Easily digestible foods, sodium-reduction technology, industry assets and international trade shows were among the trending topics at the Australian Society of Baking (ASB) mid-year conference.
Today’s competing technology and rapidly changing trends make it hard for industry to latch on to a winner. Nonetheless, those who attended the ASB’s annual get-together went home better informed and more connected, acknowledging one universal truth: baking is a robust industry globally with real opportunities for those who embrace innovation.
With so much weight being thrown behind gluten-free and other speciality foods, safety systems and compliance is a hot topic. To get industry onboard, ARYZTA director of quality Asia Pacific Alison Wright discussed the legalities of “may contain” and “may be present” labelling claims and the need to assist consumers to make better, more informed choices.
“Safety systems aren’t all about due diligence. Consumers will buy your brand again and again if you label correctly, because they will come to trust you,” she said.
“It’s great to change things up in your bakery, but if you’re doing something different, do you have a risk assessment, do you have a new policy, do you have due diligence? There’s a lot to consider when it comes to food safety systems, whether it’s in the raw ingredients themselves, in the plant or in the manufacturing process.”
Mauri ANZ global consumer insights manager Rani Berry added to the discussion on health and wellbeing trends, claiming “no allergens” claims were among the most popular labels on new bakery product launches globally.
Other megatrends looking towards 2020 identified at the conference included on-the-go breakfast innovation, clean labels, private labels, sensory indulgence (experimental foods) and ethical foods, such as environmentally-sustainable products.
“In 2014, the bread category was worth $225 billion globally, with cakes and pastries worth more than $140 billion. Around $23 billion of this market is in the Asia Pacific, so there are huge opportunities for growth locally,” Rani said.
“There are real opportunities for companies that embrace social media, high-protein and low-carb products and innovation.”
In fact, the more creative, the better, with Rani showing the audience images of marmite-caramel cupcakes, Kit Kats that turn into cakes when baked, experimental snack doughnuts, chimney cakes, highly-decorated éclairs and even customised toasters that burn ‘selfies’ on to bread.
Australian Bakels’ Trevor Peden went on to entertain the audience with tales of his charity motorbike ride around Australia, before insightful presentations by Eugene Ivan on emission technology and the top 10 health trends, put together by Elevating Food Systems’ Dijana Green, among others.
The ASB Annual Conference will be held in Brisbane on October 28, with industry tour and a line up of international and local presenters.
Those attending the full-day industry tour were lucky enough to engage with this year’s LA Judge Award candidates as they were being evaluated in areas of practical baking, technical knowledge and communication abilities.
After each presentation, the delegates fired questions at the young hopefuls to delve deeper into their subject matters, which ranged from how to capitalise on the digital age utilising social media and the latest technology, through to Australia’s impact on the global bread market, and how to capture long-term customers.
“We were taken for a tour of the Grain Growers facility, where in the test bakery, the LA judge finalists were making bread displays and ciabatta rolls for the gala dinner that night,” Australian Society of Baking (ASB) chairman Fee Lee said.
“Next Stop, Continental Patisserie, which has committed to hand-crafting traditional favourites and trend-leading flavour combinations. Here, we were treated to a range of tantalising desserts and small patisserie items, inspired by recipes from around the world.
“Fully HACCP accredited, the 3800sq m facility also works around-the-clock to supply a premium selection of garnishes and sauces that complement their extensive range of desserts and patisserie items – adding another level of value for clients.
“The industry tour was also impressed with the productive and efficiently run set-up for the Aryzta Group (Fresh Start Bakery), the final stop. The output on the one hamburger line alone could be as high as 8500 dozen rolls or 102,000 units per hour.
“Seeing these types of production facilities is immensely beneficial for owners of all sorts of bakery businesses.”