Greggs reveals record profits as ingredients costs keep on rising

first_imgGreggs unveiled full-year pre-tax profits last week of £49m – up 12% on 2006. This is despite substantial rises in the cost of energy and key ingredients including flour and vegetable oils, which pushed up selling prices by 5% over the year.MD Sir Michael Darrington gave an upbeat assessment of the company’s prospects at a press conference announcing the preliminary results for the UK’s largest bakery business for the 52 weeks to the 29 December, 2007. He said its three-year strategic marketing campaign was beginning to bear fruit and the company was planning to accelerate its programme of opening shops.He said that record operating profits, up 13% to £47.7m, were “significant” because they excluded a £2.2m gain from the sale of bakery sites in Newcastle, Glasgow and Manchester. Revenues rose 6.4% to £586m during 2007 and sales for the first 10 weeks of 2008 were up 6.2%.But Sir Michael warned of “more inflation to come” and said he would be “horrified if prices went massively higher than they are at the moment”. He blamed part of the rise in global commodity prices on the activities of speculators.After tough trading conditions in 2006, Greggs opened 56 shops last year and closed 24 – a net increase of 32, taking the total number to 1,368 by the end of 2007. Sir Michael confirmed that Greggs will open 70 this year and close 30. He said the closures were not because shops were losing money but often as a result of trade moving “further down the high street” by the time 20-year leases had expired.Sir Michael said that around 150 Greggs shops are now trading on Sundays and a company statement accompanying the results revealed that weekday opening hours were being extended “where local demand exists”.He told British Baker Greggs planned to extend its range of hot sandwiches and added that he wanted to see less fat in products “over time”.But he emphasised that this should not deflect from the main priority of “selling products that people really enjoy”.last_img read more

Reporting in: We all have a duty to consumers

first_imgIn these days of economic uncertainty, fuelled by the credit crunch, falling equity markets and commodity market speculation, it is increasingly important that we all (suppliers, wholesalers, and bakers) work together throughout the supply chain and focus on the consumer.”Always remember that you are manufacturers without machines, working for retailers without shops.” These words, from former chairman of Marks & Spencer Sir Marcus Sieff, still resonate in my ears, although to be honest, as a young management trainee at M&S, I really didn’t get it.However, 25 years later, that phrase reflects the way in which our industry needs to work together to meet the sometimes conflicting challenges of consumer demands and the spectre of rampant food and fuel inflation. It is incumbent upon us all to respond to cost pressures in this turbulent market, to continue to innovate to deliver what the shoppers want, to develop our people to ensure the skills remain fresh and our people enthused.Consumers tell us they want local, quality and fresh – and the craft sector is perfectly placed to satisfy this. Bakers often proudly boast to me that nothing in their shops is older than 12 hours – yet how often do we communicate this to consumers? Yet the freshest, highest-quality and most innovative products are no good if we don’t tell our shoppers.The retail end of our businesses is where the money is really taken. As a wholesaler we are as dependent upon this single point as our suppliers – so maybe Marcus Sieff was right after all!last_img read more

Bursting bubbles

first_imgBubbles could be the answer to encouraging more children to eat sandwiches made out of healthier brown bread, proclaimed The Daily Telegraph in a recent article ( In it, the article suggested that there is a basic problem encouraging people to eat more brown bread because of its inferior texture to white bread.Giving a talk earlier this month at an Institution of Chemical Engineers’ lecture at Birmingham University, Dr Grant Campbell of the University of Manchester is quoted as saying: “Brown or wholemeal bread is less suitable for making tasty sandwiches – the bran pops the bubbles. Nutritionists have been telling us to eat more wholemeal bread for decades, but we still prefer white bread because it tastes better.”Chemical engineers are working to find a way of getting bran into bread recipes without popping the bubbles. By doing this we will create a healthier bread without sacrificing the tastiness.”Focusing more on bubbles should help bakers come up with a healthier wholemeal bread that is more appetising to children, argued The Telegraph. Hmm, we thought, sounds a bit iffy. So we called in the experts to give their view on bubbles in bread.last_img read more

All for art’s sake

first_imgJust when you thought baking couldn’t get any trendier, up steps Tate & Lyle, sponsor of “the world’s first-ever edible art exhibition”! Cake Britain ran from 27 to 29 August at The Future Gallery in London and Tate & Lyle used the event to mark its switch to Fairtrade sugar.Can the disparate worlds of baking and art mix, we ask? Well, exhibits such as “the lyrics to The Futureheads track The Chaos, created in 940 rock and roll cookies by Miss Cakehead with a ’suede effect’ by sprinkling finely ground Tate & Lyle Fairtrade sugar over still-wet icing” do have a certain ring to them.Not impressed so far? Well how about the Cloud Cuckoo Wedding Cake by Stuart Semple and Paul Baker, which depicts “two lovers entwined in cloud cuckoo land, a rock candy mountain, a wedding for Brangelina and a sky of edible happy clouds”? No? While it all sounds a bit pie in the sky to us, STW has to admit that, with proceeds going to the Fairtrade Foundation and two other charities, the intention was read more

British Pie Awards now taking entries

first_imgEntries are now open for the third annual British Pie Awards, which will take place at St Mary’s Church in Melton Mowbray, on Wednesday 8 June.Organised and hosted by the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association, the Awards saw over 700 entries from 125 pie makers from across Great Britain last year, with organisers expecting an even larger number this year.The pies, which need to be commercially available to enter, will be judged by a host of pie experts, food writers and celebrity bakers and chefs.The categories include hot and cold eating pies, both sweet and savoury, with a champion and reserve champion title awarded in each class. The champions from each category will compete for the title of supreme champion.The supreme champion will win a shield and prize money of £1,000. The champion of each class will win £50.Paul Mooney, production manager and associate director of previous winner Chatwin’s, with 26 bakery shops, commented: “Winning the Award for our Steak Pasty proved to be a great springboard for the product. We received great coverage in our local press and that has helped the product to become one of our best sellers.” Chairman of the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association, Matthew O’Callaghan, said: These Awards are the crème de la crème of the Pie industry regardless of the size, and for that reason we have introduced the Special Award category this year aimed at small producers, to ensure we have a good representation of the best produce from across the country.” For more information visit To request a copy of the 2011 entry form, please contact Sarah Clothier on 0116 2344523 or email [email protected]>>Walkers Charnwood crowned supreme pie championlast_img read more

Bakehouse offers tips on 2011 bakery trends

first_imgValue for money, differentiation, and nostalgia versus new, are just some of the key trends emerging for retailers in 2011, according to Bakehouse.The firm has offered up some insights into the key factors shaping the retail bakery sector this year, and how they can be capitalised on.Head of sales James Minnette said the first key trend was ‘value for money’. “Demonstrating value is essential. It’s certainly not all about offering the cheapest products, it’s more about offering good-quality products that deliver upon the expectations that come with the attached price tag.”Another factor is ‘differentiation’, which he said would keep existing customers interested, as well as attracting new custom.The firm has observed that although customers have been eating out less, they are still buying treats or quality baking items for use at home. Flavours are becoming more indulgent too, added Minnette.On the nostalgia vs new trend, Bakehouse said that while there is continuing demand for traditional products and flavours, such as Eccles cakes and apple turnovers, new products often prove popular and encourage swift purchases when first unveiled.“New products, categories or variants broaden the bakery category appeal and attract different people, creating new interest and new purchasing occasions,” commented Minnette. The final trend, ‘capturing consumer interest’, relates to the opportunities for increasing turnover by “helping bakery products break free from the bakery aisle”. Bakehouse suggests, for example, that merchandising freshly baked pastries in complementary categories, such as food-to-go or snacking, helps to stimulate impulse purchases. Clear messaging and POS are also essential, it added. “Promotional activity also provides retailers with another tool to support core lines and is well-received by customers seeking value for money. It is also useful to help gain trial on new products as it reduces the risk for new customers.”last_img read more

IRS announces child tax credit payments for July

first_img Facebook Facebook Google+ Twitter Pinterest WhatsApp WhatsApp Pinterest IndianaLocalMichiganNationalNewsSouth Bend Market IRS announces child tax credit payments for July (“South Bend Cubs” by Jacob Vanderheyden, CC BY-ND 2.0) Child tax credit payments will likely start being made in July.That was the word from the IRS on Wednesday. The agency expects to begin issuing the monthly payments on July 1, along with the introduction of a new tax credit portal.The credit is being split between 2021 and 2022 and will allow parents to get advance monthly payments of up to $300 per child. The remainder would then be claimed as part of next year’s tax return.The enhanced portion of the credit will be available for single parents with annual incomes up to $75,000 dollars and joint filers making up to $150,000 per year. Twitter By Tommie Lee – April 15, 2021 0 256 Google+ Previous articleTempers flare during hearing about who gets authority on emergency health ordersNext articleElkhart County reports highest single-day COVID increase in months Tommie Leelast_img read more

Press release: Kent business Stitch & Story takes US market by storm

first_img For any business owners considering exporting, it’s important to remember that there’s support available. If we can do it, other business like us can, too. We knew that getting our products in front of the right buyers was the key to international expansion. Our trip to the NY NOW tradeshow, supported by DIT, helped us secure a deal with Uncommon Goods, which paved our way into the US market. Ben Raby, Head of the Department for International Trade’s South East region, said: British brands have a strong international reputation. Because of this, there’s huge potential demand for businesses like Stitch & Story looking to expand internationally and grow revenue. It’s no secret that there are plenty of perceived barriers when it comes to exporting. Customs arrangements and tax regulations can be a bit daunting, but there’s plenty of help available. Our trade adviser at DIT provided us with legal advice, as well as sharing useful resources, which made the process far less daunting. Stitch & Story, a knitting kit manufacturer, has seen sales increase in the last year as a direct result of exporting to the US, following support from the Department for International Trade (DIT).With offices in Dartford, Kent and North Greenwich, London, the business distributes to US marketplace Uncommon Goods, as well as independent gift stores and retailers. The exporting opportunity was secured after Stitch & Story exhibited its products at consumer trade show, NY NOW, with support from DIT.The trade show highlighted an international demand for the company’s products and prompted the business owners to set-up a US purchasing arm on its website.The success of Stitch & Story’s international expansion is being celebrated in DIT’s Exporting is GREAT campaign. They are one of 30 plus companies – encompassing every sector and region – being championed in the campaign, which looks to inspire and support businesses up and down the country to export.Since embarking on its exporting journey last year, the business has doubled its turnover and expanded its team from two to five employees in nine months. In total, 42% of revenue is generated as a direct result of exporting.In the UK, its products are stocked at several retailers, including Liberty, John Lewis and Fenwick.After the success of exporting to the US, the business now has its sights set on Australia, Switzerland, Germany and France, to increase market share in front of a large craft audienceJenny Lam, Director and Co-founder of Stitch & Story, said:center_img Business looking for support should visit which gives UK businesses access to millions of pounds’ worth of potential overseas business, helping them start or increase exporting.Further information It’s fantastic to see Stitch & Story grow its sales so significantly as a direct result of exporting in the past year. After securing deals with some of Britain’s most-loved department stores, we wanted to maximise revenue potential and decided to set our sights further afield. Contact the DIT Media Team on 020 7215 2000 or email [email protected] Follow us @tradegovuk and at read more

News story: We can’t let war children be forgotten generation

first_imgEvery day millions of innocent children around the world experience unimaginable horrors because of war.Some have fled their bombed-out homes in the middle of the night. Many have witnessed their mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters killed in front of them. And when they have escaped conflict, many find themselves living in an unfamiliar world, where all sense of normality has disappeared.As well as the physical scars, many children will be living with the mental scars witnessing the terrible atrocities of conflict.As well as food, shelter and education, these children need mental health and psychosocial support – such as safe spaces – to help rebuild their lives, receive the opportunities they deserve and help shape their countries’ futures.The Evening Standard, in partnership with War Child, has rightly raised awareness of this important issue through their Learn to Live campaign.This government, through UK aid, is committed to supporting children who have experienced the horrors of war.This is why in September I announced that we would match, pound-for-pound, the first £500,000 donated by the British public to War Child for children in the Central African Republic.This is why we gathered children’s rights agencies to come together to commit to urgently tackling the issue during the first Global Ministerial Mental Health Summit in October.And this is why this government, through UK aid, will now deliver further support for children and young people in Jordan and Lebanon.Working with UNICEF in Lebanon, UK aid will deliver an education programme and provide psychosocial support for a further 10,000 Syrian refugee children and their carers. And my department will work with International Medical Corps in Jordan to provide specialised care to 2,400 children affected by trauma.We will also work to make sure that schools are safe, violence-free places for children to learn.UK aid is already making a huge difference to the lives of children and young people in the region. We have supported over 116,000 vulnerable boys, girls and women in Lebanon to help them deal with trauma and prevent them being at risk of further abuse in the future.But there’s still much more to do to make sure that children’s rehabilitation – through medical and community support – is put at the heart of the international aid agenda when the impact of war is discussed.Because of war millions of children are growing up with high levels of stress and trauma, missing out on school and becoming withdrawn from their friends and families.We can’t let them become a lost generation.That’s why I want others to follow our lead in helping to rebuild the shattered lives of children and heal the mental scars of war so they can look forward to their tomorrow.last_img read more

Press release: Woman who robbed her own grandfather jailed

first_imgA woman who carried out a spate of robberies has today been given a custodial sentence after the Solicitor General, Robert Buckland QC MP, referred her suspended sentence to the Court of Appeal.Sherie Leigh North, 23, and another offender committed a number of robberies in late 2018. Their first victim was North’s grandfather, who they robbed twice, stealing jewellery and £160 in cash. During the two robberies they threatened the victim with a hammer, and pushed and hit the victim.They also robbed an adult store, with North entering the store first before her co-offender rushed into the shop and attacked an employee. The 2 took the employee’s chain and £80 from the till.North was originally sentenced in December 2018 to 2 years imprisonment suspended for 2 years at Bradford Crown Court. Today, the Court of Appeal has given her an immediate custodial sentence of 4 years.Speaking after the hearing, the Solicitor General said:“North terrorised her own grandfather to feed her drug addiction. I hope that a custodial sentence gives North the time she needs to reflect on her actions and overcome her addiction.”last_img read more