Australian Society of Baking (ASB) members met on the Gold Coast in April as part of the ASB Queensland conference, study tour and golf day. Industry managers and food technologists presented views on management techniques, food trends and ways to overcome challenges.
Rich Product US senior vice president, Dennis Lanning presented at the conference and said that health and wellness are key ‘mega-trends’ of the future.
Food must above all taste good, but texturing and layering are becoming as important as safety and nutrition, Mr Lanning explained.
“People want to look to indulge, but not bulge,” Mr Lanning said.
“A person seeking foods that target specific dietary needs should not have to settle for items that are less nutritional than conventional products,” he said.
Insights revealed by Mr Lanning included confectionary sizes, shapes, colours and fillings he had learnt from his global travels, including visits to the Shanghai Bakery Show.
“If you travel around the world you’re going to see cupcakes, cupcakes and more cupcakes. Cupcakes are as hot today as they were yesterday,” he said.
“Cake rolls… look at cake rolls for what they could be. They don’t necessarily have to be that sponge cake with that raspberry filling.”
Mr Lanning also suggested that there needs to be greater variety in individuals dessert shapes and sizes.
Retail Food Group national training and human resources manager, Julie Bromley presented strategies for managing Generation Y by harnessing positive messages and making use of modern social media technology.
“The trick is to build that connection. It’s about fairness, it’s about recognition, it’s about being involved,” Ms Bromley said.
Gold Coast pie manufacturer, Clancy Pies owner, Patrick Clancy discussed his company’s history, innovative pie packaging and finding success with the Clancy Traveller Pie.
“What I did was to read a market and assess what the big companies were doing, have a look at what the consumer was doing and see if there was a place for us,” he said.
“What we did as far as reading the market was quite clever. We realised that we didn’t want to be in milk bars… we needed volume.”
ASB members visited several Gold Coast bakeries on the second day of the conference, including pastry manufacturer and exporter TGA Pastry Company.
The manufacturer exports thousands of tonnes of frozen butter bread and puff pastry dough to Japan, but is looking to “bridge the gap” into the Australian market.
“We think we can do quite well. We started off with some good sales and are not looking for huge margins,” TGA’s Mike Royal said.
“There’s a lot of benefits, such as being able to relocate staff (within the company).”
The ASB will hold its next conference and industry tour in Melbourne from 18-19 October.