Milling & Baking News - February 27, 2007 - (Page 1)

Theinewsweeklyiofigrain-basedifoods BREAD product FEBRUARY 27, 2007 / perspective BREAD product perspective The new breed of bread Rising interest in whole grains drives new bread varieties and categories E ven as the number of loaves of fresh bread sold during 2006 declined from the prior year, the industry's leading bread bakers generated improved year-overyear dollar sales growth. Boosted by product mix shifts toward varieties that command a higher price as well as by general price advances, the bread category experienced a number of positive trends over the past year. In the 52-week period ended Dec. 31, 2006, the fresh bread category generated sales of $5,920,148,000, up 1.2% from the same year-ago period, according to Information Resources, Inc. The gain came despite a 3.7% decline in unit sales to 3,152,084,000, I.R.I. noted. Interstate Bakeries Corp. sustained a 9.7% drop in fresh bread sales to $663,238,700, a decline consistent with the Kansas City-based company's reported financial results and a reflection of its cost-cutting initiatives associated with efforts to emerge from bankruptcy. I.B.C. notwithstanding, the other top bread bakers experienced sales growth during 2006, most notably La Brea Bakery and United States Bakeries, which saw dollar sales rise 17.8% Continued on Page 29 Flour production in 2006 gains 0.6% reaching five-year peak WASHINGTON - Production of wheat flour by U.S. mills in 2006 increased 0.6% from 2005 to the largest total since 2001, according to data issued by the Census Bureau of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Output for the past year amounted to 397,360,000 cwts, up 2,387,000 from 394,973,000 in 2005 but still LATE 23,910,000 below the record in 2000. While flour output showed a fractional gain, grind of wheat and production of millfeed in 2006 were both down slightly. The North American Millers' Association provides funding to the Census Continued on Page 16 NEWS MEXICO CITY - A favorable sales mix, new product launches, strong volumes at national retailers and growth in Mexico branded goods helped drive a fiscal year sales increase of 8% in the United States for Mexico City-based Grupo Bimbo S.A. de C.V. U.S. sales of NP15,218 million ($1,389 million) for the year ended Dec. 31, 2006, compared with NP14,103 million ($1,287 million) in the previous fiscal year. Fiscal year operating profit in the United States was NP188 million, more Continued on Page 8 Bimbo U.S. sales climb 8% inside U.S.D.A. forecasts mostly stable wheat outlook through 2016 WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Agriculture in its U.S.D.A. Agricultural Projections to 2016 (known as the baseline projections) has projected area planted to wheat for harvest this year at 60 million acres, compared with 57.3 million acres in 2006. But decreases in planted area were projected for the following two years, to 59.5 million acres in 2008 and 59 million acres in 2009. Beginning in 2010 and continuing through 2016, planted wheat area was projected to stabilize at 58.5 million acres. The wheat outlook through 2016 was relatively stable, when compared with corn and soybeans. Corn planted area was projected to reach 90 million acres, the largest since 1949, during much of the baseline period because of increasing demand for corn for use in ethanol manufacture. Corn Continued on Page 53 THIS WEEK Agricore moves to fend off hostile bid 12 Baked foods C.P.I. rises in January 22 Ingredient Ethanol boosts Andersons earnings 55 Week sponsored by 58

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Milling & Baking News - February 27, 2007