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.

Convenience is a trend that Corbion believes is impacting the future of retail bakery and foodservice. While gluten-free and low-carb claims are still high on consumers’ minds, they are not causing consumers to skip the bakery, points out Kathy Sargent, global strategic innovation director for Corbion. Instead, it is inconvenient for busy consumers to make a sandwich or to have to cut a piece of cake or a slice of bread. “Consumers think it is quicker to grab a snack bar, an apple, a pre-made burrito, a street taco or even a pre-packaged salad with all the toppings already incorporated,” Sargent says. “Bakers need to begin providing convenient, bite-sized baked goods for on-the-go consumers.

“In a recent consumer panel study performed by Corbion, we found that many of the consumers stated that knowing that a company or product has a sustainability story, or even compostable packaging, may positively affect their purchase decision. We can see these trends starting to take effect in the commercial baked good space — for example, Grupo Bimbo just launched its first compostable bread packaging in Mexico,” Sargent says. “One thing we’ve learned from customers’ purchasing behaviors is that freshness trumps all, but other product attributes contribute to the perception of freshness. For example, our research shows that 62% of consumers check appearance, texture or softness when determining the freshness of baked goods, and these are the most important factors they consider when evaluating and purchasing baked goods.”

Another big trend Corbion is seeing is a gap in the skill level of today’s workforce. As the well-established and experienced bakers are retiring, “we see younger and less experienced bakers entering the workforce. This has posed challenges for retail and foodservice bakeries to ensure the products they are delivering remain a consistent quality, taste and texture consumers have become used to,” Sargent says.

Corbion assists retail bakeries with innovative-based products under three tiers of technology: freshness, quality and shelf life. To keep the “fresh-out-of-the oven” eating qualities of baked goods, Corbion’s enzyme technology protects products during processing, handling and distribution. Corbion’s Ultra Fresh enzyme solutions Corbion’s Pristine portfolio, which includes clean-label bases, mixes, dough conditioners and icing stabilizers, gives bakers the flexibility to deliver greater transparency and simpler ingredient labels, without sacrificing quality or consistency. “One way we see the future of innovation heading more toward transparency,” Sargent says. “Today’s consumers are looking to purchase products that are made with fresh ingredients, have no artificial ingredients, and are sustainably sourced and packaged, making them safer for the environment, as well as for the people consuming them.”

Fast facts

In the past year, Corbion opened its new 15,000-square-foot headquarters in Lenexa, Kansas, which includes laboratories created to give consumers access to spaces for science-based innovation. The state-of-the-art bakery research and application labs are also designed to operate as closely to a working bakery as possible to support further innovation.

Corbion also works directly with customers to understand their needs, as well as identify and implement the most fitting solutions based on their specific applications and consumer demands. By working side by side with customers — oftentimes right on the production floor — Corbion helps them minimize operational challenges and production costs, as well as determine which physical and chemical attributes are required for each of their applications. Corbion’s tech service experts are able to help with the right optimizations.