Bakery Occasions range, ready for the New Year. Various products such as its Crumpets, Pancakes and Potato Cakes will be rolled out with new packaging this month. The company has aimed for a more contemporary packaging design.”This new design across the range will improve stand-out on shelf and help to drive impulse sales in this high performing sector,” said Sarah Miskell, category director at Warburtons.”The Breakfast Bakery Occasions sector has demonstrated a strong value growth of 18.2% year-on-year and the top performer in Traditional Breakfast remains crumpets, of which Warburtons Crumpets have shown a 52.5% value growth in the last year.”[http://www.warburtons.co.uk]
Additional funding has been agreed to try and increase the number of adult apprentices in Scotland in areas such as bakery. The move follows consultation between sector skills council Improve and Skills Development Scotland (SDS), and will see 400 adult apprentice places offered at food and drink companies. It follows the Scottish government’s decision to remove age restrictions on funding for Modern Apprenticeships (MAs).SDS has agreed to make £750,000 available in the current financial year to fund training costs for those aged 20 or over taking MA pathways in bakery and meat and poultry processing.“Last year, there were just 15 MA starts in food and drink manufacturing companies in Scotland,” said Improve chief executive Jack Matthews. “This year’s funding settlement covers 656 starters, of which 417 will be adult apprentice places.”
Co Donegal bakery company Galard Teo, which trades as Gallagher’s Bakery, has received an €0.8m investment from government agency Údaráis na Gaeltachta for new product development. The cash injection will fund 36 new jobs over the next three years, bringing the job total in the bakery to 207.The company, based in Ardara in the west of the county, produces a wide range of baguettes, under the French Mill brand; it also bakes pastries, scones and soda bread, besides producing a range of mainly chicken based hot foods.Five years ago, the bakery, which sells to stores throughout Ireland, started its export drive, targeting Britain and mainland Europe. The company services both retail and food service markets.Said MD Declan Gallagher: “We have five production units on site which allows us to produce a wide range of products. We have an all important new speciality range, like hedgehogs, Quineo and hemp seed breads and rolls, not forgetting some of the old favourites like traditional bloomers and cobs,all suitable for instore bakeries”.Commenting on the investment, the Irish deputy prime minister and Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Employment, Mary Coughlan said that Gallagher’s expansion was proof that large scale production, in this case bakery products, could be done successfully in a remote rural location.
The residents of the fictitious mono-cultural town of ITV’s Midsomer Murders may not like it, but the days of unadulterated whiteness are over.The last 12 months have seen the rise of the mixed-race loaf. Sales in the stealthy healthier white sector have grown by 8.1% year-on-year (Nielsen Total GB Coverage 52 w/e 26/02/11). “As consumers are increasingly concerned with finding nutritious and tasty bread that the whole family can enjoy, the ’healthier white’ category should remain strong throughout 2011,” predicts Guy Shepherd, category director of Kingsmill at Allied Bakeries.Although previously consigned to the wrapped sector, healthier white bread is broadening out into foodservice and craft bakery. Par-baked is emerging as a key battleground in foodservice more so in the in-store bakeries, where sales of brown breads, surprisingly, fell 8.32% according to Kantar Worldpanel (52 w/e 20/02/11), amid marketing and promotional activity in the wrapped sector.Par-baked giant Délifrance has launched a Nutrition range of par-baked ’high-in-fibre’ pavé loaves and baguettes. The company’s flour milling division Grand Moulins de Paris extracts the aleurone layer of the wheat grain, which contains nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and fibres, through a turbo separation milling method. “This helps us communicate the fact that the bread helps you feel fuller for longer, as well as having digestive transit benefits,” says marketing manager Farah Farmah. “Breakfast and lunch are key moments for bread consumption, where people eat and would like not to have to snack afterwards.” Moul-bie has launched the same flours used to make these products into the UK craft sector, branded Nutri-OR.Similarly, par-baked specialist Bridor has developed Delifibre baguettes with added soluble fibre to achieve the same nutritional profile as wholegrain.Seeds under wrapsSeeds are another ingredient now being hidden from view. Kingsmill was the latest to get its bits out in the bread aisles, following a triple header launch of seeded loaves last month, aimed at covering every consumer preference: The Secretly Seeded One, with finely milled seeds hidden from fussy eaters looking for nutritional benefits and a smooth textured loaf; The Lightly Seeded One; and the Really Seeded One.The trend is set to continue as people shift towards integrating healthier ’fuller for longer’ products into their regime, rather than dieting. According to data from Nielsen Scantrack, demand for malted, grainy and seeded bread has grown 5.1% since 2009 (52 w/e 12/02/11 versus 14/02/09).”Weight management not loss is still building as a consumer issue,” explains David Jago, director of innovation at Mintel. “The focus for healthy eating and healthy weight is increasingly on natural, balanced nutrition. Products operating in this arena need to capitalise on natural ingredients.”While white bread is in decline, the healthier bread sector, defined as ’weight loss’, ’active health’ and ’free-from’, is experiencing 7.6% growth year-on-year (Nielsen 52 weeks w/e 19.02.11). “We believe we need to minimise this decline where possible, while at the same time, trying to maximise the areas of the category that are in growth,” says Richard Hayes, marketing director for Warburtons, which has moved into perceived healthier gluten-free and flatbread sandwich carriers.Always eat between mealsThe rise in healthier eating products has, somewhat perversely, coincided with the rise in snacking. “Many consumers skip breakfast in the belief that it will help them lose weight, whereas in fact they are likely to over-compensate at lunchtime instead,” comments Ian Toal, managing director of Delice de France UK & Ireland.This has opened opportunities for healthier bread-based snacks. “Snacking is not the enemy, it’s potentially one of the best routes to market,” says Mintel’s Jago. Dried fruit inclusions are one way to make breads snackable. “They are seen as delivering a healthy halo to bread products, and manufacturers have been wise to tap into this trend,” says Marion Burton, marketing manager at Ocean Spray Ingredient Technology. “New products available in the bakery sector include strawberry and cranberry bread to gluten-free ligonberry and cranberry bread.”A classic example is Bakehouse’s Superfruits Booster Bars bread with whole cranberries, blueberries, sultanas and chopped apricot pieces, plus honey, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, linseeds and oats. Even indulgent breakfast products have undergone a healthy makeover, such as Délifrance’s Multiseed croissant, which mixes indulgence and added fibre appeal.The quest for the Wholly GrainThe US grocery market last year saw wholegrain bread sales finally surpass those of white bread. In the UK hampered as it is by vague nutritional advice on wholegrain consumption (see overleaf) white bread remains king. However, non-white breads now represent one in three loaves sold in the UK (Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 20/02/11). The data shows brown breads are continuing to outsprint the wheezy white wrapped bread category. While volumes of white bread which have been in long-term slowdown have remained stable in the 52 weeks ending 11 February (down 0.2%), value dipped 3.55%. By contrast, volumes of brown breads increased 7.87%, with value up 4.45%.”While the American consumer may have been converted to wholegrain bread by government guidelines asking them to make 50% of their cereal intake wholegrain, perhaps here in the UK, bakers can help persuade consumers to help themselves to healthier eating options,” suggests Kerrie Medlicott, global director of health and wellness, CSM. “Increasing dietary fibre intake is a major challenge in Western diets. We see great opportunities for bakery products to help consumers increase dietary fibre intake.”CSM claims its recipes using seeded and ancient grain mixes such as its Pantique Ancient Cereals bread mix containing Einkorn, Emmer and Spelt grains, which are considered a richer source of nutrients compared to conventional grains can command up to 50% higher retail price.Oats come to the foreLast year saw the emergence of a new bread category, oats, which hopped on the back of the marketing work done by breakfast cereal brands. This was prompted by an approved heart-health marketing claim in Europe. Kingsmill launched first with Oatilicious a loaf with no bits in January 2010; Hovis’ ’with bits’ Hearty Oats followed.In the last year Oatilicious sold 6.2 million loaves, equating to a retail value of £6.8m (Nielsen Total GB Coverage 52 w/e 26/02/11). What’s more, the breads have attracted new shoppers to the bread aisle without cannibalising the fixture: 40% of these sales have been incremental to the bread category, achieving a household penetration of 11.1%. This equates to 2.8m UK households who are consuming the bread.So which brand is winning the battle? In the last 12 weeks, Oatilicious sold over 1.5m loaves compared to 900,000 of Hovis Hearty Oats, according to Nielsen. That is some way short of the £30m value Hovis predicted its product would be worth within 12 months of its launch in April 2010.For craft and in-stores, last year, Bakels launched a fibre-rich oat and barley concentrate, which includes fermented wheat flour, malted wheat flakes, malt flour, oat meal, oat flakes, barley and wheat fibre: “While oats are especially popular with consumers at breakfast, we are offering bakers a terrific opportunity to extend this interest into healthy eating sandwiches for school lunches and snacks,” says Bakels’ marketing manager Pauline Ferrol.Gluten-free for healthIs gluten-free healthier than regular bread? Who cares, because the perception for a lot of people is “yes”. According to Mintel, more people are buying into gluten-free than have intolerances or allergies. Out of 2,000 people asked, “Do you buy free-from foods for either yourself or your family?”, 73% said “No”, but 18% said “Yes as part of a healthy diet”. Only 5% bought for a family member with a food intolerance and 5% with an allergy.”The free-from sector is showing significant growth, at 64%, so the recent launch of our new gluten-free and wheat-free bakery range aims to attract new consumers to the category who have previously not bought into bakery, due to diet restrictions or as part of a lifestyle choice,” says Warburtons’ Hayes. The brand recently launched Square(ish) Wraps and Sandwich Thins, a ’skinny’ bread with 100 calories per flat bread. “Early indications show that the range is performing strongly,” he says.Growth has been evident in foodservice too, with Starbucks carrying Genius gluten-free bread sandwiches. So what’s behind this? “Some people eat bread, feel bloated and make a self-diagnosis of an intolerance, thanks to Dr Google,” says nutritionist Ian Marber himself a coeliac. “Bread has been the primary victim, because the vast majority of people eat it. However, sometimes yeast is the trigger, if people have an issue with their microflora.” The emergence of probiotic breads could help remedy this, he says. But in the shorter term, sales of lower carb carrying breads such as wraps are benefiting.The newly rebranded Food Doctor, which Marber co-founded, has launched a range of highly seeded wraps. And Mission Foods plans to launch a corn tortilla into foodservice later this year, which are naturally gluten-free.”Tortillas are growing at around 25% a year, and that’s sustained growth for at least the last 24 months,” observes Fraser Chyoweth, head of food services at Mission Foods, which has also just launched a mini wrap into retail. “That’s only at about 30% household penetration; naan bread, which is around 66% penetration, is where we think we might get tortillas to. They’re more versatile and are perceived as being a healthier option than conventional sliced bread.”Naturalists shun additivesAdditives are also in the spotlight when it comes to health perceptions of bread especially when pan-bashers like Michel Roux Jr front BBC programmes decrying the ingredients used in UK breadmaking. Meanwhile, “natural” and “additive-free” are becoming part of the consumer’s excuse the jargon “wellness vocabulary”, says Mintel.Par-baked manufacturers into both foodservice and retail are elbows out, jostling for a perceived space in the market for longer fermentation breads made without dough conditioners, improvers or processing aids. “Better bread options are what consumers are after more grains, more seeds, a more rustic handmade look, a wholesome feel, and natural ingredients,” says consultant baker Dean Brettschneider, who is currently working with Bakehouse.A relative newcomer to the party, Chateau Blanc, part of the group that owns the Paul shops, says additive-free opens up a new area of healthy bread marketing. “There is almost a need for a whole new category for breads in retail that just have the four basic ingredients flour, water, salt and yeast, with no additives or preservatives and with longer fermentation,” says the firm’s Veronique Gubri. “Frozen par-baked allows you to do that.” The firm ran a study alongside the Pasteur Institute and found that freezing does not harm bread’s nutritional values.”In the UK, more and more the supermarkets want the real thing,” concurs Erwan Inizan, sales manager for Bridor UK. “They are raising their game all the time.” In fact, the rush towards “natural” labelled product launches may ultimately make the word redundant. “People will come to expect it of the product anyway that is, incorporated into it; you shouldn’t have to point it out,” says The Food Doctor’s Ian Marber. Wholegrain analysis: spotlight on the UK Although other countries are jumping on the wholegrain bandwagon with nutritional guidelines, following mounting evidence of the benefits of wholegrain in the diet, UK regulators do not currently offer any specific consumption recommendations, writes Georgi Gyton. Is it planning to? The short answer is no. A spokesperson for the Department of Health (DoH) tells British Baker that government advice already includes a recommendation that starchy foods should make up about a third of food eaten, and that wholegrain varieties should be chosen whenever possible. However, he adds that the DoH “currently has no plans to change its healthy eating advice on wholegrain foods”.The problem remains the absence of a legal definition for the term “whole grain”, which is generally used as a marketing term, says the spokesperson. Subsquently there are no analytical methods to measure them in products. “’Wholegrain’ is generally used to describe products that contain a higher fibre content, because they contain all the grain after the removal of the inedible hull and husk. But it is important to note that the proportion of ’whole grain’ contained within products could vary greatly,” he says.Government advice to ’choose wholegrain varieties where possible’ relates to the need for consumers to increase their intake of fibre. “However, fibre is found in a range of foods,” he says. “As such, government advice does not give such quantifiable advice for either fibre or wholegrain, owing to their wider availability in many foods. It is therefore very difficult for consumers to quantify from a product label how much ’wholegrain’ they are consuming.”According to the DoH, the dietary reference value (DRV) for non-starch polysaccharides (NSP the technical term for fibre) is a population average of 18g per day, with an individual range from 12-24g per day. This recommendation is not applicable to children, who should have proportionately lower NSP intakes plus energy-rich foods, which they require for adequate growth.