News briefs: Patisserie acquisition, job cuts and whole grain white bread

By Karen Willmer

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Whole grain Bread

A round-up of bakery stories from around the world; acquisitions,
job cuts, whole-grains and funny smells...

Retail Food Group acquires Michel's Patisserie ​In Australia this week, Retail Food Group (RFG) announced its acquisition of cake specialist Michel's Patisserie. Michel's Patisserie has 346 franchised stores across Australia and New Zealand, selling cakes, coffee and patisserie. RFG recently acquitted 321 Brumby's Bakeries stores, giving the company a total of over 1,020 stores. This forms part of its expansions and acquisition strategies outlined in its May 2006 prospectus, RFG said this week. The company said the Michel's Patisserie acquisition makes RFG one of the largest retail food franchisors in Australia. "As with the recent Brumby's acquisition, the Michel's system will fit both strategically and synergistically with out Donut King and bb's café systems,"​ said RFG chief executive officer Tony Alford. Fletchers Bakery job cuts ​UK's Fletchers Bakeries will cut 200 jobs at its Sheffield factory following further price pressures for the bakery industry, according to Flexnews this week. The company said the job cuts are due to the rising price of raw material prices and so higher costs, a falling market share, and on the fire that hit the plant in July 2006, the report said. It also claimed Fletchers Bakeries are looking to reduce working hours at the plant, and is in a 90-day consultation period to discuss the decision. Fletchers Bakeries was part of Northern Foods, until the company sold its speciality bakery products business to Vision Capital in November 2006. Pepperidge Farm's new white whole-grains​ US based Pepperidge Farm, acquired by Campbell Soup Company in 1961, has launched three varieties of whole grain white bread in order to take advantage of the growing demand for whole grains. "We're so pleased to be able to satisfy consumers' demand for nutritious whole grains in out popular, premium quality Pepperidge Farm breads,"​ said Ruthann Walsh, the company's business director. Pepperidge Farms said the breads have whole wheat as the first ingredient, with 51 per cent whole-wheat flour, and 11 to 14 grams of whole grains in each serving, while still tasting like white bread. The benefits of wholegrain products are already widely known, including a study from Harvard University earlier this year that said a bowl of wholegrain cereal every day could reduce the risk of heart failure by 27 per cent. "With the addition of these varieties, Pepperidge Farm now offers eight whole grain white products including sandwich bread, hot dog and hamburger buns, and bagels - the broadest range of whole grain white products of any major bakery brand,"​ the company said. And finally… what's that smell? ​A bakery shop in Taiwan has been fined NT$100,000 (€2170) by a local environmental protection authority due to the smells from the factory, according to local news reports. Local residents complained of foul smelling odours coming from the bakery, prompting the authority's intervention. The shop's baker said he thought the bread's smell would attract customer, according to the report.

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