The Cheesecake Factory Opens East Coast Bakery

To streamline distribution and get products quicker to market, The Cheesecake Factory has opened a 104,000-sq.-ft. bakery and distribution center in Rocky Mount, N.C. The $1 billion company’s other bakery and headquarters are located in Calabasas Hills, Calif.
The new bakery, which cost an estimated $13 million to build, will initially employee 100 people and produce desserts under The Cheesecake Factory, The Dream Factory and The Cheesecake Factory Bakery trademarks, as well as private labels.
The bakery and casual dining chain operates more than 100 Cheesecake Factory outlets and Grand Lux Cafes, throughout the country.
Flowers Reports Solid Sales in Turbulent Times
Despite unprecedented prices in fuel and rising flour costs, Flowers Foods continues to perform well, bolstered by its powerhouse Nature’s Own brand, favorable pricing and a positive shift in its product portfolio toward more premium breads and rolls.
“Flowers Foods’ performance was solid this quarter, reflecting the strength of our bakeries, brands, and our team,” says George E. Deese, chairman, president and CEO.
“Sales of Nature’s Own Whitewheat breads increased by double digits, as did sales of core Nature’s Own breads, contributing to the good results reported for the Bakeries Group,” he adds. “Our direct-store-delivery (DSD) territory expansion continued as we entered new markets in Ohio. Both fresh and frozen foodservice sales experienced solid growth. Results for the Specialty Group again were impacted by challenges arising from the shift from contract production to branded retail snack cakes.”    
The Thomasville, Ga.-based company reported sales of $445.8 million for its 12-week second quarter ended July 15, 2006, a 10.0% increase the same period a year ago. Net income for the quarter was $19.7 million, a jump of 11.7% over the second quarter of 2005.
Sales for the 28-week period ended July 15, 2006, were $1.009 billion, a 10.8% increase over the comparable 28-week period last year. Net income for the 28 weeks was $42.6 million, a rise of 13.2% over the same period a year ago.
Deese noted the integration of Derst Baking Co., which was acquired in February, continues as planned. Derst and Royal Cake Co., acquired in September 2005, contributed $15.1 million, or 3.7% of the quarter’s sales increase. In addition, Flowers Foods began production on its new lines in Villa Rica, Ga., and Newton, N.C., during the quarter.
The 10% sales increase for the quarter resulted from favorable pricing of 6.4% and a positive mix shift of 5.0%, offset slightly by a volume decline of 1.4% due to a decline in units. During the quarter, Flowers Bakeries Group sales increased 12.0% due to a volume increase of 6.4%, favorable pricing of 4.9%, and a 0.7% favorable product mix shift.
Flowers Specialty sales rose 2.3%, driven by favorable pricing of 10.1% and a positive mix shift of 5.4%. These increases were negatively impacted by a 13.2% volume decline in the quarter due to the planned loss of contract production for certain customers.
Pizza Producers Face Increasing Competition
In the already crowded pizza category, new players continue to emerge with products that go beyond the standard cheese, pepperoni and supreme varieties.
That’s the results of Technomic Information Services’ 2006 Pizza Category Report, highlighting trends within the pizza category and offering implications and in-depth coverage on a variety of issues affecting the pizza category.
According to Technomic, several issues, including increased quality from frozen pizza and the emergence of take and bake, are driving the pizza category and its operators. Combined with pressure from other forces, these matters have given consumers pizza options beyond the traditional chains.
 Technomic conducted original consumer research that involved 1,000 structured online interviews, which quantified consumer trends regarding away-from-home pizza consumption.
“Pizza chains are facing more emerging players in the pizza market,” says Sara Gillis, project analyst for Technomic. “These players aren’t limited to traditional operators, and, increasingly, chains should be aware of what’s going on in non-traditional environments.”
 In addition, the 2006 Pizza Category Report found that consumers are searching out more specialty toppings that often appear to be inspired by ethnic flavor trends.
“Pizzas that utilize Latin flavors are being rolled out with greater frequency, taking advantage of ingredients like black beans and Cheddar cheese,” Gillis says. “Consumers tend to visit their local independent pizza restaurant more frequently than any other establishment and perceive these restaurants as offering high-quality pizzas.”
Technomic’s 2006 Pizza Category Report also offers consumer profiling and rankings for 25 of the leading limited-service pizza chains; identification of emerging concepts; analysis of ingredients trends such as proteins, fruits, vegetables and sauces; and a detailed listing and comparison of pricing between full- and limited-service chains.
For more information, call 1-312-506-3852, or email Patrick Noone at
Franz Sets World Record For Longest Hot Dog Bun
How does Franz Family Bakeries celebrate its centennial during the long Dog Days of Summer? With the world’s largest hot dog bun!
According to the company, the previous record for the longest hot dog bun was 57 ft. On July 6, Franz produced a hot dog bun in its Portland, Ore., bakery. The bun, measuring more than 100 ft. and baked in the longest baking pan in the world, was put on display the next day.