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.
Jennifer Lapaugh, senior director of marketing, regional and artisanal channel, explains that Dawn Foods is passionate about helping customers succeed. Through targeted research and insights into the consumer trend landscape, Dawn helps customers make more informed business decisions and better meet consumer demand in the marketplace.
“Every three years, our global team of dedicated market research and insights experts pour through data, visit bakeries and observe everyday consumer behavior to uncover the latest consumer trends shaping the industry,” Lapaugh says. “At Dawn, we put our customers at the center of everything we do. As part of this, our team is constantly researching and bringing together insights into the consumer trend landscape to help our customers make more informed business decisions and better meet demands in the marketplace.”
Dawn regularly identifies and refreshes its trends report to provide a view on what’s happening in the marketplace, consumer behaviors and macro influencers. These trends help Dawn come up with innovative ideas and thinking to consult bakers on opportunities.
“At Dawn, our everyday goal is to be a true partner to our customers, providing them with the insights, expertise and products that will help them grow their business,” Lapaugh says. “We regularly work hand-in-hand with customers to address opportunities in the industry by brainstorming ideas that they can execute based on our extensive research and insights into the consumer landscape. We then focus on our industry-leading product development team to create solutions to difficult challenges. Some examples would be development of products like gluten-free, vegan donut mixes or naturally brilliant icings that require a lot of time, expertise and testing.”
This year, Dawn launched a new co-creation process to better respond to the needs of customers and the industry at large, Lapaugh says. “In one of the projects, called ‘Inspired By You’ Innovation Program, we worked hand-in-hand with select bakers from across the country to develop three new cake mixes to represent the on-trend flavors today’s customers crave. The mixes, which were unveiled at IBIE, are formulated to deliver superior taste and performance to help bakers elevate their cake offerings. The new flavors include coffee, coconut and honey. We landed on these three flavors with our bakers because they provide a unique foundation for building new desserts and will help satisfy more consumer palates,” Lapaugh adds. “We will continue to see bakeries continue to evolve through offering more customization and personalization for their consumers. As part of this, bakers will need to continue to respond to consumer demand for sweet baked goods that balance health with the delicious indulgences they desire.”
In 2017, Dawn opened its Innovation Studio in Jackson, Michigan – a state of the art innovation facility led by Melissa Trimmer, CEPC. The Innovation Studio provides a space for our R&D, Technical Teams, Marketing and Sales Teams to come together with our customers to ideate and co-create new product developments. For artisanal customers, Dawn brings the trends and insights on how to implement them to Baker’s Gatherings. Dawn holds 25-plus of these events each year and invites current customers to view new product inspirations, taste samples and provide them with insights on consumer trends.