After nearly 12 years in charge, John Buckley has sold the Lake District-based Bryson’s bakery to Debra Travis, a former accountant and financial director.Bryson’s, which was set up some 50 years ago, has its main shop and bakery in Keswick and a second shop in Cockermouth. It supplies its own outlets and wholesalers, as well as local Asda stores. It makes breads, cakes, pies and biscuits, including fruitcake, Lakeland plum bread and chocolate Florentines.Buckley said the sale, for an undisclosed sum, would not cause job losses among the staff of about 60. Travis has taken on a general manager who started at Bryson’s this week, he added.”I need something a little bit new and a little bit different to spark me,” said Buckley, who will remain at the business for a couple of months to hand over.He said that running a bakery was tough but worthwhile. “I can honestly say it’s more than just a job. It’s been a passion.”
Even though the cost of key raw materials, including flour, dairy and vegetable oil products, is rising at phenomenal rates, several of the supermarkets are in the midst of a price war.Last month, Tesco launched a £4 million advertising campaign, boasting about its low prices and Asda announced £250m of price cuts, including Warburtons’ Sliced Rolls 12-pack, which went from £1.25 to £1.Asda’s economists compared the price of 26 everyday groceries. In 1997, these cost £29.39, dropping to £29.10 in 2007, it said. Meanwhile, one supplier to the major retailers has reported that a pack of its doughnuts was selling at 75p in the 1980s, but today, the same products sell at 65p.This may be good news for the customer, but suppliers say they are under mounting pressure as the costs of raw materials rise at alarming rates, and they are calling on the multiples to agree to price rises.The price picture is grim. Many suppliers report that ingredients costs have shot up – with, for example, soft fruit prices up 150% year-on-year and cream prices up 30%.Gluten and yeast prices have also seen double-digit percentage growth. Pea and potato harvests were down this year due to the wet weather in July. And according to the National Association of British and Irish Millers (nabim) figures, the price of breadmaking wheat has almost doubled over the last 12 months, reaching record levels. On top of that, the UK harvest is about 10% smaller than anticipated, said Alex Waugh, director-general.Animal feed has also seen almost a 100% rise over the past few months, so bakers who use meat in products, such as pig meat, are facing additional increases. Stewart Houston of the British Pig Executive (BPEX) has estimated that farmers are losing £22 a pig due to price hikes in animal feed.He said: “I have already spoken to senior executives from the major retailers and I will visit them to make sure they have a full understanding of just? how serious this situation is and str?e?ss the need for immediate action. Something needs to be done in days, not weeks.”Ron Middleton, sales director of Meadow Foods, which supplies products such as butter, cream and milk powders, said the unprecedented dairy prices had “taken everyone by surprise”, particularly the pace and extent at which they had shot up. Milk had already gone up from 18p to 25p a litre over the past few months, he said, adding, “Who knows how much higher this will go? Some suppliers have hit a brick wall when it comes to asking retailers to increase their prices. The retailers are going to have to take their heads out of the sand.”Over the second half of 2006, butter prices rose to £1,800 a tonne and they currently stand at record levels – £3,500 a tonne.Feed accounts for over 50% of the cost of raising a hen, so soaring wheat prices have seen egg prices balloon. “The price of feed is driving huge, huge problems for us,” said Clive Frampton, chairman of the British Egg Products Association. “There is an awful lot of work going on to tell customers that prices are rising; bakers are pressurised by retailers so they’re not keen to take price increases. But I think they understand they have to – British farmers won’t continue to produce eggs at a loss.”Even worse, many suppliers predict that the crisis has yet to peak and, in the run-up to the crucial Christmas period, Frampton says: “Prices are moving quite quickly at the moment. Every indication is that feed prices are going to remain firm and probably increase.”Gary Norcott, commercial director of Staple Dairy Products, said: “We are more worried about the availability of butter rather than its cost. As we progress further into the trough of production, processors are reluctant to offer forward prices past one month, for fear of not having the milk available.”Adding to the problem are issues such as growing demand in China and India for dairy products and drought in Australia, as well as higher demand for cheese and small milk production in the EU.Said nabim’s Waugh: “At the moment, apart from price, the main problem faced by the milling sector is availability.” He added: “If businesses do not put up their prices and soon, I will not be surprised if there are casualties.”The Greencore Group, which supplies products, including cakes and sandwiches, to major retailers, also called for price increases. Jonathan Grant-Nicholas, group communications director, said it was dealing with the price increases by maximising efficiency and had recently appointed a group purchasing and supply chain director. He said: “It is only natural that the supermarkets would want to keep their prices down as much as possible. But there is no doubt that these unprecedented commodity increases should be fed through to the consumer.””There is a commodities crisis upon us and there aren’t any hiding places,” said Guy Hall, strategy and marketing director of bakery firm Maple Leaf UK.So with all these pressures on suppliers, are the major supermarkets showing any signs of pity by easing up their prices? Many of the multiples and major retailers say they are willing to accept that inevitable price increases are on the horizon. “As with any product, if the cost of bakery goods goes up, then retail prices will reflect this,” said a spokesperson for Tesco. “That said, we will always work hard to ensure prices are kept as low as possible for the consumer.”Michael Hanley, bakery buyer for Asda, commented: “As far as Asda is concerned, we have an excellent working relationship with our suppliers and, as with any raw material price increases, we will work with them to minimise the impact on product cost and retail price.”Now that the national press has picked up on the rising commodity prices, highlighting the problem in the public domain, “the consumer is aware and thus can apply logic to purchasing decisions at the point of sale”, added Hanley.Shaun Walsh, category trading manager for bakery at The Co-operative Group said the retailer was working closely with its key bakery partners to “ensure that we accommodate these issues in such a way that we minimise any impact for all the stakeholders involved”. He added: “We recognise that there are unprecedented levels of cost pressures within the bread market.”But with one industry source estimating that 14p needs to be added to a loaf of bread, just to cover raw material costs, the supermarkets will need to take a really deep breath. —-=== COMMODITIES ===Prices for breadmaking wheat have almost doubled over the last 12 months, to £200 per tonneRecent milk auctions in Northern Ireland were (average prices/litre) 26p in June, 30p in July and 34p in August, a trend which GB farmers are trying to replicateMilk powder in 2006 was £1,500. Now it is £2,700-£2,800 per tonneOver the second half of 2006, butter prices rose to £1,800 a tonne; they currently stand at record levels – £3,500 a tonne.Cream generally keeps track with the butter prices, although lags behind, or in front, from time to time. Current bulk prices are over £1.50/kgAccording to the Association of Bakery Ingredients Manufacturers, over the last six to 12 months: starches are up 30%; wheat starch is up 45%; dextrose is up 30%; lactose is up 100%; whey is up 100%; and rape seed oil, palm oil and sunflower oil are up 30%
The British climate is particularly good for growing gooseberries and the season starts midway through June, with the small green berries being available first. These are very tart and need to be stewed or cooked with sugar.Towards the end of the season, the yellow, golden or red dessert gooseberries appear, which are slightly softer and sweeter. Gooseberries are indigenous to the cooler areas of Europe and Asia.They became particularly popular in Britain in the 19th century and were made into wines, puddings, pies and jams. Amateur gooseberry clubs, started by Lancashire weavers, thrived in the north of England and spread to the Midlands. Competitions were held for the biggest and best and, around this time, many new varieties were cultivated.In baking, gooseberries can be used in cakes in the same way apple purée is used. They are fantastic in tarts, crumbles or cobblers, either on their own or mixed with apples or strawberries or flavoured with ginger or elderflower for example.They can be used in baked or steamed puddings, instead of treacle, but for a taste of summer make a meringue pie using a filling of puréed sweetened gooseberries instead of lemon.In season: mid-June to mid-AugustFiona Burrell, co-author of Leiths Baking Bible, from the world-famous Leiths School of Food and Wine
H alloween is traditionally about dressing up in ridiculously unscary costumes, the implied necessity for everyone – well every child – to be out roaming the streets at night, trick or treating and getting someone else in the family to buy and carve a pumpkin. However it is also emerging as an increasingly profitable event for the bakery sector.For Finsbury Foods, Halloween is rapidly becoming the second most important event of the year – after Christmas – and it will be supplying products to most of the major UK multiples as own-label or surrogate own-label.”The reason for Halloween’s increasing importance is that it is a party opportunity for children – so the company’s focus has been to produce centrepiece cakes. But now increasingly we are supplementing these with spookily themed bite-size products, which meet the growing market trends of portion control and miniaturisation – as well as providing a useful option for trick and treating,” says Phil Batchelor, head of the commercial team at Finsbury Foods. He explains that Finsbury has also moved towards a large traybake style, as these types of products provide value for money and lend themselves to far better, and easier, portionality.Food ingredients manufacturer Macphie also understands the importance of Halloween as a growing market. “With the UK Halloween market growing by a staggering 25% year-on-year, many bakeries find that this is their strongest time of the year for novelty lines – even though it has a much shorter selling period than Christmas,” says Macphie’s technical baker, Steve McCann. “Halloween sales might stretch to a couple of weeks, compared with eight to 12 weeks for Christmas. But Halloween has a strong visual identity and most bakers enjoy the opportunity to come up with fun ideas to brighten up their shop windows.”Halloween has also opened up other opportunities for craft bakers. Paul Barker, owner of Cinnamon Square, runs themed kids cookie decorating and baking workshops. “We use pumpkin-shaped cookies for the kids to decorate. We also give them orange fudge and black icing to use on the biscuits,” explains Barker. For the baking workshop, “we decorate the ’Makery’ with spiders and webbing, for example. They make scary pizzas, blood red jam tarts and green custard.”Bill Donnelly, managing director of Cake Decor, also believes that events like Halloween are all about cakes for kids. “We commissioned a focus group, which found that kids’ favourite cakes are the ones they decorate themselves,” explains Donnelly. “The trend seen everywhere, especially supermarkets, is make-your-own kits, which is something we’re now working with craft bakers on. It’s all about colour – whether it’s icings or decorations – and the most popular colours are orange, black and purple.”In terms of how craft bakers can capitalise on this market, Donnelly suggests bakers take an all-year product, for example cupcakes, and add a couple of components – for example using tubes of icing or pumpkin and bat motifs to make the product seasonal. “Halloween is a growing trend in the UK and one that craft bakers should latch on to,” he urges.—-=== Ghoulishly creative ===== Ideas for Halloween ==by Fiona Burrell, BB’s Seasonal Seller columnistWhen we think of Halloween, we picture pumpkin lanterns with spooky faces and people dressing up to go “trick or treating”. Yet baked goods can be given the Halloween treatment by either making them into special shapes or using ghoulish names. For example, using a basic biscuit recipe, biscuits can be cut out to the shape of ’The Scream’. Ice them with white glace icing and pipe on coloured icing for the eyes and mouth.Make witches’ fingers from a cheesy choux mixture, piped out on to baking trays with an almond on the end. Once baked, paint the almond with egg wash and dip in paprika before putting back in the oven for a couple of minutes to make bloody fingernails.Filo pastry ghosts can be filled with a spicy apple and dried apricot filling and then pulled together into a sack, which will form the head, the rest of the pastry can form the eerie body. Make cones out of foil to sit them on in the oven and, when cooked, dust with icing sugar and use melted chocolate to pipe on the eyes and mouth.If you want to extend the theme, make soups such as pumpkin and apple, spiced tomato and red pepper or spinach and call them names such as Witches’ Brew, Devil’s Blood or Swamp Special Sandwiches can be made with a variety of breads, including pumpkin bread and filled with fillings such as cream cheese, pumpkin seeds and salad or Brie and grapes.== Renshaw: Regalice Sugarpaste ==[http://www.renshawscott.co.uk]Premium ingredients manufacturer Renshaw has a number of products suitable for creating Halloween toppings, such as its Regalice sugarpaste. “Regalice is the perfect product to add a little magic to your Halloween products,” says Renshaw’s marketing manager, Diane Lunt. “We have a fabulous deep Atlantic blue colour, which can be used with our Celebration Regalice to create a spooky nighttime scene. Team this with our range of yellow, black and orange Regalice and you can have fun making cup cakes and biscuits come alive with pumpkins and cats, witches and bats!”== British Sugar: Icecraft Sugarpaste ==[http://www.britishsugar.co.uk]British Sugar’s newest product, Icecraft Sugarpaste, is great for quickly sculpting and modelling Halloween monsters and can be easily coloured and shaped, says Sue Callaghan, British Sugar’s technical manager.”Celebration fondant icing from British Sugar is perfect for Halloween cakes, whether you require buttercream or glossy fondant icing. This finely milled icing sugar, with an average particle size of 11 microns, half that of other milled sugars, gives ready-to-use fondant in just 10 minutes – far quicker than traditional icing sugar.”== Macphie: Genoese Cake mixes and Mississippi Muffin/Cake mixes ==[http://www.macphie.com]Macphie offers a number of cake mixes that can form the basis for devilishly decorated products. Its Mississippi Muffin/Cake mixes or concentrates have been designed for muffins, traybakes and loaf cakes and are available in plain, chocolate and toffee varieties.”Bakers can produce simple eye-catching ideas for Halloween,” says Macphie’s technical baker Steve McCann. “Macphie Genoese Cake mixes are suitable for unfruited sheets, cake bases and cupcakes. They bake with a flat, even surface, which is a perfect blank canvas for decorating.”He suggests using 5th Avenue icings, sugar plaques or children’s sweets for the finishing touches.== FoodLinks: toppings & decorations ==[http://www.foodlinksworld.com]Food decoration company FoodLinks offers a range of toppings and decorations for Halloween bakery goods. Among the edible items are assorted ghoulish sugarpaste characters, bakeable bat wafers, bat and pumpkin sprinkles, and Belgian chocolate pumpkins. FoodLinks also offers a range of plastic decorations, from green zombie hands to ghost and skeleton picks.”Halloween has become one of the best features in the cake calendar,” says Glen Winterflood, FoodLinks’ managing director. “One of the most popular products in the bakery is the baker’s friend – the gingerbread man. With our four creepy characters you can make your man suitably scary! Great for the children, these will add colour and interest to your range.”According to FoodLinks, rings have become a popular choice for decorating cupcakes, which it sells in luminous glow-in-the-dark versions.
== Jo Fairley is co-owner of Judges organic bakery and grocery in Hastings and co-founded Green & Black’s chocolate firm with hubby Craig Sams ==The biggest threat to the small, independent British baker isn’t the credit crunch (bread is such an affordable food, kilo-per-kilo – and so filling). It’s not even the soar-away price of wheat. No: it’s the determination of local councils up and down the country to make it almost impossible for anyone to access a high street where they might buy bread – forcing bread-lovers, instead, into the arms of the supermarket bakeries.In my own home town of Hastings, where my Judges Bakery is sited, the local council has damaged trade not only in our shop, but the whole high street. In an insane step, earlier this year, 40 new residents’ parking spaces were created on our higgledy-piggledy streets – all of which were either converted from precious paid-for spaces or from free-for-two-hours parking spaces accessible by out-of-towners. The result? We had endless panicked customers dashing in, motors running on the street outside, to tell us that they wouldn’t be able to shop with us any more: there simply wasn’t anywhere to park.In addition, the council extended the paid parking hours from 6pm to 8pm. The pubs are dead. So are the restaurants. And we’ve lost those valuable customers who would nip in on their way home to pick up some bread – and some of the other lines we sell – for dinner. When I’ve talked to other bakeries, I’ve discovered that it’s the same story, up and down the country. Short-term greed on the part of councils to bring in extra parking money has, instead, driven drivers elsewhere.Now, when I bleated about this in our Judges newsletter – which goes out to 1,000 homes every month – I got hammered by some local residents, who said I shouldn’t be encouraging car use. And I don’t. Wouldn’t we all love to see a situation where everyone could walk to do their shopping? But the simple truth is that the customers who drove to us didn’t just nip here from up the road – they motored in from the outlying villages and towns, where there are no longer bakers, butchers and candlestick makers. They had a choice: to drive to our town and frequent small, local traders like us, or to head for an out-of-town supermarket, and fill their trolleys there. And guess what? Parking is free at supermarkets – and accessible, often with thousands of spaces there for the taking.So is it any wonder that the vast majority of bread in this country is now made by a handful of large companies and trucked across the land, either as finished or par-baked loaves?If this country’s councils really want to deliver on their pledge to support local businesses, such as bakeries (and green-grocers and hardware stores, come to that), they need to walk their talk. And they need to be realistic about the fact that, like it or not – and from an eco point of view, I don’t – we live in the age of the motor car.
== Finsbury increase ==Finsbury Food Group has released its Annual Report 2008. It states the first 10 weeks of the year to June 2008, have seen its upward sales trend continuing. Like-for-like sales have grown 13% and adjusted profit before tax increased by 68% to £7.7m, compared to £4.6m in 2007.== Carr’s profits up ==Carr’s Flour Mills’ unaudited full-year results to 30 August, 2008 reveal that operating profit has increased by 77% to £2m, with revenue up 50% to £85.6m. The increased revenue reflected the rise in wheat prices that started in late summer 2007 and continued until virtually the end of the financial year. Its operating margin increased to 2.3% (2007: 1.9%). MD Duncan Monroe said: “After a very poor previous year, operating profit has recovered.”== Coffee bean champ ==Sara Lee is to increase its commitment to using sustainable coffee by purchasing 26,500 tonnes of certified coffee beans in 2009. This figure would be approximately 30% more than in 2008.== Bakkavör rise ==Food manufacturing company, Bakkavör Group, has released its third-quarter trading results. Turnover has increased 10% in the first nine months to £1.2bn. However operating profit stands at £54.7m in the first nine months – a fall of 37% on the same 2007 period.== Enriched bread ==Bread, enriched with Vitamin A will soon be available in the Philippines in Cagayan de Oro City. Ruben’s Bakery has entered into an agreement with the Food and Nutrition Research Insitute to start using squash purée as a partial wheat subsitute for making pandesal and other forms of bread.
S-l-o-w-l-y, there are changes afoot in the baking world. And when I say s-l-o-w, that’s exactly what I mean. Ever since the Chorleywood process (or ’no time dough method’) was developed in 1961, bread-baking has been revolutionised, dramatically speeding up a process which had existed for millennia. Suddenly, a raft of new ingredients began to be added to a product that used to be created almost alchemically, using simple flour, yeast, salt and water: ingredients such as E481 (sodium stearoyl-2-lactylate), E472e (mono- and diacetyl tartaric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids), E920 (l-cysteine), E282 (calcium propionate), E220 (potassium sorbate), E300 (ascorbic acid), E260 (acetic acid) soya flour, vegetable fat and dextrose, enzymes and I could go on. However, as bakers well know, many of those hidden processing ingredients do not have to be declared on the label.But now, there’s a move to slow it all down again and to return to transparency, as well as simplicity through a Real Bread Campaign, under the umbrella of the environmental group Sustain. (For a while, it looked like there were to be two similar campaigns running simultaneously, with the UK arm of Slow Food launching a crust-thrust of their own but the two have now joined forces, with Slow Food giving Real Bread its not inconsiderable support.) The campaign is now celebrating having secured funding from the Big Lottery Fund’s Local Food Scheme.As well as pointing bread-lovers in the direction of traditionally-created loaves, there’s even ’direct action’ suggested by the campaign: activists can download ’warning’ stickers from the internet to peel off and apply to loaves in supermarkets/convenience stores, declaring: ’This ’bread’ may be made using the following: L-cysteine, fungal amylase, hemicellulase, phos-pholipase, peptidase, xylanase, protease and a whole cocktail of other hidden enzymes’, and inviting ’unsuspecting’ bread-lovers to join up. It’s impossible to know exactly how many stickers have been downloaded, but the simple truth is that the Real Bread campaign taps into a growing desire for food to be local (ideally, ’gold-standard’ real bread will be made with 20% local flour) and without unnecessary additives.At my own business, Judges Bakery (in Hastings), we use ’overnight’ doughs anywhere from 18-24 hours, allowing loaves to rise almost at their leisure with flour, water, salt, and that’s just about it. (And in the case of the sourdoughs, without any yeasts other than the natural variety picked up from the very air itself). Our bread attracts customers from far and wide which is a slight ’food miles’ niggle for us, but we can just about live with it. It’s almost certainly completely impractical for the entire industry to return to pre-Chorleywood days. But many customers hanker after bread ’like it used to be’ with the enhanced flavour, texture and keeping power that only time, rather than additives, can deliver. Judging from the Real Bread Campaign’s success, a growing number of bread-heads are waking up to the differences between ’real’ bread and the factory type. And, if you ask me, about time too
Bakery is expected to be at the cutting edge of the Fairtrade movement this year, as products made with multiple Fairtrade ingredients take centre stage.So-called ’composite’ products, such as baked goods and confectionery, which use more than one Fairtrade ingredient, represent the next stage in the evolution of the brand in the UK. That’s according to Richard Anstead, head of product management (grocery) at the Fairtrade Foundation, speaking ahead of Fairtrade Fortnight from 22 February to 7 March.”Bakery is a key focus for us going forward. We are reaching a tipping point where Fairtrade bakery products are poised to take off in 2010,” he said. “Pioneers such as Kate’s Cakes and The Handmade Bakery Group have led the way, as have KitKat and Dairy Milk in confectionery. They have proved that it is possible to switch to Fairtrade on a large scale. Consumers buying Fairtrade tea and coffee in coffee shops are the same as those who want to buy Fairtrade bakery goods.”Although Fairtrade bakery products have been launched in recent years, they have yet to cross over to the mainstream due to ingredient supply challenges, he said.”The bakery sector has not grown faster because the supply capacity of Fairtrade ingredients was not adequate, but availability of Fairtrade cocoa and sugar is now at an all-time high at an industrial level, and dried fruit and nuts are developing rapidly,” said Anstead. “Development has also been restrained by limits to our resources, but we have recently expanded the team dealing with composite products. There’s a fantastic opportunity there for bakery companies.”
Road-users will soon find it easier to pick up a coffee and a pastry after Starbucks revealed plans to open nearly 60 new outlets at motorway service stations and petrol forecourts.The company, which has 661 outlets in the UK, has signed a licensing deal with forecourt operator Euro Garages to open 30 new-concept ’drive-through’ coffee shops by 2013. The coffee chain has also announced that it will open 29 stores at Welcome Break motorway service stations over the next 16 months.The first drive-through store opened earlier this month in Deeside, North Wales, after the concept was piloted successfully in Cardiff. The store features a conventional sit-down Starbucks store and a drive-through facility, where customers drive up to a touchscreen terminal to place their order, before collecting it at a service window. Euro Garages finance director Martin Ashcroft said: “Alongside coffee, freshly baked goods will be a crucial part of our offering to customers at our drive-through stores.”The deal with Welcome Break marks Starbucks’ first foray into motorway service stations, with the brand replacing Welcome Break’s Coffee Primo own-brand stores.The first sites to be revamped will be at Oxford Services on the M40 and Hopwood Park on the M42 these will open by the end of March or early April.
With today’s consumer ever-more pressed for time, the need to be able to find everything in one place has never been greater. So bakery retailers need to stock the right soft drinks to offer consumers with their lunchtime sandwich or afternoon hot savoury.The latest research shows the soft drinks market has returned to a high level of growth, up 6.6% in 2010 (Nielsen, Total Coverage) from growth of 2% in 2009, according to GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Impulse sales have returned to positive growth, up 7% last year, from -2.6% growth in 2009. All major soft drink categories saw increases last year, including the ’good for me’ sector (up 4%), which had seen falling sales in the midst of the recession. Sports and Energy drinks saw the highest growth, up almost 17% growing £122m in value in the past year (Nielsen, Total Coverage 02.10.10), followed by fizzy drinks (up around 8%), and juice drinks (up around 6%), says GSK. The growth in the sports and energy sector has been primarily driven by Lucozade, claims the firm.The soft drinks manufacturer says NPD really helps to drive the top performing segments, and it certainly cannot be accused on resting on its laurels when it comes to innovation. Last month it launched a whole host of new drinks on to the market: Lucozade Energy Blackcurrant, Lucozade Sport Lite Orange, Lucozade Sport Cherry, and Ribena Sparkling in blackcurrant and raspberry varieties.According to the latest convenience store data from Nielsen (to 25.12.10), the top 10 ’drink now’ brands made up nearly 60% of the total soft drinks category sales. These were: Coca Cola, Lucozade, Red Bull, Diet Coke, Lucozade Sport, Ribena, Oasis, Dr Pepper, Fanta and Volvic.What else is new?Coca-Cola Enterprise’s (CCE) latest activity includes: the launch of the Coca-Cola ’Open Happiness’ campaign last month, which aims to recruit a new generation of consumers; a new Coca-Cola Zero ad campaign, with a new television creative; the launch of a new Relentless variant Libertus; and the launch of the new Powerade ION4 drink. The new Powerade variety, an isotonic sports drinks, has been developed with sports scientists and will be used by Team GB and ParalympicsGB to help them prepare for London 2012, says the firm. It is available in Berry & Tropical, Cherry and Orange varieties and is being supported by in-store POS and a new marketing campaign. Its ’Open More Business’ initiative shares evidence based insights on how people shop the soft drinks category, so should be a key tool for retailers when deciding on their ideal range, says the firm.AG Barr’s Rockstar Energy Drink is also hoping to boost its presence through a new multi-year sponsorship deal with MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo. Special activities and promotions will be run across all channels, giving retailers and consumers the chance to win VIP weekends and meet Jorge Lorenzo at the Great Britain MotoGP on 12 June at Silverstone, according to Adrian Troy, head of marketing. Points to think about Source: GlaxoSmithKlinel Stock a range that meets shoppers’ needs and is easy to manage in-store 60% of category sales come from just 10 brands, so it is key to stock the top brand products, not just low-priced alternatives.l Support new products and keep your range up to date to align to changing shopper demands 80% of sales come from just 20% of SKUs.l Give your customers value for money.l Over 70% of people are likely to buy a product that has a price-marked pack.l Value isn’t the same for everyone. But remember, lowest price doesn’t offer the highest margins.