During crazy election and economy days like these, most of your time is probably still spent putting out fires and tending to the day-to-day duties of your bakery operation.
What a month! Calling it “crazy” doesn't quite quantify it. The world's banking system is imploding with government bailouts attempting to control the chaos. The stock market crashes, then has a record turnaround. All the while, our presidential candidates' mudslinging continues.
Does this feel like the longest presidential campaign in history to you? And, if you happen to be a Chicago baseball fan… well, we don't need to repeat how the playoffs went for us. All this is enough to make you just want to curl up into a ball in front of the TV; not tuned into the news, rather something more mind numbing. How about Breakfast Club? I haven't seen that one in a while.
Unfortunately, we can't really go hide like we might want to. We still need to go to work, tend to our families and attempt to plan for the future, whatever it may bring. For the baking industry, have we seen the worst yet? Who knows? The year — with the volatile commodities prices alone — has been challenging to be sure.
During days like these, most of your time is probably spent putting out fires and tending to the day-to-day duties of your bakery operation. With so much time focused on keeping your business going and making hard decisions about labor and other costs of doing business, when do you find the time to innovate? There may not be much time, but it is important to think about what's coming down the pipeline and adapt your business early if possible.
Across the baking industry much innovation is coming out of bakers', suppliers' and manufacturers' efforts to produce better-for-you baked products. At the Healthy Baking Seminar and Natural Products Expo in Boston this month, thousands of food professionals have gathered to find out more about this movement, which is coming, at least in part, out of pure customer demand.
Nearly two-thirds of new products introduced in the bakery market this year were designed with health in mind. This data is based on large wholesale bakeries, but retail bakers, supermarket in-store bakeries and foodservice operations all are grappling with some form of dietary need or nutritional claim. They could be taking out the trans fats or adding more whole grains. Some retail bakeries, such as Deerfields Bakery's gluten-free bakery, are even seizing new opportunities with an all new line of products.
Here at the Healthy Baking Seminar, we'll be talking about some of the innovations in this area. And, we want to explore what some of the roadblocks are that may be hindering your research and implementation of new innovations and ideas you have for your bakery business. No doubt times are hard, and tending to the day-to-day takes precedence. We won't have all the answers at this seminar, but hopefully some new opportunities will arise for some of the bakery businesses involved in this growing segment of the baking industry.
If the mood in the room is stagnant and no new opportunities develop, I guess I can always go back to my hotel room and see if Breakfast Club is on pay per view. Knowing bakers' dedication to their businesses though, I doubt I'll have to.