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Jan. 26, 2015, Palm Beach Gardens, FL -- Respect Foods Inc. has unveiled a new line of frozen breakfast sandwiches for immediate distribution in North America.
Dec. 19, 2014, Chicago — To'ak Chocolate is releasing 574 bars of what may well be the world's most rare and sublime dark chocolate, now available for the first time. Each 50 gram bar is priced at $260 and available for purchase at, as well as limited specialty retailers.
Three-ounce brown plastic disposable espresso cup with Handle (sleeve of 25). Take your espresso with you on the go. Great for parties, catering, pool side, gelato and much more.
  Oct. 28, 2014 – Welcome Home Brands’ new disposable presentation paper provides a method of wrapping and serving single-serve portions of candy and baked goods for individual sale.
  Sept. 22, 2014 – Fortress Technology’s FM software for Fortress metal detectors is designed to be compatible with all Fortress detectors and can be installed on location on the Phantom and Stealth models.
Sept. 18, 2014 – The ShuffleMix aeration mixer is designed to help improve the overall appearance of cream pies by providing better aeration and greater volume.
Aug. 3, 2014 – Steviva Ingredients has launched GMO-free Erysweet Erythritol, a sweetener for use in such applications as bars, desserts and sweet baked goods.
  Aug. 5, 2014 – Ashworth Bros. recently fulfilled a large order for the Lotension Omni-Pro 150 spiral belt.
July 30, 2014 – Two products from Corbion Caravan, Arco Pro Relaxer and LC-5 ASSIST, help reduce dough mixing time and improve dough rheology and machinability.
July 15, 2014 – Mettler Toledo’s new software allows weighing terminal users to integrate weighing transaction data into PC databases.
June 23, 2014 – The Dutchess Model JN Semi-Automatic Dough Divider/Rounder is now certified for safety to Canadian UL standards and for sanitary design to NSF standards.
Baking Team Canada continues to train hard for the Americas qualifying round of the Louis Lesaffre Cup, May 30-June 6 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, according to the latest update from team captain Alan Dumonceaux.
Bonjour Bakery in Edmonton is the winner of Bakers Journal’s 2014 Business Innovation Award. The bakery is owned and operated by Yvan Chartrand, 54, and as the winner, he receives a $500 prize and a plaque to hang in his bakery. Jelly Modern Doughnuts, with locations in Toronto and Calgary, is our runner-up. More on them below.Chartrand runs Bonjour Bakery with help from his wife, Ritsuko; their 28-year-old son, Kenny; and two part-time employees. They purchased the business, then known as Tree Stone Bakery, in 2010 (although they have temporarily retained the Tree Stone name and brand while they give the building a makeover), taking over from longtime owner/operator Nancy Rubuliak, who ran the bakery for more than a decade.Prior to establishing Bonjour Bakery, Chartrand owned and operated two bakeries in Sapporo, Japan, where he met his wife. “The Japanese make excellent bread,” he recalls. “They are so organized. They go and study the process in France and keep it exactly the same.“We were one of the first bakeries to introduce bagels in Japan and customers there called them hard doughnuts. We had to teach them how to eat bagels,” he recalls with a laugh.The Chartrand family produces a fairly traditional lineup of breads, bagels, baguettes, brioches and croissants, but their production and marketing are far from being stuck in the past. For example, thanks to the acquisition of some new Italian-made equipment, such as a hydraulic divider, Yvan, Ritsuko and Kenny are able to start later in the day while making the same quality of baked goods.One of the biggest challenges of staffing a bakery, Chartrand says, “is finding someone who wants to work from 2 to 8 in the morning. By doing these changes in processes and technology, between the three of us we have doubled the level of production that was here before.”Hiring help has also become difficult thanks to Alberta’s oil boom. Rubuliak struggled to find journeyman bakers and as a result had trouble meeting demand. But so far, the Chartrands have managed to keep up. They’ve even successfully moved into the wholesale market, supplying restaurants and cafes, while retaining the look, feel and yes, smell, of a small local bread shop.“We are constantly introducing new products. We are traditional but we make all kinds of new doughs. We look at what customers are asking for and go from there.”Some of Chartrand’s recent innovations include a traditional sourdough bread made with barley and brown rice, as well as purple wheat bread. “Here in Alberta we one of the only bakeries that make the purple wheat bread,” says Chartrand. “It’s mainly made in Saskatchewan but as far as artisan bakeries go, we are the only ones doing that.”Upon purchasing the business, Chartrand made major upgrades to the bakery equipment and more than doubled product output and revenues—while staying true to his vision of making European-style bread.“That’s one of the biggest problems for bakeries like us—trying to get bigger and more profitable,” he says. “We have done it by changing production techniques. Even though we are traditional, we are using the latest technology.”That technology includes a hydraulic dough divider imported from Italy that has allowed Chartrand to drastically cut the amount of labour time needed to produce bread.“It doesn’t change the quality but it changes your timing,” he says. “We still do some loaves by hand but many we’ve put in the new machines. Everything is in a controlled chamber, with a controlled temperature. So instead of starting at 2 in the morning we start at 5 or 6 so it’s a lot easier on staff.”Some of Chartrand’s most innovative work, however, has been done not in the backroom but on the business plan. He came up with a strategy to find new sources of revenue and has executed it with great success, growing the bakery’s annual sales to restaurants from $10,000 to $100,000.“We are more profitable wholesale than retail,” he says. “That’s where I think small bakeries are missing some opportunities. But we would not have been able to do that without upgrading our processes. That’s a trend small bakeries in North America can adopt. The big guys can’t produce the high-end bread that nice restaurants and cafes want. For us, that’s been really important. And financially it’s been a big help: I was able to pay off my loans a year and half early.” Title Title   View the embedded image gallery online at: Another new avenue for growth at Bonjour Bakery has been the addition of gourmet meats and cheeses. Chartrand has devoted part of his counter space to fine cheeses and is in the process of installing a room for prepared and fermented meats, such as charcuterie. It’s a trend Chartrand has seen taking hold in Quebec and he intends to bring it to Edmonton. “So instead of going to a specialty meat or cheese shop, they can get it here” with their baguette, he says. “That way, I can raise the sale by $5-$6 per customer. That’s a huge difference—cheese and meat are very profitable, which really helps the bottom line. And there’s not much additional labour involved.”What’s remarkable about Bonjour Bakery is how Chartrand has innovated so much without losing sight of his core mission, which is to serve the community as a small, neighbourhood bakery. Even more impressively, he also aspires to serve his fellow bakers. Of particular concern to him is the workload—and by extension, stress—bakers put upon themselves because they don’t stop to examine how they are running their bakeries.“I want to help other bakers and other bakeries. I’ve been baking for 20-odd years; I’ve had businesses overseas, and so small bakeries here in Edmonton will come and see me to talk about processes. I want to see them succeed with a good quality of life. You have to be passionate, of course, but your passion can put you in the hospital. It makes no sense to get sick, get divorced, over a business. I would be happy to be recognized as someone who wants to help small bakeries see each other as partners instead of competitors. In business, whenever you become arrogant, that’s when it starts to go downhill. Why do you want to be in business to make enemies? Life is short, so you might as well be friendly with everybody.”And although the business has grown quite a bit during the five years Chartrand and his family have owned and operated it, they’ve been careful to maintain ties to the customer base. “My wife just came back from three weeks in Japan and customers are hugging her and saying welcome back,” he says. “That personal touch is often missing here in North American bakeries.”
Dec. 31, 2014, Hamilton, Ont. -- Nicola Cino has been behind the Italian treats at Frank's Sicilia Bakery for 50 years. He bakes everything from scratch and three generations of Hamiltonians have celebrated with his creations. | READ MORE
Dec. 8, 2014 -- Bonjour Bakery in Edmonton is the winner of Bakers Journal’s 2014 Business Innovation Award. The bakery is owned and operated by Yvan Chartrand, 54, and as the winner, he receives a $500 prize and a plaque to hang in his bakery. Jelly Modern Donuts, with locations in Toronto and Calgary, is our runner-up.
Paris has long been known as a city where passion and indulgence reign; where chic patrons flock to bakery cafés for hand-crafted baguettes, rich French pastries and artisanal chocolates.
Infamous chef and TV personality, Julia Child, once noted: “In France, cooking is a serious art form and a national sport.”
Sept. 17, 2014, Hamilton, Ont. – Gala Bakery is ramping up production of its specialty, burek, a traditional stuffed pastry popular in the Balkans, the Middle East and North Africa, reports The Hamilton Spectator. | READ MORE
Brad Churchill is not afraid to get in your face about chocolate.
At 2:00 p.m. on a Wednesday afternoon, the large, airy retail storefront and café of Bobbette & Belle Artisanal Pastries is buzzing. A group of women laugh and talk over slices of cake; two young men grab lattés at the counter; and customers saunter in to buy the shop’s infamous macarons and other treats.
The quintessential French baguette speaks of time, care and craftsmanship. It’s caramel-coloured, crumbly crust and fluffy middle rippled with airy holes is a testament to skilled bakers who spend years honing their ability to shape, fold and score the dough to perfect proportions.
Jessie Jones leads a double life. From Monday to Friday, she is a full-time chef at London Bridge daycare in London, Ont., where she has provided meals and snacks since 2009.
Galettes often take round shapes similar to a pancake or large cookie, but this recipe calls for the dessert to be cut up into rectangular strips, which could be sold individually as snacks.
March 11, 2015 -- A wholesome treat for the puppy or dog in your family! This recipe is courtesy of celebrity chef Anna Olson, who is the Ontario SPCA National Cupcake Day spokesperson. Please note that this recipe was created specifically for pets.
Nick Malgieri, director of the baking program at the Institute of Culinary Education, conceived this chocolate bourbon cake to be an ideal delicacy for customers in search of decadent treats. Malgieri is the author of BREAD, BAKE! Essential Techniques for Perfect Baking, The Modern Baker, CHOCOLATE and How to Bake.Ingredients 8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces, plus extra for greasing 51/2 oz. Green & Black’s Organic dark 70 percent chocolate, finely chopped 1/4 cup granulated sugar 4 tbsp. all-purpose flour pinch salt 3 large eggs 1/2 tbsp. high quality bourbon 1/4  cup dark brown sugar whipped cream, to serve MethodPosition a rack in the top third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 F. Thoroughly butter an 8-inch round, 2-inch deep pan. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, allowing it to sizzle and get very hot. Remove from heat, add the chocolate, and whisk until smooth. Set aside to cool. In a separate bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, flour and salt. Whisk in the eggs and the bourbon, continuing to whisk until combined. Stir the brown sugar into the cooled chocolate mixture to combine. Slowly stir the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake 25 minutes.Place the pan on a wire rack and let cool completely. Unmold the cake onto a serving plate and serve with whipped cream. Serves 8 to 10. Recipe courtesy of Green & Black’s Organic.
Jan. 21, 2015, Norwich, VT -- King Arthur Flour has selected Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies as the 2015 Recipe of the Year.  The cookies are a specialty of its Bake Truck, which travels the country handing out the cookies as part of the company’s Bake for Good fundraising program.
You cannot really go wrong with the chocolate cupcake. My recipe is pretty spectacular and always sells out in my bake shop.
Dec. 19, 2014 -- On Feb. 23, get your bakery involved in the fight against animal cruelty by observing National Cupcake Day, a benefit for Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and Humane Societies. Bake your best cupcakes and collect donations in support of SPCAs and Humane Societies across Canada. National Cupcake Day is designed to help raise much needed funds for all fuzzy friends, big and small, that have been abused, abandoned or are in need of help. To inspire you, celebrity chef and Ontario SPCA and Humane Society spokeswoman Anna Olson has created a cupcake recipe especially for National Cupcake Day.
This recipe for fabulous (and gluten-free) Cranberry Almond Loaf was created by Elana Amsterdam.
This apricot and pistachio version of Raincoast Crisps is adapted from Julie Van Rosendaal’s recipe for these double-baked treats. Delightfully crisp, these crackers are bursting with dried fruit, nuts, and seeds.
Jessie Jones of Jonesin' for Cake in London, Ont.,
Vancouver Community College baking instructor Marlie Van de Ven demonstrates how to use fresh, local ingredients to create your own version of a homemade recipe.
A behind the scenes look at how Christina Tosi makes compost cookies at Momofuku Milk Bar's bakery in Brooklyn.
April 16, 2015, Cologne, Germany -- Bakers must make crucial food safety step changes beyond the oven, particularly with implementation of the U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) ongoing, warns a food safety specialist. | READ MORE
Bakers have plenty of options when it comes to aerating dough and batter.
F ood legislation is a science-based discipline. Every proposed new food regulation – whether it’s as minuscule as an extended use of a previously approved food additive, or as wide-sweeping as the regulatory review of a genetically modified food crop – is evaluated on its scientific merit.
Even though the origins are speculative, bread-making is thought to be prehistoric. Records of both beer and bread-making dating back to ancient Egypt reveal that fermented foods are among humanity’s oldest attempts to preserve food.
The chemical compounds present in plants are generally called phytochemicals. Thousands and thousands of these compounds are naturally found in the leaves, fruits and seeds of plants. These phytochemicals normally are present in the plants for specific reasons.
Food industry experts gathered at the NSF-GFTC Safe Food Canada symposium Feb. 26 in Brampton, Ont., to get up to speed on food safety developments.
Feb. 24, 2015, Park Ridge, IL — A golden statuette or a rich, golden yolk? Golden statues are rare, while egg ingredients help create food enjoyed by everyone — and food manufacturers seem to agree.
The Institute of Food Science and Technology defines shelf life as: “the time during which the food product will remain safe, is certain to retain desired sensory, chemical, physical and microbiological characteristics, and will comply with any label declarations of nutritional data when stored under the recommended conditions.”The primary goal is to make food safe to eat, but it is also important to make food desirable to eat. Shelf-life testing evaluates four areas: microbial, physical and chemical deterioration, and sensory attributes. The endpoint is product-specific and is defined by the food becoming unacceptable due to spoilage and/or sensory deterioration. Numerous factors—including pH, moisture content, water activity, packaging and storage, and preservative usage—influence the spoilage of bakery products.Microbial spoilage is often the limiting factor in the shelf life for intermediate- and high-moisture bakery products. A means to managing this is to control water activity (Aw). Bacteria typically require a high Aw (0.94-0.99) and are limited to bakery products with high moisture content. “Rope” caused by Bacillus subtilis is a common problem in bread. The crumb becomes discoloured and sticky with a flavour of cantaloupe due to the growth of the bacteria.Propionates, naturally found in raisin paste or puree or acetic acid, can remedy this problem while maintaining a clean label. Mould normally grows at Aw  levels greater than 0.8 and is a frequent problem in baked goods. Products generally become contaminated by mould spores in the environment or from additions such as glazes following the baking process. Packaging as soon as possible after baking can minimize contamination.Yeast spoilage occurs in intermediate and high moisture baked goods. Visible growth on product surfaces is typical in products with high Aw  and a short shelf life. Fermentative spoilage is more common in low Aw  products like fruitcakes and is made apparent by alcoholic and other odours and visible gas production such as bubbles in jellies and bloated packaging.Maintaining good manufacturing practices is essential, and the use of preservatives such as sorbates or benzoates can effectively inhibit yeast. The growth of contaminants may be controlled through product reformulation, to reduce pH and/or Aw, while still using ingredients seen as label-friendly. The pH can be decreased using cultured sugar, wheat and milk ingredients produced from lactic acid fermentation and Aw  can be reduced by adding sugars or salts or humectants such as honey or glycerol.Staling is considered a serious physical spoilage concern in bakery products. Delaying this through the use of emulsifiers can help maintain a soft crumb and tenderness in bakery products. Mono- and di-glycerides are commonly used, while soy lecithin is a clean label alternative. Moisture transfer is another issue, where moisture loss can result in hardening, or drying seen often in breads. Moisture gain can cause undesirable softening or clumping, such as in a baking mix. Using packaging products with selective moisture and gas barriers can help extend the shelf life by reducing water vapour rates and oxygen transmission.Chemical spoilage is common in high-fat bakery products due to rancidity. Lipid degradation, either oxidative or hydrolytic, produces off-odours and off-flavours often described as fishy or cardboard-like. Antioxidants such as BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxy toluene) are used to prevent chemical spoilage. Rosemary extract, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), tocopherol (vitamin E) are alternative label friendly options. Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) can also be effective, by changing the composition of the atmosphere around the product, typically with a mixture of carbon dioxide and nitrogen. Reducing the oxygen limits oxidation, and additionally, slows microbial growth.Sensory evaluation of the bakery products assists in determining an end point. Flavours, textures, aromas, colours, and appearance are monitored at set intervals and may be compared to a control. Evaluators may discover rancid, or “off” flavours and odours, tough textures, dark or bleached colours, or changes to the appearance. These sensory changes coincide with the chemical, microbial, or physical spoilage in the food and should be used in conjunction with analysis whenever possible and safe.Sensory testing can be descriptive, discriminative, or based on consumer acceptability. Descriptive testing can look at a product profile, monitoring a number of attributes (for example bitterness, sweetness, sourness, aroma, aftertaste) with trained panelists, or use a structured scale such as ranking bitterness from “Not Bitter” to “Extremely Bitter.” It is useful when changes in the product profile or appearance are expected but still acceptable.Discrimination testing looks for differences from a control. This is useful when products are not expected to change considerably. A triangle test, where two samples are identical and a third sample is different, requires the panelist to identify the different sample is an example.Affective testing for consumer acceptability is used when acceptability is the key driver. A large number of consumers (more than 100) should be used and a hedonic scale is an appropriate measure.A shelf-life study should be completed in real time. When working with a product with a long shelf life, such as biscotti, people question how they can speed up a shelf-life study. An accelerated shelf-life study may be used for directional guidance in this instance. An example is storage of a product under high oxygen. This allows for a four-fold acceleration factor, where one-month storage under high oxygen is approximately equivalent to four months at ambient storage. Only qualitative changes due to exposure to oxygen are affected (such as rancidity), so it is important that a real time shelf-life study be completed to confirm the results of the accelerated shelf-life study. Sarah Sorensen is a project manager with NSF-GFTC ( NSF-GFTC assists clients in reformulating products and redeveloping processes and packaging to meet shelf-life targets while maintaining food safety principals and sensory objectives.
An update on the troublesome chemical compound known as acrylamideThe first report of the presence of acrylamide in processed foods came out in April 2002 when the Swedish National Food Administration and Stockholm University reported its presence in a variety of fried and oven-baked goods. This report indicated that the formation of acrylamide is associated with high-temperature cooking processes of certain foods containing high amounts of carbohydrates. Prior to these Swedish discoveries, health concerns associated with acrylamide centred on workers exposed to acrylamide in their work environment or people exposed to cigarette smoke.More than 12 years since the first findings, many reports have summarized issues relating to acrylamide in foods. A comprehensive report by the joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives published in February 2005 looked at studies on its toxicity, the process of its formation in food products and possible ways to reduce its presence in such foods. In this report, the findings indicate that trace amounts of acrylamide are formed during boiling (100 C) but the majority of the compound is formed when the temperature of the food reaches 120 C or higher. The chemical is most likely to accumulate during the final stages of baking, frying or grilling. It’s prominent in foods containing high amounts of carbohydrates and low protein, and it’s associated with Maillard reactions, which are responsible for the browning of foods.More specifically, acrylamide is formed by the reaction of the amino acid asparagine with simple carbohydrates such as sugar during the exposure of the food to heat. Other factors contributing to its formation and increased levels include variations of cooking times and temperatures to which foods are exposed during processing. Asparagine is found in many food commodities but is particularly high in potatoes and cereals.A report by the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP) released on Aug. 13, 2012, concluded that acrylamide causes cancer in several different tissues in laboratory mice and rats. The report confirms that acrylamide is present in several carbohydrate-rich foods that have been fried, roasted or baked at high temperatures (>120 C). These include potato chips, French fries, cookies, crisp bread and crackers and coffee (ready to drink) with contents ranging from three to 1,202 ppb of acrylamide.However, reviews of many research projects by global regulatory agencies reveal that while a significant amount of acrylamide intake has been found to produce cancer in laboratory animals, scientists have not conclusively determined if these findings are relevant to humans. Indeed, many epidemiologic studies looking into different types of cancer—such as prostate, breast, brain, lung, colorectal and bladder—did not find any conclusive evidence that dietary acrylamide increases the risk of  the formation of such cancers.In a study conducted in 2009, the National Food Institute in Denmark found a slight correlation between breast cancer and dietary acrylamide intake but concluded that more extensive research is needed to conclusively interpret these findings. Further research findings are likely to provide the scientific basis needed for regulatory and dietary recommendations of this chemical compound in foods. For the time being, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Health Canada, the World Health Organization and others recommend a balanced diet—including high-fiber grains, fruits and vegetables and foods that are low in trans fats and saturated fats—as the best way to prevent cancer and other illnesses.While the results of linking dietary acrylamide to human cancers and other health issues are inconclusive, food and ingredient manufacturers, governments as well as other scientific bodies continue to investigate ways to minimize or prevent the formation of this compound in process foods.Food and Drink Europe developed a toolbox containing 14 different parameters (tools) to help food producers in their efforts to reduce the formation of acrylamide in foods. The toolbox is divided into four compartments dealing with agronomic factors, formulation, processing and final preparation (instructions by manufacturers to consumer). One way to reduce the formation of acrylamide in processed foods is to reduce or eliminate the presence of the amino acid asparagine prior to exposing the food to the heat treatment. Reduction or elimination of asparagine can be achieved by using the enzyme asparginase, which converts the amino acid into aspartic acid and does not result in the formation of Acrylamide. This enzyme, however, might be difficult to be applied to solid foods. The enzyme is mainly produced by fermentation of two different species of the fungus aspergillus and is now commercially available from two major enzyme manufacturers under two different trade names: Preventase from DSM and Acrylaway from Novozymes.Since the introduction of these enzymes in the market, new and improved ones have been developed that can withstand the temperatures of food processing. For example, Novozymes has introduced Acrylaway High T, which is stable and active in foods that are exposed to very high temperatures during processing.Many other possible prevention techniques have been suggested, including the use of various compounds in the formulations or as coatings and immersion media. However, one must be careful in introducing such compounds in a formulation due to possible changes in the organoleptic and other qualities of the final product.Discovering new ways to minimally process (by reducing the time and high-temperature exposure) foods that are safe for human consumption will help deal with this issue as it will also reduce the damage heat can cause to healthful and nutritional components such as vitamins and other antioxidants. On the agronomic front, attempts are being made to develop varieties of crops that contain reduced amounts of asparagine. As more data becomes available, the issue and concerns of the presence of acrylamide in foods will resurface from time to time. In the meantime, the food industry should look into additional ways to prevent the formation of this chemical in foods, thereby ensuring the safety of their products and readying themselves for future regulatory changes.
Feb. 9, 2015, Washington, D.C. -- U.S. President Barack Obama makes the case for a new agency dedicated to food safety in his budget proposal for fiscal 2016. | READ MORE
Feb. 3, 2015, London, United Kingdom -- Dietary sugars intakes are decreasing or stable in most countries, according to a data review of 10 European countries, Australia, New Zealand and the United States. | READ MORE
Jan. 21, 2015, Jacksonville, FL -- With Valentine's Day just around the corner, does chocolate appeal to us because of its flavor, symbolic meaning of love, or potential health benefits? | READ MORE
Gourmet Baker is one of Canada’s leading producers of baked desserts, and in 2011 it received a principal certificate for food safety from the British Retail Consortium. Less than 10 per cent of Gourmet Baker’s output is sold under its name. The balance is purchased frozen and unbaked by wholesalers, supermarkets and restaurants throughout North America.
Inspire customer loyalty by making your bakery a pillar of the community.
The Canadian Truck King Challenge has concerned itself with real-world pickup truck testing since 2006 – and still does. However, over the past few years a one-of-a-kind metamorphosis has taken place in the commercial van market in Canada – one that simply had to be investigated more closely.
Occasionally when I’m interviewing a client’s employees in preparation for a seminar, someone will confide that while they enjoy dealing with external customers, the real stress is dealing with their internal customers; their co-workers.
Measure twice so you only pay once.
When customers walk into your bakery, they immediately begin to form opinions about whether they like it, and whether they plan to return before even tasting any of your food products. They base all their opinions simply by judging your operation from its look, ambiance and atmosphere.
From ethnic foods to clean-and-clear labels and snacking, be sure to keep up with the latest product marketing trendsThis year, the focus for foodservice operations, including bakeries, will be all about the new generation of shoppers – millennials and generation Z. We can also expect food items to be smaller, fresher and healthier, and chefs will be creating everything from scratch.Technology will also play a big role in 2015, as many bakeries will begin to use online ordering, or e-ordering, as well as creative ways to use social media sites and other high-tech gadgetry to attract a new generation of buyers. Here are more marketing and product trends I recommend you keep an eye on in 2015:More ethnicityThe generation following the millennials is now old enough to go out by themselves to eat and spend money. Generation Z is the most ethnically diverse group, which translates to the fact that they are familiar with all types of ethnic foods. Bakeries will be expanding their product selection to include pastries and breads from different regions of the world.Greater variety of gluten-free productsGeneration Z also have the most food allergies and restrictions, with many of them being allergic to nuts, lactose, gluten and other things. Expect to see a much larger variety of specialty or custom-baked goods that cater to every different type of allergy, food restriction or dietary need.Clean-and-clear labelsBakeries will need to be vigilant when it comes to listing ingredients used in their products, especially given the fact that there are so many people out there with food allergies and restrictions. Shoppers will also be looking for organic, natural and additive-free baked goods made with high fibre and fresh, whole grains, so expect to see more use of natural ingredients. Consumers will avoid products made with high-fructose corn syrup, trans fats, hydrogenated fats, or any other type of chemicals or artificial flavours.Snack-size itConsumers are moving away from three square meals a day to eating several snacks a day instead. They will be looking for healthy snacks, especially during breakfast, when people are most in a rush. Expect to see bakeries producing and selling fast and healthful breakfast items such as breakfast biscuits, muesli bites, granola bars, etc. For desserts and other sweets, bakeries will churn out mini versions of favourites like brownies, cupcakes, cookies, pastries and other items that consumers will less likely feel guilty about eating given the smaller size. Take a pictureToday’s youth love to take photos of everything they eat, then post them online for the world to see. Expect to see more bakeries getting involved in social media to sell or promote their products and services. The best way to attract attention from the next generation will be via online activity, so bakeries will need to get snapping those photos!Not just a bakery anymoreBakeries will no longer just be places to buy a loaf of bread or a slice of cake. Most bakery owners and operators are realizing that today’s consumers are all pressed for time and looking for one-stop shopping to purchase all their needs. Expect to see bakeries expanding into home-meal solutions, coffee and tea bar, juice bar, grocery store, and as an event space for birthday parties, cooking classes and other events. Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been helping restaurant, foodservice, hospitality and retail operators increase sales for over 30 years. Her company provides innovative and revenue-increasing foodservice and retail merchandising programs, interior design, branding, menu engineering, marketing and promotional campaigns. Contact her toll-free at 1-888-926-6655 or at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or visit  
New research reveals how food retail is taking a beating -- and by whomCarman Allison has a great way with words. He uses turns of phrase you don’t expect from an economic report, which is refreshing. Allison is vice-president of consumer insights for Nielsen Canada, and he presented his new report about food retail and demographics at the 2014 Food Trends Forecast Symposium in November, sponsored by NSF-GFTC, formerly known as the Guelph Food Technology Centre.“Sputtering for growth,” according to Allison, is what’s happening in consumer packaged goods, two-thirds of which is made up of food. His title for metrics showing how inflation has stayed at two per cent since 2011 and how no growth could be wrenched from that: “Flat is the New Growth.”Feeling that economic conditions haven’t improved much since last year, consumers are keeping a tight hold of their wallets: 59 per cent are trying to bring down their household expenses, and 73 per cent are working on lowering their grocery spending.Consumers are discount-addicted, says Allison, a habit they can feed liberally thanks to discount food shopping available from retailers like No Frills, Wal-Mart and Target, and more recently, from dollar stores.In big-picture terms, $6 billion in grocery sales has shifted to discounters since 2007. A U.S. metric gives us a feel for where we could be headed: 83 per cent of Americans who shop at dollar stores are buying food there, too. If Canadian dollar stores follow a significant American trend – adding refrigeration to offer dairy and other perishable food staples to the dollar-store buy – we can expect sales and shares to rise here, too.So who’s gobbling up all those discounts? Here’s Allison’s current generational breakdown: boomers (aged 48-67) make up 28 per cent of our population. Gen Ys (19-37) are nipping at their heels at 27 per cent. Gen Zs (18 and under) make up 16 per cent. The GI generation (68+] and Gen Xers (38-47) each make up 14 per cent.(In case you’re wondering, because we don’t hear the term much, the GI generation came of age during the Great Depression and World War II. GI stands for “Government Issue,” but we know it best as a synonym for soldier.)Millennials, essentially a composite of Gen X and Y, are vastly underrepresented in the market, says Allison. It’s tough to win their business. Their loyalty is very difficult to earn and keep. Price is the first thing they consider, and 80 per cent of them are easily persuaded to buy a different brand, which is to say, if you’ve won them as a customer today, don’t expect them to keep them, unless you’re offering the right price, tomorrow.So, how are they eating? Millennials take 68 per cent of their meals at home, compared to boomers at 79 per cent. Millennials want foods with little to no prep time. Boomers want to cook from scratch, using basic and fresh ingredients.Why are millennials so important? They are poised to become the country’s largest population group by as soon as 2020. Is five years long enough to get our products in front of them, at the right price?Two more food retail trends worth noting: ethnic food shopping is up 20 per cent, involving 17 per cent of Canadian households, to the estimated tune of $4-5 billion; and online grocery shopping has Loblaw in the game mid-September, but it’s Amazon that Canadian food manufacturers need to watch.Like Allison, J.P. Gervais also presented at the GFTC symposium. Gervais is chief agricultural economist at Farm Credit Canada, and like Allison, he had some valuable intel for our sector’s boots on the ground. He used an interesting phrase more than once, the kind truth tellers might use: “… but nobody wants to hear that.”What does the food-processing sector not want to hear? We need to get more out of our labour. Food processing has invested heavily bringing new products to market, but they haven’t invested heavily in process innovation to increase productivity. Companies are differentiating themselves with successful product innovation. Consumers are demanding —and getting—higher-value, healthier and more sophisticated products. But the value added comes at a high cost.“Business is always getting squeezed between raw product costs going up and retail pressure,” Gervais said. In the end, it will all come down to how much the consumer is willing to pay when household budgets are also stretched.Finally, off-presentation and onto important commodity news for the bakery sector, I asked Gervais what he thought of the so-called looming chocolate shortage, which has been causing some speculation and uncertainty. “What we’re really talking about when we talk about a shortage,” said Gervais, “is the availability of chocolate at the price we want to pay at any given time. There are supply issues from traditional sources (Africa), but there are also a stronger demand from economies in emerging markets (South America).” His prediction: prices could stay high for a couple of years, “just enough time for producers to increase supply.” Stephanie Ortenzi is a food marketing writer and blogs at
The new year is here and with it comes another spate of predictions and prognostications as to what will be the hottest food-industry trends to watch in 2015. Trendspotting is big business for marketers, and it makes for good conversation around the water cooler, lunch counter, or trade show. We all want to feel like we’re in the know when it comes to what customers are going to be looking for in the weeks and months to come.In this issue, we have plenty of content related to trends. Check out Carolyn Camilleri’s feature on page 20, Diane Chiasson’s Concepts for Success column on page 14, and Stephanie Ortenzi’s Final Proof column on page 102 for insights that could very well shape your business strategy for 2015 and beyond.Trends have a way of coming and going, though—with a few notable exceptions, of course, such as cupcakes. Flavour predictions, in particular, carry a sense of being pulled out of a hat at random.This isn’t to say that bakeries should ignore trends. Embrace trends. Experiment and innovate. See what works and what could use more thought. Or stick to the tried and true while adding some zest or flair that will get your customers talking. It’s all about finding a strategy that works for you and your business, instead of slavishly following what the so-called experts believe customers will be salivating over in 2015 and beyond.The nominees for Bakers Journal’s 2014 Business Innovation Award couldn’t be a better representation of such varying approaches to trendspotting. Some, like Zelcovia Cookies in Toronto, have taken the trend toward online, automated ordering and order processing to the extreme. Its owner/operator, Alan Zelcovitch, spent a whopping $30,000 on a fully customized solution that would transform his ordering process and back-end management system, eliminating the need for hours upon hours of paperwork and allowing him to slash expenditures on labour. Now, Zelcovitch is able to run the business entirely by himself, with the exception of Christmastime when demand is at its highest. And, what’s more, his profits have never been higher.“I used to not want to spend money,” Zelcovitch told Bakers Journal in an interview last year. “Now I will spend whatever it takes to make the problems go away.”And then there’s our winner, Bonjour Bakery in Edmonton, which is owned and operated by Yvan Chartrand. His bakery does a tremendous job of maintaining the delicate balance between fostering innovation and producing time-tested, traditional products that consumers can’t get enough of. Chartrand has tapped into the fervour for hand-crafted, artisanal products by teaming up with meat-, cheese-, and wine-makers, and he’s passionate about the role small bakeries play in communities, seeing other bakers not as rivals but as inspiration and even potential partners. He’s even run a bakery in Japan. For more about Bonjour Bakery, see page 10.On a personal note, I would like to thank all of the nominees for the 2014 Bakers Journal Business Innovation Award, as well as our sponsors: Lesaffre Yeast/Red Star, Dawn Foods, Paragon Glaze and Olympic Wholesale. I had thoughtful, informative conversations with many of the nominees that served to re-introduce me to Canada’s vibrant baking industry. As some of you reading this might recall, I edited Bakers Journal from 2008 to 2010. I have the privilege to fill in for Laura Aiken while she’s on maternity leave, and so, without further ado, let me just say it’s great to be back!
Feb. 6, 2015, Toronto -- Marketing food products is highly competitive, and every company is looking for an edge. Increasingly, companies are finding that edge by offering what's being called "gendered food." | READ MORE
Jan. 9, 2015 -- The NFL has 32 teams, not groups. Teams. All teams are groups, but not all groups are teams. Calling a group a team doesn’t make it one. That’s the team myth.
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As a chef and instructor for the culinary institute at George Brown College in Toronto, I need to have a down-pat process for developing recipes that will be successes in the classroom. Perhaps you are considering expanding your business by teaching classes.

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