During the annual BEMA Convention, held in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico from June 19–23, attendees sat in on several panel discussions covering industry trends and gave back to the local community. BEMA also announced its 2018–2019 Board of Directors.
A panel covering current business trends in doughnuts featured Dave Hipenbecker, senior director of engineering, Hostess Brands, and Jon Dairman, corporate operations manager, The Doughnut Peddler. The two covered some key differentiating details within their respective businesses while looking at strategies for growth and market extension.
Hostess Brands has found renewed success with a business model focused on long-shelf-life products and direct distribution, rising to its current level of $800 million in annual sales. Hostess currently operates six manufacturing locations. Most recently, Hostess brought its new Bakery Petites line to market, premium, bite-sized sweet goods like cake and brownie bites sold in resealable stand-up pouches.
The Doughnut Peddler has its own unique take on the doughnut business, distributing fresh doughnuts daily to its retailer customers and relying on a customized SKU tracking system to streamline ordering and category management. The Doughnut Peddler also offers its own customized display racks for its products, and even goes so far as to develop its own custom-built trucks. The company has steadily expanded its distribution area over the past few years.
A sweet goods panel during the BEMA Convention featured Paul Chan, president, Kresent Plus; Brian McGuire, president SROriginals; Jonathan Robins, president, Jonathan Robins Bakery; and Guymon Drouin, national engineering manager, Grupo Bimbo Canada. The three addressed operational dynamics like how equipment can help meet ever-changing product development demands. These demands can lead to changes on the production line that sometimes result in a “Frankenstein” effect regarding equipment. The bakers on the panel challenged the equipment manufacturers in the audience to closely partner with them to overcome these operational difficulties.
Other presentations at the BEMA Convention covered market strategies for Latin America and China. The event also offers multiple opportunities for networking and potential business development.
BEMA Gives Back, a first-ever service event for BEMA members, baker guests and their families, was held during the BEMA Convention. Two hundred attendees participated in service projects to help children and the elderly in the Los Cabos area. Participants painted pieces of math boards, a teaching tool for students at La CAM, a local school for children with special needs. Members also donated first aid and general school supplies to La CAM. BEMA members also donated school supplies for 75 backpacks for middle school children served by Liga Mac, which provides scholarships for middle and high school students. BEMA Gives Back participants also assembled and decorated eleven bunkbeds and cribs to be donated to Casa Hogar, a home for children in foster care. Also, 80 pairs of shoes were donated, along with personalized cards, to an elder-care home.
BEMA also announced its 2018–2019 Board of Directors at the event:
BEMA’s 2018–2019 Board of Directors
Chairman of the Board
First Vice Chairman
Second Vice Chairman
Third Vice Chairman
Immediate Past Chairman
President & CEO
The Austin Company
Eric W. Riggle
AMF Bakery Systems
Reading Bakery Systems
Formost Fuji Corp.
The 2019 BEMA Convention will be held in Beaver Creek, CO.