Into the drink – beverages round-up

first_imgHealth is a key trend in the drinks category judging by some of the latest new product developments.The Feel Good Drinks Company (London), for example, is set to venture into the pure juice category, with the launch of 100% Squeezed Juices.Each Feel Good Squeezed Juice contains at least three different types of fruit, for example, orange, mandarin and tangerine; apple, golden kiwi and lime; and raspberry, blueberry and apple.The squeezed juices are available in 250ml and 1L plastic bottles, with eye-catching labels featuring the list of fruits that have been squeezed into each bottle.The range will be available nationally through many outlets including Total garages. The recommended retail price for the 1L range is £2.59 and starts from £1.49 for the 250ml drinks.Sparkling soft drink Appletiser (Uxbridge, Middlesex) has received a licence to use the ’5-a-day’ logo. Each 275ml bottle contains a blend of six varieties of apples; no preservatives, colourants, additives or added sugar.Caroline Bonpain, senior brand manager, says: “It’s great to receive recognition from the 5-a-day programme, which highlights Appletiser’s healthy proposition. This accreditation reinforces Appletiser’s position as a healthy indulgence drink, which is a healthier alternative to alcohol.”Coca-Cola (Uxbridge, Middlesex) says Zero – its no-sugar drinks brand – has been the most successful new food and beverage launch in the past three years.According to the data from retail tracking analyst AC Nielsen, Coca-Cola Zero achieved sales of £24.1m in the 16 weeks after its launch in July – o ver double the size of any other new product.The Zero range reflects a strong trend for low-sugar products, said Coca-Cola, which is anticipated to increase.Currently 34% of the 100 products made by Coca-Cola are ’diet’ or ’no sugar’. Kieran Hemsworth, operational marketing director for Coca-Cola, says: “The Zero range has been re-branded from Z to ensure consistency across the range following the introduction of Coca-Cola Zero. The zero sugar, great taste message on pack will be easy for consumers to understand and identify on shelf.”last_img read more

the dichotomy of youth Would you let 16-year-olds help to run your company? Because the government is planning just that for the country, with implications for businesses, argues Tony Phillips

first_imgT he world really is going mad. Let me put a scenario to you. On day one, you employ five 16- to 17-year-old trainees. These youngsters are not old enough to buy cigarettes or alcohol, but you appoint them either to your board or works committee and say to them: “We have a serious business problem here and we want you, with all your wisdom and expertise, to vote on how we should run this company for the next five years.”Now, if you know a quicker way to ruin your company, you really have a fertile imagination. Yet this is what those idiotic MPs are contemplating doing – by giving the vote to 16-year-olds.The move is based on the somewhat vague hope that the very young are daft enough to vote for the so-called liberal left. But what experience do they have of life at that age? When I was that age, with all the testosterone coursing through my blood, all I could think of was playing football and cricket, and getting Pauline behind the bicycle shed. Mind you, to be truthful, I was fairly good at the first two and an abject failure at the third.When I was young, the minimum voting age was 21. We used to ask: “Why, at 18, am I old enough to do National Service, but not old enough to vote?” Would we expect our current-day 16-year-olds to be old enough to accept the responsibility of taking on a mortgage and babies? Alas, many do take on the babies and, in many cases, it ruins their lives. Then we all have to support them and wonder why, with all the taxes we pay, there is never enough to put right our infrastructure.You may ask, “But what has this got to do with bakery?” Well, if 16-year-olds can vote, they have a say in producing new idiotic laws, making business more difficult, so how will we ever run our companies and produce our goods on time?Many of the young already find it incredibly difficult to come to work on time and, after a hard Saturday night’s partying, they get their parents, who should know better, to phone in on a Monday morning, telling us they are sick. Maybe they could vote for a 10am start and a day off on Mondays.Like all of you, we have or had young folk who are really great and keen to learn. But let them grow up and have fun – not give them responsibility they neither want nor are capable of handling. Let’s face it, if young people were wise, they would miss all the fun of youth and, as we all know as we get older, youth is wasted on the young.Bakers are always discussing the difficulty of getting young people into the trade and asking what they can do to encourage young people to join us. My feeling is, very little.The fault does not lie with us. It’s because the government tries to get too many ill-educated children into university to study useless courses. Then, when they graduate, they cannot get jobs in the field they have been studying for, as these just do not exist.At the same time, they have delusions of grandeur, thinking they are too qualified to work with their hands, as they have all been studying management. The government thinks the real world is like the public sector – 20 managers to every worker. nlast_img read more

Let’s take training to task

first_imgSeveral readers have commented that they have little or no faith in NVQs. Others say they wouldn’t ask if a candidate for a job had one. In fact, I have not yet found anyone to sing their praises.Colleges, as well as industry, have had the joy of trying to make the bakery NVQ work. No-one from the education system was involved in the setting up of the NVQ for bakery. In fact, as far as I can tell, college representation was removed from the consultation process.NVQs were sold to us as a way of ensuring the trainee got a thorough and complete training and education. Like the Child Support Agency (CSA), NVQs had lots of forms, plenty of spin and didn’t deliver the goods, and like the newly rebadged CSA, you can have more of the same. Now there’s an idea – we could name and shame the bakery companies that don’t deliver training (I don’t think!).The paperwork attached to NVQs was intended to improve the quality of delivery, but diverts many from training and bogs down those who do it. As for the trainees, they become educational bonsai trees; they are pulled up out of the educational loom to check on the length of their roots every week and measure their progress.So what can you in industry do? Well first, you should ask yourselves a few honest questions. Would you halt training if you had a staffing shortage in order to fulfil an urgent production order? Would you use trainees to cover for maternity leave, holidays and so on? Would you, in the case of a major downturn in profits, cut any of the following: directors’ cars, entertainment or NPD?I have worked in industry for over 30 years and I know the answer: training never gets priority when the chips are down.That is why it is best to let a neutral party deal with training to prevent it being hijacked by financial considerations.The craft baking industry has a long and honourable history and, thus far, has managed to avoid total de-skilling. Yet the loss of skilled craftsmen and women from the trade is taking place because, like me, they are coming up to retirement recommendations1. NVQs in industry should only be delivered by qualified persons.2. Trainees should have a guaranteed contract, with penalties served on the trainer if they fail to deliver training and achieve the number of qualifications; 8/10 trainees should gain the qualification (colleges already have this).3. Industry trainers must hold a level higher of the qualification than they are training/assessing.4. There should be a firm, established linked training programme for bakers, confectioners and pastry chefs who train at basic levels locally, intermediate levels at appointed centres, and advanced levels in every region.5. Funding needs to be via a material tax – flour or yeast for the bread and fermented sectors and a tax on fat/oils or sugar for the confectionery and patisserie sectors.6. Funding for training should be returned to companies that meet the training requirements or used to support trainees in colleges.7. Funding should be available to top up trainees’ wages, like the Educational Allowance Maintenance system paid out to young people in schools and colleges to encourage education and training.8. Trainees should be contracted to work for the industry for a minimum of five years and receive a pay increase annually, as well as a review.9. Employers and trainees should pay a bond to guarantee both parties in the training contract.10. In the event of a failed business or training organisation, a ’get you trained’ plan should take place over a trainee’s education.11. Young people should have career path options.Industry must take charge of its own standards, training and education – not the government. The government runs the prisons, CSA, immigration and came up with NVQs, none of which are “fit for purpose”. If you don’t get involved to improve the current state of affairs, you had better brush up your foreign languages. nlast_img read more

BSA unveils hygiene code plans

first_imgThe British Sandwich Association (BSA) is to beef up its code of practice, turning it into a health and safety guide for bakers, foodservice and retail sandwich bar operators.The first draft of the Food Standards Agency-backed scheme will be developed in January 2008 with a consultation period to follow.The draft of a separate guide for sandwich manufacturers will also be available for consultation later this month, with a launch date scheduled for September 2008.”There is great inconsistency in the way that enforcement is handled by environmental health officers,” said BSA director Jim Winship. “Following a listeria outbreak at one site earlier this year, we found there was no protocol for reopening a factory once it had been shut down voluntarily. The intention of the guide is to address this.”last_img read more

Gatorade revamp

first_imgBrand owner PepsiCo International has got Ziggurat Brands to redesign the packaging for Gatorade for its first scale launch in the UK. The refreshed packaging has been designed to emphasise the brand’s sports performance benefits.The new design shows an athlete racing up an LED graph to demonstrate the phased introduction of Gatorade’s ingredients. The label says that it contains no artificial flavours, colours or sweeteners.[]last_img

Mouthing off

first_img“An investigation by Which? shows that a single Tesco jam doughnut contains 5.7mg [of saturated fat]”- Really? Just six thousandths of a gram of sat fat in a doughnut? Telegraph reporter Kate Devlin digs deep for her story on saturated fat in food by lifting a typo straight off a press release from consumer group Which?”We were expecting a party of 34 Goths for afternoon tea today. However, 60-plus arrived instead! What a grand lot they were too. Do come again!”- Bakery Bothams of Whitby’s Tweeter update last week gave us an insight into afternoon tea habits in North Yorkshire”If someone is on the phone, asking for free cakes and tells you Elton is on the other line, you should immediately dial 911″- Elton John AIDS Foundation representative Barron Segar sends the police after one crook masquerading as a charity worker, who rang a US bakery to order $1,600 of cakes while pretending Elton was on the other linelast_img read more

Mouthing Off

first_img“Most of the [barista] training in this country seems to start Before Christ – we always seem to jump into the sun-dried tomatoes of the subject and miss the journey. Learn to make three drinks and clean the machine. When you can do that, then you can learn how the bloody thing was picked and roasted and packaged and all the other bits of it”- the Jack Dee of the coffee world, Marco Arrigo, sales director at Euro Food Brands/Illy, injects proceedings at the Allegra Strategies Coffee Leaders Summit with his brand of dour amusement by lambasting over-the-top barista trainers who will teach you the Latin names of plants, but not how to make a coffeelast_img

Grant funding helps UK exhibitors at Anuga

first_imgBritish bakery companies are being urged to take advantage of grant funding made available to businesses planning to exhibit at international food and drink trade show Anuga.The exhibition, which is marketed as housing 10 trade shows under one roof, runs from 10-14 October 2009 at the Cologne Exhibition Centre in Germany. Eligible exhibitors can claim a UKTI grant of £1,400 towards their participation costs.The show features a bread & bakery and hot beverages section, as well as fine food and organic, and has an exhibition space of 300,000sq m.The last Anuga show in 2007 saw 163,348 trade visitors attend – 54% of which came from abroad. This year, 60 companies are expected to exhibit across the UK pavilions, with 21 first-timers signed up, including Glebe Farm, which produces gluten-free bakery products and mixes. Dorset-based Honeybuns will also be exhibiting for the first time.Formerly organised by Food from Britain, the UK pavilions are now organised by PS8, run by directors Sandra Sullivan and Paddy Edwards.“PS8 is thrilled to be working with so many exciting companies at Anuga this year and our hard work has paid off, with the group almost sold out,” commented Sullivan. “With such strong international opportunities available to all levels of exporters, we urge anyone who has not yet booked their stand to contact us urgently to check availability.”PS8 Ltd is the UKTI-appointed Accredited Trade Organiser (ATO) for Anuga. Contact Sandra Sullivan for more information: [email protected]last_img read more

WC Rowe boss takes the top accolade at BIA09

first_imgTuesday night’s Baking Industry Awards saw WC Rowe’s MD Alan Pearce walk away with the prestigious title of Baker of the Year, in the Vandemoortele-sponsored category.The 1930s-themed event at the Park Lane Hilton, London was a great success. Darren and Lilia from the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing dazzled the guests when they took to the dance floor to perform three different sets throughout the evening.Celebrity host for the night Ronnie Corbett kept the audience of 800 entertained with his comedy routine, explaining that, as the son of a baker, he had been brought up in a bakery family, and even dabbles with a bit of home baking himself.List of the winners:Baker of the Year, sponsored by Vandemoortele – Alan Pearce, WC RoweBritish Baker Award for Special Achievement – Colin Lomax, Rank HovisThe Achievement in Bakery Training Award, sponsored by Rich’s – Robert Pashley of Coopland & Son (Scarborough)The Innovation Award, sponsored by Asda – Genius Gluten-Free Loaf, United Central BakeriesBakery Supplier of the Year category, sponsored by Sainsbury’s – Rich Products, Gail Lindsay The Customer Focus Award, sponsored by BakeMark – Burns the Bread, Terri PetherbridgeIn-Store Bakery Award, sponsored by Scobie & McIntosh – Morrisons’ Hilmore Lane store in Grimsby, Steve MumbyCelebration Cake Maker of the Year, sponsored by renshawnapier – David McClymont, Lightbody Celebration Cakes.Trainee Baker of the Year, sponsored by Improve and the National Skills Academy – John Ruddock, Coopland & Son (Scarborough)Artisanal Bread Product of the Year, sponsored by Morrisons – Organic Wild White, Hobbs House BakeryThe Craft Business Award, sponsored by Rank Hovis – The Bread Factory, Tom MolnarBakery Food Manufacturer of the Year, sponsored by ADM Milling – Kensey Foods, Des KingsleyFor the full story see British Baker’s 11 September issue.last_img read more

Seed Pricing

first_imgPinenuts: The market continues to go from bad to worse. There has been some respite over the past month when there were offers of Pakistani pinenuts, however many manufacturers find these more oily with generally a shorter shelf life than the Chinese. There is increasing demand for a product that has had one of its worst years for supply. The hope is for a better new crop from China and/or a relaxation in cross-border supply into China, but this will not be arriving into Europe before the end of December.Pumpkin: It will be about four months before we see any respite from new crop, and all indications are for prices to climb before this can offer any relief. It looks like stocks will struggle to see off demand this side of early January so users are strongly advised to try to identify their additional requirements while stocks last. We are already seeing 2010 deliveries being offered at a near 20% discount to current crop, despite the concerns over a repeat of the poor supply this year. Sunflower: Prices continue to show excellent value both in comparison with pinenuts and pumpkin but also across the wider seed sector. Fortunately, China has some competition from the US which relieves the pressure, and supply has been a relatively equal match for demand.l Based on information provided by ingredients supplier RM Curtislast_img read more