Following strong results from parent company Associated British Foods (ABF), Allied Bakeries is relaunching the Allinson brown bread range with new branding, packaging and products.ABF posted a 5% rise in profits worth £282m in the 24 weeks to March 1, thanks to an improved showing from Allied, as well as strong results from Primark.The company said that there had been a “major improvement” in Allied’s performance thanks to an autumn price increase, higher volumes following the relaunch of Kingsmill and operational improvements, although chief executive George Weston warned that a further price increase was required.The relaunch of Allinson aims to continue the improvements in Allied’s fortunes, with the established wholemeal loaves joined by two new 800g products – Sunflower & Pumpkin Batch and Malted Harvestgrain Batch.The range will also sport new branding and packaging and will be supported by a £2m marketing campaign.”We have achieved tremendous success to date with the Allinson brand, achieving a 6.2% share of the premium sliced bread market, a segment worth £336m,” said marketing director Jon Wilson. “The new range is designed to appeal to the more affluent, younger and discerning consumer who is attracted to the ’premium with bits’ sector.”ABF’s grocery division, which includes bakery, saw operating profits rise 38% from £64m to £88m in the first half, with revenue up 17% to £1.4bn. Total group revenue rose 15% to £3.71bn.
ST. LOUIS >> Dan Haren wore a St. Louis Cardinals uniform once, almost 10 years and five teams ago. He left town in a trade at 24 years old. In exchange, St. Louis got one good season out of Mark Mulder, and the certain knowledge they had traded Haren well before his prime.Now, if Haren is in the Dodgers’ starting rotation even another month, it might be considered too long. At least it would be considered an act of faith that past performance might portend future success for the 33-year-old.Haren (8-7) couldn’t get through five innings Friday at Busch Stadium and dropped his third consecutive start in the Dodgers’ 3-2 loss. The Cardinals had three doubles and a home run among eight hits against Haren, whose ERA rose to 4.30.Matt Holliday’s two-run homer in the fifth inning was the game-winning hit. The home run, estimated at 435 feet, landed halfway up a grassy hill in dead center field. It was the 20th home run Haren has allowed this season, second-most in the National League. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “Three starts ago I was 8-4 with a good ERA coming off a one-hitter,” he said. “I’ve had a couple tough ones in a row. I know it’s there. I was having a good year up ’til a few of these last starts.“Things don’t look too good now, but I’ve got to give us a better chance to win.”After his previous start on July 11, Haren said a few days to reflect might do him good. That was the case last year, when he improved after the All-Star break for the Washington Nationals and earned a $10 million contract as a free agent.Now, the second-half turnaround he envisioned will have to wait at least another five days.“The last two years I had spots where I really struggled and I was able to get through ’em,” he said. “I’ve just got to look at that.” At least Haren kept the game close Friday. So did the Dodgers’ bullpen, which allowed only one runner over the final 3 1/3 innings. The offense didn’t pull its weight. When Haren exited the game trailing 3-0, the Dodgers had only two hits against St. Louis starter Lance Lynn (11-6). They couldn’t take advantage of a double by Hanley Ramirez in the first inning and left the bases loaded in the third. Later, with runners on first and second base and one out in the eighth inning, Cardinals reliever Seth Maness struck out Andre Ethier and got Juan Uribe to pop out.The Dodgers finished 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position. “It’s a close game, a 3-2 game,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “It’s making that key pitch, getting that big out, that key hit when you need it.”The Dodgers’ only runs came in the fifth inning on an RBI double by A.J. Ellis and a wild pitch by Maness that allowed Ellis to score.In Ellis’ opinion, Haren wasn’t the problem.“He just got hurt a little bit when he was in the middle of the plate,” he said. “Two fastballs ended up there. One was an RBI double. The other was a two-run homer. Other than that, I thought Dan really battled and did a great job.”“Everybody’s really quick to judge right now. He’s doing his work and he’s as professional as anyone we’ve got. I hope I see him out there every fifth day because I love catching him.”