Source: Getty ImagesGet virtual Valentine’s Day is still a big deal for bakers, but the way they shift their wares may change.“Most of our sales this year will be online so there will be a big uplift through this channel,” notes Ginger Bakers’ Smith.Fulop Gabor, owner of London-based Jack & Beyond, believes that bakers can seize opportunities by offering UK wide shipping or local, contact-free delivery services.“Bakers should focus on working on their online presence by setting up a user-friendly website and online shop and start marketing their products to target audiences via social media such as Instagram and Facebook,” he adds.Gabor says that Valentine’s sales should not be too affected by lockdown, as the romantic day can easily be celebrated indoors. However, job losses and redundancies could include how much people spend on gifts this year. Source: Dawn FoodsDoughnutsForget chocolates, this Valentine’s Day consumers are opting to share the love with doughnuts.“Doughnuts are making a strong appearance again, along with plenty of vegan options,” adds Dawn Foods’ Passmore.Dawn is tapping into this trend with a new lovestruck recipe. Recipe developer and influencer Emma Hanton has whipped up Valentine’s vegan raspberry doughnuts for bakers to use. Made from Dawn’s new vegan doughnut mix and vegan fruit filling and glaze, the raspberry flavour amps up the nostalgia factor, it adds.Elsewhere, Krispy Kreme has teamed up with sweet brand Love Hearts on its range of heart-shaped doughnuts while Doughnut Time has created heart-shaped delights suitable for home delivery. Its range includes jam- and chocolate-filled treats as well as DIY options. Source: Bloom BakersLetterbox giftingLockdown restrictions mean that many couples will be spending Valentine’s Day apart. As such, letterbox gifting has become more popular than ever, with consumers posting iced biscuits, macarons or brownies to loved ones.“Gifting, sending loved one’s special treats and showing appreciation has definitely increased, this has become so much easier to do with many businesses making online purchasing simple, slicker and accessible,” says Lisa Smith from Ginger Bakers.Leeds-based Bloom Bakers, for example, has launched a new range of Valentine’s letterbox biscuits. For the first time this year, the brand has launched a dedicated Valentine’s shop with its most popular messages. Consumers can choose from Missing You Biscuits at £22.50 or an Individual Valentine’s Biscuit for £6 emblazoned with ‘You = Happy’.“Valentine’s Day is the perfect occasion for sending cakes in the post and we are seeing many bakeries, cafes and restaurants making the most of this business opportunity, using social media platforms to communicate their offering,” says Jacqui Passmore, marketing manager UK and Ireland at Dawn Foods.“We are going to see thousands of brownies delivered by post too. There has been massive growth in on-line brownie delivery businesses as brownies are easy to make, for example, using Dawn’s Brownie Mix and make a great gifting item.” Source: Dawn FoodsValentine’s Day will likely be a bit different this year, but that doesn’t mean consumers don’t want to spread the love with flowers, chocolates and, er, doughnuts.To celebrate a Valentine’s like no other, bakers have adapted their offerings to fit a romantic occasion amidst a pandemic. There’s letterbox gifting, doughnuts and bite-size treats, which have all boomed in popularity.Lovingly Artisan, Paul Bakery and Pleesecakes, meanwhile, have already tapped into these trends with a host of new products. Here are some bakery trends sure to get hearts racing on 14 February: Source: Tiree Dawson PhotographyLocal pride Over the past twelve months, there has been a great appreciation for all things local and Ginger Bakers believes this will carry over to 14 February.“For Valentine’s Day this year we have collaborated with one of our neighbours in Cumbria. Shed 1 is a gin distillery and has a great seasonal gin, with buoyant alcohol sales during lockdown this seemed a perfect partnership,” says owner Lisa Smith.Called Shed Loads of Love, the cake is inspired by the classic Persian Love Cake and comprises dried edible rose petals and chopped pistachios. Source: Jack & BeyondBite-size Lockdown has increased the demand for smaller cakes and desserts that serve two people.As Valentine’s dinners at home become the norm, a host of high street retailers including M&S, Aldi and Morrisons have unveiled ‘Dine in for Two’ offers.Bakers everywhere, meanwhile, are rolling out miniature bakes, from cheesecakes to pavlovas.Cheesecake specialist Pleesecakes, for example, has created individual portions of heart-shaped cheesecakes including caramel & butterscotch, vanilla with a coconut twist and Nutella variants.Jack & Beyond, on the other hand, has a range of Valentine’s Day Cupcakes with an rsp of £3.60. These vanilla cupcakes are finished with buttercream icing and a topping of meringues.
In the late 1980s David Brooks was reporting from Europe for The Wall Street Journal as a wave of reform swept the world. Across five years he would cover the fall of Berlin Wall, the breakup of the Soviet Union, the Maastricht Treaty, Nelson Mandela’s release from prison, the end of apartheid, and the Oslo peace process.It was “all good news,” Brooks said, except for the one story he mostly ignored: Civil war in Yugoslavia.“In retrospect, that was the most important thing that happened while I was there because that led to what we’ve seen ever since, and that’s tribalism,” Brooks, now a columnist for The New York Times, told a Harvard audience on Wednesday.The rise of tribalism in the U.S. was among Brooks’ topics during a talk at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation. American tribalism and the appeal of President Trump, he said, owe largely to a shift from a community ethos to one of rugged and rebellious individualism.There are pros and cons to both, Brooks said. From 1932 to 1964, community was central to a sense of self and connectedness, and citizens put faith in big organizations — government, unions, corporations — to solve big problems.But if trust and “humility” were easier to find back then, Brooks said, so were rampant racism, sexism, and anti-Semitism, as well as more emotional distance in families, particularly between fathers and their children, and deeper conformity.The 1960s, Brooks said, produced a turn from “we are in this together” to a “free to be myself” sense of liberation that charged a range of social movements, including for expanded Civil Rights. But now, decades later, the country is “suffering a lot of the effects of individualism,” he said. Brooks pointed specifically to three social chasms: loneliness and isolation; a distrust of institutions; and a crisis of purpose.“What happens when you leave people naked and alone?” Brooks said. “Well, they do what anybody does with our revolutionary history — they revert to tribe.”,The Trump campaign understood that partisan conflict had shifted away from the size of government to a debate about the embrace or rejection of globalization. And he pounced. Deft with political theater, the future president “was good at exposing the holes of the old order … at picking every wound we have and sticking a red hot poker into it.”Brooks sees a moderating influence in organizations focused on missions such as civic education, rebuilding community, social mobility, and a better understanding of what our American purpose is “around the world.” The country needs to develop a better understanding of “why living in a democratic society is a better way of life,” he added. Perhaps most important, Brooks said, is that we look outward from our tribes in a spirit of “I commit to you.”Commitments, whether to a person or a profession, a community or a set of ideas, give us our identity, sense of purpose, higher definition of freedom, and moral character, Brooks said.Commitment to nation is the biggest challenge facing the country, he said, but it’s not insurmountable. The journalist sees hope in strong communities “rallying to action.”“People figure stuff out,” he said. “And the writers who say, ‘It’s the end of,’ ‘It’s the decline of’ — people like us, we are always wrong.”
Ghana hold the advantage to qualify to the 2013 African Youth Championship finals after beating Morocco 4-1 on Sunday in the final round first leg tie.The Black Satellites took the lead through South Africa-based winger Frank Sarfo Gyamfi who finished off a through pass from Moses Odjer in the 31st minute.But the Atlas Cubs came back from the break revitalized and levelled the scoring two minutes into play.Striker Chibi Mohammed made use of a counter-attack to beat Ghana goalkeeper Felix Annan.Seven minutes later, Ghana captain Lawrence Lartey headed home from a Derrick Mensah corner to give the Satellites the lead.Substitute Frank Acheampong was at the right place to head in the third goal on 58 minutes after a goal bound shot deflected off the body of a Moroccan. On the 90th minute mark, the Thailand-based player rounded the Moroccan goalkeeper after a delicious counter-attack to seal the win for the 2009 Africa and World champions.Ghana travel to Rabat in a fortnight time for the second leg tie.