Supercook's merchandising initiative naturally worries smaller rivals such as Fiddes Payne. MD Chris White admits merchandising in this part of the home baking fixture has been a hotchpotch in the past, but says it cannot be healthy when a major player can influence the positioning of its competitors. Renshaw Scott, of course, would argue that White has nothing to worry about because he is in another niche altogether ­ that of premium baking aids. White agrees ­ up to a point. He says his company has brought an "innovative cutting edge" to the market with its premium cake decorations. As a result it has broken all previous records for new cake decoration products in the retailers it serves (they even made the front cover of Sainsbury's magazine in February of this year). Given all of that, it's not too surprising to hear White saying his business is growing 50% per annum. Like many in his line of business, White says innovation is the key to injecting life back into the home baking fixture. "We are innovators," he says, "But we have to be if we are going to compete with the likes of Renshaw Scott. We have to have something miles better to take to the buyer ­ otherwise they will not look at it." One recent innovation has caught the eye of buyers in three multiples ­ White's vanilla pods tubes. The vanilla pods are vacuum packed to maximise their juiciness and then put into a tube, which not only looks great but protects the products as well. White says: "I think it's a shame the brand leaders have treated this wonderful product with such disdain in the past. It looks like a rather disgruntled black worm forced into the regular herb and spice jars!" White says more new ideas are in the pipeline, including plans by food manufacturers to use his company's fun products to decorate their cakes. Expect to see them in stores by Christmas of next year. {{FOCUS SPECIALS }}