How Many Pies Does it Take to Have a Family Gathering?

How Many Pies Does it Take to Have a Family Gathering?

Bakeries around the world love the holiday season. With so many families having so many gatherings, so many pies need to be baked. It starts with Thanksgiving, as orders increase drastically for pumpkin pie and apple pie, specifically, but extends into other pies as well.

Are consumers tired of pie by the time Christmas rolls around? Absolutely not. Thanksgiving whetted the appetite a bit, and individuals are ready to fully indulge at Christmas.

bulk pumpkin pie spice

Courtesy of Pillsbury.

For consumers, the desire is simple: satisfy a craving, enjoy a family get-together and make sure there is enough for everyone. Leftovers are not only acceptable; they’re encouraged.

For bakery owners, it’s a little more complicated, of course. The increased demand for pies means needing to be fully stocked on sugars, flours, seasonings and all other essential ingredients. If you’re out of ingredients, you’re out of pies and customers need to go elsewhere.

At Bremer, our job is to make sure we are amply stocked on all these high-quality food ingredients, so when a baker comes to us with an order, we can fill it in a timely fashion. Consumers need their pies, so bakers need their ingredients, so we need to be ready. And we are.

Is there Such a Thing as Too Much Pie?

The general rule for a holiday family meal, which takes into account larger portions than a normal meal, budgets for each person, on average, to eat one three-inch wedge of a nine-inch pie (there are six of these slices in the pie). Simplified, a family should have one full pie for every six guests at the table.

This is an average, so it factors in the aunt who wants a tiny piece, the uncle who doesn’t like dessert and the cousin who eats half the pie himself. Still, because there are so many types of pies, families are inclined to purchase double or triple the serving suggestion in favor of having flavor options.

In short: individuals will buy more than they need for holiday parties and, based on averages, need more than usual.

Just Desserts?

We’ve focused a lot on pies here, but if you’re a bakery owner, you know the demand for rolls is increasing as well. Each guest at a family gathering will eat 2-3 rolls, depending on size, at dinner, and leftover rolls are one of the most coveted items after the meal.

Understanding this, we’re stocked with the flours, salts and everything necessary for bakers to make their customers’ holidays just that much better.

fresh bakery ingredients

With the holiday rush in full swing, we are available to deliver ingredients promptly to meet your needs. Contact us and let us know how we can help!


Demand for Non-GMO Sugar Increases

Food-manufacturing and food-processing companies are pushing to rid their products of genetically modified organisms due to increased demand from customers. As consumers seek healthier lifestyles and diets focused on natural ingredients, companies have had to adapt to keep their sales up.

For example, The Hershey Company announced in early 2015 they would be removing GMO ingredients from almost all its products. Most notably, Hershey’s Kisses and Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars are no longer made with genetically modified beet sugar. Rather, they are being made with cane sugar.

Hershey’s isn’t the only company ridding their products of GMOs, but they are the most notable. While they haven’t yet committed to shedding GMOs from all their products, that point appears to be coming. Consumers are demanding it, and consumers usually win.

Where Can U.S. Producers Source Non-GMO Sugar?

Currently, most of the sugar grown in the United States is beet sugar, which can be genetically modified. In order to acquire non-GMO sugars, companies need to source internationally, with Brazil becoming a more and more enticing market.

Brazil is the largest cane-sugar producer in the world, although a lot of their natural cane sugar goes to create sugarcane ethanol (fuel), so they aren’t necessarily the largest producer of edible cane sugar. That could change, however, as more and more companies in the United States and elsewhere look to Brazil for the pure, non-GMO cane sugar.

What it Means for the Sugar Industry

Brazil has the perfect climate for cane sugar, which used to be the only type of sugar anyone wanted. Will their high level of production increase as more U.S. producers seek natural ingredients?

Or, will the beet-sugar producers in the United States start to remove their GMO crops and produce natural beet sugars?

The costs are generally higher with non-GMO ingredients, which means the price of cane sugar could climb significantly if companies look to source their cane sugars from Brazil and other foreign countries. Of course, there are costs to beet-sugar producers switching their business models as well.

With consumers demanding more natural ingredients, will they also bear the brunt of these price increases? In general, natural ingredients cost more, so it will be very interesting to follow these trends to see how the sugar industry handles these consumer demands.

We are committed to assisting you with your needs no matter the shifts in consumer demands. At Bremer, we carry both GMO beet sugar, and Non-GMO can sugar. Let us know what your consumers are demanding and how we can help.

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The Importance of Increasing Flour Yield

The Importance of Increasing Flour Yield

Basic economics tells us if a producer can yield more wheat flour without spending more money, that producer increases profit. All producers of ingredients are constantly working to increase their yields without simultaneously increasing expenses. More important, they want to increase their yields without compromising the consistency of the quality. What does this mean to you, the food producer?

Obviously, it’s a little more complicated than that, but with how important flour is to baking, wheat flour producers play a vital role in our industry.

In order to increase the yield, millers need to get as much of the endosperm from a wheat kernel as possible. The endosperm makes up most of the kernel, is high in carbohydrates and protein and is the only part of a kernel used in white flour. Whole-wheat flour also uses parts of the bran (the fiber-rich outer covering of the kernel) and germ (the fatty inner part of the kernel), which are byproducts of white flour.

Wheat Grain Breakdown
Courtesy: University of Huddersfield (UK)

Milling techniques to keep the endosperm in tact and separate from the bran continue to evolve, with recent science even developing strains of wheat that make it easier to separate the endosperm from the bran.

Aside from economics, why is it so important for producers to yield more flour? Because, as bakers know, just about every recipe depends largely on flour.

The Base of Baker’s Percentage

It might seem like common sense, even to someone who has never baked anything, that flour is a crucial ingredient in baking, but it is so crucial, in fact, bakers use it as the constant in Baker’s Percentage.

Baker’s Percentage bases recipes on flour weight, which aids in consistency among several different batch sizes, recipe comparison or altering and even forecasting a recipe’s characteristics.

Flour is always listed as 100%. In a recipe requiring 50 pounds of flour and 25 pounds of water (also known as hydration), flour would be listed as 100% and water would be listed as 50%.

The percentages will always combine for more than 100 and the actual amounts of all non-flour ingredients depend completely on the weight of the flour. Bakers measure flour in weight rather than volume as flour can settle while being stored, making its density inconsistent.

While using Baker’s Percentage might not be the most efficient method for a mainstream home baker (sometimes, small quantities become impossible to measure among other inconveniences), it is incredibly valuable to mass producers and food manufacturers who know consistency is quite possibly the most important aspect of their product. Using Baker’s Percentage allows for a consist product no matter the batch size and predictably alter ingredients when needed.


What are Flavoring Extracts and Emulsions?

Flavor of the Month, Year and Decade

There is one attribute to food and beverages on which consumers never want to compromise. No matter the trends, diets or habits of anyone, flavor is always of the utmost importance.

Producers, obviously, know this, which is why marketing for a healthy snack always mentions the fact it still tastes as good or better than its competitors. Consumers want to eat healthy, but they also want to enjoy the taste of what they’re eating and drinking. If they’re going to be talked into trading one food for another, they need to be assured they’re not missing out on taste.

At Bremer, we understand the importance of flavor. With our inventory of stock flavor extracts and emulsions, with the ability to create custom flavors, we work to understand everything you need to give your customers the savory tastes they crave.

Flavor Extracts vs. Flavor Emulsions

There are two main types of flavoring ingredients: flavor extracts and flavor emulsions. What’s the difference? And why might you use one instead of the other?

The main difference lies in where the flavor compounds are suspended. A flavor extract uses a 35% (approximate) alcohol solution to suspend the flavor compounds. A flavor emulsion suspends the flavor compounds in water and vegetable gum.

One of the most common flavor extracts to a regular household is vanilla extract. Suspending the vanilla flavor compounds in alcohol is a smart choice for the end user because it is rare anyone would use that much vanilla extract at once. Because alcohol is a tremendous flavor solvent and preservative, many households benefit from the long-lasting and flavorful vanilla extract.

A downside to extracts is the volatility of alcohol. Because it’s volatile, it evaporates fast, but as the alcohol evaporates, it takes some of the flavor and smells with it.

By comparison, flavor emulsions use the gooey mix of water and vegetable gum, which don’t evaporate nearly as quickly as alcohol and thus better retain essential oils during baking. Some people prefer emulsions and the more robust flavor, whereas others believe it can be overwhelming.

Depending on the type of flavor and size of production, an extract or an emulsion may be the right choice for you. Contact us to discuss options we always have in stock or to develop a custom flavor specifically for your products.