Rue des Martyrs is a typical Parisian commercial street, sloping up towards the Sacré Coeur and within walking distance of the Gare du Nord station. Constant queues outside Boulangerie-Pâtisserie Arnaud Delmontel, on the ground floor of a sumptuous late 19th-century building, are hardly surprising. Its proud owner Mr Delmontel, aged 37, has been voted Best Baker in Paris 2006 by the selective Pudlow Guide and has won a coveted Champérard award. Following stints at prestigious establishments in Paris, Chicago and London, this local celebrity has spent the past seven years luring chic customers to his store, with specialities such as the traditional golden-crusted Baguette Renaissance, made with Guérande salt. As a change from croissants and pains au chocolat, Mr Delmontel also offers innovative delicacies, such as the Dacquoise – a biscuit created with coconut and pineapple chutney.“Most French bakers are not designers. They churn out the same cakes or forms of bread all the time,” he says. “I like to take established products and add my own twist.” His Black Forest gateau is a lighter, more refined version of the popular classic, in the shape of a leaf. Each gateau is unique, decorated with a different arabesque motif, representing the leaf’s veins. Costing E34 (£22) it serves between six and eight people. “Before, when I worked for other companies, there was no opportunity to express myself. Now, as my own boss, I can stretch my imagination,” says Mr Delmontel.His flair is reflected in a kitsch cake, the Choco’miss, (right) inspired by Japanese-style cartoon characters. Made with a mixture of raspberry cream and dark chocolate, Mr Delmontel sells around 300 of the cakes each month and, at a retail price of E5.50 (£3) each, it clearly pays to be adventurous. In the relatively short time he has been in business, Mr Delmontel has built up a staff of 24, divided between his two shops. He also runs a catering and consultancy business and is working on a new venture in Spain. Yet his sights are also firmly set across the Channel. “Britain has imported many big French chefs but not many patissiers,” he says. “I would love to find a partnership opportunity in London.”It seems that, in the UK, Arnaud Delmontel will be a name to look out for. – Boulangerie-Pâtisserie Arnaud Delmontel, 39 rue des Martyrs and 57 rue Damrémont, Paris.
Tony Reed, until very recently, pulled the strings of a gargantuan bakery operation worth £1bn – amounting to almost a third of the value of the entire baking industry. So when he repeatedly spun his catchphrase “follow the money” to bakery suppliers at last month’s British Society of Baking Spring Conference in Birmingham, you could sense the assembled MDs and CEOs scribbling mental notes.Promoted in March to operations director of 240 of Tesco’s stores in the north of England, the former Tesco bakery director presided over year-on-year growth in excess of 14%, having added around £400m to the bakery category over his four-and-a-half year tenure.“Over the last two years, without the growth of Tesco, the bakery market in the UK would at best be flat and would probably be in decline,” said Mr Reed. “I am delighted that in a comparatively flat market the average supply growth in Tesco was 13% in 2005. We believe in Tesco that we can ‘turn on’ some markets and make them big markets. You have to follow the money.”Tesco’s enormous influence means it can go it alone on health issues, as evidenced by its rejection of the Food Standards Agency’s recommended traffic light nutrition labelling in favour of its own guideline daily amount (GDA) system last month. “We’ve done that because we’ve talked to customers about labelling and they don’t understand red, amber and green,” he explained. “We will take as much salt out of our products as we can. Where we can take hydrogenated fats out of our products, we will. We want to do it sensibly so that the product tastes right.” By the end of 2006, all Tesco own-label bakery products will have the new GDA labelling, revealed Mr Reed.Simple health messagePeople intuitively view bread as healthy and the industry is well placed to make the most of this trend, he said. “We need to communicate to customers the health benefits of products in a way that is as simple and as memorable as the five-a-day advice for fruit and veg.”That message could best be conveyed to customers through the benefits of wholemeal bread, which is growing at 16% at Tesco, while white bread is declining at –8%. “At this rate, in three years’ time wholemeal will overtake white bread,” predicted Mr Reed. “This year in particular we have tried to go after the wholemeals and the breads with bits,” he continued. “We launched a tranche of healthy eating lines in January and we will change the space we allocate for it in July.”He said Hovis Best of Both had been a “phenomenon”, quickly followed by Kingsmill Wholemeal & White and Warburtons All-in-One, with Burgen’s January relaunch also a success. But bakers are not exploiting the same opportunities in morning goods. “Do you believe the product development in cakes, muffins or croissants is reflecting this massive change in customer eating habits?” he questioned. “We are still responding to customers rather than leading them.”Meanwhile, organic is in “big growth”, he said, with consumers embracing its healthy associations. “It is a big priority for us this year, and you are going to see some changes at Tesco.” But the challenge for suppliers will be to reduce prices for organic, he added. “Premiumisation only works if you sell enough of these products to make a difference. But follow the money, get on the wagon – it’s a big opportunity.”Own-label targetTesco has over 100 bakery suppliers and has focused on developing a thriving own-label business, said Mr Reed. Its own-label cake, for example, is now the biggest brand in the sector. The supermarket is also encouraging regional suppliers with contracts ranging from £5,000 a year to £210m. Within the bakery category Tesco has 37 regional suppliers, supplying over 360 dedicated regional lines, and regional products are likely to become more important. “As customers become more sophisticated and challenging, our ability to respond to demand, even at store specific level, is crucial in maintaining our commercial advantage,” he said.Internet grocery shopping is fuelling this subtle store-specific shift and is in “huge growth”, accounting for as much as 10% of sales in some stores. “It’s going to get bigger,” he predicted. “For our industry it’s quite a challenge. If we haven’t got every product in stock at 5am, the pickers will substitute products, and it’s quite a frustration for customers.” Over time he believes there will be a gradual move to deliveries the night before to ensure availability.Suppliers and retailers alike need to change to reflect these increasing requirements for convenience, he said. “Once upon a time, bakery, and sliced bread in particular, was symbolic of everything that was convenient and labour saving for our customers,” he reflected. “Convenience should be at the forefront of suppliers’ minds. We must make products fresher, they must last longer and they’ve got to be in stock at all times.”His final words with his bakery hat on were to urge people to think of Tesco not just as a retailer. “Like you, we are bakers,” he said. “We have over 1,000 bakeries in the UK with 7,000 staff. At Tesco we are just as proud to be involved in this industry and to share the challenges that it represents. I’ve been very privileged and lucky to work in it.”HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE OTHER FIRST DAY’S SPEAKERSProf. Jeya Henry, Oxford Brookes University:Is glycaemic index (GI) a fad?I don’t believe that GI is a passing cloud for three reasons. One is that, although we use the term ‘GI diet’, it’s not really a diet, but a lifestyle pattern. Also a GI diet does not in any way proscribe or prescribe what you eat – and you don’t get bad breath or constipation. Finally the scientific evidence is getting much stronger.Will glycaemic loads (GL) replace GI?Although GL combines quality (the GI value) with quantity (the amount of carbohydrate) it is a more complex idea to get your head around. My view is let’s get people to understand GI before we talk about GL. The GL is a concept that I think is useful to have, but in our analysis, and this is a bit of a sweeping generalisation, most foods that have a low GI also have a medium to low GL.Sir Michael Darrington, MD, Greggs:On Greggs’ growth:We’ve had a tremendous record of growth and we intend it to continue. There might be a little bit of pick up this year. There are three key factors in our success: great tasting products; excellent value for money; and people – if you can help people enjoy what they do you are much more likely to have a successful business in the long term.On Greggs’ European expansion plansWe think we can make a fist of it and we are learning all the time. With hindsight, we moved too far into takeaway in Belgium. Belgians were coming in and saying, ‘Where do I sit?’ We’re modifying our offer, listening to customers, seeing what they want and it’s getting stronger all the time. In the first few months of this year growth was around 20%. Alex Waugh, director general, NABIM:On future wheat pricing:Once grain becomes an energy source it will have a big impact upon us. The major change has been the requirement for road fuel to include 5% renewable fuel by 2010. The result of that has been announcements in the UK of plans to build ethanol and bio-diesel plants. This could lead to a difference of £20 per tonne on wheat prices.On organic pricing:If the relationship between the cost of organic and non-organic is wrong, that might be because the cost of organic is too expensive, or it might be because the cost of non-organic is too cheap. I don’t think the cost of organic grain is going to come down; it is quite high because we have a shortage. Even if demand takes off we will still have a shortage.
A North Hampshire baker is planning to seek compensation from Thames Water because the closure of the main road through his village is costing his business £400 a day.Simon Smart, who runs the Bramley Village Bakery with his wife Tracey, said the road closure to install a new underground sewerage system had started in November and was due to last 10 weeks.He told British Baker: “It’s been horrendous. They have shut off half the village, sending people on 15-mile diversions. We are not getting the passing trade and we reckon it’s cut sales by 40%.”The bakery normally sells between up to 500 Christmas cakes over the festive period, but sold only 120 this year. Sales of mince pies fell from 18,000 to 12,000.Smart said he would seek compensation but had noted in the small print of the form that it would be “down to Thames Water’s discretion”.
The price of wheat for bread-making flour in the US has “exploded” over the past two weeks shooting up 66%, according to Alex Waugh, director general of the National Association of British and Irish Millers (nabim).He told British Baker that on Monday 25 February the price of quality wheat in the US went up 23% in a single day on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange. “This is extraordinary,” said Waugh. “The industry is looking on in amazement.”He said that the industry has yet to see if this will affect the price of wheat in the UK, but millers and bakers that import wheat from North America will be feeling the pressure.Martin Deboo of Investec told British Baker that Warburtons in particular might eventually suffer from higher wheat prices, as it imports a lot of its wheat from North America.”The world is desperately short of quality wheat,” added Waugh. “This is because of poor harvests, demand for biofuels and bad weather around the world.”The price spike on Monday followed an announcement by Kazakhstan’s Agriculture Ministry, which said that it would slow grain exports by imposing export customs duties. Kazakhstan is one of the largest grain exporters in the world and has already sold 75% of its wheat.As the price of commodities rocket, market analysts predict that UK bakery companies will feel the pressure from rising commodity prices.Premier Foods, the maker of Hovis bread, saw its share price fall to a record low of 85.75p on Tuesday. This followed an announcement made by Panmure Gordon business analysts. It told British Baker on Tuesday morning that it had changed its stance on Premier’s shares from ’buy’ to ’hold’.
With many messages on the subject of our economy travelling like wildfire around the baking industry, you won’t be blamed for supposing we’re about to suffer the first recession this century.But these tales of imminent doom and gloom are in danger of turning out like a nasty game of Chinese whispers – distorting the truth, and bringing about unnecessary fear and panic. With the baking industry regarded by consumers as a key source of affordable treats, it can be a time of opportunity.The questions on many business owners’ lips are: Will consumers trade down? And which products are vulnerable to tightening purse strings?As the average price of a consumer’s shopping basket increases, the question “Do I really need this?” will become more common. The key is offering consumers a choice, say industry experts. If they feel they cannot afford a particular product, they will look for a suitable, cheaper alternative.== Consumer trends ==At a recent seminar by the Food & Drink Innovation Network (FDIN) on new product development, food market analyst RTS Resource said recession-proofing NPD involved revisiting your ingredients and packaging, as well as looking at the key drivers of consumer trends – affluence and population changes. According to RTS, the proportion of disposable income spent on food has declined from 30% in 1960 to 15% today, and the trend has been for income to go up and food prices to go down.Total food volumes are likely to increase in line with population, at approximately 0.4% a year, says RTS. So which products are likely to suffer when the pennies are pinched? At the seminar, RTS Resource mentioned Fairtrade, organics and sandwiches as possible losers, and “cheaper meal solutions”, such as pizza, pies, pasties and biscuits, as the winners.People are always going to buy bread, especially if workers are opting to make their own sandwiches rather than buying them ready-made. But bakery products are not easy to recreate in the kitchen, unless you’re an expert, so there will always be demand. After all, what better way to cheer yourself up when thinking about the economy than with a piece of cake?Over the last few years, from 2002 to 2007, sales of many foods such as cereals, dairy, snacks and soft drinks have increased by a much higher percentage in value than in volume. The confectionery sector even experienced a decrease in volume of around 0.3%, but an increase in value of 3% (see table). Meanwhile, snacks saw an increase in volume of around 0.8% from 2002 to 2007, but a value incease in the same period of around 4%. Soft drinks increased more evenly, with volume rising by approximately 3.2% and value by 5%.Internal and external pressures facing businesses include low market volume growth (especially in relation to value), cost-cutting drives and the demand for clean-label products. RTS Resource managing director Steve Rice believes businesses need to “look at adding value” to their products – a topic on which he feels the bakery market has remained relatively static in the past.== Buying habits ==An unstable economic climate is likely to see the emergence of smart shoppers, who will become more selective with their purchases. Analysis from Verdict Research reveals that some households are switching their supermarket allegiance in favour of discount stores, such as Aldi and Lidl, although upmarket stores are still doing well. It’s the middle-market consumer who is most likely to be swayed into switching brands or trying something new.Consumers will always judge the value of a product on emotional aspects as well as rational ones such as price. This means that, despite the view that sales of organics and Fairtrade may be under threat during a recession, people who value the products on nutritional or ethical associations, are unlikely to want to compromise.Consultancy firm Your Future speaks of ’money for value’ or ’value for money’ – these being the two sides of the coin that decide why a consumer buys something. In the current market climate, the company believes it is important to optimise the mix of ’messages’ in order to deliver best-value in a category.== Food trends ==Consumers are becoming more and more savvy about their food purchases, and many shop at the higher-end supermarkets as well as the discount stores, depending on what products they’re after. “Consumers think about a lot of other things before they cut down on their food shopping,” said Mitzie Wilson, freelance food writer and former editor of BBC Good Food and Delicious magazines, at the seminar. However, in all likelihood, certain products will lose out in a credit crunch – for example, those launched into an already crowded market.Among Wilson’s list of key issues and trends, she mentions food wastage, a lessening growth in the sales of organics, a growth in free-from foods and an increase in wellness foods. “It used to be about what’s going out – now it’s about what’s going in,” said Wilson. She feels the general view of the consumer is: “Why pay more, when you can get it for less?” Or, as she put it, “the Primark effect”.If people are spending less, companies may find it advan-tageous to offer products that were previously shared, in individual portions – for one-off treats. “I don’t think we’ll ever lose customer desire for instant gratification,” said Wilson.== A targeted approach ==In terms of how bakery food manufacturers should approach new product development, the current key trends need to be considered. According to Wilson, this year seems to be all about lavish desserts – treats such as posh tarts and gateaux, as well as individual designer desserts. The new niche trend appears to be in Chinese and Japanese flavourings – for example lychee and green tea. She also refers to spelt as the new ’superfood’, due to its nutritional benefits, especially for people with food intolerances.Research from consultancy firm Changes, which has held over 30 group discussions in the last six months, has revealed that, despite some predictions of a slump, the current trends – organic and Fairtrade – are holding strong. Other areas to focus on are consumers’ dislike of over-packaging, demand for local produce, snack/convenience foods and health in all its various manifestations.A similar pattern is revealed by The Nielsen Company, which outlines the four major trends as: health/well-being, indulgence/pleasure, ethical, and convenience/practicality. These are all needs the bakery and café sector can meet, but the question is how? In order to set your product above the rest, you need to clearly differentiate it from your competitors, look at how to add value to it, and make sure it serves a purpose. It is important to let your customers know if you use local, organic or Fairtrade products, as well as any added health benefits.Sure-fire strategies are not easy to implement. But businesses need to stay relevant, and the ones that will come out on top in terms of NPD are the ones that demonstrate true innovation and have the ability and willingness to change. According to Jonathan Banks of The Nielsen Company, all manufacturers need to do is develop consumer-relevant innovation and execute it perfectly – easier said than done!—-=== Recession-proofing: top tips ===l Get the basics right by offering a clear, motivated and differentiated proposition l Demonstrate the product’s relevance and deliver on hygienel Ensure your innovation is insight-driven and reflects real consumer demand. Make sure it connects with core trends/drivers and embodies consumer valuesl Make sure it relects category/brand engagementl Avoid unecessary packagingl Consider promotional strategiesl Pick your winners and get behind them. Don’t be afraid to ’kill’ unsuccessful productsl Watch your competitionl Clarify your targets under who, why, when and where headings.—-=== RTS Resource’s NPD considerations ===1. Don’t just reduce quality2. Assess precisely where your products sit3. Rate your products’ vulnerability4. Re-evaluate NPD5. Focus NPD on taking market share from competitors.
The American Bakers’ Asso- ciation has condemned the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) refusal to release land from its Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) to allow farmers to meet food demands and help curb soaring cereal prices.It said it was “extremely disappointed” that Agriculture Secre- tary Ed Schafer had rejected calls for even a modest amount of “non-environmentally sensitive” land from the CRP to be allowed into production.ABA president and chief executive officer Robb MacKie said: “It is outrageous for USDA to continue to ignore the plight of consumers, bakers and even farmers by refusing to take action to help alleviate the food price crisis. How expensive does bread have to get for action to be taken – $5 or $6 a loaf?”ABA said input costs for bakers have “jumped significantly” since its initial request to the USDA in June 2007 to release productive lands from the CRP. In the year from June 2007 to June 2008, wheat was up 66%, flour 58% and bread and rolls 15%.
Hovis saw its trading profit rise by nearly 26% last year despite a fall in value sales, but 2011 may prove more challenging as pressure from high wheat costs builds.In its results for the year ended 31 December 2010, parent company Premier Foods said value sales at Hovis, including bread and milling, had fallen by 7.3%. Trading profit increased by 25.8%, thanks to distribution efficiencies, lower restructuring costs and reduced marketing spend.Total value sales for bakery fell by 6.1% to £516m, due to a 22.1% decrease in sales of supermarket own-brand products, but branded sales increased 1.7% to £376m, helped by the launch of the new Hearty Oats loaf.Investec analyst Martin Deboo said Hovis had been “reasonably successful” at passing on rising wheat costs in the last quarter of 2010. “The big question is whether it will be able to recover the further increase in wheat costs we are now seeing. For Rank Hovis, this has traditionally been easier to achieve, given tight industry capacity. But that may now change following capa-city expansion by competitor Whitworths,” he said.”In bread, life may be even more difficult. We think there is too much capacity in UK bread baking. Premier also finds itself up against a privately owned competitor in Warburtons and a large diversified conglomerate in ABF, who are able to take a longer-term view on pricing.”This could make it more difficult for Hovis to pass on rising wheat costs early, as happened in 2008 when wheat prices reached similar highs.Across its entire business, Premier saw sales fall 3.5%. Net debt was reduced to £900m.In other news, Premier has announced plans to invest £4-5m to modernise and automate its Hovis bakery in Avonmouth. A consultation with the 300-strong workforce over possible job cuts has been launched.
Unifine Food & Bake Ingredients (UK)Milton KeynesUnifine is an international manufacturer of value-added ingredients for the baking and food industries the essentials to create patisserie, sweet pasty and cake products. In July, the parent company was purchased by Dawn Foods, bringing “better offerings for customers” says managing director Simon Solway. In the UK, Unifine employs 19 people, internationally around 550.”We do believe we should give something back to the industry. I hope people see us as a company that goes out of its way to support customers,” says Solway.The judges certainly thought so, saying that Unifine was strongly focused on serving its customers, both in terms of innovative product development, and particularly in its management style. “We want people to believe we have time for them, that what they need really matters to us,” he explains. “Our staff are really good at that.”Well-known for its high-grade Belgian chocolate fillings and toppings, as well as its Fruibel fruit ingredients, the judges described Unifine as “constantly developing new, high quality solutions for customers”. Unifine also demonstrated “great community interaction”, particularly in terms of its support for students. “We have customer demonstration facilities here, which are also used for training days for our sponsored students,” says Solway.HiggidyShoreham by SeaHiggidy owner and development director Camilla Stephens set up the firm in 2003, producing handmade, high-quality savoury pies. Its first products went into Sainsbury’s in 2007 and the relationship has grown from there.”We’re good on innovation,” says Stephens, “but Sainsbury’s has supported us along the way and we’ve grown the sector together.” She adds that theirs is a mutually beneficial relationship, with the supplier suggesting new products, such as its deli counter savoury tartlets and deep-filled Quiche Lorraine to the multiple. Higgidy now supplies around 14 branded lines and 33 own-label products to Sainsbury’s. “We’re prepared to invest heavily to serve a customer,” adds Stephens. “We had to change production routines to meet supply schedules.”The company’s annual turnover is around £11m. “Everything is handmade, using fresh, authentic ingredients,” says Stephens. “And we’re constantly innovating we started off with things like beef, stilton & mash, but we’re now increasing our vegetarian lines.”The Bread FactoryHendonFounded in the early 1990s by Gail Stephens, this is anything but a ’factory’. The business produces artisan breads, pastries and cakes for a clientele split roughly 50:50, wholesale and retail.The Bread Factory is well known for its sourdough breads, produced from a 20-year-old levain, and using ingredients such as dark French flour. Signature products include a mixed olive stick, and a potato & rosemary bread.Over the past seven years, the firm has seen year-on-year growth of around 20-25%, partly, believes trading director Dean Arbel, because the demand for artisanal bread has increased, but also because of dedication to customer service. “We work with clients to develop products,” says Arbel. “One chef even gives us a bread ’wish list’ to suit changing menus! We’re aware of the differing needs of, say, a restaurant as opposed to an hotel and we monitor product quality assiduously. We really put the customer at the heart of everything we do.”
Pinterest Facebook Pinterest Facebook Twitter (Photo supplied/St. Joseph County Health Department) As of Tuesday, June 9, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in St. Joseph County is at 1,430.Elkhart County saw a 350% increase in cases during the month of May, whereas St. Joseph County saw a 100% increase in cases during the same time period.The Public Health Order that went into effect in May, requiring mandatory face masks while in indoor spaces where social distancing can’t be maintained is likely contributing to decreased transmission of COVID 19 in St. Joseph County compared to similar counties that have not adopted the order, according to the St. Joseph County Health Department.For all COVID-19 testing sites in St. Joseph County, you can view an interactive map.The St. Joseph County Department of Health urges the continuation of the following actions:Practice extreme physical distancing.Maintain at least 6 foot between individuals.Wearing a mask does NOT eliminate the need for physical distancing.Practice frequent and proper hand hygiene & cough etiquette.Wash hands often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap & water; coughing and sneezing into your sleeve.Stay home if ill.Abide by the current Public Health Order, requiring face coverings when going into an enclosed public space or business and when 6 feet of physical distance cannot be maintained within the enclosed public space or business. Report: Elkhart County saw 350% increase in COVID-19 cases in May By Carl Stutsman – June 10, 2020 1 358 IndianaLocal WhatsApp Twitter WhatsApp Google+ Google+ Previous articleIndiana Beach pushing to hire those with disabilitiesNext articleThousands of I&M customers without power after effects from Tropical Depression Cristobal Carl Stutsman
By Network Indiana – July 22, 2020 0 189 WhatsApp Studies suggest low birthweight cases drop to near zero during pandemic Google+ Twitter Facebook Pinterest Facebook Twitter (“NewBorn” by James Hall, CC BY 2.0) Obstetricians in Europe think there’s been an unexpected benefit to the coronavirus lockdown — but it hasn’t shown up in Indy.For doctors who deal with preemies, it’s an eye-catching finding: two separate research teams, in Ireland and Denmark, say they saw the number of low birthweight babies at their hospitals drop almost to zero. The New York Times reports similar findings at an Australian hospital, and noticeable though less dramatic drops at hospitals in Canada and the Netherlands.But I-U Health’s Riley Hospital for Children says its neonatal intensive care unit is admitting about the same number of patients as usual. NICU medical director Beatrice Stefanescu says the unit currently has 59 babies in its care, slightly above the usual numbers in the mid-50s.The Irish and Danish studies are awaiting peer review. If the correlation reflects a true causal connection, Stefanescu says the lack of a similar effect in the U-S could reflect overall health differences. Rates of obesity, diabetes and smoking are all higher in the U-S, and all are linked to low birth weights. And Stefanescu says higher stress levels in the U-S could be a factor as well.Ireland and Denmark began imposing lockdowns in March, about two weeks before Indiana did. Previous articleLaGrange County Zoning Board clears path for commercial breeding facilityNext articleFamily of seriously injured Notre Dame student files suit against university; claims negligence Network Indiana Google+ WhatsApp IndianaLocalNews Pinterest