Bakers Journal

Celebrating delicious: Puratos highlighted trends shaping the future of baked goods at Taste Tomorrow

November 20, 2023
By Bakers Journal staff

Puratos chef Peter Scarola’s Thyme Apple Tart is made of traditional short-crust pastry, Granny Smith (tart) apples and Honeycrisp (sweet) apples from the Yakima region of Washington State. PHOTO: BAKERS JOURNAL

Bakers Journal attended Puratos’ Taste Tomorrow event in Austin, Texas, in September. The conference highlighted industry trends and consumer preferences via expert speakers, sharing of research and an exciting product Marketplace where bakeries could sample baked, patisserie and chocolate products developed by the company’s chefs to showcase themes of innovation, sustainability, and health and well-being. 

Here are six takeaways we took home:

  1. Investing in the next generation will keep the baking industry strong. Pierre Tossut, chief executive officer, shared information about the company’s Bakery School Foundation and its mission to help to train underprivileged students for jobs in the industry. Paul Bakus, president of Puratos North America, encouraged baking professionals to apply to become guest lecturers at the baking school. “We have the power to positively affect health and well-being,” he said.
  2. Food must be delicious above all. In an engaging keynote address, Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli said she gets inspiration from grocery stores, which she calls “a window into trends.”
    Guarnaschelli told attendees, “I don’t think there’s a lot of connection between what we prepare and what people consume.” She emphasized that, in addition to whatever health benefits or sustainable characteristics a product boasts, “Delicious always wins the day.” 
  3. AI can help bakers “uncover innovation” but the human element is still most important. Rollo MacIntyre, global head of innovation – qualitative, for Ipsos UU, said AI can do the heavy lifting and help chefs and the industry be creative. For example, it can create recipes based on a list of specific ingredients fed into it. 
  4. Good mental health is informing food choices. Eve Turow-Paul spoke about her work on The Hunger Study, which found that 84 per cent of gen Z and 86 per cent of millennials are passionate about food. The founder of the Food for Climate League and author of Hungry, talked about the mental health crisis. Internet searches for “I can’t sleep,” “Am I depressed?” and “How to calm anxiety” have increased. Baked products that support good mental health include those that encourage small indulgences, boost energy, are made using sustainable practices and celebrate unique cultures – for example, Mini Rosca de Reyes with cocoa nibs were displayed in the Marketplace as a playful individual take on the traditional sweet bread enjoyed with family and friends on Kings Day’s morning.
  5. Twists on the classics continue to delight. Chef Pedro Sousa’s innovative Cinnamon Roll Cake earned the most votes from sampling attendees, proving that bestsellers are bestsellers for a reason. A giant cinnamon roll, when turned on its side, the cake makes a pleasing visual display worthy of any special occasion. 
  6. Sustainability efforts should play up the positive. Rollo McIntyre encouraged bakeries to work on sustainability while highlighting the taste, texture and other appealing features of their products. “Celebrate, don’t apologize.” 

For more details on trends, visit tastetomorrow.com.

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