Associated British Foods (ABF) said the proportion of its profits earned by its UK-based operations now accounted for less than half of the total, compared to almost three-quarters at the turn of the century.Speaking at the firm’s AGM, chairman Martin Adamson (pictured) told shareholders that the business was now spread widely across the Americas, Asia/Pacific and Europe, the Middle East and Africa and ABF was well-placed to develop its businesses in all these regions. Two-thirds of production was outside Europe and that part had good growth prospects, based as it is in countries with rising rates of consumption, he said.Results for the past year had continued to be affected by sugar regime reform in Europe, together with adverse impacts of currency changes on overseas profits and losses in its UK bakery business, he added. The previous year had laid the foundations for strong, sustainable growth in the year ahead, he said.Some 85,000 people now work for the ABF group worldwide.
Coca-Cola Great Britain has launched a media portal – the Diet Coke Silver Room, in a bid to appeal to a new generation of diet coke drinkers.Developed by mobile specialist agency Marvellous, it will enable people to text SILVER to 82233 in order to receive celebrity gossip, plus the best in fashion, music, film, green issues, games and unique member offers.Cathryn Sleight, marketing director for Coca-Cola Great Britain, explained: “We’ve been looking at ways to create a fresh dialogue with the next generation of Diet Coke drinkers.We feel the Diet Coke Silver Room, integrated with our ongoing loyalty programme ’Coke Zone’, is the perfect platform to offer younger, tech-savvy consumers a truly unique combination of great content and access to amazing rewards.”www. coca-cola.com
ADM Milling is offering a spring promotion on its Harvester flour, as well as updating its logo and marketing material. Customers will be able to purchase 13 bags of Harvester flour for the price of 12.ADM also has a loyalty card available. Customers who purchase a bakers’s dozen can collect stamps for the chance to win prizes, including vouchers and an Apple iPod shuffle. ADM will give you two free stamps when you place your first order. ADM’s local sales managers can provide ADM Harvester Baker’s Dozen Loyalty Cards and, once bakers have bought the required number of bags of Harvester flour, they can contact ADM’s customer services division for a unique reference number or “stamp”.ADM is also offering free marketing support and a range of point-of-sale material. The offer runs from 16 March to 12 June.www.adm.com
Costa Coffee’s sales have continued to increase, but meal deals may soon be on the menu as like-for-like growth slows.The company has said it will be developing its food offering with, for example, lunchtime meal deals such as a panini and a cappuccino for £4.95. It will also continue to capitalise on independent research carried out earlier in the year, which revealed that seven out of 10 people prefered Costa cappuccinos to its competitors, with “an aggressive marketing campaign” throughout the year. Total sales growth was up 22% to £263.8m according to parent company Whitbread’s premlininary results for the year to 26 February, 2009. However, like-for-growth rose at a slower rate of 2%, compared to 3.7% reported for the first half of the 2008/09 year. Operating profit stood at £22.7m – up 9.1%.The coffee chain has achieved net new openings of 296; 110 of which are overseas. As reported in British Baker last month, the chain plans to open another 100 outlets in the UK in 2009/10, and said it would focus on new locations, as well as areas where it could replace existing operators in, for example, supermarkets and hospitals.
Sainsbury’s 400 in-store bakeries are now using 100% British flour, sourced with the help of farming co-operative Camgrain, announced the supermarket. Following work with Camgrain on converting its flour, the switch has been completed a year ahead of Sainsbury’s target.It is now the only supermarket to source all its flour for its in-store bakeries from UK farms, offering full traceability. Beginning its work with Camgrain last year, the supermarket has now extended its contract with the co-operative until 2011. “Providing customers with freshly baked bread throughout the day, using quality ingredients, is at the core of our in-store bakeries,” said Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King. “The provenance of those ingredients is a key issue for us and our customers, and in completing our conversion to 100% British flour we’re able to establish an efficient and traceable UK food chain, which underpins our commitment to British farmers.”Camgrain has just opened a new grain storage and drying facility near Cambridge, which was planned for 2012, but increased demand pushed the completion date forward.
Martin Lightbody has stepped down as chief executive of Finsbury Foods, with immediate effect, as the Group announces an improved second half performance in its full-year results.Lightbody will be replaced by chief operating officer John Duffy and will assume the position of non-executive chairman following the firm’s Annual General Meeting on 25 November.Lightbody told British Baker it had always been the plan to hold the position of chief executive for a 12-month period, following the departure of former CEO Dave Brooks last year, but said that he would still be “heavily involved with the business” in his new role.Finsbury’s results for the 53 weeks to 4 July 2009 revealed revenue growth of 8%, with like-for-like sales up 2%. However, it said profits had suffered with the high cost of raw materials such as eggs, chocolate and sugar.Group revenue stood at £178.9 million (52 week period to 28 June 2008: £165.1m), an increase of £13.8 million (8.4%) year-on-year. Adjusted profit before tax was £5.0m (2008: £7.7m).However the firm announced a 78% “improvement” in adjusted profit before tax in the second half of the year, compared to the first.Its bread and ‘free from’ division saw like-for-like growth up 14%, and larger cake sales continued to grow in line with the overall ambient cake market, up 2% on last year.Finsbury has seen sales of its Thorntons branded cakes rocket by over 70% during the year, making it the fastest-growing brand in the cake market, according to the firm. Sales of its WeightWatchers branded cakes also rose, up 25%.Duffy has assisted Lightbody since September 2008, and has held previous positions at WT Foods, Noon Products Ltd, Golden Wonder and Mars.To read the full story see the next issue of British Baker, out 9 October.
Finsbury Food Group has reported an 11% decline in cake sales in the first eight weeks of 2010, as consumers continue to trade down.In its interim results for the 26 weeks to 2 January, 2010, the country’s second-largest cake producer reported an 8% fall in like-for-like cake sales to £65.3m, with an 11% decline in the follo-wing eight weeks. The company blamed the downturn on changes in shopping habits caused by the recession, with consumers trading down from Finsbury’s premium cakes to cheaper alternatives and taking advantage of supermarket promotions.However, chief executive John Duffy told BB he was confident the market for own-label value-added cakes would bounce back in the second half of the year.”There hasn’t been a lot of activity at the premium end of the market in the past year, but the expectation is that most of [the supermarkets] are planning to do something around their premium cake ranges,” he said. “When we get back into a more normal economic period, I’m sure we can introduce more value into the category. After a recession, people do come back [to premium products].”In preparation for the predicted turnaround, Finsbury has improved efficiency across the whole company in the past six months, opening a new Scottish distribution centre for cakes, investing in a £2m free-from bread line and integrating production of Goswells’ branded breads at its Nicholas & Harris bakery.It has also undertaken consumer research to help with new product development and appointed a new technical director and marketing team.Group revenue at Finsbury for the second half of last year was £82.9m, a fall of 7% (£6.2m) on the previous year, while profit before tax was flat, at £1.8m. Sales in its bread and free-from division rose by 14% to £17.6m.
n Data from research company him!, based on interviews with consumers leaving outlets, show that hot food shoppers have a low visit frequency, but buy more products and spend more each trip.Retailers would be well-advised to increase visit frequency with methods such as offering daily specials to grow hot food sales, says the company. There are other areas retailers can look at to improve food-to-go sales, such as linking breakfast and lunch. Between the hours of 7am and 10am, over a third of sandwich shoppers are in the outlet to buy breakfast, but over half are there to buy lunch. Breakfast and lunch combo meal deals could boost sales.The tables below give a good indication of the types of savoury food products typically bought in coffee shops, sandwich bars and high street bakeries, benchmarked against the food-to-go average (which includes convenience stores, forecourts and other retail outlets).
An employer has recently been in the headlines after its Eastern European staff were instructed to speak only English when addressing their work colleagues during working hours. Although they were allowed to speak their native language during breaks, the employees felt that this was discriminatory. The reasoning behind this ruling was to ensure health and safety rules were followed by all staff.We do not think this particular situation has been tested at tribunal yet; arguments to date have centred on how to overcome language barriers when delivering health and safety training. To defend such a claim, the employer would need to be able to show that such provision, criterion or practice, which discriminates indirectly against non-native English speakers, can be objectively justified.Depending on specific circumstances, it may be possible to use health and safety law to your advantage for example, the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 requires employers to take reasonable steps to provide and maintain a safe system of work. In practice, this will vary depending on the workplace and the composition of its workforce. But it is these factors that will determine whether or not an English-only requirement on health and safety grounds is acceptable.An employer can also take into account the exact number of languages that are spoken by its employees. The greater the number, the stronger the case for insisting that English is the only language spoken while the employees are actually working; it is simply not viable to have several languages spoken, particularly where day-to-day instructions are given in English. This reasoning will also apply to low-risk environments.The NAMB has a number of Health & Safety ’a guide for workers’ leaflets in most languages. Members can obtain any of these sheets by calling 01920 468061.
Google+ Google+ Facebook Previous articleGov. Holcomb signs order to speed delivery of goods to storesNext articleLatest word about coronavirus cases from Indiana State Department of Health 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. Twitter WhatsApp Pinterest Twitter Mayor Mueller send questions to special prosecutor in charge of Eric Logan shooting Pinterest WhatsApp By Jon Zimney – March 14, 2020 2 342 (Photo supplied/ St. Joseph County Jail) South Bend Mayor James Mueller has submitted questions to the special prosecutor in charge of the Eric Logan investigation.The mayor says he wants the prosecutor to clarify some points and release evidence from the case, including having the prosecutor clarify how he determined former Officer O’Neill was justified in using deadly force.In addition, he asks Special Prosecutor Ric Hertel to release evidence he used to come to his determination no charges should be filed against former officer Ryan O’Neill.The questions come after a heated meeting, when Mayor Mueller met with the public late last week regarding the decision not to purdue criminal charges against former officer O’Neill.The meeting started with messages of support from city officials to Logan’s family, included an opening statement from the mayor, and then they took questions; which is where things got emotional.Most of the questions revolved around a desire to know exactly what evidence the special prosecutor found to exonerate O’Neill of any wrongdoing.Mueller said he is working a special request to make the evidence findings public, but not nod guarantee that he could get it released. IndianaLocalNews Facebook