Greggs has announced a “robust performance” for the first half of the year, with pre-tax profit up 7.3% to £16.5m.The bakery retail chain saw sales increase by 4.4% to £312m, with like-for-like growth up 1.5%. Operating profit stood at £16.3m – an increase of 8.9%, for the 26 weeks to 27 June, 2009.The firm said the high street trading environment remained difficult and had not been helped by the recent wet weather. Chairman Derek Netherton commented: “The business has also begun to benefit from the initiatives we are taking to simplify and centralise our operations, in preparation for accelerated expansion.” Greggs also noted the continued harmonisation of its ranges and new product launches as successes in the year to date, and is currently experimenting with a new ‘concept’ store in the south east.For the full story, see the next issue of British Baker – out 14 August.
Kingsmill has launched a range of snack products, called Mini Toasts, as it looks to diversify into new markets.Currently on shelves in Tesco, the new products are made from oven-baked toast, and come in Mature Cheddar & Red Onion, and Sea Salt & Balsamic Vinegar varieties. They will be sold in multi-pack bags, and will be rolled out to other trade outlets in spring 2014.The snacks are being targeted at women, aged 25-40, and families with children, and promoted as afternoon snacks, or lunchbox additions, containing less than 100 calories per bag.Food manufacturer Symingtons is managing all elements of the manufacture and supply of the product on behalf of Kingsmill’s parent company Allied Bakeries, according to a spokesperson for Allied.Sarah Emmett-Lee, commercial director at Symingtons, said: “We are delighted to be able to partner with Kingsmill to launch Kingsmill Mini Toasts. We know that women are on the look-out for low-calorie, convenient snacks that don’t compromise on taste and Kingsmill Mini Toasts are just that. “Consumers also look for snacks that the whole family can enjoy and, seeing as the mini toasts are baked, not fried, it makes for a great lunchbox snack too.”Warburtons, which recently moved into the cake market with a four-strong range of slices and squares in Waitrose, launched a snacks range back in 2010, featuring baked wholegrain snacks, and pitta chips, which it relaunched as Warburtons Escapes in 2013.