Q AWARDS WEEKLY WRAP: BRITISH BAKE OFF HITS BREAD SALES, WHO DRINKS MOST IN UK AND KFC's PINK BUNS
It can be hard to keep up to date with all the latest news and views in the world of food and drink. To help you keep on top of the stories and issues that we think really matter here is our new Q Awards weekly wrap of the week.
Great British Bake Off blamed as bread sales plummet
The enormous success of the BBC's Great British Bake Off is now having an impact on retailer's shelves as more and more consumers switch away from buying packaged bread.
Bread sales in the UK fell by 5% in 2014 and are projected to drop by a further 4% this year, according to data from Euromonitor International. It follows moves by health-conscious consumers to change their diet and switch to either home cooked break or more artisanal products.
Sales of sliced bread are down even more, 8% in the last year,its largest drop in a decade.
Retail analysts, IRI, claim Warburtons, Hovis and Kingsmill, which account for 60pc of packaged bread in the UK, lost a combined £121m in bread sales in the last year.
But the impact of the Great British Bake Off is not all bad news for retailers. Sales of baking trays at Waitrose soared by 881% in the week to 1 August, while sales of bakeware climbed 55% as the show returned to our screens this month.
Bristol and Glasgow top of UK's drinks league
The UK's biggest drinkers live in Bristol and Glasgow downing, on average, nine pints or glasses of wine, according to new figures released by The Sun.
Newcastle and Manchester are hot on their heels with locals drinking an average eight-and-a-half pints a week. Cardiff drinkers consume seven-and-a-half pints, closely followed by Birmingham and Norwich drinkers at just over seven pints.
Londoners drink the least amount with on average only six-and-a-half pints drunk a week. According to the Propel drinks industry newsletter this backs up figures from the Office of National Statistics that claims one in three people in London are teetotal.
Farmers rank up pressure to get fairer deal for their goods
The sight of farmers marching cows through British supermarkets to protest against the cost they receive for milk have made for iconic images in our national media this week.
But behind the scenes the major farming unions met this week to look at their future strategy. As a result, according to Farming Today, the presidents of the NFU, NFU Scotland, NFU Cymru and Ulster Farmers Union issued a statement calling for:
* the Government to take steps to ensure voluntary retailer codes are followed and that farmers are protected by long-term fair contracts where risks are shared with the retailer.
* labelling needs to be tightened to ensure it is clear which products are imported and which are British.
* retailers to stop "devaluing fresh British food like milk purely to get customers through the door" and to ensure all food being sold comes from a farm which has been paid a fair price.
The statement read: "The British public has said time and time again that they want British food. Unless farmers’ returns are sustainable and you promote British food and label it properly the future of our supply is at risk."
It added: “It’s time to Back British Farming and the farming unions are looking to Government and retailers to take action now."
The European Union is calling an emergency meeting of the Council of Agriculture Ministers for 7 September and is "calling for UK ministers to stand up for British farming at that meeting".
Better news for egg producers as sales up nearly 10%
There is better news for egg produces as egg sales are enjoying a healthy rise in sales with reports showing a near 10% increase in sales.
This is supported by figures from the British Egg Industry Council which said volume sales of eggs across retail, food service, and food manufacturing has risen by 2% in the last year, accounting for over 700,000 eggs a day.
Calls for public smoking ban to extended to beer gardens
The Royal Society of Public Health has issued a report calling for the public smoking ban to be extended to beer gardens, al fresco eating areas of restaurants, parks, and outside school gates. It believes more controls are needed to protect the public in such areas.
But pub groups and the pro-smoking campaign group Forest have warned such a move could result in more pubs and on-trade outlets closing. The RSPH said the the 2007 smoking ban inside public places had been a huge success and encouraged thousands to quit.
Shirley Cramer, the body's chief executive, said: "We believe banning smoking in these locations via an exclusion zone could further denormalise smoking."
The truth about how long your food will actually last for
Business Insider has created an interesting graphic that claims to show how long food and drink really will last for, in some cases weeks after their official "eat by" date on the packaging. It says the figures are taken from US food bodies data including the USDA, the FDA and the CDC.
For example, it claims that an open bottle of tomato ketchup can last for six months kept in a fridge, similarly eggs are still good for up to three to five weeks, a yogurt should still be good to go for up to 10 days past the sell by date, while uncooked beef, pork or lamb will be OK for three to five days, yet chicken only up to two.
KFC China offers multi-coloured buns to attract customers
Here's a strange but true story for you. In a bid to address falling sales KFC in China has followed a similar gimmick adopted by Burger King in Japan and is offering different coloured buns to its customers. The reaction, it has to be said, is mixed and has been picked up widely by the UK national media, including the Daily Mail.
The two new additions include a pink bun, billed as 'Rose Cheese Roasted Chicken Burger' and a black bun, named as the 'Black Diamond Bacon Spicy Chicken Burger'. There are no current plans to bring the innovations to KFC outlets in the UK.
Pret A Manger could open vegetarian only outlets
Vegetarians could be in for some good news if Pret A Manger goes ahead with reported plans to open vegetarian only outlets.
The news has been picked up by the press this week following a blog from the company's chief executive, Clive Schlee, in which he hinted at such a move.
He said its vegetarian SuperBowl salad had become more popular than the chicken, salmon and crayfish alternatives, something that "would have been unheard of five years ago". He added: "Sales of our vegetarian sandwiches and salads have grown 12.5 per cent in the last six months - faster than our meaty products - and falafel and halloumi is now our top selling hot wrap."
Schlee said the company was now discussing with customers the chance of opening exclusively plant-based shops. The idea, according to the Daily Telegraph, is that the new branches would "act as a beacon for more innovation at Pret for the future" and "tempt customers who are inclined to try new alternatives".
England's first crisp sandwich shop opens in Yorkshire
Mark Pearson is doing what he can to boost bread sales by launching what he claims is the England's first crisp sandwich shop.
The crown of the world's first crisp sandwich shop has already gone to Simply Crispy in Belfast, Northern Ireland, which opened last year.
Pearson's English alternative, Mr Crisp, has opened in Keighley, Yorkshire and offers 50 different varieties of crisps sold on a variety of breads.
The menu includes Monster Munch and salad cream, Hula Hoops and Galaxy chocolate spread, or a more traditional plain crisp with tomato ketchup. He told the Daily Mirror: "When I saw the one launch in Belfast, I thought the only way I can find out if a crisp sandwich shop can succeed over here is by giving it a go myself."
He added:"We live in a time where people want things quickly, especially in the business world, and a crisp sandwich certainly offers them that and a wide selection of flavours that you would struggle to find in any other sandwich."