Milling & Baking News - March 13, 2007 - (Page 1)

THE NEWS WEEKLY OF GRAIN-BASED FOODS MARCH 13, 2007 / Prodigious success La Brea Bakery, '2007 Baker of the Year' 1922 1969 The initial 1922 design of The Southwestern Miller largely was unchanged until 1969. The magazine was renamed Milling & Baking News in 1972. The other cover styles adopted over the magazine's 85-year history may be found on Page 8. LATE NEWS Milling & Baking News updates format KANSAS CITY - Coincident with the magazine's 85th anniversary, this issue of Milling & Baking News debuts a new design introducing overall improvements to the look and feel of the publication. Perhaps most noticeable to readers is the change in type size and spacing, which makes for an easier read. The content remains essentially the same as does the flow of the news, features and departments. The last update was done six years Continued on Page 8 Ingredient Week Sponsored by Story on Page 42 "Youth" is not a word that pops to mind when thinking about the largest commercial baking companies in the United States. Interstate Bakeries, Sara Lee, Flowers Foods, Weston Foods, Grupo Bimbo - the oldest brands of every single one of these companies date back more than 50 years and in several instances more than 100. The age of the brands is both a testament to the success of these companies and a reflection of the overwhelming difficulty involved in building a bread-baking business in the U.S. with a wide geographic footprint. Against this backdrop, the meteoric rise of La Brea Bakery Co., Van Nuys, Calif., stands as a success story perhaps without precedent in the history of U.S. baking. Less than 20 years after the company was established as the bak- ing adjunct of a small Southern California restaurant, La Brea Bakery is no longer a local niche baker. Instead, it is rapidly approaching the "land of the giants," ranking as the ninth largest U.S. bread baker as measured in dollar sales. According to data from Chicago-based Information Resources, Inc., La Brea Bakery totaled $76.9 million in retail sales through food outlets during the 52 weeks ended Dec. 31, 2006, up 18% from the same period last year. The company's 17% unit volume increase was more than double the growth of any of the other 15 largest baking companies in the U.S. (eight of which showed unit volume declines). Industry observers peg the company's annual sales at more than $150 million. Its loaves may be found throughout the Continued on Page 19 Small rise posted in '06 wheat flour use sufficient to hold per capita at 134 lbs WASHINGTON - Disappearance of wheat flour in the United States - one of the most important measures of the wellbeing of grain-based foods - gained a half a percentage point in 2006. Of greatest importance was the rise in total disappearance to within less than 200,000 cwts of the 400-million-cwt mark. This recovery came after four years in which U.S. wheat flour consumption had been disappointingly below this aggregate in a setback attributed mainly to the impact of low-carbohydrate dieting on American eating patterns. According to preliminary calculations by the Economic Research Service in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, domestic disappearance of wheat flour in the United States in 2006 totaled 399,807,000 cwts, up 2,059,000 cwts, or 0.5%, from 397,748,000 in the prior year. This gain lagged the increase of 2,911,000 cwts in 2005, but marked continued recovery from 2004 when disappearance dropped 2,904,000 cwts. As compared with the recent low in aggregate disappearance, of 394,082,000 cwts in 2002, the 2006 total reflected a recovery of 5,725,000 cwts, or 1.5%. That 2002 disappearance estimate Continued on Page 40

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Milling & Baking News - March 13, 2007