Issues Facing Commercial Bakeries

Commercial bakeries are facing vastly different issues this year than even three years ago, due in part to what consumers are now demanding in their diets. Obviously, bakeries will do what they can and must to appease their customers, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Here are a few of the issues facing commercial bakeries this year, and how Bremer Ingredients is helping to alleviate them.

Food Safety Concerns
As consumers look more closely at what they’re eating, they’re not surprisingly putting a premium on safe food. That is, people want to eat high-quality food comprised of high-quality ingredients without fearing any adverse affects or food-borne illness.

Bremer has always been about premium ingredients, and is certified by the Safe Quality Food Institute (SQF), the only program outside Europe recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).

To best address consumers’ concerns with food safety, bakeries should be purchasing their ingredients from SQF-certified companies. This gives the bakeries and their customers the peace of mind they need.
SQF Certified
Natural Products
Although there’s confusion about what exactly is a natural product, the general feeling of consumers is, “Natural is better.”

The confusion can come from products marketed as organic, which is completely different from natural. Organic products must meet or exceed USDA regulations, whereas products marketed as “natural” are not regulated at all, except with poultry and other meats. Natural meat and poultry must be minimally processed and contain no artificial colors or flavors, as well as no preservatives or sweeteners.

In non-meat products claiming to be natural, it’s harder to tell because of the lack of regulation. The best way to combat this issue is to know what “natural” really means and be able to explain ingredients to customers.

Increasing Commodity Costs
Commodity costs vary from year to year. Just when it looks like they’re going to stay down for a while, they come back up. More recently, it looked like costs would remain high, and now they’ve dropped a bit. As an industry-wide issue, it’s hard to get around something like this. Your bakery must continue to operate, right?

Gluten-Free Foods
You see “GF” on just about any menu these days. Consumers, even some who are not sensitive to gluten, are moving toward gluten-free diets. There’s not a lot of science available yet to explain the effects of a gluten-free diet on someone who doesn’t necessarily require it, but the fact is the demand for gluten-free products is increasing.

At Bremer, we responded by adding gluten-free flours late last year, which continue to be a top-selling item. This is part of our ongoing effort to meet the demands of the market with the highest quality, premium ingredients.

Artisan Bakery Bread

Unforeseen Issues
Do you own or operate a commercial bakery? What have you seen in these areas over the last few months? Are there other prominent issues you’re facing on a daily basis?