Aga Foodservice Group said it saw strong sales and profits in 2005. Revenue rose 15.7% to £501.8m while pre-tax profits were up 18.5% to £43m.Chief executive William McGrath said earnings growth reflected a successful strategy over the past five years based on premium cookers and refrigeration. This has resulted in new products, strong routes to markets and major commercial customers raising their investment levels.Aga Bakery has continued to increase market share in France and the UK, and is also building a presence in Eastern Europe and the US. Expanded product breadth, such as steamers and fryers, have boosted sales.
The total area sown to cereals in Great Britain over the last season shows a slight increase says the 2006 HGCA Planting Survey, the first full estimate of plantings for the 2006 harvest.The results indicate that wheat and oats plantings are slightly up on last year, although barley and oilseed rape are both slightly down. The survey results show a total wheat area of 1.87m ha, an increase of 12,000ha on last year and suggest that around 15% of the 2006 wheat crop was planted to Group 1 varieties, compared to 12% last season. Group 2 varieties account for 27% of the surveyed area (21% last season) and Group 3 varieties make up 42% (55% last season). Group 4 wheat was planted on 14% of sur-veyed area, an increase from 11% last season.
Savoury pastry manufacturer Peter’s Food Service was acquired by its management and NBGI Private Equity this week, in a £20 million buyout.Peter’s currently employs 640 staff across two divisions throughout Britain and has an annual turnover of £53 million. It produces more than 100 million pastry products every year at its headquarters in Bedwas, South Wales. Its pies, pasties and sausage rolls are distributed to major supermarkets, stadia and local fish and chip shops all over England and Wales.The buyout follows a series of negotiations that began in February. MD John Griffiths has retired following the deal and a new MD, Mike Grimwood, has been appoin-ted. Grimwood, a former executive at Northern Foods, said: ’The great thing about Peter’s is that it’s in cracking shape. It’s a solid company with a great workforce and we’re all really excited about the future. We want 2008 to be about growth and stability – that’s why we are planning to launch an exciting new range of sausages and a very special steak and ale pie in collaboration with Fuller’s Brewery.”The new management team sees David Peek, David Jackson, Steve Jones and David Llewellyn continuing in their respective roles as finance director, technical director, operations director and regional director south. The management team is expected to take significant equity stakes in the business, while NBGI will acquire majority ownership. Griffiths’ daughter Judith Griffith Evans has left the firm but his son Justin will take over as foodservice director.The company’s foodservice division has developed from a traditional van sales operation into a leading, service-orientated supplier of chilled and frozen foods, with 10 sites around the UK.
Bakehouse’s new Gourmet Burger Bun – designed to hold a fresh 4-8oz burger – has been developed to capitalise on increased consumer demand for premium fresh burgers.The bun is made with extra virgin olive oil and a sourdough starter to give a distinctive rustic taste. It is also dusted with semolina and stone-baked, to give a thin, crisp crust but soft dough inside, and a tight structure, so that the bun stays firm and that any added condiments do not soak into the bread.Supplied fully baked – they defrost in less than two hours – Bakehouse Gourmet Burger Buns are also pre-sliced but with the top and bottom connected, so there should be no problems with missing pieces during busy service times.Bakehouse Gourmet Burger Buns are supplied in cases of 40. www.bakehouse.co.uk
Tromp sales officeDutch-based bakery equipment manufacturer Tromp has opened a sales office to serve the baking industry in the UK and Ireland, and has appointed Robert Done as general sales manager. Turnkey systems and equipment from the three firms in the group will be marketed from the new office Tromp Bakery Equipment, and Vanderpol and Den Boer baking systems. As well as running his own bakery, Done has previously worked in capital equipment sales with Rondo, JBS and Autobake.Sandwich week nearsBritish Sandwich Week, running from 9-15 May, is dedicated to the importance of one of Britain’s greatest food inventions. Retailers and caterers will celebrate with their own promotions and new product launches and the results of the annual British Sandwich Industry Awards The Sammies will be announced on Thursday 13 May.Biscuits for breakfastCapital FM radio presenters Johnny Vaughan and Lisa Snowdon are fronting a new £3m marketing campaign to promote Kraft’s new Belvita Breakfast brand a range of biscuits targeting the breakfast market. The marketing campaign, which launched this month, features TV ads aimed at the brand’s core market of 25-35-year-old women, as well as print ads, retail promotions and sampling.Talented KingsmillKingsmill has partnered up with entertainment show Britain’s Got Talent to launch an on-pack promotion this month, offering consumers the chance to win a range of prizes, including tickets to the live show and a live tour. The promotion will run across sub-brands, including Kingsmill Great Everyday White, Tasty Wholemeal and Love to Toast.
Almonds: There has been a more favourable May almond estimate of 700,000mt+, over 100,000mt better than was previously estimated after the bloom. For now at least and up to the next estimate, the trend is for lower pricing, but this would be immediately reversed by a more negative new crop figure in June.Hazelnuts: There has been a variety of forecasts for the new crop from 450,000mt-600,000mt due to weather damage. The new crop sizing will become more apparent later in June, although Turkey is not famed for its accurate crop forecasts.Walnuts: Prices have been pushed to near double their “usual” levels. With no new crop respite for some considerable time yet, this market is set to remain strong for the remaining months of 2010.Cashews: The recent Vietnamese new crop has disappointed, vindicating those observers who feared the impact of the high temperatures pre-harvest. In the short term, prices will probably firm further.Pecans: The expectations for the 2010 harvest, over November/December, are for this new crop to be the so-called “off year”, cyclically speaking. With ever-tightening origin prices and a weak currency, this is set to be a progressively more difficult market.Pistachios: The prospect of any respite from a larger new crop have been shrinking on a monthly basis, with latest estimates putting the 2010 crop some 50% lower than reports earlier this year and on the back of a series of frosts and a low water table.l Based on information provided by RM Curtis
lCraft bakery brandingToo often, bakery businesses allow their brands, logos and design to go stale, but an image overhaul could work wonderslEaster linesThe biggest date in the spring calendar for bakery, we look at ways to make your product range stand out from the crowdlNew bread processA sneaky peak at a brand new bread method that will challenge the Chorleywood Bread Process for making sandwich loaves
The Brazilian carnival-themed Baking Industry Awards (BIA) were held at the Hilton Park Lane and saw the industry celebrate its successes.For more details on the awards visit: www.bakeryawards.co.uk
An iconic French artisan bakery concept, ’Banette’, is now available to the UK for the first time, exclusively through FWP Matthews. Banette Flour is milled by FWP in the Cotswolds under licence from Banette International. “Using the unique registered process ’Banette Fermentation Primeur’, an original artisan baguette can be created,” said the miller.The Banette concept includes: either a full shop concept or an in-shop kiosk; a partnership between baker and miller; an exclusive range of artisan products under the Banette brand; the Banette flour to produce the breads; and full marketing support,
The Northern Ireland Bakery Council (NIBC) has developed a training partnership with Belfast Metropolitan College and Scottish Bakers. The partnership will lead to more than 100 people currently employed in the bakery sector in Northern Ireland becoming qualified in their chosen career.The NIBC represents the key plant bakers in Northern Ireland and they are working to develop skills and qualifications in the sector. All training will be delivered on-site and at a time to suit the businesses.Niall Irwin, chairman of the NIBC, said: “This is a clear demonstration of the commitment that Northern Ireland bakery companies have to further the development of their employees. We at Irwin’s Bakery, Allied Bakeries and Premier Foods have joined together to provide a tailor-made training programme that will be assessed to National Standards.”Marie-Thérèse McGivern, principal and chief executive at Belfast Metropolitan College, added: “We are delighted with the partnership that has been established with Scottish Bakers. This means we can deliver all of the required learning on-site which forms an essential element of our employer engagement strategy.”Alan Clarke, chief executive of Scottish Bakers, who is originally from Northern Ireland, said he was delighted by the introduction of the training partnership.“We are a trade association in Scotland, but provide bakery and food manufacture work-based learning across the UK,” he said.