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. 5, 2015 -- Most of us send so many emails over the course of a day, we don't give a second thought as to what kind of impression they can have on how others view us. Even a well written email can make us appear less professional just through presentation and style.
Baby, it’s cold outside. So, to warm body and spirit, many people turn to familiar comfort foods, whether sweet or savoury. Bakeries in general are well positioned to meet this need. And Canadian bakeries, in particular, know a thing or two about inclement weather.
With some good merchandising and creativity, you can attract a bigger lunch crowd at your bakery.
The red-hot trend of comfort food with a twist suggests people want to have it all. They want what feels familiar and safe – but they also enjoy the playfulness of trying something new.
What a mega-deal can teach us about building a brand and keeping it strong.
Oct. 22, 2014 – Move over, Millennials. Generation Z is poised to enter the workforce and they're bringing a whole new set of expectations with them.
Sept. 26, 2014 – Learn five ways to turn upset customers into fans by investing in front-line training.
People are more focused in their shopping habits these days. Here are five things you should know.
Aug. 29, 2014 – Many businesses are discovering the immense power of having a blog on their company website. Here are some tips on how to engage your customers.
Here are five easy steps to create a direct marketing campaign that really works.
Fondant can be a lot of fun. It’s like Play-Doh for adults, where your imagination is the only limit and the results are razzle-dazzle.
  June 23, 2014 – Execute poorly and suffer extreme consequences. That is the one certainty you face when rebranding your company or product name, logo, phrase or design scheme.
There’s no beating a dead horse when it comes to Dominique Ansel. The infamous creator of the Cronut can’t stay out of the news, and not always in a good way.
Statistics show that around 25 per cent of restaurant and foodservice dollars come from tourists. Are you missing out? 
April 1, 2014 – Learn how three small businesses surmount language barriers when doing business abroad – by letting products speak for themselves, getting help from shareholders and taking language classes.
March is National Ideas Month.  Hey, whose bright idea was that?
You already know it’s not easy gaining the attention and interest of today’s customer.
Are you thinking about opening a second store, or looking for ways to expand your business?

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