Bakers Journal

Meeting of minds at tibs

October 4, 2011
By Bakers Journal

puratos_-_tibs_2011_-_186October 4, 2011, Toronto – Puratos presented another year of innovative speakers at their annual Toronto International Bakery Symposium (tibs).

October 4, 2011, Toronto – Puratos presented another year of innovative speakers at their annual Toronto International Bakery Symposium (tibs).

The Sept. 20 event was held at the Old Mill Inn & Spa in Toronto’s west end. The morning began with a presentation on sensory analysis and its importance by John Hale, director of product appraisal and customer care for Sobeys. Hale took attendees through some interesting taste testing exercises, the history of sensory analysis and its future, along with some neat facts about consumer preferences and taste. Here are a few tidbits from the talk: As it turns out, the widely held belief that smoking cigarettes ruins your taste buds is false. Nicotine actually enhances the taste of sweetness but destroys bitterness, so there is an alteration. However, coffee wrecks your sense of taste before and after a meal, which is particularly interesting since coffee is such a popular sidekick to baked goods. Chilies can burn out your taste buds but eating them gives us a rush of endorphins that can get us hooked.

Frank Devos, R&D director for Puratos in the U.S., took the reins from Hale to lead attendees through global innovations in baking and how the North American industry can capitalize from the trends. Devos pointed out that “the innovation doesn’t come to you, you go the innovation” and identified four sources to find it: challenging what is taken for granted, examining changing markets/regulations, new markets/demographics and new technologies. Devos delivered a look at customer preferences today and some neat concepts from other countries, such as the proliferation of bread dispensing vending machines in Belgium.


John Riker, managing director at the Blue Ocean Strategy Initiative Centre in London, England, proved to be a gifted keynote speaker who did a great job articulating what Blue Ocean Strategy (BOS) is and how a company can use its logic. Case studies involving Yellow Tail wine and Nintendo’s Wii gave a fascinating glimpse into the process of high profit growth. Bakery owners looking for more info on BOS can go to or pick up a copy of Blue Ocean Strategy: How To Create Uncontested Market Space And Make The Competition Irrelevant by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne.

Matt Crumpton, VP of marketing for Puratos in the U.S., led the final session before dinner by introducing the group to mobile consumer analysis.  Crumpton designed and manages the Puratos Sensobus, which launched in North America in February. He took the group through its history and its capabilities, which was followed up by a tour through the Sensobus itself. This specially designed mobile food research lab can be hired by companies to do effective consumer product testing anywhere and can survey over 300 people per day.

The learning didn’t stop at dinner. Live classical music provided the backdrop for a delicious meal followed by a guided wine and chocolate pairing. Peter Blakeman, chef, professor and coordinator of the Canadian Food and Wine Institute at Niagara College, and Keith Ellis, Technical Support Puratos Canada, shared a presentation that took diners through a brief history of chocolate and icewine as diners tried two different icewines produced by the college and paired with Puratos dark and white chocolates. It was a delicious way to cap a day of fabulous insight into the business of baking.

Blue Ocean Strategy Initiative's John Riker had a captive audience for his talk on the process for achieving high profit growth.  

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