The exhibitors came from around the world, including Asia, Europe and the United States, sharing innovations in equipment, packaging and food trends. For food trends, most noticed a swing towards reducing sugar, clean labels or smaller ingredient lists with whole foods. This year's winner of the Jake The Baker Award, Paul Nicholls of Dobbit Bakehouse espouses a strong community spirit by buying locally sourced and organic flour for his loaves of bread.
Chef Anna Olson discussed the trend towards customers wanting more of a connection to their food, asking about ingredients’ origins, whereas a few years ago, people were more interested in how the food was prepared. This theme of learning the story behind food was carried through with speaker Tony Chapman, who discussed how clients want to feel they are a part of their local bakery, and may want to empathize with a value that their food provider may espouse, whether that would be an environmental, social or gourmet trend.
- Liesbeth Vandepoel Liesbeth Vandepoel
- Chef Anna Olson Chef Anna Olson
- Jake The Baker Winner 2018 Jake The Baker Winner 2018
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“Clients are more likely to ask what their shop stands for,” added Chapman. A store that has a story that a client can relate to may fare better than a large grocery store with a more competitive price. “Price is not a driving force anymore,” he added. “It’s a race to zero.” Chapman urged the audience who owned small businesses to look at the emotional side of their story, and use that in their marketing tool.
Liesbet Vandepoel, of Puratos, also shared the discovery that cost was not a large consideration in clients’ buying choice. Citing a Mattson macro-trends food study, “people want to feel in control of their food choices,” Vandepoel shared. Indicating that the study showed that people were drawn to healthy foods with “power ingredients” such as whole grains or anti-oxidants, as these perceived ingredients gave a halo effect to most products.
Vandepoel noted that online or automated food choices such as online food ordering or meal kits had very little impact, as only 21% of Canadians would order their bread online.
In all, the Bakery Showcase speakers were informative and the vendors displayed a multicultural appeal. The BAC reports that this was a larger turnout than last year; we can’t wait to see what the showcase will bring us next year.