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Source: Premier FoodsPremier Foods has signed an agreement to sell and market Mr Kipling cakes in the US, as it reveals the brand is on track for ‘another record year’.The deal between Premier Foods and Weston Foods, a North American baking company, was announced in its trading update today (19 January) with the first shipments of cake expected to commence in the first quarter of the 2021/22 financial year.It forms part of Premier’s international strategy to deliver ‘sustainable profitable growth’ with a major emphasis on in-market execution and ensuring the optimal route to market for its brands.This has already seen Mr Kipling venture to Australia, delivering ‘very healthy sales’ alongside Cadbury cakes in Q3 – the 13 weeks ending 26 December 2020. The brand is also being tested in Canada with ‘encouraging’ sales so far.Premier Foods’ overall international business grew strongly in this quarter with sales up 43%. This was partly helped by the buy in of products ahead of the 31 December EU exit date.It added that with a free trade agreement with the EU in place, it is not expecting any material impact from tariff changes. To date, the new arrangements have not resulted in ‘any major disruptions’ to its supply chain.Sweet treatsPremier Foods’ Sweet Treat division generated sales of £81.6m in Q3 2020/21 – a 0.5% increase compared to the same quarter in 2019/20. Year-to-date sales for the division sit at £186.3m.Growth was driven by branded products, which includes Mr Kipling and Cadbury cakes, which accounted for £55m worth of sales in the quarter – an increase of 5% versus the previous year.Mr Kipling is on track for ‘another record year’ with sales rising 7% in the quarter, alongside further market share gains. The brand has continued to benefit from the launch of new product ranges and an extended period of marketing investment, Premier added. Recent NPD includes reduced sugar Viennese Whirls and After Dinner Chocolate & Orange Fancies.Cadbury cakes also increased its market share and saw sales increase both in the UK and overseas.Sales of non-branded sweet treats, meanwhile, fell 7.5% to £26.6m.“Looking to the remainder of the year, out of home eating is likely to remain heavily restricted and we therefore expect to see continued high levels of consumer demand for our products. With more brand investment to come, we now expect trading profit to be in the range of £145-£150m this year,” said CEO Alex Whitehouse. read more
In a game where Scott Tolzien, John Clay, James White, Nick Toon and Lance Kendricks all finished with standout performances, there was arguably an even more impressive aspect of the Wisconsin Badgers’ 41-23 defeat of the Minnesota Gophers Saturday.For UW, the strong statistical performance can be traced back to the offensive line.“Everybody wants to turn their attention the the backs, but for us, our offensive line is the key to our success,” Bielema said. “I’ve said this even going back to fall camp, that those guys have established the leadership roles.”What the final stats from Saturday’s battle for Paul Bunyan’s axe do show is that Scott Tolzien was efficient, completing 17-of-23 passes for 223 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions; the running game was stellar, as both Clay and White eclipsed 100 yards and combined for five touchdowns; and the offense as a whole was careful, turning the ball over zero times.“I thought that was the storyline for the game, our inability to tackle, our inability to shut down the run, to slow the running game down in the second half and their ability to run it,” Minnesota head coach Tim Brewster said.“You just got to make the plays; you got to stop the run,” Brewster continued. “That’s the basic premise on which we live by defensively, and we certainly didn’t get the job done there in the third quarter. They just ran the ball that well against us, and that’s really disappointing.”However, as Wisconsin moves forward into the toughest part of its schedule – Ohio State and Iowa are next – the depth of the offensive line may prove to be the Badgers’ biggest strength.With guards Bill Nagy filling in at blocking tight end and Ryan Groy seeing time at fullback, Wisconsin has made a point of playing to its strengths. Saturday’s performance may have been the clearest indication of that, as Tolzien was never sacked, the Badgers outgained the Gophers 473-345 (250-96 on the ground) and only three yards were lost on negative plays all game.As the left side of the offensive line remains as good as ever with left tackle Gabe Carimi and left guard John Moffitt, the right side will continue to face the most scrutiny. Yet, while center Peter Konz, right guard Kevin Zeitler and right tackle Ricky Wagner all have proven themselves capable, it will be the depth of the line as a whole that pays the biggest dividends for the Badgers as they prepare for the Buckeyes Saturday night.Valai sits; healthy Toon, Gilreath have solid gamesSafety Jay Valai was a surprise absence in Saturday’s game. The senior captain dressed, but did not take the field against Minnesota after sustaining knee and rib injuries last weekend against Michigan State. Shelton Johnson filled in for Valai and finished with three tackles.“Shelton did a great job,” Valai said. “Shelton’s been solid this whole entire year. He’s a smart football player and he’s from Texas, so you know I got love for my brother. Shelton did a great job, and kept going forward, he’s a smart player, he made tackles and he played great coverage.”With arguably the biggest game of Wisconsin’s season on tap, Valai said he will be ready to go next Saturday night as Ohio States comes to Madison in a showdown that could determine the Big Ten title.“Oh yeah, I gotta be [ready],” Valai said. “We’re playing Ohio State here at night, I can’t miss that out for my senior year, so it’s going to be a fun game.”Meanwhile, receivers Toon and David Gilreath had their best games against the Gophers after returning from injuries. Toon missed weeks two through four with a turf toe injury sustained in the season opener at UNLV, but returned last weekend at Michigan State. Yet the Badgers’ No. 1 receiver was disappointing against the Spartans, dropping two key passes and committing one penalty. Against Minnesota, however, Toon recovered by catching six passes for 52 yards.Gilreath also saw limited time against MSU, catching one ball for 14 yards. Saturday, the senior was on the receiving end of two passes for 59 yards, including one 36-yarder. Gilreath also resumed his duties as kick returner.“I don’t even remember the hit, so it never happened to me,” Gilreath said.Late two-point conversion causes controversyAfter White extended the score to 41-16 on a one-yard touchdown run with 6:39 left in the game, Wisconsin eschewed the extra point and attempted a two-point conversion. Tolzien’s pass fell incomplete, so the score remained the same, but Brewster was visibly upset after the game and expressed his frustration at the perceived attempt at running up the score to Bielema as the coaches met after the game.Bielema said after the game that the decision was based on his situational card coaches have on the sideline that determines when two-point conversions should be attempted.“I know Tim wasn’t happy with it,” Bielema said. “You know what, if I’m down by 25 and it’s in the third or fourth quarter, I would call a play knowing that they’re probably going to run a two-point conversion because that’s what the card says.”As Bielema repeatedly referenced his card – which all coaches have – as the reason the decision was made, Moffitt stated it was simply smart football.“That just make sense to me,” Moffitt said. “I don’t think it is trying to take a shot at them or anything like that. I think it is smart football because this game, anything can happen. You saw their offense, tossing it down the field and they could have scored fast. I don’t think coach Bielema or coach Chryst meant any disrespect by it. It is just smart football.” read more
DODGERS AT ROCKIESWhere: Coors FieldTV: SNLATHE PITCHERS Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error ROCKIES RHP TYLER CHATWOOD (3-4, 4.74 ERA)vs. Dodgers: 4-6, 3.52 ERA (11 starts)at Coors Field: 16-14, 4.91 ERA (36 starts)Hates to face: Yasmani Grandal, 5 for 7, double, triple, HR, walkLoves to face: Corey Seager, 2 for 11, three Ks— J.P. Hoorsntra DODGERS LHP CLAYTON KERSHAW (5-2, 2.40 ERA)vs. Rockies: 19-6, 3.15 ERA (34 starts)At Coors Field: 8-4, 4.71 ERA (18 starts)Hates to face: Nolan Arenado, 13 for 39, two HRsLoves to face: Mark Reynolds, 5 for 28, 10 Ks read more