Networking, world trends and the tastes of the future, were all key topics at the Australian Society of Baking’s (ASB’s) National Conference, held in October.
The conference, held on the Gold Coast, brought together a range of professionals from the Australian baking industry, including business owners and managers, manufacturers, bakers and apprentices.
Five keynote speakers discussed a wide range of trends, processes and strategy affecting today’s global baking industry.
Bradley Wright, general manager of Fresh Start Bakeries Australia, kick-started the sessions with a discussion on supplying customers in a crisis situation – referencing his experience in the 2010 Brisbane floods during which he was responsible for supplying apple pies, hot cakes and cake to McDonald’s restaurants throughout much of the country.
As the group marketing and development director, Colin Simmonds from AB Mauri also drew upon his experience in international marketing and technology development to highlight a range of key world trends. The importance of innovation was highlighted by Colin, who highlighted popular international trends including biodegradable bread boxes, cupcake vending machines and sweet pizzas. Specialty grains and artisan flours were also acknowledged as a way for the global baking industry to move forward and to maintain the interest of consumers.
Ash Gurney, business development manager Asia Pacific at Dawn Food Products, chaired the panelist session, where participants explored where the baking industry is heading.
As a guest on the panel, Lindsay Webber – director of Toowoomba’s Homestyle Bakeries – said consumers will dictate industry trends.
“Take fresh verses brought-in-product. We strongly push fresh product, but at the end of the day, there is no right and wrong. The consumer will decide what direction you take,”
“And consumer demand changes. In the past we’ve seen consumers looking for a cost benefit, but now they’re erring towards fresh product, and this will change again,” Lindsay said.