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.
Industry expert perspectives on handcrafted, handmade, artisanal, long fermentation, high hydration, open crumb, Old World, traditional, sourdough, craft, small batch and other subjects related to artisan bread and baking.
Industry expert perspectives on developing snack and bakery products with clean, clear, simplified labels and ingredients, including preservative-free, using natural colors and flavors, non-GMO, natural, and organic.
Industry expert advice and guidance on preventing food recalls, preventing allergen cross-contamination, preventing pathogens, developing HACCP plans, improving worker safety, meeting FDA regulations, passing FDA inspections and other measures to improve food safety at snack and bakery facilities.
Industry expert perspectives and strategies for improving workforce education, advancement and development at snack and bakery companies, including worker training and careers in snack and bakery production.
During the recent and highly successful in-person PACK EXPO, Jorge Izquierdo, vice president of market development for PMMI, passed along some highlights from his 2021 PMMI "State of the Industry" report, including data noting a significant uptick in packaging equipment purchases.
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October 14, 2021
One of the best parts of my job is traveling around this great country to visit with snack and bakery companies, some of which have helped define this industry for over a century. I'm always humbled to hear their pioneering stories of perseverance and success - and honored with the privilege of telling their stories to the world.
When I travel, or throughout the always-lively and competitive greater Chicagoland grocery industry, my home market, I revel in visits to unfamiliar grocery and convenience stores. Instantly immersed, strolling the perimeter and aisles, eyes darting to end caps and standalone displays, I'm a true omnivore awash in the thrill of the hunt for something new and delicious.
The COVID-19 pandemic has multiple lessons for the snack industry. Overall, the snack industry has had a strong, up year. But the degree of a "COVID bump" varied from category to category. As we emerge and plan for the future, recent, and current, product purchase behaviors can help provide a roadmap for what's to come.
As I've engaged (remotely) with the industry of late, I've heard myriad stories of hardship and determined struggle, of community support and selfless volunteerism, of ingenuity and fortitude. These core values, so central to true leadership, are what bridge the gap to unite us across this great nation.
In the ongoing grip of the COVID-19 pandemic as we enter a new year, and a new administration in Washington, we reached out for an update from Robb MacKie, President and CEO, American Bakers Association (ABA), Washington, D.C.