Jacket potatoes are popular in the takeaway market, and Rational (Luton, Beds) says its Potato Baker accessory for its SelfCooking Center means food outlets can produce perfect potatoes in less time than traditional potato ovens.The Potato Baker is a rack comprising heat-conducting spikes, which transfer heat to the centre of the food. Up to 28 prewashed potatoes can be loaded onto the rack for cooking in just 30 minutes. After they are cooked, the SelfCooking Center switches to a ‘holding’ mode, adjusting humidity to maintain the potatoes’ condition. Rational says the Potato Baker is also perfect for cooking sweetcorn. After use, the rack can be washed in a dishwasher with non-corrosive cleaning agents, due to its non-stick coating.Rational says the smallest SelfCooking Center, the model 61, can hold three Potato Bakers, giving a capacity of up to 84 potatoes.
Bakers’ Fair North West will be held in association with the Richemont Club on 14 October. The exhibition’s fourth annual competition will also be judged live at the show.Richemont Club members, which include top craft bakers and confectioners from all over the UK, will run a live demonstration during the day.The show is aimed at independent bakers and exhibitors will include millers, ingredients firms, machinery suppliers, drinks companies and wholesalers.The Bakers’ Fair is to be held at the Bolton Arena from 9.30am to 4pm.For more information or to register see [http://www.bakersfair.co.uk].
Last week, a most interesting programme appeared on television, dealing with ‘the teenage problem’.What, in fact, is the problem of the teenage boy and girl today? I feel that in many ways it is a problem of “What shall we do with our lives?” Much is heard of the “teddy” boy who dresses up in fancy clothes and many of us wonder why he does this. Well, this programme gave part of the answer. It appears this is done for the sole purpose of attraction of the opposite sex.It is a case of wrong living and lack of moral fibre, but in many cases the parents are to blame.Not all youngsters are the same. John is a boy of 17 years of age. He will cycle eight miles to work with me in the bakery, in any weather. That is ambition and he will, in time, become a very useful member of our industry.
The National Skills Academy (NSA) for Food and Drink has accredited its first three bakery specialist training providers.The first to get the seal of approval are Leicester College, Campden and Chorleywood Food Research Association (CCFRA) and Tameside College in Ashton-under-Lyne, and will form part of a planned ‘Network of Excellence’ for bakery training.The network will be formed of the best training and development providers across the UK. “Bakery is a priority sector in food and drink manufacturing, employing just short of 100,000 people in the UK, and generating a turnover of £7.5 billion,” explained Justine Fosh, director of the NSA. “Leicester, CCFRA and Tameside are well-respected organisations that are leaders in the provision of bakery training, with the facilities to drive forward the research and development of new training programmes. Their accreditation as the first providers in the bakery network is a real boost for the industry.”The network will be dedicated to ensuring training is fit-for-purpose and evolves in response to any changes in the sector’s needs.
Hovis hopes to persuade more people to have toast for breakfast, by reminding them of the health benefits of Hovis Wholemeal.Its new £2m campaign will communicate healthy and filling breakfast ideas, with new brand ambassador, Olympic cyclist Victoria Pendleton, fronting the promotion.Hovis marketing director Jon Goldstone said: “People asso-ciate a healthy and filling breakfast with cereals and we want to remind them that wholemeal bread can be just as good for you. Hovis Wholemeal toast, with a healthy topping, is a great alternative to cereal. It is low in both fat and sugar and high in fibre, which helps you feel fuller for longer to help ’power you through to lunch’.”During April, press advertisements and advertorials will communicate the ’Powers me through to lunch’ message, along with a 25p coupon to drive purchase. The campaign will run on wholemeal packaging and will be supported by sampling and PoS.
Worldwide bakery supplier CSM revealed falling demand in its bakery supplies for the first quarter of the year, with a 1.2% drop in volume compared to Q1 2009.In an interim management statement, CSM reported overall sales of E644.4m (£555.5m) for the first quarter compared with E636.1m (£548.4m) in 2009, while EBITA increased from E6.3m (£5.4m) in 2009 to E16.4m (£14.1m), mainly due to improved margins as a result of more favourable raw material contracts.Volumes in CSM’s European operation saw sales down from E249.2m (£218.9m) in Q1 2009 to E247.3m (£213.2m) in Q1 2010, with growth in its frozen products, particularly in the UK where the firm said there had been some recovery from the “severe economic setback in 2009”.
ID cards can now be provided as proof of the right to work in the UK. Before an employee starts work, you must ask them for documentary evidence of their right to work in the UK. Employers who cannot prove that they have done this – for example, by keeping copies – risk a fine under the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006.Under the Immigration (Restrictions on Employment) Order 2007, documents are divided into two lists: ‘A’ and ‘B’. Those in List A show that an individual is entitled to work in the UK. If they are not subject to any immigration controls or restrictions, they should be able to produce a document (or specified combination) from that category. But if they have restrictions imposed on them, they will also need to produce one, or more, documents from List B. To qualify, the ID Card will need to have been issued under the Identity Cards Act 2006. This means it must show that the holder is either: 1. a British Citizen 2. a citizen of the UK and Colonies, having the right to live in the UK; or 3. a national of the EEA or Switzerland. Finally, remember that if you accept an ID Card, you must photocopy both sides and retain these. It is not enough to copy just the front. • For a free copy of our ‘Offer of Appointment Letter’ contact the NAMB on 01920 468061
German firm Fritsch has updated its Euroline pastry-maker in time for the Moscow Modern Bakery show in October. The Euroline’s pneumatic drive system has been replaced with an electrical one, significantly reducing noise levels and allowing a greater number of strokes up to 80 punching and 150 cutting strokes per minute.Special attachments allow the baker to produce a wide range of pastry types and the machine’s guillotine cut-off attachment moves in time with the dough sheet to create uniformity and avoid compression or stretching.
Reason for outlet choice other than location (Total mentions)Food-to-go average Greggs SubwaySample size 2,443 290 241I like the meal deal 6% 2%8%Did you notice a lunch meal deal on offer in this store/outlet here today?Food-to-go average Greggs SubwaySample size 1,614 277 231Yes 58% 65%71%No 41% 25%27%Don’t know 1% 0 2%Did you purchase a meal deal here today?Food-to-go average GreggsSubwaySample size 1,600 274 232Yes 16% 6% 29%No 84% 94% 71%
“Throughout the course of the process Helen showed to her current employer, who kindly gave her 12 weeks off to come into this process, that he or she is going to have to be a bit of a mug not to actually promote her or give her some bigger position now they’ve seen what she’s capable of doing”following this characteristically gruff advice from Lord Sugar, Greggs’ CEO Ken McMeikan proves he’s no mug by promoting his former executive PA and The Apprentice runner-up Helen Milligan, last week