The American Society of Baking's (ASB) BakingTECH went virtual this year for the first time, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and took place this week. Keynote speakers included Ross Shafer, Alan Beaulieu, and Javier Gonzalez. 

Ross Shafer, former game show host and late-night TV talk show host, kicked off BakingTECH with his keynote presentation, with lots of personal anecdotes. He said that the baking industry has been the gold standard for other industries during the pandemic, and gave some interesting advice, to "crash a meeting that's not yours," in order to further creative development. Click here to watch on-demand.

On Wednesday, Alan Beaulieu, president of ITR Economics, took the "stage," talking about economics, COVID, and tax increases. He said to expect a rise in sales in 2021, due to the U.S. Bakeries and Tortilla Production Index, and that there will be increased demand on producers. There's also good news for wholesale: the U.S. Bakeries and Tortilla Production Index forecast them providing food to U.S. single-unit housing; same for the snack market. Click here to watch on-demand. 

On Thursday, Javier Gonzalez, executive vice president, Grupo Bimbo, talked about how Grupo Bimbo is facing the future with innovation. He mentioned how to measure company growth, and said that Grupo Bimbo pivoted to making face masks and shields for their employees, designed by the Grupo Bimbo technology team, last year. They also designed an appt to follow the health of their employees, and have been offering psychological counseling webinars for them. Gonzalez also spoke about sustainability, renewable energy, solar energy, and wind and hydro energy. Grupo Bimbo also tries to reduce food waste that is generated in its value chain. Click here to watch on-demand.

ASB is excited to announce that the BakingTECH 2021 platform will be open through today, Friday, February 19, from 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. CST for a bonus Expo and Networking Day. During this day, attendees can:

  • Visit the MarketPlace: Request meetings with exhibitors by contacting their reps or sending a message via the Ask a Question button. 
  • Schedule one-to-one meetings using the Community & Speaker directories. 
  • View conference content under Videos On-Demand.

The full BakingTECH schedule included:

Tuesday, February 16

  • Welcome to BakingTECH 2021 & Keynote Address: Ross Shafer.
  • Engineering Ask-the-Expert Lunch & Learn Session 1: Ingredient Handling & Mixing. With Andrew McGhie, Bundy Baking Solutions; Luis Vargas, Bimbo Bakeries USA; Jeffrey Teasdale, Pepperidge Farm Inc.; and Jason Stricker, Shick Esteve.
  • Ingredients & Shelf Life: Modified Atmosphere Package Thermoforming of Bakery Products for Shelf Life & Food Security. With Kent Van Amburg, American Society of Baking, and Jeff Zeak, Reiser.
  • Ingredients & Shelf Life: Health & Well-Being - The Power of Food. With Jazmin Castillero, BakingTECH Planning Committee and Bimbo Bakeries USA, and Alexandra De Los Reyes, Puratos Corp.
  • Technology & Food Safety: Challenges to the Food Manufacturers Regarding Food Labeling Regulations. With Jazmin Castillero, and Susana Socolovsky, Pentachem Consulting. 
  • Consumer Trends & Baking's Path Forward. With Xochitl Cruz, BakingTECH Planning Committee and Bimbo Bakeries USA, and Sally Lyons Wyatt, IRI. 

Wednesday, February 17

  • Keynote Address: Alan Beaulieu, president of ITR Economics. 
  • Product Development Competition (PDC) Baker Oven: Team Presentations. With Kent Van Amburg; Marissa Stubs, Agropur; faculty from University of Wisconsin - Madison, University of Minnesota, and University of Florida.
  • Engineering Ask-the-Expert Lunch & Learn Session 2: Ovens & Spraying. With Liborio Villalobos, Grupo Bimbo; Jeremiah Tilghman, Floweres Foods; Clay Miller, Burford Corp.; Chris Gizzi, Puratos Corp.; and Rowdy Brixey, Brixey Engineering, Inc.
  • Consumer Trends: Strategic Themes in Food and Nutrition - A Coronavirus Update. With Xochitl Cruz; and Tom Rees, Euromonitor International.
  • Technology & Food Safety: Traceability Record-keeping and Digitized Supply Chains - Preparing for a New Era in Baking. With Pedro Mancillas, BakingTECH Planning Committee and Corbion, and Julie McGill, FoodLogiQ.
  • Ingredients & Shelf Life: The Cage-Free Movement. With William Hidalgo, BakingTECH Planning Committee, Corbion Caravan; and Richard Gates, Egg Industry Center, Iowa State University.
  • General Session: Lessons From COVID-19 for Consumer Products Supply Chains. With Jorge Zarate, ASB chairman, Grupo Bimbo, and Kimberly Becker, Gartner. 

Thursday, February 18

  • Keynote Address: Javier Gonzalez, vice president, Grupo Bimbo.
  • Engineering Ask-the-Expert Lunch & Learn Session 3: Packaging & Warehousing. With Gary Brodsky; Michael Lucchesi, Gonnella Baking Company; Josh Becker, Harpak-ULMA; John Keane, III, AMF Bakery Systems; and Jim Kline, The Ensol Group.
  • ABA Presidents' Panel: Beyond COVID, View from the C-Suite. With Bill Quigg, Richmond Baking; Audrey St. Onge, Lallemand; Tyson Yu, ARYZTA North America; Robb MacKie, American Bakers Association; and Clay Miller, Burford Corp.
  • Consumer Trends: Intelligent Bread. With Xochitl Cruz; and Enrique Andaluz, Microsoft.
  • Technology & Food Safety: The Use of External Resources in Training Programs. With Pedro Mancillas; and Carl Rasmussen, Commercial Food Sanitation LLC.
  • Ingredients & Shelf-Life: Pulse Power - Understanding Pulses through Bioinformatics for Egg Replacement. With William Hidalgo, BakingTech Planning Committee and Corbion Caravan; and Harrison Helmick, Purdue University. 
  • Product Development Competition (PDC) Baker Oven: Winners' Presentation. With Andre Biane, AIB International; Kent Van Amburg; Marissa Stubbs, Agropur; and faculty from the University of Wisconsin - Madison, University of Minnesota, and University of Florida.
  • Closing Session: Hall of Fame Watch Party & Robert A. Fischer Distinguished Service Award Ceremony. With Lee Sanders, American Bakers Association and Society of Bakery Women; and Kent Van Amburg.

ASB remains committed to supporting and strengthening the commercial baking industry. In the face of a difficult year, it challenged itself to adapt and evolve, designing BakingTECH 2021 with its core principles in mind: education, innovation, and collaboration. 

On-demand access will be available for 60 days post-event. Click here to view the full BakingTECH schedule, and click here to watch all of the presentations on-demand.