Despite a slowdown in the number of coffee shops opening on the high street, the big three – Starbucks, Costa Coffee and Caffé Nero – are focusing on the quality of their food offering for future growth. With recent figures showing mixed fortunes for muffins in the retail sector, the growth in branded coffee outlets could see gains for a select few muffin suppliers.The coffee bar sector is now worth £2.2bn and continues to grow by 10 to 15% a year, with branded outlets taking market share from the independents. The branded retail coffee market is set to break through the £1bn barrier in 2007, from £630m in 2004, according to Caffé Nero. Muffins are fetching a premium as one of the primary add-on sales with coffee.Caffé Nero claims to be the fastest growing of the coffee chains. It sells around 53,000 muffins each week across its 245 stores. Paul Ettinger, commercial director, told British Baker’s Baking Industry Summit in November that the firm’s strong position has been built on the quality of its food offering.Recipe developmentHe explained that, alongside Viennoiserie and sandwiches, muffins are a key part of the coffee experience. A focus on recipe development has helped distinguish the Caffé Nero brand. “This is what has pulled us out from our competitors. A large part of our success has been down to the level and depth of detail we are prepared to go into to get each product absolutely right for the market. Each muffin sells with a coffee – it is an absolutely critical part of our business,” said Mr Ettinger.The British public will be tempted by new flavours, such as Caffé Nero’s recently introduced apple and ginger muffin. But UK tastes are essentially conservative, with blueberry and chocolate the leading sellers, he said. “I think there is a level to which people are prepared to experiment but it is a very well-defined level. We have seen that with our muffins. Chocolate and blueberry are still by far and away our biggest sellers. When we brought out innovative recipes they didn’t work.”Consistency of appearance is also key – a sad, under-risen batch will be rejected. Selling huge volumes of muffins – and the company has sold in excess of 2.6m muffins this year already – means that producing flawlessly consistent product is a challenge for muffin suppliers. “If we suddenly have a bad batch, where the ‘mushroom’ comes out a bit flat, our sales will halve. It’s absolutely extraordinary. Getting, not just that consistency of flavour but that consistency of shape, is vital,” said Mr Ettinger.A mistake it has made in the past was thinking people would sacrifice taste and texture for a healthy option. Caffé Nero’s original low-fat muffin was a disaster, he admitted. But he claims to have got the balance right with a reduced-fat blueberry muffin, which is slightly less indulgent at 14.5g of fat and 353 calories, compared with 23.6g and 432 calories for its regular blueberry muffin. “We had lots of complaints that the low fat muffin didn’t taste good, the texture was bad, and it wasn’t what people expected from Caffé Nero,” he said. “What they actually wanted was something that made them feel good that also tasted good.” Muffin BreakAnother company with its eye on the coffee and muffin market is Muffin Break, a brand of franchised foodservice outlets with 300 stores in six countries. The brand announced its move into the UK in 2001, opening two outlets in Derby and Nottingham. It now has 18 across the UK.New Zealander Mike Arbuckle, director of Foodco UK, the owner of the Muffin Break trademark in this country, says a niche exists in Britain for a coffee chain freshly baking goods on-site. All its muffins are baked daily on the premises from a premix imported from Australia, made from Queensland flour.“The British market is used to buying this kind of product in packaging with a use-by-date,” says Mr Arbuckle. “They’re not as used to freshly baked product and there’s not many people doing that. We came here in 2000 and carried out a market study. We determined that the coffee quality, in general, was poor and that there was no national retail café/bakery chain. We are now using franchisee’s investment to grow our business in the UK.” The business’s expansion, he says, is opportunity led, without set targets. “We are very careful where we open. We have a planned growth strategy – I want to build a strong business and we haven’t found any trouble attracting franchisees.”The prime product is coffee, supported by muffins and a small range of cookies, sandwiches, savoury items and cakes. “Our theory is that if you get the coffee business, you get the food business. We’re beginning to see that shopping centre customers will go to where the best coffee is, and they’ll buy a muffin to go with it.” It also offers a range of ‘frappé’ and milk-based products, as well as traditional soft drinks.“There are a lot of differences in the market from where we’ve come from. It’s been a learning process. Customers here lunch more than snack and there’s a general misunderstanding about coffee – there’s a lot of bad coffee out there!”The Muffin Break shopping mall and convenience foodservice format originated in Canada and developed in Australia and New Zealand (where it has 170 stores). With 200 choices of muffin mix available, the company is some way ahead of the UK market. But what works in Australia does not necessarily meet with success here, comments Mr Arbuckle.Paying a premium As with Caffé Nero, a muffin will carry a premium, selling for between £1.40 and £1.60. “We are at a premium over other operators, but we will still sell 28 dozen in one day in Nuneaton, for example,” he says.“You could actually make anything into a muffin, like rhubarb and pumpkin, if you thought people would eat it. As a franchise we have operational guidelines and recipe books. But we don’t dictate other than that there should be five standard muffin varieties per day. Every day we will arrange 16 different varieties in our cabinets.Sales of healthy options are picking up, he adds, including a high-fibre sweet muffin, a low-fat muffin and a soon to be introduced gluten-free muffin, which has done well abroad. Dawn FoodsMaggie Dagostino, marketing director at Dawn Foods, which supplies coffee chains, agrees that there is room for healthier products. Market leader Starbucks already sells a variety of ‘Skinny’ muffins, including chocolate vanilla, blueberry and peach and raspberry, she notes.“If you asked me if you thought health was a big driver in the sweet bakery sector, I’d say no. But there are areas of the market that need servicing and low fat is attractive to certain people – not so much in the traditional high street craft bakeries, but certainly in the more cosmopolitan side of foodservice,” she comments. In response, Dawn recently introduced a lower-fat, lower-sodium muffin. Ms Dagostino also thinks a lot more could be done with flavours for smaller children’s products. “You can make them slightly healthier and mums would buy into that,” she says.Commenting on the TNS data, she voices doubts about whether the category is in decline in retail, despite figures suggesting a fall in muffin value sales by 12.6% and huge disparities between individual supermarkets’ performance. “That rings alarm bells because, generally speaking, a trend is a trend. My feeling is the market is still showing growth. People are developing formats and shelf space is still being provided. We have seen retail price rises recently, which the market seems to be sustaining.”A more surprising trend might be the decline of the blueberry muffin, she observes. “We did a huge amount of research last year and people still want traditional flavours. But they are turning more towards red fruits and that is where the growth is. Blueberry muffins can sometimes look a bit murky.”
BakeMark UK, sponsor of National Doughnut Week, is urging high street bakers to do their bit for charity – and reap the business benefits – by getting involved with this year’s event.The week, which runs from May 6 to 13, aims to raise money for The Children’s Trust. The charity provides care, education and therapy for children with profound disabilities and complex health needs. Bakeries are encouraged to make and sell doughnuts for the charity and, in the process, entice more customers into their stores. “It’s all about having fun while raising money for a worthy cause,” says Christopher Freeman, owner of Dunn’s Bakery in Crouch End and founder of National Doughnut Week. Mr Freeman also points out that getting involved makes sound business sense for bakeries. Eye-catching point-of-sale material, which draws customers into shops, is provided free of charge from sponsor BakeMark UK. Some of the UK’s most severely disabled children receive care at the Trust. They may be disabled from birth or have become disabled as the result of an accident or serious illness, which has caused brain damage. “National Doughnut Week really helps to make a difference to the children at the Trust,” says the Trust’s corporate relations manager Oonagh Goodman. “Money from the fundraising week has made a significant contribution towards providing the most up-to-date specialist facilities and equipment.”For example, selling just 30 chocolate doughnuts will enable the Trust to buy a specialised fibre-optic lamp for one of the sensory rooms. Last year, the combined efforts of the 700 bakers who took part in the event raised £40,000 and the organisers are hoping that this year will be the best yet.Every baker who registers to take part by March 24, 2006, will receive a free 16kg bag of Craigmillar Doughnut Concentrate from BakeMark UK – enough to make more than 900 doughnuts. Bakers can also take advantage of further money-off promotions from BakeMark UK’s Craigmillar and Readi-Bake ranges to prepare for the week itself.Registration forms should already be on their way, according to Mr Freeman, but if you do not receive one, contact Christopher Freeman at [email protected] or tel: 020 8340 1614 or 07776 480032 to register, or for more information. Rachel (pictured), 14, was left with severe brain injury following a hit-and-run accident. Her courage and determination, with the help of specialist staff at The Children’s Trust, mean she has regained some speech and has started doing things for herself. She has now returned home to her family in Wales
Staff at Warburtons’ Enfield Bakery are to benefit from a new learning centre called LOAF. The Learning Opens Avenues Forever centre is designed to encourage staff to take up further education courses online. It was officially opened by MP for Enfield North Joan Ryan, accompanied by executive director Brett Warburton.The centre at the bakery on Delta Park Industrial Estate is equipped with computers, featuring broadband – donated by the Bakers Food & Allied Workers Union – and will be open to all 450 employees to use during their break times as well as days off.”Employee training and development is very important to the company, so we’re proud to open another Learning Centre, this time at Enfield,” said Warburton.Ryan added: “I’m sure it will play an important role in enabling employees to master new skills and fulfil their individual potential,” she said.
Europain, France’s big bakery show, took place from 6-10 March in Paris. As British Baker went to press, most stands were reporting good business and the aisles were busy with visitors. The show now takes place alternate years and follows on five months after IBA and two months before the Italian show, SIAB, this May, in Verona. Previously the shows took place by agreement on a three-year revolving cycle.Healthy products, easy-to-clean hygienic equipmment and ergonomic safety were to the fore. Trends included a big rise in the use of dark chocolate, which is perceived as healthier, and waffles consumed at all times of the day.Jean-Pierre Crouzet, president of the official craft bakers’ organisation, UIB, confirmed times were challenging: “We have 15 million bakery consumers per day, but on average each is spending a few less cents, so it makes cash flow more difficult.”
Celebration cake maker Jeanette Chappell has moved from her kitchen to the high street after 18 years.The Bridal Cake Shop is now in Whitchurch, Basingstoke, after Chappell completely gutted an empty building to create a viewing area upstairs, where customers can look through a portfolio, and a workshop area downstairs with four ovens where the cakes are made. She also plans to run sugarcraft lessons in the shop, in response to requests from customers.Chappell said: “It looks more professional to have a shop and it’s nice to shut the door at the end of the day. Now clients can sit and have a coffee and look through the brochures when they visit.”She makes and decorates about 50 wedding cakes a year, along with birthday and celebration cakes, and added: “A lot of cake places use packet mixes, but I make everything fresh.”The cakes have featured in various bridal magazines.
One of the UK’s largest biscuit manufacturers has changed its trading name and branding to further strengthen its position within the market.St Albans-based Burton’s Foods, now known as the Burton’s Biscuit Company, solely produces biscuit products, including Cadbury Biscuits, Jammie Dodgers, Maryland Cookies and Wagon Wheels. The company’s corporate rebrand includes a new logo, which will be incorporated into product packaging, in addition to a redesign of its website due to be completed by early 2012. It will also adopt a new strapline, ‘Making every day more of a treat’.Ben Clarke, CEO of the Burtonʼs Biscuit Company, said: “The past two years have seen progressive changes at Burtonʼs, as weʼve transformed ourselves into a successful and dynamic UK manufacturing business. The rebrand, as part of this transformation, represents not only our past achievements, but also our future ambitions as we continue to go from strength to strength.”The rebrand is all part of the company’s corporate strategy, initiated back in 2010, which looks to focus on delivering quality products, driving innovation in the biscuit category through its power brands and expanding its international presence.The company operates manufacturing sites in Blackpool, Edinburgh and Llantarnam and employs over 2,000 people.
Sainsbury’s has confirmed it has closed its concept food shop Fresh Kitchen in London, following a year-long trial.The takeaway shop, which sold everything from sandwiches, pastries and wraps to soups, curries, and salads, opened in January last year, and looked set to heat up competition in the lunchtime market. A spokesperson for Sainsbury’s said the retailer had learnt a lot from the trial, such as what the ideal footprint should be, “and we don’t want to compromise on either quality or service by staying in the Fleet Street store”.There was no seating at the store and Sainsbury’s branding was kept to a minimum, with the shop instead highlighting the fact that products were freshly prepared on-site.At the time of the launch last year, Sainsbury’s remained tight-lipped on whether the brand would be rolled out nationally or would appear in its supermarkets, although it did say “watch this space”.“While we may come back to the high street in the future with a bigger and slightly different offering, we are not going to renew the lease for the current store,” said the spokesperson. David Gray, UK retail analyst, Planet Retail, said one of the key points was that the outlet was much smaller than Sainsbury’s was used to operating. “However Sainsbury’s has said it may consider launching a slightly larger outlet in the future,” said Gray. “Location-wise, it was also quite difficult, as there was a lot of competition from well-established sandwich chains.”Gray also questioned its development of a Fresh Kitchen own-brand label, and said he personally would have used the strong Sainsbury’s brand in the outlet. “Sainsbury’s has got a very strong brand. In the past few years, especially, it has really come into its own, with the continued focus on value. It has done a fantastic job in marketing own-label products. Even with the Basics range, it has certain values behind it,” he said.On the positive side, he believed the retailer would take the insights learned from the trial and apply them elsewhere in stores, perhaps by widening its hot food offering in Sainsbury’s Local outlets.Gray added that one of the factors behind Sainsbury’s success could be its focus on food, which he thinks they will maintain. In comparison to retailers like Tesco, Sainsbury’s food/non-food ratio is much greater.>>Sainsbury’s new concept takes on takeaway market
Facebook Twitter Indiana triggers additional unemployment benefits TAGSbenefitscoronavirusCOVID-19IndianainsuranceState Department of Workforce DevelopmentunemploymentUS Department of Labor By Darrin Wright – June 17, 2020 0 695 Twitter CoronavirusIndianaLocalNews Pinterest (“Unemployment Office” by Bytemarks, CC BY 2.0) Indiana workers who qualify can now seek an additional 13 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits.The State Department of Workforce Development has qualified for extended benefits from the US Department of Labor. The 13 additional weeks are offered by the federal government during periods of high unemployment and are available to workers who have exhausted the 26 weeks of regular unemployment benefits.The additional benefits will become available on the week ending July 4th, as another federal bill continues to provide an extra $600 per week to those on unemployment. That extra money runs out on July 25th. WhatsApp Facebook WhatsApp Google+ Google+ Pinterest Previous articleBethel University’s third annual Give Back Gala set for July 17Next articleBSU: Governments to lose big money no matter what happens next Darrin Wright
WhatsApp TAGS20/20Bethel UniversitycoroanvirusCOVID-19fallplansemester Google+ Previous articleCar crashes through fence, strikes tree in Cass County WednesdayNext articleGoshen business with BLM sign has window broken out Brooklyne Beatty Twitter IndianaLocalNewsSouth Bend Market Pinterest Facebook By Brooklyne Beatty – June 18, 2020 0 365 (Photo Supplied/Bethel University) Bethel University has announced its plans for the upcoming fall semester in light of the coronavirus pandemic.For traditional students, the 2020 Fall Semester will begin two days early, on August 18, and will run, without any breaks, until Thanksgiving break.Classes will be held on Labor day, there will not be a fall break and the final exam schedule will be modified. The University also reports there will be modified class breaks for Spiritual Emphases Week services.Campus leaders are also making other modifications, and preparations, ahead of the upcoming semester. This includes installing live-stream technology in many classrooms, so that in case of quarantine, students can keep up-to-date on school work. Several housing locations are being prepped for potential quarantine lodging, and mental health counseling will be offered to ease student anxiety.To learn more, visit BethelUniversity.edu/StrongerTogether. Pinterest Twitter Google+ WhatsApp Facebook Bethel University announces plans for upcoming fall semester
By Jon Zimney – July 23, 2020 1 418 Pinterest (Photo supplied/ABC 57) One person was taken to Memorial Hospital after a shooting in South Bend.Police were called to the area of Linden and O’Brien Streets around 8:10 p.m. on Wednesday, July 22.There was no immediate word of any suspects, arrests, or the circumstances that led to the shooting.The victim was last listed in critical but stable condition. IndianaLocalNews One person injured in shooting at Linden & O’Brien Streets in South Bend Google+ WhatsApp Facebook Pinterest Facebook Twitter Previous articleMore details on Indianapolis 500 COVID-19 safety rulesNext articleSouth Bend police warn of real estate scam Jon ZimneyJon Zimney is the News and Programming Director for News/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel and host of the Fries With That podcast. Follow him on Twitter @jzimney. WhatsApp Google+ Twitter