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.
Retail bakers often don’t have enough time to do research and get a snapshot of what is happening within their market. That’s where BakeMark comes in to play an important role for them. “We pay very close attention to what is happening in the retail bakery segment in order to stay current with modern design ideas,” says Stephen Chavez, technical product manager for BakeMark.
In addition, BakeMark follows bakery innovation influencers on social media to keep its finger on the pulse, in terms of what is trending and what is possibly the next wave. This allows BakeMark to share and promote new ideas and designs on a regular basis with retail bakers, through its sales force in the field, its website (yourbakemark.com) and social media. In addition, across the US and Canada, BakeMark conducts product training sessions with customers to not only share innovative ideas, but also show them how to produce and incorporate some new ideas and concepts into their offerings. “We believe in not only sharing new information, but also showing you how you can implement it for your bakery,” Chavez says.
In terms of key trends affecting retail bakery, he adds, “I believe that new indulgence in the form of ethnic concepts, flavors, and designs are what is driving the market today. For example, at the IBIE, we were pleasantly surprised at the number of people that had travelled from Central and South America, as well as many Asian countries, who were interested in new ideas for innovating baked goods. As the world of baking evolves and comes together, I feel this will fuel the growth of traditional bakery products incorporating new, non-traditional flavors and ingredients.”
Through its R&D team, technical product manager and technical services team, BakeMark is able to develop new products and creative ways to produce and promote new products in the marketplace. New flavor combinations and modern designs are always a priority for these teams.
Chavez points out that social media and Instagram culture has been a true game changer; it just continues to dominate and grow. “Customers no longer want a product that simply tastes good,” he says. “It must look good as well and become a ‘trending’ moment. Businesses that cannot find themselves able to keep up with current trends and ideas will find themselves left behind. I envision the future of baking to be a lot more focused on flavor, quality and detail, perhaps a throwback to how things first got started with the passion for artisan baking.”
BakeMark operates an Education Center in Pico Rivera, California, that features a full bakery and auditorium. This space is utilized for ongoing customer training, as well as in-house innovation concepting and testing.
In addition, BakeMark has a technical product manager who develops new ideas and concepts using BakeMark ingredients, which are later translated into recipe sheets for the company’s customers. BakeMark also has a technical services team that operates nationally and is made up of technical bakery experts.
BakeMark’s R&D center is also located in Pico Rivera, where the company has an expert team of R&D scientists that specialize in formula development, formula optimization and innovation.