Consolidation and rationalisation in the bakery manufacturing industry is particularly hitting smaller enterprises, a new Key Note report indicates.The Market Report 2006 on Bread and Bakery Products shows that, in 2004, there were 125 VAT-registered manufacturers of bakery products with a turnover of up to £49,000 in the UK. In 2005, that number had dropped to 115. There was also a drop in the number of companies with a turnover of between £50,000 and £99,000 – from 305 in 2003 to 285 in 2004 and 250 in 2005, as smaller firms were absorbed by larger players. Overall the number of VAT-registered enterprises manufacturing bread and other bakery products, such as pastry products and cakes, was 1,580 during 2004 and 1,540 in 2005. Nearly two-thirds (63.7%) have fewer than 10 employees.
With rising popularity of licensed celebration cakes, supplier Bakemark UK (Wirral, Cheshire) is capitalising on the uptake of its cake mixes, which it claims provide ease of use and added functionality, such as shelf-life extension.The company’s Craigmillar brand includes a Rich Celebration Cake Mix, which can be used in both traditionally styled cakes or sheet cakes. The mix produces a moist fruit cake with crumb stability, says the firm, and bakers can add their own touches by using extra fruit, nuts, marzipan and icing. Also offered is the Madeira Cake Mix, which can be used for sheet cakes, traditional cakes or individual and mini cakes.Taking its inspiration from the US, the firm’s Pudding Cake Base, under the Caravan Brill brand, is a traditional American concentrate for sheet and regularly-styled cakes, requiring only the addition of water, flour, eggs and oil. The mix has a vanilla flavour and moist open texture. This and its Chocolate Pudding Cake Base counterpart are said to stay fresh over prolonged storage periods. And the firm’s Yoghurt Cake Base allows bakers and caterers to create regular or low-fat cakes with a shelf life of up to 10 days.
Nostalgic consumers are driving a revival in the home baking sector, according to a new report from market research company Mintel.Sales of home baking products, including flour, dried fruit, cake decorations and dough, have risen by 25% over the last five years to £429m this year, and are expected to reach almost £550m by 2011, it says.Mintel reports that nearly half of shoppers are baking from scratch, with cakes proving to be the most popular option. Easy-to-use home baking products such as cake and flour mixes and ready-made pastry are also proving increasingly popular. Sales of mixes grew by 34% between 2001 and 2006, compared with 8% growth in the shop-bought cakes market.Consumers also want indulgent products and suppliers are responding with more premium products. “As consumers are tending to bake for special occasions, they are less concerned about watching calories, but opt for the best quality ingredients available,” said a Mintel analyst.
I like convenient food that is simple, plain and easy to eat, without being too messy.For lunch, I make cheese and ham sarnies from soft, white Warburtons buns that are already cut for you or buy Ginsters Simply Chicken sandwiches on malted brown bread from the shop near university. I go to the shop because I can’t be bothered waiting in-line at the canteen. It’s always too long!If I go to the supermarket I pick up white Kingsmill because it’s easy to toast. I always buy a drink when I buy a sarnie, either Coke or Fanta.About once every fortnight I go to Subway and get the meatball Sub with salad, peppers and chilli sauce.When I go on holiday to Portugal, I really like the glazed doughnuts there – they are made fresh in the morning. They are much softer and nicer than the average British doughnut. I’m really not bothered about health concerns and so on.I often buy meat and potato pies and sausage rolls from places like Greggs. I take them home and eat them on a plate with a knife and fork and tomato sauce.I hate to get messy when I’m eating and don’t like stuff, such as baked beans in pasties. I also find that cakes are often too sickly and sweet for me. I really like gingerbread men though!Ben Gabriel is in his second year studying economics at the University of Central Lancashire, PrestonEach month, British Baker will ask a member of the public to give their views on baked goods
Lancashire’s Glovers Bakery is to showcase its new range of speciality and healthy breads by holding its first open day on Saturday.The firm has linked up with ingredients supplier Zeelandia for the event. It hopes to inspire and educate shoppers about artisan breads, with demonstrations, tastings and displays on 19 May, at its Leyland shop.The range of breads includes Fiesta Corn, Exakt Ciabatta, O’mega – enriched with Omega 3 fatty acids, and Prokorn – a multigrain bread.
Method1. Mix the cool water, fresh yeast and honey together in a bowl.2. Add the spelt flour and salt and begin kneading. Towards the end of the kneading add the vegetable oil.3. When the oil is properly incorporated, gently add the macadamia nuts.4. Bulk prove for approximately 1 hour in a prover or a warm, draught-free place.5. While the dough is slightly under-fermented, scale it at 450-500g, depending on the tin size. Cover and give them a short time on a floured board.6. To mould for the tin: flatten, fold the ends over each other in the centre and then roll up for the tin. Final proof for approximately 45 minutes.7. Bake in an oven that is duller than hot – because of the darkening from the honey – at 200-215°C for 25 minutes. In the second of our special macadamia bread recipes, devised by three UK artisan bakers in association with The South African Growers’ Association, this Spelt, Honey and Macadamia Bread was created by Paul Merry of Panary.For 8 small loaves, weighed @ 500g eachIngredientsSpelt wholemeal 2kgCool water 1,200mlFresh yeast 40gSalt 40gHoney 60gMacadamia nuts 700gVegetable oil 30ml
Now that the main wedding cake season has come to an end, it’s a great time to think of new ways to boost sales before the festive period gets into full swing. Appealing to your customers’ indulgent side is key to boosting sales of baked goods in a recession.The UK food sector has previously fared better in an economic downturn than many other markets: cakes, biscuits and other confectionery are considered relatively low-cost treats, so any reductions in the market tend to be less severe than in other sectors. In addition, the food market as a whole benefits from consumers choosing to take a more indulgent approach to spending in this sector, as they cut back in other areas.Bakers can benefit from the trend towards indulgence in the food sector by introducing a range of top-quality cakes, which not only taste fantastic but look fabulous. Well-decorated, eye-catching cakes attract customers who are prepared to spend more and you may find that your current clients will be more willing to treat themselves if you improve your offering. Look at your top-selling lines and think what you could do to make them appeal to a wider market.Good-looking cakes should live up to expectations by tasting good too; it’s worth paying more for better ingredients to encourage return visits and word-of-mouth promotion for your business. You don’t have to make classic French patisserie to draw new customers in; the simplest lemon drizzle cake made with the freshest ingredients (organic if you can find them) offers the perfect indulgent treat. Place some small pieces of edible gold leaf on top and you have created a premium product, for which you can charge customers a premium price.Take inspiration from traditional recipes: classic favourites such as Battenberg can be given a facelift simply by using new ways to flavour and decorate them to set your bakery apart from the rest. Make a lemon and orange Battenberg and cover the cake with a delicious new flavour of marzipan, such as hazelnut and orange, or make a chocolate and mint version, covered with chocolate marzipan (excellent-quality instant marzipan mixes are available to help you save time). Quick ways of decorating are important in a busy bakery, but that doesn’t mean you cannot stand out from the crowd. Top-quality fondant icings, which use real fruit to give them a delicious natural taste and colour (a great selling point), are incredibly versatile and will help you to create tempting cakes and cookies quickly and easily. Ready-made chocolate roses in milk, white, dark, pink and red can be placed on a cake in a second, but add a wow factor that your customers would be happy to pay for. For the ultimate decoration and a premium sale, use crystallised real flowers, such as roses, jasmine and violets. Cupcakes are ever-popular and can be dressed up with colourful dotty or baroque cases, and you can appeal to younger generations with ready-made piped sugar animals, figures or pretty flowers.Start with just three or four products and upgrade your ingredients and decorations. Keep a special area in your shop for more luxury and upmarket products and think about investing in a few new and unusual-shaped tins or silicone bakeware. It’s worth displaying something new in your window on a regular basis, even if you just take ’special orders’ for those items. A traditional English teatime display with your goods on pretty china cake stands will tempt customers in and attract an impulse buy that perhaps an ordinary doughnut will not.www.squires-shop.com
Don’t forget to make the most of National Doughnut Week 2010, which kicks off this Saturday. The week, sponsored by CSM UK, runs from 8-15 May and raises money for charity The Children’s Trust, through the sale of doughnuts.As well as raising money for charity, it is also a great way of promoting your business in the local community.Bakeries across the country have registered to take part in the event, including: Sayers the Bakers, Martin’s, Dunns of Crouch End, Warings Bakery, Forfars Fresh, Gunns Bakery and P & A Davies. This year, doughnut lovers are being invited to predict the winner of the 2010 Football World Cup by buying a doughnut topped with icing in the colour of the shirts of the six teams tipped to win: Brazil (yellow shirts), Spain (red shirts), England (white shirts), Argentina (light blue shirts), Italy (royal blue shirts) and South Africa (green shirts).Ray Wilkins, former England player, coach and a supporter of The Children’s Trust, said: “By taking part in National Doughnut Week’s special ‘World Cup Doughnut Poll’, friends, family and work colleagues can enjoy predicting the winner, whilst raising money for children with disabilities.”The Children’s Trust, Tadworth is a national charity providing care, education and therapy for children with multiple disabilities and complex health needs, and rehabilitation services to children with an acquired brain injury. To find out more visit www.nationaldoughnutweek.org.
The Royal Wedding is expected to hit retail bakers in the pocket with some set to close their shops for the day, and those that do open predicting a drop in takings.Taking place on Friday, 29 April, at 11am, the wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton is expected to result in lower footfall on the high streets as people stay at home to watch the event on TV, leaving bakers with a tough decision over whether to open at all.Neville Morse, MD of Gloucestershire craft chain Jane’s Pantry, said he was still undecided. “We expect takings would be well down on the day, but it’s hard to know by how much and whether it’s worth opening at all. If we do open, we could lose money on staff wages and stock. If we don’t open, then we definitely lose a day’s takings.”Mike Holling, retail sales manager at Birds of Derby, said. “The wedding will put pressure on us operationally and there will be extra cost involved, but it’s going to happen so it’s important to join in and develop new products. Think of it as another Valentine’s or Mother’s Day.”Bakers looking to cash in on the event include Andrew Jones Pies, which is creating a Royal Wedding Pie, while Michelle Hollinshead, owner of Cameo Cupcakes in Derby, is planning a cupcake tower in red, white and blue. Cameo’s sister company Cake Decor, which supplies decorations to the trade, has launched Union Jack-branded cupcake cases in time for the wedding. “We expect there will be a lot of street parties and bakers will be looking for ways to theme their products,” she said.
As previously predicted in Stop the Week, robot bakers are on the rise. While we busy ourselves getting armed to the teeth and stocking up on canned food for the final showdown, here’s the latest intelligence report.The new threat is 3-D printers. No, we’re not talking pretty pictures, or even projection cakes. Machines are being developed that can actually print cake. Blogger Dave Arnold, a chef at the French Culinary Institute in the US, was loaned a machine by the [email protected] project at Cornell University, which is developing the technology for home use.He created squiggle-printed masa cakes. “Masa (a Spanish dough used for making tortillas) is a homogeneous paste,” he said. “Masa is delicious and the ideal printing medium. I had a feeling that the taste and texture of steamed and fried squiggle printed masa would be fantastic.”The printer can print out frosting or any malleable product via a moving syringe, which can be programmed to build structures by stacking layers into 3-D shapes. What it cannot do is survive a size 8 boot stamping up and down on its nozzle yet! It’s time to mobilise.bit.ly/eq3C03 and on.msnbc.com/gnRvUd