With a new year just around the corner, you have likely endured a barrage of information of late related to trend predictions du jour, product characteristics estimated by pundits to see potential prevalence in the snack and bakery worlds in 2016.

But the flipping of a calendar from one month to the next doesn’t magically yield new ingredients, categories and formulation tactics. The momentum behind the dynamics of every given snack and bakery product category relentlessly builds over time, forever renewed and taking shape within our interconnected foodscape spanning retail brands and private label, retail storefront bakeries, and our many levels of foodservice, from in-store offerings to restaurants continually jockeying to best position themselves for ideal consumer appeal. Meanwhile, the supply chain continues to reshape itself to meet the sourcing demands of snack producers and bakers from coast to coast.

During 2016, we’ll continue to see refinement of many of the prevailing trends in snack and bakery. These trends are perennial concerns these days, spanning clean label, better-for-you, sustainability and artisan. And from a manufacturing perspective, increasing plant efficiency will continue to drive equipment and operational concerns, while food safety remains perpetually top-of-mind, factoring into micro and macro decisions alike. Each of these “big bucket” variables plays a part in nearly every piece of content that we develop for Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery, with dedicated landing pages for these subject areas, conveniently collecting content pertaining to each, profiled on www.snackandbakery.com. Just look for the “Trends” menu on the home page to begin deeper dives into these vital areas of snack and bakery today.

As those of you in bakery fully know, 2016 is an IBIE year, with the International Baking Industry Exposition taking place in Las Vegas come October—an ideal venue to peruse the latest developments in equipment, packaging, ingredients and more for bakery businesses across the board, including wholesale and foodservice products, and retail bakeries. Leading up to the show, we will run several special supplements in Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery covering show details, as well as spotlights specific to the IBIE B.E.S.T. in Baking sustainability awards program sponsored by IBIE and Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery, equipment, regulatory concerns, and retail bakery business, with our first installment running this month in these pages and online. Also, look online for additional IBIE-related content—including multimedia features—regularly updated throughout the year, on our dedicated IBIE 2016 landing page at www.snackandbakery.com/IBIE2016. Submissions and nominations for the B.E.S.T. in Baking sustainability awards—given to equipment manufacturers, ingredient suppliers, packaging companies and logistics specialists, as well as wholesale and retail bakeries for the first time ever—are now open. We will present the awards during a special event at IBIE 2016 in October. 
See this month’s IBIE supplement and www.snackandbakery.com for complete details.

Every month of every year presents significant opportunities for snack producers and bakers to capitalize on industry trends, continually refined through the dollar-driven interplay between consumer and manufacturer. But you must remain in the know in order to keep your products traveling in the right direction.