News briefs: Archer Farms, Canada Bread and Flower Foods

By Charlotte Eyre

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Trans fats, Nutrition

In bakery news from the other side of the Atlantic, Archer Farms
removes trans fats, Canada bread acquires a Quebecoise sandwich
firm, and Flower Foods buys one of its production sites back from
Schwan.

Archer goes trans fat free across portfolio ​US premium bakery firm Archer Farms said it has eliminated trans fats from all its products. Trans fat is a form of unsaturated fat produced when liquid vegetable oils are turned into solid fats through the process of hydrogenation, and has been linked to health problems such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer. The company said it made the move over rising consumer concern over the fat. "Removing added trans fat has quickly become a priority among the health community and for good reason,"​ said company spokesperson Susan Mitchell. "Regardless of age or gender, consuming food products with added trans fats presents a host of long-term health concerns."​ Most bakery and snack companies in the US have already removed trans fats from all products, as a law requiring trans fats to be labelled on all foods was passed in 2006. As well as bringing trans fats into the public eye, the new regulations resulted in a huge reformulation effort throughout the industry. However, most of these firms, including Archer Farms, have reformulated their products so they come under the 'zero grams added trans fat' label. This has come under fire from various nutritional groups, because the product may contain trans fats as long as the amount is less than 0.5 grams per serving. CanadaBread acquiresQuebecsandwich firm ​Canada bread has agreed to acquire Aliments Martel, a privately-owned Quebecoise sandwich manufacturer, for $42m, the company announced yesterday. The acquisition will allow the company to strengthen its position in the Canadian market, as Martel currently supplies sandwiches to retail outlets across three states, said Canada Bread chief executive officer Richard Lan. "This acquisition also reinforces our strategy of accelerating top-line growth through diversification into other high growth, valued-added categories,"​ he said. "Expansion in the sandwich market is a major part of this strategy and Martel brings to our company a highly efficient manufacturing base, strong distribution capability, geographic reach, and expertise in this growth segment of the market." ​The company also has a foothold in the UK premium market, as last year it acquired the London-based artisan bread maker La Fornaia. A recent report by Datamonitor said artisan bread and rolls accounted for 51.9 per cent of the global bread market, which is set to increase by 12.6 per cent to $128.6bn by 2011. Flower Foods buys its original bakery back ​In an unusual financial move, US bakery company Flower Foods has bought a Georgia-based manufacturing facility back from the Schwan Food Company. Flower Foods chief executive officer George Deese said that the company had simply changed its mind over the future of the site. "When we sold the Suwanee facility to Schwan, our plan was to operate the bakery as long as possible and then move the equipment to another facility,"​ he said. "Reacquiring the building allows us to keep production running without interruption, provides us with operational certainty regarding future production, and creates opportunities for expansion of the existing bakery to accommodate additional volume."

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