Dessert bar brand Rhythm108 to expand to UK after Swiss success

CHOC_WAL_001Good-for-you dessert bar brand Rhythm108 has unveiled plans to expand to the UK, having secured a number of listings with independents and health food retailers in London.

Uniquely packaged with an innovative parchment tray, Rhythm108 allows consumers to easily warm the bars in a microwave or oven, just like a brownie, for maximum indulgence. The snack bars are made of the highest quality ingredients such as rich cacao paste from Peru, Sicilian almonds and Swiss organic milk, all of which add to the taste. With calorie counts as low as 159 calories per 42g bar, the alternative dessert bars come in five flavours: apple pie, banana muffin, choco-walnut brownie, coconut macaroon and lemon cake, with each bar providing natural calcium, protein, fibre and energy.

The innovative brand reinvents well-loved snacks in the form of a healthy and convenient product for urban living, with a fresh and inviting design that eliminates the “intimidations” surrounding healthy eating, Rhythm108 claimed.


Founder Siddhi Mehta said: “After a successful launch in Switzerland, where the largest premium retailers, takeaways, and corporate offices stock Rhythm108 products, we are very excited to announce the opening of our sales and marketing office in the UK. We believe our quality products and unique brand will relate well with UK consumers looking for authentic products in a new, fresh, and healthy format. As someone who loves food, I found current offerings in the snack bar space either functional and low on taste and texture, or indulgent but filled with sugar and extremely unhealthy ingredients.

“Rhythm108 good-for-you dessert bars are made with solely clean, wholesome and nutritious ingredients and are the only snack bar that can be warmed up conveniently like a good dessert – filling a solid gap in the snack bar market for a no-compromise small indulgence.”


Developer launches automated ordering system for bakers

instore-ffdRedBlack Software has this week launched an automated sales-based ordering system for retail bakers and food-to-go operators.

Cybake Instore claims to be able to cut waste and increase shop takings, as orders are “far more accurate” than those made by shop managers.

It also provides a solution for an old-age dilemma faced by bakers: how much they produce, or order in. By making or stocking too much they risk having to discard leftovers at the end of the day, but making or stocking too little can mean they run out of goods and miss out on sales.

Instore corrects staff assumptions about customers’ purchasing decisions while taking historical sales and usage data for items – or item-components such as sandwich fillers – to predict future order quantities. In addition, it provides reconciliation of what was delivered with what was sold through the tills, highlighting any variances between the two data sets.

The cloud-based technology, from York-based RedBlack, is the result of close collaboration between Cybake’s design team and RedBlack’s biggest customers in the British bakery and food-to-go (FTG) sectors. Major retailer Marks and Spencer uses its own customised version of the application in a selection of its in-store bakeries, RedBlack said.

It was introduced to the industry at Foodex this week.

RedBlack Software managing director Jane Tyler said: “At this year’s Foodex, we wanted to confirm our position as the number one authority in improving bakery management control. I believe that the launch of Instore goes a long way to achieving that.

“One of the most important decisions made by retail bakers or FTG operations is how much perishable stock to produce for the days ahead. Instore can ensure that bakers have the right amounts in the right shops at the right times. It balances out their ups and downs.”

SG Systems scanner and bowl-2RedBlack has also announced that it has become the exclusive UK reseller of weighing, ingredient control and traceability solutions from North American specialist SG Systems.

SG Systems’ V5 suite of recipe control, product labelling and warehouse management system solutions can help manufacturers to ensures that ingredients are measured and traced accurately and consistently, without costly giveaway or out-of-specification batches; manage inventory shipping, receiving and despatch; and easily generate shipping labels and delivery notes.

Tyler continued: “We’ve always worked towards delivering the ultimate end-to-end system for our customers. SG Systems’ V5 solutions give us the last piece of this puzzle – complete control over the shop floor.

“While SG Systems’ elegant applications interface perfectly with Cybake, they are best-of-breed in their own right. SG Systems’ software is not locked within expensive weigh-scale hardware. Its apps work on Windows-driven tablets, making them much less expensive than competing offerings and putting precision traceability within the reach of all bakers.”

Stuart Hunt, president of SG Systems said: “The management team at SG Systems has known the team at RedBlack for many years. During our search for a distributor for our V5 formula control and lot traceability solutions, they were the obvious choice.

“RedBlack has considerable experience in the craft bakery market in the UK, which is the prime area of focus for our product. We are delighted to begin this relationship and I wish them the very best of luck.”


World Food Innovation Awards – best artisan food

Cool Chilli CoThe best artisan food category at this year’s World Food Innovation Awards highlighted the very best of craft producers.

V&H showcased its range of Tsuki Mochi chocolate truffles, made using Belgian chocolate and fresh British dairy to produce a uniquely decadent chocolate ganache that is then wrapped in soft, delicious mochi and hand-rolled into balls before being finished with a dusting of cocoa powder. The line brings mochi – a traditional Japanese confectionery made by steaming and pounding sticky rice flour – to the UK market.

US company Sweetopia presented its gluten-free dessert options under the tagline “get your sweet on”. The range offers a superior taste to other gluten-free offerings and its craft credentials are heightened by the use of “authentic, high-quality, natural ingredients”, the company said.

There were also several condiment and ingredient innovations in this category.

The Cool Chile Co nominated its range of ambient Mexican cooking sauces. There are three flavours: Mexico Adobo marinade, which is a tangy addition to lamb; Mexican Mojo de Ajo, a garlic and chilli oil that can be used as a sauce, marinade or dressing; and finally Mexican buffalo sauce, which is a spicy sauce for chicken and vegetarian dishes.

Designed for the busy but discerning cook, the new sauces bring traditional Mexican flavours into British homes.

Likewise, Milanovic-Knowles promised to transport consumers “into the heart of the Serbian countryside” with its home-style roasted red pepper mezze-style spread and dip. Red peppers are fire-roasted, hand-peeled and mixed with garlic before being slow-cooked with a little oil – all in keeping with a secret recipe passed down from the founder’s grandmother.

The product highlights the fact that – aside from using high-quality ingredients and cooking products authentically in small batches – the single biggest hallmark of artisan food is the story behind and the clarity of its provenance.

Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group’s Yili Gu Li Duo Oat Milk is made from pure milk and oat grain selected from Australia, which means that consumers can enjoy the sensation of chewing oat grain while drinking their milk! The popularity of the product, which combines the nutritional benefits of both oats and milk with unique processing methodology, boomed in China following its launch.

Mara Seaweed entered the awards with its Dulse Shaker Tin, a new format for delivering purple Dulse seaweed flakes for a sumptuous and smoky depth of flavour in salmon, beef, lamb, venison and burger dishes. Used as a seasoning to transform everyday cooking, Dulse is naturally low in sodium but tastes salty and has plenty of umami flavour.

It has been a part of the traditional Scots and Irish diet for centuries and, as with all Mara seaweed, is locally sourced and hand-harvested sustainably in the wild.

And if all of that was too much, Rated M Wine Infused Foods has something to wash it down.

The company’s Wine-Infused Cocktail Salts adds a glam garnish of flavour to cocktails, pre-moistened so that they can coat the rim of the glass when you dip it in. The salt originates from the US’ Pacific Northwest.


M&M’s to allow consumers to pick its next peanut flavour

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMars Chocolate North America is inviting consumers to choose the newest peanut-flavoured addition to its line-up of M&M’s as part of a nationwide Flavor Vote.

US consumers will be able to decide between honey nut, coffee nut and chili nut flavours online or by text, with the three options on sale from retailers across the country until June. The winning variant will join existing M&M’s Peanut products on shelves in the autumn.

“At Mars Chocolate North America, we know M&M’s would not be the brand it is today without our fans,” said M&M’s brand director Tanya Berman. “As we celebrate our 75th anniversary, Flavor Vote is the perfect opportunity to say thanks by empowering them to write the next chapter in our brand’s colourful history by choosing the newest M&M’S Peanut flavour.”

Once fans cast their vote for their favorite new M&M’s Peanut flavour, they will be in with a chance of winning $100,000 and earning the title of the official M&M’s taste tester. The winner will be announced in August along with the winning flavour from the Flavor Vote, which will remain on sale across the US.


Nestlé automates infant food production plant in Germany

2015-10-21Nestlé has automated all the material handling flows in its Biessenhofen baby and infant food production plant in southwestern Bavaria, with help from Egemin Automation.

Egemin will integrate a warehouse shuttle system with connecting conveyor system technology, as well as several automated guided vehicles (AGVs), with the installation expected to be completed by January 2017.

Belgium-headquartered Egemin will also install a fully automated storage and material handling system at Nestlé’s Biessenhofen site, to support the production of baby and infant foods. Conventional conveyor systems will control the handling of materials into both the warehouse and production areas. Egemin E’gv technology will support these processes by supplying empty cans from storage, as well as providing automatic waste disposal. An additional warehouse for storage of sensitive materials that need to be supplied to the production line will be integrated in the system.

Designed according to Egemin’s unique concept, the integrated warehouse system ensures a fully automated 24/7 operation of Nestlé’s intralogistics flows. One particular challenge during concept development was to find a way to make sure the best fit of the system into the available space, Egemin pointed out.

Ultimately, the decision came down to the ability to provide the necessary storage capacity to deal with the demanding requirements of the product line, and also the need to comply with highly sensitive food production guidelines. The warehouse system is monitored and controlled by E’wms, Egemin’s proprietary warehouse management software.


World Dairy Innovation Awards 2016 judging panel announced

wdia15x1x610The judging panel for the World Dairy Innovation Awards 2016 has been announced today.

Judges for the tenth year of the prestigious awards scheme include Powerful Yogurt CEO and founder Carlos Ramirez Zavarce, Tetra Pak global marketing manager Christopher Lazaro, Personify LLC managing partner Gail Barnes, and dairy industry consultant Donna Berry.

They are joined by Natasha Case, CEO and co-founder of ice cream brand Coolhaus; Brand Union’s CEO for North Asia, Monica Lee; Mark Driscoll, head of the sustainable food programme at Forum for the Future; Stephen Gaither, CEO of marketing agency JB Chicago; Depot WPF managing director Anna Lukanina; and Esther Renfrew, market intelligence director for food and drinks industry consultancy Zenith International.

The panel of ten will be chaired by FoodBev Media’s group editorial director, Bill Bruce.

The World Dairy Innovation Awards 2016 will celebrate excellence and innovation across every category of the global dairy industry, presented at the Global Dairy Congress on 28 June. Entries are open until 20 May.


Shortbread maker Dean’s launches new gluten-free range

12829170_967410039963438_2701208086727482994_oAberdeenshire-based shortbread and biscuit manufacturer Dean’s has launched a new range of gluten-free shortbread.

The new shortbreads, which are certified by Coeliac UK, are available in three varieties: all butter, chocolate chip, and chocolate chip with stem ginger. They will appeal both to coeliac sufferers and consumers who are looking to cut wheat and gluten out of their diet for lifestyle reasons, Dean’s said.

Dean’s managing director Bill Dean said: “We’ve been asked by customers many times over recent years to develop gluten-free shortbread products. We’ve spent a considerable time working on these recipes in order to create the same delicious buttery taste and melt-in-the-mouth texture consumers have come to expect from Dean’s. We’re very happy that consumers who follow a glutem-free diet will now be able to enjoy Dean’s shortbread.”

It is estimated that coeliac disease, which is characterised by an adverse reaction to gluten, affects 1% of the general population in the UK.

Coeliac UK chief executive Sarah Sleet said: “Being able to purchase new gluten-free products is a top priority for people with coeliac disease, who must follow a strict gluten-free diet for life. It’s fantastic that an established brand such as Dean’s is now able to offer their core product to people with coeliac disease in their new range of shortbread, certified gluten-free by Coeliac UK, enabling them to use the Crossed Grain symbol on packaging.”

Available through selected retailers, Dean’s gluten-free shortbread has a recommended retail price of £2.79 for a 150g pack.

Dean’s has grown to become a household name across Scotland in the last four decades, employing around 130 people and exporting its products to almost 30 markets around the world.

Justin Fry, chef chocolatier for Norman love, wins big at pastry competition

635935650254009093-Photo-2---Justin-Fry---Magician-Sculpture-1-Magic, illusion and chocolate combined to win the coveted title of Pastry Chef of the Year for Justin Fry.

Fry, a chef chocolatier for Norman Love Confections, won the title on March 6 at the International Restaurant & Food Service Show of New York.

During Paris Gourmet’s U.S. Pastry Competition, Fry competed against top pastry chefs from across the U.S. Chefs showcased their talents by creating and exhibiting dessert and chocolate bonbon recipes along with sugar and chocolate sculpted showpieces.

This year’s theme was Magic & Illusions, which inspired Fry to create a confectionary sculpture of a classic magician. The sculpture included pieces made with chocolate and sugar in forms that included a top hat, crystal ball, magic wands and a magician’s trunk. In addition to the sculpture, Fry also presented a plated dessert, cake and artisan chocolates.

“I’m so proud of Justin and his extraordinary talents and tireless dedication,” Norman Love stated in a press release. “For the past year, he’s worked late into the night training and perfecting his entries which was above and beyond his typical work day. To me, it’s a great life lesson, proving that if you commit to something, put forth the necessary effort, the reward is pretty special. The entire Norman Love Confections team is very proud of Justin; his talent and dedication are truly exemplary.”


Pastry firms prepare for British Pie Week

DSC_00671-600x446As British Pie Week kicks off next week (Monday 7 March), the industry is making sure it takes advantage of the opportunity to promote products.  

Lancashire-based Holland’s is celebrating its roots as the company’s ‘The Butcher, the Baker, the Proper Pie-maker’ television advertisement makes its return to the small screen.

“The heart-warming adverts show Holland’s pies being enjoyed in three typical customer environments,” said Bill Smith Coats, sales and marketing director for the company.

“There’s a young lad fresh back from a charity run in a gorilla suit and understandably looking for a nourishing pie; a father and daughter on their way home from the match; and a youngster sitting at the table waiting for mum to feed him pie and mash.”

The television campaign reflects the values of the business. Now launching across Granada and Yorkshire, this is the biggest investment in television that the brand has been involved in. The advertisements will be aired over a four-week period and will be shown between popular soaps such as Coronation Street and Emmerdale.

“TV has become an important part of our strategy for targeting both new and existing customers,” added Coats. “It has played a pivotal role in continuing Holland’s growth in and out of the region.

“All of these ads really resonate with our target consumers and, following a successful TV campaign in 2015, we’re delighted to announce our 2016 heavyweight TV advertising campaign, which coincides with British Pie Week. We couldn’t think of a better time to be back on the box!”

Meanwhile, Wrights Food Group has teamed up with Britain’s strongest man, Eddie Hall, to launch the Strongman Pie, just in time for next week.

At 11 inches round, the Strongman Pie is filled with steak, marinated in rich seasoned gravy and encased in Wrights’ classic golden pastry.

“I’m ecstatic to be working alongside Wrights to launch the Strongman Pie, which is perfect for people who need to build their protein intake, like me, or for sharing among family and friends,” said Hall.

“This pie is the champion of champions, and a real beast – just like me. It’s extra meaty, and sure to be a real hit with the public.”

Wrights teamed up with Hall last year. In a promotional event, the strongman deadlifted a 2.5-tonne Wrights Pies van.

“We’re delighted to unveil our Strongman Pie to coincide with British Pie Week,” commented Peter Wright, chairman and chief executive of the pie company.

“When it came to designing the pie, we had to think big if we were to compete with Eddie’s enormous appetite.

“The Strongman Pie is one of the largest we’ve ever produced, and we’ve packed it full of top-quality steak which we hope will help provide Eddie with that all-important hit of protein as he continues his mission to become the World’s Strongest Man in 2016.”

The specially designed pie will go on sale across Wrights’ retail stores in Staffordshire from 7-11 March.


Inmates baking for kids in need

fc16992c-febd-47c4-8ce2-5f8227ca275e-large16x9_IMG_1397(KUTV) Prisoners are learning a trade and giving with some cooking skills in the kitchen.

It’s part of the DATC’s culinary arts program, but while these inmates learn the finer points of cooking to get their degree, they’re also making cakes for children and families in need.

These prison inmates are making birthday cakes as part of Birthday Cakes 4 Free, a non-profit organization that gives cakes to kids and seniors who wouldn’t be able to get a birthday cake otherwise.

Besides making a difference for those getting special birthday cakes, it’s also helping the inmates give back to the community.

For 29-year-old Chelcie Brunson, cooking and baking is changing her life.

An addiction to meth and other crimes have kept her in prison off and on for the last 10 years.

“It’s my fifth time in prison in a 10 year span. I’m 29 now and I came when I was first 19,” Chelcie explained.

But she says that drug lifestyle is going to change. She started learning to cook through the DATC’S culinary arts program, and now she’s giving back.

“We’ve been doing the cakes for the kids out there,” she said. “Last week we did a Transformers one, Optimus Prime.”

Mary Crawford runs the DATC’s inmate program and says the cakes are making a difference for kids and for prison inmates. She said over the last few months of working with Chelcie, she’s seen an amazing difference.

“I see a completely different girl than one who started when she came out here,” Crawford explained.

Michelle Markovic also says the program is changing her life.

“It’s hard being a felon. This is going to be my 5th time coming down here, [I] don’t want to come back,” she said.

For Chelcie, being able to bake cakes for kids in foster care, is personal.

“I used to be one of those kids in foster care,” she said. “To know I can give back to a kid in need, that makes me feel really good about myself.”

Chelcie is on track to graduate from the culinary arts program in a couple months and get out of prison.

She says she already has a job offer from a hotel, and says this time she’s changing her life for good.