Nearly 200 baking industry professionals attended the recent Healthy Baking Seminar (HBS), held in Anaheim, Calif. Hosted by Baking Management and Modern Baking magazines, the one-day seminar addressed various issues associated with formulating and marketing healthful baked products.
Bruce Axtman, the Perishables Group, shared sales statistics from his organization’s recent survey of consumers and their organic and all-natural product buying habits. The survey found 70 percent of respondents believe organic or all-natural products are more healthful than conventional options; organic products are perceived to be better in flavor, appearance and quality than non-organic; and consumers under the age of 45 are purchasing organic items at a higher rate than consumers over the age of 45.
In her “Trends in Whole Grain Baking” presentation, Cynthia Harriman, Whole Grains Council, discussed how whole grains have progressed from a “hippie-dippy” movement to mainstream because of better manufacturing practices, greater understanding of heath benefits and ingredient innovations. Evidence that whole grains are catching on comes from the sales statistics, Harriman said. In the 12-month period ended June 2005, whole grain cookie sales increased 1,364 percent, whole grain muffins increased 287 percent and whole grain bread increased 18 percent over the previous 12-month period.
Other topics included a panel discussion on what “natural” means in relation to bakery products, and presentations on how to adjust formulation to reduce trans fat, the challenges and opportunities for growing a healthful bakery product business and how to incorporate healthful and nutrient-laden ingredients into bakery products.
National Starch Food Innovation, King Arthur Flour, National Honey Board, Clabber Girl, AarhusKarlshamn USA Inc., American Palm Oil Council, the Soyfoods Council, Pizzey’s Milling and SunOpta Ingredients Group were sponsors of HBS.
The next HBS will be held Sept. 28 in Baltimore. For more information, visit www.bakingconferences.com.