Syivia Macdonald visits Paris to find out what makes a prize-winning sandwich at the Delifrance Sandwich World Cup. See Apr 6 British Baker for more
(Enfield, Middx), in partnership with Anchor Packaging (USA), has launched the “Incredi-Bowl” range of robust, heat-resistant polypropylene containers.Kevin Curran, managing director of Tri-Star Packaging, says it is a high performance disposable container that can withstand heat lamps, warming units and microwaves. It has a heat tolerance of up to 230?F and the added benefit of allowing consumers to eat out of the secure snap-closure bowls.Available nationally in 12oz to 20oz sizes, the range comprises a strong black base and a clear, leak-resistant lid, designed to eliminate odours or off-flavours. The internal anti-fog and ice-pick vent provide visibility when displaying the cooked food to the end user.
Yorkshire-based Clarks Bakery has given its traditional shop an ultra-modern makeover to showcase its wide product range.The shop refit, at its Victorian-era premises in the market town of Easingwold, near York, has already generated a big sales boost, particularly as a result of its new display counter.The contents of the hot carvery section – giant joints of roast beef and pork each weighing around 17lb and cooked on site – have proven an especially big draw for customers as well as a major contributor to the 8% rise in sales since the refit of the retail craft bakery and coffee shop.”They’re just going crazy for it,” says Nick Clark, fourth generation co-owner of the family business with his sister Hilary.Slices of the hot meat joints are served mainly on rolls, with customers able to select from four sizes: small, medium, large and extra large. On most days, customers eat their way through two huge joints of roast beef and one of pork.Also on display are pies, quiches, fruit pies, dairy products, fresh cream cakes, traditional Yorkshire cakes, fancy cakes, currant squares, date squares, scones, cookies, hot pies, and a large assortment of refrigerated sandwich fillings.Clarks used professional shopfitters Dollar Rae to help modernise the shop and, during the eight-month project, it worked to update everything, including the lighting, wall coverings, flooring, counter, refrigeration, tables and chairs.reputation for high standardsClark says Dollar Rae has an excellent reputation and, after a preliminary consultation, Clarks made the decision that it wanted what the company had to offer. “I’ve known about it through leaflets and brochures and heard about its reputation for high standards of interior design, shopfitting and food presentation,” he says. “I think the quality and presentation here are second to none.”He decided the refit was needed in order to update and refresh the shop and to reinforce its standing in the area as the quality baker and confectioner. “The shop has never had any attention and has not been changed for a number of years. It was looking very tired and in need of a refit,” he says. “We were looking to the future and decided to invest in our shop.”all-in-one panoramic counterClark admits that it was tough to continue trading while the work was being carried out, but adds that it was a very professional job.The disjointed feel created by the old individual counters in the shop was abandoned in favour of the installation of a single, 5m-long counter from Dollar Rae’s own Panoramic range. It incorporates chilled, hot and ambient displays, and is really the centrepiece of the overall design. The traditional-style counter includes three different sections: ambient, gastronorm and hot.The revamp also introduced a new wall gantry display, new cream patterned tile flooring and specialist lighting, a free-standing light oak corner unit that surrounds a refrigerated drinks cabinet and also displays packets of crisps and baked goods, and an expansion of the coffee shop, which is equipped with five tables and chairs.Clark admits that although the original budget was £60,000, the actual spend went up to £83,000. However, he’s evidently not worried as sales have increased significantly since the refit, he reports. It’s worked so well that Clarks plans to look at refitting its other outlets in the near future.”The Dollar Rae equipment makes your stuff look a million dollars,” says Clark. “I’m really chuffed with the way things are going. Sales of our bread, for which we are well known, are strong but pretty constant. Our hot carvery, sandwich, takeaway and hot pies trade is booming. The meats look really good in the new counter with the lighting. Customers’ jaws are dropping.” n—-=== Clarks’ history ===Clarks has been in Easingwold since 1925, first as a bakery then expanding to a café and tea shop. Nick Clark’s great-grandmother started off selling scones through a window to road repairmen. The 17th-century building she lived in is now the central bakery. She ran the business on her own, passing it down to the next generation. The grandfather went out on a bike and sold insurance to make ends meet. Nick Clark’s father Gerald expanded the business. Nick, 36, trained at Thomas Danby College and took over the family firm five years ago, after working for his father from a young age. His sister joined the business 10 years ago.After eight decades, Clarks’ business and marketing approach has changed to being a takeaway specialist as well as a master baker. Clark says that when he joined the business, he decided to start from the bakery. “The recipes were just on bits of paper all over the shop. I’ve gone through the whole lot, put systems in place and got everything working properly.”Vital statisticsBrand: ClarksNumber of outlets: Two shops with two cafés and a substantial wholesale businessHead office: Easingwold, 13 miles north of YorkAnnual turnover: £600,000Customer profile: A wide range of peopleBest sellers: Hot beef and hot pork sandwiches, a variety of confectionery items and various breadsCompetitorsLimited competition. Main rival: Thomas the Bakers
A new range of pies and quiches are on the menu at fresh! naturally organic. The award winning organic sandwich and salad company has launched ‘Pie In The Sky’ and ‘Quiche Me Quick’ ranges, targeted at the retail, convenience and foodservice markets. The varieties of pies include beef, red wine and mushroom, ratatouille and feta, spicy 5 bean and chorizo and beans. The new quiches available are roast tomato and feta, and an organic quiche lorraine. The new seasonal products will be introduced throughout the year, and are made only from British organic ingredients. They will be available in two sizes – a 285g individual portion and a family size 750g portion. The products have a five day shelf life and are ready for re-heating. They are also suitable for home freezing and packaged in fully compostable packaging. The pies have already been launched through foodservice, are available for retail outlets and will be available through Able and Cole home delivery from 29 May.
Latte is the new lager, according to new research commissioned by Costa Coffee. The survey conducted by market research agency, Opinion Matters, revealed that coffee shops have overtaken pubs as the UK’s favourite social hang-out. Of the people surveyed, 72% were said to prefer coffee shops to pubs for catching-up with friends and 85% chose coffee shops as their top spot to meet with friends for a chat. The survey also revealed that 47% believed coffee shops were the perfect place for a first date.“It is quite clear that UK coffee shops have become an integral part of everyday life,” commented John Derkach, managing director of Costa Coffee.Jeffrey Young, MD of strategy consultancy firm, Allegra said: “With more than 50% of the UK adult population using coffee shops at least once per month, and more than a quarter of consumers visiting at least once per week, coffee shops are now more mainstream than pubs.“These outlets are now present throughout most areas of the country and deliver comfortable ‘third space’ environments where consumers feel free to relax, socialise, eat, drink or just take some ‘me time’,” he added.
Danone Waters UK has announced that its Evian and Volvic brands will have carbon-neutral status by 2011, forming part of the company’s long-term sustainability project. Since 2000, it has been the aim of Danone to reduce Evian’s environmental impact by 50%. So far a 20% reduction has been achieved, and the remaining 30% is hoped to be achieved thanks to a major Wetlands Protection and Restoration project, which restores ecosystems destroyed in recent years.Evian’s reduced CO2 footprint will be achieved through a continuing sustainable packaging policy, the reduction of fossil energy consumption and an increase in the use of rail and optimised logistics.Volvic’s carbon reduction will also be achieved through a number of factors, including the use of recycled PET for Volvic bottles, lighter-weight packaging and the use of electric trains through the supply chain.”Sustainable development has been at the core of Groupe Danone’s business philosophy and decision-making for over 30 years and is at the heart of the way we work,” commented James Pearson, Danone Waters commercial director.[http://www.danone.co.uk]
Cornish baker WC Rowe had never competed for a Baking Industry Award before, but a mixture of curiosity, pride and belief spurred them on and 2008 saw the company triumph in the Bakery Supplier of the Year category. Distributing branded and own-brand to all the major multiples – Asda, Tesco, Morrisons, Somerfield, as well as Supplier of the Year award sponsor Sainsbury’s – the firm has a story to tell and one it wants people to hear.The business began back in 1949, four years after the end of the Second World War, when Bill Rowe set up a bakery and a shop in Swanpool Street, Falmouth. Nearly 60 years on, 17 shops now grace the landscape of Devon and Cornwall. The factory at Kernick Industrial Estate has been there since 1976, but has expanded from 6,400 to 23,000sq ft. In 2002, the firm secured Objective One Funding, which saw the creation of a 25,000sq ft production facility at Bickland Industrial Park in Falmouth, which opened in 2003.”Most of our trade is with the multiples and wholesale customers,” explains marketing manager Paul Pearce, son of managing director Alan Pearce. “Because of this, we appreciate that we need to grow our own retail estate to become more independent, so there are plans afoot to rebrand existing shops and look at opening new ones as and when the opportunity arises.”Pearce worked on the shop floor from the age of 16 before moving into his current role. He explains the company wants to achieve as much coverage across the county of Cornwall as it can, but that both its location and the nature of the products have made it more difficult to branch further afield. “We pride ourselves on making fresh products on a daily basis, so obviously the further away you go, the more you’re working against time and the fresh element of the product can diminish. Each of our shops receives two or three deliveries a day.”Now employing around 450 people, the firm will celebrate its 60th birthday this year. “The growth has really come about since 2002, when we acquired our additional premises in Falmouth,” says Pearce. “That allowed us to move all of our savoury products – for example Cornish pasties and sausage rolls – down to that purpose-built facility, which in turn enabled us to really target the likes of Sainsbury’s and Asda with that type of product.”Production is split across the two sites. The Kernick site produces breads, cakes and fermented doughs, whereas the Falmouth site produces savoury pastries.== Expansion on the cards ==Looking ahead, the firm has plans for future development and has just acquired additional premises down the road from its factory in Falmouth. “It will enable us to move office space down there, create more skilled jobs and, in time, increase our production facilities,” he says. “We’re also looking to forge more links with local colleges, so we can bring in skilled engineers and electricians.”The company has worked closely with Sainsbury’s to develop a premium scone range for the supermarket, from coming up with the concepts to getting them to market, explains Pearce. “They believed in the product as well, which encouraged us, so we went for it.”The Taste the Difference scones were produced in three varieties – Cornish clotted cream, sultana, and Davidstow cheddar cheese. “We wanted to come up with a product with a very homemade feel. So, in theory, you could go into a Sainsbury’s supermarket, pick the ingredients off the shelves and make the same kind of scones yourself.”The company uses locally sourced ingredients, from within Cornwall and the West Country, wherever possible. “It’s a policy of ours – for ethical reasons and to cut down on food miles,” says Pearce. “It’s not practical to source everything that way, but for example, butter, cream, milk and eggs are right on our doorstep, so why not use them.” He also believes that if you can tell a story about a business and its products, people can relate to it and it can act as a unique selling point. For example, with products such as its pasties, Pearce says you can practically track the ingredients down to the field they came from.As an existing supplier of Sainsbury’s, the supermarket already had a good knowledge of WC Rowe’s business before the Awards and, as Pearce confirms, a good relationship with them. However, when asked what he would highlight about the business to a complete stranger, Pearce says qualities such as the importance of craft bakery skills to the business, local provenance and local ingredients sourcing, as well as the company’s focus on competitive pricing. “I’d say that we are a very honest kind of business and the fact that we’ve been in business for nearly 60 years shows that we’re doing something right.”== Testimony to hard work ==The fact that the Bakery Supplier of the Year award was the first it had applied for, let alone won, was an added bonus, says Pearce. “It’s testimony to a lot of years of hard work and dedication by the team, and acknowledgement from the industry, which is very important to us.” He also notes that it has acted as a real motivator for the staff.According to Pearce, the judges picked the company as winners for a number of reasons: for the scones it developed, the local sourcing angle and the performance of the products in-store. “We achieved way above our expectations with regards to sales forecasts and we’re still way above forecasts now. We’ve bucked the market trend, as the scone category was actually in decline, but now Sainsbury’s sales in that particular tier of products is actually on the increase,” he explains.Pearce reveals some of the firm’s recipes have barely changed in the last 60 years, but other things have. He admits that, in the past, the company’s approach to new product development has been “quite sporadic”, but says that, from the beginning of this year, it will have a structured plan in place. It will analyse the different categories it covers with a view to refreshing some lines, and introducing some new ones into its shops on a more regular basis.The addition of a dedicated NPD manager, Nick Brown, over a year ago made them wonder why they hadn’t recruited one sooner. At first, Brown was bombarded with ideas from all directions, so the company decided a more structured approach was needed. “Most importantly, it was to make sure that, when we come up with a good idea, it is landed and launched,” says Pearce. “In the end, our success lies with focusing on our strengths and working them to our advantage.”
Hovis Best of Both is beefing up its nutritional claims by telling shoppers that two slices contain as much calcium as a glass of milk.On-pack flashes alert consumers to the newly substantiated claim, which will be supported by radio and print advertising. Hovis hopes that parents will be encouraged to buy the product as a way of ensuring children get their recommended daily amount of calcium.Hovis marketing director Jon Goldstone said: “We’re really pleased to announce our new calcium claim and communicate this on-pack. We know that Best of Both is already the parent’s secret weapon to smuggle goodness into kids, and now the calcium adds to the goodness they are getting.”Best of Both is the leading half-and-half bread brand with a 64% market share (IRI grocery outlets YTD data to 24 January 2009), and Hovis hopes the latest claim will drive further market growth and incremental sales. No other Hovis products make this new claim.
Global bakery-café chain Cinnabon, which specialises in cinnamon rolls, plans to muscle in on the UK market by opening 40 stores over the next five years.The company, which originates in the US and operates over 700 stores in 30 countries, recently let loose a team of muscle-bound ’Cinnahunks’, laden with samples, on unsuspecting Oxford Street shoppers. The stunt aimed to raise the profile of its three London stores in Trocadero, Oxford Street and Queensway, which have opened in the past year.General manager Janine Hoggins told British Baker that the chain hopes to open a further one or two stores in the capital this year, before stepping up its expansion with a national roll-out. “We are looking for smaller sites in shopping centres, as well as high street locations,” she said. “There are some good deals to be had on rents at the moment; we feel it is the right time for expansion.”Cinnamon rolls comprise dough wrapped around a brown sugar and cinnamon filling, topped with frosting. All components, including the dough, are made from scratch at individual sites in front of customers.The rolls are served hot and can be eaten in or taken away, with free delivery offered within a mile radius.
Don Williams, CEO of brand specialist pi global, gives us the second tranche in a regular series on how to avoid the pitfalls of brand-buildingBake a loaf, put in a brown paper bag and sell it. What you’ve just sold is a loaf of bread a product. It’s just bread, no matter how delicious. Put it in a bag that has the words ’Shepherd’s Bakery Established 1898 Purveyors of Fine Baked Goods’, however, and all of a sudden you have the genesis of something that transcends the mere functionality of a product and starts talking to consumers on a different level. A product is a function. A brand is an emotion.What do you think of when you think of Hovis? Do you just think brown bread? Or are images conjured up in your mind? Do you hear music, for example? A brand appeals to the heart as well as the head. It needs to be communicated appropriately and consistently to the consumer, who needs to learn what ’it’ is, what ’it’ stands for and why ’it’ is different.In the early days of Apple, advertising agency TBWA recognised the importance of clearly differentiating this brand from the plethora of other computers. So they didn’t talk about computers they talked about ’thinking different’. Apple’s success has been largely due to the fact that it concentrates on the desirability of its brand. The technology is there only to make the consumer experience as simple yet engaging as possible. It may be brilliant but it’s almost invisible, hidden by a beautifully crafted brand personality.’A soft drink with vegetable extracts’ recognise it? How about ’The real thing’? They are both Coke only the former is the functional product descriptor, the latter is what consumers actually buy and love.Brand personalities need to be built on truths: what is it about this company, these products, this provenance that we can leverage in the creation of a distinctive and motivating brand? Everything the brand does should stem from, and relate to, this perso-nality, from R&D right through to how the consumer uses it. If it doesn’t, it becomes blurred and the resulting mess is usually extremely expensive to repair.Building and maintaining the salience of a brand is crucial to its long-term success.l Next month: visual brand identification.