As we approach the end of the year, we look back on another eventful year in the world of baking. One of the most notable happenings of 2018 was the celebration of the Retail Bakers of America’s 100th anniversary. RBA recognized its past accomplishments and celebrated its centennial throughout the year with new and improved roadshows, new certification designations, giveaways, and National Bakery Day 2018 on September 14.

Speaking of National Bakery Day, the second-ever event took place at independent retail bakeries across the country. It was the biggest promotional opportunity of the year for many bakeries, which celebrated with customers in a variety of unique ways.

It was also a big year for us here at Bake Magazine. In September, we officially launched the new in order to better inform you, the reader. The streamlined web experience allows you to take a deeper dive into subjects through a fresh navigation system. Topics are broken down into several categories that make it easier than ever to find the news and insights that apply to you.

These stories were just a few that our readers found to be noteworthy over the past year. See these and more in our list of the top stories of 2018.

A Century of Service

The Retail Bakers of America (RBA) has withstood the test of time since its founding 100 years ago by embracing change at every critical juncture along the way. Much like each new generation of bakers has ushered in a fresh approach to customer service and product offerings, the RBA has looked to lead the way with educational opportunities, promotional events, and so much more.

National Bakery Day 2018

One of the events RBA has been responsible for promoting is National Bakery Day. First introduced in 2017, the new holiday celebrates the independent retail bakery and its vital role to the lifeblood of local communities across the country.

Many local and state governments have officially recognized National Bakery Day, and bakeries both big and small have embraced it as a way to bring in customers with specials, giveaways, demonstrations, and other activities.

The Local Grain Challenge

Following the progression of wine, beer, cheese and other craft industries, American bakers are busy introducing craft breads baked with organic flour from local wheats. The movement is taking shape, as freshly milled flour and local grains face opportunities and obstacles.

The New Take on Wedding Cake

Donuts for dessert may be the hottest food trend in the sweet snack category because they serve as a delicious platform for all sorts of creativity — and are perfect for any time of day. Bakeries, retailers, and suppliers are stepping up their game to give people new and exciting flavors of this food that many believe to be the new take on wedding cake in America.

Registration begins for IBIE

The Western Hemisphere’s largest baking industry event returns in 2019, and is expected to be bigger than ever. The International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE) will take place September 8-11, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada, and registration for the event has officially opened.

Porto's launches Bake at Home frozen product line

One of the most innovative and noteworthy product launches of the year came from Porto’s Bakery & Café in California. The iconic bakery is offering some of its top pastries though online ordering on it redesigned website.

Refugiado guava and cheese pastries, cheese rolls, guava strudel, dulce de leche besitos cookies, and meat pies can be ordered and shipped with baking instructions to customers across the country in a matter of days.

Facebook trends report shows that bread is hot right now

A 2019 trend report from Facebook shared insights on the many topics of conversation that grew on the platform in 2018 and what they suggest will matter in the year ahead. According to the company, a rise in innovative processes has led to what is being referred to as “Bread 2.0,” which has given bread a new view among social media users.

Magnolia Bakery debuts in Washington, D.C.

One of the biggest names in baking is now making its mark on one of the biggest cities in the country. Magnolia Bakery officially opened its first location in Washington, D.C. on Monday, September 10.

Magnolia Bakery’s new D.C. store is located at transit hub Union Station, and offers the same great products such as its signature cupcakes, as well as favorites such as banana pudding, cheesecake, pies, muffins, cakes, cookies, and brownies.

Clabber Girl and BAILEYS partner for launch of BAILEYS Irish Cream Baking Chips

As part of a new licensing partnership between the historic Clabber Girl Corporation and cream liqueur company BAILEYS, a new product was introduced that brings the taste of BAILEYS Original Irish Cream to baked goods.

BAILEYS Original Irish Cream Baking Chips capture a blend of Irish dairy cream, the finest spirits, aged Irish whiskey, and chocolate for a decadent treat that can be eaten by the handful or mixed into favorite baked good recipes.

New survey finds young consumers willing to try adventurous donut flavors

Donuts continued to be huge in 2018, as younger consumers are flocking to shops that offer unique and adventurous donut flavors. According to a survey from Dawn Foods, more than 80 percent of Gen Z (ages 18-21) and Millennial (22-34) consumers are interested in trying outside-the-box donuts.