Whiter than white decorations

first_imgBritish Sugar’s (Peterborough) Icecraft is a new icing sugar designed for making smoother, whiter sugarpaste for cake decoration.A spokesman says: “Icecraft is superior to other sugarpaste icing sugar on the market because it has been specially milled to give an optimised particle size. Our customers told us they wanted a smoother sugarpaste, with easier handling.”last_img


first_imgFrozen baked products company Vandemoortele has appointed Christian Salvesen to handle its frozen distribution in the UK.The logistics company will manage the contract from its Nuneaton Distribution Centre, which will be operated on a shared-user basis. The distribution centre will manage daily collections from Vandemoortele’s Worcester factory and receive product from Vandemoortele’s continental manufacturing operations. Christian Salvesen will take full responsibility for the warehousing and distribution services throughout the UK.Around 150 different product lines will be in stock at any one time, for distribution to various outlets, which include the retail, wholesale and foodservice sectors.Paul Mohan, director of Christian Salvesen’s temperature-controlled business unit in the UK says: “We are delighted to have won this contract on the back of a very competitive tender process. This will mean Vandemoortele becomes an integral customer of the Nuneaton site achieving the benefits of shared user logistics.”Roy Watson, supply chain manager of Vandemoortele UK adds: “Christian Salvesen was chosen on the basis of its cost-effectiveness, tracking and proof-of-delivery system. Location was also a key factor. Nuneaton is very convenient for our Worcester manufacturing base. We are looking forward to this partnership with them.”On the continent, Vandemoortele manufactures at various plants in Belgium and France. The company’s products include frozen puff and Danish pastries, doughnuts, continental breads and many other bakery offerings. The group employs over 3,200 people in 12 European countries and boasts a turnover of E857m.Mohan believes that Vandemoortele will benefit from the quality of service that his team provides: “I am confident that, through the transitional period and subsequent operation, the Nuneaton warehouse and transport teams will provide Vandemoortele with an excellent and sustainable service that will add value to their business.”last_img read more

Filling the gap

first_imgNever did I believe I would promote the use of crab sticks as a sandwich filling, but this mixture is so popular as a salad outside the UK, I had to try it.It is related to egg mayonnaise but is different enough not to compete with it. It can create its own niche. It is refreshing and compulsive eating, with a gentle taste of shellfish. It is obviously better with juicy Greenland prawns or real crab meat. As a sandwich, with multigrain or wholemeal bread, it must be a winner.Sweetcorn and crab stick fillingIngredients g %Canned corn, drained 200g 30Crab sticks, sliced diagonally 150g 25Hard boiled egg, chopped 150g 25Good quality mayonnaise 150g 20Mix together; if you wish to liven it up a little, add about 50g of crushed capers. Season with salt, pepper and maybe some lemon juice.Salmon fillingsWhy is fresh salmon – or tinned for that matter – seldom featured as a sandwich filler? It is not an expensive fish – not as cheap as tuna, but much more delectable.Buying pre-cooked salmon is possible, but it is always over-cooked and dry, so canned is preferable. But salmon is also very simple to cook. With the following method, there is no cooking loss and little labour.Method1. Place the salmon – be it whole, filleted, large or small – in a good sized pan, fill with cold water covering 4cm above the salmon.2. Season, if you wish, and add some lemon juice. On a low heat, bring the water slowly to just below boiling point – 95ºC to 98ºC.3. Remove from the heat and allow it to go cold in the water. This will achieve perfectly cooked, succulent, juicy salmon.4. Flake this and mix with your favourite salad cream or mayonnaise or try this as an alternative:Ingredients %Good mayonnaise 100Whipping cream 30Rose’s lime or orange cordial and shreds of the zest of the chosen fruit 10When filling into your sandwiches include some shredded crispy iceberg lettuce or rocket.Chicken-based fillingsFor all the fillings below you need some pre-cooked succulent chicken meat. Some suppliers will cook it to your instructions, but if you want something really good, cook whole birds in a bag.Strip the meat from the birds. The bones, cooking juices and trimmings can be used to make stock to enhance the flavour and succulence of your chicken pies. Blend the stripped meat with the following sauces – I suggest 50/50 but it is according to taste:Chicken in satay sauceThe original base for this is the addictive, mouth-watering Indonesian chicken satay. Try this variation for a sandwich filling, perhaps with a light rye or a soft tender wholemeal bap and crispy iceberg or Cos lettuce. Try this small quantity first:Ingredients g/mlChopped onion 200gVegetable oil 30gGround cumin 5gTurmeric 5gGround coriander 10gChilli powder 5g or to tasteLemon juice 20mlSugar 5mlPeanut butter 150gCoconut milk or single cream 200gSoy sauce 20gSalt to tasteMethod1. Soften the onion in the oil. Add all the other ingredients and mix together over a low heat until the sauce is homogenous and about the thickness of double cream.2. Leave to cool and, when cold, adjust the flavour to your taste and blend with chicken meat.Variation: Instead of the four spices, a mild garam masala or a korma paste would suit. It is also possible to buy satay sauce. Also, for an Indian variant, tandoori chicken is a well-established and popular filling, so why not try chicken korma?Wrap fillingsTo my mind, the best wrap is a soft flour tortilla. The best fill is an authentic Burrito recipe. I admit to never having made this in commercial quantities, so please try it at home first.BurritosIngredients AmountChicken breasts (skinned and boned) 2Green pepper 1Onion 1Garlic clove 1Tomato juice 150mlCan red kidney beans (drained) 1Cumin pinchSalt pinchLarge flour tortillas 4Low-fat mozzarella cheese, grated ½ cupMethod1. Dice the chicken, pepper, onion and garlic. Mix with the tomato juice and simmer at a medium to low temperature in a cooking pot.2. When the cooking juice has almost evaporated, add the kidney beans, ground cumin and salt to taste. Divide this mixture into four and fill each tortilla, then add the cheese before rolling it up.Variation: Another great fill for wraps is chilli con carne – perhaps without the red beans. It even eats well cold. Both are great with sour cream or creamy yoghurt.Meat-based fillingsBasic recipe dishes, with the meat content in smaller pieces, can be used in a chosen carrier. Some bakers serve hot sandwiches, using a bap or similar as a carrier and they are delicious. Roast pork with sage and onion stuffing is a good example. Roast your pork in a bag – this makes it soft and succulent – and use the juices in the stuffing. For the sandwiches, offer some good apple sauce or some sweet grain mustard. This is a sandwich to dream about and is almost as good made cold. nlast_img read more

Bagel business finds buyer

first_imgLondon-based manufacturers, The Bagel Group, which filed for administration earlier this month, has been sold to a new company, Mr Bagel’s Limited, as a going concern. Under the terms of the acquisition, the business and other assets were sold to Mr Bagel’s on 28 January, according to administrator MCR Corporate Restructuring.Paul Williams, partner at MCR, said it had been able to preserve “the majority of jobs in the company”. The company, previously known as Mr Bagels plc, reportedly produces around 150 million bagels a year under its Mr Bagel’s and Natural Bagel brands. It supplies the retail and foodservice markets.Mr Bagels was set up in 1988 by the Kahalani brothers, Paul and Avi, and, in 1996, became a limited company. The Bagel Group hit national headlines in December, after alleging an executive at rival Maple Leaf Foods was involved in attempted price-fixing, an allegation that is still under investigation. Mr Bagel’s Limited was registered at Companies House on 13 January 2009. Details have yet to be confirmed by the administrator about the new company’s financing and management structure.last_img read more

Website set to cut point-of-sale design costs

first_imgBakeMark UK has launched a new website to help bakers reduce design and print costs for point-of-sale (POS) materials. The company commissioned research in the artisan bakery sector, which revealed that bakers were keen for support with professional POS materials.The new website www.mypersonalbakery.com which launches this month, enables bakers to create bespoke POS without the high costs incurred from photo shoots, design agencies and printing.Bakers can incorporate their own messages and branding, and the POS is available from A1 to A5 size, whether it be for counter top displays or wall hanging designs.Trials have been carried out to test the usability of the new site, which BakeMark said was “extremely positive, with 100% of respondents indicating that they would use the site again”.Bakers simply choose a template for their desired POS from over 130 different images of popular bakery items, insert their text and upload their logo. The bespoke POS is then professionally printed and posted directly to the baker.last_img read more

New loafers?

first_imgOk, we wouldn’t advise going to the park to feed the ducks in these, but for any readers out there for whom baking and eating bread is not enough, there is now The Bread Shoe.All for a bargain E70 (£62) and featuring the tagline “not wearable on feet…first in fashion…for interesting lifestyle…”, the shoes were the brainchildren of twin Russian brothers and designers R&E Praspaliauskas. Or were they? The jury is out on the blogosphere over whether it is a hoax, a doubt further cultivated by a defunct ’BUY’ button on the host website, even though three styles of bread shoes have supposedly ’sold out’. Plus, some people are crediting an obscure Norwegian comic or artist HR Giger with the bready breakthrough. If any STW readers can come up with thigh-high women’s bread boots, then we’re sure that would be a first. Meanwhile, the shoe is sparking heated debates on design websites:Teo: “This is just disgraceful. There are people starving, and we make shoes out of bread? This is even, if not worse, than starving a dog to death and calling it art. I usually don’t get upset but this is wrong.”Signchic: “At last… something to go with my toe jam!”Chuck Anziulewicz: “NO THANKS! I’m afraid I might get a yeast infection.”Jim: “I have tried this once, thinking that warm bread would be nice. The feeling was not unlike stepping in poo very unexpected. I guess it’s better to wait until the bread goes stale.”www.dadadastudio.eu/shop/?c=5last_img read more

Brand clinic: Good pack design

first_imgDon Williams, CEO of brand specialist Pi Global, says a real-world picture of your target audience is key to effective pack designMany years ago, a wise, if cantankerous, very senior American client in a very large multinational (both of whom shall remain nameless), said to me: “No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the great British housewife.” And to a large extent he was right. But what is taste? The average British housewife doesn’t live in Hampstead, she doesn’t shop in Harvey Nics and she doesn’t take her kids to school in a Range Rover. The problem is that many of the people whose job it is to communicate brands to the masses…do.Taste really is in the eye of the beholder. What is one person’s brash bling is another’s epitome of high style. Let’s face it, the fashion industry is about one thing: constant change by making what is desirable today undesirable tomorrow. Brands cannot afford to be undesirable tomorrow; a brand is ’for life’. Ad campaigns come and go with alarming regularity, but if you give a consumer a box of crayons and ask them to draw the Cadbury brand, you can be sure they won’t draw a Gorilla they will reach for the purple crayon.What is crucial, is understanding the role of each ’tool’ in the communication toolbox and how they work together. Using packaging as part of an ad campaign is like using a hammer to cut a piece of wood it’s the wrong tool for the job. And unless you own a ’fashion’ brand, using your brand ID and pack design to slavishly follow the latest ’design trend’ is, at best, inappropriate. So having a clear, real-world picture of your target audience how they dress, what they eat, what they watch on TV, what their homes look like is fundamental to developing pack design that is relevant to them.Take a look at Duchy Originals: it has a tone of voice that screams quality and heritage and ’Rural Britishness’. Now, contrast that with Mr Kipling, which has a far more ’everyday’ personality and remember how quickly it was brought back in line when it decided to go ’trendy’ whereas Mrs Crimble’s has a no-nonsense, ’free-from’, ’what-you-see-is-what-you-get’ kind of transparency.The visual identity and packaging of these brands are designed to convey and support their individual positionings and propositions and they do so in a way that consumers intuitively understand and recognise. This is crucial for brands with limited marketing spend, because the pack has to sell the brand to the retailer and the consumer even harder.Successful brands ’feel right’ for what they are and that is the secret of design; it’s not about art or style or fashion, it’s about making simple connections, that are relevant to whatever the design needs to achieve connections that give the consumer an intuitive feeling about what the brand stands for and whether it’s right for them or not.If you force consumers to work at something by being overly clever or tricksy, they’ll walk on, because frankly, they have better things to do.last_img read more

In Short

first_imgFlour conformityAll flour bought by government departments will soon have to conform to British farming and manufacturing standards. Under a new government plan, flour used in hospitals, schools and prisons will have to meet production standards such as the Red Tractor scheme or LEAF Marque scheme. The commitment is for government departments to procure commodities such as flour rather than processed products like bread and cakes, said Defra.NAMB gatheringFormer Greggs MD Sir Mike Darrington will be one of the speakers at the National Association of Master Bakers’ (NAMB) social/business weekend on 27-28 November at the Menzies Welcombe Hotel & Golf club in Stratford-upon-Avon. He will join fellow speaker, Alette Addison, head of the salt reduction strategy at the Food Standards Agency. Cost for the whole weekend is £130 per person. Details from the NAMB on 01920 468061 or email [email protected] for Lammas For the second year running The Real Bread Campaign is encouraging bakers to bake a loaf for Lammas over the weekend of 31 July/1 August. Its Local Loaves for Lammas campaign also encourages consumers to buy a local loaf.BBC accolades Nominations are being invited for BBC Radio 4’s Food and Farming Awards, which include the best food producer and best local food retailer categories. The awards are a chance to nominate the people, businesses and organisations that make a difference to culinary Britain. See the website bbc.co.uk/foodawards for more information, including entry rules and previous winners. The closing date for entries is 15 August.last_img read more

Continental creation

first_imgWhen craft bakery firm Birds the Confectioners bought the leasehold of a 1,000sq ft former bakery shop in Chesterfield last year, it resolved to ring the changes with a modern format that spared no expense.It had been looking to open in Derbyshire’s second-largest town for some time when the opportunity came up last autumn to lease a property in a good-quality secondary location. The company wanted a different design something forward-looking so it spoke to Aichinger, a German shop furnishings and fittings company it had worked with in Burton-on-Trent four years earlier and again, at its Westfield Derby store a year later.High visibility of Birds’ wares is crucial to the company when it develops a new shop, facilitated with good lighting and modern fixtures and fittings. To this end, Aichinger supplied an Art Line glass counter, without any intermediate shelves to obstruct the overview of the product displayed. It also supplied the back-fittings and the overall concept for the total refit.Birds considers lighting a critical part of good shop-fitting and, in consultation with Aichinger, this was used to optimal effect, with strips of thin LED lighting used on shelf edges behind the counter and at the front of the counter, which change in synchronisation from red, through to blue, green and yellow in a highly evocative and distinctive style. An illuminated red panel in front of the counter and woody colours on the floor and behind the counter add warmth and contrast.Essen-tial inspirationMike Holling, head of retail operations, says one of the owners, Patrick Bird, saw the same counter at the shop in Essen with Marcus Pohl, Aichinger’s export manager, who is responsible for Ireland, the UK and the Middle East. “We felt the display looked so good, it was worth exploring bringing the design back home,” Holling says. “We wanted something totally different. We have competitors in Chesterfield and we wanted to make the shop clear, open and modern. We felt Aichinger delivered on that.”Birds sells a huge volume of cream cakes about 71,000 a week or £52,000 in sales through its shops, which trade as Birds the Confectioners and Birds Expresso. It also offers bread rolls and confectionery and has a market in bake-off, sandwiches and take-away, which it puts at the front of the Chesterfield shop.Part of the new design spec was for the removal of the old shop front and the installation of a new sliding two-door frontage, created to evoke an open-plan feel. These can be operated in the summer so that 60% of the frontage opens up on to the street. Holling says this will be a great draw to passing traffic and will also provide greater accessibility for customers.He declined to disclose how much the total shop refit cost, but British Baker estimates that, in total, it would be slightly north of £100,000.Local labourAll structural work attending to walls, installation of a durable non-slip timber vinyl-style flooring, glazing and electrics by local contractors took four weeks and was overseen by Birds’ former maintenance manager Matt Winters. The timing of the work could not have been worse, scheduled during the big freeze and the temperatures paid havoc with getting the floor to set.Aichinger’s fitting of the counter area took just two days. “Aichinger started at midnight on Sunday, 12 December and worked all the way through. By the time they finished on the Tuesday evening, they had cleared up, there was no mess and they were out of our way,” says Holling. The shop opened four days later.Holling says customer feedback has been positive and business is in line with expectations with week-on-week sales increasing by about 8%. Indeed, the performance is good enough for Birds to consider rolling out the format further afield to appropriate new shops and, possibly, retrofitting.”Because of the cost you have to be a bit selective as to where you would put this in. It works well, I think, in provincial towns and cities,” Holling says. The business may open another two or three stores this year, depending on the opportunities. Birds the Confectioners Funded: Self-funded by three brothers Frank, Thomas and Reginald Bird when they returned from World War IOwnership structure: Family-owned limited companyAnnual turnover: £19m Number of staff: 700, 550 of which are based in the shopsLocations: 52 shops in the East Midlands, including eight tea rooms, plus a bakery in Derby. At a glance Synopsis of briefTo provide the company with a modern, clean Continental-style shop that customers would enjoy visiting, featuring state-of the art fittings that would showcase its traditional product range to its best.Synopsis of the executionContractors spent four weeks on structural work, flooring and electrics. Aichinger, of Nuremburg, spent a further two days installing the high-visibility shop counter, LED lighting and back-fittings.Shopfitter’s viewpointAichinger’s export manager Marcus Pohl stresses the importance of detailed consultation, going backwards and forwards between the client and the architect before doing first sketches, consulting further and ironing out the detail before finalisation. “The consultation part is detailed and we tell the client they must do what is right for them and not to go ahead if it’s not the right idea.”Product is very much the focus and Pohl says the entire store has to be designed to show the product in the right way. “We are niche shopfitters. We do flagship shops normally. People are prepared to invest more money for such stores.”last_img read more

Krispy Kreme announces new store openings

first_imgKrispy Kreme is continuing with its plan to double store numbers in the UK, with three new outlets announced.A kiosk will open at the Liverpool ONE Shopping Centre on 15 April, and will be one of only a few Krispy Kreme kiosk operations outside London.Cardiff’s St David’s shopping centre will see the addition of one its coffee bar units on 19 April, while the doughnut firm will also open a ‘hotlight’ store at Centre 27 Retail Park, Birstall, in Leeds, in July.The Leeds store will follow the same format of its other hotlight units which feature a manufacturing facility that is visible to customers. The firm said it will also serve as a hub for future stores in the Yorkshire region.In March 2010 Krispy Kreme announced a five-year plan to increase its presence in the UK. As part of this expansion it announced the opening of its first dedicated production site in the UK, at Heywood Distribution Park in Greater Manchester, which began production last month.Steven Madeley, centre director at St David’s, Cardiff commented: “Krispy Kreme was the most requested brand by shoppers since the centre opened, with visitors even joining social networking groups to campaign for its arrival in the city. With such phenomenal demand, the brand is set to be a huge success.”The firm launched in the UK in Harrod in 2003, and currently has 45 UK stores and a presence in more than 200 Tesco outlets.>>Krispy Kreme reveals details of new factory>>Krispy Kreme reveals plans to double UK storeslast_img read more