Editor’s Letter: January-February 2014
By Laura Aiken
It’s a new year, and a time when many of us are thinking about our goals for the next 365 days or so.
It’s a new year, and a time when many of us are thinking about our goals for the next 365 days or so. In an era when technology seems to be changing the world faster than we can keep up, and the Internet blasts continual reams of ever-changing information, it can be a real challenge to figure out which products will be hits and which will be misses with bakery customers. Access to conflicting information that the Internet provides can create the perfect storm for fickle behaviour in consumers – and data overload for bakery decision makers.
There are three important events taking place this year for the bakery industry that bring opportunities for old school networking, access to streamlined information and participation in the most valuable communication tool of all: face-to-face time. Here, we get the verbal and non-verbal messages that can help guide instincts in decision making tremendously.
The first meeting of minds takes place on Jan. 21. The Ontario chapter of the Baking Association of Canada (BAC) is hosting a Myth Busting seminar at the Four Points by Sheraton hotel in Mississauga. The panel of experts will address topics such as gluten-free, non-GMO, fibre and omega fatty acids. The event promises an esteemed panel: Jennifer Sygo, M.Sc., RD, sport nutritionist at the Cleveland Clinic of Canada and nutrition columnist for the National Post; Christine Lowry, M.Sc. RD, nutrition and policy advisor for the Healthy Grains Institute; Robert Kowal, president of Kriscor and Associates; Sue Newell, education and communications consultant for the Canadian Celiac Association; and Lynn Garison, M.H.Sc., RD, public health nutritionist for chronic disease prevention for the Halton region health department. This seminar is a timely and needed conversation for the bakery industry and one that Bakers Journal will definitely be reporting on.
The second opportunity to engage in the industry comes only every other year, and that is Europain. This international show, which Bakers Journal attended in 2012 and will also be reporting on in 2014, is a must-attend event for any baker looking to draw inspiration from the world beyond Canada’s borders. In 2012, the show drew 82,690 bakery professionals from 143 countries and nearly 800 exhibitors. From my experience, it’s a veritable feast for the senses and sensibilities that any baker would enjoy. Turn to page 20 for a peek inside this year’s famed exhibition.
The third event brings us back to the home front for Bakery Showcase, which will take place at the International Centre in Mississauga, Ont., from May 4-6. The BAC’s Toronto stop comes every other year and is the largest bakery-specific event in Canada. Over 4,000 of your peers and nearly 400 exhibitors gathered for the last Bakery Showcase, and this year’s event promises high-profile speakers, educational sessions and plenty to see on the trade show floor.
Attending industry events is one of the most efficient ways to get all the information splattered all over the web in one place delivered by physically present people. It’s the kind of face-to-face experience that can’t be beat. I depend on industry gatherings to get an in-one-place overview of what’s happening in the bakery world, and your business would reap the benefits of hearing from so many people too. Bakers Journal hopes to see many of you at all three of these exciting events ringing in the first half of 2014.