This is the next in our series of Supply Side Innovators featured in our Bake Twentyfive issue. Each weekday, we will spotlight a new Supply Side Innovator that can help you create the flavors, textures, and designs your customers will love.

The “fear of missing out” – or FOMO – created by limited-edition and specialty items is a major trend that bakeries can continue to capitalize on to attract and retain customers, says Nicole Rees, product director at AB Mauri North America. Younger consumers, Gen Z and millennials in particular, make up half of the population of the United States. This group has changed the marketplace with how they promote these items across social media when they “discover” them in stores.

“It’s free advertising essentially,” Rees points out. “If bakers can create items that captivate this group, like how the always popular seasonal pumpkin spice latte has done, traffic will come.”

FOMO also defends against internet shopping. Research has shown despite the growth of online grocery sales, those same consumers still physically visit at least two different stores twice a week, Rees points out. A key reason for doing so is to choose perishables in-person, but unique offerings by retailers as well as seasonal specials are important attractions for this customer set.

Another trend that can help bakeries in the future is the growth in made-to-order items. Instore bakeries that allow customers to place an order for pick-up provide a sense of fresh, personalized service which is always a benefit. In this case, even industrial or mechanized processes can deliver artisanal results through the bake-off. Freezer-to-oven frozen dough, frozen dough and even par-baked products provide flexibility and fast, quality service to major retailers as well as convenience to the end consumer.

“Customers value the support that AB Mauri can bring to their portfolios of products,” Rees says. “Often our customer has so many projects going at once that it is hard for them to innovate as fast as they would like. We support that process even further through collaboration and global capabilities.”

Looking to the future, Rees explains that with younger generations taking over shopping, flavor, texture and adventure is going to be the name of the game in the years to come. “With that, the baking industry needs be poised to be more exciting and more open to how the market is evolving.”

Fast facts

AB Mauri North America, based in St. Louis, creates specialty blends that help bakers deliver the quality, on-trend products that customers desire, whether it is for sweet goods like donuts or healthful, artisan breads. AB Mauri North America also specializes in technologies for frozen platforms that can help deliver quality products even when skilled labor is in short supply.

The AB Mauri North America product and process innovation team specializes in multiple areas including enzyme technology, product claims for various baked goods, on-trend ingredients such as proteins and pulses in breads and even texture or flavor customization for sweet goods like cakes, donuts and pastries.