Our industry columnists discuss news, issues and industry observations that bakers and snack manufacturers need and provide details and observations from the production floor or news on industry happenings.
Near the start of 2016, Oprah Winfrey, one of the greatest of American trend-influencers, said three words every baker yearned to hear, “I love bread!” Her video sparked a viral following and provided great free publicity for one of the oldest and most-honored foods throughout human history.
Multiple prevailing trends at the consumer and regulatory levels will factor into the business concerns of the bakery industry over the coming year. These include product-development dynamics like non-GMO, nutritional labeling, transparency and food safety—all of which have the potential to positively influence overall shopper perceptions related to bread and the other baked goods that play a part of dietary patterns.
The number of gluten-free products that have entered the market in recent years is quite large—almost mind-boggling. To some degree, this trend was fostered by FDA’s relatively new rule, Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods (August 2013), which allows manufacturers of foods inherently gluten-free to make such label claims. Thus, we now have gluten-free tomato sauce, a product that was probably always gluten-free.
We’re in the midst of the Digital Age. With the onset of the Digital Revolution in the 1970s and continuing today, we’ve become significantly reliant upon computerized information. It’s the infrastructure of our high-tech global economy, and astute interpretation of this endless stream of data often makes or breaks businesses.
Snack foods are one of the most-innovative food categories, with countless new stock-keeping units (SKUs) introduced each year. As food manufacturers face stricter controls related to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), questions loom as to whether their innovation will be diminished.