US-style sandwich chain Quiznos Sub plans to double its number of stores in the UK in 2007.The UK business, part of a worldwide operation of 5,800 outlets, has 27 units. These are all franchises, currently concentrated in London and the south east, averaging 1,000sq ft each.Franchise development director Philippe Craston said Quiznos, which has been in the UK three years, is expanding nationally. It will open four franchises in Glasgow early in the new year.Craston said he believed there was capacity for around 500 outlets in the UK. But Quiznos has no ambition to rival Subway’s UK target of 2010 stores by 2010, he said. “Our business plan allows franchisees to maximise sales, we want to avoid clustering stores.”Craston said Quiznos sees McDonald’s and Burger King as its main rivals, although Subway and Greggs were also “stiff competition”. He added: “We go for bigger, more central and higher turnover sites (than rival Subway) in the centre of town, so our franchisees are guaranteed to make money.”Quiznos operates in 30 countries. In the UK, its bread is supplied by Kent-based Speciality Breads. Father and son Kazem and Michael Najafi own the Quiznos licence in the UK.
Finsbury Food Group’s £37.5m takeover of celebration cake company the Lightbody Group has been agreed by the Finsbury board and shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting.As reported in British Baker (see 2 February, pg 4), Finsbury claims the deal will make it the leading player in the UK’s celebration cakes market.Paul Monk was appointed joint deputy chairman (joining David Marshall) at the meeting, while Martin Lightbody and Crawford Currie joined the board.Lightbody was named strategic development director while Currie remains finance director.Finsbury chief executive Dave Brooks said it would be a great relief to get on with the business of baking after months of negotiation. “As two separate companies, Lightbody and Finsbury were excellent, but it became apparent that it made sense to bring the two together, given that we’ve got such a similar outlook,” he said. “I know the whole team in the new enlarged group cannot wait to get cracking.”The Lightbody Group, which focuses on the celebration and licensed character cake market, runs two bakeries in Hamilton and a depot and European sales office in Rennes, France.Brooks said the enlarged group’s first task would be to close the California Cake site at Coatbridge and transfer production to the nearby Hamilton site.
Welcome to this issue focusing on the Baking Industry Awards! (see pg 16) These are YOUR Awards and there is a category to suit everyone at all levels, so please enter. Whether you are a good craft baker, run an efficient craft business, or are a supplier to the supermarkets, there is a category for you. Perhaps you have developed a tasty hand-held snack, run an efficient in-store bakery or have learnt new skills and are really putting them into practise. We would love to hear about it so please send for an entry form now.The Awards, which take place on Monday, September 17, in London, are the highlight of the year with 900 of you attending. Although winning is great, and you get £500, plus a trophy, all finalists and their partners are invited free.Each year, people who have entered unsuccessfully in previous years often find they triumph. And first-time entrants are particularly welcome. If you are good at marketing, have developed a ’healthy’ product (think of all those products with seeds, nuts and fruit) or can decorate a celebration cake with flair, we really want to hear from you. Perhaps your talent is patisserie or manufacturing bakery foods, or perhaps you are good at tuning into your customers, really focusing on their commercial needs – and satisfying them.This is a marvellous, inventive, creative industry, awash with so much talent and sometimes too much modesty. Please take time to fill out a simple entry form. Focus hard on what the judges are looking for (it will tell you on the forms) and get the entry in to us fast. And may I suggest you enlist the help of staff when filling out the forms – it is always good to garner ideas and comments from colleagues.Good luck! And do come to the Awards anyway. It is a great place to meet colleagues and customers. Plus of course to dine, dance and enjoy a top celebrity presenter.I’d like to say thank you to all our sponsors and give a big welcome to new sponsors Délifrance, Christian Salvesen, Rich Products and Puratos.And some cheering news to finish: bakery shops are the most popular specialist food retailers on the high street (pg 6). We should not be surprised!
South Wales-based, Ferrari’s has closed eight of its bakery retail shops in response to the current economic climate. Its Mumbles, Porthcawl, Mountain Ash, Tredegar, Abertillery and one of its Bridgend shops were closed after trading on Saturday, 25 October. Further closures were seen at its shops in Abergavenny and Hereford after trading on Monday, 27 October.”We traded for three months and checked the figures and they were the most underperforming stores with the biggest overheads,” said Steve Davies, director of ICD Wales, which owns 32 Ferrari’s outlets. “With the credit crunch, they just weren’t viable any more,”ICD Wales formed as a new company in June this year to purchase 32 of the 60-shop Ferrari’s Fresh estate, after the business went into administration.
Dawson Foodservice equipment has launched a new dishwasher for 2009. The Comenda XLC has been designed for coping with the washing-up needs of medium or large catering operations. It can be used to wash plates, cutlery, glasses, cups, trays and bake-ware.The unit is able to personalise cycles to meet specific requirements and is compatible with the advanced telediagnostic system, HPS (Hygiene Plus System), which enables the dishwasher to send a report via SMS to a technician if anything goes wrong.The machine is fitted with a two-pump Multi Pressure System (MPS) and features a rinse control device (RCD) to maintain water temperature at 85?C, even with low mains water flow.[http://www.dawsonmmp.co.uk]
The promotion of the craft bakery sector through industry-wide initiatives is not new, but seems to be gaining momentum and this is a very welcome development.For many years now, the industry has supported National Doughnut Week and has raised significant sums of money for the nominated charity while also gaining new customers visiting outlets. How encouraging it was to see this year’s event gaining nationwide advertising not only on the radio but also on prime-time terrestrial television.Now we have National Craft Bakers’ Week using the slogan ’The Shop That Never Sleeps’, brought together by the National Association of Master Bakers, supported by the Scottish Association, British Baker and several allied traders, which generated a lot of interest in the lead-up to the event and will hopefully have encouraged even more people into the craft bakeries while also giving an insight into how a bakery actually works.A lot of hard work goes on behind the scenes to bring such events to everyone’s notice and it must be gratifying for those involved to see more and more bakeries signing up for these generic nationwide promotions. Why are more people participating? Because they recognise that any promotion that highlights the benefits of the local baker and brings new people through the shop door is good for business. If your firm has not got involved yet, then watch out for the next event, sign up and enjoy being part of a push to bring new customers through your doors. After all what have you got to lose?
Indulgent chocolate brand Gü is extending its reach into in-store bakery with a new range of adult-only cookies. The company best known for its chilled desserts has identified a gap in the market for an upmarket branded cookie that isn’t aimed at children.Said product manager Claire Richardson: “We found that 50% of premium cookie buyers are one- to two-person households and 50% have no children, yet all the ISB cookies (own-label and licensed) are sold in packs of four or five cookies. The licensed products on the market are ’family-type brands’, all of which are confectionery licences like Smarties and Rolo.”Gü has launched three premium varieties in packs of two: Ultimate Chocolate (chocolate cookies with chunks of chocolate), Chocolate & Sour Cherry (chocolate cookies with chunks of chocolate and sour cherries), and Chocolate & Caramel (caramel-flavoured cookies with chunks of chocolate and caramel pieces).The packs are currently listed in Asda and baked in-store, although Tesco will sell the products from late November and a roll-out plan for other retailers is in place.
Nearly half the population like to treat themselves to indulgent foods, boding well for snacks pitched as affordable luxuries, such as doughnuts. The doughnut category grew by 7.6% in value to £59m and 12% in volume in 2010. In particular, the US-style doughnut category shows massive potential, especially among young people.There are several varieties of doughnuts around the world, such as beignets, churros, fritters and crullers. And what makes them special is their gourmet element. So how can you stay ahead of the curve in the UK?The gourmet doughnut trend brings many possibilities. For inspiration, look no further than how leading brands Cadburys and Mars have developed licensed doughnuts. Or if you are feeling adventurous, consider the filled varieties and the fun you can have with Flakes, Smarties, Skittles and Minstrels in the same way that leading branded cookie manufacturers did in 2009.Market leader Krispy Kreme keeps it simple, from traditional glazed to butterscotch fudge. But why not draw inspiration from other sweet treats? Think ice cream, chocolate, rum & raisin, strawberry shortcake; you can do the same to doughnuts. Be imaginative, using all your senses, taste, smell, sight and touch creating different tastes, glazing and fillings for your customers.Fry smaller batches for more freshness, as customers notice and appreciate this. Focus on profits and introduce multi-buy packs with a variety of your gourmet doughnuts for example, four for a special price. And think about taking part in National Doughnut Week (7-14 May 2011) a great way to increase sales and raise money for charity. CSM UK provides posters, balloons, branded collection boxes and banners to promote the week and your shop.So get your gourmet ideas and fryers ready, it’s time to fill, squirt, glaze, decorate and merchandise your doughnuts.
A new survey by Which? claims consumers want fast-food chains, pizza restaurants, coffee shops and bakeries to display calories on their menus.The consumer group said two out of three adults backed a policy of revealing calorie counts – in the week that it was revealed that McDonald’s, the world’s largest restaurant operator, will begin listing calorie counts on menus here in the UK.So far, 37 companies have agreed to voluntarily supply calorie information as part of the government’s public health responsibility deal and along with McDonald’s, Starbucks, Burger King, Pret A Manger, Harvester, KFC and Pizza Hut have all signed up.However, Which? said that Subway, Pizza Express, Domino’s Pizza, Nando’s, Caffè Nero and Costa are yet to join.It also claimed that: • A Starbucks ‘skinny’ lemon and poppy seed iced muffin contains more calories than its standard apple and cinnamon muffin• A slice of carrot cake from Costa has more calories than a chocolate custard Krispy Kreme doughnutRichard Lloyd, Which? executive director said: “There’s no excuse for the companies already displaying calories in the U.S. not to do the same here. If calorie-labelling cannot be achieved on a voluntary basis, we want the Government to make it a legal requirement.”Commenting of the move by McDoanald’s, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said: “One in six meals are now eaten outside the home and for those meals we often have no idea how many calories we are eating.”Jill McDonald, chief executive and president of McDonald’s UK, added: “In March we announced our intention to extend the communication of nutritional information to our customers to include displaying calories on our menu boards across the UK.“This move, as part of the Public Health Responsibility Deal, supports the principles we believe are important: giving our customers clear information to help them make decisions that are right for them and provide a choice on our menu.”>> Report Do consumers check labels on baked goods?
Surrey manufacturer The Cookie Man has called in the administrators.Administrator ReSolve Partners LLP was appointed – reportedly on Monday 16 January – and around 350 jobs are said to be at risk.The Esher-based bakery manufacturer, which filed its latest accounts on 18 November 2011, revealed a huge drop in gross profit to £2.4m for the year ended 31 December 2010, from £4.3m for the comparable period in 2009.This resulted in a loss, after taxation, of £437,591, compared to a profit of just over £300,000 the previous year.The directors’ report stated the main threats to business were believed to be changing consumer tastes, and “the predominance of lower-value products in the market”.Please check back for updates on this story.