Is healthy confectionery a contradiction in terms?

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Growing concern about sugar has led to a slowdown in the global confectionery market, but there are pockets of faster growth, including in functional confectionery, as consumers look for more than a permissible indulgence – a sweet treat that delivers a real health benefit.

Consumers have long sought foods and drinks that provide a balance between health and indulgence, but it is only in recent years that confectionery manufacturers have attempted to persuade mainstream consumers that their products have the potential to deliver on both. And in mature confectionery markets, like Europe or North America, functional products can still carve out a sizeable niche.

The antioxidants in cacao have attracted a lot of attention in particular, as researchers have explored their potential role in cardiovascular, digestive and skin health, as well as anti-inflammatory effects. Manufacturers looking to play up the purported health benefits of chocolate have used a variety of tactics, such as pairing dark chocolate with other healthy ingredients, such as nuts and fruit, or linking health with other attributes associated with premium products, such as organic, single origin or Fairtrade sourcing. In addition, sugar content has been pushed down, while cocoa content has been pushed up.

Euromonitor International has predicted a 3.5% rise in sales of dark chocolate over the five years to 2021, compared to 2.3% in regular chocolate, citing health concerns as well as an overall trend toward premiumisation.

Meanwhile, pastilles, wine gums and boiled sweets are being used in both the nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries to deliver ingredients like vitamins, minerals, fibres and fish oils, to soothe sore throats, or to deliver other dietary supplements. Companies like Rousselot and Baker Perkins are switched on to the trend, providing ingredients and processes that help manufacturers deliver such compounds in a reliable and appealing way, with accurate dosing and minimal degradation.

Sugar-free chewing gum with ingredients like xylitol for improved oral health is one of the most successful segments of the functional confectionery market, accounting for more than half of all global sales (53%) in 2015, according to figures from Euromonitor International. But apart from in this category, consumers still expect confectionery to contain sugar, meaning there is plenty of space for functional products that are high in sugar. In China, where sugar confectionery still outsells sugar-free, functional confectionery is growing at a much faster pace than in Europe or North America, reaching double digit growth in 2015 (10%), compared to around 3%.

Still, while there is growing demand for added health-boosting ingredients in confectionery, manufacturers must bear in mind that most consumers eat too much sugar. The World Health Organization’s latest recommendation is to limit sugar consumption to less than 5% of daily calories, but only about ten countries in the world have average sugar intakes at or below this level. In addition, many confectionery products marketed as healthy options are still relatively high in calories, meaning that most people should limit their consumption.




Simpler, better-for-you, sustainably produced

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Palsgaard showcases powdered whipping-active cake emulsifiers at IBIE

Palsgaard will highlight the benefits of its powdered whipping-active cake emulsifiers at the International Baking Industry Expo (IBIE).

Many US cake premix manufacturers currently use shortening as a carrier for emulsifiers, while cake gels are a common choice in long-shelf-life cakes. Exhibiting at IBIE, Palsgaard will demonstrate why its range of powdered whipping-active cake emulsifiers are the perfect alternative to both.

In a new report, the company says the needs of US cake consumers are changing. There is demand for a wider variety of cakes, including better-for-you and free-from products, and sustainability is increasingly important.

Powdered whipping-active cake emulsifiers can help bakers meet these needs, as well as offering a range of practical advantages over shortening and cake gels. Their benefits include:

  • Simplicity: No pre-hydration or pre-emulsification is needed, so the number of production stages can be reduced
  • Better-for-you: Can facilitate a switch from saturated fats to unsaturated liquid oils
  • More with less: Higher emulsifier content than typical shortenings or cake gels
  • Speed: Act rapidly, allowing acceleration of output
  • Versatility: Can be used in a wide range of products – high or low-fat; aerated or non-aerated.

Palsgaard will be showcasing its two ranges of powdered whipping-active cake emulsifiers at IBIE (8-11 September in Las Vegas), Booth #7389. Emulpals® is specially designed for premixes, while Palsgaard ® SA is optimized for long shelf-life cakes. Both are suitable for all cake types – from layer cakes and Swiss rolls to cupcakes and muffins. Concepts presented at IBIE will include a vegan, gluten-free and lean label brownie made from a premix containing Emulpals 130, and a Matcha, Chai and Taro tea layer cake featuring Palsgaard® SA 6600.

As well as being versatile and easy to use, Palsgaard’s powdered whipping-active cake emulsifiers help manufacturers respond to concerns about sustainability. They are plant-based, and made in 100% CO2-neutral facilities – a claim which, to Palsgaard’s knowledge, no other emulsifier manufacturer can make.  Where the company uses palm oil ingredients, it relies on RSPO-certified raw materials, enabling it to offer its complete product range as MB- or SG-certified.

Rosa E. Regalado, General Manager at Palsgaard, said: “Powdered whipping-active cake emulsifiers are the smart choice in both premixes and long shelf-life cakes. They offer a range of advantages over shortening and cake gels, including stability, simplicity, and opportunities for better-for-you cakes. Industrial bakers and premix manufacturers who work with Palsgaard get all these advantages, as well as meeting consumer demand for sustainably produced products.”



ABB Shows ‘Factory of the Future’ at PPMA 2019

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ABB, a technology provider for digital industries, will bring together the elements of a “factory of the future” at PPMA 2019, at the Birmingham NEC, October, 1-3. The company wants to demonstrate how its latest automation and robotics technologies can transform performance in food and beverage manufacturing processes.

The stand will feature examples from ABB’s extensive automation and digital portfolio, showing how tomorrow’s factory will be able to respond rapidly to changing customer demands while maintaining profitability, safety, and quality.

Among the highlights will be demonstrations of the ACOPOStrak from ABB’s B&R automation business, illustrating high-speed merging and dividing of product flows. There will also be a robotic solution on display showcasing how the precision, repeatability and rapid cycle time of ABB’s SCARA and FlexPicker robots can help increase productivity and flexibility in pick-and-place and packing applications.


Other attractions will include examples of digital technology from ABB’s measurement and analytics portfolio. The WiMon100 wireless vibration and temperature sensor opens new possibilities for monitoring and maintaining electric motors and other rotating machinery, says the company. Enabling operators to remotely access status and performance data, it eliminates the time and cost of dispatching service engineers to conduct manual checks and helps to prolong service life through effective predictive maintenance.

Joining the WiMon100 will be ABB’s award-winning non-invasive temperature sensor. Featuring dual temperature sensors for ambient and process measurements, the device offers high accuracy measurement comparable with traditional invasive devices. Designed to be fitted onto the surface of a pipe, the sensor avoids the need to shut down production processes for installation and service, improving plant availability and reducing system costs, with potential CAPEX savings of at least 30% able to be achieved.

For visitors interested in maximizing uptime of motors, pumps, and bearings, the stand will provide a chance to discover more about ABB Ability™ Digital Powertrain. Comprising a suite of digital solutions including devices, software, and services, the Digital Powertrain enables users to access a wide range of operational variables and health indicators through an integrated, one-stop portal. Using this data, they can make informed decisions that can help optimize equipment performance and availability and improve process safety.

“Today’s consumers want products that are tailored to their needs faster than ever before. The factory of the future must, therefore, respond much more dynamically to ever-changing consumer requirements. For factories, this means flexible production using autonomous robotic systems that can learn and adapt. At PPMA, ABB will demonstrate how the ‘Factory of the Future’ is characterized by flexibility and enabled by collaboration and digitalization. With its wide range of solutions and services specifically tailored to the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries, ABB offers a simple route to meeting the demands of today’s continually shifting marketplace,” says Nigel Platt, LBL Manager, UK, and Ireland – ABB Robotics.

ABB Robotics has implemented solutions for companies such as Swiss sugar Schweizer Zucker AG, for cookie producer Interbanket or for baked goods producer Coppenrath & Wiese.



Sara Lee selling Tyson Foods’ Frozen Bakery

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Sara Lee® Frozen Bakery is selling Tyson Foods’ Frozen Bakery business to private equity firm Kohlberg & Company.

Drawing on its heritage as a bakery and dessert maker, the new Sara Lee® Frozen Bakery will focus on Sara Lee®, Van’s®, Chef Pierre® and Bistro Collection® brands, especially in the fast-growing premium dessert food service market.

Sara Lee Frozen Bakery will establish its headquarters in the Chicago suburb of Oakbrook Terrace, and continue operations at two manufacturing facilities in Traverse City, Michigan, and Tarboro, North Carolina, just outside of Raleigh-Durham. The new management team, led by chief executive officer Craig Bahner, president and head of sales Don Davis, and chief financial officer Jeff Gronbeck, will be recruiting 60-80 new senior-level professionals in the areas of sales and marketing, research and development, finance, human resources, and supply chain, bolstering the resources and team needed to accelerate innovation in these competitive categories.

The new company will employ approximately 1,300 people at the headquarters and plant locations.
Bahner, who has a long history of building iconic brands at Procter & Gamble, Wendy’s and Kellogg Company, said in a press release, “Tyson Foods did a great job with this portfolio of businesses, but their primary focus was on protein. Moving the frozen bakery products into a standalone company concentrated in the frozen bakery business will enable us to continue delivering quality products while accelerating growth, increasing innovation and achieving operational excellence.”

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to energize this outstanding portfolio of brands,” added chairman CJ Fraleigh, who worked for Sara Lee® from 2005 to 2011, including serving as its North American CEO. “We have assembled an exceptional management team, and our partners at Kohlberg have a long track record of success in carve outs and reemerging businesses. Together we will accelerate Sara Lee® Frozen Bakery’s growth.”

In addition to hiring new employees, Sara Lee® Frozen Bakery will invest in its research and development efforts, and will soon begin building a new R&D facility and test kitchen, including a pilot plant. This facility will be co-located with the corporate headquarters to facilitate collaboration and accelerate innovation.

“From this point onward, our customers will benefit from Sara Lee® Frozen Bakery’s singular focus on being the frozen bakery products of choice, and we’re investing in our people, processes and infrastructure to make it happen,” said president and head of sales, Don Davis.

“We are very excited to create a great growth-oriented company that allows our employees’ careers and families to thrive, with a culture that respects and values all,” added Bahner in the same release.



Harpak-ULMA Unveils Collaborative Robot Options For Smart, Connected Bakery Packaging Platform

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Harpak-ULMA, the industry leader in complete packaging line solutions for food, medical, bakery, and industrial products, unveiled the newest integration to its smart, connected Bakery packaging solutions: Cobots (Collaborative robots) developed by Universal Robots. Baking producer’s unique automation needs stem from an inherently wide variety of product sizes and forms (raw or baked, wrapped or not) as well as delicate products that require extra gentle handling. Product variation determines how a product is picked and placed, and in what condition, posing many challenges to traditional robotic technologies. Cobots introduce cost-effective bakery automation for product movement and palletizing efforts since they can work with even the most fragile products of virtually every size, shape, weight and form.

Cobots are designed for easy setup and rapid deployment/repurposing, sans reprogramming or retooling. They operate safely alongside human counterparts without guarding or special environments, optimizing production floor space. John Weddleton, Harpak-ULMA’s Automation Product Manager, elaborated on why Cobots are gaining ground rapidly with his customers, “Cobots combine fast set-up, easy programing, redeployment flexibility and amazing safety characteristics with an ability to handle even the most delicate packaging chores. We’re seeing an aggressive upsurge in demand from our customer base since there really isn’t anything else on the market that provides such a cost-effective solution to repetitive, menial production tasks.” Mr. Weddleton added, “In fact, interest has been so strong we decided to include Cobots as part of our demo lines at both the International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE) and PackExpo in Las Vegas this year. You really have to see them in action to appreciate how much of a game changer they are.”

Harpak partner ULMA is itself a global leader in Bakery packaging, offering a wide range of solutions from manual packaging machines to turnkey systems, from product handling and distribution of single product to final palletization. ULMA’s bakery solutions can address product distribution systems, primary and secondary packaging – all complemented by integrated inspection and quality control systems, weighing, and labelling options. Harpak-ULMA already provides complete process to pallet packaging automation for some of the largest domestic U.S. bakery producers. While most major bakery producers already have significant automated packaging investments, the delicate manual dexterity required for some product movements continues to hinder production throughputs and challenge traditional automation/robotic solutions.

Harpak-ULMA’s President, Kevin Roach, outlined an expansive vision for next-generation bakery packaging automation, “Our philosophy embraces disruptive automation technologies that make it possible for customers to leap-frog their competition in throughput, quality, and total cost of ownership. Cobot integration allows producers to maintain safe & clean operations while operating at higher speeds and overcoming staffing challenges that hamper productivity. We intend to make it easier for customers to leverage advanced automation hardware and software to overcome their toughest productivity barriers and deliver unfair competitive advantage.”

Harpak-ULMA has recently made headlines with an announcement that they are collaborating with Rockwell Automation to provide Allen Bradley industrial control systems as their platform of choice for smart, connected packaging solutions. Their relationship opens up new, disruptive technologies from Rockwell’s partner, PTC, that include integrated augmented and virtual reality software designed to alter field service paradigms and alleviate chronic labor skill set and turnover issues.



Confectionery sector gains new setting for Interpack 2020

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Preparations for next year’s major interpack event in Du?sseldorf, Germany are fast gathering pace, with organisers anticipating nearly 3,000 exhibitors from across the packaging sector to participate.

The event will offer a prominent showcase for the developments within the confectionery and bakery sectors, which will come under the spotlight in a brand new hall for the trade fair, taking place May 7-13 2020. Plans for the latest addition to the site are well under way (photo courtesy of Slapa, Oberholz, Pszczulny Architekten), which will be completed this autumn.

Among the key areas of focus for the event include advances in the processing of packaged goods, plus packaging media and materials and the manufacturing of packaging aids as well as wider services for the sector. As organisers confirmed, the last edition of interpack in 2017 attracted 2,866 exhibitors and 170,899 visitors from 168 countries.

For that event, there were notable appearance from a broad range of companies operating within the confectionery sector, including Bosch, BCH, Sacmi Packaging and Chocolate, Caotech,Theegarten-Pactec, GSR, Lareka, Cavanna, Tanis Confectionery, Sollich, Cepi and HDM, with many of these business reported to be well-advanced with their plans for engaging with the trade fair next year.

Speaking to Confectionery Production, Thomas Dohse, deputy director interpack, explained the development of its additional hall would be of key significance for next year’s event.

He said: “The completion of the new Hall 1 and the south entrance is an important milestone for interpack. It will expand the exhibition area to a total of 305,000 square meters. The new Hall 1 offers 15,000 square meters of space with cutting edge yet comfortable presentation and conference rooms and is fully booked for interpack 2020 by exhibitors from the confectionery and bakery segment.”

As the team behind the event added, exhibitors expected to feature next year include those that offer drive, control and sensor technology, products for industrial image processing, handling technology, industrial software and communication as well as complete automation systems for the packaging industry. There will also be participation from manufacturers or suppliers of machine parts, components, accessories and peripheral devices as well as components and auxiliaries for packaging media taking part.



Maximising the potential of data analytics and digitalisation

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Keith Thornhill explains why it is important for food and beverage manufacturers to start the Industry 4.0 journey with projects that that would make the biggest difference to productivity and traceability.

Some of the key manufacturing challenges being addressed today within the food and beverage production industry are in areas such as supply chain traceability, packaging, intralogistics and energy reduction.

Many of these issues were highlighted at Siemens recent Digital Talks conference, where food retailers, including Ocado and Amazon, got together with food manufacturers such as Princes, and food packaging specialists such as TrakRap, to discuss emerging trends and the opportunities and challenges of automation, digitalisation and Industry 4.0 for the food and beverage sector.

Mass customisation is one big trend, primarily driven by a rapidly changing retail environment, that will have an effect on food manufacturing, which is why many are now looking at how Industry 4.0 is being implemented across other industry sectors and the discussion about how it could be adapted to offer benefits in a food and beverage setting is heating up.

In the pharmaceutical sector, for example, there is a trend towards personalised medicines; bespoke formulations specific to an individual’s condition based on their genetic makeup, health status and lifestyle. Applying this proposition to food could see food manufacturers tasked with making one-off products, or a series of goods unique to the customer.

This customisation trend could also help solve the problem of over-production. In food production currently around 25% of crops are wasted because products are being created with no specific end-user in mind and goods are being designed based on outdated trends. The only way to conquer this is with real-time data collection which would allow for more accurate forecasting and helping to ‘close the loop’ on production.

Another key benefit to embedding smarter technology into the food and beverage supply chain is clearly traceability. Client demand and legal compliance have made this issue one of the sector’s top priorities, and everything from carrying 100% accurate allergen information to detailing how recyclable the packaging is, means there is a need for consistent and robust labelling.

Product provenance is also crucial – knowing the source of ingredients and produce, and the journey taken from farm to fork, is increasingly becoming a point of competitive difference. Again, data monitoring, analysis and tracking comes into the play here. The principles of data collection and analysis to boost efficiencies, reduce waste and save on cost – even at a very basic level – can be utilised on a food manufacturers’ factory floor.

Take, for example, Kinnerton’s Easter egg factory in Norfolk which has a production line that features a combination of different vendor technologies and machines, some of which were ageing and increasingly difficult to maintain. This led to performance issues which in turn created challenges in maintaining product consistency, the efficiency of the line itself, and the need to support the entire automation platform.

Rather than rip and replace, Siemens took a retrofit approach and simplified the production line process via a Totally Integrated Automation (TIA) platform.

From initial chocolate mould filling to product cooling and packaging, a series of linked monitors integrated several different elements of Kinnerton’s line, including both fixed speed and variable speed machinery, into a single motion control system. From simple conveyor belts to sophisticated ‘pick and place’ packing robots, streams of data linked to different manufacturing processes were fed into a central point, giving the company a real-time picture of the whole production process for the first time.

This relatively modest technological solution succeeded in boosting productivity on one line by 15%, and the ROI on the technology was quickly realised.

So, while the quest for mass customisation and ‘batch size one’ is an aspiration for many within the sector, for a great many food manufacturers even some rudimentary interventions could make a significant difference to productivity. And, once the digitalisation journey has started it is then possible to explore all of the other benefits that data capture and analysis can offer.



FAO Food Price down slightly in July

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» The FAO Food Price Index* (FFPI) averaged 170.9 points in July 2019, down 1.1 percent (1.8 points) from June but 2.3 percent higher than in July 2018. The month-on-month decline was the result of lower prices for some cereals, dairy products and sugar, which more than offset somewhat firmer prices for meat and oils.

» The FAO Cereal Price Index averaged 168.6 points in July, down 2.7 percent (4.6 points) from June but 4.1 percent above its level in the corresponding month last year. The decline in July was driven by lower wheat and maize prices. In wheat markets, despite downward adjustments to production prospects in several countries, large export supplies and continued expectations of record world production this year weighed on international prices. Similarly, after their rapid surge in June, international maize prices fell in July; ample export availabilities, particularly in Argentina and Brazil, contributed to the slide. However, FAO’s all rice price index marked its fifth successive month of stability, amid generally quiet market activity.

» The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index averaged 126.5 points in July, up 0.8 percent (one point) from the previous month but still 11 percent below last year’s corresponding level. Overall, firmer soy and sunflower oil prices more than offset a further drop in palm oil values. The concurrence of seasonal production rises in Southeast Asia and sluggish global import demand continued weighing on palm oil prices. On the other hand, soyoil prices appreciated almost in tandem with rising soybean values while low crush volumes in the United States also contributed to the increase. Similarly, sunflower oil firmed as a slowdown in crushing in the Black Sea region coincided with robust international demand.

» The FAO Meat Price Index* averaged 176.2 points in July, up 0.6 percent (one point) from its slightly revised value for June and registering the sixth moderate month-on-month price increase. At this level, the index value stands at nearly 10 percent above that of January 2019, but almost 17 percent below its peak in August 2014. In July, price quotations for ovine meat rose further, boosted by strong import demand from Asia amid supplies from Oceania retreating from their seasonal highs. Asia’s robust import demand for bovine meat also contributed to further gains in bovine prices. However, quotations for pigmeat were down slightly after four months of continued increases, reflecting larger export availabilities from Brazil and the United States. Poultry quotations held firm at June levels, with markets characterized by generally stable but still strong demand.

» The FAO Dairy Price Index averaged 193.5 points in July, down 2.9 percent (5.7 points) from June, representing the second consecutive month of decline. At this level, the index value is some 6 percent above that of January 2019 but almost 3 percent below the corresponding month last year. In July, quotations for butter declined the most, followed by cheese and Whole Milk Powder (WMP). Weakness from lacklustre spot market trading, as the summer holiday period in the Northern hemisphere enters its peak, contributed to the weaker prices. By contrast, Skim Milk Powder (SMP) prices recovered, supported by firmer buying interest from the Middle East and Asia.

» The FAO Sugar Price Index averaged 182.2 points in July, down 0.6 percent (one point) from June 2019, mainly on expectations for higher sugarcane yields in India, the world’s largest sugar producer, following above average rainfalls in the main sugar producing regions. The decline in world prices was, however, somewhat contained by a strengthening of the Brazilian currency (Real) against the United States Dollar, a move that tends to restrain exports from Brazil, the world’s largest sugar exporter. In addition, new estimates pointing to smaller sugar production in Brazil’s Centre-South through June also provided some support.

* Unlike for other commodity groups, most prices utilized in the calculation of the FAO Meat Price Index are not available when the FAO Food Price Index is computed and published; therefore, the value of the Meat Price Index for the most recent months is derived from a mixture of projected and observed prices. This can, at times, require significant revisions in the final value of the FAO Meat Price Index which could in turn influence the value of the FAO Food Price Index.

Download full dataset: Excel, CSV

Download full dataset: Excel



Government support stimulates sales in the bakery enzymes market

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Globally, the bakery enzymes market is posed to surpass a value of US$1,285 million by the end of 2028, according to a new report by Persistence Market Research.

The high level of sales in this market is due, in part, to the increasing health consciousness among consumers which has influenced them to choose nutritive bakery food products with a low sugar level.

Additionally, governments of numerous countries have been supporting the utilisation of bakery enzymes, in order to meet the consumers’ demand for clean products.

Such initiatives have influenced the manufacturers of bakery products to make a notable shift towards bakery enzymes, which will favour the growth of the bakery enzymes market, says the report.

Furthermore, the rise in the use of carbohydrates as a bakery enzyme for the preparation of cakes and pastries, flour, cookies and biscuits, and breads has, in turn, triggered the growth of the carbohydrase bakery enzymes market, which is expected to exceed the value of US$650 million by the end of 2028.

The report continues that bread-based products such as sandwiches, pizzas and burgers have been increasingly consumed by customers. As a result, there has been a perpetual rise in the demand for bread with a considerably longer shelf life.

In regard to region, the report shows that APEJ, North America and Western Europe have procured over 85% of the total bakery enzymes market share. North America remains a strong region and APEJ remains the fastest-growing region for the bakery enzymes market.

A wide range of innovative bakery goods and products are being launched in APEJ, which is further anticipated to drive the growth of this market.



Balancing Indulgence with Health in the U.S. & Europe

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Though the wellness trend has been growing strong across the world, developed countries have had a substantial share in triggering a paradigm shift in consumers’ perception of bakery products. This has opened a whole new world of opportunities for bakery products that are whole-grain, gluten-free, vegan, organic, or simply “healthy” in North American and European markets.

The health & wellness wave has come a long way; its impacts have ingrained significant changes in the way the bakery industry operates. The dynamic consumer demands for low-calorie and nutritious food products have influenced bakers’ strategies to mainly revolve around health-benefitting ingredients and manufacturing processes.

Regulations in North America and Europe

As the demand for healthy baked goods with labels such as ‘gluten-free’ or ‘organic’, has increased significantly, regulatory bodies have entered the landscape with a set of strict labeling requirements. While the awareness about regulations imposed on baked food products is growing, health-conscious consumers are also becoming more skeptical about ingredients before making a purchase. This is also boosting the growth of the ‘clean label movement’ in both regions. The EU has been regulating the use of food additives, flavors, and bakery enzymes with the imposition of Regulation (EC) No 1331/2008 and Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008. In January 2018, the EU announced an amendment to the Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008, which highlights the use of sweeteners in fine bakery products. With this regulation, the EU has imposed a ban on the use of artificial sweeteners, such as E 950 Acesulfame K, E 951 Aspartame, E 961 Neotame, and E 955 Sucralose, in fine bakery products with specific nutritional benefits.

In North America, the FDA has imposed stringent regulations on the manufacturing and marketing of all the food products, especially regarding baked goods that are promoted as “healthy”. The FDA recently published new standards for non-GMO bakery—an important segment in the healthy bakery industry in North America—and new labeling regulations are afoot.

Health – Universal Driver for Innovation

Bakers and confectioners are riding on the coattails of product innovation to offer healthy bakery items and ultimately to gain a competitive edge in the market. Innovations are varying in terms of ingredients, production engineering, flavors, and bakery performance.

Cargill, one of the global leaders in the bakery industry, recently launched its new palm oil shortening line, PalmAgility, to enhance performance in various bakery products such as donuts, pies, crème fillings. With the regulatory restriction on partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) in the U.S., a shift is triggered towards palm-based alternatives to achieve creamier and smoother texture in bakery products, on which Cargill is planning to capitalize with the launch of PalmAgility.

Bellarise, the North American subsidiary of the Pak Group, recently announced that it has launched a new dairy-free, non-GMO, allergen-free and gluten-free alternative for egg wash in baked goods. The company also announced that it launched the new vegan egg wash replacer is a clean label ingredient to meet the changing needs voiced by industrial and commercial bakeries in North America.

Bimbo Bakeries USA recently announced the launch of its latest line of 100% organic bread in the American markets. The company has added a variety of breads to its latest product line, including 100% whole-grain breads; organic 22 grains and seeds bread; and organic rustic while bread.

Supermarkets and Hypermarkets in the U.S.

Health-driven purchasing habits of consumers have changed significantly in the past decade, directing the recent trends in the supermarket and hypermarket sector. More than 90% of the sales of organic bakery products including breads, are accounted for by conventional and natural food supermarkets and chains.

The demand for organic and bio-based bakery products is witnessing double-digit growth, reflecting in attractive market incentives for organic and vegan bakers in North America, especially in the U.S. In the country, organic products can be found in the isles in nearly 3 in 4 grocery stores. A recent study by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) found that organic food products have reached more than 20,000 natural food stores.

Bakery manufacturers are adopting strategies to satisfy a mindful consumer with trendy healthy ingredients and smaller package sizes. With consumers adopting healthier snacking habits, bakers are focusing on introducing bakery products with small portion sizes such as packages of two buns, half loaves, and four-packs of cookies. The recent rise in demand for healthy snacking options is expected to create immense sales potential for artisan breads and healthier snack items in the coming years.

Source: World Bakers