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.

Mike Downing, PreGel America corporate pastry chef and International Training Center (ITC) area manager for North America, sees two specific trends impacting the future of retail bakery/foodservice: the influence of the vegan movement and artisan flours.

The bakery-specific curricula PreGel America offers at all five US locations of its PreGel International Training Centers and a team of trained pastry chefs who are versed in the latest techniques in pastry, as well as assist with recipe development, help retail bakeries address both challenges and opportunities through innovation.

“Our team of chefs that staff the International Training Centers are a huge asset for pastry artisans,” Downing says. “We also have gelato technicians that can travel to conduct personal demos. PreGel’s team of sales consultants are also versed in doing demos on site when necessary. We have an amazing sales team and marketing team that keep up with trends and the latest information that is imperative to those in artisanal patisserie.”

Each year, PreGel launches novelty products the company believes would be beneficial to streamlining the creation of pastry, ensuring the ease-of-use for varying skill levels, and are versatile in terms of recipe development that allow chefs to be creative and introduce their unique versions of innovation to the market. Our International Training Centers and team of chefs provide in-depth training and recipe ideation.

For example, this fall, PreGel America is shining a spotlight on some of its cool autumn flavors for the upcoming cooler season.

PreGel’s Sprint line is a collection of Cold Process complete powdered mixes that offer the quick and easy preparation of artisanal gelato, sorbetto, or soft serve frozen desserts. Among the fall flavors featured in the line: Pumpkin Spice Sprint (an instant powdered product for creating gelato is spiced with a combination of clove, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg), Spiced Apple Cider Sprint (an instant flavored powdered mix duplicates the flavor of freshly pressed apple cider enhanced with the dominant tastes of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and cloves), and Salted Caramel Sprint (an instant flavored powdered mix that recreates the combination of sweet caramel with a pinch of salt).

Looking to the future, Downing says convenience options will play a significant role. “The future of innovation is possibly headed toward more automated outlets and more vending machine options,” the corporate pastry chef says.

Fast facts

With a worldwide network of more than 25 International Training Centers, PreGel America hosts five educational establishments located within major U.S. cities including Charlotte, North Carolina; Los Angeles; Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; Chicago; and Dallas, as well as three distribution facilities in the East, West and Central regions.

Established in 2002, PreGel America is a B2B developer, manufacturer, and distributor of high quality, shelf-stable, semi-finished dessert ingredients and supplies. As one of more than 23 subsidiaries of the company’s main headquarters in Reggio Emilia, Italy, PreGel America supplies diverse product lines that fulfill the supply needs for artisans of gelato, sorbetto and ice cream, soft serve ice cream, pastry and confections, and specialty beverages.